One of these pink vans is, to this day, the most expensive Hot Wheels toy in the world. It’s actually a prototype: the final version of the Beach Bomb had the surfboards on the side and was built with heavier sides to prevent it from toppling over when kids were racing it. All prototypes (with the surfboards in the back) were offered to Mattel employees, Volkswagen says, and the two pink ones soon became the must-have for any collector.
They both ended up in the hands of Bruce Pascal, whose Hot Wheels collection includes over 3,000 cars and more than 4,000 Hot Wheels memorabilia. He kept the one in the best condition and sold the other to a friend and fellow collector, and he never revealed how much he originally paid for either. However, back in 2016, as you can see in the video below, he estimated his pink Beach Bomb was worth an estimated $150,000 – a figure that may have risen to well over $175,000 in the interim.
Today, this very expensive Hot Wheels car is part of and the centerpiece of Pascal’s personal museum, outside his Maryland home, where it’s kept in a dark plexiglass case to prevent damage from sun and dust. Occasionally, he lends it to automotive museums and event organizers because he says he wants people to feel the same kind of excitement he still feels, to this day, whenever he's inside his museum.
“I want other people to experience the Beach Bomb,” he says. “I've found so much joy in learning about classic cars and Hot Wheels, and I hope I can spark some of that in other people. It’s a treasure to find these rare models.”
A literal treasure, to be sure.