Friday, 21 October 2016

In a Star-Studded 2017 'A' Case, the '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser Shines Brightest...

It's Thanksgiving in Canada as I write this post. Thanksgiving in the US is still another month and a bit away and the first Hot Wheels mix of 2017 has already seen wide distribution. Some hobby dealers are already on the 'B' case. Wow. How time flies.

The 2017 'A' case of Hot Wheels mainlines is stacked. We're seeing a welcome return to 'Pop Culture' mainline releases. 2014 and early 2015 seemed were a heyday for Hollywood-type mainline releases. While I'm a real car guy first and foremost, I dig the pop-culture mainline releases. At only $1, they're often more realistic than the $5 Pop Culture and Retro cars and you get added value via licensing.

While the licensing and movie/video game accuracy are great, the best thing about 'screen time' type cars are that they're plain old cool. The 'A' case for 2017 sees Dom's Fast 'n Furious Charger with working shocks, the USNC Warthog from the video game series 'Halo' and the KITT Knight Rider. I picked up all 3. The KITT is the best of the bunch given its clean look, interior tampos and license plate.

Alongside the KITT, the '55 Chevy Chevy Bel Air Gasser and the Regular Treasure Hunt Winning Formula contend as winners in the case. Okay, I know you may not be as impressed with the TH as I am, but let me explain. First, it gets matte black paint. When is matte black paint ever not cool? Second, it gets the 'Hot Wheels' ghost lettering that's shown up on a bunch of cars over the past couple years, including the Nitro Doorslammer and modern Camaros. I've always thought this deco style was cool, but this is the first time I've picked it up. It's the successor to the classic 'Hot Wheels Race Team Deco'. I enjoy it. Finally, while a fantasy casting, the Winning Formula looks rather close to a real F1 car. Given the difficulties of obtaining licensing from Formula 1 teams in a constantly shifting sport, I'll take the fantasy model for a buck.

As great as the KITT and Winning Formula are, the '55 Bel Air Gasser is the true standout. Everyone seems to be a Gasser fan on some level, including me. I'm not ga-ga over the casting to the point that I'll pony up for the Candy Striper or the Super, but if it shows up for $5 or in the mainline, you better bet I'll be picking it up. The Heritage release was a dud for me as was the orange 'Heat Fleet' release in last year's mainline. But this year's 'Flames' release is fantastic. Matte magenta paint and decos on every corner are something you don't see too often in the mainline anymore. It's got detail and pop and wins the 'A' case for me.

I'd love to hear what your favorite 'A' case model is and why in the comments below. Enjoy!

Happy Collecting!!

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