One of those drop-the-mic type moments for Matchbox. They have these every once in awhile.
It probably isn’t fair to compare Hot Wheels and Matchbox Camaros. Actually, it is fair. They are both $1, and while the output from each might reflect the branding, I know which one I prefer.
Camaros and Hot Wheels just go together. There may not be a more hand-in-hand combo than those two. The ’67 Camaro is the most iconic of all Hot Wheels designs since the beginning, and there are far more years WITH a new Camaro casting than without.
But that long history of Camaros also means a strong connection to Hot Wheels staples – i.e. large rear wheels. The Hot Wheels Camaro castings from old to new have almost all had large rear wheels. It gives them that classic rake, but also means they become, from a design sense, a one-trick pony. They can look the same, and blend from one to the other. Think about all the versions we have seen of the latest generation Camaro, from the Concept to ZR1 to Special Edition to 2016 to who knows what others. And try to separate them.
Enter Matchbox. In 2017 Matchbox will release the first Camaro they have done in years, and the first of this current generation. Off-hand I think the last Camaro they created was the ’69 Z28, which was about 15 years ago.
And like that ’69 Camaro, Matchbox’s ’16 Camaro Convertible outshines blue’s output. This isn’t a commentary on design, because the talent level is high with both brands, it is just a comment on direction. Hot Wheels does a lot, mostly “tooned” because of the large rear wheels, and Matchbox does one, and does it perfectly.
The Matchbox Team was nice enough to send over an early sample of the casting for us to check out. This grey version with black wheels and blue interior is a prototype, and the release won’t look like this. In fact, the first version, due for release in the final batch of 2017, will be bright red with front and rear tampos. Yummy.
But the prototype does show how detailed this model will be. From the grill to headlight to tail lights, all the detail is there. I also like how the mirrors are part of the body instead of the window, which we have seen with previous convertible models. And yes, the standard rear wheels just balance this model out so much more.
I have a few Hot Wheels Camaros. The only HW Camaro that I completely pursue is the ’70 Camaro. Yeah, the one designed by a Matchbox guy with the same sized wheels on the front and back.
The Matchbox Camaros? I have all of the ’69 releases, and I will collect all of the ’16 releases as well. They are too good to pass.