Since it’s introduction in 2019, the Hot Wheels Fast & Furious Premium Series has easily become one of the most polarising topics among today’s collectors. Many collectors have strong opinions about it, with varying viewpoints. Some love it, some hate it, some even going as far to say that the series has reached its potential and overstayed its welcome, suggesting that Hot Wheels should cancel it entirely.
I’ll admit, I’m not the world’s biggest Fast and Furious fan, I haven’t even seen all the movies (yet), but I can definitely see the opportunity that the Fast and Furious Series provides us Hot Wheels collectors for some really cool cars, despite its criticisms.
The main criticism I see of the series is the repeated cars. I get it, it’s frustrating to see the place of a potentially new car being taken up by one we’ve already seen, but that repeated release provides collectors a second chance to get that car at retail, instead of having to resort to the secondary market. I think a repeated car could even be welcomed if the first released version was particularly hard to find or desirable, or if the repeated version is an improvement over the first.
However, for all the talk in internet comment sections about repeated Fast & Furious cars, there actually aren’t that many. If you break down the statistics, across the 13 mixes of the Fast & Furious Premium Series from 2019-2021, there were 65 cars, of which only 3 were repeats.
Where we have been seeing repeats is in the two Entertainment mixes we saw in 2022, the Premium 5-Packs, and Fast & Furious Basics. But these aren’t part of the ‘Fast & Furious Premium Series’. The F&F Basics Series is notorious for repeated cars and I think the criticisms directed towards it are fair, but I don’t think it should be compared to the Premium Series.
Now that the Premium series will make a return in 2023, hopefully we’ll see a better ratio of new cars vs repeats. But seeing two repeats in the first mix of the year is worrying.
Speaking of the first mix for 2023, there was one very controversial car which got a lot of people talking: the deco-swapped orange R34 Skyline. These fictional “Fast & Furious inspired” cars are another reason why some people dislike the series. I think part of the reason for the strong reaction to these cars isn’t the cars themselves, it’s that they were done instead of other fan favourite cars.
I’ll admit, while I can see the creativity that goes into them (the Fast Rewind series is a great example of creativity), they’re not my thing. My collecting philosophy is “buy what you like”, so if I see them on the pegs, I’ll leave them for the next collector.
Skyline photo by: Sam (aka @64wheels)
Collectors are hard to please, but I think it’s fair to say that what we would like to see from the Fast & Furious Premium Series is more of those memorable, fan favourite cars, because there are so many that Hot Wheels haven’t made yet.
But just because we might not have seen our favourite car, doesn’t mean that we won’t. There are still plenty of cars they could make, and who knows, now that the series will make a full return in 2023, the one you’ve been waiting for might be just around the corner.
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7 Replies to “Fast & Furious: On Repeat (Part 1)”
Yeah I agree with the “buy what you want” mentality.
I only started collecting a few years ago. I only watched the first three F&F movies and F5 within the past few weeks because of how much HW has pushed them. I like that because of the F&F movies we have gotten some really great castings out of that. The new R32 casting, S14, Civic EG, ‘16 WRX, Eclipse, Jetta MK3, etc. I think all of these debuted in a F&F series.
If the movies keep adding new, amazing cars and HW keeps making great castings then I am all for it. Do not watch the movies if you do not want to. Almost every new casting unveiled in a F&F set becomes a Car Culture or basic in the next year or so. So when you see a new F&F casting be happy! It’s coming has a normal street car within a year!
And yeah, I am tired of the basic line too but there are new people collecting HW every day. Maybe they want some of the same models and do not want to pay eBay prices. Mattel is obviously making money from them or they would not keep selling them. So that makes me think that there are people out there that either that do not have these cars yet… or their are people that have to collect 300 of the same silver modified C2 Corvette.
Either way people are buying them and being happy about their purchase.
Great points regarding the new castings. I think that’s the best part of the Fast and Furious series. And also good point about the basics, there’s new people getting into collecting all the time.
I resonate with almost everything that’s said here. I’ve been collecting these Fast and Furious cars since they started doing them (basics in around 2014 and the premiums since 2019) and I’ve enjoyed it for both the cars and the mini Fast and Furious collection I was able to build. I think the premium F&F line is a great line to have, and there have been a few fantastic models released till now, but my main problem is regarding not just the repeats, but the model selection in general.
If you look at all the assortments since the beginning, the casting selection and themes of the mixes, for the most part, have been mediocre at best, with the exception of Original Fast and Quick Shifters. So when you take those two factors, and also consider that many of the cars were blink-and-miss background cars, you end up with a bunch of cars that neither the general collectors are interested in (because they aren’t interesting enough) nor the F&F aficionados (because the association with the movies is weak), which leads to all the complaining and bickering online. Add to that the issue mentioned in the article above, that many of those spots were essentially wasted spots that could’ve been used by other, more desirable cars that haven’t been done yet, that collectors have been asking for for years, and you can’t help but admit that some of those people complaining are right.
I actually really don’t mind when they do cars like that R34 Skyline with the Supra’s livery, because it’s a new take and it’s hilarious, but I DO mind when they repeat the same old cars a gazillion times or do undesirable background cars (like the Aston Martin DB5) or when the themes of the sets are broken. If Hot Wheels solves these issue, the series undoubtedly has potential to do better and I do want to see that happen, because there are still many, many cars from the franchise that haven’t been done yet that I want to see being done.
Note – Also, please do note that when I’m talking about background cars, I’m not saying all of them are bad models. What I’m saying is, some of them just don’t make sense in the F&F line. I’m fine with those that do serve a purpose or had a proposed role in the movie, but they seem to be fewer and further in-between.
P.S. – BTW, as I said before, I do appreciate that someone is covering the Fast and Furious series on the blog again and I like that your thoughts on this whole scenario are the same as mine. I am looking forward to reading more from you!
Thanks for the feedback! I agree, it makes me wonder why Hotwheels choose to make some models over others. And I think the series would benefit from more themed series. Or maybe even each 5 car mix to be cars from one movie. I don’t mind seeing the background cars, and I think a lot of them are actually pretty cool, I just wished that they weren’t as frequent as the star cars. I think a good idea for the series would be to have more heavily themed mixes, for example: all 5 cars from the same movie, 3 prominently featured cars, 1 background car and one repeat.
I am certainly onboard with the last idea! That’s imo a healthy balance of cars i.e. something for everyone. And I also don’t mind the background cars when they are interesting.
What needs to be added to the collection is the Jensen Interceptor
That’s definitely one I would love to see!