Hot commodity

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photo by Joshua Krob

Julian Reyes-Rogachevsky holds up 4 of his newer boxed hot wheels standing in front of his showcases containing the majority of his most prized cars.

He owns Ferraris, Ford GTs, Porsches and Nissans, all without a license and for about $1 per car. Sophomore Julian Reyes-Rogachevsky is a diecast vehicle collector, collecting everything from Tonka to Matchbox, but focusing on Hot Wheels. 

Reyes-Rogachevsky has amassed over 500 diecast vehicles, storing the majority in large bins and the rest in a showcase and on his bookcase. He focused mostly on real vehicle models from the early 1980s to now, specifically Ford GTs, Porsches and aircraft as well as vehicles with gulf tampos or designs. 

“I collect all the cars that actually exist in real life. Very rarely do I collect a [fantasy] car that is specially made [designed] by Mattel, because I like to collect and look at the ins and outs of vehicles I see on the road,” Reyes-Rogachevsky said.

Reyes-Rogachevsky has been buying diecast vehicles for over nine years, following on the coattails of his fathers’ collection of micromachines. He started his collection in Fairfax, Virginia, buying at grocery stores such as Target and Harris Teeter. While after his move to Florida he may have spent less work collecting through grocery stores he still looks for them whenever convenient.

“I used to [look] quite a lot, and I still do, but I don’t actively go look out for them. Now. If we go to the grocery store, I always go to the Hot Wheels section to see if there’s anything interesting,” Reyes-Rogachevsky said

Some impressive vehicles he has gathered include two prototypes, multiple treasure hunts, soups such as his golden Dodge Viper and other rare, special vehicles, including more than 10 Ferraris that have been discontinued since 2014, creating a large collector following for an already attractive brand of vehicle. 

“[My rarest car is] a golden super treasure hunt Dodge Viper 2013 I believe, it was one I bought at a NASCAR race” Reyes-Rogachevsky said.

His collection is made up of many very collectible vehicles that have increased more than tenfold from their original price of around $1. Prototypes themselves can go for anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the vehicle’s brand, year and other factors. 

I have a fair few rare cars. So [my collection is] probably [worth] a couple thousand considering a few of them,” Reyes-Rogachevsky said.

Reyes-Rogachevsky loves to admire his many cars, leaving many in their blister or loose in his showcase. 

“I really like the detail and how beautiful they are,” Reyes-Rogachevsky said.

Upon moving to Florida he looked more into dealers of antique Hot Wheels to find older staples to his collection, the way he was able to find many of his rarest cars.

“Down at Daytona they hold that race I’d love to go every year if possible,” Reyes-Rogachevsky said. “A lot of sellers have all sorts of rare and old Hot Wheels cars and Mattel cars that they have there at the stands. So always make sure to check in there to see if they have anything interesting.”

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