There weren’t many Hot Wheels collectors talking about the Fast Gassin when it appeared as a 2009 New Model. Sure, it was a cool little tanker truck done somewhere between art deco and Japanese bosozoku-style, but with the only actual diecast (metal) piece on the casting being the cab, many collectors were afraid of what was to come — brightly-colored plastic parts. For the next several years, the Fast Gassin received some odd color combinations.
Even with the Fast Gassin receiving a full-metal makeover in 2012 for its Atari Pop Culture release, and with it being a regular Treasure Hunt in 2015, it wasn’t until the 2016 release of the casting that had collectors talking. Viewed as a cost-cutting move, one of the casting’s three axles were removed.
While its entirely possible it was a cost-cutting move that altered this casting, its also entirely possible that the third axle was removed and the size of the rear wheel increased to better suit the casting’s track performance. As you can see in the comparison shot above, those weren’t the only changes. The casting was shortened ever-so-slightly and the diecast from the cab extends along the top of the tank.
The uncertainty remains as to when and why the change was made but both collectors and kids have pointed out an afterthought on its 2016 blister as the artwork still shows the casting with the double rear axles.
So while your collector buddies may be convinced the catalyst for this change was Mattel’s bottom line, I took it upon myself to have a weigh in as the 2016 version of the casting felt slightly heavier than the 2009 version. Upon weighing the two (photo evidence can be seen underneath the article), I found the the 2016 Fast Gassin is IN FACT, heavier than the 2009 Fast Gassin by a whopping 3 grams. So with less friction (sans one axle), a larger rear wheel, more diecast (helps contribute to that +3g), AND a better center of gravity, the new Fast Gassin does appear to have gained the edge in track performance — which in turn, supports the idea that this change was not made from frugality but rather from enhancing Hot Wheels brand standards in speed and performance.