|24 September 2009: Hot Wheels Speculation ---Many of us are very particular about our collections, preferring to keep the majority (if not all) of the cars in their package. Why is that? Some prefer them to remain on the cards from a reference standpoint, and others...well, there are others who've somehow got it in their head that they're gonna retire on these bad boys, years down the road.
Sadly, those types of collectors may be in for a rude awakening when the time comes to sell their collection. I think far too many collectors have seen the value of old Redlines, and made that the basis of collecting for "down the road." Hate to say it, but...if you're counting on putting the kiddies through college via your Hot Wheels, well...all I can say is, you'd better have a great backup investment portfolio, because it's NOT going to work quite like that. Why? Well, let's go over a few reasons why the current stuff will NEVER garner the hype (and value) of the original Redlines...
First off, let me preface by noting that the current state of the economy has affected even the normally money-grabbing Redlines on eBay. They're simply NOT selling for advertised value (advertised value based on price guides like Tomart's, Lee's, etc, etc). It's not uncommon to see a pristine Redline go for 4 to 5 times LESS than what its "perceived" value is in any of the aforementioned guides. Therefore, when planning to sell your Hot Wheels these days, throw your price guides to the side, because you're NOT going to get what is quoted in them. There may be a few exceptions, like the in-demand castings (Beach Bomb, Olds 442, BiFocal, etc). But, even those have noticed a considerable drop in selling power. It's a buyer's market, and that's not going to change for at least a couple more years.|
The author's collection of '32 Ford Vickys, from 1970
Second: Quality. Redlines were made of mostly metal components, and, with the exception of the now-archaic casting/mold flaws, are simply made better than the newer stuff. For cost-cutting purposes, new issues are often made up of mostly plactic components. Plastic bases are the norm. Now, to Mattel's credit, we can be appreciative of the fact that Hot Wheels are the ONLY toy out there that has remained the same in price since the 60's! What other toy can make that claim? Something had to give...somewhere...to retain that price. Cutting down on the metal was the easiest cost-related measure.
One sweet '32 Ford from 1970!
A '67 Camaro issue from 2009...Awesome, but it's no Redline...
Keep your collecting real, with little or no expectations down the road. This mantra will help bring far more enjoyment to your hobby, as long as you see it for what it is: having fun with little toy cars. Leave the value-stressing to the Redline collectors. Until next month...keep those superchargers rolling, and may your tracks be smooth!