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What Makes Certain Hot Wheels Collectible, Part 4: An Interesting Backstory

By Brad Bannach

 

 

Everyone loves a good origin story, right?

 

It turns out, Hot Wheels collectors are no different. There are so many over the course of the last 52 years -- many of which we'll talk about in future articles. One of the first, however, was that of the rear-loading Beach Bomb in 1969. The original design of the Beach Bomb, by Ira Gilford, called for it to carry its two surfboards in the rear, with the ends sticking out the vehicle’s rear window. The high center of gravity made the vehicle prone to tipping on curves and the casting’s width was not ideal for booster compatibility, causing the team to scrap the plans for the rear-loading version of the casting. Howard Rees designed the revised "side-loading" version, with compartments on the side for the surfboards to be loaded into. A very small run of the rear-loaders was made, causing them to be highly sought after, with values in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 

HWC-S1-BeachBombRL-1570-tiny.jpg

 

HotWheelsCollectors.com (HWC) brought back the rear-loading Beach Bomb -- naming it the Beach Bomb Too -- as part of the inaugural run of HWC series cars in 2002 (Series One), as well as a couple of holiday releases. In 2003, the tooling of the casting mimicked the fate of the original design, as the casting was retooled in favor of the side-loading design. The Beach Bomb Too lived at the top of Red Line Club members' wish lists for years to come, as many yearned for a yearly release, collecting all that came along -- even after it was converted into a pickup. The Beach Bomb Too was one of the most collectible castings of the ‘00s due to its interesting backstory.

 

HWC-BeachBomb-GROUP-1570-tiny.jpg

 

The Bugatti Veyron, on the other hand, doesn’t have a comeback story -- at least not yet. The last release of the Veyron casting came in 2010, and rumors about licensing agreements spread rampant in the collecting world back in 2013. Some collectors even went as far as to claim that the previously released versions of the car were going to be destroyed. This sent collectors into a frenzy, causing many to scoop up all instances of the Veyron, while others parted ways with theirs due to the rising value. Ultimately, rumors of the destruction of previous releases proved to be false, but that hasn’t stopped collectors from collecting all of the releases from 2003 to 2010. 

 

03FE-BugattiVeyron-OrangeTrack-1570-tiny.jpg

 

Collectors have even gone as far as to project value onto the newly released ‘16 Bugatti Chiron, thinking that casting will give them the same types of returns. As it stands, the Veyron has been discontinued, but the Chiron offers hypercar lovers a Hot Wheels Bugatti at a fraction of the going rate on the secondary market.

 

03FE-BugattiVeyron-withChiron-1570-tiny.jpg

 

HWC has certainly revived some collector favorites over the years. Many vintage Hot Wheels castings saw new life as HWC and Red Line Club releases. One of the more popular requests for a vehicle revival wasn’t an existing casting. Rather, it was for a vehicle featured in a drawing by designer Phil Riehlman. In a 2006 article here on HWC that examined the origin of the Volkswagen Drag Bus, HWCGary uncovered the drawing that Phil originally did as Plan B. Phil’s passion for a drag racing VW Bus eventually won out because of a last-minute sketch he did for that vehicle, but another fan-favorite was born in the process. 

 

Blown Delivery - Original Sketch - EDITED-tiny.jpg
Original sketch of the Blown Delivery edited by HWC to remove livery.

 

When shown in that HWC article, this ‘30s billboard truck caught the eye of collectors. Collectors clamored for the design to be produced. As the voices in favor grew, the HWC team obliged and the Blown Delivery was released in 2010. For the next several years, the Blown Delivery was an instant sellout, as it became a signature piece of HWC for a number of years. The story of its origin may have begun to fade in the minds of collectors, but those that were around remember the campaign that ultimately made the Blown Delivery one of the most collectible Hot Wheels vehicles of its time.

 

HWC-BlownDelivery-1570-tiny.jpg

 

What other Hot Wheels castings have an interesting backstory? Please share with us in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIGBADBRAD01
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The Blown Delivery is an amazing vehicle, and I love the story.

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the Blown Delivery in red and blue...  👍

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I felt so fortunate to be able to get a pink (purple turned pink) Beach Bomb Too this year.

And two Blown Deliveries - the Phillips 66 one and the Holiday one.  I'd love to also have this Red - Redline Delivery one, but I've never seen it for an affordable price.  The search continues. 

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All those vehicles are amazing and I love the back stories about them. 👍I have some of those in my hotwheels collection and I'm still on the hunt for some of those. 👍

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BULLETPROOF420

Posted

How about the Ferrari Enzo, great car or the 599xx or all Ferrari's for that matter. Glad to see the Koenigsegg back this year tho. 

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9 hours ago, juke said:

I felt so fortunate to be able to get a pink (purple turned pink) Beach Bomb Too this year.

And two Blown Deliveries - the Phillips 66 one and the Holiday one.  I'd love to also have this Red - Redline Delivery one, but I've never seen it for an affordable price.  The search continues. 

 

I will admit I did pay a pretty penny for the first release Blown Delivery, but I had Christmas and birthday money from my parents to buy it.

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I have been collecting Hot Wheels long enough to fully understand and appreciate the history of many highly sought after Hot Wheels. You have captured several here, but I feel the most important and iconic releases was the Custom Otto. For years in the beginning Otto Kuhni sat quietly in the shadows producing some very awesome card art, and the most interesting was that one car that never came into existence even though it exemplified what a Hot Wheel from the Redline era was and was highlighted in the original sixteen packaging, and aptly referred to as the Lost Redline.

 

This image of the car we longed for finally came full circle and made it's debut at the 2008 Toy Fair, made a Graceful appearance at the 22nd Hot Wheels collectors Convention, and subsequently made a tour across the country with a special addition given away at several stops during the 40th Anniversary of Hot Wheels road trip. Prior to the Toy Fair release there were rumors of the lost Redline finally making a debut and it was thought to be a first release in the RLC, however that release did not occur until November of 2008.

 

The most expensive initial release came when a Custom Otto that was made form 18 Caret White Gold encrusted with Diamonds, Tail Lights of Ruby, and Wheels adorned with Black Diamonds. There is only one in existence and though the value at the time was estimated to be over 100,000 dollars at auction it sold for 60,000, so even though the Pink Rear Loader Beach Bomb is a rarity in it's own right, this one of a kind Custom Otto is a rival with quite a bit of sparkle to it.

The Custom Otto, for reasons unknown, made a final appearance in 2012 as a HWC release and the mold was rumored to have been damaged. For 2020 though, we have seen a retooling, however,  the hood is now cast shut, BUT, is it possible we could see another opening hood release? In honor of Otto Kuhni, I can only hope that someday that can happen.

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As far as the Chiron goes, it probably won’t go up in value unless it gets discontinued. They just make to many mainlines. Just collect what makes you happy , not for value. Let’s bring back the fun to this hobby and get rid of the challenge. 

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cars4dylan

Posted

"Some collectors even went as far as to claim that the previously released versions of the car were going to be destroyed."

 

Who are these people who made this claim, worse yet, who believed them?!?  I feel for the good of all humankind we need to seek them out and sterilize them immediately.

 

 

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My two favorite casts: Drag Bus and Blown Delivery! Thanks Phil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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KaiKai

Posted (edited)

Great article! I did get to buy the Veyrons' when they were out, inclusive of the coveted Speed Machines version. A couple of them are well played with but a few inclusive of the Speed Machines were kept packed. Never did imagine that they would become so valuable.

Edited by KaiKai
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ARMATAZ

Posted (edited)

thanks dave,  nice write up, but, as I recall, the original sketch of the blown delivery  had a cokacola logo on it's side 😉

.. I'm still waiting for the all die-cast engine version of it. 😉

 

oops, missed where the HWC removed the logo. sorry

TAZ

Edited by ARMATAZ
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ANYBODY can start a rumor or lie about a collectible and watch it turn into a full-blown newspaper headline. I used to own a hobby shop in the mid-'90s for a few years in my hometown, dealing in non-necessities, collectibles specifically, like comic books, sports cards/figures, Hot Wheels, non-sports cards, non-sports figures, GI Joes, Barbies and what have you. During the XMAS season, Mattel, who makes, creates, manufactures and sells Barbies, produces a "Holiday Barbie" every season. A rumor was flying around the isles in the stores that the Holiday Barbie couldn't be found for that XMAS due to a major semi wreck and fire which destroyed countless of them, limiting what was already on the shelves with no new ones made to replace the destroyed stock from the wreck and fire. I scooped up every single Holiday Barbie I could locate at around $23 without tax (had a tax i.d. #), and re-sold close to 65 of them at $65 ea. (having to charge tax to turn in to local state office quarterly). Where am I going with this lengthy story you're reading? Come to find out weeks after I was "SOLD OUT" of all Holiday Barbies for the XMAS season (even garnishing top story on my local t.v. news station about having them and the line of people before opening after the story broke of people wanting to "invest" in one or more of them), I found out that the story was circulated each and every season on that release for XMAS for years to create demand in it. I felt 2 inches tall, NEVER having done what I did had I known the story was a created "wives-tale" each XMAS to create demand in the doll for high sales, whether retail or on the 2ndary market. Same "scenario" on any Hot Wheels can do the same of the release of any make/model, which we have to be very careful on which stories to verify or simply dismiss as created and madeup. As Paul Harvey said at the end of each of his radio aired tales - "Now you know, THE rest of the story."

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David Gonzales

Posted

Please and I hope you read this comment. I would like information on the 2004 First Edition Bedlam number 27/100. In 2004 100 cars were in the 2004 First Editions but several cars were released in different variations as far as color, wheel style, interiors etc. My question is why is the pink Bedlam worth so much?? I have searched it and it is upwards in value. I was lucky to find this car variation and will keep it in my possession. IMG_0194.JPG.cc80042ac9182bc7bfef8ff7c7f70333.JPG 

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 9/24/2020 at 10:28 PM, Chlaredo said:

I have been collecting Hot Wheels long enough to fully understand and appreciate the history of many highly sought after Hot Wheels. You have captured several here, but I feel the most important and iconic releases was the Custom Otto. For years in the beginning Otto Kuhni sat quietly in the shadows producing some very awesome card art, and the most interesting was that one car that never came into existence even though it exemplified what a Hot Wheel from the Redline era was and was highlighted in the original sixteen packaging, and aptly referred to as the Lost Redline.

 

This image of the car we longed for finally came full circle and made it's debut at the 2008 Toy Fair, made a Graceful appearance at the 22nd Hot Wheels collectors Convention, and subsequently made a tour across the country with a special addition given away at several stops during the 40th Anniversary of Hot Wheels road trip. Prior to the Toy Fair release there were rumors of the lost Redline finally making a debut and it was thought to be a first release in the RLC, however that release did not occur until November of 2008.

 

The most expensive initial release came when a Custom Otto that was made form 18 Caret White Gold encrusted with Diamonds, Tail Lights of Ruby, and Wheels adorned with Black Diamonds. There is only one in existence and though the value at the time was estimated to be over 100,000 dollars at auction it sold for 60,000, so even though the Pink Rear Loader Beach Bomb is a rarity in it's own right, this one of a kind Custom Otto is a rival with quite a bit of sparkle to it.

The Custom Otto, for reasons unknown, made a final appearance in 2012 as a HWC release and the mold was rumored to have been damaged. For 2020 though, we have seen a retooling, however,  the hood is now cast shut, BUT, is it possible we could see another opening hood release? In honor of Otto Kuhni, I can only hope that someday that can happen.

 

I totally agree and would have included it here if I didn't already do a feature on it this year. Such a great story there. Thanks for sharing, Jay!

 

 

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 9/26/2020 at 10:54 AM, ARMATAZ said:

thanks dave,  nice write up, but, as I recall, the original sketch of the blown delivery  had a cokacola logo on it's side 😉

.. I'm still waiting for the all die-cast engine version of it. 😉

 

oops, missed where the HWC removed the logo. sorry

TAZ

 

Haha, who is Dave? At least you got the 2nd part right... 😉

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ARMATAZ

Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, BIGBADBRAD01 said:

 

Haha, who is Dave? At least you got the 2nd part right... 😉

I dunno, sorry brad.... must have been thinking of some one else while replying to your write up, (dave saunders maybe??). TAZ

Edited by ARMATAZ
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cars4dylan

Posted

15 hours ago, David Gonzales said:

Please and I hope you read this comment. I would like information on the 2004 First Edition Bedlam number 27/100. In 2004 100 cars were in the 2004 First Editions but several cars were released in different variations as far as color, wheel style, interiors etc. My question is why is the pink Bedlam worth so much?? I have searched it and it is upwards in value. I was lucky to find this car variation and will keep it in my possession. IMG_0194.JPG.cc80042ac9182bc7bfef8ff7c7f70333.JPG 

 

As with all things collector related the secondary market value is based on demand and relative scarcity to that demand.

 

This was an actual rare production piece and that has been determined in time as with all things that are considered truly "rare".   It hasn't shown up that often in the subsequent years since it has been determined to be a real variation. That one was an apparent issue in either the plant having an issue with the color of the plastic in tinting process or a change from the design side.

 

The "checklist" folks who are completists when it comes to having an entire set of the cars from a certain year or variations in general are going to be the ones driving the price most likely.

 

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1971grnmav

Posted

Really enjoy the Hot Wheels articles on the history and origins of different castings! looking forward to seeing more on the site!

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Chlaredo

Posted

On 9/27/2020 at 10:06 PM, BIGBADBRAD01 said:

 

I totally agree and would have included it here if I didn't already do a feature on it this year. Such a great story there. Thanks for sharing, Jay!

 

 

 

Not sure how I missed your other article but the Custom Otto stands up there as an icon in its own right, and I am glad to finally see it in the mainline even if it is over 50 years late to the party.

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PARTYDOWN

Posted

Can you share the backstory about the Green HWC Rodger Dodger that caused such a frenzy in 2001/2002. The way I remember it...it first appeared in the vending machine at a California Hot Wheels convention....then 1,000 more appeared as a bonus car with the release of the 2002 RLC Factory set of mainlines. Amy was at the helm in those days. I'd love to hear the actual story as to why that car in green came to be and why it was released the way that it was. Also any other tidbits on it would be appreciated. Thanks Jay!

 

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Hot Kengas

Posted

It really is three wonderful stories that helped make Hot Wheels' trajectory so rich and important in the midst of the miniature diecast car collection, if it weren't enough to be the most emblematic brand, brand by brand, of all times, for everything, whether by idea or concept.

 

Even in the stories that happened during this whole journey, like the Beach Bomb story that, due to a mold error in its first version, idealized by one of the Hot Wheels legends Ira Gilford, and that due to the instability of the model on the track, project ahead, and another designer had to redo the project so that she could walk the tracks without problems, but from this whole story I think that due to the cut in the beginning of production, and the same having been produced very few units, says the legend that three were made, and the only one that has news of his whereabouts is the model that is under the care of one of the most famous collectors of Hot Wheels in the world, Mr. Bruce Pascal and that had this same miniature valued at USD $ 150.000 dollars an unimaginable value for a miniature in the scale 1/64, a miniature of approximately nine centimeters in length, for all the exposed and by itself, we can say that it is a fantastic story.

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Hot Kengas

Posted (edited)

The History of Bugatti Veyron is another work of chance, a viral that ended up happening after a news that was advertised in the community of collectors, where it said that the licensing agreement with the brand was over, and that perhaps that would be the last opportunity of if you get a model from Bugatti, in 2010 3 or 4 models of Bugatti Veyron were launched, and all launched until today are highly valued, Hot Wheels itself helped to strengthen this idea of the collector, since at the time nothing was said to the contrary , and the years passed, and the Bugatti Veyron were not released in any of the series year by year, now those who think that the phenomenon could not happen again, are mistaken, it did, and now with the Bugatti Chiron that was launched in 2019 in the Basic Series Hot Wheels with two variations so far, but its Zamac version is already reaching the same brand as Bugatti Veyron, and disappeared from the shelves of the USA, Mexico, and even the Brazilians who were searching in the USA and in in other parts of the world, they are realizing that the model is becoming increasingly difficult to find, you can be sure that collectors have turned to the Mainline versions, and then the Bugatti Veyron phenomenon will also be repeated in the Bugatti Chiron, but it is more a fact that makes the journey of the brand, unlike anything we know in other brands, perhaps none other can cause such fascination in collectors around the world.

Edited by Hot Kengas
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