Live Auctions

Could This Hot Wheels Be Worth Six Figures?


The other day we featured a million dollar Hot Wheels collection and the star of the show was a rear loading Beach Bomb. That little diecast was worth more than a hundred grand, so you can imagine my excitement when I spotted this green version of the same. The seller claims that it came to them in a large collection that they purchased from the late owner’s family. They have it listed here on eBay where bidding is very active with only a day left. Is it the real deal though?


The rear loading Beach Bomb was a big deal because there weren’t very many made. See, the first batch of miniature VW buses went to Mattel employees’ kids to test out. When they figured out that the shape was too tall and narrow to be used with the track accessories, the design was revamped with surfboard holders on the sides and a little more weight in the bottom. That fixed the problem and made the early version very rare. Some estimate that only 41 exist today.


Could this one of those 41? Or could it even be one that no one knew about? No one could have ever guessed we would get so excited about our childhood toys, but when they have the potential of being more valuable than a car or even a house, it does make sense. The shape is right and the base looks right, but is it the real deal? Fakes would never garner this much attention and the current high bid proves that at least a few people think it’s authentic.


A closer look reveals that there’s a letter D in the word FOREIGN and that proves that this is actually a Chinese knockoff (source). There’s nothing wrong with wanting a replica, but let this be a lesson to us all. Just because a few people think something is real, that doesn’t mean it is. We should always do our own due diligence when buying cars, houses, or even toys. Even though I wanted to believe, a quick search revealed that this little Beach Bomb is bogus!


  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    What a great story, and a great lesson!

  2. Cassidy

    I sent the seller a message that he’s selling a forgery. He’s well aware of the “D” in the word foreign and mentions it in his description, but he’s not telling buyers what it means. I told him he needs to relist with a better description. I hope he does! Or even , better, throws it away.

  3. Jeffro

    True story

    Like 1
  4. JW

    Someone is going to be real disappointed.

  5. Dave608


  6. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I think the poor debossing of the red sidewalls and mag wheels is a clue big enough to make believe this is a knock off. Mattel did a much better job with its tires.

  7. Another Bob

    It’s a strange world. First Porsches, now this. Is money worth anything? You could also have a ski chalet in Slovenia.

  8. Coventrycat

    I would have thought “Hong Kong” would be easier to spot than the “D”.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Actually the originals were made in Hong Kong too.

  9. DrinkinGasoline

    Look at the Redlines on the supposed Bus in picture # 1 in comparison to the vehicle in picture # 3 (upper left corner), not to mention that the wheel bushings are not flush inboard with the wheels themselves. They’ve obviously been removed and replaced without much attention to detail. I, along with my father and brothers have collected Hot Wheels since 1969 and collectively have well over 6,000 as well as having parts of our collections loaned to the Peterson Auto Museum in Los Angeles for their 3rd floor exhibit (which included the high dollar rear load surf board bus under glass) along with the real Deora, the Mongoose and Snake funny cars and the Beatnik Bandit…….no way, I know better.

    • Oingo

      I am pretty sure I had a beatnik bandit in the late 60 early 70s s as I had a few of the early cars and recall a bubble top. I don’t think it was pink though, does that seem right? I know where several of my cars are buried if they have not been dug up as they pretty much fell out of my pocket when I used to bail or fall off a rope seat swing in the backyard, we don’t own the property and it would seem the house was demoed not surprisingly as it was built in 1800s ttbmk, oh well.

  10. Birdman

    Forgive a beginner Hot Wheels collector if I’m wrong, but aren’t those rivets wrong too? I’ve only got a couple original Redline cars in my collection, but those rivets don’t look right to me.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      You are not wrong Birdman, the rivets are too pronounced as well as the radius too refined. Original rivets are lower and more feathered at the outer radius.

  11. DrinkinGasoline

    Another tell-tale sign is the body of choppy text in the ebay listing. It is written as though the seller is not versed in English and wants it to appear as though “they were told”, therefore the buyer could believe that they are taking advantage of an ignorant seller. I think not.

  12. JW454

    After reading the description in the seller’s advertisement I believe he knows exactly what he has and….. , what he doesn’t have.

  13. Ikey Heyman Member

    The guy is still calling this a “vintage hot wheels”! Can’t he be flagged somehow? Somebody is going to get ripped off…..or rip somebody else off down the line. Caveat Emptor is the lesson here, I guess.

  14. Aaron

    No question that this is a fake. There are tons of differences between and original and this copy. Hopefully this image loads….

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Well, the top car is actually a later side loading bus. The bottom one would have been right for the rear loading prototype.

  15. rob

    lf he actually has morals he would come completely clean about this and mention the true intigrtiy of this little vehicle.

    lt looks to me like it is his CASH COW DREAM so he may just let it go!

  16. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    So, I read these posts, and assumed the bidding must be up to 6 or 7K or more the way the comments were going (since the original is worth over $100k!). Turns out its not even to $300 yet… I don’t think this guy is a crook?… Even a kit-car 550 Spyder sells for 5 to 10% of a real one??

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      I swear the bid was up over $500 when I wrote this. Perhaps a few people cancelled their bids when they realized what it was?

      • Cassidy

        you’re right, his bidders are dropping out like crazy

  17. That Guy

    I have a big model car collection also, primarily Matchbox. I haven’t been actively buying for a while now and I’m starting to sell it off, but my experiences go back a long time. In that branch of the hobby, fakes of rare variations have existed but generally were confined to changing paint colors or wheel types, and counterfeiting for profit just didn’t seem to happen much. But creating an entire fake casting from scratch? That’s a level of commitment I’ve never encountered. Wow.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I have a handful or two of Matchbox cars, I do not consider myself a collector of them. I am confused and fascinated by this posting. Are these just knockoff cars made by some cheap manufacturer trying to steal money from Matchbox, or is there some evil person out there recreating imposters. We see it all the time in the car hobby, but toys also? Please, someone let me know what’s happening here before I lose what little mind I have left. Thanks, Mike.

  18. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I think Doug makes a good point. 68 bids have it up to $290! So, really, a good counterfeit may be worth that. I agree with the other comments than the listing smells like shady seller giving limited info to tease out a higher price. I’m just a casual toy call/model car collector and I spotted this counterfeit early on. Someone who bids multiple-thousands of dollars would be demoted to schmuck pretty quickly by his Hot Wheel comrades.

  19. Rando

    I ruined so many redlines. I was in the age of “flying Colors” cars. Those were so much better to the 8 year-old mind… And chrom with the flying colors? Hoo yeah!

    I don’t have anything of any real value but I did get an anniversary (which one?) set from Toy R Us of the 8 original castings with redlines and spectraflame. Never opened that and enjoy looking at them occasionally even though the plastic is very yellow now. Guess I could sell them as originals??? No I wouldn’t.

  20. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Bidding is now up over $400 and no new updates from the seller. Hmm…

    • MH

      I love reading all the post and watching the auction to see what’s going on. It’s very nice to see a hot wheel and not a actual car. I will admit seeing some of the real cars are just not as exciting as this. I say keep it up with the odd ball stuff. A change is good.

  21. Mike_B_SVT

    Interesting that they can make an almost exact replica of a 99-cent hot wheel’s car where the only “error” is a probably-intentional change to one letter – so close that it fools many “experts”! Yet they can’t accurately duplicate countless reproduction parts for real cars to exactly match the fit and finish of the original parts.


    • Jeffro

      We’ve come so far…but still have a ways to go. I agree with you 100%

  22. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    It sold for $450. Let’s hope the new owner realizes what they are getting.

  23. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    That might be sorta okay. My next question would be, are these knockoffs being currently made or were they made years ago? Maybe the knockoffs are worth something. I guess for a collector that puts them in their man cave to show off during house parties, having this VW would be a conversation starter. IMHO I’d much rather wrench on a vintage real car myself.

  24. Chad

    This is a Brightvision replica. They made these cars back around 2002 or 2003. You could get them with the text base or a plain base. I have the plain base model because it was about $100 cheaper. If I remember correctly, the text base went for around $250. They got into some legal issues with the car and had to pull the plug. FYI – on the original cars, they don’t use rivets. There is a stud on the body casting that is spun down to hold the body to the base. Most good fakes use a rivet – like the model shown above. If the new owner paid $450 – they only overpaid by about $200. Given the small quantities of these made, that’s not too bad.

  25. Chas

    I understand rarity and collector values on most things, but I just don’t get this vein of collecting. I don’t understand why anyone would pay $100K for the rare original version of this toy. Hell, you could buy a restored 23 window full size Volkswagon bus for that kind of money, and I would be much more comfortable with the fact that the full size version MIGHT hold its value than i would be with a pint sized toy retining $100K worth of value. Sometimes, I feel that collecting for investment purposes, is a lot like a game of musical chairs, and I would not want to be holding a $100K Hot Wheels toy when the music stops.

  26. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    As someone who just purchased a real VW Campmobile to play with, I couldn’t agree more. I graduated from little toy cars to full time hobby of vintage euro/brit cars about 7 years ago. The only value I ever found from accumulating models is that storage and display is a helluva lot easier, especially if you move around a lot.

  27. Sean Stevens

    Good Lord. I can remember smashing one of these with a hammer after seeing the original “Gone in 60 Seconds” to make crash scenes while playing. I carried all of my Hot Wheels around in a bucket and had ALL of the originals…I feel like puking.

  28. R. Patterson

    Not a Brightvision, real Brightvisions had proper spelling. FDOREIGN indicates this is the SAL knockoff of the authentic Brightvision Alpha rear loading Beach Bomb.

  29. Little_Cars Saul Member

    @R Patterson. Topic is three years old. Next…….

  30. R. Patterson

    Yes, I realize that, but some people may still be interested in this same topic. Thank you for reading my comment on this subject anyway.

    Like 1

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