A few months ago I did a write-up on the mainline version of the Hot Wheels TMNT Party Wagon and was pretty impressed – especially at the $1 price point. It brought back some great childhood memories and I had countless friends message me regarding how they could get one of their own after I shared the article on Facebook. Fast forward to November when one of the last Replica Entertainment lines of the year started hitting pegs and the premium version of the Party Wagon began to pop up. A friend of mine ended up scoring a premium Party Wagon for me while he was out on his local hunting route and I quickly unboxed that sucker — and to my surprise (and delight) I found that not all Party Wagons are created equal…
The Premium version of the Party Wagon isn’t just a bunch of upgraded tampos and a set of Real Riders: it’s an entirely different casting. Yup, this version of the cartoon crime fighter on wheels is ready to party like a Chuck E. Cheese on Saturday.
The premo’ Party Wagon is a blast of retro deliciousness in the form of a metal chassis, multiple moving parts, and larger size overall than the standard mainline. This version was first released as a 2019 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive (which came with four TMNT mini-figs) in close to the same form as it is now. I don’t have the SDCC version, but the two look similarly equipped, minus a few hue changes on the roof/body/base. The Comic-Con version will set you back a cool $100 on the secondary market, so this much more affordable release is a welcomed addition to the Premium line.
As you can see in the photos above and below, this Party Wagon is a cut-above the mainline. It has a larger metal body with plastic roof, metal chassis, additional tampos, and it rolls on white dish wheels mounted to Real Rider tires. The size difference between the mainline is substantial: the mainline almost fits inside the footprint of the premium version.
While the upgraded casting is impressive on its own, it’s the extra features on the van that shoot it into the stratosphere of radness. The roof on the mainline is static, but the roof of the premium has two articulating machine guns and a mounted “Foot-Finder Radar” on it. Pew Pew!!
Now on to the feature everyone has been waiting for: the opening door with gunner seat! That’s right folks, GUNNER SEAT.
The passenger side of the Party Wagon has a large swing door with a built-in gunner seat. How awesome is that?! Not only do we get a fully upgraded casting, we also get multiple moving parts! The “new” Party Wagon is basically a mini version of the action-figure sized Party Wagon that Playmates first launched in 1989, and I’m more than okay with that. Now we just need some of the SDCC mini-figs to go along with it!
I know I keep talking the car up, but this may be the biggest mainline to premium upgrade of a casting ever — and if not, what is? In my opinion, this release has seriously elevated the standard of a premium model.
If you’re a diehard TMNT fan, then the SDCC version is what you’re looking for – but for most collectors the Premium Party Wagon will do the trick (and for a fraction of the SDCC van’s price at that). If you’re looking to build your star cars collection on the cheap, the mainline Party Wagon is a solid buy as well. In any case, there’s a righteous Hot Wheels Ninja Turtles Party Wagon out there for your collection. Party on, dudes!
WATCH: Unboxing and working the moving parts video: