Part of the appeal of Hot Wheels is their inexpensive price, so it’s hard to fathom paying $150,000 for one. However, the story behind the Holy Grail of Hot Wheels on Antiques Roadshow offers a good explanation why one would be worth such an extravagant price.
The Beach Bomb was Hot Wheels’ model of a Volkswagen Microbus that came with a pair of surfboards. However, the original design was too top heavy and wouldn’t work with Mattel’s Supercharger that shot the toy cars at high speed. By the time the toy company figured out this flaw, the firm had already made many prototypes of the bus. A redesign put the surfboards on the side, and this is the version that went on sale.
The guy on Antiques Roadshow got ahold of this prototype from his dad who was a foreman at Mattel. He thought the Beach Bomb prototype might be worth something someday, but still had enough faith in his son to give the toy to the little boy. The guy is quite smart to listen to his dad because the little VW Microbus is worth as much as a full-sized one today.
The toy is in remarkable condition and looks practically new. According to the appraiser, this one’s dark red body is a less common color, too. He estimates that the car and its provenance give the little vehicle a value of $100,000 to $150,000.
Hot Wheels has managed to stick around for decades, and the brand continues to produce some amazing little cars. For example, Mattel added a line of Magnus Walker's Porsches last year, and the company celebrated Leonard Nimoy by making a model of him dressed as Spock with his Buick Riviera.
Source: Antiques Roadshow