Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Hot Wheels Car Culture Round 5: Redliners Deliver!

It's crazy to think we're already at release 5 of the Hot Wheels Car Culture Line. After debuting with the Japan Historics mix, it was hard to believe Hot Wheels could keep the line going with the bar set so high. Yet, here we are with Redliners, still going strong.

I don't think Redliners is the best Car Culture mix to date, but it's definitely a phenomenal mix of 5 cars. The '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser may be the hottest casting in Hot Wheels-land right now (move over 510 Wagon) and it fittingly headlines the Redliners mix. The '69 Corvette racer gets its second release and first with a metal base. It's perfect in a licensed and realistic looking racing livery. The seemingly obligatory Magnus Walker release is the '70 Dodge Charger R/T in all-American red-white-and-blue. Rounding out the batch is a pair of ultra-clean American-muscle cars from 1968: The Mercury Cougar and COPO Camaro.

Redliners doesn't blow me away, but I don't have any complaints either. With a bias towards Euro/JDM in Car Culture thus far, we were due for some good 'ole American muscle. Hot Wheels presented a (nearly) all muscle mix while capitalizing on the recent 'gasser' trend. I do, however, fault Hot Wheels for being non-committal with this mix. Why not do 2 separate sets? One with more traditional, street-legal muscle cars like the '68 Cougar and another set with strictly racing/drag cars: The '55, the Vette and maybe a Nova and Cyclone gasser. The silver lining with Redliners is that it really showcases how well Hot Wheels can do clean diecast and busy, decorated miniatures. The ultra-busy Gasser is just as perfect as the squeaky clean '68 Cougar. Same with the Vette and Camaro.

How do I rank them? The Cougar wins for me. It's the first time we've seen a properly clean premium version of the casting and the rims, matte black accents and burnt orange finish make it a winner in my books. The '55 Gasser is second for me. I'm not big on busy decos, but this one breaks the mold. The gleaming chrome wheels don't hurt either. The Corvette casting is still growing on me, but in this livery and with these wheels, I'm impressed. The '68 Camaro is a fantastic casting, but it looks rather bland and I don't like the wheel choice. It's relegated to 4th for me. My least favorite in the set is the Charger. I know a lot of people enjoy it, but the casting is too big, the blown engine a little cheesy and the paint scheme doesn't look right. The colors are good, but the way they're presented? Not so much. I know I'll take some flack for my conclusions on the Charger, but hey, it's all subjective, right? Enjoy the photos!

Happy Collecting!!

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