More than 50 years ago, Elliot Handler and Ruth Handler, co-founders of Mattel, challenged their design team to create a toy car that would be a true performer. After creating a revolutionary new wheel design in a first-ever trackable toy car, Hot Wheels was born. They were toys like no other at the time, motivating children’s play to a whole new level.
With Hot Wheels, it wasn’t just about having a toy for decoration or just play. These little cars were able to go fast, jump over obstacles, and go through loops. Games have become more exciting than ever through competition and experimentation. But soon enough, the kids weren’t the only ones interested in Hot Wheels.
Avid car designers and collectors began collecting Hot Wheels because of their innovative designs that often went beyond the so-called traditional automotive world. It’s no wonder the value of these smaller models has skyrocketed over time. Widely sought after, Hot Wheels have become part of automotive culture. As such, they attract car enthusiasts from all parts of the world.
Because so many people want to own unique Hot Wheels for themselves, these little cars often cost thousands of dollars. Funny enough, some of these rides have the price of new sports cars. The most expensive Hot Wheels ever even beats the 2022 Audi RS models. How crazy is that?
Let’s take a look at this Hot Wheels car in more detail and explore why it costs so much.
Most Expensive Hot Wheel Ever: A Closer Look At The Volkswagen Pink Beach Bomb
Yes, this hot pink bus was the most expensive Hot Wheels at the time, and it will likely remain so for years to come. Given the history behind this particular model, other Hot Wheels will struggle to take the throne.
The pink bus you see in the photo is the 1969 Volkswagen Microbus. It’s called the Rear-Loading Beach Bomb (a fancy name for a fancy ride), and it was a prototype at Mattel. The team behind the Hot Wheels company tried to design the first Volkswagen microbus with this model, but they encountered some problems.
The main issue was the rear loading part, as the bus constantly lost its balance when loading the surfboard through the rear window. Mattel solved this problem by introducing heavier sides and putting surfboards on the side, so kids won’t get frustrated with their buses falling all the time.
In the end, the modified version ended up in mass production and the prototype was fully deployed. But that’s what made it interesting in the first place. The first designed Beach Bomb prototype was produced in only two copies. For years they were in the possession of a Mattel employee until a collector acquired them for a jaw-dropping sum of money.
When it was initially sold, the Volkswagen Pink Beach Bomb went for around $150,000. Today, that amount translates to a staggering $175,000. We don’t know about you, but we can’t quite figure that out. You can actually get the Porsche 911 Carrera, Mercedes-AMG GT, and many other real-world cars for less and at Pink Beach Bomb prices.
Where are the only two Hot Wheels Pink Beach Bomb now?
So who is the proud owner of the Volkswagen Pink Beach Bomb? Bruce Pascal, a commercial real estate veteran, was the one who acquired the most expensive Hot Wheels model. In fact, he has one of the most expensive Hot Wheels collections in the world, with over 4,000 cars displayed in a purpose-built office. The Pink Beach Bomb is the icing on the cake.
The total price of Pascal’s Hot Wheels collection is around $1 million, and the Pink Beach Bomb is one of his most kept and expensive models. He struggled to acquire it – well, the two initial prototypes, but he sold the other unit to a friend. While VW buses in different colors were easy to find and buy, pink required more effort. Now the Pink Beach Bomb he owns is protected from light and dust in a dark plexiglass case.
Luckily, Pascal is keen to share his collection with museums, so others can discover rare Hot Wheels and learn more about this and other classic cars. Therefore, avid Hot Wheels collectors and car enthusiasts can always expect to see the Pink Beach Bomb in exhibits. When it comes to buying it, we don’t recommend getting your hopes up whether you have the money or not. Pascal is unlikely to sell such a rare collectible to anyone.