Around 1999, Hot Wheels started releasing cars in a line called the Cool Collectibles. The single releases were featured in acrylic cases wrapped in black cardboard, eventually just became known as “black box” releases. This Dodge Viper GTS was one of the earliest castings featured in the Cool Collectibles line at the turn of the millennium.
The castings from the line were generally highly detailed, often with opening parts, usually an opening hood. In this case the casting indeed featured the famous and massive flip-forward hood. When in the cases, they often uses the corrosive rubber bands to hold the hood closed or open, and the silver one unfortunately suffered some paint damage at the hood hinge due to the rubber band getting soft and peeling the paint. It’s a harsh reality of the series, with collectors taking gambles at packaged releases (I’ve lost out a few times due to them eating through the paint and chrome VUM).
The green, red and black ones here were released in 1999, with the silver one following in 2000. Like most of the line, I remember seeing these in stores at the time but never did buy any. I believe they were something like $6 at the time, and for me that was just too much. Yet here we are now, where you spend that on Autoworld and Greenlight for the same level of detail. In all honesty Hot Wheels was quite ahead of their time with the Cool Collectibles line (later called Hot Wheels 100%), and I often wonder how a similar line would do today against those other detailed brands.
Really nothing much to talk about here…. I just like the casting a lot, haha. Still have yet to get one of the single black box releases (triple color in red, white and blue) and a blue one that was paired with a Shelby Cobra (the debut of the casting). There was also a lighter blue one released in a Gone in 60 Seconds set as well as two colors in the 2003 Preferred series (which I just need loose ones of now). So anyway, hope you enjoyed the pics!