Some of the most sought-after Hot Wheels die-cast models out there are valued at eye-watering sums, and this Volkswagen ‘Beach Bomb’ prototype is one of them.
A true tiny unicorn on four wheels, the 1:64 scale model represents the first collaboration between VW and Hot Wheels. The mock-ups were built with narrow bodies and surfboards hanging out the rear window, so they couldn’t stay upright when rolled.
Hot Wheels eventually redesigned it by moving the surfboards to the sides and adding more weight, but the prototypes were never offered for sale officially and only Hot Wheels employees had access to them. Unofficially, though, they did change hands, and two of the rarest, finished in pink, ended up in the possession of Bruce Pascal. The collector bought both of them and sold one to a friend. The other is the centerpiece of his collection, which includes over 4,000 Hot Wheels models and around 3,000 memorabilia items.
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“I already had heard about [the Beach Bomb] in purple, green, red, light blue and gold. I even had heard about an unpainted model. But pink was extremely hard to find”, Pascal said. “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 their female audience.”
Whenever it’s not on loan to other automotive museums for display, the pink Beach Bomb sits in his personal museum in Maryland, in a dark Plexiglas case that prevents sun damage.
So, how much is it worth? “I won’t say how much I purchased it for, but it is worth an estimated $150,000 today”, Pascal said. “This model was a huge win for my collection.”