Call it reverse Lamley Hype.
When Hot Wheels dropped the Koenigsegg Agera as part of a Need for Speed set in the Entertainment line, I was not impressed. I complained that the proportions were off, the model looked scrunched, and most importantly, the wheels were awful. And honestly, I thought most readers at the time would agree with me.
But you didn’t. While some agreed with parts of what I said, many of you called me out for being too harsh, and asked me to reconsider the amazing fact that Hot Wheels actually made a Koenigsegg, and all things considered did it pretty well. At first I was defiant, but the evidence was mounting that I was definitely in the minority.
Over time appreciation for the Koenigsegg grew, as evidenced by its skyrocketing eBay prices, and I finally started to reconsider my opinion. That began by digging my examples out of a bin of loose cars buried in my storage unit. (Yes, I had two Koenigseggs wasting away in a bin in of extras.) Once I found them, it was obvious that my opinion had changed.
There is a lot to like about the casting. I have learned more over time about the tremendous task it is to shrink a car down to 1/64, and how the proportions do have to be played with a bit, and that gives me a new appreciation for the Agera. Hot Wheels is limited in its wheel sizes, and supercars like the Agera and some McLarens that have a slight size difference between the front and rear wheels present a unique challenge: jump to the large rear wheels or keep all the wheels the same size. Either way something will look a little off. Go all the same and the rear can look a little saggy, jump to large rears and the car can look totally raked. Maybe Hot Wheels will do another Koenigsegg in the future with the same size wheels, and maybe it will work, but the jump on the Agera to large rears is actually not as bad as I initially thought.
It started with a softening, and has grown to a full-brown appreciation. The Need for Speed Koenigsegg has gone from a loose bin graveyard to Lamley Office wall display glory. A comeback story for the ages.
Except I still hate the wheels. HATE THEM. And after succumbing to the models good looks, I realize that the wheels played a huge role in my dislike of the model in general. The weird 6-spoke wagon wheels have been ugly since they were first created, and barely work on any models that have sat on them. But sadly, at the time I guess that was the closest thing Hot Wheels had to actual Agera wheels. And that was where the problem really was. Hot Wheels really hasn’t had good modern low profile Real Riders for sports and supercars.
That has thankfully changed. Hot Wheels Real Riders have made enormous strides in the last few years, especially in the modern car fare. The TE37-inspired 6-spokes have been the most welcome, and there are two more – a 5-spoke and 10-spoke – coming. Jimmy Liu from Hot Wheels marketing gave a 5-spoke sneak peek on an R34 wheel swap:
The 10-spokes can be seen in this preview from last year’s Convention, just fast forward to about 6 minutes in:
Basically, these three new Real Riders open up a ton of premium possibilities for future sports and supercars in the Hot Wheels world, and the long-awaited return of the Koenigsegg to the new Boulevard line is blissful proof.
Sure, the TE37 wheels aren’t exactly what you would normally see on a Koenigsegg, but just the fact that the rims are well-proportioned to low profile tires changes the look almost entirely.
Sure, it is still a little scrunched, but this new Boulevard version looks so much better, and allows for more appreciation, that I even like the red version better. I am stoked to have both, plus a variation of the red.
You folks took to the Koenigsegg a lot faster than I did, but now I am fully in on the hype. The Boulevard Agera has become one of the most highly anticipated models of the year, and of all the questions I get, no model has been asked about more. It is almost here – I think, considering the circumstances – and it will be gobbled up. And it deserves to be.
7 Replies to “The value of wheels: The welcome rebirth of the Hot Wheels Koenigsegg Agera”
It’s peek not peak. As for the wheels, the back wheel equates to a 40″ wheel, why do the designers spoil a good casting with these stupid larger back wheels on all the nice models, they’re fine on the generic ones for the kids, but as a collector they infuriate me.
Sorry John, you’ve let yourself be brainwashed. This is a hideous casting and that’s all there is to it. A change in wheels hasn’t fixed that (though they do look marginally better). I’m flabbergasted that the desirability of the debut model has gone through the roof. Yes, I do have one, but only because I really WANT to like it but haven’t been able to. If it weren’t loose I’d have sold it and taken some poor idiot’s money, laughing all the way to the bank.
I actually really like this casting. It’s not far from true 1:64. In real life, the car is slightly shorter in length than a Honda Civic. The body proportions look about right. I’m mixed on the rear wheels, but any wheel Mattel produces is going to look somewhat large on it. The new wheels are a very welcome change, and the new paint scheme livens it up a bit.
The actual casting is great but the large rear wheels ruin everything and no matter which wheels they put on this, it’s still ugly. Large rear wheels work on muscle cars but on exotics (with the exception of the Veyron) they simply don’t work. Period. Also, I may be in the minority but I prefer the original red version. The white one may have extra details but I still think the red one looks better overall.
Like they did with the newly announced NSX, they need to redesign this casting with same size wheels if they want us to take this model seriously.
To be fair, we have a laundry list of castings that need significant re-tools, but then we’ve written most of them off as unsalvageable anyway so why would Dream Team bother remastering, say, the Corvette C7.R (the premium one is still bad)? A blog post like this might just change their mind.
The only reason why this casting was hyped up was everyone thought it’s a one-and-done, hence the skyrocketing value of the red. Give it time, and when this casting is released more often, prices will either stabilize or crash back down to more logical levels.
OK, we’ve blathered about this casting enough. Let’s get on to something bigger: the potential that at any point within the next three years (four given any potential halt in design and production now), we’re getting an all-new Koenigsegg. We know they can pick between the One:1, Jesko, Regera, and a potential retool of that Agera R into the Agera RS. Question is: will it still be limited to collector lines and price ranges? Because I don’t think it should. Not with the Bugatti Chiron and Mclaren Speedtail assured as mainline staples. It may debut in a premium mix, but it’s got to be on the regular blue card, too. Maybe release it as a $uper?