If you’re a #Variation hunter in the Hot Wheels world, chances are “subtleties” are the name of your game. Variations exist in Hot Wheels collecting on all levels, from your basic planned colorway to wheel changes to even different thicknesses of the same color paint. Talk to any one collector and I am sure they will define it differently based on their own collecting habits.
Personally, I was kind of late to the game when it came to #Variations as, for the longest time, I didn’t even count wheel variations in my collection. It wasn’t until I started collecting loose casting collections that my list of acceptable variations began to grow.
In 2011, the #Custom ’77 Dodge Van was released as part of #The Hot Ones line. Because of the lines poor distribution and lack of a numerical numbering system (or series number), there aren’t many complete lists out there of what was exactly in it — let alone the #Variations that exist within it. Take for instance this case with the Dodge van. I knew of “The Hot Ones Redline” wheel variation because (I believe) every car in the series had either a redline or whiteline #Chase variation. However, when The Hot Ones Speed Pack 1 10-Pack came out in 2012 with the same Dodge van in it, I had assumed it was the same wheel choice as the chase piece it was mimicking.
Low and behold, in June of this year, another collector of the #Custom ’77 Dodge Van posted his collection photographed via Facebook. He had three #Variations … hmmmm. Upon further review, it became clear that the 10-Pack had its own wheel variation as “The Hot Ones Redlines” were on #Blackwalls versus the #5-Spoke Wheels. Needless to say, I hopped online and bought the only loose one I could find.
Since then, I have added these three variations to the databases on HobbyDB and Hot Wheels Wiki so they aren’t missed by future (and other current) collectors of this casting.
There were 3 cars off the top of my head that sadly received the 5sp wheels for the initial 2011 Hot Ones release: this Dodge Van, the Jeep Scrambler and the Baja Breaker. You can make that count 4, because the 6 pack exclusive Baja Breaker also had 5sp wheels. This Dodge is the only one to received the “correct” wheels when it was featured in that 10 pack (I believe both the Scrambler and Baja Breaker were also included in the 10 packs, but both still sported the 5sp wheels). I’ve yet to obtain this van, but hope to soon. I have, however, made wheel swap “corrections” for the Scrambler and both Baja Breakers, haha