Hot Wheels mixed up their Z cars. Time to train your eye to find one.

While perusing Instagram the other day, I came across this post from @vw_diecast:


Our friend Steve came across two of the new-for-2018 Hot Wheels Custom Datsun 240Z, and they had two different tail lights.  My first inclination was Hot Wheels got clever, like Matchbox did last year with the Nissan Skyline.  Why wouldn’t they create two different tail light packages for the 240Z, one for Sun Kang’s FuguZ, and the other to replicate Jun Imai’s Kaido Z?  The casting was initially created to replicate the FuguZ, and as it moves into new phases, a la replicated Jun’s car, why not throw a little curve ball for collectors.  After all, a “Custom” 240Z could easily sport either stock or custom tail lights.

But, there is a more logical answer.  As can happen, there was a mixup in the Hot Wheels factory, and some custom 240z models for 2018 received the interior/tail light piece from the Fairlady Z casting.  Let me explain, for the non-nerds of the Lamley audience.

Mixups can happen.  A piece of one model, similar to a piece of another, gets assembled with the wrong model.  Could be the wrong interior, wrong window piece, or of course the wrong wheels.  And when those pieces are practically interchangeable, and those models were created and released about the same time, it can happen a lot.

For example, a few years ago Hot Wheels released a series of Mustangs that were very similar in size.  The castings got mixed up in the factory, and several releases were found with different bodies.  So the deco was the same, but some models had side mirrors and others didn’t.  (I wrote about it back in the day, but the post sadly didn’t survive.)

Well it has happened again with the 2018 Hot Wheels Custom 240Z.  Steve was nice enough to work out a trade of the round tail light Z he found, and the model arrived earlier this week.  I took photos.  So let’s figure out what happened.

First, the tail lights:

The top model is the standard release.  The bottom the error.  The tail light piece of both is attached to the interior.  If you look closely at the bottom model, the tail light piece doesn’t fit totally flush.  There is a slight gap.

Now side views.

Once again, the top model is the standard release.  You can see the bottom model has a large gap between the wheels and body, suggesting something isn’t fitting correctly.

Now to the front.

Top is standard, and it fits.  Bottom is looooong.

Lastly, the interior.

They are different.  You can see the front bumper differences as well.

So yes, the interior/front bumper/tail light piece from the Fairlady Z, which was released in the 2017 Q case (as the Super as well), and extended through the A case, was mixed in with the Custom 240Z casting in 2018.  It is an easy mixup, and definitely a cool one.

Especially because it mimics real life.  When Jun designed the Fairlady Z casting, he based it on his G-nose Z, complete with custom Skyline tail lights.  He has since changed the nose of the Z, and the Fairlady casting will reflect that when it is released in Japan Historics 2.  But this error fits in as well, as the 240Z essentially gets a custom job as well, switching its tail lights and interior.  I don’t typically go after errors, but as this one mimics real car culture in a way, I had to have it.  Thanks Steve for the trade.

2 Replies to “Hot Wheels mixed up their Z cars. Time to train your eye to find one.”

  1. OK, good. Thanks.

    Now where the heck is that big PDF listing? I’ve been waiting for the Cayman GT4 since, what, 2015? When’s that gonna come out? Is it even gonna come out?

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