UPDATE 6/2/2019: This week I added 6 more supers and 3 more corresponding mainlines to my collection. Last Saturday I found 4x Mazda Repu $upers at Walmart, Rockaway, NJ. Yesterday, Saturday added the Audi RS6 Wagon found at Shop Rite, Emerson, NJ and today found VW T2 truck at ACME in Allendale, NJ… wow!
2019 has been a great year for my Hot Wheels & Matchbox collecting hobby. I’ve picked up a ton of cars I really wanted including many (and many multiples of) pricey Premium models from various new series like Open Track, Gulf and Silhouettes that include realistic looking GT3 race cars, which I love. I discovered Matchbox premiums called Superfast which too seem to fit my collection nicely.
But Hot Wheels collecting mean different things to different people. While to me realistic race cars are most valuable, others may consider Muscle Cars to be the business, or some fantasy castings. Most however will claim that Super Treasure Hunts or $upers (even $oup for short) are most valuable of them all because they are the rarest in this mass produced world of Die Casts.
I was never one to have Mattel tell me what I should collect, but after finding a few of them recently I will certainly not put one back on the peg if I come across it at a supermarket.
Cause they do indeed look cool with their spectra flake paint job and real riderz wheels. They are basically the premium models that sell for $1 instead of $6+ that Car Culture line now goes for.
Take a look at my recent finds:
Found at ACME supermarket in Mahwah, NJ
Found at Target in Fairfield, NJ
I like them… and again while they aren’t the core of my collection, I think they are worth keeping along with the base model for comparison.
Now the regular “Treasure Hunt” models seem to basically be junk… and despite having Mattel write nice things on the blue card how they are collectibles, in my experience they have mainly been worthless. Nobody collects them, unless it’s a model that fits someone’s collections goals. And unless it’s an interesting concept, like my very first treasure hunt find: Quick Bite which I actually really like… the rest that I picked up with hopes of trading for something I really want have been duds.
Found at Walmart in Teterboro, NJ and at Walgreens in Wyckoff, NJ
Zamac (Walmart exclusives, though I’ve found one at Walgreens before) seem to be much more desirable than Regular Treasure Hunts, although my local Walmart’s never seem to have them on the pegs.
Found at Kmart in Wayne, NJ and Ton of Toys in Westwood, NJ
Target “Red Edition” and Kmart exclusives also seem to hold more value than Treasure Hunts. The one trade that I managed to get cars I wanted (though they arrived in a rough condition after USPS were done with them) involved a few Nissans from each stores exclusive lines.
There are models like the Kroger exclusive Ford GT LM that I really want for my collection but definitely don’t see myself paying 10x the price plus shipping to acquire… I don’t even think it would be worth trading a $uper for one maybe a Red Edition or Zamac… but who knows. Too bad there’s no Kroger stores where I live.
I try not to stray from my core Hot Wheels and Matchbox collecting hobby, and that is to focus on collecting realistic race cars… keeping them sealed in their original packaging, because often the card art is much better than the deco on each car. But I stumbled upon a mystery models set at Walmart today that fits all the criteria of my collection minus the card art because the cars are sealed in plastic baggies that also contain a sticker of the car, much like the blue card for the individual cars.
There is a lot to like in this set of Mystery cars, even when the car I wanted most was most elusive… I still have not found it (the Mystery: Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo)
But I stocked up on the rest and thanks to the good folks at HWCollectorsNews.com I can even share what each car looks like without taking mine out of the package. I even brought home one of the boxes from Walmart specifically to keep all my mystery stuff separate from the rest I put up on a wall…
The cars I was most interested in that I got:
Dodge Viper SRT-10
Ford GT LM
BMW M3 GT2
Ford Fiesta Rallycross
I’ll be on the lookout to find that Huracan GT3 that fits my collection best!
I started my Hot Wheels collection to basically keep the nostalgia of having once participated as a Motorsport marshal going… until I could return again to my racing hobby. Soon I will return, but the little die cast cars have been so much fun I cannot believe I didn’t start this sooner… Meanwhile I always wanted to link the photos of the cars in my collection to the real race cars I came across during my travels.
The more cars and bikes I add to my collection the more I want to get to complete my newly created Hot Wheels Motorsport “Spotter Guide” to illustrate the available options out there in the 1/64 scale diecast world.
In addition to my core collectables I’ve stocked up on cool cars I offer to trade to others for what I like… and the question always comes up: “what are you looking for?”
This list is what I’m looking for:
Check out Hot Wheels Collector News for a complete list of this 2010-2013 bike model: Click here!
While I have a few Ducati 1199’s already there are a few more 2014+ models I’d like: Click here!
The 2013-2014 release of the Lotus Evora GT4 would be nice to acquire: Click here!
While it was made from 2002 onwards I’m especially interested in the 2010 version of the Saleen S7 Race Car with a big wing and air scoop added. Click here!
Though I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on any of these realistic looking 1999 production F1 cars, I would really love to get at least the above Ferrari and BMW versions in their true liveries. Click here!
Speaking of must-have Formula 1 models, the 2010 Tyrrell six-wheeler is at the top of my list. Click here!
This short tail version of the 917 beauty of which I already have a few long tail version is a must for me, and I think I’ll get one fairly reasonably priced as it was a recent release. Click here!
This limited edition, fancilly boxed 911 will be impossible to get cheaply. Click here!
However this mainline from 2010 should be doable: click-here!
This would be awesome to have, Ferrari Challenge F360 from 1999 production run, click here!
The 2009 run of the next Ferrari Challenge F430 is a must too, Click Here!
After participating in Red Bull Rallycross I got a really soft spot for the Ford Fiesta, would love to add a few more of these colorful gems to my collection. Click here!
One of the more illusive race cars I have been having trouble getting cheaply on eBay is the series of Ford Falcon V8 Supercars. I definitely want these in my collection. Click here!
Since there are no Kroger stores in my area getting the Ford GT exclusive was impossible, hoping to find one on eBay cheaply. Clickhere.
There are of course a number of GT3 car variations I would love to add to the many existing cars on my wall. Especially slightly older stufffrom before the time I begun my collection.
Huge thanks to HWCollectorsNews.com folks forcataloging this hobby so well for newbies to have such an amazing resource to go by. My collection keeps growing so this page and my general wish list is constantly updated. Stay tuned!
The more time I spend away from participating in Motorsport the more nostalgic my Hot Wheels hobby makes me feel. So I had an idea to catalog my collection into a Motorsport spotter guide much like those famous Andy Blackmore sportscar guides I would often share before every endurance race I went to marshal. This is going to be my attempt to create something similar. For not just sports car racing but also open wheelers, moto racing, rally and historics.
Mission accomplished once again. The Hot Wheels Premium Car Culture line keeps getting better and better. That’s those tiny 1/64 scale wide cards with fancy artwork cars featuring rubber wheels and metal base for $5.49 apiece instead of standard mainline cars that sell for $0.94 at Walmart or a bit more everywhere else. Well 2019 is getting pretty awesome so far with incredibly detailed modern GT3 machinery… exactly what got me into collecting Hot Wheels a year ago.
Sadly I’m not the only one hunting for these awesome things in Northern NJ and it took me many fruitless trips to the local stores where all I accomplished was burning a lot of gas. Today my luck changed around. While going to get my taxes done I finally stumbled upon an Easter display at Target that had all the cars I really wanted in my collection. Woo Hoo!!!
Well there you have it folks… super happy with my growing collection and looking forward to future fantastic releases.
Finally had the time to pin my First Editions Hot Wheels mainline race cars I bought off eBay to their new display spot.
Since cars of this vintage don’t have unique blue cards like modern Hot Wheels displaying them as a group is a little easier because they can overlap so only the bubble with each race car is visible. Having done that though I wanted to share some pix from my new favorite HW Collectors web site of what each car looks like out of it’s packaging… I’m using this resourse both to display my cars without cracking open the packaging and as a link to educational material as the site illustrates all available options for each model… most of which I don’t have in my collection. So here we go!
This car was the reason I went looking for vintage Hot Wheels on eBay. This is the homologated street version of the amazing race car that dominated one of the best racing eras of all time. Read more about the model here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/mercedes-clk-lm-75mm-1999-2003
The cars that battled the Mercedes and dominated in their own right were Porsche 911 GT1. I bought three different versions, with the #38 Champion livery being my favorite because it accurately represents the IMSA model that raced stateside. More info on models: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/porsche-911-gt1-98-75mm-1999
I first got to see this car in action a few years ago while volunteering for the Historic Daytona 24 hours. It was stunning. More about the model: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/cadillac-lmp-70mm-2001
I’ve only seen one of these on display at Lime Rock but it looks amazing. Don Panoz founded the American Le Mans Series and it was my favorite before it merged with Grand Am. More here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/panoz-lmp-1-roadster-s-78mm-2001
I don’t believe I’ve even ever seen one in person, but on TV it looked amazing battling European and Japanese Le Mans cars of it’s vintage. I ordered it because it seemed cheap at $2 shipping included, it was cheap because the bubble yellowed. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/panoz-gtr-1-1998-75mm-1998
Saw one of these race at a Historic event at Daytona. The #11 white model accurately represents a Hot Wheels livery race car that really participated in American Motorsport. Not sure why the card labels it as a GT3 model though, it definitely isn’t as the road car was a 4 door sedan. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/olds-aurora-gts-1-76mm-1999
Saw this iconic Ferrari at the Daytona Historic racing series 24 hour race. Sounded fantactic. There is a Momo/Lista livery model produced that i should get my hands on. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/ferrari-333-sp-72mm-2000
Saw a variation of this model at Daytona Historics event. Looked similar to the Ferrari 333SP which also raced in the same IMSA series. Riley still makes awesome modern race cars from Grand Am Daytona Prototypes to current Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/riley-and-scott-mk-iii-2001-78mm-2001
Can-Am racer. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one though I’ve watched plenty of McLaren Can-Am cars race in New Zealand. Had to have it! More here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/shadow-mk-lla-75mm-1999
First heard of Chaparral by reading the victory wall above the pits at Sebring. It had won the grueling 12 hour. And it’s an American brand! More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/chaparral-2-65mm-1998
Apparently the race car went thru constant development even in the same racing season. This one grew a roof in it’s 4th iteration. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/chaparral-2d-67mm-2003
At the other end of the race car spectrum, faster than the Le Mans prototypes and GT cars is IndyCar and America is obsessed with it’s Indy 500. The No Fear car represents one of my favorite IndyCar designs back when they looked like F1 cars. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/no-fear-race-car-80mm-1994-2001
The F360 model is famous for a lot of things, I find it awesome because of it’s single make series in Ferrari Challenge appearance. And later as GT3 / GTC race versions. I’m fact there is a Coca Cola livery Ferrari Challenge version I need to find. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/ferrari-360-modena-70mm-1999
This model looks a lot like the German DTM cars of that era. Love it. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/mercedes-c-class-70mm-19972003
This page is continuously being updated. If you spot errors please let me know. Stay tuned for more.
What’s the most recognizable Racing Livery? What paint job tells you the Team sponsor by seeing the color combo from a mile away? Even without reading any text…. I’d think Red Bull, Coca Cola, Marlboro, Rothmans, Martini, Gulf, Falken, Tic Tac, Yagermeister… maybe a few others would make the list. But since Hot Wheels is a kid brand, most of the cigarette and booze sponsors get excluded from making it into mainline cars. So of the remaining teams we’re left with instantly recognizable paint jobs, and I’m going to start adding them to my collection.
Thanks to all the detailed work HWCOLLECTORSNEWS.COM put into their web site it can be used as a shopping catalog for desirable cars… past and present. I’m happy to say that many of the abovementioned cars are already in my collection. And the rest I’ll be on the lookout for on eBay to be sure I can add them to my wall.
So the following are my favorites:
There are of course others in each of these series, none large than the amazing Gulf Racing variety.
But it’s important to remember that collecting anything requires patience. Especially with something like Hot Wheels where new surprises come out every year. So I’ll be adding my additions as I accumulate them over the years.
If you’re just getting into Hot Wheels collecting like me, you may get overwhelmed with all the variety out there, available at different price points… or frustration of not being able to find any of the cool stuff you see people brag about online. I’d like to share some resourses I’ve come across in my recent re-introduction to this hobby with the hope that this info actually helps someone. And I’m sure I’ll vent my frustration as well… although the simple solution to that problem is just to throw more money at it. If you really want a car someone will sell it to you for a crazy price $$$ on eBay. I have bought quite a few dozen such cars there already to help my collection start growing.
So, observation #1: it’s 2018 and while grocery shopping at my local supermarket I come across a Hot Wheels box dump where I pull out 3 GT3 spec race cars after a short time rummaging thru. Wow! I think to myself, that’s going to be quite a collection if there are tiny versions of all the different race cars out there from American IMSA racing series or Le Mans, Blancpain GT, Pirelli World Challenge, etc. But nope…. you should not worry about being overwhelmed because Hot Wheels produced at most 2 or 3 varieties of cars per year, and certainly not of every single model racing in the real world today. Lately I’ve noticed realistic GT3 spec machinery is increasing in popularity, good news for me, because that’s the type of HW I want to collect, but finding them is often difficult and requires a lot of trips to the store… which suddenly makes buying stuff off eBay more appealing and often a cheaper option than burning gas running around with no success.
Observation #2: Hot Wheels are released in cases of 72 car in Mainline or 10 packs for Car Culture premium models. Each case has some new additions and a ton of oldies from previous cases of the same production year or even previous years. Which is both cool (If you’re looking for something you missed in the past) and weird (If you don’t come across a new item because there was only one or two per case and another collector or kid buying a new toy beat you to the peg). Hunting for new releases is extremely frustrating especially when you compete against people that snatch all the good stuff when they come across it and then go and sell that stuff to people like me on eBay for profit. So key is to be quick and lucky.
Observation #3: and probably the most important one, is to use a web site like HW collectors newsletter to see what stuff is available each year, when it comes out and even who sells it when there are exclusives like Zamac or Red Line, Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunts. Btw…. zamac are those unpainted Zink Alluminum looking cars that now come with a Zamac build # on the blue card. TH or treasure hunt models have a little Hot Wheels flame circle behind the car on the blue card also writing how exclusive that car is.
Since I don’t crack open any of the HotWheels cars that I buy I’m going to illustrate this post with anazing photos from HWCollectorsNews.com
The 2016 Mazda MX5 Miata was the unicorn in my collection even two years before I actually started collecting. Couldn’t find it anywhere I looked. I spent days scouring local supermarkets on a trip to California in 2016 and 2017… no luck. Same in Texas and in Florida. I even hit up a bunch of states from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas while driving to Daytona. No luck… so I ended up shelling over $5 for one on eBay. And it was well worth it.
Since then I’ve spent over $200 on Miatas alone, often clearing out the racks at my local supermarket whenever I come across a fresh display. I’ve got more than 50 of the white Mad Mike Miata from 2018 and at least a dozen of each of the others… and most of them I will probably give away to friends at future Miata events.
The other Mazda that I absolutely adore in my collection is the 2018 Car Culture premium model 787B Le Mans race car…
I’ve burned a ton of fuel going from store to store, week after week, trying to find one. Tempted to buy on eBay but not willing to shell out $10+ shipping for one. And finally came across a new case at a distant Target near NY/NJ border where they must have just gotten out out for Christmas. I bought all 4 on that display. And I’m sure it’s the best car in my collection, though I’m sure there will be more awesome HW stuff in the future.
The goal for my collection besides the Mazda’s is current and realistic / accurate GT3 race cars. And much like the amazing real variety at endurance events at Daytona, Sebribg, Bathurst, Spa-Francorchams, Le Mans or Nürburgring so too is the selection from HW:
The cars above represent what my collection is about. There are currently 45 total options available as I’ve learned from the amazingly detailed description of each model from HWCollectorsNews.com however I probably won’t collect every single model because it turns out only some are sold individually as part of carded models. The rest are multipack exclusives. And yet others are exclusively made for events and aren’t even available for sale. While yet others, like the Forza Motorsport Ford GT are way too ugly and too expensive for the price they are being sold for.
So price and availability are always a factor of what will go into my collection.
This brings me to Observation #4: Hot Wheels are typically only made in their Malaysian or Thai factories. I’ve bought some older First Editions models from 20 years ago that were made in China. I’ve seen stuff from Macau as well. But modern Mainline cars come from Malyasia while premium cars are made in Thailand.
Mainline Hot Wheels are Made in Malaysia & Car Culture premium models are Made in Thailand
So this is a pretty exotic hobby knowing each car came from Southeast Asia. And ironically the cars are typically sold cheaper in the US compared to what they actually go for in their home markets (regular price that is, not sale). That being said prices are all over the board nowadays for both Mainline and Car Culture. Wal-Mart is consistently cheapest with their 94 cent price tag for most main line. $1.27 for special carded mainline and $4.97 for the Car Culture models. While the same Car Culture premium sell for $7.99 at Target…. because they can. Even my local supermarkets sell mainline for different price weekly. Sometimes it’s $0.99, then $1.09, then $1.29, $1.49 and when they’re really greedy $1.99 especially Matchbox mainline seem to command the double price for some reason. I tend to buy stuff when I find what I like regardless what the price is, because chances are that when they go on sale the selection would be very limited. That said I think car culture cars are worth the premium especially the well detailed Race Car models like:
the Porsche 962 models with Real Riderz wheels. Though that Momo livery car that came as part of a Transporter series with a large HW truck costing $12.99 is ridiculously overpriced I think.
There was a cheaper $3.99 version of the Porsche 962 before I started my collection, but for the life of me I cannot find one for a reasonable price. Speaking of cheaper vintage Porsches we are lucky to get the Gulf Racing Porsche 917 LH in mainline, readily available and I made sure to stock up on them.
In 2019 Hot Wheels will have several new sets of their Premium Car Culture line: Gulf livery, Open Track, etc. Many more GT and GT3 offerings among them like another Audi R8 LMS and a brand new pair of Acura NSX GT3’s among them. Even main line will have more new Cadillac and Mercedes-AMG race cars. I’m looking forward to finding them and adding to my collection.
I’ll keep HWCollectorsNews.com as a reference guide to know before I go to the store to understand what I’m looking for. This was already helpful the other night when I found my very first Treasure Hunt of 2019 at ACME in beautiful spectra gold finish and Real Riderz wheels in Mainline cars.