Finding the #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics on Hot Wheels releases can be like a scavenger hunt as they vary over the years and appear in many types of Hot Wheels lines. Fortunately, in the last couple years, we have been provided with a mainline series specifically for this segment. The #HW Race Team (2016) featured 10 vehicles, all with a unique Hot Wheels Race Team pattern designed by Hot Wheels graphic designer, Leeway Chang. Below is our Top 10 (of the 10) cars in this year’s mainline installment. NOTE: We are only looking at the first (blue) colorway of each, and not factoring in the Super Treasure Hunt Carbonic.
10. Corvette C7.R
Not sure if its the lack of #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics on this car or if its my disdain for this casting, but in a year of really cool (and different) castings with unique race team patterns, this one falls to the back as its lost in the crowd. I implemented a simple test: Name all 10 cars in this series. Usually the one you can’t name was the least memorable — which was the case when I ran the test, only confirming my initial thoughts on this lackluster release of the C7.R.
9. Bone Speeder
Another casualty to the lack of #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics, the Bone Speeder comes in at #9. As I covered in the article, this casting seems to lack the personality of its cousin, the Bone Shaker. Without that skull on the front, it kind of looks like the cab of the Bone Shaker mated with a door wedge. With that, its still an interesting #First Edition casting and many have taken a liking to it. As far as the #HW Race Team (2016) goes, there were so many better options out there.
An upset to some, I have the Futurismo at #8. This electric race car could be the future of racing. This was the #First Edition of this casting but it seemed at home as part of a racing segment for some reason. The #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics were spot on with a long, stretched stripe across the top and the fuel cell pattern completed the electric ensemble. Is it just me or could you see this thing running out at the salt flats?
Another brand-new #First Edition casting was introduced wearing the #Hot Wheels Race Team colors. This time, it was the aircraft-styled, retro-inspired, #Indy Car. Personally, it could have used the Hot Wheels logo on both sides of this ’70s-looking, body-curved-following graphic design. While that was a small thing that could have made the release better, shoutout to that race team metalflake blue paint that really made those rivets on the casting stand out!
As one of my least-favorite realistic castings, this #Hot Wheels Race Team graphic scheme developed by Leeway Chang really “fit” this car’s curves. Its simple, its elegant, its enough to land the Carbonic at #6. NOTE: Even if I had configured the Super Treasure Hunt version into this mix, it probably would have still wound up at this spot as the next five were definitely must-haves.
Kudos to Leeway Chang for trying to design different patterns for at the #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics this year. While some were spot on, other like this “checkerboard” pattern were a miss. Had this pattern been reserved for the Bone Speeder or the Formula Flashback, those would have been rated higher but since it was on a super cool casting in the Custom ’12 Ford Mustang, it actually detracts from the casting’s speedy, drift styling.
4. ’08 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Another well-deserving casting finally appeared with #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics only to perplex collectors with an “abstract, sailboat-esque” pattern. While its an interesting pattern that probably would have been served better on another casting, the rally numbers on the sides & hood are a nice touch. Had the “sailboats” been replaced with an off-centered striping pattern or a more rally-esque design, this car could have been sitting at #1.
3. Bull Whip
This is probably a big shocker here to most collectors! The Kevin Cao designed Bull Whip had not received much love from collectors, and while it still may not, there were certainly a few heads turning in the diecast aisle when this #HW Race Team (2016) appearance started to show up. I even got a chance to talk with Kevin and he was aware of this as well. He understood that collectors disliked the plastic body on this one, but he was certainly happy to see it get so much love from Leeway Chang’s #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics. The camouflage pattern sitting underneath that nice, bold red stripe (outlined in yellow and white) was fitting for a car designed for dirt-track racing.
The Night Shifter appeared at #2 in our Top 10: Hot Wheels 2016 New Models (unlicensed) post and comes up just a little short again. For being a #First Edition, we don’t know how this car would look without the #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics, but given how good this release looks, the future looks promising for this scrappy, night time racer.
The car wearing the #1 is the #1 vehicle in this Top 10! The very motion-oriented design of the #Hot Wheels Race Team graphics make this car look fast while sitting still. Throw in the Hot Wheels, GTS-R and SRT diagonal graphics and this #Viper has the feel of a drift-car.
So there you have it! Our Top 10 from the #HW Race Team (2016). As always, let us know if you agree/disagree with the order and share with us your Top 10 in the comments section below.