Leave it to a Matchbox designer to solve one of Hot Wheels’ most annoying problems…

It’s been the year of the up-sloped chin.

Yes, we have been pretty vocal about it, but to be honest, we aren’t jumping off any cliffs in anguish.  It is what it is, and Hot Wheels on the track is about as signature as it gets.

But there is also no doubt that the licensed cars that do get the chin suffer from a bad case of the uglies.  There are some exceptions, like the Mastretta and BMW E36 (the rest of the casting makes up for the front), but models like the C7.R Vette and Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had quite a run-in with the proverbial ugly stick.

That is why we have been very interested in the recently released Hot Wheels X-Steam.  Non-licensed, wonderfully steam punk, but that damn chin!

Why do we keep doing this!  Another upsl…wait, what?

Well I’ll be.  Look at that.  You sneaky little chin.  It seems you can move.

And it can.  The X-Steam was designed by Miguel Lopez, who spends most of his day designing for Matchbox, including many of the realistic gems like the Foxbody Police Mustang, Ghee-O Rescue, and the upcoming Porsche Cayman S.

Occasionally the folks from either the orange or blue brands cross the hallway and design for the other.  That is the case with Miguel, who took his steam punk car idea and gave it some good looks and make it track ready.  All it took was an adjustable chin.  Problem solved:

So now that Miguel has provided the solution, does that now mean when we look at the 2016 lineup and see a race version of a car we like, we can rest assured that it will now have an adjustable chin?


The problem is the X-Steam (incidentally named by Miguel’s cousin), breaks the standard 4-part rule.  Chassis, interior, body, windows (not including the wheels).  There are no windows on the X-Steam, but the gold steam engine piece takes their place.  The adjustable chin is a 5th.  That means an adjustable chin is mostly not going to show up on the next GT car, unless Mattel can figure out a way to keep it within their cost parameters.  Here is hoping they can.

One way or the other, a great design, and another clever idea from one of Mattel’s very talented designers…

21 Replies to “Leave it to a Matchbox designer to solve one of Hot Wheels’ most annoying problems…”

  1. Solves the problem on any fantasy car but when it comes to reality based vehicles it would likely look too toy-like and spoiler heavy. The bette imagined like this would be a perfect example.

  2. Hi Mark. Yeah, I hadn't added labels to this post when I first did it, and when I went back to the article yesterday to research my post on the new HW Mustang, I added a couple of labels to help me find it again. For some reason that moved it to the top. Not a horrible thing I hope.

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