Are Hot Wheels a Good Investment? (Should You Collect Them?)

Hot Wheels are a wonderful toy that unlocks the imagination of many young children, and chances are that you probably have played with these toys at least once in your life. 

These well-made, extremely detailed cars with functioning wheels (and sometimes additional functions) are a timeless toy that anyone can enjoy.

For many, Hot Wheels are the first toy that many children own which sparks the inner collector inside of them. Those who collect these toys may never even realize how good of an investment they can become as the years go by. This is especially true for the more rare and vintage Hot Wheel cars.

However, are they actually a good long term investment for collectors to make? 

Although Hot Wheels are a fun thing to collect they aren’t a very good investment when compared to things like stocks. This is because there are so many Hot Wheel variations and there is no way to know if the ones that you are buying will be worth a ton in a few years or not? 

Although the same could be said for the stock market (as no one really knows whether it’s going up or down), the long term trend has overwhelmingly been up especially over 10-20+ year periods. 

The problem with collecting anything (Hot Wheels, sports cards, etc.) is that you have no way of knowing until many years later whether you made a good investment or not and by then it’s too late. 

For example, right now I have many many boxes and totes in my house full of baseball cards from the late 80s and early 90s. All of those “collectible” cards that are over 30 years old are still virtually worthless. 

Many people thought they were making a good investment by purchasing them but it turns out… it wasn’t. 

Sure, Hot Wheels are fun to collect and can bring tons of joy to your life so collecting them for that purpose and then any increase in value is great. However, if you are planning to retire by selling your Hot Wheels collection in the future… I wouldn’t. 

There are many reasons why people collect Hot Wheels (and I will go over some of them in this article) but in regards to being a good investment, it’s far from a safe bet. 

How Hot Wheels Got Their Start as a Collector’s Item

Hot Wheels as a brand has not only revolutionized the toy car landscape, but it has set standards for how toy cars should be made. Some of the cars that Mattel has crafted for the Hot Wheels brand have even served to inspire automobile fans and even legitimate car manufacturers to create their own real-world versions of some of the various concept cars.

Lots of fans of the toys note that the attention to detail and intricate features included in each car are the main reason why they adore them so much. In fact, these features and minute details are one of the biggest factors for why Hot Wheels have become so collectible over the years. 

Are Hot Wheels a Good Investment?

These little toy cars may not look like much to most people, but they can be a fun thing to collect and you could maybe even make money on them! 

However, investing in them is quite risky whether you are into collecting the cars long term or intend on investing in rare or expensive models and then selling them off somewhere down the line hoping to make a bit of profit.

Think of investing in Hot Wheels (or other collectibles) the same as you would a penny stock. Sure, you might get lucky and make a ton of money, however you could just as easily have something with little to no value as well. 

Collectible Hot Wheels are far from a safe investment but as long as you know that going into it and only put your “fun” money into it then collecting them (whether they go up in value or not) can be loads of fun. 

Pros for Hot Wheels Collectors

For those who are looking to buy Hot Wheels simply so that they can get a collection, there are tons of benefits. These cars will most certainly bring you a lifetime of enjoyment so long as you take care of them throughout the years.

One of the first things that you will notice about Hot Wheels is that they are incredibly detailed toys. Mattel does not skimp out on any details or quality when crafting these cars. 

Each one comes loaded with small details and features on the outside of the car from spoilers, to antennae, to spare tires, and much more.

The inside of the cars is not forgotten about, either. 

Each Hot Wheels car comes with a fully built interior complete with features like a steering wheel, stick shift, and dashboard. The seats for the driver and passengers are also included.

You will be able to enjoy admiring your Hot Wheels whenever you want if you have a collection. 

Have you ever dreamed of owning a sports car like a Lamborghini or Ferrari? Well, you can have one right in your own home (sort of). 

In fact, you can have as many as you want, since Hot Wheels makes luxury and expensive cars attainable. Their small size means that you can fill entire shelves with them and they still won’t take up much space in your house.

Each Hot Wheels toy is also made to a high standard of quality. So as long as you take care of them they will last you for many years. 

Each car is made out of high-quality diecast metal and plastic, ensuring its durability and longevity. 

Pros for Hot Wheels Investors

Those who want to invest in Hot Wheels for their monetary value may or may not be disappointed depending on the market for them and if they get lucky picking the “right” cars. 

There are many Hot Wheels cars out there that are worth quite a bit of money. Some are more expensive than a full dinner at a fancy restaurant, while others are even as expensive as a Corvette. Yes, a real Chevrolet Corvette.

One of the most well-known and accessible types of Hot Wheels is the redline models. These cars are known as redline Hot Wheels due to the telltale red stripe that goes around the toy’s tire. These redline models were only produced for about the first 10 years that Hot Wheels were in production.

That makes them highly sought after, and if you have one already in your possession or choose to pick one up then you can rest assured that they are worth quite a bit (although what the value will do in the future is anyone’s guess). 

Other rare models that only saw limited production, or those which suffered from an error of some sort in their detailing or naming, are also worth quite a good amount. Cars such as the 1972 Sidekick are valuable as they were only in production for one year and were produced in Hong Kong.

You will also be pleasantly surprised to find that the value of most Hot Wheel cars is related to the value of their counterparts in real-life. For example, if vintage European cars are what is popular in the real world, their Hot Wheels versions will typically see a nice jump in price as well. 

Hot Wheels has also released certain series for their cars which, once discontinued, saw a big increase in price. For example, look at the Hot Wheels Speed Machines series. They retailed for $4 when freshly released, and because of this higher price point, not many people wanted to buy them.

Years down the line they are rising in price exponentially. With prices for some Speed Machines models rising well into the hundreds of dollars.


The main takeaway from this article is that no matter what the reason is that you choose to collect Hot Wheels, they shouldn’t really be considered a real investment for your future. 

If you are investing in them because you live them and want to create a collection then that is fine.  

You can certainly find rare and interesting Hot Wheel cars and admire them and show them off, however, that doesn’t make them a good investment (at least purely from a monetary point of view). 

If you are one of those people who simply want to invest in Hot Wheels for their monetary value so that you can potentially sell them off for higher prices down the line, then that is where things can get a little bit dicey. 

At the end of the day, there really is no way to know what the values of a specific Hot Wheel model will do so what you pay $100 for today could be worth far less in a few years if too many of them hit the market or if people decide that collecting them isn’t worthwhile. 

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