I have been doing a lot of reporting from the Convention, and more is coming. Following the Finale on Saturday, I took a small corner of the ballroom and filmed a couple of showcases with some of the HW Design Team. I will be getting those up soon. There is a lot there I am really excited about.
But what about the presentation at the Finale? What little tidbits from the slide show made me smile? Let me give you my Top 5, counting down:
5. RLC Exclusive ’55 Bel Air Gasser
Shocker. I love the Bel Air Gasser. Love for the ’55 isn’t hype. It is universally loved. Honestly, there can’t be too many of them. Brendon Vetuskey’s casting itself is superb, and it is essentially a canvas for whatever crazy designs the Hot Wheels Team wants to come up with. It can be outlandish, like the Candy Striper, and super classy, like the 50th Anniversary Black & Gold Pair from the last two Conventions. And it can be what is pictured above. This one will be hard to beat. Spectraflame olive green, going full bomber. And the placement of the Mooneyes logo? Brilliant.
4. Car Culture Open Track R32 Skyline
2019 might be the year of the R32. The upgraded R32 makes its debut as a basic and a premium model this year, and come on, look at this. JDM has strangely become a bit polarizing among the social media set, but it appears to be those complaining are posting in between runs to Walmart to find the very models they are complaining about. The gaps keep getting filled, joining the plethora of muscle and classics already in the HW arsenal. A better R32 was imperative, and considering the number of castings from each generation of Mustang and Camaro that already exist, a couple of R32 is not a bad thing. And in HKS livery? If you are complaining about this, you are just a Debbie Downer. Any car person should be excited for this.
3. Team Transport BRE & JDM-L Sets
Yes, we are in BRE overkill mode. Brand after brand have gone BRE, and the Brock Racing Team hasn’t seen a licensing proposal they didn’t like. But saying all that, Hot Wheels HAD to do a BRE Team Transport set. It just made sense, especially from the brand that made BRE a diecast must. This is the fourth BRE model, and third 510, and it is time to put it to bed, especially with something as cool as this.
But the set for me? The Hakosuka set in JDM Legends livery. My Utah pals have had a well-deserved stellar couple of years, and this set is wonderful return for them to Hot Wheels. The red model also completes the Hako Racing trifecta from Hot Wheels. Green was the model’s basic debut, and blue in Japan Historics 1. And using that actual JDM Legends garage as the background of the art? Wonderful touch.
2. RLC Exclusives ’69 Chevy C10
I don’t know if you caught how amazing this model is in the sneaks presentation. If you didn’t, Designer Brendon Vetuksey explained it in a showcase video I shot with him that I will post later. It is mind-blowing. The truck can sit stock AND slammed. A way to adjust the height was developed and patented by Mattel, and it isn’t overstating to say it’s a game-changer. Moving parts are moving into the RLC in a big way, nothing more unique than this pickup. Maybe the must-have of 2019, and even without the suspension, a new C10 in RLC Spectraflame will be hugely popular.
1. Basics Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
An easy choice for my most-anticipated sneak of 2019. There is a lot more to learn about, but right now this will be very hard to top, at least for me. HW Designers Ryu & Dima mentioned that there was a bit of an internal battle on who would get to take this on, as the Z32 was a childhood favorite of many of the designers. Count me in that group too. When the Z32 debuted, I was in high school, and the first magazine ad I saw was promptly ripped out, framed, and hung on my wall. I was obsessed with it for years, and it is still a favorite. Hot Wheels did the Z back in the day, but it left a lot to be desired. Ultimately Dima took the job of designing it this time around and nailed it. Having had it in hand at the Convention, it does not disappoint.
My want list for Hot Wheels had two cars at the top. This was one.
If you missed the presentation, here it is again. What is your Top 5?