(It has been well documented, especially by Lamley YouTube viewers, that I am a failure when it comes to tying the Hot Wheels Fast & Furious cars to the movies, characters, and stories they are connected to. Blackwind, a long-time viewer and reader, volunteered to take the role of HW/FnF expert, and has written a series of articles on each FnF Premium mix. It might be just to help me, but I think each of you will enjoy it. Blackwind has written a few others, and I will publish them, along with my photos, soon. Enjoy.)
Hello all! I’m Blackwind, a reader and fan of the Lamley blog since the beginning. I’m a big Fast and Furious fan and I know John is a fan too, but he’s not a FnF nerd, and usually doesn’t go too much into the details (won’t blame him for that) so this is where I thought I’d step in and add some interesting information on these cars which you might not have known. I’ve always wanted to contribute something towards this side of the blog, so here’s my chance of ticking that off my list. Anyway, without further ado, let’s begin.
Motor City Muscle is the latest set in the premium Fast and Furious range that started last year and has been going pretty strong. As the name suggests, these are all American muscle cars (and one pickup truck). I won’t be going by order and will save my two favourites for last.
First up is the ’61 Impala. It is featured briefly in the beginning of The Fate of The Furious as Dom’s car while he is in Havana, Cuba at a car meet, and the waterfront where the first street race ends is featured in the card art. The car didn’t get a lot of screen time but still it is a classic red Impala. The HW model has been used before in the basic FnF set and 5 pack but this is the first time this casting goes full premium. Personally, this is the one I’m least keen on because of the large rear wheels, as it upsets the whole stance and also doesn’t look accurate to the movie car. However, the rest of the model is nice and worth getting if you’re an Impala fan.
Next is the ’66 Chevy Nova, which was seen in only one scene in Fast Five, when Dom and Brian park their Charger next to the Nova at a car meet in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. As such, the card art shows the Charger next to it and the city of Rio De Janeiro is visible in the background. This car has never been in any previous FnF set. It is beautifully done and looks pretty close to how it looks in the movie. Unlike the other cars in this set though, this one has no relevance to the movie at all so that may put some Fast and Furious nerds off (I personally think this could’ve made way for a car actually driven by a character, like Tej’s Galaxie, Mia’s GT40 or even the Vault Charger). But for anyone who just likes plain muscle cars with no graphics, this is just that.
Now we’re getting to the main hero cars, with the ’72 Ford Gran Torino Sport. This was driven by Fenix, the antagonist in Fast & Furious, and this one got a lot of screen time throughout the movie, most notably being used to lead the others through the mining tunnels between the US-Mexico border and later used to chase Brian and Dom in the desert, which is shown in the card art. This is a fantastic casting and is pretty close to the real car’s stance. Like the Impala, this has been used in the basic FnF sets multiple times before (including a 5 pack) and is also the first time it gets a full premium release (not counting RLC) and since the movie car is mostly stock, this makes for a nice and clean premium version with full details. Also surprisingly, it looks very similar to the car featured in the movie “Gran Torino”. Gran Torino fans (the car, not the movie) should be more than happy with this one.
Finally, we get to the two new castings. First, the ’87 Buick Grand National GNX. This car made an appearance in the opening sequence of Fast & Furious, being driven by Dom as he and his crew attempted to steal a fuel tanker in the Dominican Republic. The card art shows the GNX escaping as the tanker explodes behind. I wish the GNX got better scenes than this (like a race, for example) as it’s a really awesome and underrated car from the 80s. Hot Wheels did an amazing job with this casting and it is a massive step up from the old GNX casting. The proportions are near perfect and it looks badass in all-black with the new wheels. All-black cars are a rarity in the Hot Wheels world and this deserves all the attention it gets. Funnily enough, I wasn’t that keen on this one initially but my mind changed after watching Lamley’s video (and getting a better look) and now I can’t wait to get it in my hands. One of the best new models of the year so far imo.
Fun fact: this was the first rare car to be featured in the franchise and because of that, the cars used for filming were just normal Grand Nationals and not GNXs, as genuine GNXs are very rare with only 547 ever made.
And lastly, the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning. The truck that everyone is talking about. This was in the original The Fast and The Furious, as Brian’s shop truck. It was used in a few scenes but the two memorable ones were Brian slamming the truck into the curb and later getting pulled over by fellow cops in an unmarked police car, with the latter scene making it to the card art. As the truck was not involved in any stunt driving, they used a bone stock Lightning for filming. But even this stock truck had the performance to match many of the other cars from the first movie. Hot Wheels did a great replica (the wheels could’ve been better though) of a really cool performance truck that most people at the time would’ve dismissed as just another pickup truck. And that’s what makes me like it so much! As a Paul Walker fan, Fast and Furious fan and Lightning fan, this is an easy addition to my collection.
Fun fact: the scene in which Brain angrily drives to the shop and slams the truck into the curb while parking was real and not scripted, causing damage to the truck and a few of the staff members to be stunned.
All in all, this is a great set, with two stellar new models, to keep the American car fans happy. I hope future Fast and Furious sets will have more cars like the two new ones (and less of the random background cars :p). Anyway, that’s it. Thank you for reading, I hope y’all enjoyed. Stay safe and see you next time.
9 Replies to “Lamley knows nothing about Fast & Furious, so I’m here to help. Let’s start with Motor City Muscle.”
I dig the F&F premium line mainly for the cars that can be enjoyed with no connection to the movies, because I’m not a fan of the movies, so I appreciate the first four vehicles as premium releases of some great castings that don’t shout about their connection to the film franchise.
More importantly, there are simply no words to describe how amazing the GNX casting is. When John did his write-up/video on the car, I really thought he was overhyping it, I’m just sitting here like “really dude? Calm down”. When I scooped one up from my local Walmart (lucky find), I could NOT put the damn thing down after getting it out of its package. It’s just that good. The lack of side mirrors is the only black mark against it, but the strength of the rest of the presentation makes up for it.
I too dig the FnF line, for the great premium versions of “stock” cars, such as almost all 5 of these, but unlike many here, I am a big fan of the movies so I appreciate all cars from the series (except that ugly Hulk Touran from Tokyo Drift and Roman’s Eclipse). That said, I stand by my comment that I’d prefer to see cars driven by characters instead of random background cars sitting in some parking lot.
I wrote this article a while ago and between then and the article going live, I managed to get my hands on the GNX and F-150 and I can only agree with you that the GNX casting is very well done indeed. I’d rate it 10/10 if only it had side mirrors.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
I understand why you want more focus on hero cars, but from a marketing viewpoint, they need the background cars to catch the eye of people who aren’t invested in the movies, so I get both points, I just hope they keep this level of great FnF cars coming as long as they’re from the movie. Perhaps the 70 Monte Carlo going premium with a tampo of broken rear window after the jock threw a baseball at it.
Forgive me but I don’t see the logic behind using background cars for marketing. For example, that Chevy Nova appeared for literally 2 seconds in the movie and was barely visible behind the Charger. There were many other cars that were actually driven by, or were meant to be driven by, characters, at least to some extent (some examples I already mentioned in the article), they would’ve made a lot more sense.
I’m all for seeing stock cars that, out of the package, don’t look like they’re from the movie, but at least use cars that had some significance in the movie. That’s my only argument.
If I may use an unintentionally appropriate quote from Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift “for want of a nail, the shoe was lost”:
In order to lure those who aren’t fans of Fast and Furious, they’re kinda upsetting the ones who are. Now, I won’t get philosophical here or else it’ll go on forever. Anyway, thank you for reading.
I stopped watching the Series after the 4th movie. Got a bit over the top with their stunts and what-not for me. That being, said I appreciate the vehicles and still collect the sets if I happen to see them in the store. The GNX was a happy sight to see for instance, as were some others. I even liked some of the ricers which I never thought I’d say. 😀
The newer movies are a bit of a guilty pleasure if I may say. Yes they’re over-the-top and made without giving any second thought to physics but we still enjoy them (well, at least I do). I could actually write a whole article on why I like them but I know nobody would read it so nevermind. And if nothing else, at least they still give us awesome cars so for us car guys that’s all that matters.
Anyway, thanks for reading!
For sure man! Well done and well written. Looking forward to more! 🙂
Personally, I’d love nothing more than to see this F&F premium line be nothing but blink-and-you-miss-’em background cars. I’ve never cared for this franchise and find the movies to be unwatchable. But that’s just me. What I am a fan of is cool cars. Cars like the yellow Gallardo, black R32 Skyline and silver NSX. Cars that are clean and basically stock without all the over-the-top wings, fins, spoilers and ground effects and especially without the gaudy paint jobs and graphics. I’ll even take some of the lightly modified cars like the RS 1600 Escort, ’15 widebody STi and XE SV Project 8. Sorry, no pink S2000 for me. In this respect, I completely agree with those who enjoy seeing the background cars incorporated in this line. But it is a Fast & Furious line after all, so what would it be without the stars’ cars, those most widely known cars from the movies? I take it as a necessary evil. They must include the wild stuff I cringe at in order to have an avenue to give me the the cool stuff I crave. I believe the best thing for the market would be to balance the line with both. I mean, there must be a limit to the number of main hero and villain cars they can do before they have to start repeating. On the other hand, the number of background cars to pull from must be near endless. A balanced mix should keep everyone happy.
Hey thanks for the comment. I understand why some people dislike the franchise but I don’t see the logic behind using cars that appeared for 2-3 seconds in the entire movie and didn’t even have a role (there are a few background cars that did have a role but that’s for another time). That’s like making a Batman set and including all the trucks and buses and other cars on the street while ignoring the Batmobile. It simply doesn’t make sense to me and never will.
With all these random background cars business going on they might as well forget that the line is called Fast and Furious and rename it to something else.