Whether its a horse of a different color or a casting of a different name, the denominator keeps you grounded — in this case, its the casting. The casting known as Grass Hopper was titled as Mountain Goat for this 2010 HotWheelsCollectors.com (HWC) Series 9 Neo-Classics release. When it was first announced in 2010 that a retooled Grass Hopper would be joining the Series 9 lineup at HWC, collectors eagerly anticipated the revival of the 1971 version of the Grass Hopper — complete with dual engines, plastic canopy and detailed tools cast into the sides.
The retooled Grass Hopper ultimately released was the Mountain Goat, and to some collectors, it was a goat indeed. The Mountain Goat name was chosen as Hot Wheels no longer had the rights to the Grass Hopper name. In addition to that, the Mountain Goat was a retooled version of the one-off 1974 Flying Colors version of the Grass Hopper, not the popular 1971 version. Thankfully, it was the version with the #Blown Engine as the 1975 non-blown engine version of the casting was even more bland. While it was extremely disappointing to not see that 1971 casting revived, the Mountain Goat was far from a dud.
Once you put aside that initial bias over preferring the 1971 casting over the 1974 casting (if that’s indeed what you have), you can move forward and appreciate what this release had to offer. Based on the Willys MB US Army Jeep, the Mountain Goat’s spectraflame boxy frame looks great accompanying a chrome-plated blown engine, flat-windshield and spare fuel canister — though, the canister probably would have looked better if it were detailed. While some may perturbed at the non-military mystique of this release, to me, it screams California Custom — the notion on which the Hot Wheels brand was founded on. The Neo-Classic Redline Wheels only further its California Custom case.
After 6 years and 8 days, the HWC Series 9 Mountain Goat remains in the Hot Wheels Shop. It almost seems inconceivable considering this gem was limited to 5,000 pieces. Yet it most likely stems from that backlash of disappointment collectors experienced all the way back in 2010. With the sale of this car going on six years now, its unlikely we will see this casting again. Its too bad as its a really great casting but unfortunately fails in comparison to the 1971 version. If you missed out on this one, now is the time to pick it up as we have learned that items in the Hot Wheels Shop this year have slowly been (or in some cases quickly) selling out when the right discount is applied. The Mountain Goat does look fabulous loose and should look great in any Jeep or Neo-Classics collection.