Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gran Turismo: The Hot Wheels Entertainment Line at its Best!

It's hard not to like the Hot Wheels Entertainment line. (Formerly, Retro Entertainment) The obvious feature of cars in the series is the 'film reel' blister pack design that allows the packages to sit flatly on a shelf for easy display. If you're anything like me, I'm guessing your diecast display is somewhere between makeshift and non-existent. With the Entertainment cars, that problem is resolved. Just line 'em up on a shelf, and 'presto' you've got a nice display. Secondly, the card art is great. It's movie specific and often quite unique. Last, but not least, the castings are beyond cool. Batman's Tumbler? It's there. The Homer? Check. Pretty much every James Bond car ever? You got it.

With great packaging, casting choice and card art, what's there to complain about? Execution? Nope. Metal/metal, real riders and fitting decos ensure there are no issues with execution. As it often goes, however, people find things to complain about. With the Entertainment line, collectors (myself included) have two main complaints: First, Mattel re-issues 'hot castings' over and over and over again. How many BTTF Time Machine DeLoreans does one need? Second, there hasn't seemed to be a theme in the mixes. When there are multiple cars from the same movie/show/video game, they're spread over multiple case codes.

Don't give up on the Entertainment line just yet, though. Mattel has addressed both the concerns I've mentioned. The casting repetition has let up in the last two Entertainment mixes and both of the two most recent mixes have been themed. This time, it's the Gran Turismo video game series. In the coming weeks I'll feature the next video game-themed Entertainment set, Forza. These themed sets are great. They make me feel like I'm buying a set instead of a collection of random cars.

So how does the whole themed thing work? Pretty darn well. The Grand Turismo set is a smash hit. Every model works. The GT-R is the hottest car in the batch. The deco is a little busy for me, but it's overall well executed. And it's a GT-R, which carries a lot of clout these days. The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision is a winner too. It's fun to get a concept car in the mix once in awhile and the clean deco is refreshing in an otherwise busy set. The Lamborghini shines in bright yellow and the deco really works on it. Another win. The surprise of the set, and the unsung hero is the Corvette C7-R. The C7-R was initially maligned for its upturned chin, but the clever folks at Mattel eliminated the upturned chin when they cast a metal base. The result is a beautiful racing car in gleaming red.

Ultimately, though, the big winner of the set is the Ford GT-LM. I don't care how much you love JDM or love the Godzilla, the Ford wins. It's model of the year calibre. The casting's lines are perfect and the black color scheme accentuates its meanness. The fat, slick Real Riders with Good Year tampo work complete the piece. Check that, they make the car. It's a winner. As @petes_diecast on Instagram said, this thing is better than a Super. And I agree. If that's not a plain endorsement, I don't know what is. Enjoy!!

Happy Collecting!!

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