The Cruise Bruiser is one of those Hot Wheels castings that instantly takes you back to your childhood. Playing the role of Captain Destructo as a child, many of my Hot Wheels from the 1980s did not survive as they were “well-loved”–and by well-loved, I mean crashed, burned & blown up. If you’ve seen Toy Story, I was more of a “Sid” than an “Andy”. I had a very rough way of playing with Hot Wheels as it consisted of three facets:
- Car Dealership (lining up all the vehicles and picking out the ones you want to play with for that day, but most times when you were done picking, you were done playing)
- Sandbox (building little quarry-esque cities in the sandbox, driving cars on the “roads”, and of course having a junkyard)
- Demolition Derby (usually played on a hard surface like a kitchen floor or outdoor patio, running the cars into each other at full-speed, and seeing which ones broke apart. This would send cars to that aforementioned, sandbox junkyard)
So when I said the Hot Wheels Cruise Bruiser takes me back to my childhood, you can see why. This car would have been perfect for the demolition derby had it been made in the 1980s (since it most likely would have been all metal). To my recollection, Hot Wheels has never done a demolition derby specific casting. We’ve seen releases to the liking of the Demolition Derby 5-Pack (in 2010), but none of the castings were any you would see in a real demolition derby. So it would have been really cool to have a real demolition derby car as a kid instead of crashing a bunch of high-end exotic cars into each other.
Hot Wheels describes the #2016 New Models Cruise Bruiser as:
This family wagon has been transformed into a hard-knocking, fire breathing demolition beast. Check out that anchor in the back. It keeps it from being rocked by the competition.
While I’m not sure if that is particularly legal in terms of demolition derby rules (having an anchor in the back), kudos to Hot Wheels designer Dmitriy Shakhmatov for giving this car that character that I like to talk about. These little bits of character, help young kids develop stories behind their cars like who drives it, how other cars react to it, or just make it that much more cool. Combine this with the graphics that look hand-written (including the “I [HEART] DEMOLITION”), the “taken-out” windows, massive blown engine and the hunk of steel on the front end acting like a bumper, and you have one great demolition derby car. NOTE: The “DIMA WAS HERE” written on the side is a nod to designer Dmitriy Shakhmatov as his nickname at Hot Wheels Headquarters in El Segundo, CA is “Dima”.
I remember going to the demolition derby every Labor Day in my hometown because the destruction aspect of the was so appealing to the destructive kid that I was. I never understood why everyone watched a whole NASCAR race waiting for a massive wreck when you could see twisted metal happen repeatedly over the course of a destruction derby. This casting is an instant hit with this collector and I can’t wait to see what other reiterations of this casting will look like!
UPDATE 03/25/2016: Matte Blue Variation Added