When a Hot Wheels line is discontinued, getting the last few vehicles from that line can be tricky as they are often released in short supply, or not at all. When it was revealed that the ’57 Buick would be released as part of the #Walmart Exclusive, HW Road Trippin’ line in 2015, I was excited as it is a casting that I don’t collect but always love to buy — future casting collection perhaps?
Well, as 2015 moved on and wave after wave of the #HW Road Trippin’ was released, its seemed likelier and likelier that this #Buick would be in the dreaded “last mix”. So be it I thought, “I’ll just have to find a Walmart that still has pegs for this series or, at the very least, buy it for a couple extra bucks on the secondary sales sites”…right??? Wrong! It seemed (at the time) that only a few of these beauties got out and they were obviously in short supply with the price shooting over $20 a piece. Just something I was unwilling to pay for a casting I didn’t even collect.
As time moved on, supply started to increase as collectors (mostly international) started posting photos of finding multiples of these. Shoot, even a Texas collector found a whole endcap of just this car at his local Walmart! Suddenly, the hardest to find car from the series wasn’t becoming so hard after all. Its “H36” base codes lets us know that it was manufactured somewhere in the 1st week of September in 2015. Typically, we don’t see Hot Wheels (in the U.S.) until 2 to 3 months after they are made so the influx of these in 2016 made definite sense. The supply of this car on secondary sales sites had increased over the course of 2016, bringing the average sale of this car down to around $12-shipped. I was fortunate in a “buy-it-now” scenario to get this car for significantly cheaper. YAY! …patience wins in this case.
As you can see, its a pretty cool car and one that I’m glad to have in my collection. Its metal base / metal body combo along with its #Opening Hood scream premium and its deco (while not for everyone) is just a little funky — in a good way.
The ’57 Buick is part of a series (within the HW Road Trippin’ line) that pays tribute to the Pan-American Highway — a route that now stretches from South America to North America, but originated in the jungles of Central America. There is one small hiccup however as there is a rainforest break, approximately 100-miles wide in Panama & Columbia, called the “Darién Gap” that makes to impossible to cruise without an off-road vehicle. Fortunately, those clever folks at Hot Wheels knew this already. One of the other three cars in this Pan-American Highway sub-series was the Roll Patrol, a Jeep CJ-7 with “Darién Gap Trail Guide” graphics on the sides.
As for the Hot Wheels ’57 Buick casting, this #Station Wagon was designed by Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood and was originally introduced in the 2007 Ultra Hots series. Its had 8 releases overs its 10-year tenure as a Hot Wheels casting with this Pan-American Highway “Jungle Tours” one being the latest. It has never appeared in the mainline, and every release has had that premium metal/metal, base/body combo.