Lamley Awards: What was the BEST Hot Wheels RLC Model released in 2021? (And why HW finally got the RLC right.)

The Redline Club went fill hypebeast in 2021. It might have been to the chagrin of some, but the RLC finally got it right this year, in several ways.

Clearly the biggest topic regarding the RLC this year was the opening up of memberships to anyone who wanted one at any point of the year. In all years prior, the RLC was only open for a select number of weeks, and once that window was closed, so were the memberships. It might have made sense to make memberships exclusive before, but it surely makes no sense now.

The RLC adopted the selling model put forth by numerous exclusive stores like Nike’s SNKRS app. A membership gives a collector a shot at the model, but doesn’t guarantee one. And it makes sense. The cars should remain limited, but Mattel should also know how much interest there is in the club. In the previous iteration, limiting memberships to a small window each year was essentially locking out collectors who might have jumped into the hobby late or just missed the window. That means a whole year of collectors locked out, and Mattel now knowing how many models to make to remain limited, but still within the range for collectors to have a decent chance at one. It is a strange cycle, but interest feeds interest, and whether we like it are not, we collectors are totally susceptible to it. If Mattel made these available to everyone, they wouldn’t sell as well. By opening the potential audience, the interest is much higher.

Just look at the comments on my “So?” posts. A model that sells out quickly gets a lot of complaints about missing it. A model that sells out slower gets a ton of comments about how it hasn’t sold out yet and must be lame. We create and buy into our own hype. And Mattel knows it. And it leads to more sales and revenue.

And YES, we WANT that! RLC is on a tear, and those revenues are being pushed back into the line. It means more releases, a bigger budget for Brendon Vetuskey and the Design Team to create more new models, and we benefit. More cool stuff.

Which leads to the RLC in 2021. It was awesome. A slew of new models, all with unique features, along with new colors from other premium favorites. It was a great year, but now it is time to choose the BEST of the year.

Watch the video below, look at the photos too, and vote in the poll below on the model you think was the BEST released this year. I’ve included everything that actually arrived this year, both new and old. Some were actually sold in 2020, but not completed until 2021. They are all here. Pick a fave.

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