Hot Wheels Posts

To Open or Not to Open? That is the Question

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

What you see in this photo is either a crime against collecting or a strike in favor of treating toys like, well, toys. This 1968 Hot Wheels Custom El Dorado was  recently “liberated” from its original blister by the owner. Finding one of these cars in good condition is fairly rare; finding one in the package is the holy grail.

68 Custom El Dorado Hot Wheels

Run free, little El Dorado, run free!

Part of the reason that vintage Hot Wheels are so valuable today is that to kids of that era, “collect them all” meant to obtain one of each, open them up, and play with them. Run them down that orange track, crash them together, bury them in the sandbox. The memories are real and the number of perfect copies are truly limited now. We didn’t buy them as investments, but some of them turned out that way.

With modern Hot Wheels, I often buy two of a car I like… one to open, and one to keep in the package. In fact, for the one I plan to open, I try to find an example with a cracked blister or a bent, creased card as if I am rescuing it from a far worse fate. (On a couple of occasions, I even got a discount!)

The question is, at what point is something old enough or rare enough that removing it from the package is an act of insanity? Or another way to look at it: How damaged must the packaging be before it’s not even worth keeping? Or: How valuable must a collectible be that the condition or existence of the packaging almost doesn’t matter?

A close look at the El Dorado in question shows that even in its plastic cocoon, the silver and red on the tires rubbed off quite a bit. And maybe the collector had a better carded version anyway. Either way, it’s his collection and he can do what he pleases.

If you saw “Toy Story 2,” a pivotal point of the film was whether vintage toys should be played with until they disintegrate or be placed on a shelf, forever preserved but sadly, eerily alone and still. In the end, *SPOILER ALERT* Woody and Buzz and gang decide it would be worth it to live on as playthings. One of the ironies of the “Toy Story 2” debate is that many action figures were produced from the movie, and there’s a good chance many collectors preserved theirs in the box.

So, what’s the oldest/rarest sealed diecast vehicle you have ever opened up? Let us know in the comments!

Wheel Types, Baseplate Materials, Glass Color and other Details

hobbyDB recently added some new fields to our listings for several categories, such as Model Cars, to allow users to specify Baseplate Material, Baseplate Color, Glass Color, Wheel Type, and Wheel Color.

To some people this might sound obsessive, but to folks who collect certain brands like Hot Wheels, Playart, and Matchbox, these differences matter a lot. For example, Hot Wheels often releases the first few variants of a car with a metal baseplate, but later versions will switch to plastic.

For brands that have many well documented Wheel Types, we are constructing lists for you to pick from. Hot Wheels has its own page of over 30 different types, and similar lists are in the works soon for Matchbox, Majorette, and Playart.

The categories that now include these options are

  • Model Buses
  • Model Cars
  • Model Racing Cars
  • Model Trucks
  • Model Trailers & Caravans

If you are unsure of what to put, you can leave any of these fields blank.

Diecast Customizers Add Style to hobbyDB

Who hasn’t thought about repainting a Hot Wheels car at some point, only to find it’s not as easy as it sounds? At hobbyDB, we have met a number of folks who have perfected the art of modifying their diecast vehicles to the point that even the experts do a double take when they see them.
We have vehicles from Chris Walker who works as “Night Stalker”. Luis Tanahara has worked in miniature and full-size for Boyd Coddington. Vince Mosely (AKA Vman) creates customs, notably custom drag buses, blown deliveries and Atomic Punk customs. There’s JSR Code3 Models who bases his work on Corgi Toys and other 1/43 scale donors. Chris Stangler Customs specializes in short run 1/64 scale models. Keep an eye out for more customizers soon!
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We are happy to feature the work of some of these customizers on our site, both to catalog their work and to provide the opportunity for you to acquire them.

 

Custom Truck
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Custom Drag Bus

Custon Crew Sledster

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Robert Graves Jr. joins hobbyDB’s Advisory Board

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

We are excited to add the diecast expertise of Robert Graves Jr. to the hobbyDB Advisory Board. Rob is one of the co-founders of the South Texas Diecast Collectors Club, and his South Texas Diecast website is the most authoritative lists of Hot Wheels models on the internet.

An early fan of Hot Wheels (he was born the same year as the first Redlines), he collected many of them over the years until family and career pushed the hobby aside. While his young son was in the hospital in the late 90s, the two bonded over Hot wheels, and his interest was rekindled.

In 2002, seeing a void in good Hot Wheels information on the web, he posted his personal database online. He then began working with Hot Wheels own forum as one of their photographers and has also now become a moderator there.  You will normally meet Rob at the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Convention, the Hot Wheels Nationals, SuperToyCon and other diecast up and down the country.

The net’s hottest new Hot Wheels Catalog…

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As part of our grand plan to catalog everything, the hobbyDB gang have decided that a good thing to start with would be Hot Wheels. (We don’t believe in starting small…). That’s every Hot Wheels ever made in every variation, of course. And we’re not just talking about the Mainline, or just the cars. We also want the rrRumblers, Zowees, Sizzlers, bigger scale stuff like this Pantera, Mexican issues, Tune Up Towers, hats, pins, print ads – everything!The list is endless. Well, actually it’s not really endless, it’s just that the end is several hundred thousand items away. And that’s without all the pages on HW-related subjects; designers like Larry Wood and series like Blackwalls.
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That’s why we’ve started bringing in the big guns. We’ve got Chris Parker working with us and Gary Barnum has just joined Mike Zarnock on our Advisory Board. Bruce Pascal is helping out with data and so is David Williamson, the famous Toy Car Collector of RedlineCollector.com. We’ve already imported the info from Andy Goodman’s ModelPackRat site, which got us off to a great start. Big thanks to Anita from CFR too, who’s helping publicize and got us our first Subject manager – a big welcome to user mspace who’s managing the rrRumblers section. Jim Garbaczewski, co publisher of the Tomart Hot Wheels price guides and the Hot Wheels Newsletter has joined us as well.

There are a few choice vehicles that already have great pages like Ecto-1 and the Silhouette.

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It’s a great start, but we need more help to build on it! Are you a Hot Wheels fanatic who likes to catalog? Or maybe you have a forum you’d like to get the word out on? Or some other HW connection? If so, get in touch!