If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s like I did, you’ll probably recognize this bright yellow and green VW-looking bus without even reading the description. The new Hot Wheels Screen Time Party Wagon is the iconic ride of the the pizza-eating, karate-kicking team: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Let’s dive into the sewers and see what this little Party Wagon is all about.
I wanted to start by saying that if you look at the Wagon and think you may have seen it in 1/64th scale before, you probably have. While this is the first time we’re getting the Party Wagon as a mainline, it’s not the van’s first appearance as a Hot Wheels. Mattel released a special edition Party Wagon for the famed San Diego Comic-Con last year – and it included moving parts, special “oil can” packaging, and four TMNT mini-figs. It was a spectacular release to say the least, and it’s appreciating more every day. In fact, average sale prices for the SDCC Party Wagon on eBay are quickly approaching the triple-digit mark. While the mainline version lacks a lot of the SDCC version’s swag (in fact it’s an entirely different casting), it still packs a hell of a punch for $1.
First of all – that card art. I mean just look at that awesome card art! The bright yellow Wagon body contrasts perfectly with the HWs blue card background, and the OG Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael group shot is just the double-pepperoni in this delicious calzone of retro coolness.
The party really starts once you bust the Wagon from the package. The bright yellow molded plastic body rides on an emerald green metal chassis, rolling on gray staggered AeroDiscs wheels. Some may consider the plastic body on an iconic, licensed casting a bold move, but it works. The metal chassis makes it seem heavy and it rolls very well. The bottom ballast weight is a good feel for it. No complaints here.
Watch me geek out a bit during the unboxing video below:
The roof is a plastic molded turtle shell pattern, just like the action figured-sized Playmates van from 1989. It has two machine guns on the roof, and a “Foot-finder/radar blaster” centered between them. The giant spoiler on the back only adds to the outrageous edges that cover the rest of the vehicle. The front of van has the split mouth, clinched-teeth “Grimacing grill” tampo’d on the front bumper, and the newer TMNT TURTLES logo on the shell. I would have preferred the original Turtles logo like the card has, but it’s still cool nonetheless.
This is probably going down as one of my top 5 favorite new castings of the year and I am crossing all my fingers in the hopes we get a re-release of the SDCC version, or at least a premium version.
To quote my favorite Turtle, Michelangelo: “watching TV and scarfing pizza, now that’s what I call a fulfilled existence.” Right on, man, right on 🏁