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What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible, Part 3: A SIGNIFICANT RELEASE

By Brad Bannach

 

Two of the most popular Hot Wheels castings of today are the ‘55 Chevy® Bel Air® Gasser and the ‘71 Datsun 510 -- castings that are undoubtedly different. But they weren’t instant favorites in the Hot Wheels collecting world. Sure, they both appealed to their niche groups at the time of their initial releases, which were 2013 and 2009 respectively; but no one predicted at the time that either would cause the commotion they do every time one is released.

 

They do share something in common. Both castings had a defining release that acted as a catalyst, setting off a chain reaction among Hot Wheels collectors that elevated these castings to a level of collectability seen only by Hot Wheels like the ‘67 Camaro® and the Volkswagen Drag Bus.

 

GroupShot-55ChevyBelAirGasser-71Datsun510-1570-tiny.png

 

For the ‘55 Chevy® Bel Air® Gasser, it was a release that was so iconic, it’s commonly known by collectors as “The Candy Striper.” At the time of its sale, the 4,000-piece run didn’t sell out until day two. But it didn’t take long after collectors got these in hand that they realized how special the piece was, which in turn, turned the masses onto the casting, and Gassers in general. As the value of this piece inches closer to $1,000 on the secondary market, many will point to this significant release as the reason why so many collectors choose to collect the ‘55 Chevy® Bel Air® Gasser and it speaks as to why the Red Line Club is so popular today.

 

CandyStriper-Gasser-Group-1570-tiny.png

 

The ‘71 Datsun 510 had a more gradual rise to stardom, as the casting notoriously sat on pegs in 2009 when it was first released. In 2011, John Morton’s Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) Datsun Bluebird 510 was the oddball in the premium Hot Wheels Vintage Racing line, as it appeared in a line that was dominated by American muscle cars. In some areas of the United States, the release also sat on pegs for months. There was even an HWC Special Edition release John Morton’s #46 BRE Datsun 510 in 2013 that had Spectraflame red paint and neo-classic redline wheels. 

 

BREDatsun510-GroupShot-1570-tiny.png

 

Shortly after that, secondary market prices on both BRE Datsuns started to rise, exposing the Hot Wheels collecting masses to the international and domestic interest in Japanese domestic market (JDM) vehicles. The movement echoed that of 1:1 car culture at the time, and in the wake of this shift in collecting, many Hot Wheels collectors scrambled to collect these premium BRE Datsuns and any other versions of the casting that they could get their hands on. This ultimately vaulted the ‘71 Datsun 510 to not only the most popular Japanese-branded Hot Wheels car of all time, but arguably one of the top 10 Hot Wheels castings of all time. Had it not been for the BRE Datsuns, the popularity of the ‘71 Datsun 510 may not be where it is today.

 

SBS-CandyStriper-BREDatsun-1570-tiny.png

 

These are just two popular examples of Hot Wheels castings that vaulted in popularity after a specific release. Certainly, there are other examples of significant releases that served as a catalyst to ignite collectors’ passions when it comes to certain castings -- from the masses down to the individual. 

 

Do you collect a certain Hot Wheels casting? What was the reason you began collecting it? Can you narrow it down to a specific release? Share with us in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIGBADBRAD01
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SCHRAMMGUITARS

Posted

Not as fan of either of these. I prefer the Redline era castings.

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OPELGTBOY70

Posted

On 6/23/2020 at 7:52 AM, HWClams said:

The facts of this article are fundamentally wrong........  The reason the candy Striper and its low production run made it to day two was for the reason of this:

 

the hot wheels club was in a downward trend.  The quality of cars had fallen off.  Everything about the club had fallen off.  Member interaction...everything.  Why?  Turnaround times and the biggest debacle from Mattel ever......switching to the mirrorized finish instead of hand polished Chrome plating.  Every car that year was easy to maintain...as a matter of fact...the year prior to that was just as bad as far as membership participation.  Same goes for the new Datsun.  

 

The quality of cars coming out at that time was making it easy to obtain on the first day.

 

 

Candy didnt make it to day 2.  It was sold 3 hrs early and they were allowed as many as they wanted.

 

 

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THEAFGHANTWILIGHT

Posted

Hoping the Gasser craze brings us a large-finned Caddy some day.

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CROJEDA_HD

Posted

My personal favorite is still the 67'Camaro Custom.  It was my first Hot Wheels car. Which bothered my mom who at the time was working for Lesney in Carlstadt, New Jersey boxing Matchbox cars. That Camaro was spectraflame blue, and came in the basic orange track set. I still have all my original redlines. I would have to say that I have grown partial to the 55' Belair Gasser. 

But that Camaro will always be my favorite. 

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salem_refrig

Posted

that PINK on the '55 Gasser is beautiful.  Nice casting, with a great race heritage.

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WINNER11

Posted

🏁VOLKSWAGEN DRAG BUS🏁

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WINNER11

Posted (edited)

 🏁VOLKSWAGEN DRAG BUS🏁

 

The reason why I started to collect it was when I felt the sheer weight of it in my hands, in the package, it nearly floored my senses. I was awestruck and it felt like I really had something there.

 

I love dragsters as a rule. The Snake & The Mongoose had set me on that path (dragstrip?) way back in the beginning when Christmas presented me with the racing set under the tree.

 

So, a VW on slicks was amazing and very profound for me. Totally fascinated me. 

 

The one thing I would like to change from that catalyst is the engine. After seeing what can be done in the RLC gasser line, such as the "Talkin' 'Bout..."'s incredible engine detailing, the Volkswagen Drag Bus definitely could become extremely mind-blowing with a new set of pipes and a less blocky-looking engine.

 

I would even open up the side panels for showing it off without raising the body...which I would still option to raise.

 

I would also run the pipes through the upper side panels and wrap them around toward the back. When the body is raised, the pipes would move with it because they would be designed to cover a set of short manifold outlet piping on the inside when closed...completing a safe passage for exhaust when it's time to go.

 

Then came the off-shoots from the catalyst Volkswagen Drag Bus: The Volkswagen Drag Truck and the Volkswagen T1 Drag Bus.

 

2nd would be the Drag Dairy which I loved so much more than the Dairy Delivery (which isn't a dragster).

 

Initially, in addition to the MATTEL dragster duo, I became a Tom Daniel fan through the MATTEL Hot Wheels line. Models like the Red Baron, Paddy Wagon, S'COOL BUS, Ice "T"...were all dragsters. And there were many more.

 

Hot Wheels is so much more than just drag racing, but, that was the catalyst for me...🏁

Edited by WINNER11
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Hidalgodevries5@gmail.com

Posted

I love them but i can not afford them now.😶. I am a super fan from AUDI and i was very happy when you released the R8 and the TT back in 2007. Then 2 years ago you released the RS6 and the S1😍😍😍. And i am wondering of you will release in the future those ones: the AUDI trans-am and the AUDI A4 B5 from the German DTM...:

F08DA8AD-1942-4147-B741-F8BD5AE5D1B2.jpeg

DED96F24-3D25-4417-8DD0-C9CA417373D2.jpeg

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I found one Vintage Racing Datsun at Target 

back when it was first released. 
It was defective cause the right rear wheel rubbed against the body.  The chassis on most of those 510 models is pushed in on one side I have noticed. So the right rear wheel is closer to the body then the left side. Also on the Team Transport Datsun. 

(Drives me crazy)
So I took the wheels off and put them on a

Lancia Stratos. 
When the Datsun craze began, I put the wheels back on the Datsun and put on display. 
My luck that I altered one of the most iconic

Hot Wheels of all time. 

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What makes certain hot wheels collectible...? 
resell ability on the secondary market... 

Its what runs this place now... 

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