2018 is loaded. It should be. Hot Wheels is celebrating its 50th, so expect goodies ‘a plenty.
But 50th or not, the evolution of Hot Wheels continues. JDM and Euro castings have emerged in a big way, and the direction of premium releases is as collector-friendly as ever.
And that just doesn’t go with castings. Real Riders have evolved in a huge way. Car Culture is loaded with new Real Riders, and they are starting to appear elsewhere as well. Let’s have a look at the Real Riders that have debuted solely in Car Culture:
It started with nostalgic Japanese-inspired 4-spoke barrels with stretched tires, then to the Euro-style lace wheels, then small 4-spokes, and finally the Aero wheels. Each one of these filled a much-needed gap in Hot Wheels’ Real Rider arsenal.
Still, most Hot Wheels Real Riders still cater more to classic vehicles than current cars. Sure, the lace RR wheels are current, but work on a very specific type of car. The Aero wheels hearken more to the 80’s and 90’s than today. There are several wheels that work on current cars, but there is a lot of room for more.
Until now it seemed many current sports cars needed to settle on Real Riders. The gold Acura NSX Super TH is a great example. The deep 5-spoke Real Riders just don’t work.
Enter the newest Real Rider wheel, and what a gap it fills. Hot Wheels previewed it on the current Entertainment Nissan Skyline R34 at the convention, and allowed me to take some photos. It doesn’t mean we will see it on that model later, it is just a good model to showcase it. I have no idea the name of these wheels, but to me they look loosely based on Volk TE37 wheels.
And they are fantastic. Not too deep, with modern rims for a whole slew of models. The list of current castings that could handle these is endless, and it opens up the possibility for a ton of other new castings. S15 maybe?
I have no idea what model will sport these first, but I can’t wait to see.
And that takes us to the second new Real Rider of 2018, also coming soon. And, for the first time, the wheel is actually licensed. This is the new fifteen52 off-road wheel, being showcased at the convention on a current model as well, the new Land Rover Defender:
Again, I don’t know where this one will debut (I’ve heard rumors, and oh my), but it is coming. Hot Wheels has entered into a licensing agreement with fifteen52, and that means models sporting the logo, and most importantly, licensed Real Riders. We will see these off-road wheels first, followed by the fifteen52 Outlaw 001 (think Porsche and Magnus Walker) later. Once again, current wheels for current cars.
More and more to look forward to. 2018 is going to be a stellar year.