Photo courtesy of Bruce Pascal

The first Hot Wheels arrived in stores in 1968 and it wasn't long until they became the number one toy. Bruce Pascal was seven years old at the time and remembers the toy immediately becoming popular with his circle of friends.

"It's hard to explain the craze today, but Hot Wheels was huge. All of my friends were saving up to buy all the Hot Wheels they could," Pascal said.

While he was growing up, Pascal, like kids across the country, kept his Hot Wheels in a cigar box. As he grew up, the cigar box gathered more dust, sitting on a shelf for 30 years until Pascal rediscovered the collection in 1999.

Volkswagen Beach Bomb Hot Wheels The pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb is the most sought-after Hot Wheels car in the world. Photo courtesy of Bruce Pascal

"That excited feeling I had as a boy was rekindled instantly," said Pascal. "My friend offered to pay me $200 for the cigar box. I declined and held onto them, but it was his offer that made me start researching the value of Hot Wheels and pursuing collecting as an adult."

His search became a bit obsessive. Pascal began calling other collectors, taking out newspaper ads, and even used a 1969 telephone book of Mattel employees to see if any former workers had rare toys they would be willing to part with for a price. He collected everything he could, including Hot Wheels memorabilia like blueprints, original drawings, sales brochures, and wood models.

His collection grew from that cigar box to thousands of Hot Wheels. Yet Pascal was not satisfied. He still had not found the one Hot Wheels vehicle that was alluding him, the most valuable Volkswagen ever produced - the pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb prototype.

The model was a bit of a folly. When VW and Hot Wheels initially created it, the car's narrow body and surf boards out the back window made the vehicle unable to stay upright when rolled. So, it was redesigned and the sides became more weighted and the surfboards were moved to the sides of the vehicle. This was the model that made it into production. The Beach Bomb was sold with a sticker sheet of flowers to decorate the vehicle, an offering that was very of its time.

Volkswagen Beach Bomb Hot Wheels There are only two of the pink models in existence.Photo courtesy of Bruce Pascal

The original prototypes with the surfboards out the back window are extremely rare, as only Hot Wheels employees had access to them. Of these prototypes, the pink ones are the rarest of all. There are only two known to be in existence.

"I already had heard about [the Beach Bomb] in purple, green, red, light blue and gold. I even had heard about an unpainted model," said Pascal. "But pink was extremely hard to find. Most Hot Wheels models were marketed to young boys, who the brand assumed didn't want to play with pink. They created just a few pink [Beach Bomb] models to market to their female audience."

Eventually, Pascal networked his way into purchasing both pink Beach Bombs models. He has since sold one of them to another friend and collector, but the one that is in the best condition has stayed with him.

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 today."

To help prevent sun damage, the Beach Bomb remains in a dark, Plexiglass case. Pascal displays the model in his personal museum in Maryland, where he gives private tours to other Hot Wheels enthusiasts. He has also loaned the model out to other automotive museums and events for display.

"I want other people to experience the Beach Bomb. I've found so much joy in learning about classic cars and Hot Wheels, and I hope I can spark some of that in other people. It's a treasure to find these rare models," Pascal said.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda expands Super Tuner Legends Series to 18 Hot Wheels Legends Tour stops in 2020

Car Show

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is coming to 18 cities this year, culminating in one vehicle being chosen at the SEMA Show to be represented as a Hot Wheels car. The Honda Super Tuner Legends Series will be coming along for the ride at each stop.

The Honda Super Tuner Legends Series is an exclusive, live custom tuner component of the Legends Tour. Last year, the Legend Series was present at four Legends Tour events. It was so popular that Honda decided to expand it.

According to a release, Honda's Legends Series will feature a panel of expert judges that will select one Honda vehicle from each Legends Tour event as a Honda Super Tuner Finalist. The finalists will then compete to earn the "Honda Super Tuner" title, which includes an opportunity to display their vehicle at the 2020 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, November 3-6, 2020.

"We celebrated the highly successful 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour by taking a one-of-a-kind 1972 Honda N600 to SEMA, and we look forward to finding another special Honda vehicle to honor during the 2020 Legends Tour," said Bruce Garfield, Licensing and Brand Manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Honda and Mattel have enjoyed a long, successful relationship, and we look forward to what the future holds for our fans and the tuner community."

The Honda Super Tuner Legends Series will take place in parking lots of designated Walmart Supercenter stores in each host city of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, with the exception of the May 16 event in the Los Angeles area, which will be hosted at Mattel's headquarters in El Segundo, California.

Dates for this year's tour include:

  • March 7 - Miami, Florida
  • March 21 - Tampa, Florida
  • April 4 - Atlanta, Georgia
  • April 18 - Houston, Texas
  • April 25 - Dallas, Texas
  • May 16- El Segundo, California
  • May 30 - St. Louis, Missouri
  • June 6 - Rogers, Arkansas
  • June 20 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • July 11 - Detroit, Michigan
  • July 25 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • August 8 - Denver, Colorado
  • August 15 - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • August 29, Portland, Oregon
  • September 12 - San Jose, California
  • September 26 - Los Angeles, California
  • October 10 - San Diego, California
  • October 17 - Phoenix, Arizona

As part of the event, attendees will be able to learn about Honda's history with Hot Wheels and see some of the most interesting Honda tuner vehicles in each region. Hot Wheels has offered 1:64 die cast models of the Honda CR-X, Honda Civic EF, Honda Civic Coupe, Honda Civic Si, Honda Monkey Z50, Honda Racer 5, Honda S2000, and Honda Odyssey.

Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

Tesla Cybertruck gets the Hot Wheels treatment

Time to Play

Upon its debuted, one or two of the reveal attendees may have mentioned something about it looking more like a toy than a for-real truck. Now, Hot Wheels is giving the Tesla Cybertruck the full toy (and collectable) treatment. In the true spirit of Tesla, the new models are electrified.

The two radio-controlled Hot Wheels toys are described by MattelCreations.com as, "Hot Wheels packs the power and performance of the futuristic Cybertruck into two small-scale, remote-control vehicles: a track-compatible 1:64 scale and a limited-edition hobby grade 1:10 scale. It's the only way to drive the Cybertruck in 2020!"

1:64 Hot Wheels R/C Cybertruck & 1:10 Hot Wheels R/C Cybertruck – Limited Edition

Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

Here is the features of the 1:64 model straight from Hot Wheels:

  • The 3-inch, radio-control Cybertruck combines the modern Tesla design with the iconic Hot Wheels
  • Race on Hot Wheels® track – on a horizontal track race or take it vertical on a classic Hot Wheels® track loop. I mean, we're Hot Wheels®, after all.
  • Key features include two-wheel drive with both Chill or Sport speed to reach up to 500mph scale speed and recharging from controller. You're welcome.

The 1:10 mode's features include:

  • Functioning headlights and taillights to maintain visibility
  • All-wheel drive featuring Chill or Sport modes
  • Tonneau "Vault" cover
  • Telescopic tailgate that folds out into loading ramp
  • Removeable plastic body to reveal interior and access internal battery and drivetrain system
  • Reusable cracked window vinyl sticker
  • 9.9V, 3300mAh, rechargeable battery, 1:1 charge/run time

Hot Wheels, which is owned by Mattel, the same company that sells Barbie dolls, has already sold out of the larger 1:10 scale size model, which retailed for $400. It will likely hit an eBay store near you shortly after shipments begin for a much higher price .

There is a chance that Hot Wheels will opt to make more of the models available. They're offering a signup page where prospective buyers can input their email address to be notified if additional production capacity is confirmed.

The 1:64 model is just $20 and will be available to ship on December 15, 2020.

The Tesla Cybertruck is for licensed drivers ages 16 and up. The 1:10 HotWheels models is recommended for children and adults ages 14 and up. Children and adults over the age of five are the intended audience of the 1:64 model.

Hot Wheels recently teamed up with Jaguar to create a 1:64 model of the 2021 Jaguar F-Type.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Jaguar partners with Hot Wheels for 1:64 scale model of 2021 F-Type

Time to Play

The Jaguar F-Type has received a big upgrade for the 2021 model year and to celebrate the company has teamed up with Hot Wheels to launch a much smaller version of the car, 1:64 scale to be exact.

During its design period in the Jaguar Design Studio, the mini version of the car followed many of the same steps the 2021 Jaguar F-Type did. It was cloaked in a black and white camouflage wrap for its test runs around a 760-foot Hot Wheels orange track that included 25 loop-the-loops, three gravity-defying jumps and 44 corners.

Jaguar F-Type Hot Wheels Official Hot Wheels master track designer Paul Shmid designed the test track inside Jaguar's design studio.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

"As a designer and huge car enthusiast, Hot Wheels models have been a part of my life since childhood," said Julian Thomson, Design Director, Jaguar. "They capture the imagination, make owning the car of your dreams a reality, and give you the first opportunity to actually 'drive' a car."

Designers from Jaguar and Hot Wheels used CAD data from the 2021 F-Type to craft a precise 3D-printed model of the car for the Hot Wheels version. That includes the car's clamshell hood, slim LED headlights, and sculpted front and rear bumpers. The Hot Wheels team faithfully recreated the Velocity Blue paint job from its SVO Premium Palette and hand-painted the F-Type badge on the back of the model.

Jaguar F-Type Hot Wheels Jaguar wrapped the car in camouflage for testing, just like the 2021 F-Type did.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

The Hot Wheels model features a full interior. The 2021 F-Type's interior is appointed with Windsor Leather and Noble Chrome. It has monogram stitching on its seats and markings on the glovebox release celebrating the Jaguar brand's 1935 founding.

During testing, the Hot Wheels model reached speeds of up to 300 mph on the custom-built track, which was designed by Official Hot Wheels master track designer Paul Shmid.

Jaguar F-Type Hot Wheels The Hot Wheels team faithfully recreated the Velocity Blue paint job.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

"We've been working with Jaguar for over 40 years but this was an opportunity to do something really special with a car that was not yet on sale," said Bryan Benedict, Senior Manager of Product Design, Hot Wheels. "To go behind the doors of the top-secret Jaguar Design Studio and work with the talented design team to bring this car to life and reveal it on our unmistakable orange and blue track was a unique opportunity."

The new Hot Wheels Jaguar F-TYPE 1:64-scale die cast model sports car will be available in November 2020.

Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels crowns "Nashhole" a winner in Las Vegas, new model coming in 2020

Time to Play

Hot Wheels began their worldwide tour to find the next popular collectable toy car in March in Miami and wrapped it up last week at SEMA. Working, real-sized automobiles competed against each other for the chance to have their likeness be transformed in miniature into the newest contents of gleaming packages hanging in drug stores and toy shops.

"This tour is all about finding the custom car out there worthy of becoming a Hot Wheels," said Ted Wu, VP of Senior Design at Hot Wheels. "This year has been amazing, we have seen 90,000 people come out to our events, 5,000 cars entered the shows with 20 nationwide stops."

Legends Tour judges rated each contestant in regional contests using three attributes:

  • Authenticity- a car that embodies Hot Wheels with a radical look and amazing performance.
  • Creativity - a car that is unique with details and stands out from the rest.
  • Garage Spirit - built and not bought with a great story behind it.


2019 SEMA Nashhole winner Hot Wheels Legends The winner's car was chosen based on its authenticity, creativity, and the story behind its creation.Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

The Regional winners that were part of the SEMA final included:

  • Miami- 1947 Steampunk Willys rat rod with military accents, motorcycle wheels and tires, and a tractor seat
  • Houston -1972 Luv truck that was put back together 30 years later after the original owner passed away
  • Atlanta - 1975 Chevy Impala Low Rider nicknamed "GQ"
  • Los Angeles - 1957 Nash Metropolitan with exposed wheels and tires that's powered by a small block Chevy 305
  • Charlotte - 1936 Chevy Custom truck that started as sedan then transformed into a four-door dually with a 750-horsepower Cummins engine
  • Philadelphia – 1968 Toyota Land Cruiser that took 3 years to build and has 5 inches chopped off with a custom chassis and a 12-cylinder BMW engine
  • New York/New Jersey – A combination 1948 Chevy Pickup and 1960 Cadillac owned by Mike Calderone was built in 1989 using four different cars
  • Detroit – 1957 Custom Studebaker that is powered by a 4.6-liter B8 Lincoln modular engine
  • Chicago- 1965 Pontiac GTO was inspired by the owner's father's gasser stories
  • Bentonville – 1969 International Harvester Cabover 1600 that has a supercharged 350 Chevy engine and a spoiler to balance the truck
  • St. Louis – 1976 Chevy Vega nicknamed "RCR" with a LS3 engine
  • Dallas - 2002 Honda S2000 that was modified after its owner went to a technical school
  • Seattle – 1971 VW Bug with three inches chopped off and a removable hardtop added
  • Phoenix- 1971 VW Squareback that's a twin-engine gasser.
  • Denver- 1954 Chevy Bel Air that has 6.5 inches chopped off the top and 15 inches added on the back
  • San Jose – 1995 Honda Civic with a beefy 450-horsepower engine that runs on E85
  • San Diego – 1960 Renault Dauphine was originally found on Facebook Marketplace after being stored for 40 years
  • Los Angeles –This car is a combination of a 1974 Opel Manta/Nissan 240SX

2019 SEMA Hot Wheels Legends Nash winner car This replica Chevy 305 engine powers the Hot Wheels toy version of the Hot Wheels Legends contest winner. Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

All the regional cars competed in the final and were judged by a crew that included noted automotive enthusiasts Adam Corolla, Richard Rawlings, and Jay Leno.

The winner was the 1957 Nash Metropolitan, known as the "Nashhole" and owned by Greg Salzillo and Dave Ford. Hot Wheels enthusiasts can expect a miniature replica of the "Nashhole" in stores in 2020.

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The Genesis GV60 is on sale now

New electric SUV

Today, Genesis announced that its newest vehicle, the electric GV60, is on sale in the United States. The vehicle brings a load of new tech and innovations, and features the brand's distinctive, attractive styling.

The GV60 will be offered in two configurations in the United States. The GV60 Advanced AWD starts at $58,890 and features a facial unlocking system, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and touchscreen, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. The GV60 Performance AWD starts at $67,890 and brings more power, leather upholstery, a massaging driver's seat, and more.

2023 Genesis GV60 Buyers get three years of free charging. Genesis

The Advanced model comes with a 74-kW front and 160-kW rear electric motor for a total of 314 horsepower. A 77.4-kWh battery provides juice for the operation, and returns a range of 248 miles. The Performance AWD model features a 160-kW front and 160-kW rear motor for a combined 429 horsepower, with up to 483 ponies available with a temporary boost mode.

Genesis partnered with Electrify America to provide GV60 owners with three years of free 30-minute charging sessions. Owners can charge anywhere in the United States, and can locate charging stations using their vehicle's navigation system. The GV60 is also the first Genesis to feature Connected Care, which includes several connected services such as enhanced roadside assistance, an SOS emergency notification feature, vehicle health reports, and more.

The 2023 Nissan Z gets a reasonable price tag

New sports car

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan Z The Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan Z The 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

Volkswagen will revive Scout name for new EVs

New off-road EV

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.