Model: Hot Wheels ’68 Custom Firebird
Line: 2000 Cool Collectibles, single “black box” releases
In 1999, Hot Wheels released a Spoilers 30th Anniversary 4-car set. In it were modern (at the time) takes on the King Kuda, Heavy Chevy, Nitty Gritty Kitty and Light My Firebird, street rod versions of the Plymouth Barracuda, Chevy Camaro, Mercury Cougar and Pontiac Firebird, respectively. After a while they were known as the “Fat Elvis” versions of the cars, but that’s another story for another time. A few years later, all 4 castings received updates with a normal engine compartment and opening hoods to be used for the Cool Collectibles line.
The cars in the Spoilers box featured a new take on the original Redline wheel from the early days (and sort of a pre-cursor to the NEO Classics from HWC/RLC). The Custom Barracuda and Custom Firebirds that were used in the Cool Collectibles line still utilized this throwback Redline wheel. Both also received a “chrome” release and one colored, this one getting a metallic antifreeze color (the Barracuda got gold). These aren’t quite as detailed as the majority of the other Cool Collectibles castings, due to their origins being to replicate the early days of Hot Wheels.
The Firebird ended up being used a few more times, with blue and green releases in the 2003 Preferred series, and was the basis for the hardtop tool used for 2007 HWC NEO Classics. The Light My Firebird was used a few years back in the RLC Spoilers line, and here’s hoping the hardtop gets another shot at life. I’ll do a showcase of all the loose releases I have at some point of this Firebird design.
So there you have it. For me, the Firebird was the one that was the closest to resemble the original Spoilers casting, and didn’t fully deserve the “Fat Elvis” nickname. In the end they were fun throwbacks and this Firebird was just an awesome release.