Jim Garbaczewski started collecting Hot Wheels cars at an early age… early in the product’s lifetime. He got his first cars in 1968, when the original Redlines came out, and was instantly hooked.
“I picked up one of everything from 1968 to about 1974,” he says.”For several years, I only bought the ones I really liked. In ’89 or so, I got back into collecting in a serious way.” Over the years he has managed to fill in that 15 year gap and has stayed on top of new models ever since.
If his name sounds familiar, you might know him as one of the editors of Tomart’s Price Guide to Hot Wheels or as the publisher and editor of the Hot Wheels Newsletter. Jim’s Hot Wheels pedigree is also put to good use as a member of the hobbyDB Advisory Board.
40,000 Hot Wheels might sound excessive, but consider the fact that Jim used to collect action figures as well. “I had to make a decision, and in the late ‘90s, I started selling the figures.” His favorite castings include the original Redline Custom El Dorado (his early favorite), the ’69 Pontiac GTO (he used to drive one), and any Volkswagen Beetles (too many different castings to even list). For those three cars, he will also collect models from other brands and in other scales.
As a kid he got a lot enjoyment racing and playing with the cars, so it’s no surprise his collection contains a large number of vehicles out of their blisters. “A lot of times, I’d rather scoot a loose car around on my desk than stare at a bunch of packages on the wall.” Some things never change.