The Lamley Awards: Your Choice for 2012 Hot Wheels Best Premium Model…

Just three more categories to go.  Next week look for Best and Worst Treasure Hunts in 2012, and that Model of the Year we keep talking about.

Today we focus on your favorite of the top-of-the-line Hot Wheels, and top of the line they were.  I know it is just my opinion, but these premium lines just get better and better.  There are more real rider wheels, there is a larger variety of vehicles, including a lot more European and Japanese cars, as well as some great obscure choices.  (Although nothing beats the BRAT in the Hot Ones line.)

So we had collectors all over the place take a look at the Boulevard, Nostalgia, and Racing lines, and decide on their favorites.  Here is what you came up with:

#1 – Hot Wheels Racing ’92 BMW M3:

I have to say, this one was not a surprise.  It is possible that if this model was released earlier in the year, and was not so hard to find for some collectors, it may not have ranked so high.  But any model that a lot of people want, and can’t get, will always make its way to the top of collector’s want lists.  Thankfully, prices are now a little more reasonable, so more collectors should be able to get one before they dry up.

But beside its elusiveness, there is another factor it has really going for it.  Yes, it is a BMW, and the rekindled Mattel/BMW relationship is producing some great stuff.  But that is not it.  It is the fact that it is a car from the 1990’s.  Is it time to start looking at 90’s cars as nostalgic?  Should I start hoping for a Hot Wheels redo on the Nissan 300ZX, which they didn’t get right the first time?  Should I start calling my CD collection vintage?  (Wait, I don’t have a CD collection.  I converted it all to digital files five years ago and sold the CD’s.  Oops.)

Nonetheless, the BMW is fantastic, and we already know it has made its way to the mainline in 2013.  It should be a hit.  A well-deserved choice for Best Premium Model

#2 – Hot Wheels Racing ’83 Chevy Silverado:

While the BMW was a pretty obvious choice, this one wasn’t.  I did not expect it to rank so high, especially compared with some of the Boulevard models that were released.  But when you consider the low-riding Silverado has always been a popular casting, and this one is the first version modified as an off-roader, it starts to make sense. 

The wheels look fantastic on this one, as is the design.  And although not nearly as hard-to-find as the BMW, it was part of the Off-Road segment, which was not widely distributed.

#3 – Hot Wheels Boulevard AMC Rebel Machine:

Welcome, Boulevard series, to the Top 5.  I am not an AMC expert, so off to google I went when this one came out.  Clearly there are a lot more collectors who know about this one, and were very happy with it, because it ended up being the highest-ranked Boulevard model.

#4 – Hot Wheels Boulevard ’77 Pontiac Firebird:

Another no-brainer.  The ’77 Firebird debuted in the Modern Classic line a few years ago, but truly made a splash in the Boulevard line.  There is no way this model will ever look better.

#5 – Hot Wheels Boulevard Vector W8 Twinturbo:

Lookie there!  Another car from the 1990’s!  Hmmmmm….

This trend continues.  It looks like collectors are ready for more 80’s and 90’s cars.  I think Mattel is listening, and the next couple of years should be very interesting… 

There is the Top 5, as chosen by the collectors, and the Lamley Group agrees with those choices, with one major exception.  When the Lamley Group was considering its choice for best premium model, it came down to two – the ’92 BMW M3 and the Greenwood Corvette, both from the Road Racing segment in the Racing Series.

We ultimately went with the ’76 Greenwood Corvette as our choice.  Why?  Because it is freakin’ awesome that is why!  Completely over the top.  Based on a real car.  Monstrous.  Just plain unforgettable.

I have absolutely no connection to the real car.  I am also not much of a Corvette fan (although that seems to be changing).  Add to that I love BMW’s, and the ’92 M3 comes from one of my favorite BMW eras.  It is completely illogical, but then again so is the Greenwood Vette.  I will totally enjoy collecting this casting, and it will be making its way to the basic range in 2013, so we are in luck.

So while we agree with the Reader’s Top 5, we will add this one as our favorite…

Hot Wheels Racing ’76 Greenwood Corvette:

Our two top choices together:

4 Replies to “The Lamley Awards: Your Choice for 2012 Hot Wheels Best Premium Model…”

  1. '90s “nostalgia,” YES. '90s being the Vector's time? NO. Vector appeared on the cover of Car and Driver's Dec. 1980 issue, and it was a years-old design even then. The company may have made their 12 cars or whatever it was in the '90s, but the style itself is firmly late '70s.

    I wonder what it is about the Corvette that doesn't move you–I'll guess the gold-chains-and-chest-hair image mixed with its relative ubiquity on American roads plays a part. (I bet there are as many people in Japan who feel about Corvettes as there are Americans who go gaga for GTR Skylines…) For me, Corvettes are part of the landscape. That said, I immensely respect that it has always been what it once was: a front-engined, rear-drive, two-seat sports car designed to be a halo car for what was once the largest car builder on Earth, chock full of ever-improving mechanical capabilities. They've also amassed quite a history in the racing world–of which Greenwood's Spirit of '76 is just a piece. I'm hot to find one of these Corvettes myself.

  2. A bit surprised by the W8, but the rest of the top 5 doesn't surprise me at all!

    Definitely a varied top 5.


  3. I love the Vector as a choice…it's exactly the car I was drooling over when I was younger. It was a must have for me.

  4. Personally, the Vector never was my cup of tea, real or replica, but I guess it looks decent in hot Wheels form. On the other hand, the Firebird, Corvette, and the Rebel are badass. And I absolutely adore that Bimmer. So nice.

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