Collecting Hot Wheels Is Serious Business.
Hot Wheels! I love them. I used to collect them back in the day and my collection, makes boys jealous.
Hot Wheels! Hot Wheels! Hot Wheels!
The thing with Hot Wheels is that you have to know what you are looking for. Mattel can be pretty sneaky with one model being just a tad bit different from all the rest. The difference can range from having a sunroof, red line tires, tinted windows, and different colors. It can actually be overwhelming sometimes, but it is fun searching for that special one.
My 1967 Hot Wheels Redlines Custom T-Bird Blue
There is a group of collectors that hit all the store shelves early in the morning, in hopes to find "that one" when a new box of Hot Wheels gets opened and stocked on the shelf. Stores can't just order a particular Hot Wheel. Mattel sends the Hot Wheels out by the case, and they only send out so many cases to each store. The faster the Hot Wheels move off the store shelves then the faster that store will get new shipments of Hot Wheels. Needless to say, slower moving inventory means slower new inventory shipments.
So, back in the day when the older gentleman would hit the stores bright and early, I would hit Walmart after work. Which would be about 3am after my closing shift at the bar. It also helps to friend the employees who stocked the shelves, who would let me be the first to look into that box of Hot Wheels before the stocked the shelves. Even though I was in my 30's, it made me feel like I was 10 years old, and I just found a golden ticket in my chocolate bar when I was the first to see what was in that box.
Some of my collector sets
But after a while, it turned into a thing because the boys in the morning caught wind of what was happening and complained to management. Ultimately it ended after the ones who stocked the shelves started becoming avid collectors too. They never opened another box of Hot Wheels for me again.
But with Hot Wheels, they don't have to come from the store. They are everywhere. Pretty much in every toy chest from the last 50 plus years. You can find them buried in your yard. Some of the most expensive Hot Wheels sold were out of the package and played with. Hot Wheels are tough stuff. Didn't every little boy stick a firecracker in one and try to blow it up? Old barns are a great place to find them too. I have an 88 year old friend, and he has some great Hot Wheels lined up on a shelf in his garage collecting dust. They were his sons! And he has them sitting there next to a bucket of nails like it's no big thing.
So...be careful when it comes to Hot Wheels. The ones that have been hiding at the bottom of the closet for years could be worth a fortune. You never know.
Check out this video on collecting of Hot Wheels.