The VW Caddy surprised us all.
Call it what you want. Depending on where you live, it could be the Caddy Type 14 or the Rabbit Pickup. or the Mk1 Golf Pickup. Whatever it is, there was no way anyone could have predicted it would show up in the Hot Wheels lineup.
Last week we mentioned Felix Holst, who recently left his post as VP of Wheels at Mattel, and who before that ran the Matchbox brand. He mentioned to us how influential that time at Matchbox in the late 00’s has been influential on both Mattel brands even today. We figured the VW Caddy was a great example.
“It should have been a Matchbox!”
And it probably would have been a few years ago, albeit in a more stock form. But it is a Hot Wheels, and a great one at that. When the Caddy was first unveiled, a couple of things stood out. First, it was interesting to us that both the front and rear had full tampo treatments. That is not a Hot Wheels staple, but it used to be the norm at Matchbox. It definitely reminds us of that time.
Second, there was a skateboard in the bed. That also reminded us of Matchbox back in the 00’s. There were all kinds of hidden treasures in the molds, even some that you had to take the model apart to find.
Very Matchboxy, this Caddy. And there is a good reason. This model was actually designed by Felix Holst himself. We thought that was cool (he hasn’t designed much the last few years due to his position), so we asked him about it. He obliged:
So the caddy. Easy story really, my family has always been a vw family and I have had lots of golfs and a Passat (dasher in the US, first car, still miss it) my dad, at some point bought a GTI caddy and that thing was just mental….. Lighter than a hatch back and just as powerful. Looked like a farm truck. When the chance came up to do a euro style Hotwheels model one of the guys, Ryu I think, had put up a picture of a heavily modded caddy and it just made all these memories come flooding back. I wanted to keep it simple and understated but also be bang on trend so the fat arches were a no brainer, it’s designed so you can run it with the next diameter down for wheels so it looks a little more old school. Always loved cars with center exit exhausts and I figured that putting a sunroof in it would let me expose the caged interior. I wanted to blend classy euro custom with aggressive circuit inspired canyon carver…
The skate board is in there because I was a skater in the UK when my dad had his truck. I always pushed the guys in Matchbox to add details like that to add value to the little brand and kinda had to put something in there… It’s all about story telling and the delight of discovery. These things are the things kids remember for the rest of their lives….. I always made it my mission to leave that little bit extra in every model for them…..I also wanted to put something cool and culturally relevant in the bed. The only real compromise on the model is the brace across the bed below the rear window. I put that in there to disguise the extra material needed to keep the body strong at this point…. It allowed me to keep the step under that caddy bulkheads have…. All the same I would have preferred to put it across the shock towers. That’s it, possibly my last design for a while but I’m trying to convince the team to let me do some more. It’s very difficult to find the time when you’re the guy in charge and so I have done relatively few models myself….. Far fewer than I’d like to.
How about that? No need for us to comment. We will just say that we hope Felix can get his hands on a few more designs with his newfound freedom. We have a feeling the results will put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.
By the way, a little background on these models we enjoy is a treat, right? Don’t think we don’t have a long list of models that we will be asking Felix about, especially some of those classics from Matchbox. Any stories we plan on passing on to our readers through features here. Should be a blast.
Hot Wheels VW Caddy (2015 New Models):