HW Flames: ’67 CHEVELLE SS 396

We are coming to the end of another Hot Wheels year which means most colorways of releases for this year are out already. The ’67 Chevelle SS 396 from the HW Flames series had an interesting year as it may have set a new precedent for special cars released in the mainline with its #Leap Year edition. The second colorway of this car from the HW Flames came in a special deco, on a special card, mixed right with the other cars from that basic assortment. Some considered it a chase, some did not, as it seemed to come 1 to 2 per case … just like any other basic Hot Wheels release. Since we have to wait four years for the off-chance this could happen again, one has to wonder if we could see other special releases mixed among the mainline Hot Wheels for 2017 — and no, I’m not talking about #Treasure Hunts.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels ’67 Chevelle SS 396 from the 2016 HW Flames Series … all three variations

All three colorways look great but its the leap year edition that steals the show. The vintage racing leap year design looks marvelous and we will dissect it in just a minute. Before we do that, lets check out the “pegwarmer” of the group in the black colorway which was released first. Released in probably the highest quantity of the three #Variations, the black colorway (though released earliest in the year) can still be found on pegs of slow moving stock. The teal interior was an odd choice with the color of those flames so that alone many be the reason it was least popular with collectors — aside from the fact that it wasn’t perceived as limited like the other two.

Orange Track Diecast

RELEASE DETAILS: Black Body (metal). Clear Windows. Turquoise Interior. Chrome 5-Spoke (5SP) Wheels. Chrome Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# DHR07. Released in 2016 as #2 of 10 in the HW Flames Series.

Since the leap year Chevelle was 1 to 2 per case, it was the novelty of this special edition that had collectors flocking to the pegs — well, plus it just looks really cool. Domestic cards here in the United States said “LEAP YEAR” on them in the upper-left whereas international cards featured a calendar (with 29 circled) in place of the wording.

This release of the ’67 Chevelle SS 396 marks only the second time Hot Wheels has released a Leap Year edition vehicle. The first and only time came in 2008 when the Leap Year ’52 Chevy Truck was released as part of the #Clover Cars, as a #Walmart Exclusive. That ’52 Chevy Truck was also considered a chase by the majority of collectors.

I could go on and on about the design on the leap year edition #Chevelle as, like I said before, the vintage racing Leap Year design looks marvelous while it still adheres to the fact that its part of the HW Flames series. At first glance one may not even realize this is a special edition leap year car but as you look at it more closely, you see the “LEAP YEAR” above the front wheel wells and on the trunk. This is in addition to the date, 2/#29/16 appearing on the roof and both sides of the car. Another cool tidbit is that this one of those #Cars featuring names of Mattel Employees as it says, “MATT BRUTOCAO” on the roof. Matt is the Director of Global Brand Marketing for Hot Wheels.

Orange Track Diecast

RELEASE DETAILS: Light Gray Body (metal). Clear Windows. Red Interior. Gray 5-Spoke (5SP) Wheels. Chrome Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# DHX38. Released in 2016 as #2 of 10 in the HW Flames Series, wearing 2016 Leap Year packaging.

How can you possibly top that? Well, you can’t but if that wasn’t enough, Hot Wheels released a white-hot colorway of this Chevelle as a #Toys R Us Exclusive. Probably the most limited of the three, like most Toys R Us (TRU) exclusives tend to be, as there just aren’t many TRUs around and each store only receives a handful of cases with several of this car included. It wouldn’t be surprising to see value on this colorway jump after the supply starts running dry.

Orange Track Diecast

RELEASE DETAILS: White Body (metal). Light Blue Tinted Windows. Black Interior. Red-Chrome Rim, Black Muscle-Car 5-Spoke (MC5) Wheels. Chrome Base (plastic). Made in Malaysia. Toy# DHX99. Released in 2016 as #2 of 10 in the HW Flames Series … this colorway is a Toys R Us Exclusive.

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