If you were to ask someone who just started collecting, what current Hot Wheels castings are the most highly desired right now, there would most likely be some models that would surprise long-term collectors.
Long-term collectors would surely mention the Drag Bus, Dairy Delivery, Blown Delivery, '67 Camaro, and Chevy Panel. But newer collectors might offer something completely different, and there is a very good chance they would mention the Datsun 510, Nissan Kenmeri and Hakosuka Skylines, and the Bugatti Veyron. They have watched secondary prices for many of these skyrocket in value, as well as follow the obsessive scouring for current releases like the Zamac Hako by collectors on Instagram.
And to think these were all pegwarmers just a short time ago. The 510 especially hung and hung and hung. Up until mid-2013 I was still coming across 510 First Editions hanging in various stores. Yes, the 510 First Edition, from 2009, still hanging 4 years later! That seems absurd now, as the same models are now selling for $10 each on ebay. Even the Vintage Racing BRE 510, while released in small numbers, hung on the pegs if the store actually got the batch. I think I left 5 or 6 (hand-slap to forehead).
The First Edition Skylines are doing the same thing, going up and up, and I was still seeing those on the pegs as late as fall last year.
And those don't even touch the Veyron. A model that notoriously littered the pegs with each release is now impossible to get for a decent price. In particular the Walmart exclusive in satin red, which was the one Walmart exclusive no one picked up back then (I must have left 30 hanging), and now is garnering $75-plus on ebay.
Even Matchbox has its share. Have you seen how much MB Toyota Land Cruisers command on ebay, including this red 10-pack exclusive? At one point the sealed 10-pack was selling for over $300. And that was a very easy pack to grab when it was released.
Of course we all wish we could go back in time and gobble up all the 510's and Veyrons we can (not to mention raiding the TJ Maxx stores of their plethora of Boulevard Datsun Wagons), but unless you are Marty McFly or The Terminator or Bill and Ted, that is impossible.
But what you can do is try and predict what castings considered pegwarmers now will be everyone's most wanted in the future. So today we are asking that question.
And the answer?
We have no bloody clue. None.
And neither do you. But we can always speculate, and maybe throw out some ideas.
First, some models to eliminate:
- All JDM. JDM is white-hot right now, and the bubble will burst. Yes, some models will remains highly sought-after, like the Vintage Racing and RLC BRE 510's, as well as the FE Skylines, and Boulevard Datsun Wagon. But the secret on these is more than out, and these models are anything but pegwarmers now. Prices will settle soon, and many speculating crazy value on models like the current Kenmeri might be a little disappointed. Zamac Skyline and Kmart 620? That might be a different story, based on their limited release, but that is for another article.
- Cars that were never pegwarmers. The Datsun Wagon was never a pegwarmer, nor the '67 Camaro, and have you ever seen a Drag Bus last more than a few hours in the store? Same with models like the recently released '55 Gasser. Yeah, you can find one here and there, but for the most part they don't stick around long. They are popular from day one.
- Specific lines. We are talking about castings today, not overall subseries or premium lines like Faster Than Ever, Speed Machines, Vintage Racing, and Boulevard. We think models like the Zamac Ferrari 599XX and McLaren F1 GTR will be very popular someday, but they were never pegwarmers.
With that out of the way, what are some possibilities?
One idea could be a return to the norm. As we have said, JDM is hot right now, basically sending Hot Wheels bread-and-butter, American Muscle, to the back seat. But the time will come when collectors will take a look at some of the tremendous muscle car castings Hot Wheels has done in the past, and want to sit those models next to their Skylines.
Yes, these models were out almost 10 years ago, but we are still shocked you can grab either for under $3 on ebay. The day will come when you can't. These are still two of the best-looking Hot Wheels in the Lamley collection.
Or it could be a car scene that has always been popular, has a huge following, but hasn't caught the attention of the Hot Wheels collecting world like JDM has. That could very well mean vintage BMW castings could be the next must-have Hot Wheels.
The BMW 2002 and E30 M3 are practically worshipped in some auto circles, and everyone's favorite Hot Wheels JDM designer, Jun Imai, tapped into that with these two castings. Both are superbly done, both are insanely cool, and both hang...on...the...pegs. In fact, I just snagged a few FE BMW 2002's yesterday.
Doesn't it seem both castings are following that 510/Skyline path? Both foreign cars, both not as mainstream as other models, and both ground zero cars in particular auto scenes.
We still see the Kmart E30 M3 at some stores. Will we regret not snagging them later? Maybe.
Or how about just a unique model? Something like the Studebaker Champ? A long vanished carmaker, a truck that is scarce on the roads, in a racing design that might be totally made up. The Champ was a passion project of one of Mattel's designers, but no one really knew what to make of the model.
But then again, look at it. There is no denying it is a fantastic model. The FE in teal (and in red and yellow) sits on black 5-spokes with Goodyear Eagle markings. It is long. The colors are great. The Boulevard has light blue steelies. It is the epitome of cool Hot Wheels, and it may take awhile to be appreciated.
These are all possibilities, and may or may not happen. Remember, we have no idea.
But one thing we do know. If Hot Wheels and Ferrari end their relationship, and the Italian Stallion leaves Mattel, certain Ferrari models will skyrocket in price.
Now, let us say, we have no idea if that is happening. We saw the press release regarding the Elite line, and have even asked a few people at Mattel that might be in the know. All we got was silence. If we were to predict, Ferrari remains in the 1:64 Hot Wheels line, but no longer exclusively. Other brands would be able to do Ferraris as well. We sure hope it does.
But if Ferrari is gone, it will be the Bugatti Veyron situation 10-fold. One of the reasons the Veyron went up in price was because Hot Wheels announced that they were retiring the Veyron tool, meaning no more new models. Demand on older models rose, and so did prices. If Ferrari vanishes, the scramble for previous HW Ferraris will be intense, and prices will shoot up.
Especially on models like these:
Yes, these were not all pegwarmers, but they are not garnering much attention at the moment. That could change very soon. As we have said, we hope it doesn't.
So, what do you think? Any overlooked model today that you think will be on everyone's radar tomorrow? We welcome your thoughts...