Cool Classics with Real Riders: The Way They Should Have Been?

The Cool Classics Series was released in 2013 through 2015. It was the first retail premium line that was completed as planned in quite a while, if not ever, for Hot Wheels. At least, for what had been revealed anyway. However that milestone wasn’t met without some mild controversy and drawback. While the last two mixes ended up being delayed from 2014 into 2015, the series marred by retail price. At the time, they cost the same as Boulevard and such, at $3.50 each, without Real Riders. While I personally loved the Retro Slots wheels that debuted in the series and was really about the only wheel used, it seemed that the primary criticism among collectors was that it didn’t come with those wheels for the price.

So, for a few of them, I rectified that little issue. Featured here are some simple wheel swaps I did to show what could have been, something that may have helped the line gain more traction in collector circles.

The swaps are as follows:
’63 Pymouth Max Wedge (base swap w/ 2011 Garage release 2)
’84 Mustang SVO (base swap w/ 2013 Boulevard)
’65 Ford Galaxie (base swap w/ 2012 Racing)
’67 Olds 442 (wheel change w/ Boulevard ’84 Mustang SVO)
SS Express (wheel change w/ Boulevard Demon)
’87 Toyota Truck (wheel swap w/ Retro Entertainment)
’57 Chrysler 300C (wheel swap w/ Retro Entertainment)

The Galaxie, Max Wedge, Olds and Chrysler came out perfect. I love the rake the 300C received with these wheels (more on that in another article). These slots, as mentioned in my Lamley Daily about the yellow Garage series release, are absolutely perfect for the ’67 Olds 442, and the black rims are a nice contrast to the antifreeze paint.

The SS Express, Toyota truck and ’84 SVO turned out nice, but didn’t quite pop as much as the above 4 did. I think the deep dishes are right for the SS, but not sure they work best in chrome. The wheels on the Toyota were really more a convenience deal, as I had gutted a few of that BTTF truck for a few other “what if 1980s?” scenarios, but they work. The SVO really turned out great, it’s just being the darker colors they don’t “pop”.

I had done a few others, but again they aren’t great. The ’68 Olds 442, with the rather odd dark orange-brown color, nothing could really “save it”, so to speak (had base swapped from a Boulevard release). The spectrafrost gold color and that orange-brown color just don’t look good to me. The Shelby Daytona Coupe seen in the title pic, while done in a great blue and is a fun basic casting, doesn’t work well for real riders. Would have been nice to base swap an AMC Rebel Machine with the Boulevard or Entertainment release, just haven’t had a chance to. I really like this spectrafrost paint but with the lack of support the line had, it’s not likely to return.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think some Real Riders could have really saved this line, or was there just no saving it among the masses?

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3 Replies to “Cool Classics with Real Riders: The Way They Should Have Been?”

  1. I liked this line and I never really understood why most people were so lukewarm on it. Thinking back, I hadn’t realized that these were priced the same as Boulevard though, so I imagine that’s a big part of it. I have just about all of the Cool Classics (plus an error – a car/card mismatch) and I’m really glad I do. I think the Max Wedge just might be my favorite, the Spectrafrost on it looks good enough to take a bite out of it. To be honest, the lack of real riders doesn’t bother me that much, the Retro Slots fit really well with the majority of the castings. If I had to choose between real riders or some front & rear tampo detailing, I’d take tampo in a heartbeat. That said, your Galaxie and 442 swaps in particular look extremely appealing.

    I have mixed feelings about the Retro Slots showing up in mainlines. One on hand it’s great because it’s a fabulous wheel design, but on the other it kind of acts to inch Cool Classics that much closer to feeling like mainlines with metal bases. That said, I have to wonder if Cool Classics might someday be considered a lost classic and gain some cult appreciation.

  2. This series phased out of retail right before I got my first job, so unfortunately all of the ones I have are from auctions, etc. That being said, I love this series, partly because I just missed it with timing. And all of the cars I have, I love.

  3. I love a good wheel swap. And I really liked the wheels on the cool classics. I bought a bunch to use on my own customs. I think many complain that any thing above a main line model that doesn’t get real riders is lacking.

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