Collecting Posts

From Critic to Curator: A Hot Wheels Collector’s Tale

For all the growing popularity of hobbyDB as a research place for collectors, we still run into folks who aren’t initially impressed with our site. We’ve been working hard to make the site more flexible, easier to use, and more powerful in its capabilities (and we know there are still issues!) But the most important resource we have to make hobbyDB the best it can be is you, the User.

We ran into “Jay C.”, a Hot Wheels Collector from Canada, in the comments section on another website, and he was critical about what he perceived as a lack of certain information about Hot Wheels cars. Sure, we have over 40,000 entries for Hot Wheels on hobbyDB, but he had a great idea for additional characteristics that could be used to identify and  differentiate models.

Jay thought we could include baseplate identification information in our database, which we thought was a great idea. It’s a huge undertaking, but worth the effort.

Which brings us back to the point about our Users. YOU are the ones who can help fix shortcomings like these. Of the over 200,000 items on our site, over half of them have been added by Users one at a time. Useful features like our Wheel Types identification guide were built by Users.

Jay joined us for an interview since beginning the project. Here it is, edited for length.


When we first heard from you in a forum on another website, you weren’t very keen on hobbyDB. What was your frustration?

Hot Wheels Collector

It’s true, I wasn’t very pleased to have to move from a Hot Wheels centric database (South Texas Diecast) to an all encompassing website with features that I initially found difficult to navigate and interpret.

So as anyone does these days, I vented out my utter frustration in a comments section, describing in great detail how, in my opinion, hobbyDB was missing the target on some aspects of Hot Wheels collecting. I knew that the old database we were all using before had been imported in its entirety on hobbyDB, but I just couldn’t seem to find a way to search it efficiently.

Turns out, people at hobbyDB read these things, so after some back and forth with Christian (whose patience is the stuff of legends, and whose thickness of skin defies our current understanding of human biology), we exchanged e-mails and phone numbers and had a good chat.

What changed your mind?

I wrote a long e-mail with examples, ideas, and other ramblings that I thought would help get Hot Wheelers on board with hobbyDB and then chatted over the phone with Christian in response. He schooled me on many aspects of the site that I did not know, and I told him about some quirks of Hot Wheels collecting that hobbyDB would benefit from knowing, in order to make searching and cataloguing more efficient and more fun.

I was also aware that the current hobbyDB design and layout might work perfectly for other types of collecting that are thriving on the site, so I tried to think about ways to enhance hobbyDB’s Hot Wheels game without ruining it for everyone else.

What made me change my mind was the immediate attention and response of the hobbyDB team. They were fully in tune with the community, actually made the transition a lot easier, not to mention the fact that they actually care about user feedback, which makes a huge difference to me.

You’ve started adding detailed information about Hot Wheels baseplates. Do you collect based on these differences?

hot wheels baseplate

Indeed, one of the things we discussed over the phone was the baseplate copyright year of the cars. As you might know, the year under a Hot Wheels car is not the year this particular car was released by Mattel, but rather the year Mattel acquired the rights to make the car from the manufacturer. So even brand new cars that you buy at Wal-Mart today might have a baseplate year from the 1970’s, but you’re just buying the 2016 release of that casting. If you have a car with a baseplate year of 1981, you can be pretty confident its first release was 1982 or 1983.

Personally, I don’t collect based on this, but it’s a crucial part of my collecting habits because I mostly buy old loose cars, and the actual name of the car is not always stamped on the base (like the Peugeot 405, among many, many others), and all you have to identify it is the year on the base of the car.

Since the fields in every collectible profile on HobbyDB allow for a lot of freedom, Christian offered me the chance to set up and curate some baseplate years on the site, which I gladly agreed to do.

The goal is to list every first edition of Hot Wheels casting by baseplate year. So you’ll be able to scroll through a list of cars that have a given year on the baseplate, locate your casting, and then click the variants button to locate your exact car.

hot wheels baseplate

Now, I don’t have encyclopedic knowledge of Hot Wheels castings, which is why I still need pictures to put a name on some cars, so I encourage other Users to chime in when they see a missing casting for a given year. Ideally, only the first editions of every casting will be listed for each baseplate year, so if you have a car with a baseplate year of 1981, it might not be the first edition of that car, so the car you see under the 1981 baseplate year list might be the same casting, but of a different color than the one you are trying to ID. But you’ll be able to click on it anyways, and then hit the variants button to identify your exact release of that casting.

What other information do you think would be useful to collectors in our database?

Again, speaking from my own loose car collector perspective, I think being able to quickly find the “Made in” field in search results or variant lists would speed things up even more. Sometimes, this is the only difference there is between identical cars. Was it made in Hong Kong? Malaysia? France?

Actually, the quantity of information available for each car on HobbyDB is amazing, it’s just a matter of tweaking how it’s organized. For example, after clicking the variants button, you see a list of folders that represent the series through which this casting was released: Flying colors, First Editions, Mainline, Workhorses. However, when you have a loose car, you don’t always know which series it came from, so you have to browse back and forth until you find your exact release.

One solution would be an “ALL” button that will list every variation of a given casting in one place regardless of the series it came from, similar to the arrangement on South Texas Diecast.

To me, the main fields we need to ID and differentiate loose cars are the color of the car, the wheels (color and type), the tampos, the color of the windows, the color of the interior, the color, year and material of the base and where it’s been made. We can sort through 99% of loose oldies with those alone.

What is your favorite casting or series of Hot Wheels?

I absolutely love the Nascar type racers from the 80’s. Cars like the Mirada stocker, the Front Runnin’ Fairmont, Mountain Dew Stocker, Flatout 442! The tampos are great on these and they look awesome when you have them all together in a display­. As far as more modern releases go, I was a big fan of the Classics (that antifreeze green could end wars) and Drag Strip Demons series.

How many Hot Wheels do you have, and how long have you collected them?

Last time I checked my list, I had around 2000 carded cars from 2005 to 2016, and around 300 loose ones, mostly blackwall era cars from the ’80s. The carded cars I have are mostly classic old cars like muscle cars. I’ve been collecting Hot Wheels since 2006. I started keeping carded cars when I ran out of space to open them and display the loose ones, and over the years I started focusing more on loose oldies.

What else do you collect?

I have a bunch of old video game consoles and games, but I wouldn’t call myself a collector. I guess that’s the disease… You don’t think you’re a collector until your friends and family come over and start freaking out over how much crap you got.

As we mentioned, the baseplate project is a huge undertaking, which Jay has graciously started on his own. The next step is to link every vehicle to the correct baseplate year. If you have some knowledge of this particular detail and want to help, let us know and we can arrange to have you join in!

Behold the Power of the hobbyDB Wish List!

diecastwish

Wishing and hoping and thinking and dreaming,
Planning and scheming each night of those cars,
Wont get them into your paws!

Wishing on a star won’t get that item into your  collection. Adding it to your hobbyDB Wish List will!

Perhaps you, like the cartoon teddy bear in our adorable illustration, are wishing, hoping, planning and, indeed, dreaming of adding the green Hot Wheels AMC Rebel Machine to your collection. And perhaps, like me, you’re wishing you could also add about 500 OTHER models to your collection too! The big question, how on earth do you keep track of them all?!

That’s where the hobbyDB Wish List comes in. Wish List is one of hobbyDB’s most powerful and popular features; so far, our users have added over 14,000 entries to their Wish Lists. That means that you never need to worry about them slipping your mind again because the list is always there for you to consult. Whenever you’re out buying at a toy show or store, all you need to do is check it on your phone.

Best of all, though, whenever an item on your Wish List comes up for sale on hobbyDB’s marketplace, you’ll get an alert email letting you know about it. (And of course, if you buy an item on hobbyDB, it automatically adds itself to your on-site Collection Management so you don’t need to add it separately!) So you don’t need to remember to run daily searches, or that you’ll miss something you desperately need, it’ll come to you!

Adding an item to your Wish List is easy and there are two ways to do so. You can do a quick-add in the search results;

quick-add

 

Or you can do it on any item page;

proper-add

 

Notice that on the item page, there’s lots more information about how “wanted” the item is. That tells you how much competition you have by noting the number of total users who have this item in their Wish Lists. It’s handy if you’re thinking of selling something on-site too, because you’ll know how many people already want to buy it and who’ll get emails alerting them when yours goes up for sale! You don’t need to worry about duplicate Wish List adds, either. If the item’s already in your Wish List, it’ll tell you here, and the button will grey-out and become un-clickable. (The button in search will do the same for items already on your list.) And because hobbyDB’s database catalogs all the variants of an item in detail, you can add the exact one you want to your Wish List (or all of them!)

Once an item’s on your Wish List, taking it off is super-simple too. Just go to your dropdown, click on Wish List and you’ll see “Remove” buttons on all the items on there. If you buy an item on the site, it doesn’t automatically remove it from your Wish List in case you want more than one. And if you want to share your Wish List with someone else, it’s as simple as just sending them the URL!

remove

 

We’ve got a lot of exciting ideas and features for Wish List in the pipeline too – eventually you’ll be able to specify what condition you want the item in and how much you’re willing to pay and only be alerted when examples come up for sale that match your criteria. We’re also working with more and more manufacturers to ensure items are added to the site before they go on sale, so you can add those to your Wish Lists and not have to worry about missing them when they get released. We’ll even have a feature where you can do an auto-buy when an item comes up that matches the condition degree and price you want by putting in your payment details ahead of time.

For right now, though, it’ll save you having to carry that list of wants around in your brain or on paper. So why not add the Hot Wheels AMC Rebel Machine (or something else you want!) to your Wish List right now – all it takes is one click!

Typewriters, Snowglobes and Spiders: Celebrity Collectors

One of the most common questions we get at hobbyDB is “Why is it so important to enter things in the right Item Type?” Another frequent question is “How do you decide what Item Types to allow in your database?”

As for the first question, when you go to sell something like, say, a Matchbox dump truck on eBay, their site doesn’t really care what category you use. You can list it as a diecast car or a lunchbox for all they care. The reason for this loose approach is that they aren’t trying to create a permanent archive. List your item, sell it, move along. At hobbyDB, we want to create a permanent, accurate, and complete archive, so we have some important questions for every type of collectible.

collectibles

The questions we ask about a model truck (Type of cab, number of axles, etc.) are vastly different from the questions we ask about a lunchbox (Color of handle, includes Thermos bottle, and so on.) By answering those questions as completely as possible you are helping to fill in our database with excellent information. But we also have questions that differ from something as similar as model cars vs model trucks. And the more we all get it correct from the get-go, the more accurate the database will be.

As for the second question, we have a lot of factors determining what Item Types to offer. And it’s not that we are “banning” certain things (although there are cases if you read on), it’s more about the interest level and our ability to adequately cover certain areas. If someone comes to us with a large collection of something we haven’t made a space for yet, we consider adding it as long as they are willing to add their collection to get it rolling.

And as far as certain things not allowed, that’s not necessarily true. We do have a category for “Whatever Else” if you collect something we haven’t categorized yet. If we see a good reason to make a new type, we will. But some are, well, not likely.

Just for fun, let’s pretend some Celebrity Collectors contact us and want to add their collections. They might fall into three areas:

Items we currently have a place for on hobbyDB

Barbie and Ken Dolls

johnny depp

It may come as a huge surprise (or none at all) that actor Johnny Depp collects Barbie dolls. Ken, too. Actually, he doesn’t just collect them, he plays with them. Chalk this one up to having a couple of daughters, and it doesn’t seem so strange. Actually, with Depp, it usually is kind of strange. We’re looking to beef up our coverage of Barbie and other fashion dolls, so if you’re a collector, please start adding your items!

Video Games

jeff gordon

There are so many areas in life where Jeff Gordon has won so convincingly that you just have to bow down and admire him. You could say he has struggled at being a NASCAR announcer, but only due to the fact that he keeps getting called on to drive the cars in place of injured drivers. Oh, and he’s a major video gamer, especially with driving games. Life is often unfair, and here, it’s unfair in his favor.

vin diesel dungeons and dragons

Board Games

You might know him as a tough guy fro the “Fast & Furious” movies, but Vin Diesel has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since the 1970s. In addition to having one of his character’s names, “Melkor,” tattooed near his belly button, Mr. Diesel wrote the foreword for the book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons and Dragons. So if he’s been spending his spare time painting warrior figures, who are we to turn him away?

Model Trains

rod stewart model trains

As rock stars age, many of them tend to spend less time cavorting around and more time on safe, quiet pursuits. Rod Stewart spends quite a bit of time with model train layout at home. Heck, his layouts have even been on the cover of “Model Railroader” magazine a few times, which he claims is more exciting than being on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” He has a portable 1,500-square-foot scale model of New York’s Grand Central Station circa 1940, which he has worked on while on tour.

leonardo dicaprio django action figureAction Figures 

We have a Type for Action Figures, so we need to hear from you collectors and get some items uploaded. We’re looking at you, Leonardo DiCaprio! His collection includes ‘Star Wars’ and ‘He-Man’ action figures, as well as other vintage toys. We can assume he has a figure of his own character from “Django Unchained,” too.

Items we might consider adding if there’s enough interest from Users

Snow Globes

taylor swift snowglobes

Singer Taylor Swift’s favorite holiday hobby isn’t too strange… she creates homemade Christmas snow globes. As for collecting and archiving them on hobbyDB, we have at least one avid collector on our staff, so this Type might show up sooner rather than later.

lebron jamesBasketball Headbands

We’re working on some sports uniforms collectibles categories, but it’s harder to think of every single thing to include. Don’t believe us? Even though he has stopped wearing them on the courts, LeBron James collects headbands from other athletes. We’ve recently started adding some sports memorabilia categories to our database, but believe it or not, it gets tricky with sports apparel. Any big collectors out there want to help us along?

Shoes

celine dion

Most of the time when you hear about shoe collectors, that person owns a bunch of Air Jordans and other limited edition sports models. If you step outside of sports kicks. Celine Dion is the Imelda Marcos of shoe collecting, most likely not of the sneaker type. We have areas for some clothing items, initially geared towards convention collectibles such as hats and shirts and jackets, but with the right boost, we could make this a thing.

Movie Props

george lucas death star

This is a tough one, because so many items of this type fit into other existing areas. But “Star Wars” creator George Lucas collects and reconstructs props from his movies. So yeah, if he called us, that would be neat. His other hobby reportedly involves feeding the local squirrel population. That’s not really a collection, so we’re going to pass on that for now.

Item Types that just aren’t going to happen for some reason.

Vintage Daggers

A lot of folks collect old pocket knives, and some of them are worth thousands of dollars. A bit more unusual would be a dagger collection like the one actress Angelina Jolie has built. It’s one thing to have a bunch of safely folding multi use jackknives in your collection, but unsheathed daggers exist pretty much for stabbing and throwing. Needless to say, there are all kinds of local, state, federal and international laws regarding these things, so we don’t have a spot for them just now.

claudia schiffer angelina jolie

Spiders and other bugs

We’re assuming this about deceased, artfully mounted specimens, but critters like the ones collected by supermodel Claudia Schiffer pose a logistical problem in that there are literally millions of species to document. Like knives and other weapons, there are some legal snags we would have to consider, especially if you run into endangered species. And you thought there were a lot of Hot Wheels variations to consider!

Of course, whether you’re famous or not, if you collect something we don’t have a niche for on hobbyDB, let us know in the comments.

How to Best Sell a Collection

Young Christian Braun

Musings By Joschik

Christian is one of the founders of the hobbyDB project and his musings share some of his collecting experience. Over the last 30 years, he has bought and sold more than 50 collections, owned a physical auction house and operated Europe’s largest eBay store. As part of his work with the hobbyDB Advisory Board Christian has also seen many of the largest collections of the world.

What does Collecting have in common with getting married?

Most collectors collect for collecting’s sake and this will only make sense to a collector. For me, preserving history and relaxation are part and parcel of this same collecting rationale. Collectors rarely (if ever) think about what happens when the love cools and how they will then have to sell everything.

Motormax Ford Mustang Newly-Weds

Consider that your collection might not be with you forever

 

While there are ways to make this sell-off significantly easier, it is like prenuptial agreements – something most don’t want to touch. This blog post tackles why collectors sell, how to go about it and how to best prepare for an eventual sale.

Like the 40-50% of spouses who eventually head for the divorce court, the vast majority of collectors eventually fall out of love with their collections. How long it takes that to happen depends on the type of collectible. For example, pocket watch collectors keep collecting longer than collectors of newer things like Funko Pop Vinyls. On average, the latter will collect for around four years, while collectors of more vintage subjects like Decoys collect for 18 years.

Funko and Vintage Decoy Owls

Until becoming a vintage item himself, Bubo will live in five times as many households as his unhappy neighbor!

 

Why do collectors stop collecting?

There are five main reasons why folks stop collecting and then want to liquidate and recoup the value of their collection:

  1. Lose interest in the subject (this is often followed by a segue into collecting something else)
  2. Need money (and if so, they usually need it fast – which makes being prepared to sell even more important)
  3. Down-sizing
  4. Other-half is strongly opposed to collecting and wins the battle
  5. The ultimate show-stopper – death

Realizing full value for a collection requires both expertise, motivation and time. The reason for selling can have a major influence on how a collection can be sold. For example death often takes the necessary expertise with it.

How to know the value of a collection?

Collectors of vintage items will know a lot about the value of their individual items as they can only buy them in the secondary market (no retailers stock vintage uniform patches ;-). That said, a vast majority of these collectors have no clue how many items are in their collection and significantly underestimate the quantity of item they have bought over time. Often, they need to do an inventory or at least take a count or make an estimate of the number of items they own.

Collectors of more modern type of collectibles such as NASCAR racing cars often over-estimate the value of their collections as they bought at retail and modern collectibles (say everything sold in retail post 1990) generally loses 50% or more of its value as soon as you buy it.

Bandai Tinplate versus Jeff Gordon NASCAR model

A Bandai Tinplate car will beat a NASCAR model in value appreciation every time!

 

A lot of these collectors get a rude awakening when it comes to selling, as they relied on labels such as Limited Edition or Special Collector Edition, erroneously thinking that these automatically ensure the items retain value. While there might be only 500 models of a particular Jeff Gordon model there are hundreds of other Jeff Gordon models and as long as they continue to sell, more will be produced, making it very hard for any of them to ever appreciate in value. Also, as these items were produced for the collector market, most will be carefully stored in glass cabinets so there is very little rate of attrition.

When assessing a collection, there are five different types of value:

  1. Catalog Value. Where price guides exist, you can add the value of each item and come up with an aggregate value. The accuracy of that value depends on how the catalog authors calculated the values it gives and how long ago it was compiled. Catalog Value also do not take into account costs of selling (market place fees, fees for a stand at a fair, time, fuel etc). It is not unusual for collectors to use a catalog value, adding or subtracting a percentage to compensate for these factors.
    Stanley Gibbons Price Guide

    It is not unusual to value stamps by using a catalog price and then apply a discount such as “Stanley Gibbons minus 30%”

     

  2. Insurance Value. This is the replacement value and varies between the Catalog Value and the Wholesale Value, in particular if a whole collection has been lost, for example through fire.
    Broken Doll

    Insurance value should cover replacement costs or, if that is not possible, repair plus the value loss that results from being repaired

     

  3. Wholesale Value. This is the value of a collection if sold to a dealer for resale. The dealer needs to make a profit, so will obviously pay less than retail value. Wholesale value value is often quite close to having the collection sold through an auction house as the net proceeds of an auction sale exclude Sellers Fees, Insurance Premium, Picture Fees, Buyer’s Premiums etc.
    Auction Houses often have to sell large parts of collections as lots, here Star Wars toys.

    Auction Houses often have to sell large parts of collections as lots, here Star Wars toys.

     

  4. Retail value – this is the value of each item sold individually and at the prevailing market value (for example at a physical location like a collector fair or on a website where collectors of this type of collectible transact.)
    Selling on trade fairs gives you the best value but will take a very long time

    Selling at trade fairs gives you the best value, but will take a very long time

     

  5. Realized Value – this is what you actually have left over after all is sold and all costs are factored in.

For me the only value of interest is the Realized Value (unless you currently have an insurance claim) as its the only meaningful measure. Realized Value is either the Wholesale Value or the Retail Value after deducting all direct and indirect costs. Your calculation should also include a value for your time spent on selling the collection, for example at an estimated time-taken-per-item when you sell items online.

The various routes to Monetization

There are many different ways to sell, but they all fall into this five groups:

  1. Selling the collection in one transaction. This is the easiest way to sell a collection but also the one that gives the lowest Realized Value overall. If you have more than 500 items in your collection you can expect to realize less than 15% of the collection’s Retail Value.
    Selling everything is sometimes the only option, but it is always very painful!

    That’s how much you can lose. Selling everything is sometimes the only option, but it is always very painful!

     

  2. Contracting a 3rd party to sell the collection for you. This could either be done via (a) an auction house or (b) as consignment sales with a specialist dealer. Auction Houses are great if you have lots of high value items that are difficult to handle and have a world-wide market. Consignment Selling is the best compromise if you want to receive more of the actual value of your collection but are not willing to do the work required. It does, however, require you to be able to wait for your money and trust whoever you give your collection to, as it is almost impossible to draw up contracts that protect the vendor sufficiently.
    Barrett-Jackson is one of th best places to sell a 2006 Ford GT

    Barrett-Jackson is one of the best places to sell a 2006 Ford GT

     

  3. Selling at Events. The right event provides great returns for items sold and the fees are fixed. That being said, you will only sell a fraction of your collection at your first event and then less and less at later events (unless you are willing to significantly discount). Please also take into account costs such as fuel and your time!
    You might want to count food, hotel, fuel etc - or you might say I enjoy the show and would have come anyway!

    You might want to count food, hotel, fuel etc – or you might take the view that you enjoy attending the show and would have come anyway!

     

  4. Selling online. This can be done anytime and you can do it from home! You can sell either via Auction (faster, but potentially risky in terms of how much you receive) or through a fixed price sale (no surprises but it can take a long time to sell your items). If you have the time, the willingness to photograph, write a good description, pack, ship and deal with customer service issues, this is the way to go!
    Sometimes you find a specialist site that is just perfect for what you want to sell

    Sometimes you find a specialist site that is just perfect for what you want to sell

     

  5. Giving it to a museum – this is not only a nice way to give and have the ability to continue enjoying your collection but can also make financial sense as, subject to your tax jurisdiction, this could result in a substantial tax deduction or credit!
    Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 16.45.45

 

Incorporating an eventual selling plan into how you collect

Even if you are not considering selling your collection now, it’s always wise to plan what you can do now and over the coming years to make it easier for either you or your loved ones to eventually realize the value of your collection when it does come time to liquidate. If you are male (and 90% of collectors are), and in a traditional marriage, you might want to consider that your wife will be an average of 3 years younger than you and will live an average 5 years longer than you. As such, it’s an excellent idea to document your collection by making an inventory in Excel, via a video or, of course, here on hobbyDB.

More Information

It is my plan to improve this article over time. That said, here are some articles that cover specific aspects of selling a particular type of collectible:

  1. Books
  2. Classic Cars (opens as a PDF)
  3. Coins
  4. Comics
  5. Lego
  6. Stamps IStamps II

 

Please leave a comment!

If you:-

  • have queries about selling your collection, including questions on good consignment sellers,
  • want to discuss any aspect of selling a collection,
  • have tips to share, or
  • know of other good resources that I should link to

Please leave a comment below. If your question is about your own collection, please include a quick description of what you collect, approximately how many objects there are in your collection, roughly where the collection is located and how much time and expertise you have. This would allow me to give you more specific answers.

What’s That Toy Worth? Depends Why You’re Asking

by Ron Ruelle

by Ron Ruelle

” What’s That Toy Worth? ” Ahhh, it’s the eternal question among us collectors. And usually the answer we seek is “what’s the fair price to buy or sell that thing?” Of course, what’s fair depends on which side of that equation you fall on. But I’ve been thinking about the question a different way lately.

hot wheels 1967 redline rally case

I have an original 1967 Hot Wheels Rally Case in my office. I know it’s original because a) the copyright date is molded into the case and b) I’ve had it since I was a kid. And inside, it’s full of original Hot Wheels, mostly early Redlines, and a few from the mid-to-late 1970s. And yes, I know they’re original too, because I’ve had these since I was a kid as well.

A dozen original Hot Wheels in an original case. Without seeing it, what would you think it’s worth?

Okay, now take a peek inside.

hot wheels 1967 redline rally case

To describe most of these cars as “played with condition” is generous. They’re all scratched, their axles are warped in most cases, and some of them have clearly been stepped on. A few of them still have sand in their crevices from being buried in the backyard. One or two have the remnants of someone (okay, me) attempting to redecorate them with Liquid Paper and markers.

hot wheels redline custom amx heavy chevy cockney cab

So how much is all this worth? If you saw this pile of cars in a yard sale, you would be reluctant to pay more than a dollar for some of them. The Beach Bomb is pretty nice (not original surfboards, though), so you might be willing to shell out $30 or so for that. There’s a Custom Corvette that isn’t too bad either, which you might be willing to pay about the same for. That Mercedes might tempt you for $20. The T-Totaller is in good condition, but it’s a newer model, and not particularly rare… maybe $5-10 for that?

hot wheels redline beach bomb mercedes 280 sl custom corvette t totaller

matchbox redline poison pinto packin pacer mighty maverick deora

You’d maybe offer the seller $75. They would insist these are obviously worth more because they read that on the internet, and demand $500. Somewhere in between is a fair price, but it’s possible you part ways without a deal.

To me, on the other hand, this particular collection is priceless. If you offered me $1,000 for the whole set, I would think about it for about two seconds before I said no. And I’m not that interested in acquiring better copies of most these cars. There are far too many memories attached to these things that make them more valuable to me.

By the way, did you notice the interloper in my collection?

matchbox gruesome twosome

That gold car with the two engines and the magenta canopy is a Matchbox Gruesome Twosome, my favorite toy car of that era. Considering the amount of time it spent in my pocket traveling with me everywhere, and scooting around on every conceivable surface, it’s in amazingly good condition complete with both engines. Heck, it’s a miracle I didn’t lose it somewhere along the line. This is one car where I decided to pony up and buy a copy of it in very nice condition for about $15 a few years ago. But if I had to flee my house and grab only one of them, I would probably take the one with the memories in the trunk.