by Peter Valdes-Dapena
You can buy most Hot Wheels cars for about a dollar at Target, Wal-Mart or pretty much any local drugstore. But for Bruce Pascal, a nearly lifelong obsession with the tiny cars has turned into a collection of mind-boggling value.
Pascal, a Washington DC-area commercial real estate executive, is the owner of what is believed to be the most valuable Hot Wheels car in the world: a 1969 version of the "Beach Bomb" Volkswagen bus estimated to be worth as much as $150,000.
Collectibles experts say the appraisal of the tiny car is entirely believable based on its extreme rarity and its nearly perfect condition....more.
Bruce Pascal was seven years old when Hot Wheels first hit stores in 1968.
“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,” he said. Hot Wheels soon became the number one toy for boys, and Pascal spent his childhood racing and collecting the die-cast cars.
When he grew up, Pascal put his Hot Wheels in a cigar box at his mother’s house, where they collected dust for almost 30 years. His passion for classic cars continued into adulthood, but his Hot Wheels collection remained out-of-sight until he rediscovered it in 1999...read more.
By day, Bruce Pascal is a successful commercial real estate executive who brokers multimillion-dollar deals in the nation’s capital.
By night, he buys $5k Hot Wheels cars on eBay.
The 59 year old owns what is considered the world’s most valuable Hot Wheels collection, a staggering array of 7k rare toy cars that are collectively insured for $1.5m. Many are prototypes that were acquired from former Mattel employees, including a pink 1969 Rear-Loading Beach Bomb valued at ~$150k.
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Hot Wheels® might be the best-selling toy brand of all time, with a total production of more than 6 billion cars since the brand’s founding in 1968. That doesn’t just amount to 16.5 tiny cars produced every second; it’s more cars than have been sold by the Big Three since the dawn of the auto industry. But while the history of the brand received generous coverage during its 50th anniversary in 2018, its direct and ongoing connection to Chevrolet cannot be overstated.
Nowhere is that relationship more clear than in the $1.5 million, 7000-piece collection of Hot Wheels cars and ephemera owned by Washington, D.C.–area real estate broker Bruce Pascal. Pascal’s hoard contains not only the most valuable Hot Wheels car in existence, a pink prototype VW Bus valued at up to $150,000, but also a treasure trove of bowtie tie-ins.
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Maryland's Montgomery County Council interviewed Bruce Pascal, a Montgomery County resident, who has the world's most expensive Hot Wheels collection.
Bethesda Magazine featured Bruce Pascal's collection and Hot Wheels Museum in a February 2019 article. See the article, "Potomac Man Planning Private Museum for His 'Amazing' Toy Cars."
The toy cars were introduced in 1968. Now, a Montgomery County man's Hot Wheels toy car collection is estimated to be worth $1.5 million. Read the full article about Bruce Pascal's collection on WTOP.
John Davis from Chesapeake Collectives interviewed Bruce Pascal on Maryland Public Television while showcasing Pascal's collection. Watch the interview.
Bruce Pascal is interviewed on Televista during the Mexican Hot Wheels Convention.
Bruce Pascal's collection is featured in the Road and Track article, "Inside the World's Most Valuable Hot Wheels Collection" (November 2018) by Brett Berk.