How to become a Toy Car Collector – Guide for Beginners
A newbie Hot Wheels™ collectors guide 2022
Did you know that toys are amongst some of the most collectible items in the world? Not only are toys fun to collect as a hobby, but with a bit of knowledge – they can be a money spinner too.
So if you (or your child) has a growing interest in automobiles and you’re thinking about levelling-up your collection, now’s a good time to start. Plus, it might prove a fruitful investment too.
Hot Wheels™ toy cars and memorabilia make the perfect choice for collectors. From vintage Redline diecast cards, to merchandise such as t-shirts, Hot Wheels™ Unleashed toys and new Hot Wheels™ car plates (below), there’s plenty of items to add to your growing collection.
Why collect Hot Wheels cars?
If you’re going to start collecting toy cars, Hot Wheels is the perfect choice. The company recently celebrated its 50 year anniversary, and has a long list of cars in its range. Plus, it has a growing collection of merchandise to add to your collection which is widely available.
In this feature we’ll take a look at which Hot Wheels cars are the most valuable and how to start a collection - plus we’ll also share some handy tips for becoming a Hot Wheels collector.
How to start as a Hot Wheels collector?
So you want to be in the revered Hot Wheels collectors club? First thing’s first, you need to scrub up on your toy car history.
Do you know your Hot Wheels Super Treasure Hunt cars from your Redlines? Do you know which stores and websites to buy memorabilia, and where you can find rare first editions?
There’s a huge amount of fans, forums and groups on the web dedicated to the art of collecting. It’s a very welcoming community, so don’t be put off being a newbie.
Here’s some helpful websites for Hot Wheels collectors:
- The official Hot Wheels™ Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/hotwheels/
- Mattel Creations - https://creations.mattel.com/pages/hot-wheels-collectors
- HW Collectors - com
- Collectors Weekly com/model-cars/hotwheels
You will also find Hot Wheels toys stocked in all good toy stores in the UK and Ireland, including; Smyths Toys, The Entertainer and Amazon, although you may find more rare collectibles in independent exclusive shops.
How much are Hot Wheels collection worth?
It’s best to collect items that you like and enjoy. However, there can be real value when you snap up an investment piece. Since toys can grow in value by 30% annually, according to thisismoney.com, it’s important to care for the product and its packaging too. Hot Wheels rare and vintage items, along with limited-edition versions, are amongst some of the most sought after. Generally speaking – items over 20 years old can be considered vintage.
A quick look on eBay is a great way to see how much preloved items are worth. Some individual cars are going for £1,244, whilst entire collections are in excess of £2,000.
What are the rarest and most expensive Hot Wheels cars?
Imagine having a toy car worth more than your actual car? You might be surprised to know that a number of rare Hot Wheels cars are worth tens of thousands of pounds, these include:
- Hot Wheels™ Enamel White 1958 Camaro - $100,000 (roadandtrack.com)
- Hot Wheels™ 40th Anniversary- $140,000 (autoblog)
- Hot Wheels™ 1974 Blue Roger Dodger - $6,000*
- Hot Wheels™ 1968 Cheetah Base Python - $10,000*
- Hot Wheels™ 1969 Pink Rear-loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb -$150,000*
There’s also Hot Wheels car plates, racetracks and games to add to your growing list of collectibles.
How to become a Hot Wheels Toy Car Collector in Eight Steps…
So, now you know you want to be a Hot Wheels™ collector, here’s eight steps to get you on the right track, so to speak…
1. Hit the road!
The best way to understand the value of an industry is to simply become an expert yourself. However, the toy car market is so vast, that if you choose to be a collector you may want to specialise in a specific field – perhaps cars from a certain era, or a specific style. Next, sign up to newsletters, join fan clubs and forums, and subscribe to magazines in your interest area. Why not hit the road?! There's number of Hot Wheels events, car ralleys and gatherings for enthusiasts,where you can network with likeminded others. For instance the Hot Wheels™ Monster Truck live events (which are awesome fun too!).
Follow Mattel and Hot Wheels™ on social media, to discover new and discontinued items.
2. Collect merchandise
If you want to become a serious toy car collector, decide what you want to invest in. Quite often, merchandise can be as valuable as the cars themselves – so you might want to collect a bit of both. So, if budgets allow you might want to get the books, car dinner plates and games, as well as diecast cars themselves.
Tell friends and family
Toy car collecting is serious business, so you’ll benefit form letting friends and family know. This way, they can give you the Hot Wheels game, Hot Wheels garage, or the Hot Wheels Mario Kart you so desperately want for birthdays and Christmas.
If you’re collecting on behalf of a child, tell friends and family and maybe even create a Hot Wheels Amazon wish list to get the ball rolling.
Find a suitable storage area that is not wet, damp, or dusty and out of direct sunlight, or better still - a storage unit facility. If you’re choosing your loft, think about whether that overheats in the summer for instance.
Care for packaging
Look after cars well, perhaps stash them away so they can’t be played with. And yes, this includes packaging too, which for some toys, can make the difference between hundreds and thousands in resale value.
As you grow as a toy car collector, so will your knowledge of where to shop. There's a huge community out there which is very supportive and sharing of information. To start with, shop in market stalls, garage sales and thrift stores for vintage versions, you never know what you might find. As earlier mentioned, don’t forget to join Hot Wheels™ communities and groups to stay plugged in.
It's not enough to just buy well, you have to maintain your items as investment pieces. If children’s toys are stored away, be sure to keep them in good condition by dusting regularly, some collectors choose to place them behind glass casing, others in vacuum seals. With toy cars, you will want to preserve them without using any chemicals that may affect the finish.
Personal taste matters!
And finally, perhaps the most important of all – love what you buy. Whether it’s a car shaped toddler plate, or bright pink diecast van, your personal taste matters. Much like investing in art, since items can go up and down in value there is never any guarantee that your investment will pay off. Therefore, it’s important to trust your instinct and invest in items that appeal to you as much as anything else.