As children, there were a few things that were certain: Saturday morning cartoons, Lego, sugary breakfast cereals, and Hot Wheels. The toy cars that Matchbox couldn’t hold a candle to debuted in 1968 and are still massively popular today. In the 50 plus years the toys have been around, several have become collectors’ items and skyrocketed in value. If you were lucky enough to grow up owning one of these models and kept it in good condition, you could be sitting on a gold mine!
Note – Not all pictures match the model as listed but are accurate for the year released.
Rear-Loading Pink Beach Bomb From 1969 – $150,000
Considered the king of all things Hot Wheels, the rear-loading pink Beach Bomb model from 1969 is worth a reported $150,000! This car was never sold to consumers and was built as a prototype.
Why did it never reach the production line? It was too narrow and too top-heavy. Mattel redesigned it have side-mounted surfboards and a full-length sunroof. Just two pink prototypes were produced, which is why they are so valuable.
Over Chrome Camaro From 1968 – $25,000
The lime color for the Over Chrome Camaro from 1968 is called “antifreeze.” The antifreeze-over-chrome application of color was rare and mostly used for advertising purposes. This car was not available in stores and only seen in commercials at the time.
Because of how the lime coating is applied, the car was of higher quality than sales models and could not be bought. There are 20 known Hot Wheels with this finish, and this Camaro here is the most valuable.
Mad Maverick From 1969 – $15,000
Any Hot Wheels aficionado knows what the Mighty Maverick car is. What they might not know is that this toy was originally called the Mad Maverick. Mattel was forced to change the name after a copyright issue with a rival toy manufacturer came up.
The name became Mighty Maverick very quickly, making any original “Mad Maverick” copies valuable. One in mint condition could be worth up to $15,000. To find out if you’re lucky enough to own one, check the nameplate on the bottom of your car.
Brown Custom Charger From 1969 – $13,000
For this Hot Wheels’ model to be worth up to $13,000 it needs to be brown with a white interior. The Custom Charger was one of the more commonly produced models from 1968 until 1971 – just not in brown.
Because the brown version of the Custom Charger is so rare, most collectors believe it was a prototype. There are only a handful known to exist. Are you lucky enough own one? It might the right time to cash in!
Purple Oldsmobile From 1971 – $12,000
The first ten years of Hot Wheels production vehicles are known as “redline” cars. This term comes from the red line that was put on Hot Wheels tires until 1978. A purple Oldsmobile 442 from 1971 is considered one of the rarest redline Hot Wheels and is worth around $12,000.
Like the Custom Charger, for this toy to be worth collecting, it needs to be purple. This legendary four-wheeler was made exclusively at Mattel’s Hong Kong facility.
Ed Shaver Blue AMX From 1969 – $10,000
This model from the United Kingdom was made after striking a sponsorship deal with race car driver Ed Shaver. The Blue AMX from 1969 is worth $10,000. Aside from the graphics on the car to differentiate it, it is just a standard AMX.
In other words, you need the Ed Shaver decals to ensure that you have one of the world’s most valuable Hot Wheels cars. Otherwise, you just have a car that looks nice in your collection but isn’t worth a whole lot.
Brown ’31 Woody From 1969 – $8,000
Including prototypes, it is estimated by collectors that less than 12 ’31 Woodys painted brown exist in the world. That makes this car extremely rare and extremely valuable. Are you lucky enough to have one in your collection?
If you do think you have one, be careful to make sure it’s not painted orange. Over the years, many of the ’31 Woody’s that are orange have darkened and now appear to be closer to brown.
Python Body With Cheetah Base From 1969 – $6,000
While it was being designed and created, the Hot Wheels Python was named the Hot Wheels Cheetah. The car was inspired by Kustom Kulture engineer Bill Cushenbery’s Dream Rod and was renamed before being sent to market.
Still, there were a handful of Pythons sold that contained the original Cheetah base nameplate. If you own one of these special Hot Wheels cars, you could be sitting on $6,000 to help take that vacation you’ve been saving up years for!
Spectralflame Bye Focal In Purple From 1971 – $6,000
Hot Wheels made sure to make this iconic collectible hard to identify. Mattel used several Bye Focal shades including blue, magenta, and purple for the Spectralflame in 1971. The one you need to find is purple — if you can even tell the colors apart.
Making this item even harder to find is a “crumbling” condition common to the model. For whatever reason, the Spectralflame was more likely to develop cracks and begin to crumble than other Hot Wheels. In perfect condition, a purple model Spectralflame is worth $6,000.
Red Ferrari With White Interior From 1970 – $5,000
What makes this red Ferrari 312P so unique is its white interior. The toy was mass-produced in the ’70s almost exclusively with a black interior (pictured). While it might not seem like it would make a big difference, a light interior red Ferrari 312P is worth $5,000.
The car was manufactured by Mattel in both the United States and Hong Kong and is one of the most recognizable Hot Wheels of the era. The question for any owner is, which color is your interior?
Pink Beatnik Bandit From 1968 – $5,000
The Beatnik Bandit from 1968 is one of the Hot Wheels Sweet Sixteen set. Those cars make up the original launch models for the Mattel brand, and the Beatnik Bandit is the most valuable of the bunch.
To cash in on the car, you need to own it in pink. This was the rarest color it was adorned with of the 18 options the toymaker chose from. It was based on a design by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.
Red Oldsmobile With Black Interior From 1971 – $4,000
While not as valuable as its purple Olds 442 model, a red Olds 442 Hot Wheel from 1971 is just as rare. If that car comes with a black interior, it could net you upwards of $4,000.
The reason this car is so valuable is because of how few were actually made. It is one of the hardest redline Hot Wheels to find, leading collectors to believe that the red/black Olds 442 was only a prototype and never brought to market.
Green Open Fire – $4,000
Based on what is now considered one of the worst automobiles of all-time, the green Open Fire (green version not pictured) was essentially a stretched AMC Gremlin. Released with six wheels and an engine popping out of the hood, this now-classic Hot Wheel is worth $4,000.
During the ’70s, the Gremlin was credited with helping start a push towards smaller, more economical cars. Today, it is remembered as part of the decade that introduced, “pet rocks, shag carpets, platform shoes and the AMC Gremlin.”
Red Baron With White Interior From 1969 – $3,500
You might be surprised to see the 1969 Red Baron pop up on this list. The car is one of the most recognizable and most popular Hot Wheels’ models of all time. The difference here comes from the interior.
A majority of Red Barons that were sold had black interiors, while only a few very early production models had white interiors. Like so many other toy cars on this list, check the interior of yours to see what kind of gold mine you might be sitting on!
Blue Rodger Dodger From 1974 – $3,000
When Hot Wheels released the Blue Rodger Dodger in 1974, they did so without a lot of fanfare. The car was produced in limited quantities, making it valuable based on the volume available.
The good news: as long as you have one of these cars and it’s in good condition, it could be worth $3,000. The color matters, but not as much as you might think. Just make sure you have an original Rodger Dodger. Mattel released a retooled version in 2000, and another in 2015.
White Z-Whiz From 1977 – $3,000
The Z-Whiz was introduced by Hot Wheels to the United States in 1977. It was based on the Datsun Z and was the first Japanese import turned into a toy car for the brand. The white version of the Z-Whiz, in good condition, is worth $3,000.
The Z-Whiz was discontinued by Hot Wheels in 1984. During its seven-year run, it was most commonly sold in green. Early models came in silver. As we said, white was the truly special shade you wanted, though.
White Custom Camaro From 1968 – $3,000
The 1968 Custom Camaro is a special car in Hot Wheels history. According to collectors, it was the first car to make the transition from concept to production. Created with a white enamel finish, Mattel planned to change the car’s colors before shipping it to stores.
Still, a handful of white prototypes made it onto shelves. By our logic, that means the white Custom Camaro from 1968 was the first “collectible” car for the toy car maker!
Brown Custom Camaro From 1968 – $3,000
Another Custom Camaro from 1968, the brown/white exterior/interior combination is also incredibly rare and valuable. Just like the white enamel Custom Camaro, the brown version was never supposed to be sold to consumers. The story goes it was given to stores as a display model.
Because of this, anyone lucky to have one could look to trade it in for upwards of $3,000 depending on the condition. Just make sure you check the interior first, because it needs to have a white one to be worth the ticket price!
Magenta Rodger Dodger With White Interior From 1974 – $2,500
The second Rodger Dodger on our list comes in magenta and could be worth up to $2,500! Like it’s blue sibling, this car is considered special among collectors. Just make sure you have a genuine original and not one of the retooled versions!
The Rodger Dodger was based on the 1973 Dodge Charger SE and designed by Larry Wood. The SE, of course, didn’t have a giant engine sticking through the hood. That would have made it impossible to look over while driving!
Pink Superfine Turbine From 1974 – $2,500
Another classic design by Larry Wood, the Superfine Turbine was a brand new casting by Hot Wheels in 1973. These cars, especially the pink version, are hard to find. They were only produced by the toymaker for one year.
Hot Wheels did retool and re-issue the Superfine Turbine in 2010 as part of its HWC Neo Classics series. If you are lucky enough to have a pink Superfine Turbine in your collection, it could be worth $2,500.