Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, Hot Wheels Fast & Furious castings are here to stay. From mainlines to premium series, 5-packs to the newest boxed set, we have gotten more cars from the Fast & Furious series than any other Hollywood franchise out there — and that’s not a bad thing. Mattel continues to make good use of the F&F licensing and have given us fans some of the most iconic cars from the series….and some that were a little less noticeable. You might not recognize this latest set of Fast & Furious cars, but they just might be some of the coolest releases yet. Introducing the Fast & Furious Spy Racers series.
The Fast & Furious Spy Racers (FFSR) is a Netflix-exclusive animated series staring Tony Toretto, Dominic Toretto’s cousin, and his car the Ion Motors Thresher. He’s accompanied by a few car driving buddies: Echo and her wild Hyperfin, and Cisco in his Rally Baja Crawler. They work together to stop SH1FT3R, an organized crime group that is trying to take over the world. One member of SH1FT3R’s team, Layla, drives the street-race ready Astana Hotto. The cartoon is pretty good and each episode has very similar story lines to several of the movie plots (stopping a train, underground tunnel chase to join a criminal team, etc), albeit more kid friendly versions.
If you ever saw an episode of the 2000’s Fox animated series NASCAR Racers, you’ll feel right at home with FFSR. The show is definitely aimed at kids, but I found myself wanting each of the main character cars almost immediately after watching the first episode…so you could imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this 4-car set on eBay recently.
I haven’t seen this set in stores so I don’t know if it’s a store exclusive or not, or what the price point will be. I assume they’ll either be in the basics+ price range of $1.24, or be closer to the Wal-Mart exclusive Stars & Stripes/Muscle Car series at $2.14. Either way the four cars in this set are well worth the price as they all come with a very pleasant surprise: moving parts!
As you’ve probably already noticed, this set is comprised of the four main character’s cars. We’ll start by looking at the radical Hyperfin casting driven by character Echo.
The Hyperfin is a sleek, low-slung race car for the street. It has a cockpit style design with a front end that looks like a combination of F1 and Ferrari Enzo parts. As I was taking the photos I also noticed that it looked like a racing jet boat from head-on, so that very well might be where the “fin” part of the name comes from.
The rearend has an open-wheels design that holds some very beefy rear tires. On the show the car wears light orange tires, but the bright orange fits the casting and deco very well, so no complaints here.
All the cars come equipped with a moving part of some sort and Hyperfin has one of the coolest: a set of fold-out wings.
Little plastic wings fold out from each side of the car, turning it into an even more aggressive looking machine. I really like how the Hyperfin looks with the wings out — very Speed Racer looking.
The next car in the lineup is the Astana Hotto. The Hotto is driven by one of the “bad guys” of the show, Layla. She is basically the main antagonist to lead star Tony, and is the source of most of his grief. Much like the Ion Motors Thresher that Tony drives, the Hotto is a car I could see existing in real-life. It’s definitely got a tarmac rally car type look to it.
It’s low, has a huge rear spoiler, scoops and ducting all around, and a set of four large trail lights up front. I could definitely see this being a Hot Wheels fantasy casting even without input from the show.
The body lines are very reminiscent of an early Datsun Z car and the simple paint scheme reminds me of a factory heritage package of some sort (think Championship Edition Porsche 924). The gold lace wheels look great on it too – I am really digging this casting.
While I really like this casting, the action was one of the harder ones to make function. It has a movable series of what I assume to be weapons or mines of some sort (I haven’t seen them used on the show yet) that can be adjusted to each side of the car.
Despite being a tougher one to make function, the action held in place well. In fact all of the actions seem to be quite solid and feel like they would hold up to a lot of play time abuse.
I really like this casting and will be picking up more of them once they hit stores.
The third vehicle is the sole off-roader of the bunch. The Baja Rally Crawler carries driver Cisco and his tech loving, drone-piloting sidekick Frostee. Together they use muscle and technology to take down the bad guys.
Their truck is covered in a satin black, stealth bomber type paint job with bright green accents. It has a little camo action on the door too because, truck. It also looks like a combination of a Hot Wheels fantasy casting and a real-life custom truck….but I assume that’s was the point!
The Baja’s action is an extendable battering ram bumper that pulls out from the front of the truck.
The action works well and when closed it tucks up so nicely against the rest of the car that you can hardly tell it pulls out. Nicely done, Hot Wheels!
The fourth and final car of the set is my favorite, the Ion Motors Thresher. You may have seen a post on this before as it has been released as part of the 2020 mainline series, but this version is even cooler as it adds moving parts to the already killer casting.
Since I already covered this casting minus the moving parts, we’ll focus on the action part of the car. The car has a switch on the bottom of the chassis that when moved forward, pushes a set of machine guns out from in back of the grille. Very Corgi James Bond-ish.
The action works smoothly and is probably one of the coolest actions I’ve seen on a Hot Wheels in some time. I really, really like this version of the Thresher.
There are a few differences in the mainline casting and the moving parts model outside of the actual moving part. The mainline has smoked windows and hood scoop, along with a detailed interior. The action model has black windows and scoop, and lacks an interior. The exhaust pipes on both models are different in that the moving parts car has them built into the action, meaning they go in/out with the action. The missing interior is more than made up for with the moving part, in my opinion at least.
While there are a few differences in the casting the weight between them didn’t change: they both weighed in at 1.2 ounces.
Even if you’re not a F&F fan, or if fantasy castings aren’t really your thing, I would still recommend picking up a Thresher as it is just a badass looking car executed perfectly by the Hot Wheels team. Props to the animators and designers of the Spy Racers series in general as they did an amazing job designing all the cars on the show.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a 10 year old fan of the animated series, the Fast & Furious Spy Racers set will make an excellent addition to your collection — and may help keep the next generation excited about good old fashion horsepower 🏁
Watch the series get unboxed and take a closer look at the action on each car here: