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What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible, Part 2: VARIANTS & VARIATIONS

By Brad Bannach

 

Thanks for coming back to read the second part (of five) on “What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible?” In the last segment, we talked about Childhood Favorites playing a major role in the way generations collect. Today, we will look at the one constant in collecting that has existed since the days of those very first Redlines collectors: Variants and Variations. 

 

Hot Wheels collectors have always gravitated toward collecting variants of their favorite Hot Wheels castings. From full-on color variations to intricacies in tampo and wheel changes, collectors collect it. Some are intentional, others are not. Variants refer to the number of times a casting is released -- whether it be by variation or by a new release method. And variations refer to when a single release has a change to it (i.e., color, wheels, graphics, etc.).

 

No Hot Wheels car has had more variants than the ‘67 Camaro™, which has nearly 300 if you include the packaging variants as well. Affinity for the ‘67 Camaro™ stems from its clean, custom look, complete with an opening hood and an exposed exhaust that peeks out from underneath the side panels. It's widely considered the most popular Hot Wheels car of all time and its sheer number of variants can make a collector go mad -- and broke! If you’re going to start collecting the ‘67 Camaro™ today, two words: “Good Luck!”

 

67-Camaro-GROUP-1570.png

 

Hot Wheels castings like the ‘67 Camaro™ always seem to grow in popularity. It is incredibly challenging -- and expensive -- to put together a casting collection that has dozens of variants, let alone hundreds. Though, if you can do it, it’s certainly a sight to see as collectors love a good casting collection.

 

Wheel variations have existed for decades but the specialized collector market really took off in the ‘80s and ‘90s when more wheel styles were introduced. Standard mainline production these days lasts only a few weeks. But back then, with longer production runs, the planned wheel would often run out at the factory, as certain releases were manufactured for months at a time. The factory would replace the planned wheels with another similar option, thus creating a wheel variation. Today, with the number of wheel styles we offer, wheel variations can (and do) occur. It takes a good variation hunter to know how to find them; and the most successful collectors are often the ones who dedicate the most time to research.

 

67-Camaro-5HO-5SP-1570-tiny.png

 

Color variations were the original variation, as the Original 16 came in a rainbow of colors. Outside of shade variations, most color variations are planned these days, as we know collectors love to collect them. Vehicles in the Hot Wheels mainline will often come in multiple colorways throughout the year, and we even offer a variety of store-exclusive color variations throughout the year. Make sure you check out our latest bunch of exclusive color variations at Dollar General. Another place collectors love to look for color variants are within the Hot Wheels multipacks, as many former graphic designs are brought back for exclusive recolors via the 3-, 9-, 10-, and 20-Packs.

 

67-Camaro-COLORWAYS-1570-tiny.png

 

Some collectors devote their entire Hot Wheels collection to variants and variations. For variant collectors, it’s often about completing a casting collection; while for variation collectors, it’s about tracking down the rare Hot Wheels that are out there -- or at least ones that are less common. Either way, collectors who collect by variant/variation are collecting what they like.

 

In the next part of this five-part series on “What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible?” we will explore some of today’s heavy hitters, as their collectability can often be traced back to A Significant Release. Look for that feature article soon!

 

Which Hot Wheels variants and variations do you like to collect? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIGBADBRAD01
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JESTUR

Posted

My favorite casting is the VW Bug.  But my second favorite is probably the 67 Camaro.  It's hard to pick a favorite with so many great Hot Wheels.  I remember when the original 67 Camaro treasure hunt came out in 1995 and were selling for $50.00 on the secondary market (before ebay).  I thought those guys were crazy!  If only I could go back in time...

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POSTMASTERY2K

Posted

"I've tried for years to get a membership. The more I read I don't know if I want One.  😠 Most posts are not too happy with the current and ongoing Process??"

 

Memberships are to experiment social knowledge and develop love for somethings you never experienced before or things you need to work hard at. The journey (membership), will open your eyes and will give you this sense of camaraderie. If at the end of the journey you don't like it, then you don't renew it..It's like any other club, country club,

Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Chess club. Nothing is perfect in this world, you do it for the excitement, the experience, to keep you informed.

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MustangDak77

Posted

Could someone point me in the direction of a page or website where it's easy to track or look up variations. I've had Hotwheels in my life since I was a kid but I've only been collecting hardcore for 3 years now and I still have issues. Thanks! 

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Katie442

Posted

that header with the 2 NEO FLAMED CAMAROS is killer!

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Katie442

Posted

On 5/6/2020 at 11:07 AM, POSTMASTERY2K said:

"I've tried for years to get a membership...

Has the membership EVER sold out on the 1st day???

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NELSONORPM

Posted

Cool series... I like a lil bit of everything tho

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HW_JOEY

Posted

what are the two red and blue ones with the flames and how do I find them? lol I found the blue one on ebay can't seem to locate the red one. 

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JESTUR

Posted

The red camaro is a RLC exclusive.   It was part of the 2006 Master Set which included all the 2006 Red Line Club cars in a 'tin' box.  All the cars in the tin had matching numbers.  As a bonus for 2006, the Master Set also included four extra 'reward' cars with exclusive colors.  These reward cars were limited to 3000 each.  The red camaro is one of the 'reward' cars.

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