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.