An interesting new Hot Wheels vehicle hit the pegs recently, a swoopy, cab-forward pickup truck with a surfboard and an E-bike riding in the back. While the design is eye-catching, the name is what got my attention… Deora III. Looking at the profile, it sure looks like it could be descended from the Dodge Deora concept that became one of the original 16, and was then re-interpreted ’90s Style a couple decades later.
As it turns out, several Hot Wheels cars have been the subject of modern interpretations years after the original. Mind you, we’re not talking about models of new versions of real cars, such as the original Custom Corvette and subsequent Corvette models. Also not mentioned are slightly modified castings or renamed versions of the same basic casting. And we’re leaving out the Tooned, Oozed, Droptopped variants as well. These are strictly modern retakes/remakes/sequels of the originals.
Original 16, ’90s Style
As mentioned before, The Deora II was created in 1990, and was popular enough that it remains in regular use today (It was even made into a full-size running show truck). Three other Original 16 cars got similar updates: The Slhouette, the Splittin’ Image, and the Twin Mill. Each of the new castings really captured the design ethic of the early ’90s while unmistakably carrying on the distinct characteristics of the earlier models. Kids of that era may have preferred the new designs, but for the most part, but it’s probably safe to say the originals are still the overwhelming favorites. Like the Deora, the Twin Mill got another sequel, the appropriately named Twin Mill III. The Splittin’ Image also got a Part III for Premium releases.
Other Redlines For Other Times
There have been numerous other early Redline cars that have been updated over the years as well. The Whip Creamer was a strange design with a sliding canopy and turbine that spun when air hit it as it went down the track. An updated version carried similar traits. The Cockney Cab was a hot rodded but plausible London Cab, while the Cockney Cab II was more of a funny car caricature.
It’s easy to see the lineage between the Bye Focal and Bye Focal II, while the Sweet 16 and its updated version share mostly the long 1930s proportions and 16 cylinder engine.
The Jet Threat went from a rocket dragster to the Jet Threat II, which was… well, pretty much the same casting. But there was a Jet Threat 3.0, a much sleeker, lower design, and even a Jet Threat 4.0, also very much fighter-plane-inspired.
By the way, has anyone ever seen the Show Hoss II and wondered about the original? It’s actually a funny car based on the Mustang II, (hence the name) but there was never an original first version from Mattel. So nope, not a sequel in this sense.
Even Newer Originals
Nostalgia doesn’t wait as long as it used to. Ignoring the arbitrary but traditional 20-year buffer before something can be considered “retro,” several newer Hot Wheels castings have received the update treatment. The Semi Fast was a sleek, futuristic COE semi tractor, while version II is an older looking dragster with a ginormous engine. The Sting Rod first appeared in the late ’80s as a Fiero-by-way-of-Mad-Max… the recent update keeps the same idea but with a newer, unlicensed body.
Nature Finds a Way
The Street Beasts name has been used several times over the years to mean different things… In the most recent incarnation, it has included a range of animal-based cars, using old castings for the most part. But at least two of these got serious makeovers. The Speed-a-Saurus, perhaps the cuddliest Hot Wheels car of all, featured a rubber stegosaurus riding on a dragster chassis. The new Motosaurus incorporates the dinosaur in a more cybernetic way. Different name, same idea. The SharKruiser, which still finds its way into production on occasion, got a similar update with the more aggressive Shark Bite for this series. You can change the name, but the DNA is still there.
About Those Tooned cars…
Okay, we do have to consider one Tooned version, which takes us back to where this all started. The original Deora was given cartoonish proportions when that series came out, and looked pretty awesome. The Deora II wasn’t part of that series, but did get similar treatment as a pullback car in the Micro Speed Demons series. Evolution works in strange ways sometimes.
Do you know of any other Hot Wheels remakes along these lines? Let us know in the comments below!