2016 Hot Wheels ’70 Ford Escort RS1600: I might need to rethink my 2015 Best HW New Model selection…

Yes I can get caught up in the moment.  On one hand, the frenzy of excitement for the Nissan 180SX last year was hard to ignore, and maybe that swayed me too much.  On the other hand, I could be caught up in the moment again looking at how cool the Escort RS1600 really is.

I chose the 180SX as my Best New Model of 2015 last year, and put the Escort second.  I guess I will stand by it.  But now that I am a little removed from the frenzy, I still love the 180SX, and am thrilled with the choice of casting, as well as the flawless execution.  But the Escort.  I think the Escort is just a tad better.

Sure, some of you can say execution could have been better, because the Escort is sporting a dreaded chrome interior.  And I will give you that, even though chrome interiors don’t bother me in the least, especially since they allow for chrome bumpers.  Other than that both models were put together flawlessly.

And, to be honest, both are kind of out-of-left-field selections for Hot Wheels.  The 180SX doesn’t get made five years ago, but a change in the car culture landscape took care of that.  And yes, the Escort gets a massive push from the Fast & Furious franchise, but they had to think the Escort was cool to select it for the movie in the first place.

The Escort is a rally car from the UK, and one that looks comfortable alongside a classic Lotus, as well as a classic Datsun, or a classic Fiat, or Alfa, or BMW, or you-name-it.

And that is why the Ford has taken the top spot with me.  The 180SX jumps into a crowded pool, full of Skylines and Celicas and Z’s, and then works to make room for an RX3.  The Escort?  Give me a BMW 2002 and E30 M3, raise me the Escort, and then the upcoming BMW CSL, then an Alfa Junior, and you have the next big Hot Wheels scene.  Maybe an Abarth next?  Think Euro.  Think rally.  Oh, it gets exciting.  And isn’t even including the Porsches.

And this new Escort just gets me even more excited.  Nothing beats the First Editions in their stock decos, but this version with vintage-looking Castrol livery is great.  And the white 5-spokes are a great touch.

Ultimately, the 180SX and Escort are great indicators of why being a collector of both Mattel brands is so fun right now.  All you have to do is look at my desk.  Cadillac Wagons alongside Subaru Police Cars alongside Jeep Willys alongside Porsche 356As alongside Chevy Chevelles alongside Porsche 993s alongside IROC Camaros alongside Acura Integras alongside Ford Escorts.  Win.

12 Replies to “2016 Hot Wheels ’70 Ford Escort RS1600: I might need to rethink my 2015 Best HW New Model selection…”

  1. To be honest, the VW Caddy is a better model than the 180SX. It's got charm by the ship-load, something the Nissan only has in about 4 buckets.

    Heck, it's damning the McLaren P1 didn't get to the Top 3. The cast is so good, it looks like McLaren themselves made it.

    I agree with you on your observations with the Escort. And to add, the race decos on this one didn't sully the model, but accentuated it. Gives the look of a real Escort RS1.6k that sports such a livery.

  2. I remember taking one of these apart for the first time and being amazed at how it's put together. It's truly a great car and was definitely overshadowed in 2015. This latest one may be my favorite of the bunch.

  3. The chrome interior and weird lights (should have been part of the body) held this one back. I agree with the poster above who nominated the Caddy…honestly, I think people kinda forgot about since it was released in the beginning of the year, people were bored of it.

  4. I might love the red version best, I think..
    People who comment in a negative way must realize that both Hot Wheels and Matchbox are doing so well these days. There is always a better model or a less executed one. But who cares, overall these days there is so much choise and the quality is better then ever. I love the Nissans, VWs, BMWs, Teslas, Alfas and I want them all. My biggest favoured model is the Ford Supervan. BUT THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE IN HOLLAND! So I don't have it. So you guys don't be negative cause you have a choice, I don't.

  5. The Escort is one of my favourite Hot Wheels castings, the blue version is about as close to die-cast perfection for the price. I have compared the late 60's casting by Corgi to the hot wheels model on my site, and I think that Mattel have really pulled out the stops with this one. I hope they have a good look at other European rally cars of the period.

  6. This is my feeling.

    After admiring the lines on my 180SX, I still think that car is a little sexier. The WV Caddy is cool, but I came to a personal conclusion that it just wasn't my thing.

    But I will admit, the Escort is a sweet little thing. Yeah, the chrome interior is a bummer, but if you're willing to take yours out of the package, then drill it apart, it ain't nothing a little paint won't fix.

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