If you're using the NCHWA Hot Wheels Price Guide for the first time, then you've come to the right place! But, I've got to start with a disclaimer: ALL values are an ESTIMATE. There are NO guarantees in pricing your Hot Wheels at this website, or any other source, for that matter! With that out of the way, you've probably noticed the NCHWA utilizes a completely different method to place an approximate value on Hot Wheels: The Star Value system. Instead of quoting EXACT values, which can fluctuate wildly on the secondary, the Star Value system assigns a "Star number" that equates to a RANGE of values, instead of a set value. Confused yet? Don't be. I'll break an example down for clarification:
You've got a 2008 First Edition '69 Dodge Coronet Super Bee. You've looked it up in the 2008 FE section of the price guide, and found the color car that you have. Looking to the last column on the right, you see a number. No, that's NOT the dollar value of your car! What it is, is the Star Value. So, simply scroll to the bottom of the page (or download the handy .PDF chart so you can avoid scrolling all over the place) and match that number to the corresponding number in the Star Value Chart. Bam. You've got your value.
But, wait! What's the deal with the +/- sign beside some of the values after the car listing? Easy enough! Let's say your Coronet had a Star Value of 1+. After looking at the Chart, you've ascertained that your car could go anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00 on the secondary market. That little "plus" sign indicates that this particular model MIGHT POSSIBLY go on the "high" side of that Star Value. So, figure the Coronet is worth somewhere in the range of $4.00 to $5.00. If it has a "minus" sign, then your car likely falls into the "low" range of the Star Value...somewhere in the $1.00 to $2.00 range. If there is NO +/- sign after the Star Value, then your car could fall ANYWHERE into that $1-$5.00 range. Not too complicated, eh? Having an approximate range for the value of a Hot Wheels car allows give and take on the secondary, as there are many factors that determine value.
I'll give you a tip, though: you can pretty much count on 95% of any current (2000 and up) non-Treasure Hunt Hot Wheels falling into the $1-$2.00 range, unless it's a hot variation. And, even then, there are no guarantees! Many collectors have been shocked to find that selling entire modern collections (1995-Present) garnered less than .50 cents a car! This is the WRONG hobby to have high hopes for getting rich, unless you're dealing with high-dollar, rare Redlines. I recommend you collect more for fun, and avoid the whole Hot Wheels speculation game! My only goal with this website is to assist you in knowing what the approximate values on your cars are, so you can make informed purchases or trades.
Q: Where do the values in your guide come from?
A: All values are garnered from the secondary market, completed auctions and dealers.
Q: Do you have plans on expanding the Price Guide to include more Hot Wheels lines?
A: Well...yes, no and possibly. I'm the only one managing this website, so I have to keep a realistic limit on stuff to track. It's been a HUGE undertaking to complete what you see, now. It included MANY hours of typing through the night, while trying to present the most complete guide possible. If I expand the website, it'll be too much for one person to handle, so as of right now, Redlines to Mainlines is pretty much going to be about it. But, I MAY do some expansion down the road.
Q: I've looked everywhere, and can't find my car in your guide.
A: Each section has a search engine box at the bottom. You'll need it, especially for the late 70's and 80's loose Hot Wheels. There were a TON of cars that were issued under different names from what they originally had. When you type in the car name, the search engine will bring up a list of possibilities for you to click on. The 1995-Present stuff is a LOT easier to find, since many of those were kept in blisters, which makes it easier to identify.
Q: Can I just use the date on the base of the car to help me search the guide?
A: Nope! For Redlines, the date on the base was a year behind, with the exception of some of the earliest Redlines, but even that changed in time. Mattel re-issues cars...sometimes 10 or more years down the road...with the same base, which can be misleading if you're not "in the know." Many sellers on eBay presume the date on the base is when the car was made, when, more often than not, this simply isn't the case. Try the search engine, if you need assistance.
Q: What constitutes an error or a variation? Do you list errors in the guide?
A: Errors are NOT listed in the guide, because there is no determining value on what they're worth, and, quite frankly, there are far too many of 'em to list! The difference between an error and a variation is simple: The variation has shown a consistent run or change in the car that indicates there were enough of them out there being found to garner a value. Errors are usually limited to oddities such as a single incorrect wheel, tampo misprints, missing parts, etc. Are errors rare? Absolutely! Are they cool? Definitely! Are they valuable? Probably not too much. Only what another collector is willing to pay for one. They're awesome conversation pieces, though!
That's about it for now! Thanks so much for using the NCHWA Price Guide. I hope it helps you in some way! ~Neal Giordano