The toy collecting industry is a very intriguing industry. Adults collecting toys with great gusto and passion and it’s always the story behind it that makes the kid in us smile. The average joe would probably think it's a mere hobby, a slight indulgence to end a day but I am absolutely ecstatic to say that the toy collector's market is alive and well.
Mattel, the makers of Barbie and Hot Wheels says there are some 1.5 million "avid collectors" who average 1,550 cars each. 10% of these collectors aim specifically for the "Redline" car series produced between 1968-1977. It has been said that one of these “Redline” cars can pay for an average American's college tuition today. Before you say Hasta La Vista to that student debt let's take a glimpse into the mind of an avid toy collector.
Bruce Pascal is known in the toy collection niche as having the largest and most expensive Hot Wheels collection out there. Bruce leads a double life as a commercial real estate executive by day and a giddy toy collector when he is not working. He got his first Hot Wheels when he was 8 and after that, to quote him, “I was hooked!”
He started his journey not knowing he would one day own the largest collection and even the most expensive and ultra-rare Hot Wheels Pink Beach Bomb Rear Loader Van. Only two are available in the market. The pink van was made in an attempt to lure girls to buy Hot Wheels in 1969, instead, young boys didn't like the girly color and smashed them. It was also designed as a prototype which originally cost 59 cents but now costs more than an average sports car, just about $125,000 and Bruce owns one of two in mint condition.
In an episode of Vintage Collector, an appraiser gave his entire collection an estimate of 1.4 million. Needless to say, Pascal was wide-eyed and pleasantly shocked. The boy disguised as a man never thought his hobby and passion would turn out to be a great investment.
The joy of collecting and the surprise return of investment is the icing on the cake. Some people collect gold whilst others choose toys. Both are good investments but there’s no doubt the latter sparks joy in our retro-obsessed hearts.