Hot Wheels Beach Bomb fortune

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After 40 years and 4 billion sales, there’s one Hot Wheel collectors dream of and it’s a kombi of course.

When the Beach Bomb was released in 1969, it would have set you back less than $1, today they’re pushing $100,000 kombi or $1300 for each mm.

The Volkswagen Beach Bomb is one of the most valuable “Sweet Sixteen” redline castings to-date. It’s only beaten by its unreleased predecessor, the Rear-Loading Beach Bomb Prototype.

Although it had a very small factory test production of a few dozen, the Rear-Loading Beach Bomb was not mass-produced and shipped to stores because its high center of gravity made it prone to tipping off the track, and it was too narrow for the Supercharger to grab its sides and propel the casting properly.

The models ended up being given to employees of Mattel, the manufacturer of Hot Wheels. Only about 25 are thought to exist in the world and so are highly sought after by collectors.

At the time, track sets and superchargers were hot-sellers and every kid had one. The Beach Bomb not being able to make it through them was a big deal. As a result, the casting was sent back to the drawing board and modified with two pods on the sides (disguised as surfboard holders) to widen it so the supercharger would grab it. A large square chunk of solid metal was molded into the middle of the base to keep the van weighed-down, and a large portion of the roof was removed and turned into a plastic sunroof to further lower the center of gravity


hot wheels beach bomb rear loader

And then there’s the really rare beach Bomb!

With a known history back to the original Mattel employee who kept it in his garage for years, it’s the most famous and photographed Hot Wheel – has been displayed at the Petersen Museum in California – and the most valuable Hot Wheel in the world – pushing $150,000!

The Body is the most brilliant Hot Pink with the Rear Load Beach Bomb Top, the Chassis is the Prototype version of the Hot Wheel Sideloader Beach Bomb Base, and they are riveted together and it remains in its near Mint condition.

The Base has a unique “fingerprint” or rough diecast area that is identical to the two unpainted clear glass Prototype Beach Bombs known.

The story of the Rear Load beach Bomb is well known, for the car was too thin to go through the Supercharger and was re-engineered to be wider to work with the accessories that Mattel made. The transition testing piece was painted in Hot Pink, just one of two known. This is the only one with both Original thin Top and the future Prototype Base.

hot wheels beach bomb rear loader


The Beach Bomb isn’t the only high-priced Volkswagen Meredith and Stephenson had for sale. The Minibus in the photo above is a workshop prototype priced at over $20,000. Also, notice the gold bus in the corner of the photo. That one is over $40,000.

But you don’t need to own one of the prototypes to own a great investment, even the relatively common colours of the following castings typically carry a high price when found in excellent condition.

hot wheels beach bomb rear loader hot wheels beach bomb rear loader hot wheels beach bomb rear loader


If you have any models tucked away it might be time for another look – and send some shots to us and we’ll feature them here.