A Tale of Four Different Hot Wheels RLC 1969 Dodge Chargers

It’s not often a single real car model will get multiple castings, let alone in HWC/RLC. Yet, the 1969 Dodge Charger, which has received several tools in the HW line over the years, ended up getting 4 different castings done at the HWC/RLC level. Having received the RLC sElections release of the most recent tooling (and I finally took the time to get some pics done), let’s take a look at the history of the 1969 Charger from HW’s premiere line.

First came the original 2004 tooling design of the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, released as a NEO Classics release for Series 4 in 2005. Done in a beautiful bright orange, it of course retained the opening hood of the original design so you can see the engine, which is part of the interior piece. Unfortunately (to me anyway) it’s the only one to receive proper NEOs. Back when it was seemingly easier to do your general retail casting in HWC/RLC (from the consumer side, anyway – chances are it wasn’t, evidenced by the original attempt at the ’67 GTO – I’ll probably do an article on this one eventually), this was a welcome addition to the line with its “premium” opening hood and muscle looks. Not sure if this one sat in the shop long, as by the time I got on there in 2010 I believe it was well sold out.

Next came a modern retool of the original redline-era Custom 1969 Dodge Charger in 2008 for Series 7’s Real Riders segment. A bit of a wild design in the deco department (for old school fans anyway), this one oddly sat in the shop for quite a while. I think part of it was that to that point, the original RL-era castings that were retooled for HWC/RLC would debut with NEO Classics wheels, but this one got RRs for the first release. It was a bit of a turn off for those looking for an original look. Couple that with the graphics used, it just wasn’t the hit I think many had thought it would be. I plan on rectifying that in the future, just a matter of me finding time to drill the third one I have apart. This was a casting us old-school fans would have loved to see again, but it ended up losing in the sElections vote it was a part of in 2011 and never got another shot.

A few years later for Series 9 in 2010, the Large And In Charger spoilers casting made its way to RLC. Originally debuting in retail Since ’68 line, it was basically a spoilers versoin of the Custom ’69 Dodge Charger mentioned above, with just the spoilers engine added to the design (most Spoiler-ized castings had added panels to really spice up their look). Done in the same orange as the NEO Charger from 5 years prior. This was yet another one that many old school fans were bummed didn’t get the NEO treatment. There was also a bit of backlash when the FEP originally shown had the larger rear wheels but the production ones did not. I honestly think it has to do with the wheel wells not being big enough to house the large diameter RRs. Either way, like the purple custom one above, a third one I own will end up getting drilled to receive a set of NEOs (and yes I know this one has a paint chip on the top of the left front fender – been that way since).

Lastly, we have the resto-mod styled Custom ’69 Dodge Charger from Brendon Vetuskey. Debuting in 2020 and offically simply called “1969 Dodge Charger R/T”, Brendon designed it to be an all-out modern custom, complete with a lowered stance and the “Hellephant” crate engine. The first release was done in black, but wasn’t the instant sellout I think many expected it to be. In 2021 during the RLC sElections process, it ended up losing out to the RLC ’69 Chevy C-10 in the semi-final round in a very close vote, losing by 15 votes. In the original round of voting the Charger beat out the 2006 tooling design of the Datsun 240Z by 2 votes, and while the Dodge seemed to be a bit more popular among the crowd on the forums compared to the truck, the C10 won out. However, something happened a bit after the C10 color and such votes were done; RLC opened up another sElections vote, making 2021 the first year with two sElections since 2015. This second vote was a quick 1 vs 1 vote, pitting the Charger against the Boss Hoss Mustang (which had lost to the C10 in the final round). The Charger ended up beating out the Hoss pretty handily (it had just shy of 70% of the vote). They did a quick color vote the next week, Van did his magic and got a rendering approved. The one bummer was that the original rendering showed the old-school RR Turbines, IMO a nice nod to the original RRs of the 1980s and to a common wheel on real customs. Sometime between the original sale and the production, it was realized the turbines wouldn’t fit right (too wide I think) and they went with the RR GT wheels instead.

I do find it a little amusing that two of these ended up being purple, and two were orange, two rather iconic colors for Dodge in this era. And done in spectraflame? Absolutely stunning colors for this style. The orange looks like a cream when the light hits it just right, and the purple always shines whenever it is used. It does seem a bit odd to me that the RLC has done 3 different style 1969 Dodge Chargers, when some other worthy cars have yet to happen. But, considering the different styles, there’s something for everyone I think. The Custom and Large And In Charger for the classic redline-era fans, the 2004 tool for fans of the more stock style castings, and fans of the resto-mod craze have a tool that’s right up their alley.

So that is the bit of some different tools of the same car. For someone like me, it’s awesome, despite the Custom Charger has only had the one release (at least the LAIC has a few retail uses – maybe we’ll see a mainline retool similar to the King Kuda and SS Express? I’d welcome it for sure). One can hope it’ll return, though that’s not likely nowadays.

Check out RLC 1969 Chargers on eBay!

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