Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hot Wheels R32 or Hot Wheels R34?

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This post reminds me that we still need a Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 from Hot Wheels. In a poll earlier this year, Greenlight implicated that they may cast an R33 in the near future. One way or another, we need a 1/64 scale R33 that's widely available in North America. For now, we'll choose between the Hot Wheels R32 and the Hot Wheels R34.

The R34 is the more modern of the two GT-Rs as it's a 5th gen. Skyline while the R32 is a 3rd gen. Skyline. That means the R34 is a little more technically advanced and has some added luxuries the R32 was missing. But the R32 is a raw brute. It's a race car built for the road.

Since we're talking diecast, though, let's compare 1/64 versions. The R32 just got a casting change this year as the spoiler is now molded into the casting as opposed to being a separate plastic piece. We've seen Mattel go to metal spoilers across the range, which has worked in some instances and turned out disastrously in others. The key to making the switch is keeping the spoiler the exact same size. Luckily, a comparison of this years Gran Turismo R32 with a plastic spoiler and the Night Burnerz R32 with a metal spoiler, reveals that both spoilers are identically sized. When size matches up precisely, I'll take the metal option every day.

Ultimately there's no right answer as to which casting is better. Since neither casting is poorly done or out of proportion, it comes down to which casting's styling you prefer. Personally, I like the R32's compact, old school look. It looks fast just sitting there. I'd love to hear which casting you prefer, and why?

Happy Collecting!!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

If Mattel Plays Football, the New Exotics 5-Pack Wins them the Super Bowl!

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Yeah, it's that good. And sorry (but not) for the cheesy football analogy, but the new Exotics 5-pack from Mattel is a true winner. The aptly named 'exotic' 5-pack is just that. However, unlike recent Exotic 5-packs, it really evokes the full measure of the word 'exotic'. In an auto context, 'exotic' conjures cars you'll never own. Maybe you'll sit in one once in your life. If you're lucky. Exotic cars bring so much to mind beyond motoring too. Mega-yachts, 9-car garages, super models and perfect beaches. The Autobahn and all the rest. For me anyways.

Everything I've just mentioned is at incredible odds with $1 toy cars packaged and sold at Wal-Mart for suburban brats. Yet somehow Mattel perfectly translates luxury and exotica to little toy cars. The 2016 Exotics 5-pack is easily the best set yet to bear the 'exotic' moniker from the blue brand. The colors are right, from lime green to bright white to mango orange to luxurious gold, this set feels exotic. I have to remind myself it only cost 5 bucks. The only thing better $5 bucks buys these days is a Little Ceasars Hot-n-Ready.

I'll cut the nonsense and get to the cars now. It's really an understatement to say I'm impressed. The crowning jewel of the bunch is the Alfa Romeo Competizione 8C. I've always appreciated the rather underrated Alfa casting, but in lime green with magnificent detailing it's irresistible. If this presentation doesn't solve the whole 'underrated thing' for the Alfa, nothing will. It's model-of-the-year calibre. Don't send out the lynch-mob until you scroll through the photos. It's that good.

The 911 GT3 was a rather ho-hum choice at first glance given it's recent prevalence on the pegs, but up close it's a fantastic piece. The white is incredibly bright and clean and the gold PR-5s work. (Yeah, I know, they're PR-5s, but they really do work!) The 911 also pairs beautifully with the emerald Alfa.

Third place for me is the best Hot Wheels Pagani Huayra yet. The metallic gold works with the wheel choice and finally gives this model the extra 'pop' it's needed since Hot Wheels debuted the Huayra in 1/64 scale. The signature 'Pagani' lettering always gets me too.

The Lamborghini cruises into 4th place for me. I'm too lazy to dig the car out and check the bottom to see which Lambo it actually is, but it's nice. And before you jump all over me for not being up on my Lambos, there are a ton of Hot Wheels Lambo castings and they all have confusing names. (What ever happened to the Diablo (and Countach before that) being the only Lambo) But it's classic Lambo beauty. Plus, what's an Exotic 5 without Italy's finest?

Last but not least is the Porsche Panamera. A lot of people distrust a Porsche with 4-doors. But since it's a toy car and not the real McCoy and the deco is clean, and it's a sharp looking little replica, the Panamera makes for a very, very good last place.

I hate to continue to promote Mattel without being compensated, but heck, the Exotics 5 really is a no-brainer at $5 bucks. Enjoy!

Happy Collecting!!

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