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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