Hot Wheels 5-Packs don’t usually garner too much attention but every so often one comes around that has the collectors talking. The 2016 Volkswagen 5-Pack has managed to do so as it came with 5 #VW castings, which were welcomed by collectors after a slew of 5-packs that featured #Unlicensed Hot Wheels fantasy castings.
As if the Volkswagen 5-Pack didn’t already have collectors headed to the pegs, a mid-run casting reboot had even seemingly uninterested collectors grabbing this 5-pack times two.
When collectors first noticed this Custom Volkswagen Beetle starting to show up with a roof rack, it became the talk of numerous posts across several diecast sites. While its not uncommon to see casting modifications in Hot Wheels castings over time, not-to-often do we see it happen mid-run. Fortunately, in this case, an already cool 5-pack became even more cool AND we have both versions of the casting wearing the same graphics — definitely makes for a great side-by-side!
The roof rack was hardly the only change, nor was it the first time this casting received a mid-run change. The new beetle casting also received a retooled plastic base (versus the metal base on the previous version of the casting) which lost the “stinger” exhaust as the exhaust pipes are now part of the interior piece (see below).
The Larry Wood designed, Hot Wheels Custom Volkswagen Beetle first surfaced in the 2007 Ultra Hots Series and has been produced since with this being the latest release. When the casting transitioned into a mainline piece in 2009, the casting was also changed midway through its first colorway in the Heat Fleet Series for that year. Early Heat Fleet releases (of the red colorway) still had the opening rear deck lid that was featured in its premium line releases in 2007 and 2008. That deck lid was sealed shut and has remained shut even with several subsequent releases coming in premium lines. While that was obviously a negative casting change, the addition of the roof rack can be viewed as a positive as its a cool little custom element that adds to this casting’s character. Personally, I will miss the panoramic window on top, but it was nice to see it replaced with a character-building element such as the roof rack. Obviously the loss of the metal base stinks, but that has now become the norm for non-premium Hot Wheels. Time will tell if this Custom VW Beetle casting is customized once again by the Hot Wheels design staff, but this young casting sure has a lot of history with this being, yet again, another milestone.