This is a neat little surprise.
When Batch E arrived from Wheel Collectors, I was much more focused on the slew of Porsches, the 180SX, and everything else but the new Mustang casting. I mean, how many more Mustang castings do we really need?
Plus, this new Mustang casting isn’t exactly easy on the eyes. It is based on this Mustang Hot Wheels did for SEMA:
|photo courtesy of Japanese Nostalgic Car|
It is racy and drifty and Mad Maxy, to be sure, and not really my cup of tea. Nonetheless, this inevitable Hot Wheels New Model was mixed in with the others of Batch E, and initially was badly overshadowed.
But then I had a gander. A once-over if you will. And darn if this isn’t a very interesting casting. It is still ugly, but what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in significance. It marks a very interesting possible direction for Hot Wheels.
A few months ago we featured the Hot Wheels X-Steam, a vehicular take on Steam Punk by Matchbox Designer Miguel Lopez. The model was cool, but what caught the attention of most of us was Miguel’s solution to the upsloped chin problem that has plagued many-a-track-ready-model of late. Miguel made the chin adjustable. It could lay flat and look cool, or be adjusted to an angle to accommodate the track.
At the time I didn’t know much about how it worked, but later learned that the chin was part of the interior of the model, therefore making it compliant to the standard 4-part rule. The upsloped chin has ruined the looks of so many models the last few years, and it seemed this solution was a good one. Thankfully, little birdies told me that more models would appear with the adjustable chin, and first of those is this Mustang.
This is such a nice development. I won’t argue with the fact that many of these cars need to be track-friendly, as that is a Hot Wheels signature. But when these models end up looking nothing like the real cars whey replicate, there is a problem. And that starts with the upsloped chin.
Clearly Hot Wheels acknowledges the problem, or the adjustable chin would never had shown up on this model. And they may have found a great solution. Whether or not this would have worked on models like the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 or Corvette C7.R is hard to tell, but it does mark a possible end of the ugly chin.
And on top of that, there are other little details, the most significant being that this car has headlights AND taillights, and neither side received any tampo passes. That is because the headlights and taillights are both part of the window piece:
We have seen plenty of models with headlights that are part of the window – the Porsche 993 in this batch among them – but I can’t think of any with the taillights as part. There could very well be some, but the fact that Hot Wheels released this new model that way could bode well for some future releases. Imagine a standard licensed Hot Wheels model with built in head and taillights, which would leave designers free to design what they wanted on the sides. It could make for some very cool future models.
So that is why the Mustang is the first model featured from Batch E. It is a brilliant model, designed and built so well, and maybe an indicator for some future trends. I guess I can handle this one last Mustang…