Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hot Wheels Heritage: Designed with the Collector in Mind

Ever since Mattel announced the new Hot Wheels Heritage Series 8 months ago, we've eagerly awaited its debut. Well, the Heritage Line is here and it doesn't disappoint. Designed as a replacement for the Cool Classics lineup, the Heritage Series features 6-car mixes, alternating between redline and Real Riders cases. The first case has been hitting the pegs across North America and features 6 Real Rider-shod vehicles. The next case will feature 6 cars with plastic, redline wheels. The vehicles are all metal base/metal body combos and the cars come on thick card stock. Sweet.

Today we look at 2 of our favorites from the first wave. We feel these 2 deserve the full treatment!

Datsun Bluebird 510

Pretty well anything bearing the Bluebird moniker is hot and hyped in the die cast collecting world these days. We've been slow to jump on that trend, but after seeing this Bluebird up close, we couldn't resist picking it up. Even though it is a 4 dollar release, this might be nicer than some of the past BRE releases in our book. Blasphemy you say? No. The red hubbed multi-spoked wheels are absolutely perfect on this release, and the big, fat Real Riders are perfect for what is obviously intended as a race-car look. The stance is low and mean, with the wheel-wells barely able to contain the fat swaths of rubber beneath them. The red and black tampo scheme isn't muted, but it's not gaudy either. The sponsorship logos fit the presentation perfectly, with Good Year, Champion and Datsun logos on the sides. Heck, it even rolls well despite those huge tires. Go get one if you can find it…and crack 'er open!

Hare Splitter

The Caddy MK1 was our most anticipated mainline of 2015, and this Hare Splitter was our most anticipated retail-level adult collectable of the year. We clearly love MK1 VW's. This model delivers. Maybe the most underrated piece from the first wave, this model is an unsung hero. We love the tampos. They're something different. Kind of an artistic striping. The dark green deco really contrasts perfectly with the lime green base color. Then you get a roof rack with lots of detail, tools and wrenches are moulded into the back window of the interior, and the left turn signals are on the side of the fender like the early German-made Rabbits.

The only recent release of this model was in the Flying Customs Series. It was great to see it come back as it hadn't been used since the 80's, but we were still waiting on a real riders version with a clean street-style deco. And here it is. The wheels really make the package. Those 5 slot real riders are very slick and look perfect on this model. Let's see this wheel more often, Mattel. Another interesting note about the wheels: they are narrow! Something collectors, us included, have raved about on Auto World and Greenlight releases is the narrow wheels that are actually to scale compared to the fat Real Riders Mattel insists on sticking on every model. We like fat wheels on actual race cars, like the Datsun above, but we applaud mattel on the Hare Splitter's Wheel size.

Now let's see a HWC/RLC level Hare Splitter. Hey, we can dream right?

Stay Tuned!