Redline Fake-Out

So this one is a Redline premium series car -- not to be confused with a Redliner or a classic Redline car. There's not much out there on this series, but extrapolating from the copyright date I'd say it was a late-2015 or early-2016 premium model. And I can't remember where in the states I found it. Since we don't have Target or KMart in Canada, it could quite easilly be either of those.

I'll be honest here, I confused this car with the '70 Cheville SS Wagon, which I do like. This GTO isn't really quite my speed, for reasons which I can't explain.

Custom '66 GTO Wagon
Redlines #16
This particular model has been more or less exclusively used in premium model lines, probably because of the amount of material required to make it. It is a heavy car that probably won't yield much play value and is therefore best kept for collectors.

Finish and paint are nice, although because of the narrow axles it doesn't sit squarely or roll nicely. It is hard to see, but the base latch extruding through the back has "GTO" embossed on it. One other interesting feature is the dog looking out of the rear.


Culture Cooler

So on my March Break, the family and I drove down from Ottawa to Atlanta. And of course this was an opportunity to see all kinds of new WalMarts and Targets and KMarts and to see what kind of Hot Wheels were available in other parts of the world.

Here in Ottawa we've seen very little of the Car Culture series since the Track Day series. It is almost like the Japan Historics were a huge hit, the Euro Style were a moderate hit, so everyone went nuts ordering Track Day... and now the Track Day cars are still sticking around. It's almost like the sales of the Euro Style were more momentum from the Japan Historics than any particular desire for the cars themselves. 

This is what I was afraid of, retailers over-ordering a mediocre line and then getting stuck with peg warmers, while other lines pass them by. As a result, I've personally seen one or two individual Redliners in Ottawa, and never seen an Air Cooled series member in Ottawa.

So in the States, things are obviously different because both the Redliners and Air Cooled series have hit and are generally available. And so I managed to pick up the few members of each that actually appealed to me.

We start off with the Air Cooled Porsche 356A Outlaw.

Porsche 356A Outlaw
Car Culture -- Air Cooled #3
This is the only Air Cooled member that even marginally appeals to me, and now that I have it I am not impressed. I don't like the way the rear of the car is tucked in to make the whole thing narrow. The paint, fit, and finish are all top-notch like you'd expect from a Premium Hot Wheels line. But from where I sit, it just doesn't do much for me.
So far I have not collected to completion any of the Car Culture series. I have 2 Japanese Historics, 3 Track Day, 3 Euro Style, 1 Air Cooled, and 2 Redliners. And even in the cars I have, there is a fair bit of "meh".

Clearly the Japan Historics set the bar impossibly high for the Car Culture series, and either the retailers are over-ordering batches of the follow-on series... or the series are just not as desirable as the first one was.


Another Display Quadrant

Time for another of the periodic looks at one of the display quadrants over my desk at home. This is the top-left quadrant, the European quadrant:

...Volvos still count as European, right? No matter. Part of the fun is when new cars are purchased, you have to find homes for them in the display, and than meas deciding what comes out. This time we dropped a purple F40 and a Z4 M in order to add the white 911 and the Lambourghini Sesto. Of the two, I think the Sesto will probably be on the short list for replacement when the next candidate comes up.


Another Lamborghini

...I know I said I didn't like Lamborghinis, but this one seems to work a bit. Maybe if I look at them away from their wilder cousins. I'll have to dig out the other ones and decide if I like any o them any more. Also this one doesn't have a crazy-long name.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
2016 Mainline #80


Exotics 5-Pack Week: The Anchor

This Porsche is the reason why I bought the five-pack. This casting is a current favorite, and the clean white treatment is almost always a winner. I even like the gold wheels.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS
2016 HW Exotics 5-Pack

Unfortunately... the hidden driver's side shows not insignificant paint damage. Still worth it, although I might go and buy another 5-Pack just to get one of these without the damage.

Overall I think this week's experiment has been a success, and so I'll probably do more in the future. It will give me a chance to open up and go through more of the five-packs I'm sitting on.


Exotics 5-Pack Week: Surprise

Lamborghinis seem to require ridiculous names. Shockingly, not only do I like this model, but I like that this model decently executed, so well so that when I got all of the cars out of the package and examined them, this one was my second favourite -- a spot higher up the rankings than yesterday's Panamera, which would normally have been a gimme for position #2 in this list. And it isn't an execution problem with the Porsche either, I just like this particular car better.

There's no accounting for taste, even one's own.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
2016 HW Exotics 5-Pack


Exotics 5-Pack Week: Execution

Third of the five: Simply put, this is how you execute a model. There's practically nothing to complain about here. Even the paint color, which might seem to be a little drab, works perfectly here. No crazy tampos; simple and clean wheels. Even though the idea of a four-seat Porsche is ridiculous, this casting is becoming one of my favorites.
Porsche Panamera
2016 HW Exotics 5-Pack


Exotics 5-Pack Week: Bling

Next up, or fourth out of the five, is this gold Huayra. While this isn't a casting I seek out, the gold-on-gold treatment works fairly well for this car. The casting itself isn't particularly interesting to me.
Pagani Huayra
2016 HW Exotics 5-Pack


Exotics 5-Pack Week: Green Thumb

So I bought another 5-Pack. Just to try something different, I thought I'd spend a whole week, doing one casting a day from it, in reverse order of how much I like each one of them.

First off, and therefore bringing up the rear of this list, is this Alpha. Frankly I'm not a fan of this casting. I don't know how true to the original it is, but it seems too wide or stubby or something. I will say that the green color is nice, though.
Alpha Romeo 8c Competizione
2016 HW Exotics 5-Pack


Greenish Gold

2015 Mainline #24
The car is actually more gold than green, not sure where that coloring came from.



A second version of the Fast & Furious Escort. This one has bronze wheels that make you think they might be FTE wheels, but when you look closely you see that they're not.

'70 Ford Escort RS1600
2017 Fast & Furious #6
Nasty copyright stamp limited to discreet black text on the rear trunk lid.

For whatever reason, this has turned into the F&F peg warmer -- at Centrum there have been three of these sitting on the pegs for the last three weeks or so. I bought the other two F&F cars about a week before I bought this one, and it was a good thing too since the other models are all gone and I've not seen any stock refresh since.


Speaking Of Surprises

...I didn't buy just one, but two cars from the Camaro Fifty series. This Camaro was the Chevrolet equivalent to the Pontiac Firebird of its time with the Knight Rider styling. The Chevrolet angle was the IROC-Z styling, based on the International Race Of Champions cars.
'85 Camaro IROC-Z
Camaro Fifty #4
The theory behind IROC was simple -- you took top racing drivers from different disciplines, had them race in different race formats in identically prepared cars, and you could therefore compare apples to oranges and come up with a conclusion as to which driver was "best".

The execution was somewhat different. All the drivers were pulled from US racing series, NASCAR and CART racing. The majority of the race courses were ovals, being one-mile short courses or super speedways. And even though the cars were supposedly identical, with that many cars to prepare and maintain there were differences -- I have a vivid memory of CART driver and road-course specialist Arie Luyendyk disappearing into the distance on a super speedway course with the rest of the field powerless to catch up even if they used drafting.

As to this model, what strikes me the most is that it is narrow. Or, proportionally, tall. These cars are supposed to be wider than they are tall, and this car is almost square from the front. It isn't what I expected at all and I find it unusually disappointing. Even though I picked up the this car first, and didn't like the '82 Camaro as much, out of the package my opinion is 100% reversed. The '82 car is much nicer and I don't like this one at all.

But even from a Hot Wheels perspective these cars are unusually narrow -- see below comparing some recent examples on a slice of orange track. The STI is what I would consider a typical Hot Wheels footprint, while the Warthog actually fills the track completely. The IROC-Z is almost comically narrow and would suffer pretty badly in track racing.

(And now you know why the orange track has made a periodic appearance over the last week or two.)



I didn't expect to see these in Canada at all:

...but there they are, at the Toys'R'Us Kanata. Presumably other Canadian stores will eventually get 'em too.

They were even selling them for the same price as mainlines -- $1.50, which is higher than some other stores (WalMart is selling for $1 each right now) but the point -- same price as mainlines.

Even though I'd already ordered the one car from this series that I actually wanted, I bought a second one for my desk at work.


Video Game Ride

This particular model had an interesting journey. I picked it up in the store with a big pile of other cars, and marked it as being bought in my HWCollectors.com inventory. Then I couldn't find it when it came time to add it to this site, so I presumed my memory was faulty and I deleted it from the inventory again. But while moving some piles of stuff around, it turned up -- so here we are.

USNC Warthog
2017 Mainline #2
As for the model itself, I don't have a lot to say about it. I am intrigued by the idea of the Scorpion Tank from the Halo Entertainment series, if it ever lands in Canada.


Saggy Baggy

Take note, Mattel: details matter.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
2017 Fast & Furious #4
First of all, this is a nice casting, nice paint, decent wheels, properly implemented tampos including nice details like the Porsche logo and signalling lights. However, the spoiler hanging off the back in a half-assed way just totally wrecks the model. It makes it look terrible. And it wasn't just this one as a one-off, all of the examples on the pegs were similarly terrible.

The other weird thing about this car is that the packaging labels it as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The problem is that the wing is clearly from the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, and in fact the base identifies it as a GT3 Cup as well. Very curious. Especially since the execution of rear wings on the rest of my GT3 Cup cars are not as poorly executed as every one of these blue ones I've seen in the stores.