Grading Redline Hot Wheels
Vintage Redline Hot Wheels are a favorite and sometimes hard to find collector’s item. That is because while many can be found, few are in the type of condition that many collector’s have their eyes on. This is a natural regression in quality that comes with something that is no longer produced.
You are relying on something that has been out in the public for several decades. If it was purchased for its original intention – being a child’s toy to play with – than it certainly has it’s fair share of wear and tear.
So how do you determine the quality of a Redline Hot Wheels and what is the grading scale for them? First, let’s mention that not everybody is collecting for the some reason.
Some people may still be collecting just for the vintage toys themselves, and giving them to a child or new generation. Some may be collecting them just to be in possession of as many as possible from the collection, with disregard to quality.
However, the majority of people collecting Redline Hot Wheels will likely be looking for some sort of quality for their investment. As with anything else in life, the higher the quality of something, the more it will end up costing you.
Additionally, grading is subjective. All of the scales in the world still won’t allow for arguments over personal judgments when it comes to buying and selling.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get on to a scale that you can use for a guide whether you are buying or selling Redline Hot Wheels. In general scales either use a “mint” grading system, a number rating system, or some combination there of.
Starting with the best condition possible, mint, or 10, will be the highest quality. The toy is entirely intact and upon inspection there are no major visible flaws of any sort. Do not be fooled by packaging. Just because the car is in the original packaging does not mean that the car itself is mint.
Mint cars are hard to find, and following them on the scale comes 9 or what you may call pristine. Pristine cars are largely perfect except for one or two minor flaws. These could be small scratches or chips in the paint or slight discolorations. However, the wheels including the chrome and the red lines should be essentially unflawed.
Following pristine at number 8 will be near mint cars. These have a more noticeable flaw or several additional hard to spot flaws. At this point the wheels may be fading slightly or have lost some of their texture or paint.
Next on the list would be 7 or excellent to near mint condition. Usually scoring a 7/10 on something isn’t considered excellent, but in the world of collecting Redline Hot Wheels, perfect is extremely hard to come by.
The list continues with more defects piling up until you get to a 1 or a 0 signifying poor condition and low value. The main thing to remember is that people collect for different reasons and people grade the cars on a different system. Determine what is most important to you, budget or appearance; quantity or quality.
Also remember that the most important thing with a Redline Hot Wheels is the wheels themselves. Having perfect, shiny chrome on the wheels and intact, bright red lines outweighs minor scratches in the car’s surface.
So to recap, here are (in our opinion) the ranges and what they mean:
- MINT (m) C10 = As it came out of the package, not played with!
- NEAR MINT TO MINT (nm-m) C9 = Small pin-prick in the paint, slightly tarnished base, wheels or decal
- NEAR MINT (nm) C8 = Barely noticeable scratch, wear, or crooked decal
- EXCELLENT TO NEAR MINT (e-nm) C7 = More wear than above with possibly a more tarnished base
- EXCELLENT (e) C6 = Small scratches, discolorations in paint, slight wheel wears
- FINE (fn) C5 = Dark patches in paint (toning), tarnished base, scratches in paint
- VERY GOOD TO FINE (vg-fn) C4 = Missing patches of paint, very noticeable scratches
- VERY GOOD (vg) C3 = Heavy scratches and toning, very heavy tarnish on base
- GOOD TO VERY GOOD (g-vg) C2 = Missing minor parts, paint & cracked plastic windshield
- GOOD (g) C1 = Missing minor parts, major paint & badly scratched plastic windshield, repainted (nice)
- POOR (p) C0 = Missing major parts, paint & cracked plastic windshield, repainted. Just plain bad.