Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The most valuable Hot Wheels 510 of all: The "First 46" RLC BRE Datsun 510...
We will cap off 510 Day with one more feature, about a model that has caused a little confusion.
I am sure that cries of #lamleyhype could be made after this post, but this is one of the more interesting things Mattel has done in the last few years.
There is no doubt that Peter Brock and BRE Racing has enjoyed the JDM craze of late. The BRE 510 is one of the most iconic and recognizable Japanese cars around, especially here in the US. Hot Wheels has definitely taken advantage with three different BRE releases, two on the 510 alone.
The great thing for collectors is that Peter Brock and the 510's driver, John Morton, are still around and very much involved in the car world. BRE is still thriving, and Peter and John can be found many times at JCCS, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and other events, mainly in SoCal.
That means autographs. We have seen many signed BRE models, and it is great that Peter, John, and others are cool to offer them. On top of that, Mattel has given BRE some examples of the last two RLC BRE models for them to autograph and sell on their website.
All this means we have seen several autographed models on eBay, some going for very high prices. But with all that, there remains one that is as elusive a model as Mattel has released in the last few years.
I don't know what to call the model officially, but I have dubbed it the "First 46" RLC BRE 510s. Back in 2013, when the RLC BRE 510 was released, Mattel held an event to celebrate it, and John Morton himself was there. Mattel had the first 46 (46 is self-explanatory) models shipped to them and had Mr. Morton sign them. They were then sent to their distribution facility and randomly mixed in with the other 3000 to be sent out.
So when the 3000 models were sent out, 46 lucky people opened their boxes to find an autographed model, numbered between 1 and 46.
That means, of all the autographed BRE 510s, there are a special 46 that could only have been acquired completely by luck. A few changed hands via trade or sale over the few months after the sale, but since almost all are sitting quietly in 46 different collection who-knows-where. I haven't any for sale, or even seen anyone talking about theirs in a very long time. The last one I saw sold for over $800, and that was back in 2014.
So if you ever come across an RLC BRE 510, autographed only by John Morton, and numbered between 1 and 46, you have come across a pure gem. Maybe the true holy grail of JDM Hot Wheels.
Keep your eyes peeled...