No Mistake: Hot Wheels Error Cars Can Be Cool Collectibles


Warning: This article contains a lot of errors. And we’re not sorry.

hot wheels error datsun pickup

Looks like they ran out of metal on this Datsun 620 Pickup!

hot wheels error nathan lill

Nathan also collects Chrysler Crossfires in all sizes.

Nathan Lill (aka Maelstrom) isn’t like most Hot Wheels collectors. He isn’t looking for perfection on the pegs. In fact, he’s looking for flaws. “My motto is if it ain’t broke, I’m not buying,” he says. Nathan collects error cars. The stranger the flaw, the better. “I collect all types of errors from mis-packed to unassembled cars. Pretty much any type of error be it a wheel, part, paint or assembly problem can happen to any Hot Wheels car. It is virtually infinite what can be found while looking at each car, so every case or peg full of cars can have something.’

hot wheels error double vision

This mis-carded Lexus SC400 is the one that started it all for Nathan. So, is it a car on the wrong card, or a card with the wrong car? 

His collection is filled with imperfection… over thousands of examples in fact. The obsession started in 2000 when he spotted something odd at Target. “First one I found was a Lexus SC400 on a Double Vision #212 card at the local Target. Little did I know that would lead to close to 12,000 more of them.” 

hot wheels error collection

Just a small error sampling… Nathan has several more walls like this.

As for the rest of the Hot Wheels universe, the Maelstrom is the only car where he collects correct versions (Un-errored? Non-Wrong? Not-botched?). The need to pick up other vehicles is mitigated by finding an incorrect version of each one. “One way or another I get most of the cars I want with some type of error,” he says. “I also don’t have the space to keep one of everything, so I no longer get a correct version of the vehicle if I don’t need to.

hot wheels error baby boomer

It’s kind of surprising the extra parts fit in the blister so nicely.

While a lot of errors are subtle (crooked or missing graphics, incorrect card, etc) some are doozies. He once found a Baby Boomer car with an extra stroller buggy (“It’s for twins,” he laughs.) He also grabbed a Chevy Nova with a Mercury Cougar base that really doesn’t fit in shape or theme. “So many to choose from that just look funny, with either too big or too small wheels all around as well.”

hot wheels error beach bomb

This mis-spun Beach Bomb and off kilter button were made for each other.

Production errors are not a new thing. Nathan has acquired several original Redline errors as well. “My favorite is a mis-spun green Beach Bomb,” he said, referring to the assembly rivets not being punched and spun correctly at the base. “Then later on, I came across the matching misprinted button. By far my neatest error pair from that era.” As if finding an original Beach Bomb and button wasn’t hard enough, right?

hot wheels error stingray

Something seems to be missing from this Stingray racer.

Rather than revel in the folly of someone’s mistakes, however, Nathan has grown to appreciate Hot Wheels on a whole new level. “These errors made me look more into the processes involved in creating these cars’ he said.“ Considering the billions of cars that Mattel has turned out over the last half century, the number of errors that make it to the pegs is really quite tiny. And the fact that some people dig them on a different level makes it all in good fun. Since there are collectors who value these mistakes, hobbyDB has a way to document your error cars. Find the regular version of the car in our database, then click “Add Variant” and then under “Production Status” choose “Error.” Add images and descriptions, and you’re done!

hot wheels error 57 chevy

Mis-aligned graphics can be hard to spot sometimes, like on this ’57 Chevy.

As for the values of Hot Wheels Error Cars, there are many factors. Are they worth more because of the rarity? Or less desirable because collectors want perfect examples? The scarcity of the model and type of mistake can greatly swing the value one way or the other as well.

The Sol-Aire is missing its wheels, the GTO has bonus parts.

“When HotWheelsCollectors.com came on line, I was one of the few error collected that posted there regularly. Soon I became known as the crazy Maelstrom and error collecting guy after all the broken cars. It has stuck ever since.” Even if people think he’s crazy, make no mistake, he’s a serious collector.

Got any favorite error cars in your collection (Hot Wheels or otherwise)? Add them to our database! Find the regular version of the vehilce, then click “Add Variant. Under “Production Status,” choose “Error” and add a description and photos.

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Kelly Berryhill
Kelly Berryhill
4 years ago

How rare is this

Joschik
Admin
4 years ago

I do not know if there are collectors for Auto World errors, so not sure about the value of yours here (the Plymouth Barracuda you have would be worth around $6.50 in the right packaging).

Kelly Berryhill
Kelly Berryhill
4 years ago
Reply to  Joschik

These are my favorite year !! I was wondering if a lot of these errors got out!!

David Godley
David Godley
3 years ago

I found one too lol impala in a trans am pack

Jon
Jon
4 years ago

Hi nice collection. I was just wondering if you have ever seen the hotwheels stamp missing like this??

Nathan
Nathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Are you asking about the HW logo molded into the base as apposed to the one you have cast into the interior? I believe it was in 2005 they put the logo as a cut out shape for a few years. Currently, they’ve been removed that feature and gone back to the logo cast in full on the base.

Derek Younce
Derek Younce
3 years ago
Reply to  Nathan

any idea what one of these would be worth?? Not planning on getting rid of them(I have multiple) just trying to see what kind of treasure my keen eye caught years ago

Dustin Cutlip
Dustin Cutlip
2 years ago
Reply to  Nathan

Would you consider a scuff in the paint job a defect or a back window have paint mixed into it

Richard
Richard
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi I just bought a  a gold chrome.. SPEED SLAYER… it’s packed perfect from Kmart it hasn’t been tampered with the cars missing the window screen n the black cover over the motor… Dose this manufacturing fault make it worth more n also the backcard shows the car with yellowie gold windscreen n black cover over the motor

Shawn G
Shawn G
4 years ago

I came across and purchased a model from the 2017 year line:
Aisle Driver
235/365
HW Ride Ons

I can’t seem to find any info about the one I bought. All the ones online are different from mine. The one I purchased is the same as all the ones online except mine has an additional Driver figure inside of the cart itself. Does anyone  know if any other ones exist or if this makes the figure more valuable?Thanks for your time.

Joschik
Admin
4 years ago
Reply to  Shawn G

Definitely an error (and quite a nice one!).

John Defiori
John Defiori
4 years ago

I have a 2009 Hot wheels Wayne’s garage that should have a 56 custom truck. Instead it has a 72 lotus by matchbox. It is worth anything?

Nathan
Nathan
4 years ago

Shawn G: Very cool find. That would be an error with an extra guy. I’ve seen the red version with an extra guy before. Value wise, it would be around $5 or so.
John Defiori: I think this package was opened and then returned with the MB car. The bottom of the card looks to have been torn open.

Anthony Surace
Anthony Surace
4 years ago

Tesla s no windshield . Pretty cool and there are some big tesla collectors!

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Anthony Surace

Very cool error. It is also missing the interior piece.

Cancy
Cancy
3 years ago

I was wondering if you seen this before with the collector number missing and series missing from box.  Also the name is Chevy Stocker vs lumina stocker which is collector # 275

Thanks

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Cancy

This one isn’t an error. It is on a card used in international markets.

Kyle M
Kyle M
3 years ago

I have this Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-X in my collection with the interior installed backwards. The single seat and steering are on the left facing the rear. Is this a valuable error?

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Kyle M

Neat error. Value is hard to say as it is on a popular casting. It may top out around $20.00 if you find a Nissan collector.

Lourens Brits
Lourens Brits
3 years ago

Hi There, Please can you advise if you have seen this before, and if you know who would be interested in buying this ?

This is a Fiat 500, HW City, but the Packaging has the “Treasure Hunt” Logo on it. However I believe there is no Such TH?

 

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Lourens Brits

This was a print error. The first batch of these cars all had the TH logo on it by mistake. This item is listed here and you can mark it as for sale. https://www.hobbydb.com/catalog_items/fiat-500-40dcad89-5c68-4cd7-a07d-5e1c1617cccb

M. Humbarger
M. Humbarger
3 years ago

How much do the cars sell for if they are just the car and the package don’t match? It’s a tatto series set of 4 and the 3rd of 4 has the car from the 2nd of 4.

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  M. Humbarger

Wrong car on card are not really sought after. Most go for retail price.

Seann connelly
Seann connelly
3 years ago

Curious about this error. Unspun rivets on both sides like it missed and struck a part of the base. It’s a 66 nova. I can send better pics if needed.

Nathan
Nathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Seann connelly

Very nice! It did as you said where the machine hit the base and not the rivet post.

Seann connelly
Seann connelly
3 years ago
Reply to  Nathan

I can’t seem to find anything simular as in error not car. I’ve seen one and I’ve seen a miss but I can’t find any cars with both rivets unstruck and the base still intact. Could you help me value it? Not for sale just curious. Thanks so much for replying Nathan.

Seann
Seann
3 years ago
Reply to  Seann connelly

I’m still looking for a palimanary value on the unspun nova as ebay isnt a great gauge. Thx Nathan.

curtis gibson
curtis gibson
3 years ago

I got a 67 pontiac gto with a messed up frame like its been in a wreck

Joschik
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  curtis gibson

Could you please add a photo?

coryb
coryb
3 years ago

Actually found this as a kid in ‘99 rear stripes have pin stripes and the front does not. What’s the worth?

Darrell
Darrell
2 years ago
Reply to  Darby C

This Chevelle without the pinstripes on the hood is actually a known variation for 1999 and is not that rare, but it is still really nice to have. It’s worth approximately the same, or a couple dollars more than the standard pin stripe version.

Ron
Ron
3 years ago

Hi, I have this original orange 1932 Ford in unopened package. It has a non-matching button that says Python. Worth anything?

Seann
Seann
3 years ago

This is my c6 corvette tooned with crazy paint blob causing tampo to bubble out.

Travis Russell
Travis Russell
3 years ago

Hello, I have several errors.

-’17 GT-R missing windshield.

-’90 nsx mis-riveted

– muscle tone mis-riveted

-solid muscle missing tampo

-’96 180sx missing rear axle

-oni warthog missing front axle

-k.i.t.t. with a plastic peg hook in the package with it

Donovan
Donovan
3 years ago

Hi,

 

I have this Aston Martin V8 Vantage. I noticed the wheel spokes are different to the normal.

Anthony Surace
Anthony Surace
3 years ago
Reply to  Donovan

I will give you a little advice, along with everyone else. Mistakes are rarely worth more than the original price of the car due to the fact that it’s so easy to tamper with these after they leave the factory. I would never waste any money on this stuff unless you just find joy in collecting the odd balls. If you don’t believe me with how is it is to tamper with these , please YouTube it. You’ll understand

Seann
Seann
3 years ago

I’m curious about this mis-carded camaro convertable. I can’t find it listed anywhere as a 1995 camaro. In 1999 there’s a camaro convertable?

edwin
edwin
3 years ago

hi everyone,i had buy one 50th years edition and  i have notice the card is incorrectly it should be the Dune daddy but inside have the HW50 concept, is this a rare/expensive mistake? i include a photo

Eric Schwacha
Eric Schwacha
1 year ago
Reply to  Darby C

I wish i had read this Before i sent my email about the Lexus SC400 card#364 with the Olds 442 W-30 in it.  Oops

Patrick
Patrick
3 years ago

Greetings from Germany,

today i find a 71´ Magnus Walker Porsche 911 with an incorrect mounted base. I think it is a nice find…

Santi
Santi
3 years ago

Hello, today i was at target and found this hw50 concept with a missing roof tampos error. I have 6 other errors but nathan thats probably nothing to you lol. But do you know if this could be worth anything? Thanks for your time.

Cptn. Wolfe
Cptn. Wolfe
3 years ago

I got a Honda CR-X from a 10 Pack and noticed a bit of a paint error. There is a little extra paint on the car. Is this an error car?

Rj
Rj
3 years ago
Reply to  Cptn. Wolfe

No

Anton
Anton
3 years ago

Hello to all. I have a Ford Rancher ’65 with defective windows,
The windows are reversed. send photos. thanks for the answer

Scott
Scott
3 years ago

I bought this from Wal-Mart several years back because I noticed the missing back tires on the green twin mill. Any idea on what it could go for or how i can sell it?

Anthony
Anthony
3 years ago

$3-$8 max. There is no money in errors because the packs can be easily opened and resealed. YouTube it. Sorry

Jay
Jay
3 years ago

What are your thoughts from this? Is it common and does it have a good value?

parv
parv
3 years ago

i have a camaro z28<open> with no interior but body and windshields at place ? whats the worth?

Rj
Rj
3 years ago

Whaddya think of this factory sealed with malformed plastic molding?

Rj
Rj
3 years ago

And this..

Yvonne Beard
Yvonne Beard
3 years ago

can someone tell me what this car is worth without front wheels? Thanks

Samantha
Samantha
3 years ago

Can you tell me if this is an error. It says “Bag bagger” should said bad or big bagger correct?

Darby C
Darby C
3 years ago

That is odd. It should be called the Bad Bagger. However, that mistake would likely be on all of them that share that casting. Do you have a shot of the side so we can see the color and graphics?

 

Samantha
Samantha
3 years ago
Reply to  Darby C

Here is the side, sorry thought it posted a better picture to begin with.

Scott
Scott
3 years ago

I have this Kurt Busch Stock Car Cruiser, 1:24 scale missing tampons.  This is a limited production of $10,000.  Any idea on the value of this?

Noel
Noel
3 years ago

Hello, I’ve found this in the supermarket today, is it valuable?

AJ
AJ
3 years ago
Reply to  Noel

Sorry not at all. I will cases are easily manipulated. YouTube it there’s a lot of videos of people ceiling and unsealing the package

Noel
Noel
3 years ago
Reply to  AJ

No, it’s not manipulated it was with all of the hot wheels cars in a supermarket, I’ve seen the videos but if they do it is to fool collectors, not to sell it with the normal ones, I mean it’s a true Hot Wheels without the wheels and the base, if an expert check it will see it’s not fake, now is this valuable?

sasa
sasa
3 years ago

Hello!

Is this something interesting? Is this mistake worth anything!? Thank you and have a nice day!

danH
danH
3 years ago

Just found this El Viento missing the removable canopy piece. It probably isn’t worth much, but it’s still a nice find.

larry rogers
larry rogers
3 years ago

my son has a nerve ‘hammer car’ from 2013, the name stamp underneath is ‘nerve hummer’.  i called mattel and they did id the car as a nerve hammer from that year.   they have not heard of this.  i dont see any other cars like that on the internet.  i have pictures.  it might be rare?

Joschik
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  larry rogers

Hi Larry, yes an image would be great.  You can attach it to a reply here.

Patty Tillman
Patty Tillman
3 years ago

I found this 2000 Lexus SC400 that’s supposed to be from the Seein’ 3-D Series, but my card is not marked like that. The card is wrong on a couple of fronts. I have searched all of eBay and most of Google looking for another one to determine value, but I can’t find one.

Luca Battiston
Luca Battiston
3 years ago

Hi.

 

I found this tesla spacman first edition with two different tires. What do you think ?

Greetings from Germany

 

Luca

Cptn. Wolfe
Cptn. Wolfe
3 years ago

I went to the market today and picked up this ’82 Taxi. I noticed its front rivet wasn’t connected to the car. Is this an error?

Travis
Travis
2 years ago

An error that I had found as a child. A trix cereal car inside of a roll patrol package. I’ve had it for roughly 18 years. Figured I would share it for others to enjoy.

Jm
Jm
2 years ago

I have no photo available, but at MalWart the other day I came across a Porsche 917 LH packaged in a seemingly abusive manner such that the car couldn’t fit and one of the wheel/axles was bent nearly 90* under the car. Yeesh XD

Anthony
Anthony
2 years ago

I had came across a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, what I thought was a treasure hunt and found a defective metal flap underneath the door.

Patrick
Patrick
2 years ago

Missing engine, seats, truckbed and grill.

sam
sam
2 years ago

Alfredo
Alfredo
2 years ago

Unfortunately I opened it, since at the time I bought it I didn’t know nothing about errors, I just bought it because I liked it how it looked without the grill and exhaust. Missing parts, and not loose inside car.

david
david
2 years ago

I was curious about if anyone has seen a certain car. I have an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that is missing the rear wheels. Any idea of value?

Tony
Tony
2 years ago

I have a 65 impala the body is in the package to the left like matchbox and the chassis is on backwards. And do have another car reversed in package plus a I think 42 for with the engine loose in the package. Have close to 1000 HW started saving 25 years ago for my son. But none are open. Always got 2, 1 for him t ok play with and one t ok collect. Plenty of older THs. 4 are Ferrari f40s, 2 red, one candy apple red and a black all same #.

Tony
Tony
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony

That is a 42 ford

Evanlee
Evanlee
2 years ago

Wondering if anybody else has found a treasure hunt ice cream truck in the dead pool packaging for premium Hot Wheels does this make it more valuable

Evanlee
Evanlee
2 years ago

Anyone seen this one.

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