I only have a few Hot Wheels BMWs in my collection, but dozens have gone through my hands over the past ten years. In the past few months, I've looked at the most interesting Toyota and Porsche castings from Mattel's portfolio, so I decided it's time to delve into Bavarian territory for this current story. There are 27 Hot Wheels BMW castings, and at least two more are coming in 2024. One will be part of the mainline series, while the other will debut in the Elite 64 one. For this list, I've excluded the two motorcycles, the K 1300 R and the R nineT Racer, as I'll focus only on the German brand's four-wheel representatives.
1. BMW M1
Mattel created 12 more iterations until 1996, and the casting seemingly disappeared. Two more designs surfaced years later, the first in 2012 and the last in 2016. The latter was part of the BMW Series alongside seven other vehicles, which I'll get to in a minute. Six M1 variations have Ultrahot wheels, which I'm a fan of. You'll probably enjoy the 2012 iteration that was part of "The Hot Ones" series, as it has a more modern look compared to the M1s that arrived in the '80s. Sporting a classic BMW livery, this one can sell for around $75 on eBay, and any hardcore fan of the brand probably has one in his collection.
2. BMW 323
The car had a simple black paint job this time, with M3 decals on the side. The rims were undersized, but they still did a decent job. The tan interior provided a nice bit of contrast to the casting, which is undoubtedly my favorite variation. The last 323 arrived in the 1993 Tattoo Machines series, and it was a weird one with the pink paint job covered in skulls and snakes. That may explain why Mattel named it Skull Rider instead of calling it what it was. Finding all six variations could be troublesome but not necessarily expensive.
3. BMW 850i
Mattel had a strange approach with the 850i, using the same colors but different wheels on new iterations. A complete collection requires 16 cars, most featuring blue paint jobs in different shades. The last iteration was part of the 2001 Final Run series: the Chrome 850i had wheels that resembled the modern Real Riders Exotics series without the rubber tires. Some sellers ask as much as $70 for one of these, but that's one of the most expensive variations. I'd opt for the 1999 release in Metallic Light Gold or the 2000 variation in Metallic Light Blue. But one thing is sure: Mattel needs a new 850CSi casting ASAP!
4. BMW 850i (Corgi version)
You'd only see that in the RLC or Elite 64 series these days, so it's certainly a big plus. This casting had a short lifespan between 1994 and 1997, but it was enough for Mattel to release seven variations. If you like flashy cars, you'll love the black FAO Schwarz Series III release with gold rims and a yellow interior! You can pay as much as $50 for it, even in loose form. That's much less than the white First Edition Auto City release, which still had Corgi wheels. This model can cost around $150 but can also be challenging to find.
5. BMW M3 (Corgi version)
That one had the same color scheme as the 850i: black on the outside and yellow on the inside! The FAO Schwarz Series III collection included 16 vehicles (reminds me of the Hot Wheels Sweet Sixteen), all of which were Corgi castings. I tracked one down, which is listed for $350, and it's a superb set, given it's now almost 30 years old. The third and final iteration of this M3 showed up in 1997 as part of the Racing series. It had a typical BMW Motorsports livery, using white, red, and blue to highlight the shape of the iconic Bimmer. The Wire Spoke wheels were still in their infancy then, and I am still looking for this iteration of the M3 for sale.
6. BMW M Roadster
You can still enjoy the 3-spoke wheels if you remove the livery and don't care about resale value. Hot Wheels even ran a Kit Kat version of the casting in 2000, but the final variations were the best. Neither featured Real Riders wheels, but the metal base is still a big plus. The 2001 and 2002 Bimmers featured a black interior, so it's up to you to decide whether you enjoy the Teal or the Metallic Light Gold one. At least you can rest assured that a complete collection of this casting has no chance of ruining you financially.
7. BMW 325i
It had a yellow finish with a red and purple livery, which was forgettable. But it looked good on Wire Spoke wheels and featured opening doors like its siblings. Buying one will require a bit of patience and some good search skills, but at least it's an affordable move.
8. '10 BMW M3
I imagine an M3 E92 GTS would do wonders in Car Culture or Boulevard, and I'm sure the people in El Segundo already have this idea sketched out somewhere. As for the '10 BMW M3, six of the seven iterations have used various 5-spoke wheel designs. The 2013 HW City: Street Power version is exciting because it uses a 10-spoke setup instead. The best part about this casting is that it could be a starting point for a custom-built Liberty Walk M3. You'll find several diecast artists going down this route, and watching the transformation process is inspiring.
9. BMW 2002
In 2015, the classic Bimmer finally received a metal base and rubber tires as part of the Hot Wheels Heritage: Real Riders series. One of these items can cost as much as $40 nowadays, but there are much cheaper options. Although using the same wheels, the 2018 Forza Motorsport iteration featured a more traditional BMW livery. Given the increased popularity, this model can sell for as much as $80. A similar Premium variation appeared in 2020, with Eibach decals instead of the Forza ones. If you're curious about the future, a Vintage Racing Club Series BMW 2002 will be sporting a new set of Cast 5-spoke wheels.
10. BMW M3 GT2
Of all the tiny Bimmers I owned previously, I've never been willing to let go of my 2016 variation of the M3 GT2, which was part of the BMW set that year. Even though the casting lost the plastic wing in 2020, the design is the same as it used to be. The last time we saw a new variation was in 2021 with the Walmart Exclusive Zamac Edition. But Mattel has never used this casting in the Premium series. Even more disturbing is that there is only one other E92 replica in the company's portfolio, but that might not be the case for long.
11. BMW Z4 M
In most cases, $40 will seal the deal for this collectible, so avoid comparing it to an ultra-rare, numbered RLC item. As for the other iterations, don't worry about them: they're all reasonably affordable. I'm a fan of the non-STH release of 2016, which is slightly better than its 2023 Forza counterpart. But I'm sure plenty of collectors would much rather go for the First Edition Z4 M.
12.'92 BMW M3
So it's no wonder you'll need at least $60,000 to buy one today. But if you want to get something special, price-wise, you're already in the 911 Turbo S territory. That popularity has transferred to the Hot Wheels domain, too, and you'll find several variations listed for over $100 on eBay. Jun Imai designed the casting, and it was off to a great start with the Premium Hot Wheels Racing: Road Racer series in 2012. Sitting on Gold Real Riders Exotic wheels, this item alone will cost around $150 if it's still in flawless shape.
But there are five more exclusive/rare variants to look for, including the 2021 Modern Classics iteration and the 2016 Euro Style "Polizei" Bimmer. We all know there's a big market for Supreme products, and a connection between this brand and Hot Wheels was imminent. While plenty of people yearn to own a Supreme-inspired BMW M3 from Hot Wheels, only a few are willing to pay as much as $800 for the special Team Transport set.
But it gets even worse if you check out the 2020 Jackboys Exclusive machine. There are only three around, and I saw one listed for $20,000 on eBay. At this point, you could build your own E30 drift car with a big V8 inside. At least, that's what I would do. Honestly, this casting has such a cult following that I might do a deep dive into it in a separate story soon.
13. BMW E36 M3 RaceBMW E36 M3 Race debuted in 2014 as part of the HW Race: Track Aces series. It was the second-ever E36 3-Series from Hot Wheels and the third-ever M3 casting after over 20 years. Rob Matthes designed this one, which might remind you of the '90s IMSA GT Series era. The first five variations of the E36 M3 Race used 10-spoke wheels, and younger collectors must have been appalled by the 2019 Throwback release. Paying tribute to a bygone era is understandable, but that old Black Wall wheel design won't work in the 21st century.
But Mattel made up for that mistake in 2020 with the launch of the Fast & Furious: Euro Fast set. That collectible featured a simple, black finish with Real Riders Aero rims. The stance is a little off, as is often the case with Hot Wheels products, but it's probably not as bad if you look at it from a few feet away. And the fact that you can buy it for less than $20 makes it all the better.
14. BMW M4M4 about the same time as BMW debuted the 1:1 car. Mattel has always been careful with planning new releases that way. Ryu Asada had been on the team for a few years when he designed this casting. It debuted in the 2015 HW City: Street Power series, featuring a Yas Marina Blue paint job, just like you would see on the actual car. Mattel kept the PR5 wheel design for the second iteration, switching to a Metalflake Vegas Gold for a new look. The whole thing worsened once the M4 moved on to TRAP5 wheels.
But it all returned to normal after two variations that failed to capture the audience's attention. There are no Premium variations of the M4, and we have only had one design coming out of El Segundo in the past five years. A car like this deserves a set of Real Riders wheels and a metal base, but there's no clue why Mattel has walked down this path all these years.
15.'73 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car
But there's an entire selection of ten other iterations for a complete collection of the 3.0 CSL. Since its 2016 debut, Mattel has released two Premium models and a Super Treasure Hunt alongside a series of Mainline vehicles. The Toy Fair edition can cost as much as $2,000, making the STH feel like an average purchase by comparison. But that's all part of being an avid Hot Wheels collector.
16. BMW M1 ProcarBMW M1 Procar for its 2017 Car Culture: Cars & Donuts debut. With four variations coming out of El Segundo, this is a Premium-exclusive casting! The design has evolved since the early days of Hot Wheels BMWs, and this is a replica of a more extreme version of the iconic M1. The 2018 Car Culture: Eurospeed model featured a Project Cars livery, and it's still strange to think that Electronic Arts canceled this franchise in 2022. While I loved the color combo, I am skeptical about the Modern Concave Real Riders wheels.
And the same goes for the 2019 Anti Social Social Club variation. Still, this latter variation is the most expensive, with prices going as high as $500. That's more than you'll pay for all the combined Hot Wheels M1 Procar versions on the market, so I'll leave it up to you to decide whether it's worth it. I think the latest Motul variation is excellent, thanks to the white and red color combo, but we'll have to wait and see if the upcoming Exotic Envy model is even better.
17.2016 BMW M2Hot Wheels Police cars, so I will only cover the basics today. With eight variations available on the market, only one is genuinely remarkable, as it's a Premium design.
But it doesn't come close to being as exciting as the M1 Procar or the M3 E30, even with a metal base and Real Riders wheels. At this point, Mattel would probably be better off releasing a 1/64th-scale replica of the G87 M2 rather than coming up with a new iteration of the first generation. But I can, of course, come up with at least ten more ideas for new Hot Wheels castings if someone asks me to.
18. BMW i8 Roadster
Both appeared this year, sitting on 10-spoke wheels. And the real question on everyone's mind is: why doesn't the diecast manufacturer develop a replica of the regular i8 instead? That's not a priority, and I'm sure other models are waiting in line before that. But still, a Premium or RLC i8 could generate more interest from collectors worldwide.
19. BMW M3 E46
I'd say this is on par with the 2022 BMW M Series Collector Set variation, which is the only one so far to use 6-spoke wheels instead of the 10-spoke design. But I feel that the best iterations of the M3 E46 are the 2021 Car Culture: Deutschland Design in Laguna Seca Blue and the 2022 Car Culture: Autostrasse model in Imola Red. One can only hope that the next time Mattel releases a new variation of this car, it will use Phoenix Yellow Metallic to make it pop. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the Mexico Convention M3 E46, as that could see a significant increase in market value in years to come.
20.2006 BMW M3
It can sell for well over $100, but that's not to say you can't find it for as low as $70. The M3 RLC returned the following year with a new Spectraflame Otto Blue finish and 6-spoke wheels. Mattel opted to build 30,000 units, which means more people had the chance to buy it, but it is more common than the First Edition model. Given its nice appearance, you'll see this variation going for as low as $55, which is quite a catch.
21.1991 BMW M3M3 to turn to. Brendon Vetuskey designed this one, too. It features opening doors and is arguably more exciting than its newer sibling. Thirty thousand units of the First Edition model left the factory in China for 2022, and Mattel couldn't have opted for a better color than Spectraflame Steel Blue.
The 1991 BMW M3 initially sold for $30 a piece but can now go up to $250. The second variation arrived in 2023, featuring a Spectraflame Red finish and a different set of wheels. But there is no word about how many of these Mattel made, affecting its market value. It's slightly cheaper than the first variation, in most cases at least, and can cost as little as $40 if you find the right source.
22.2001 BMW M5 E39BMW casting in 2022. Phil Riehlman designed it for its BMW M Series Collector Set debut, sharing the same packaging with the 2016 M2, the M3 E46, and the Fleet Flyer. It was exciting in the typical M livery and the Real Riders 5-Spoke Modern wheels. But the people at Mattel knew collectors would want a simpler variation, too. And the Car Culture: Canyon Warriors set made that happen earlier this year with a simple red paint job and black trims.
Still, if you want the rarest edition, look for the M5 Convention model, which surfaced in Los Angeles, California, in early October. If you go after it now, it will cost between $150 to $230, but I'm sure prices will only increase in coming years. It's not that it looks infinitely better than the previous iterations, but there are only 4,000 units to go around, and that's scarce by today's standards.
23. BMW 507
That's because the 507 graduated to the Super Treasure Hunt level for Mainline Case C of 2024, which I showed you more of just a few weeks ago. The only way the people in El Segundo can improve the design is to send it to Premium and find the correct livery. But I doubt it will ever be as popular as the E30 M3 or the E46 M3.
24.1991 BMW M5
Mark Jones designed this casting, and the First Edition model is part of the 2023 Fast & Furious Premium series. That means we might not see it in Mainline too soon, but then again, it would lose half of its charm there. Either way, it will be almost impossible for the diecast manufacturer to develop a better variation than this one.
25. BMW 320 Group 5Hot Wheels BMW castings we'll see this year. But rest assured, more of them are on their way in 2024. This Silhouette-racer has already attracted much attention despite not arriving in stores yet. It's only available as part of a 2-Pack set, but we'll surely see an individual release within the next 12 months.
I hope Mattel finds alternative liveries to avoid abusing the same old M-design that everyone knows. With all the recent releases, I get the feeling we'll be seeing a Group 5 exclusive set soon. I'm sure the motorsport community will quickly pre-order one if Mattel decides to make it happen.