Sunday, 12 February 2017

Psycho Psyclone at a Psycho Price: The Hot Wheels Gasser Craze...

The Gasser craze is alive and well. Move over JDM, gassers are the flavor of the month. The '55 Chevy Gasser was always hot, then the '66 Super Nova skyrocketed in price. Today, it's the Brendon Vetuskey-designed '65 Mercury Comet Cyclone that's all the rage.

So what in Hades is a gasser anyways? Before funny cars, there were gassers. Take a 1950's or 1960's American hot rod, lift up the front end and throw in a beam axle and a bigger engine. You've got quicker acceleration thanks to the weight-transfer benefits of the higher front end. Other gasser characteristics are funny colored windows and stripped down, lightweight bodies using fiberglass.

With the 2013 debut of the '55 Chevy Gasser, Hot Wheels collectors started taking notice of 1/64 scale gassers. When the '55 Chevy was superized in 2014, it took off in price and the RLC 'Candy Striper' drove prices to the astronomical range. Collectors started turning to more economical Gassers. Cyclones and Novas. Then the RLC 'Super Nova' shot up in price like a Super Nova. I had a chance to buy one on an RLC Black Friday sale in 2014. I passed, but after languishing in the shop awhile, it sold out and suddenly started selling on eBay for $100 USD. Now it's up in the $200 range. Safe to say I've been kicking myself ever since passing it up.

They say everyone makes mistakes, but it's the successful people who learn from those mistakes. I didn't learn from mine. Just a few months back, in October, a friend of mine (Graham Heeps) referred me to a local guy who was selling off his collection. I went by the guy's shop and saw the RLC Selections '65 Mercury Comet Cyclone. It was a sharp looking piece and I thought 'maybe this is the next Super Nova'. The guy wanted $30 or $40 bucks for it and I was tight on cash at the time, so I passed it up. I didn't have a crystal ball, so why speculate?

You can imagine my horror when one sold on eBay for over $200 USD in January. Ahh well. That's the thing about Hot Wheels prices. I've learned to collect what I like and ignore the price. For every '65 Comet Cyclone that skyrockets in price there's a collector sitting on 200 green Datsun 620s waiting for the price to rise. So, yeah, I'm kicking myself for passing up the RLC Super Nova and Comet Cyclone while they were available cheap, but I console myself with my Hot Wheels Garage Series '65 Mercury Comet Cyclone. They don't call it a psycho psyclone for nothing; prices are skyrocketing on this one suddenly. If you're not feeling flush enough to run out and buy one at a rapidly rising price, enjoy the photos instead!

Happy Collecting!!

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