Its always great when a Hot Wheels casting has an origin story. No, it may not be as good as Wolverine from X-Men, but it definitely is noteworthy.
As of late, Mattel has had a continued presence at the SEMA Show every year in Las Vegas. Back in 2013, in conjunction with an otherwise boring release of the Ford Transit Connect Van, Hot Wheels partnered with Ford to create a custom car showpiece out of this delivery van. Not only did Hot Wheels pull that of, but in true Hot Wheels fashion, they added a custom off-road vehicle named the Rip Rod, on a trailer behind the van.
The “set” sent buzz for the Hot Wheels and Ford brands around the convention floor. In the Hot Wheels world, collectors were also excited as a Hot Wheels-sized “set” was also shown. Collectors harassed Hot Wheels Graphic Designer Steve Vandervate for answers. He admitted this miniature set was a custom down by one of the designers at Hot Wheels but hinted at the possibility of seeing the Transit Connect Van in the future–as the Rip Rod had already been released (just not as shown).
Nearly 1 year later, collectors were finally graced with the “Hot Wheels” Ford Transit Connect in the 2014 basic line in the Garage Series. As a New Model for 2014, this release shown below was its only version, albeit a great version! Mirroring the SEMA version, the van was snatched up pretty quickly from retail stores making it not incredibly easy to find like most basic line cars. As soon as us collectors were graced with this release, the ones that remembered the SEMA show from the prior year, began clamoring for the Rip Rod and trailer. While the trailer is unlikely, it looks as though Hot Wheels granted that wish as the Hot Wheels Race Team inspired Rip Rod is due out in the next month or two, which is surely to be a hit with collectors!
RELEASE DETAILS: Metalflake Blue Body (metal). Tinted Windows. Gray Interior. Orange-Chrome-Rimmed, Black Open-Hole 5-Spoke (OH5) Wheels. Gray Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# BDD17. Released in 2014 as part of the HW Workshop / Garage Series (2014 New Model).