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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started the cross reference of this casting thread with other listed reference links today. If any (?) remains they are referenced that way. In the mean time, feel free to add your own images, stories, information and experiences with this casting in your own thread posts as we go along.

The Volkswagen Beach Bomb is perhaps the most famous and certainly the most valuable Hot Wheels ever created. It is based on the 1968 VW T2 Micro Bus more commenly known as the "Transporter," "Kleinbus, " or most often in the USA as the "VW Bus."

Often referred to as the Holy Grail of Hot Wheels for most collectors, one example of the very few available models of The Rear-Loading Beach Bomb version recently changed hands for more than $100,000 dollars. This version featured a small sun roof in the middle of the roof and removeable orange and yellow surfboards that load into the body from the rear window opening. An estimated 200 versions of this casting are thought to have been produced, but only 41 are documented to still exist. The inside story attibuted to Jack Parker, Mattels then chief engineer is that production of the Rear Loading Beach Bomb was stopped during the first shift of production at the Hong Kong Factory.

Production runs were made only at the HK factory and the redesigned Side-Loading Beach Bomb was the casting design put into main line production for a three year span. For the redesign, two side pods were added to the body and slits designed into them to hold each of the now side loading surfboards. This design change was made to widen the casting piece and improve track performence with the drive wheels of the various official Hot Wheels battery powered Super Charger accessories.

The sun roof opening was also expanded to include - nearly the full length of the body. The window design features an open clear area in the middle and raised ribs at each end. And being from the HK factory each subsequently comes as a blue tinted piece.

The base piece is of a bare metal design and includes an exposed engine and exhaust arrangement at the rear of the casting. A large square addition of zamac was designed into the middle floor of the casting base piece to further lower the center of gravity for this casting. For the production version this square was reduced in size a bit and additional zamac width added to the gaps near each of the wheel wells and to fill in the wider middle portion of the body casting gap and rear end base ends. This was done to keep it from tipping off the orange track as well.

It came with both light and dark interior pieces.

Known Spectraflame colors of the rear loading version are - Antifreeze, Blue, Gold, Green, Light Blue, Hot Pink, Purple, Red and Yellow. None were intended for commercial sales and any surviving castings are attributed to be those Mattel employees obtained before the remaining models were destroyed.

There are (12) known Spectraflame paint colors used in the Side Loader production runs. They range from the most common colors of Aqua, Green, Blue, Red, Olive, Light Green, Purple, Copper, Brown, Rose, Orange, and Yellow as the rarest color used.

Each blister pack also contained a set of 18 water slide flower decals in different sizes and colors to apply to your casting as desired.

All cars left the factory with medium sized Type 1 style Redline wheels all around. Some late production castings are known with capped style wheels.

As Pablodragon noted below, early production run buttons from Hong Kong show a Green Rear Loader image that faces to the right on a blue background with the Side Loader casting version coming in purple casting image on a yellow background with orange and yellow surf boards. The Hong Kong Side Loader button versionss can be found with a darker high lighted purple casting image and a lighter all one color of purple casting image. Both of these versions have orange surfboards on both sides of the casting. All three have been found with only smooth tab designs.

The Elite Redline Guide (2010) shows a pink rear loading Beach Bomb with a yellow and orange surf board and a light white/cream interior on page 361.

There are 5 know Side Loader redesign prototypes. Three are bare metal bodies. One is blue and the other is painted Antifreeze. Each uses the Hong Kong base from the rear loader design. Another different blue prototype version is noted to be shown the 1969 International Collector's Catalogue, but this casting has not been found again. Additional information on other prototypes is mixed together with the Rear Loading Beach Bomb castings at the HW Proto site link below.

In 2000, a company named Brightvision created their own tooling molds and began producing a limited run of reproduction Rear Loader Beach Bombs. Mattel was able to stop this production (?) and reportedly obtained the molds for their own castings (?).

In 2002, a retooled casting was issued for the Hot Wheels Collectors Series as the Volkswagen Beach Bomb Too. This version did not have side windows.

In 2003/2004 a Chinese knock version of the Brightvision casting became available on the market and is still seen on occasion for sale as a Brightvision piece. Many of the base information words on this version are misspelled and both the body color and base plating is of poor quality.

Resource references -

The Elite Redline Guide (2010)

31,488 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I think you had also asked about this detail in another thread already, but this button is also one of the few buttons to feature non all caps lettering for the Volkswagen name. :cheers2:
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