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I am new to this board as i am a 30+ year collector of Hotwheels and have an extensive collection of them...Well i had an accident and going to therepy and until i can take care of myself im staying with a friend and he is a Johnny Lightning collector. He has an awesome collection with hundreds if not over 1000 of them and ive been helping him with displaying them. Well im really impressed by alot of there cars due to the choices ..colors..models .And really starting to like them...Now why do Hotwheels command high prices and prove to be a good investment and certain ones even newr ones increase in value and new ones impossible to find on pegs and JLs seem to not even get there 3.00 price on e-bay except for WLs and he is always getting JLs off the peg of the latest cars...I would think that they would do the same as Hotwheels...Is it that JLs are 3.00 and HWs are even found 2 for 77 cents..or just more HW collectors than JL collectors...I would love to start collecting them myself but they are to expensive for me to start.....Ron
I hope your therapy helps, and you get thru it quick..Invite your friend over to Hobbytalk ( if he has'nt been here ).
The old question of HWs vs JLs...I'll throw this at you..It's apples & oranges(to each his own as to which they see as which).
I am a reformed HWs collector, I bought my first Topper/JL when I was 8 (43 now), but because HWs were more available I probably had more of them than any other brand..HWs built thier current "got to haveit,better get it" following off the vintage redlines (some high dollar pieces today), and seems like when HWs releases reproduction pieces (or a even wierd fantasy stuff) the people with fond memories ( "I wish I still had my old HWs" )got to have them, believing that some day the newer pieces will be as valuable as the vintage...It's a lot of HYPE!
The average collector will not get wealthy off of HWs collecting.
Most JLs are produced with more attention to details that factory cars/trucks would have had which is what made me and lots of others be willing to pay the higher cost, and have a collection that we're proud to show anyone who wants to see them( I keep most HWs in totes or boxes out of sight, and refer to them as "surplus"), My JLs are displayed all over the house, and the majority are pinned/tacked to my hobbyroom walls ..Like wallpaper!
The other aspect to my obsession is customizing, HWs are perfect for this hobby..They(most) are inexpensive, and definately need a lot of improvement to be displayable, I would bet I have less JLs that I've customized/modified than any other brand(maybe it's the price,or thier already cool look?)I try to avoid chopping up an expensive? casting ..Unless it's for a contest(LightningFest), or I want it to look different than it came from the factory/store.
Main thing to focus on as far as diecast goes(forget resale value)collect the pieces you like, and you'll have the most valued collection possible...Valuable to You.
Again ..Welcome!,enjoy the forums here, Happy reading.
I was a Hot Wheels junky too for years, always keeping track of variations, TH's, and what's new. I started finding so many T-Hunts, never could seem to get the one variation that was worth anything.
With the JL's I just like the detail. They make a much better looking car. As for the WL's, they are much more challenging to find.
reformed hw collector here to for about the same reasons as mentioned above and i would be willing to bet that just about everyone here collected hw or still does at one time or another. but quality speaks for it's self and jl has it going on hands down.
collect what you like it's a hobby only.
and welcome to hobby talk
Sometimes a uncommon interest can lead to a uncommon result...after all, the lemmings truely do follow a herd.
First a quote from a ex J/L guy (JK) :>
TRU exclusive Mustang series?"
Pretty sure it's not. I got a set from an independent online distributor. I like that blue Mach.
The production callout on the package may be throwing everyone since production numbers haven't been published in a while. This was always an uphill battle when I was there at JL. Most JL cars are produced in runs between 5000 and 10,000, which you'd think the collectors would go ape over, but putting it on the packaging was nixed. The reason? Packaging films went to China 90 days before production. Quantity decisions weren't made until 60 days before. Other than a sticker, there was no way to tell. Also, the laughably optimistic management felt like they could sell some extra pieces last-minute, and what if they had to bump the quantity? They didn't want to be trapped by the number on the packaging. Although with the number of cars showing up at K-B in the 3 for $5 bin, it seems that no one sold any extra of anything. That's why I laugh at the 10,000-piece 10th Anniversary car runs. It's no different than a regular run car. J.K. < End qoute
My additional take on the whole collectibilty thingy regarding "THE JOHNNIES"....
White Lightnings has taken the steam off of the main line...I honestly believe if Mattel created a "TREASURE HUNT" for each main line casting it created, the line would suffer in a huge way as far as collectibilty goes. VALUE...well MANY - MANY Hot Wheels can not fetch more than there origanal value going back the life spn of JOHNNY LIGHTNING which is 10 years this past year...Many have said 99 % of their Johnnies are 2 buck toys...99 % of Hot Wheels created in the last 10 years are in the same boat but are only worth half as much if one looks at from a perspective of time on the table, so to say.
White Lightnings to the degree how they are created have back seated many of the common releases, in a cannabilizing fashion. Personally, I would rather keep the main line castings, and I do. That Black with Flames White Lightning Camaro I had at the convention last October in Irvine along with a few others helps build on that fortress of Hot Heaps that need to be gathered......
Back to Johnnies...a somewhat limited main line - some say the Johnnie numbers come very close in production numbers needed for the total collector market here in the US. They are primarily a US gig, so not much attention is given to them the world over in the "BIG PICTURE".
Massivly bitchen detail - solid diecast - opening features - FREEKIN unreal realism - Redlines- Real Rubber - Chrome Hubs - Cragers - horrible distribution - as Tomica is to Japan - Johnny is to the US.
I am a reformed Matchbox/Hotwheel collector. I pretty much only do JL's now, with an occasional HW purchase, like the Ford Lightning in the little round display.
As Jeff said, Hotwheels is all hype. There are hundreds of hoarders that will be sitting around in 20 years wishing they'd bought real estate instead. Imagine all of the hoarders trying to unload their $20,000 "investments" all at the same time.....Our kids will be able to pick up entire 1,000 piece collection for $500.
I collect Johnnies because of the detail, and as mentioned, the "displayibility", if there is such a word. For $3, or often times, 3/$5 KB, I can get a car that has more detail than an $8 Hotwheel.
I've never been much of a "collector" until recently. Sure, as a kid, I had my Hot Wheels and slot cars. But, I played with them....I didn't "collect" them. The reason I became interested in diecast again is because some JL's caught my eye on the pegs one day...quite by accident. I was so impressed with the detail on a $2.00 - $3.00 1:64 scale car, that I picked up about a half dozen of them. The detail of the regular issue JL blows away the regular issue HW. I will say that the detail on many of the HW 100% Cool Collectables and Showcase cars are amazing, but at $10.00 or more a piece they are mighty expensive too...so, I've only picked up a few of those that "I just had to have".
Like many of the other posters in this thread, I purchase my cars for their displayability, not to collect them as an investment. So, most of my cars come out of the package and are displayed. You just can't beat the detail and quality of a JL for the money. Real Wheels, factory correct paint, opening hoods with detailed engines....and the castings seem to get better and better as time goes on.
I collected Matchbox as a kid in the early to mid 60's, then started picking up Tomica (Tomy Pocket Cars) in the early 90's. Started looking at Hotwheels in the late 90's, and then stumbled onto Johnny Lightning about 4 years ago. Of course, I have lots of other brands, but those are the main groups, and of them, the Hotwheels main line is what I have the fewest displayed. (I'm sure the grammer is poor, but it's Monday morning, so cut me some slack!)
Looking back, I've done what most here have done, grown and evolved my collection over time, as my tastes and the available products changed. Just as everyone else has said, collect for your own pleasure, and it will be valuable to you, and that's what this is all about.
I think the reason some HWs command more money is largely nostalgic--and I mean ONLY the redlines and early blackwalls (mid-late '70s). With the exception of Real Riders, the '80s HWs seem to be mainly ignored. After that, certain Treasure Hunts and Limited Editions have become Holy Grails.
Seeing how well redlines have done, the newer stuff got many folks into thinking that they could someday retire on its profits. Thus, the Treasure Hunt was born. At any given time, HW collectors are on the hunt for a certain car/variation that was just released, claiming its rarity and thus, temporarily inflating its aftermarket (i.e. flea market) value. Pick a series or car that they were chasing 5-10 years ago, and many of them won't remember it without grabbing a Tomart's for reference.
As for JL, as the quality and casting choices of HWs sunk, PM decided to resurrect the JL name, producing all-diecast cars with customer input--cars that we collectors wanted and that Mattel would not produce. We wanted muscle cars, and Mattel was making little plastic blimps and cars that had no appeal or following. JL collectors are a different market segment than HW collectors. They care more about the quality and the choice of casting. WLs are JL's "Treasure Hunt", but seem to be harder to find. I myself don't care for them unless a car looks better in WL trim. But let's face it, pearl white seems to be the "spectraflame hot pink" for today's JL cars. As far as JL value goes, it will depend on the number of collectors who get nostalgic about them in 10-20 years.
JL collectors are a different market segment than HW collectors. They care more about the quality and the choice of casting. WLs are JL's "Treasure Hunt", but seem to be harder to find.
This board would certainly indicate this statement to be true....in most cases.
Originally Posted by 2low4u
I myself don't care for them unless a car looks better in WL trim. But let's face it, pearl white seems to be the "spectraflame hot pink" for today's JL cars. As far as JL value goes, it will depend on the number of collectors who get nostalgic about them in 10-20 years.
I don't care much for the WL's either....although there are a few pearl whites I'd like to get a hold of, just because they are nice looking cars. I have yet to find a WL ( I've only been collecting since this past Dec.), but if I did, it would probably be traded for some regular issue cars that I want. With that said, anyone have any pearl white Shelby Cobra's they don't want?
The HW name is trading on nostalgia basically, not that there aren't good things coming out, but if someone other than HW made some of that product, would anyone care? The old stuff is worth big bucks to boomer kids who played when they were boys. They are COLLECTIBLE because of attrition. You can get 1996 HW blistercards at the convention for 50 cents all day long.
JL heralded in the age of the instant diecast collectible and as such, I don't see anyone retiring on the value of their collections. If JL makes 10,000 of something, how many are actually played with? Maybe 10 percent of that? The other 90 percent remain in plastic. How will they ever go up in value? JL was only around for 3 years in late 60s/early 70s, and Indycar sponsorship aside PM's JL has a stronger legacy and longetivity now.
All the better reason to collect what you like. You can never go wrong.
I am collecting more and more JL's because there are less of them on the pegs in the first place, so it is easier to find a car I like.
With Hot Wheels, there are so many on the pegs, it is hard to find the real cars (I don't like to collect the fantasy cars geared more towards kids).
With the JL's, as long as the store is restocked, I am almost certain to be able to find something I want. And that is not always so with the Hot Wheels, so I am beginning to look less, and less, at them.