There are obviously a few ways to acquire a prepro. Some aren't so legal, or better, the model available was made available by not-so-legal means. Nonetheless, the best and brightest way to get one is by way of auction or other events where the items have been donated.
And that is why the prepros donated by Mattel each year at the Gathering are so popular. They are usually of current models, either unpainted, or painted in a color you won't see in final production, and they are almost always one-of-a-kind. My preference with prepros is to have them assembled and painted, making them a sort of one-off variation.
I own two prepros, both acquired at the Matchbox Collector's Gathering of Friends auction, and both were donated by Mattel. I won a Caterham in 2010, and this year took home a Cadillac CTS Coupe. I have lost a few as well. I lost on a Mercedes SLR McLaren a few years back, a Corvette ZR1 and Toyota 4Runner last year, and this year on a very cool black Olds Vista Cruiser. But they all went into far better collecting hands than I have.
Anyway, I have always enjoyed checking out these unique prepros each year, whether I bid on them or not. This year, Jim Gallegos and Mattel gave me permission to photograph all of them in my makeshift studio. I started showing them off awhile ago, but I thought it would be best to show a photo or two of each, along with the price they sold for in auction.
So if you come next year, and are interested, you have an idea of what you are up against...
What models would you bid on?
BMW X5 (unpainted, metal base) - $40
GMC School Bus (unpainted, unspun) - $70
Yamaha Rhino (unspun, missing hood) - $40
Coyote 500 (unspun) - $50
56 Ford Panel Van (assembled) - $60
Ridge Raider (assembled, unpainted) - $30
Ford Panel Van (unpainted, green chassis) - $50
Ford E-350 Ambulance (unspun) - $100
Roda Tripper (VUM body, assembled) - $90
Porsche Panemera (unspun, frosted windows) - $60
VW Saviero (assembled, orange wheels) - $40
Dodge Magnum w/ surf boards (assembled, triple-black) - $100
BMW Mini Cooper Cabrio (assembled) - $60
71 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (assembled, triple black) - $150
68 Mustang GT/CS (assembled) - $90
71 Pontiac Firebird Formula (unspun, black chassis) - $110
Ford F550 Super Duty (VUM chassis, assembled) - $160
Cadillac CTS Coupe (assembled, VUM chassis) - $110