Lamley Poll: Would you pay more for Hot Wheels Car Culture if it meant more front & rear decos and other premium treatments?

Just last week I mentioned that I thought Hot Wheels Car Culture was well on its way to being one of the best – if not THE best – lines Hot Wheels has ever done.

Hot Wheels has figured out a perfect collector-aimed line.  5 assortments a year, with 5 models each, with each assortment highlighting a different element of automotive cultures.  The number of directions each assortment can take is endless, and there will always be a something for everyone.  And it appears I am not alone in thinking this is one of the best things Hot Wheels has done.  Car Culture has sold much better than previous lines, and it has generated a ton of excitement among collectors.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its flaws.  The most common complaint I have heard from collectors – and one I completely agree with – is the lack of front and rear tampos on many of the models.  While the models do get the premium treatment in many ways – diecast chassis, Real Riders – the decos still follow what is done for basic.  Two, maybe three, tampo passes.  That generally means if there is side deco, there won’t be front and rear deco, and vice versa.  And that is most certainly a bummer.

This Mazda RX-3 from Japan Historics is a great example:

This was a tremendous debut for the RX-3.  It marked the debut of the fantastic new 4-spoke Real Riders, and it looked great in its Advan racing livery over purple.  But one of the signatures of the RX-3 is the front grill and elongated tail lights.  Because the RX-3 had the side tampo prints, the cool front and rear did not:

The model still looked nice, but HOW much nicer would it have been with the front and rear detailing?

So why, on a premium model, did this model not get that detailing?  Cost.  Mattel priced the models in a way they thought would sell ($3.99) in the US, and to do that they couldn’t apply premium deco methods like 4-sided prints or deco wraps.  So we see many “incomplete” Car Culture models, like the RX-3 and Fiat 500:

So now compare the Hot Wheels Entertainment Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint:

This was easily one of the most exciting debuts last year, and it benefitted from being part of the Forza assortment in HW Entertainment, a full premium series.  Two-tone paint, and deco on ALL sides, including the fantastic stripe down the front grill.  And it makes me somewhat sad that the upcoming Car Culture release of the Alfa will most likely not have the front and rear detailing.

But this one looks amazing.  And the Alfa sold well, even at its much higher price point of $5.50.  That price allows for all the premium elements, including full tampo prints AND a bigger blister card, which allows for larger models to be used when needed.  This Ford GT from Entertainment Gran Turismo is another example:

So that got me to thinking: WHAT IF Hot Wheels raised the price of Car Culture to allow for a more complete premium treatment like Hot Wheels Entertainment and Pop Culture?

Knowing Mattel does see this goofy blog occasionally, I thought I would ask, and see what you think.  My guess is raising the price to something like $5.50 would mean complete decos and larger cards, bringing more model variety.

But that also means a full two dollars more, and maybe most of you are fine without the complete deco, as long as it means you buy more with the cheaper price.

I go back and forth, but I want to see what you think.  So, a poll:

Would you pay more for HW Car Culture if it meant more deco and model variety?

Be sure to vote here, and leave your comments below.  I think it is a valid question, and one that might spark discussion at Mattel.  I want Car Culture to stick around for awhile.

65 Replies to “Lamley Poll: Would you pay more for Hot Wheels Car Culture if it meant more front & rear decos and other premium treatments?”

  1. NO. We're already paying more than 4 times the price of a normal mainline and all we're getting are RRs and on some models a metal base. But Mattel is forgetting the most important bit: full 4 sided tampos. If you're gonna make a collector-aimed line, at least make sure the models are up to par. Many of the models in Car Culture don't deserve to be in the line and sell for such a high price (ex – Golf Mk7).

  2. In my area, when the Real Riders/Redlines premiums were rolling out, those were getting snatched up & there weren't many left hanging around for any great length of time. None to be seen now. I like the Car Culture series a lot, premium (for Hot Wheels) models & specific card art – very nice. So far, around here, for whatever reasons, they've been relatively easily found, eventually, if not upon their immediate release. Since I now see some of them hanging around for some time after release and long after the bulk of anyone collecting has any/all they might want – I have to conclude a price increase would only lead to more pegwarming (ie, less sales). What's bad for #'s sold is bad for the series, and I'd rather see more sold so they keep the series going. Even if personally I would be willing to pay moderately more for more detail, etc., I voted no based on what I'm observing as the market reality in my area.

  3. No, $5+ for a car with Hot Wheels scaling and detailing. It would get into the same thing as RLC cars: being sold on their “collectibility” rather than the actual model. For $20 I'd rather have a kyosho or TLV or a few auto worlds than one nicely-finished but ultimately undetailed basic Hot Wheels

    Same thing applies to Car Culture. Auto World for the same price would just be ridiculous.

  4. I haven't read all the comments but vote is no. The reason is that we already pay a lot more for the cars than standard Mainlines and I think detailed tampos should already be included in the price. Having said that I think it's been a great series so far and as I am from the UK I probably pay more for them than USA collectors.

  5. I vote for the slight price increase if it means a more complete model. As a customizer, the lack of front and rear tampo dont really bother me as it is very easy to fill those in. The main problem it think is availability. No matter how beautiful a model is, it wouldnt matter if we cant get a hold of them. I propose mattel set up an online ordering/preordering process in order for us to get ahold of models we really like, and for them to eliminate or reduce waste of manufacturing models the sells less. This should also reduce some models being outofstock to those that ordered. I would GLADLY pay way more if i get models this way

  6. This I can get behind. Like the Mercedes Evo coming. Front and rear deco.
    I don't mind a trim line or something like that, too, if it could be done with front/rear details. Though I think cost is more for the number of passes in the machine than deco itself.

  7. I agree, air-cooled is just sitting and sitting. The VW's were a bad choice. I hope this doesn't start the downfall because there are some seriously amazing models coming, and they just teased Japan Historics series 2 on instagram. So it must continue on.

  8. I don't get all the gripping about the cost. Some spend more than that on their daily cup of Starbucks. I collect for my enjoyment and even open every model I buy. For me it's about the hunt and how fun it is getting that one model you been looking for. That's worth way more that $4.00

  9. I am all for front and rear tampo treatments. I would even be willing to pay a very modest price increase for them, but not much more. As others have suggested, too much of a hike in price may slow sales of the line to the point where it is killed off. A better idea is to keep the price where it is and eliminate the side tampos in favor of front and rear hits. Some of the racing graphics are cool and add appeal, but for the most part I feel they are unnecessary.

  10. this is a tough one, because 3.50-5 dollars for some of the ones they have already made and they do not even have the basics, like headlights and tail lights. Then you see well done mainlines, like the Fiat 500 that has taillights, headlights,foglights, side markers, front and rear logos, a grill, and door handles , side badges, and that shit was $1? so why no tail lights on the rx3? there needs to be a standard when they reach the 350 level, before they even raise the price.

  11. This. It's not only sloppy tampo application. If you really “play” with the cars, take them out of their box, maybe carry one to work for a week even if always wrapped into something soft and cozy, you'll soon notice how tampos tend to wear off. Only the “chrome” wheels are much worse regarding durability.

    I mostly start removing the chrome from wheels first. Clean black wheels look better than damaged chrome ones.

    So obviously I would not pay more for more cheap tampos. I would love to pay more for stuff like doors or even better: Wheels made from softer plastics as done 1990 and earlier and with working suspension. This I'd love.

    And btw, since someone else mentioned it, here in Germany where I live, normal Hot Wheels and Matchbox are about 1,70 Euro a piece. This currently is about 1,85 American Dollar. This is pretty cheap and I'd love to pay more, but not for tampo crazyness a la Hot Wheels. No no no.

    So I mostly stick to buy older Matchbox from eBay for 10 Euros a piece. Which is okay for me. Since Kids nowadays seem not to play with die casts any more, maybe Mattel should ditch this overboaring tampo stuff altogether and make better cars like they did 30 years ago.

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