Hot Wheels, a huge name in the toy car business, is still as big as it was when first launched in 1968. Since then, the Hot Wheels brand has launched thousands of toy car models, becoming a household name for little kids. Out of the vast collection of Hot Wheels one could own, the model that easily takes the cake for being the rarest and most collectible is the Volkswagen ‘Beach Bomb’ inspired by Type 2 bus.
Like every other Hot Wheels fan, Bruce Pascal was a child when he was first introduced to Hot Wheels in 1968. Little did he know that his borderline obsession with Hot Wheels cars would lead up to him owning thousands of Hot Wheels models and other brand collectables, including the most valuable Hot Wheel ever made. Let’s take a look at how a fan such as him came about this huge collection that any avid collector would be proud of.
As a young boy, Pascal was just as allured by Hot Wheels as any other boy of his age. Following the immense demand that Hot Wheels had, young boys like him collected and played with their models until they stepped into adulthood. When he could no longer play with his prized possession, Bruce Pascal used his mother’s cigar box to store the collection. Lying forgotten in the box, it wasn’t until 1999 that the childhood collection was once again discovered by him, which then reawakened his interest in collecting Hot Wheels toy cars.
When his friend offered to pay $200 (INR 14,753) for the cigar box assortment, Pascal became intrigued with the market value of Hot Wheels collectibles. This turned into a passion as he started looking for Hot Wheels models to own. Unsurprisingly, his collection expanded to reach into the thousands, but he was still unsatisfied. Bruce Pascal needed a star for his collection and he decided that no other model than the pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb was worthy enough to become the pride of this vast Hot Wheels assemblage.
Result of a partnership between Volkswagen and Hot Wheels, the first prototype featured surf boards hanging out of the back window of its slender body. The prototype was unstable and therefore never hit the shelves. Its restructured model successfully entered the market, but it was the original Beach Bomb prototype that remained every collector’s dream.
However, it was Pascal who seized the day when he tracked down the two owners and went on to own both the pink Volkswagen Beach Bombs, the only two models of their kind in the whole world. Later, he sold one model to his friend and kept his in a Plexiglass case. Since then, Pascal’s pink Beach Bomb has not only starred in his private collection, it has also been lent to display in various automotive museums and events. There are seldom collections as vast as Bruce Pascal’s Hot Wheels assortment- big and rare enough to make a small museum.
Today, Pascal owns over 4,000 Hot Wheels models and about 3,000 pieces of memorabilia, but the pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb remains his most prized possession.
“I won’t say how much I purchased it for,” said Pascal, “but it is worth an estimated $150,000 (INR 1.10 crore) today.” This is well over the cost of most new luxury vehicles — and more than 50 times the cost of the model that made it to stores — but for Pascal, the 1:64 scale Hot Wheels car was well worth it. “This model was a huge win for my collection,” he said.
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