Motor Trend and Hot Wheels

mtthumb

Recently, Hot Wheels and Motor Trend teamed up and created an exclusive pair of diecast cars if you signed up for a new account of Motor Trend On Demand. New account users would receive the Datsun 240Z made famous by the show Road Kill. On the show, the hosts modified the car with a massive turbo charger and exhaust pipe and named it “The Rotsun.” Hot Wheels made that car so subscribers could have both the before and after version of the car. The photo above is the after version. I am still hunting down the before version.

With Hot wheels and Motor Trend collaborating on projects now, and Hot Wheels now experimenting with cars coming already crushed, could we see more cars from Roadkill and other Motor Trend shows? I’m sure all of us what like to see Blasphemi as an official Hot Wheel. But there are so many more that could be done. The Draguar, the Mazdarati, Stubby Bob, General Mayhem and General Maintenance, and those are just from Roadkill. Dirt Every Day has fantastic examples of vehicles as well. Tube Sock and the Alabama Army Truck come to mind.

I’m curious to see how this partnership continues into the future though. Because, the problem with the above mentioned promotion was that the account MUST be a new account. Current subscribers would have had to create an entirely new account in order to take advantage of getting the cars. That to me seemed like a terrible idea. Hot Wheels already has the Red Line Club where members pay a yearly membership fee to have access to cars only available to the RLC. They come at a cost, normally around $30 a car. I don’t know why Motor Trend doesn’t do the same thing? I am a faithful subscriber to Motor Trend On Demand, and WOULD HAVE BOUHGHT the set of cars from Motor Trend if given the option. Merchandise is supposedly a profitable source of income from what I know about business. Hopefully Motor Trend and Hot Wheels have learned from this situation. Hopefully there are more car choices soon and available to all subscribers. And if they could still keep them somewhat exclusive and limited, that actually might be cool too.

Can it be done better?

The newest Hot Wheels Legends tour winner was announced on Monday November 17th 2020. It has been met with very distinctly opposite reactions. There is not much of a middle ground.

What I would most like to express is difference between what is an amazing build in person and what is an amazing build that is a 1/64 scale model. Sometimes, things do not translate very well to being a small scale toy. The most frustrating part is that it does not really matter what engine is in the real life car, or how much horsepower it has, or any other mechanical statistic. When becoming a toy, it looses every single statistical aspect in that regard, and thus, that detracts from the ability to make a cool toy car. A few designers were on the panel to judge for the car to be a model and they say it can be done. But I do somewhat question that. Hot Wheels has been making stunning models as of late.

Even so, I still think there are some limitations. If you look at Hot Wheels designer Brendon Vetuskeys personal Firebird that was made into a Hot Wheel. It has some aspects that are perplexing when translated into a toy. The model in the mainline does not have a hood, which I believe is because when they started the process of making the car into a model, it did not have one. The car in real life now has a hood. So, there is an exposed engine bay on the model. That is both good and bad. The engine bay is a highly detailed area, so capturing it in scale is tough, but I do think they did a good job. Still, it is pretty simple car overall, and the paint job is very basic. I am not even sure if the original mainline model actually had paint. I think it was clear coated ZAMAC, which is the raw metal used to create the little cars.


So, for the 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner to be a white, 1970 Pontiac Trans Am is…incredibly disappointing. You can watch the whole judging process here. The build in real life is amazing don’t get me wrong, but as adults, we get caught up in the fact that the car is a stunning machine in real life. Yet, this is supposed to be a toy. While as a kid, I did like real life, licensed models, this is actually a chance to take a somewhat unrealistic car in real life, and make it a realistic toy. I know that sounds ironic, but it is true. Having some more outside of the box design and creation and wild colors would be a much more fun car to find on the pegs. Overall, I think that there could have been a better winner.

Yet, I wonder if this is more of a financial move. More can be done with a firebird in terms of recolors in the future. It is also more desirable among adult collectors and so it could eventually become a premium model, especially if they try to get very detailed with it. We will have to wait until December 2021 to see this car in the package on the pegs. Hopefully it will warm up to me more as time passes and hopefully 2021 will bring even more amazing cars to the Legends Tour to potentially become a Hot Wheels car.