Designer Mark Jones was working for Matchbox when he got the gig to design the ’12 Ford Fiesta for Hot Wheels. The model was in good hands, though – Jones had a full-size 2012 Fiesta and had previously owned a Mk.1 Fiesta when he worked for Ford.
The ’12 Ford Fiesta was designed to represent the ‘GYM3’ car used by Ken Block during the filming of Gymkhana 3 at the historic Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry in France. Enjoy this look at Ken doing his crazy thing:
The use of GYM3 as a basis meant that the model is of a 5-door Fiesta, rather than the 3-door version that has been used for just about every other Fiesta rally car on the planet – including the Fiesta RS WRC cars rallied by Block himself on and off between 2011-14.
At only 63.5mm/2.5in long, the Fiesta is not a big model. By my calculations it’s between 1:62 and 1:63, but Mark didn’t draw it to a particular scale. “We have many production tolerance limitations that often affect the scale proportions of our cars,” he says. “I received digital files from Ford for the stock car [to work from], but I believe I started with a Rally Fiesta file from the then TYCO RC group. It was modified to my liking from photos, if memory serves.”
Mark kindly sent me the poster rendering that he did for the Fiesta so that I could share it with Lamley readers.
Fantastic, eh? I’m by no means a Hot Wheels completist but I’ve a soft spot for this casting and have tried to pick up the various releases since they began appearing in 2011.
I recently found the last one I was missing – the yellow Fiesta from the 2012 Daredevil Racers 5-pack – so it’s time for a Collection Update. I’ll walk through each release in what I believe to be chronological order. If I get something wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments at the bottom. Here we go…
1) 2011 New Models – Ken Block (black)
The original release is still many people’s favorite, including Mark’s. It’s also the only authentic deco to have adorned the Fiesta casting.
Note the two-colored base. Recalls Mark, “There was a push to utilize co-molding (two different plastic colors in the same mold), which is why the chassis and interior (seats at least) are one part, but different colors. The theory was that we could eliminate parts and make the cars more economically. I believe subsequent versions returned to a separate interior and chassis.”
2) 2011 New Models – Ken Block (white)
A recolor for the GYM 3 in pearl white. Not as nice as the black! This was the second and final version to have a co-molded base.
3) 2012 Team Hot Wheels with High-Speed Wheels (black)
This was a tough one to find and if I had to pick a Fiesta top-three, this would be in it. The deco is fantastic and those yellow wheels really pop.
4) 2012 Daredevil Racers 5-pack (yellow)
As you can see, its previous owner enjoyed playing with the loose example that I found recently. However, even in mint condition, it’s not the greatest release.
5) 2013 Boulevard (blue)
This was the only time the ’12 Ford Fiesta has appeared as a premium issue or with a metal base. The tampo work is subtle and the overall effect is quite dark, but I still like it overall.
6) 2013 Mainline Treasure Hunt (red)
Nice and bright, this one has the names of designer Mark Jones and his former boss, Felix Holst on the side.
7) 2014 Mainline Treasure Hunt (white)
A second treasure hunt in two years and an interesting wheel color. This issue marked the first appearance on the Fiesta for the Swisher Motors name (a reference to former Mattel executive, Gary Swisher) that would feature on the Snow Stormers trio two years later.
8 & 9) 2015 Mainline (dark red/bright green)
The same deco done twice, in different colors. The red works better for me; the green is probably my least favorite of all the Fiestas done so far and one of only a couple that I remember warming the pegs.
10, 11 & 12) 2016 Snow Stormers (white/Zamac/pale blue)
This trio of Fiestas was part of a wider set of models created by Michael Heralda to celebrate his 5,000th decoration across Hot Wheels and Matchbox (Michael tells the full story here). The look is inspired by his very first – another Ford rally car, the Escort Rally from 1998 – which made the Fiesta an appropriate place to commemorate his achievement. Of the three versions, I like the Zamac best.
13 & 14) 2017 Hot Wheels Race Team (blue/turquoise)
Another two-for-one and with it, the chance to check another must-do box for any Hot Wheels casting: appear in a blue Hot Wheels racing scheme!
15 & 16) 2018 Checkmate (black/white)
The Fiesta’s small size made it a great choice for the role of ‘Pawn’ in the Hot Wheels chess set. I’m not sure about the color combo on the white ‘piece’ though and you can still find the odd one hanging in stores near me, 18 months after it was released.
17) 2019 Mystery Model (white)
This may have been issued after the 2019 multipack Fiesta, but it turned up in my local stores first, so I’m listing it next. This attractive model is perhaps the best of the white Fiestas and Mark Jones gets his name on the side for a second time.
18) 2019 Multipack (brown)
The last Fiesta to be issued to date (2020 was the first year a new version hadn’t appeared since the model’s launch) is also a good one. I’m a fan of the unusual color combination and I think the Y5 wheels suit the car better than the 10-spokes and PR5s that are used on a majority of the other releases.
So that’s it, for now at least – Fiestas up to date. Quite how many more times we’ll see it, given that the Fiesta is no longer sold in North America, I’m not sure. But the Escort Rally lives on after 22 years so I doubt that we’ve seen the last of its smaller sibling.
To finish, here’s the Hot Wheels alongside a couple of other rally Fiestas, from Majorette (left) and Norev. Thanks for reading!