It’s show off season. Just a couple of weeks ago Mattel finished its annual Toy Fair. I’ve explained it before about what it is, but in a nutshell it is Mattel’s own event, held near the Design Center in El Segundo, California. Retailers are invited to preview the upcoming Mattel lines, and of course they leave with little gifts.
Those little gifts come in the form of Toy Fair models from both Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Obviously everyone loves swag, but that swag serves a purpose as well. It allows attendees to go home with an example of each brand at its best.
We have seen some doozies in the past from both Hot Wheels and Matchbox, models decorated full tilt. And when you combine the fact that these models are not available at retail with their good looks, the Toy Fair models instantly become collector must-haves. But they are tough to acquire. You have to rely on a Toy Fair attendee to want to give up their model. That means almost all available to collectors are found on eBay:
(Don’t ever buy the “unspun prototypes” though. Those are not prototypes, just models stolen off the line.)
I have acquired a few Hot Wheels Toy Fair models over the years. There are still some on my want list, but I am pretty happy with what I have.
Especially now that I can add the 2018 model, the VW Kafer Racer, to the pile.
The Kafer Racer, at least deco-wise, is different than previous models. Choosing this casting was a no brainer. It is licensed, but showcases the creativity of Hot Wheels Designers, in this case Mark Jones, who imagined and designed it. To me it is the best Beetle casting Hot Wheels has done so far.
And it looks amazing in Gulf deco. Some might expect spectraflame paint here, but I like this better. It better suits the Gulf deco, especially sitting on that bright orange base. I can even get behind those wheels, even though I think there are better options. At least they made them look as good as they did.
These models aren’t cheap, but popular castings like this one or the Porsche 934 or BMW CSL will go up in value pretty quickly. Just ask those still pursuing a Porsche Toy Fair. It might be time to pounce now.