22 Hot Wheels And Matchbox Cars From Our Childhood Worth A Fortune Today (2022)

Matchbox and Hot Wheels gave children an early itch to become car enthusiasts. Hot Wheels hit the toy shelves in 1968 to compete with the already thriving Matchbox cars that were introduced to the world in 1953. Most would assume that the most valuable of both companies would be from the first years that they were made, which some are, but the most valuable Hot Wheels cars are from 1972. Due to the oil crisis, Hot Wheels had a hard time finding cars to recreate, and only six new models were released that year. Since less were made, according to Antiques and Collecting Magazine, they’re more valuable.

Update March 2022: Hot Wheels cars are beloved by kids worldwide. But even though some of these cars so common, you can find them anywhere; some are exceedingly rare. Hot Wheels cars continue to hold their value in 2022, and this list is updated to reflect additional models worth a pretty penny.

Of course, the condition has a lot to do with value. The traditional blister packaging usually must be intact and with no cosmetic blemishes. Still, in some cases, the cars are so rare that they are worth a small fortune even in terrible conditions. Pink is said to be the most valuable color when it comes to Hot Wheels according to Freep, as it was less popular with the boys, Hot Wheels and Matchbox still to this day are wildly popular among young children and collectors, giving them the ability to own their dream car; 1/64 the size and usually for a few bucks or less.

Related: 15 Crazy Hot Wheels Toys Worth As Much As A Real Car


22 1968 Pink Beatnik Bandit

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The 1968 Pink Beatnik Bandit is one of the 16 original Hot Wheels cars, also known as the "sweet 16." Ed "Big Daddy" Roth designed this particular car, and the ultra-vivid colors are worth a pretty penny today.

Sitting at almost $3000 for one of the scarce collector models, the next rarest color is yellow, worth around $200.

The real-life Beatnik Bandit was based on a shorted 1950 Oldsmobile, and the Hot Wheels version was in production until 1971. It was also produced in both the United States and Hong Kong, with notable differences between the domes and center control stick.

21 1995 Collector 271 Funny Car

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The biggest thing about the 271 Funny Car is not the car itself but rather the card number. That is precisely where the value exists, as the 271 carded vehicle is extremely rare, with only a handful of examples known to exist still.

The 1995 Collector 271 Funny Car is worth more than $3,500! That makes it more expensive than some real-life cars!

Notably, the year is vital, as the 1977 version isn't worth nearly as much as the 271. This funny car isn't joking around with the value it holds!

20 1970 Mad Maverick

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The 1970 Mad Maverick is based on the 1969 Ford Maverick, and not to be confused with the much more common Mighty Maverick, the Mad Maverick is extremely rare.

This rare model comes in blue, purple, and unpainted. There are only four known examples, and they command a $15,000 charge!

Unfortunately, the name had to be changed because Johnny Lightning also owned a Ford Maverick named Mad Maverick. Collectors are happy, though, especially with the value it still holds today!


19 22 Hot Wheels And Matchbox Cars From Our Childhood Worth A Fortune Today (4)

The most expensive and valuable car to make the list is the 1969 Beach Bomber in pink. There is only one known Pink Beach Bomber with a rear loading surfboard, as it was a prototype, and changes were made to the one that was released, mainly the surfboard now being on the side.

There is a rumor another one exists, but it has yet to be verified.

According to Complete Set, the owner Bruce Pascal paid a whopping $72,000 for the Pink Beach Bomber, which is a steal according to Freep could be worth up to $150k. Only 200 of the Beach Bombs with the surfboard on the side were produced, making them all rare and can be worth up to $100k.

18 Hot Wheels 40th Anniversary

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While the Pink Beach Bomber may be the most valuable toy car to make the list, it’s not the most expensive. In celebration of Hot Wheels' 40th birthday and producing over four billion cars, a $140,000 Hot Wheels was designed by Jason of Beverly Hills, who creates high-end jewelry for celebrities.

According to Gizmodo, the Hot Wheels was made out of 18-carat white gold and completely dressed in over 2,700 diamonds totaling 23-carats. It was built to be actioned off, and all the proceeds to be donated to charity.

17 1968 White Enamel Camaro

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It would be a safe assumption that the first Hot Wheels made are some of the most valuable, and that’s true as the Camaro was one of the original cars that Hot Wheels produced back in 1968.

The white enamel version is so valuable because it was a prototype.

According to The Gamer, white enamel is so rare as it was used as a prototype to spot imperfections. If you have one that isn’t in mint condition, you can still expect it to be worth at least $2,500.

16 1971 Bye Focal

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The Bye Focal was based on the design of the 1970 Dodge Challenger. The Bye Focal was packed with two engines and a functioning translucent hood. Very few Bye-Focal's are still intact due to an issue with the metal when it was manufactured, and some have literally crumbled into pieces. According to Online Redline Guides, a yellow “Bye Focal” in its original blister pack was sold for $7,000 on eBay in 2003.

Related: The 10 Most Expensive Hot Wheels Cars Of All Time

(Video) 1970's Hot Wheels Childhood Collection Find Featuring Sweet 72's!

15 Rodger Dodger

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Like many cars on the list, the color is what makes the Rodger Dodger the most valuable. According to The Complete Set, only seven Blue Rodger Dodgers were made. A man named Bob Parker was the one in possession of all seven, as they were only released in the UK.

He sold them all to collectors, not knowing he had all of them ever produced and didn’t even keep one for himself.

If you happened to come across the original seven, they are estimated to have a value of up to $8,000.

14 1971 Olds 442 In Purple

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The 1971 Olds was a wildly popular model for Hot Wheels, mainly being produced in the color magenta, as seen above. In order to keep things exciting, Hot Wheels decided to make a minimal run of unique edition colors, as they do now with a lot of their vehicles.

All 1971 442 are considered valuable, but if you happen to find one in salmon, hot pink, and purple, they are considered the most valuable and rare, and according to Complex, a purple one could go for as much as $5,000.

13 1968 Cheetah Python

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Another original Hot Wheels produced in 1968 is the Cheetah Python.

The Cheetah Python was based on a custom hot rod designed for Car Craft magazine in 1963.

The Cheetah Python is so rare, and valuable because they were never supposed to be released due to a mix-up with the name. According to The Gamer, only a few managed to walk out and now are estimated to be valued at up to $10,000.

12 1970 Ed Shaver Custom AMX

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Who is Ed Shaver? Ed Shaver was a driver on Hot Wheels' very first sponsored drag-racing team. According to History, the Hot Wheels replica of Ed Shavers AMX that he raced was only available at race events or by completing a cereal mail-in offer and even came with a set of decals like the one on his AMX.

It is said that only a few of these exist, and even if it’s not in blister packaging, you could expect to get up to $4,000 for one of these gems.

(Video) Collector Tips #4 - Finding The Value Of Your Hot Wheels Car

11 The Demon & The Prowler

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The Hot Wheels car known as The Prowler actually first made its debut in 1970 as “The Demon,” but after parents complained about the name, it was changed. Currently, the Demon isn’t any more valuable than the Prowler, but who says that won’t change.

As people become more aware of the backstory, the price may indeed increase. According to The Gamer, all Demon and Prowler models are valuable and could go for as much as a few hundred dollars, but the rarest is said to be magenta with a white interior.

10 Gold GMC Motorhome

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Hot Wheels asked GMC for permission to use their design for their toy cars. GMC agreed but asked in lieu of the design to have some finished products be gold-plated as a gift for their employees.

According to Hot Wheels Wikia, only 30 were made and worth up to $1,500.

There is currently one for sale on a collector’s website for $995. This may increase as time goes on and finding one in excellent condition becomes harder.

9 1968 VW Bug

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A lot of the time, these little cars are deemed valuable due to a rare color or option variation. That was the case in the 1968 Volkswagen Bug that is missing the sunroof and has a different interior than the American version. According to Complete Set, the rare Volkswagen without the sunroof was only sold in Europe, as it had a right-hand drive interior and didn’t have windows. The orange, red, green, and copper are the rarest produced and can be worth $1,500.

Related: These Are The World's Most Valuable Toy Cars

8 Evil Weevil

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The Evil Weevil was a VW Beetle that had not one but two massive engines: one in the trunk and one in the hood. Wouldn’t that be fun! This is the epitome of a toy car. The Evil Weevil came in various colors, but purple is the most valuable to collectors. According to Freep, a purple Evil Weevil was recently sold for a whopping $2,913. It definitely pays to keep older toys in excellent condition, as their value only climbs.

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7 1970 Red Baron

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Another prototype to make the list is the 1970 Red Baron. It had a really cool design based on the Red Baron WWI plane with a helmet instead of a hood.

According to Complex, since it was never released to the public, there is rumored only to be about ten known to exist.

Most have been worn a little, but one in good condition is even rarer. The design may look cool, but the helmet design probably wouldn't have been the best idea to market to kids.

6 Ecto-1A

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The original “Ghost Busters” wowed the world in 1984 with sequels to follow, with the awesome Ecto-1 as the featured vehicle. Weirdly enough, a Hot Wheels version of the Ecto-1 wasn’t produced until 2010, according to The Gamer. Many versions and scales have since been released. The most valuable version of the Ecto-1 is actually the 1:43 scale version of the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters II, and is said to be worth up to $1,000, which makes you wonder why did it take so long for them to produce?

5 DMC DeLorean

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Like the Ecto-1 the DeLorean from Back to the Future didn’t hit the Hot Wheels production line until decades after the movie aired in the theaters. The Hot Wheels version of the DeLorean was released in 2011, with six different models with an array of different options. According to Hot Wheels Wikia, there was a limited run of 4,000 DeLoreans that were made with their doors open. Most would probably need a time machine to go back and purchase some of the cars that made these limited runs.

4 Magirus-Deutz Truck

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The Magirus-Deutz Truck was a matchbox version of a crane that was made in the early 60s. This truck is very rare, and according to The Drive there was only a few have been found in the color combination of tan with the crimson jib and metal double arm hook. If you happen to have one, they can be worth almost 12k. The one pictured above is a flat silver color, worth much less, but still perhaps a nice find for a hobby collector.

3 1966 Opel Diplomat

The Opel Diplomat is made in an array of different colors, many being much more attractive than the seafoam green one. Since there weren’t many made as the color was just plain ugly, and now making it very valuable. According to Historical Vehicle, back when the Opel Diplomat first came out it cost just 48 cents, now you can expect it to be worth up to $9,000. It really is incredible how something as simple as a limited production run of a certain color could dramatically increase the price.


How do I know if my Hot Wheels are worth money? ›

So far are cards that you can find on the peg. Usually the older the release the more valuable.

Are Matchbox cars worth anything today? ›

To be realistic, most Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars won't fetch anywhere near that, even if they're pristine. But those toys probably cost you $1 each, at most, and even if you could sell them for hundreds more that is an achievement.

What are Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars worth? ›

The top 10 vehicles, by value, are:

(1961) Magirus-Deutz Truck, Matchbox (tan/orange): $11,822. (1966) Opel Diplomat, Matchbox (sea foam green): $6,682. (1965) Dodge Wreck Truck, Matchbox (green/yellow): $5,911. (1971) Olds 442, Hot Wheels (purple): $4,682.

What is the rarest Matchbox toy car? ›

The Magirus-Deutz Crane ranks as the most expensive in Matchbox cars. This little brown 1961 crane truck sold for $10 at a garage sale, according to reports. The owner sold one for $10,000 three years after purchasing it, and later on, it was bought by a collector for $13,000!

Are Matchbox Collections valuable? ›

Although the brand began its journey as a manufacturer of kid's toys, soon it became a world phenomenon, and rare models became collectible items. Here, we list the 8 rarest matchbox cars that can be sold in the market for thousands of dollars.

Do diecast cars increase in value? ›

In many ways, diecast car models are equivalent to fine mechanical timepieces. Just like how the value and rarity of a mechanical watch increases with the number of complications it has, a diecast car's value and rarity increases with the number of moving parts it has.

How can you tell if a Matchbox car is a treasure hunt? ›

How to Identify A Basic Treasure Hunt Hot Wheels - YouTube

Do Hot Wheels go up in value? ›

Just like in the auto industry, low-production Hot Wheels typically increase in value over time.

Which is better Matchbox or Hot Wheels? ›

Matchbox tends to be more focused on realism being copies of the cars and lorries (Matchbox has far more lorries than Hot Wheels) that can be seen on the roads. Hot Wheels has more fantasy elements and the cars tend to be slightly modded or hot rodded from the base car.

What are Matchbox 2021 cars worth? ›

Anyways, there have been several of these sold in 2021 in the $1,500-$3,000 price range.
  • 1967 Custom Volkswagen Bug.
  • 1967 Matchbox Value Options. King Size 1967 Mercedes “Binz” Ambulance. No. 67b Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback. 1967 King Size Tractor Transporter. No. 41c Ford GT40 Sports Racer.
21 Jun 2022

What is the oldest Matchbox? ›

The First Matchbox Car

Their first die-cast toy was a road roller manufactured in 1947, and this road roller became the first Matchbox vehicle when Jack O'dell created a smaller-scale version of it for his daughter to take to school.

What does the elephant mean on a Matchbox car? ›

The elephant is one of Thailand's national symbols. Mattel includes the elephant on the bases to honor the Thai workers who assemble the cars.

How can you tell how old a Matchbox car is? ›

Matchbox started to use the base code method in 2008 to define a model's production date. Base codes consist of a single letter followed by two digits. The letter indicates the year of production, and the digits indicate the production week.

What is one of the rarest hot wheel cars? ›

With only 40 in known existence, the Brown '31 Woody is considered to be one of the rarest Hot Wheels cars in the world. What is this? It was designed by Ira Gilford, made in the United States, and debuted in the 1969 Hot Wheels series.

Can you make money collecting Hot Wheels? ›

Although most can be had for 97 cents, rarer models can sell for more, and “Treasure Hunts” sell for the most.

What is rarest and most expensive hot wheel car? ›

The World's Most Valuable Hot Wheels Car

Hey guys, this is a super rare opportunity to own a 1 of 1 NFT of my 1968 Hot Wheels VW Bus Rearloader Pink Beach Bomb! This unique Hot Wheels is the only one known to exist in this pristine condition and has been valued at $175,000.

What is the red strip on a Matchbox? ›

Friction is important for the first part of lighting a match. You rub the match head against the red strip on the side of the matchbox. This strip on the box contains a bit of powdered glass to make it extra rough. Scratching the rough match head against the rough strip leads to friction.

Is there a Matchbox collectors club? ›

Updated 9/22/2022. ​

The Illinois "Matchbox" Collector's Club is a non-profit club based in the state of Illinois to promote collecting of "Matchbox" toys of all series. We have members from all over the world!

Will classic cars keep going up in value? ›

One important fact to remember is that the number of classic and collector cars will not increase because vintage cars are no longer being built. A sudden drop in prices due to a significant increase in supply is not likely to happen, so prices can be expected to remain stable.

Do all classic cars go up in value? ›

For the automotive enthusiast, one way to diversify an investment portfolio is to start collecting classic cars. Most cars lose value immediately after they are driven off of the dealer lot, but classic cars gain in value over time, due to rarity, performance, or special attributes.

Are classic cars dropping in value? ›

The median sales price dropped just slightly from its high two months ago, but when adjusted for inflation, it's the lowest since October 2020. Although the market has dipped, classic car prices remain high.

What is a Hot Wheels treasure hunt? ›

Treasure Hunts (sometimes T-Hunts) are mainline segment series of Hot Wheels cars introduced by Mattel in 1995. They began as 12 cars every year; one released per month. Now there can be 12 or 15 T-hunts.

Why is it called a Matchbox car? ›

The brand was given its name because the original die-cast "Matchbox" toys were sold in boxes similar to those in which matches were sold. The brand grew to encompass a broad range of toys, including larger scale die-cast models, plastic model kits, slot car racing, and action figures.

Who has the largest Matchbox car collection? ›

Charlie Mack, surrounded by his collection of Matchbox cars, trucks and toys, looks at a firetruck inspired by the children's television series Finley the Fire Engine.

How can you tell which Hot Wheels are special? ›

How to Identify A Basic Treasure Hunt Hot Wheels - YouTube

How do I identify my Hot Wheels? ›

The code will be found either stamped into the base or printed with various colored inks. Date codes consist of a letter followed by a two-digit number. The letter refers to the year of manufacture, while the number refers to the week-number (1-52) within that year.

Is there an app to scan Hot Wheels? ›

Download the Hot Wheels id app, find this sign at your local Target store, and scan it with your mobile device. Is this for an actual ID car? No.

How do you tell if a Hot Wheels is a treasure hunt 2021? ›

The 2021 Treasure Hunts Series is part of the 2021 Hot Wheels line. Since 2013, Mattel has incorporated Treasure Hunts into other series instead of being their own series. Treasure Hunts are distinguished by the 'circle flame' symbol. Jack of Hearts Graphics on Sides, the letter "A" on Roof.

What is the most common Hot Wheels? ›

The Red Baron is one of the most popular Hot Wheels of all time, and it has been in production on again and off again for decades.

Is Matchbox or Hot Wheels Better? ›

Matchbox tends to be more focused on realism being copies of the cars and lorries (Matchbox has far more lorries than Hot Wheels) that can be seen on the roads. Hot Wheels has more fantasy elements and the cars tend to be slightly modded or hot rodded from the base car.

Why are Hot Wheels so popular? ›

“Hot Wheels have the advantage over other collectables because they still make Hot Wheels,” he said. “The kids today that are growing up with Hot Wheels are going to have when they've got a career, a family, kids and they need a hobby, and they discover their old cars and here we go. They're back in.”

How can you tell if Hot Wheels are fake? ›

How to spot a fake Hot Wheels diecast car - YouTube

What is a red line Hot Wheels? ›

A “Redline” Hot Wheels car is one manufactured within the first 10 years of their production, meaning they were made between 1968 -1977. During this time, the wheels on each car included a red stripe, hence the term “Redline.”

How many types of Hot Wheels are there? ›

There are 20,000 different variations of Hot Wheels cars in existence. Hot Wheels partner with nearly every auto manufacturer in the world. Over 130 new car designs are introduced each year and they're sold in over 150 countries. Every single one of the 16 original Hot Wheels is based on an actual customized vehicle.

What does ID mean on Hot Wheels? ›

Hot Wheels id - Full Demo Of Whole Augmented Reality Car System

How many wheels exist in the world? ›

To the question “how many wheels are there in the world?”, it is estimated to be 37 million in total. Although, the number is just an estimation and not exact.

Are Hot Wheels true to scale? ›

It's an instant collection with a Hot Wheels® 9-Car pack of vehicles. Each vehicle in the pack is designed in 1:64 scale with authentic styling and eye-catching decos.

How many 50th anniversary Hot Wheels were made? ›

In 2018, Hot Wheels released a series of 20 vehicles commemorating their 50th Anniversary.

How many Super treasure hunts are made? ›

All 12 Treasure Hunt cars are planned to be released in both regular and super versions. The super treasure hunts can go for hundreds of dollars on the card because of its rubber tires and specialized paint. In more recent years, T-hunts had some new developments.

What is the rarest Hot Wheels monster trucks? ›

The single rarest released truck ever made was the 2016 Madusa Farewell tour truck, while the Canadian-exclusive Skate-A-Zoid trucks are the all-time rarest, as they were not only sold at West 49 stores as a limited time promotion, but were also released in 3 color variations.


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