The Hot Wheels RLC Selections Texas Drive ‘Em is evidence that persevering is finally paying off.

Hot Wheels Texas Drive ‘Em on eBay

The title of this post may not make sense to a lot of you.  But if you are a 2014 (or 2015, or 2016, or 2017, or whatever) Redline Club member, you know exactly what I am talking about.

I honestly don’t know what “member year” we are still in.  Technically this might be 2016 because memberships were extended, but then again I think this all started in 2014.  I can’t remember.  Maybe one day I will pull someone from Mattel Marketing aside to tell the story of the debacle that has been the RLC the last few years, but it is too soon.  I might need to have the paramedics on hand.  It hasn’t been fun, whether you have been a member, a Mattel employee dealing with it, or a newer collector who would just like to join sometime.

But I think the nightmare is coming to an end.  Not because someone said it was, but because the evidence is mounting.  Sales are starting to happen with a certain frequency, and those models are arriving looking spectacular.  The days of the mirrorized spectraflame are done, and the classic premium spectraflame is back.

And more importantly, models promised a long time ago are arriving.  The Rewards SuperNova Gasser was sent out a few weeks ago, and now the Selections Texas Drive ‘Em has arrived.  As soon as those Membership Gassers are here, I think we can shut the door entirely and move on.

So the fact that the TDE is my hands makes me happy enough, but what makes me even more joyful is how it looks.  I don’t know if I can say anything this late was worth the wait, but this comes as close as any.  This Texas Drive ‘Em I would say is the best TDE release so far.  And you will only know it if you see it in person.

First, a little background for those who don’t know what the Selections Model is.  Each year RLC members get to essentially design a model themselves.  A tournament of sorts is held.  First, members choose from a selection of castings, then color, wheels, and some of the deco are decided by vote.  As soon as the model’s design is finished, members can reserve the model, and Mattel makes as many as are offered.  It is truly a member exclusive.  That was TDE last year, or the year before – I forget – and now it is out.  9000 were made.

The Selections process for 2017 was done a few weeks ago, with a purple SuperNova Gasser being selected.  We should see the finished design soon, with the chance to order after that.

Back to the TDE.  It is an early 70’s Ford Pickup, and as I have stated before, probably my favorite of the classic Hot Wheels pickup castings.  So for me to call a particular release my favorite, it has to look good.  And this one really does.  At first it just looks black, but it actually is two-toned, with a black chrome top complimenting the black bottom half.  Add the simple red stripe, the embossed “Ford” on the hood, and you have a gem.  One that has to be opened:

The TDE is a hard model to collect.  Many releases are exclusive to conventions and other events, so you have to be willing to fork over a pretty penny for one.  But it is worth it.  I doubt I will ever have all of them, but I am happy with what I have so far:

But I would say, if you can only have one, decide between the first RLC release in blue, or this one.  This one might be the best bet, because there are enough on eBay now to keep the price down.  That may not always be the case, so pounce.  It is worth it.

5 Replies to “The Hot Wheels RLC Selections Texas Drive ‘Em is evidence that persevering is finally paying off.”

  1. For those that don’t know, the real issues for HWC/RLC started around 2010. 2009 was the last year of the big number production vehicles. As sales started to stagnate, production numbers went down. Biggest thing to keep in mind is that the hand polished chrome plated (HP Chrome) cars are outsourced and NOT made in-house. So as production numbers started going down, the plant that was making these would make HW less of a priority. That is when the series cars started to get the backorder issues. Production numbers kept dwindling, and the backorder time kept increasing and increasing. It got so bad that at any given time, we had NUMEROUS cars on backorder. So for the 2013 series year (Series 12), HW developed a new process of getting the spectraflame look (called “mirrorized”) but doing it in-house. This was done to alleviate the backorder problem and to cut costs. Some felt that finish wasn’t as clean as the hand polished cars, some didn’t mind it. But they were indeed cheaper, prices going down to $10 instead of $16 that they were (or $20 for special releases). Unfortunately the delay in the switch over caused the Series 12 cars to get pushed to the second half of the year, and every one that came up for order was a backorder. At the same time, they were having quality issues with the mirrorized, and this caused delay after delay after delay. Series 13 started in 2014 membership year, but again delays in production forced HW to extend the membership through 2015. After all the delays, quality issues were still abound. The two biggest offenders in the quality game were the 2014 sElections AMC AMX, which had to be redone several times to get it right, with almost 2 years between initial order and ship date, and the Gulf ’67 Camaro in 2015 which had a TON of quality problems that made it out of the factory, making collectors FURIOUS and demanding they get their money back (on top of those costing $20 a piece, instead of $10 like the initial 4 Gulf cars). So for 2016, they decided to go back to the original hand polished process, outsourcing the cars. And again, with the factory change over, there were issues and things had to be pushed out AGAIN. At least this time, the quality issues, so far, has mostly been quite minimal (so far, only the sElections TDE, 4 spoilers special editions, and Series 14 ’67 Camaro, VW Bus and ’72 Torino). Time will tell if the quality issues truly have been addressed, especially when the 2016 RLC membership ’55 Chevy Gassers finally show up.

  2. Technically, it's a Holiday Rods release, not Holiday Hot Rods.
    And there's 2 colors. Though the red one had a wheel variation as well…

  3. I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to acquire all of the Texas Drive Em's shown, among a few others. My mind absolutely lives when looking at these just-about-perfect models!

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