We all go through evolutions as collectors. I hesitate to call them “phases”, but that might be an accurate term as well. But I’d like to think I get a bit more refined as time goes on.
When I first got into collecting, realizing how fun the cars I obsessed over as a kid could be a pleasure to collect as an adult, I felt like I had a direction. Basic $1 Hot Wheels and Matchbox. No premium, not even rubber tires.
I still love basic Hot Wheels and Matchbox, that is I think pretty obvious, but my collecting parameters have definitively stretched. I still try to create limits for space and sanity’s sake, but I like where I am. It would be fun to discuss all the phases I have gone through, from deciding to only collect Matchbox, to only Hot Wheels 510, to no rubber tires, to only First Editions of licensed models, and so on. I am sure many of you can list off your phases as well.
But the sweet spot for me is now, where I essentially add the models to my collection that grab my attention. There are a million brands and models that I truly appreciate, but it takes a lot for a model to join my collection. But there are three segments that always make it. Tomica Limited Vintage, Hot Wheels Car Culture, and Hot Wheels RLC models. I don’t want to miss those.
It wasn’t always like that for RLC, but the Red Line Club has become a must. When I first started collecting I had no interest, but I have evolved, and so frankly has the RLC. What was essentially a club for collectors who appreciated the nostalgia of Hot Wheels has become a showcase for the best that Hot Wheels can offer. A wide variety of castings done up as pieces of art.
Case in point is the new ‘41 Willys Gasser.
A new Hot Wheels Gasser casting will always be big news among the collecting nerds, but this one is such another level. The opening hood is the easiest evidence, but it is simple compared to all the other detail. The hood just needs to be out of the way to show off the next level details like the rivet detailing on the inside of the hood, the purple “burned” effect on the headers, and steering wheel and seat detailing inside.
That doesn’t even account for the amazing orange spectraflame, done so beautifully that the body almost seems encased in glass. Or the silhouette and stance of the casting. It really couldn’t be better. Brendon Vetuskey and Steve Vandervate killed it with this one.
This same approach has been taken with all RLC models this year. A variety of new castings, with opening parts and a shit ton of detail. From Chameleon Z’s to Scissor-door Lambos to stance-changing C10’s. I want all of them.