What a nice night last night. I haven’t been to a ton of Hot Wheels Conventions, but I have been to enough to learn that the Thursday night dinner is a must. Whether it is Nationals in the spring or the Convention in the fall, put it on your calendar.
There are several reasons why. First and foremost, it is a truly nice event. All the wheeling and dealing that drives any Hot Wheels Convention stops for a couple of hours, and folks get gussied up and have a nice dinner.
Second, it is a time to honor someone who has had a major impact on the Hot Wheels brand, usually a Designer. Tonight that person was Alton Takeyasu, who has been with Mattel for 26 years and counting.
Alton walked us through not only his career, but his Hot Wheels life, from his first Hot Wheels, a gold Deora, to his time at the Art Center in Pasadena – a common aspect of many Hot Wheels Design stories – to working at Kenner and finally Mattel. It truly is a joy to not only better understand that backstories of those that create the Hot Wheels so many of us love, but to see the passion that makes these models so lovable.
Oh, and the last reason to go? The model. Every dinner has an honoree, and every honoree will have a Hot Wheels made in his or her honor that is given to attendees. At Alton’s dinner? An absolutely stunning Datsun 240Z replicating his own 1:1 car.
And when I say stunning, I really mean it. This model is mind-blowingly beautiful. Simple and clean. I will get on the hyperbole train with this one. It elicits a reaction when you first see it. It elicits an even greater reaction when you open it.
The Hot Wheels Datsun 240Z was first released in 2006. We have seen all kinds of releases, from two RLC – including one coming soon – to a Super TH and other premium versions, but this Convention release will never be topped. I feel pretty safe saying that. A white Z is iconic. If I had to pick an ideal Z, it would be in this color and this style, and I am not alone in that at all. Alton clearly feels that way too. Add to it that, instead of a large Convention logo on the hood or roof, which would badly and tragically take away from the look of this model, there is a subtle reference to the convention on the rear spoiler.
I have been collecting awhile, and doing this blog for a few years now as helped me develop a good idea of what models will separate themselves from all others. Think Candy Striper Gasser, BRE 510, Toy Fair Porsche, 510 Wagon Super. You picture those models in your head as soon as you read that last sentence. You have an opinion on them. This Z will join them. I have no idea what it will be dubbed – The Alton Z, the Dinner Z, the white Z, whatever – but it will be one of those. It’s an all-timer.
And while secondary market value is hard to predict, this one might truly go the route of the Candy Striper, BRE 510, and the other models mentioned. It isn’t about hype, it is about looks, and it will get better with age.
Here is the last challenge though. If you have it, open it. I promise you will be happy you did.