Friday, 30 September 2016
Better in Orange: Mattel's Tesla Model S Castings
Better in orange? I mean Matchbox, Mattel's orange brand, did a better job than Hot Wheels, their blue brand, on the Tesla Model S casting. The Matchbox version benefits from heightened realism, better lines, proportions, details and the lack of a silly spoiler on the back. The Hot Wheels Tesla Model S, isn't awful, but it's not pretty either.
Compare the Hot Wheels and Matchbox side-by-side in the photos below. The Matchbox sits a little taller, but a proper tall. Length is proper on both models, but the Hot Wheels has a goofy spoiler on the back. Moth models look fine from the side (minus the spoiler), but the Matchbox rims are far better than the PR5's. Both castings get similar detailing on the back, but the Matchbox just looks way more realistic. The trim and taillights look like they're actually the right size on the Matchbox. Where it really gets disastrous for Hot Wheels is the front end. The Hot Wheels gets a mild dose of the dreadful upturned chin, which gives the front end a really scrunched in look. The grille is a lot bigger on the Matchbox. Perhaps the only aspect of the Hot Wheels casting I prefer is the slope of the hood. The Matchbox hood seems to slope steeply halfway down the hood whereas the Hot Wheels is a more gradual curve.
Matchbox wins. Hot Wheels loses. But the the Hot Wheels casting isn't a loser. If I could only keep one, it'd be the Matchbox, but I enjoy the Hot Wheels casting too. My biggest beef with the Hot Wheels is not that it's less realistic than the Matchbox, because sometimes Hot Wheels should be less realistic than Matchbox, it's that the lack of realism serves no purpose. (Except the chin helps on the track) When Matchbox does the civilian version and Hot Wheels the race car, it's great! When Matchbox does a stock pickup truck and and Hot Wheels lowers it or jacks it up, it makes sense. Same goes for muscle cars with blown engines. You get the idea. Here, though, there seems to be no real explanation for the Hot Wheels casting being less accurately proportioned and detailed. Oh, one more thing. The Hot Wheels looks best in dark colors like navy and charcoal...