Car Culture is Hot Wheels standard-blister premium line that picks up where Boulevard and Heritage left off. The line debuted with a 5 car mix of everything Japan. If you haven't heard of Japan Historics you probably live under a diecast-proof rock. Assortment 2 featured 5 Euro Style models. Euro Style didn't quite measure up to the high bar set by Japan Historics. The Fiat 500 was a rather 'meh' casting choice given the bevy of possiblities, the '92 BMW livery isn't accurate to the era, and the Porsches and VW glaringly lacked taillights. Small complaints, but complaints nonetheless.
Here we are with mix 3: simply dubbed 'Trucks.' Trucks has set Car Culture back on track and upholds the high hopes Japan Historics gave us for the line. The details on each model are spot on, the card artwork is phenomenal and the casting choices present excellent variety. Trucks just feels right. Japan Historics may be a little 'better', but I think that's partly unique casting choice and partly everyone's JDM fixation. Based on quality and execution, however, Trucks are right up there with Japan Historics. Let's go through each model one-by-one.
My least favorite of the bunch is easily the Chevy Silverado. This casting gets a ton of love but it's not my thing. The scale is off on it. It's too wide and chunky compared to other Hot Wheels pickups. I can deal with the scale being off, as it's rarely on with Hot Wheels, but I'm also not a fan of the lowered look. I liked this casting better when it was jacked-up for the Heritage line. The bike in the back is fun, but being plastic, I can do without it. The yellow color is also better suited for a Corvette, Ferrari or Renault than a Chevy Truck.
Next comes that Datsun 620 and the Ford Ranchero. They're tied in 3rd/4th place for me. Hold up? The Datsun? 4th place? Yup. This set is so good that the Datsun is outshone by at least 2 other models. It's well executed. I love the tampo work. It's busy, but the color contrasts and metallic blue accents are welcome. Moon discs aren't my favorite but they really work here.
The Ford Ranchero. Perhaps the most underrated of all Car Culture releases thus far and I understand why. When I first saw the card art, I expected the Ranchero to be the dud of the bunch. It's anything but. The metallic red paint on it is absolutely beautiful and it's got the cleanest deco of the bunch. The Ranchero insignia on the side is fitting and the hood stripe adds to the mix. I'm a fan.
Second place for me is the Subaru Brat. I'm willing to bet it's numero uno for a lot of folks. It's good. I mean really good. The zamac finish (or lack of finish) is surprisingly refreshing and gives the Brat its first properly clean release. The logos work is accurate and fitting. The wheel choice and meaty real riders also work well.
The winner for me is the Ford F-250. The 2-tone blue paint scheme is so realistic and fits the era. Metallic blue and creamy blue work perfectly together. The roof rack and ladder setup is plastic, but it really works on this casting. The big, bold 'FORD' lettering on the tailgate is one of the best features of this set. The F-250 is just right. It's everything a truck should be. A workhorse, clean, beautiful, vintage and big. I like it. A lot.
Enjoy the photos!