Hot Wheels Posts

1 Deora, 2 Deora, 3 Deora… Counting Hot Wheels Remakes and Sequels

Hot Wheels Deora Original, II, and III

Deora Original, II, and III

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

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.

Hot Wheels Silhouette Original and II

Silhouette Original and II

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.

Hot Wheels Splittin' Image Original, II and II Premium

Splittin’ Image Original, II and III Premium

 

Hot Wheels Twin Mill Original, II, and III

Twin Mill Original, II, and III

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.

Hot Wheels Whip Creamer Original and II

Whip Creamer Original and II

 

Hot Wheels Cockney Cab Original and II

Cockney Cab Original and II

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.

Hot Wheels Bye Focal Original and II

Bye Focal Original and II

 

How Wheels Sweet Sixteen Original and II

Sweet Sixteen Original and II

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.

Hot Wheels Jet Threat Original/II, 3.0, 4.0

Jet Threat Original/II, 3.0, 4.0

Hot Wheels Show Hoss II

Oops, the Show Hoss II is the original.

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.

Hot Wheels Semi Fast Original and II

Semi Fast Original and II

 

Hot Wheels Sting Rod Original and II

Sting Rod Original and II

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!

Celebrate Mother’s Day With Your Favorite Fictional Moms

 

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Mother’s Day is an interesting holiday in the collecting world since there aren’t a lot of items specifically targeted with a message for Mom.

mom hard rock pinsHard Rock Cafe has offered quite a few pins and other collectibles over the years, but brands like Hot Wheels haven’t gone all in on the day just yet (well, does this count?). Same thing for action figures.

That said, we decided to celebrate with collectibles referencing some of our favorite fictional Moms. Some are from TV, some from movies. Some are a bit more, umm, nurturing than others.

brady bundy partridgeThe Golden Age of TV Moms – If you’re a certain age, you grew up with a plethora of perfect mothers from 1960s and ’70s sitcoms. Carol Brady from The Brady Bunch is surprisingly not well-represented in collectible form (although the 6 kids and their live-in housekeeper Alice are, so there’s hope). Shirley Partridge of The Partridge Family meets a similar collectible fate. You can get either of their daily drivers in miniature, however.

For collectors of a slightly younger age, there’s always Peggy Bundy, the TV Mom from Married With Children who’s classic in her own unique way.

mom flintstone jetsonYour Mom’s a Cartoon! – The world of animated sitcoms has no shortage of great cartoon moms. The earliest (for real and in fiction) would have to be Wilma Flintstone, whose orange hair and rock-like demeanor were the foundation of that family. Shortly after (and thousands of years in the future) Jane Jetson would provide the same kind of gravitas for her space-age family.

fox sunday vinyl toysQueen Elizabeth funko popJump ahead to Sunday night on Fox, and there’s a trio of cartoon Moms who show up in vinyl and other forms. Lois Griffin (Family Guy) and Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers) are definitely stronger characters than the husbands their shows are named after. But the queen of all TV Moms has to be Marge Simpson, who has quietly suppressed her rage and kept The Simpsons from complete family disfunction for 30 years.

Queen Mum – Speaking of queens… oh, wait, she’s real? The Queen of England just kind of seems like a benevolent mother figure from like a Harry Potter novel or something. Yep,  Queen Elizabeth II has been in the public consciousness long enough that folks could forget she’s the actual Queen of England. Apologies for the royal confusion.

munster adams familyMonster Moms – The 1960s brought a couple of family comedies to television in the form of The Munsters and The Adams Family. Regardless of your preference, both were solidly funny shows built on ghoulish but not scary family values. Lily Munster  and Morticia Adams both came across as the sensible matriarchs of their spooky domains

mom game of thronesMonstrous Moms – Mom from Futurama could fit in the previous category… sure, she has three idiot sons, but she’s better known as the head of Mom’s Robot Factory. Her sweet, matronly demeanor in public is betrayed by her savage, sleek, sinister personality behind the scenes. Another Mother who isn’t quite as cuddly as you would hope is Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. She’s a bad mother, in more ways than one. Of course, the most ferocious might be the Xenomorph Queen from the Alien movies. From her perspective, she is just a protective mother hen, but to Ripley and her crew, she’s a bad mother figure…

i love lucy funko popPerhaps the greatest TV Mom of All – You might not think of Lucille Ball as a ‘TV Mom,” but she was one of the most revolutionary. In 1952, she was pregnant… er, “enceinte.” See, saying the P-word or even discussing it was taboo on TV back then. Heck, showing a baby bump was pretty controversial. Nevertheless, she persisted and actually wrote the pregnancy and birth into a 5-week arc of I Love Lucy, with the birth episode coinciding with the real birth of Desi Arnaz Jr. (son of her husband and co-star). Turns out the general public had no problem with any of this, just the overly protective censors. Fun fact: Lucy was visibly pregnant while filming the pilot episode of the show a couple years earlier, but they just never acknowledged it in the script. Way to go, Mom!

Do you have a favorite fictional mother we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

Limited Licensed Promo Hot Wheels – Collect Them All If You Can Find Them!

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Anyone interested in collecting Hot Wheels can find a pretty much complete list of every variant of every model ever made, as well as accurate lists of upcoming offerings.

There is an exception to that rule, however, when it come to limited licensed promo Hot Wheels models. A company such as Supreme, makers of skate-related fashion, might offer a vehicle (or a matching set in this case) with their logo plastered all over it.

hot wheels supreme bmwWhat makes these rare for completist collectors is that since they are distributed by the company who licensed them, many of them do not end up on the official Mattel release schedules, so diecast collectors might not know about them until they sell out at stores, online, or via mail-in promotions. Eventually they might show up on the secondary market. In fact, the target market for these items would likely not include traditional diecast collectors, but fans of the brand, so some of these might not ever get resold.

hot wheels twizzlers van

This is actually not a promo car.

Davis Sprague is an avid collector who has added quite a few items to the hobbyDB database. He happens to specialize in really odd variants such as these promo vehicles. “I prefer to focus on collecting variations, international releases, and anything that most collectors wouldn’t typically see every day at their local flea markets,” he said.

On a side note, Hot Wheels occasionally offers cross-branded cars as part of the Mainline series. Since these are widely available in most stores, these aren’t what we’re talking about here. Also, convention and event cars are not quite the same thing. Instead, let’s focus on models that were distributed well outside the usual collector channels. Many of these were released well before the internet became the instant toy news machine it is today, so finding out about them back then was hit-or-miss.

Davis was kind enough to send us a pretty comprehensive list of his favorite promos.

hot wheels promo cars

hot wheels fish o sour

Fat Fendered ’40 (2001 Chuck E Cheese’s Game Prize)
This one was fun to get… it was a prize to be earned at Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant/arcades. There’s no shame in playing kids games to get something this awesome, right?

C. Rex Mobile Nissan Hardbody (1994 Kraft Mail-In Promotional)
Speaking of cheesy mascots, this pickup was only available by mailing in mac and cheese proofs. In some cases, promotions like this may have been mentioned in TV ads, but most likely, you just had to spot it on the shelf at the grocery store.

Fish-O-Saurs VW Drag Bus (1998 Van de Kamp’s mail-in promo)
Do you like fish sticks? Good, because there were several vehicles available in this promotion (and one the year before) that required sending in proof of purchase seals.

hot wheels promo carsFatlace Volkswagen T1 Panel Van (Fatlace Promo)
Speaking of VW Buses, Fatlace, a “dope, ill, lifestyle” brand, made this T1 Panel Bus available only through them. It includes the slogan “Collect Everything” on the door, so what are you waiting for?

Second Wind (1983 Spontex promotional)
If this looks like Speed Racer’s Mach 5 with a sticker on the hood, well, yeah, it kind of is. The Second Wind was intended to be a Mach 5, but Mattel didn’t secure the licensing, so they modified it slightly and renamed it. As for the sticker, Spontex is a French cleaning supply company, and even though it’s just a sticker, it does come in a sealed blister, so finding one intact can be a challenge.

hot wheels promo carsAdidas High Voltage (2005 Adidas Shoes Promotion)
There was a chance collectors may have known about this one, as it came with a pair of kids Adidas Hot Wheels shoes. Which you bought for your kid, not for yourself, right?

Ecolab Ford Bronco 4-Wheeler (1994/1997 Ecolab Promo)
Maybe not the hippest brand on the planet, Ecolab (a clean water and hygiene services company) did this promo that resembles their service trucks. They are very sought after by collectors because of the popular casting and several wheel variations.

Since these don’t show up in more traditional outlets, these can be hard to keep track of, especially if you want to acquire them new. If you know of other recent or current promo vehicles from Hot Wheels, or especially from other diecast brands, let us know in the comments. Also, do you enjoy chasing these models from the source, or would you rather get them afterwards (such as on hobbyDB?)

The Most Expensive Hot Wheels Cars Cost More Than the Real Thing

most expensive hot wheels

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

If you’ve ever wanted to buy a vintage VW Microbus, do we have a deal for you. All original, including the paint and tires, and it even comes with surfboards. It’s a bit pricy at $45,000, but you’ll likely never have another chance to own one like this. Did we mention it’s a Hot Wheels vehicle?

In the world of toy collecting, there’s the rare and expensive and the just about nonexistent and jaw-droppingly valuable. In these cases, we’re not looking at mythical, unattainable asking prices (looking at you, world of Beanie Babies!). Instead, these are documented cases of real items actually selling for true prices. In some cases, the item may be the only one in existence, but in others, it’s just a very rare version for some reason.

pink beach bombHot Wheels; The aforementioned VW is of course, the “rear-loading” Beach Bomb, an original model that went back to the drawing board to make it more compatible with various accessories. Only a handful of the narrow-bodied originals ever made it to the public, with this pink one being the cream of the crop most recently selling for a reported $45,000.

hot wheels custom ottoThere’s an even rarer Hot Wheels car, the Custom Otto. The car was designed to mimic the generic blue car that graced the blister cards of the earliest redlines, but had never been produced as a model. In honor of Otto Kuhni, the artist who created that illustration, Hot Wheels made exactly one of this car, encrusted in Swarovski diamonds. It was sold for a reported $140,000!

In a kind gesture to collectors, Mattel has since released versions of both the Beach Bomb and the Custom Otto in more affordable versions. They haven’t hit the mainline pegs yet, but are in range of most enthusiasts of the brand.

Here are a few other articles featuring verifiable and/or anecdotal stories about other super premium cars…

  • AutoWise  –  10 Most Expensive Hot Wheels
  • Car & Driver –  The Most Valuable Hot Wheels Cars (for Now)
  • Complete Set  –  The 10 Most Expensive Hot Wheels
  • Complex  –  The 50 Best Hot Wheels of All Time
  • GEMR  –  The 10 Rarest Hot Wheels Ever Made
  • History  –  These Vintage Hot Wheels Toys Are Worth Thousands of Dollars
  • Hotcars  –  People Who Own Any Of These 25 Classic Hot Wheels Cars Could Be Sitting On A Fortune
  • Money Inc  –  The Five Most Expensive Hot Wheels of All-Time
  • The Gamer  –  Hot Wheels Cars That Are Worth A Fortune
  • The Richest  –  20 Hot Wheels Toy Cars That Are Worth A Small Fortune In 2018
  • Twenty-Two Words –  These Are The Most Valuable Hot Wheels Toys

If there are other good lists please add them in the comments! And maybe eventually somebody will combine all these lists into one Super List!

Model Cars That Look Weird in Certain Colors (But Nope, They Really Exist)

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Over the past couple years, we’ve brought you lists of model cars that came in colors that made you scratch your head for one reason or another. Some of them, like the Hot Wheels Red Baron are strange in other tones because the color made it into the name of the car. Others were models of cars that only came in a single hue (or a very limited range) and just look bizarre otherwise.

But we found a few that, despite their head-scratching appearance, are in fact based in reality to some degree. Some are based on production vehicles, and some are custom, but they are undeniably real in one way or another. So let’s cut the diecast companies some slack!

harlequin volkswagenHarlequin Volkswagens: Auto World makes a VW Beetle model in various colors…as in a bunch of colors all at once, on different body panels. Strange, right? Well, in the late ‘60s, Volkswagen ran a famous ad showing a Beetle that had every body panel painted a different color. The idea was to demonstrate that since the car’s design hadn’t changed substantially in years, parts could easily be swapped between different years. In 1995, VW painted a multi-colored show car to indicate the various bright colors available on the new model. People started demanding a production version, so for 1996, they offered a Golf painted the same way. (Only 250 or so were ever made.) Since then, some customizers have done the same treatment to Beetles both vintage and new. So even though VW didn’t sell this exact model, it’s rooted in reality.

striped plymouth barracudaRainbow Plymouth Barracuda: AutoWorld makes a pair of odd 1965 Barracudas that are covered in different hued bands from front to back. MOPAR never sold such a car, did they? Nope, they did not… but they did paint one for an advertisement to show off the spectrum of fantastic colors available. It’s unclear if they ever used it as a show car, but some collectors have painted their real Cudas that way as a tribute. So again yeah, that’s a legit scheme.

1982 buick grand nationalSilver and Black Buick Grand National: We’ve mentioned various scale models of the Buick GN that have come in colors other than black, which are, of course, all bogus hues. Johnny Lightning made a version that’s black with silver side panels that looks just as odd. But wait… the original 1982 GN actually came from the factory that way, so yep, another model that’s somehow correct.

marlboro gmc sycloneRed GMC Syclone: Speaking of all-black muscle vehicles from The General, the GMC Syclone pickup was a potent, 4WD compact truck with monster power upgrades. And it only came in black. So what’s up with this smokin’ red version from Johnny Lightning? Well, there was a special Marlboro edition in 1992, the grand prize for ten lucky sweepstakes winners. The JL version has the correct colors and stripes, but lacks the Marlboro badging due to marketing regulations.

super friends batmoblieBlue Batmobile: The Batmobile is black, right? No matter which version we’re talking about? Well, not always. The most notable exception was the car from the Super Friends cartoon, which was a simplified version of the classic TV Batmobile. It was rendered in mostly blue, which was probably easier to color in animation cels. Super Friends was such a huge hit that this Hot Wheels model doesn’t really look that strange unless you think too much.

red lincoln futuraRed Lincoln Futura Concept: Speaking of Batmobiles, everyone knows the Futura Concept was a light, silvery blue hue before George Barris worked his magic on it for the Adam West era car. So what’s with all the different colored diecast models of it? Turns out the Futura was a fully-functioning, running car, and Ford sold it at some point in the late 1950s. By 1959, it had indeed been painted red as shown on the March 30, 1959 issue of LIFE magazine, featuring the ever glamorous Debbie Reynolds. It may have worn other colors as well, but only the Johnny Lightning model gets a pass for sure, even if the interior is the wrong shade.

pink playboy amxPink American Motors AMX: The original AMX, a shortened, two-seat version of the sporty Javelin, came in a lot of brash colors, but pink? Nope, not from the factory, anyway. However, starting in 1964 Hugh Hefner began presenting the Playmate Of The Year with a pink car every year. In 1968, he had an AMX painted that way as a gift to PMOY Angela Dorian. (It was easily one of the best year-appropriate cars given as the annual prize). Hot Wheels has offered brightly colored pink versions of the AMX over the years, but Johnny Lightning and Ertl have made models in the correct Playboy shade. Although JL has created other Playboy related diecast over the years, their AMX was offered without the magazine branding, but it’s still a wink and a nod to those in the know. (By the way, Ertl offers a pink 1967 Mustang, but that was not actually the prize that year… it was a Plymouth Barracuda.)

dodge la femmePink Dodge Custom Royal Lancer: Speaking of pink cars, here’s one that inexplicably doesn’t seem to exist in small scale…1950s Detroit brought out some wild colors, but Dodge really did a number with the pink and white La Femme in 1955. Marketed as a ladies car, it was kind of a flop, and you could argue it plays to certain stereotypes as the original “chick car.” On the other hand, at least it showed that a car company was considering that women were drivers and car buyers, too. Besides the paint, it was a mostly standard 1955 Royal Lancer… except for special fabric, matching purse, lipstick holder and cigarette case(!). 1956 saw another version, this time in two shades of orchid paint. Several companies, such as M2 Machines, make castings of the ’55, but so far, they haven’t done it in this color scheme. C’mon, there are women who collect diecast too, right?

Can you think of any other diecast cars that seem weirdly colored but are in fact, correct? Hit us up in the comments (and if you can, add a photo)!