In the Hot Wheels mainline, for every realistic car there always seems to be one that is a little wacky. Whether its of the #’Tooned variety, is strictly a “track car”, or just clearly isn’t from a licensed car manufacturer; some of these “Hot Wheels Originals” or #Unlicensed Hot Wheels, turn out to be pretty cool. As in the case with this release where collectors were surprised to see the brand-new #Roller Toaster appear in the #Legends of Speed series due to its off-the-wall design that one would figure no racer car would ever race with — or would they???
Back in 2006, a racing series called the 24 Hours of LeMons (yes, a play on Le Mans) was evolved from another racing circuit. This endurance race was unlike any other as it was open to any participant who was willing to meet the rather unique requirement of spending NO MORE THAN $500 to buy/build/prep their race car. While this may seem unfeasible, this race (now on its 11th year) has seen some pretty unique race car lemons. Don’t believe me? Check out the event’s facebook photo gallery >>> HERE.
After checking out those photos, you realize how creative some of the “racing teams” get. Its really amazing as I have followed this for years and have seen some pretty cool beaters. So when the Roller Toaster was first unveiled at the 30th Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention back in October, I had a good feeling that this casting was a designer’s take on this rather unique race.
Fast forward to the end of November when the Hot Wheels YouTube channel released an All Access video with Hot Wheels Designer Ryu Asada and his new casting, the Roller Toaster (shown at the bottom of this article). There, we got an up-close look at this casting that had yet to hit retail here in the United States.
In the video, Ryu confirmed that this car was indeed his take on a 24 Hours of LeMons vehicle. He started the design when he was looking for an idea for his next feature car project, looking no further than his office break room as it was a toaster that got the creative juices flowing.
Designed with exaggerated, cartoon-ish features, the #Roller Toaster has a staggered stance, and two huge exhaust pipes sticking out the back. The rear spoiler acts as a lever that lowers the toast into the vehicle. The front headlights are the knobs he saw on the toaster in question and Ryu has indicated that they are set at how he likes his toast, medium-well. There is also a side detail made to look like a plug on the one side, whereas both sides feature #11 Roller Toaster graphics that are designed to look homemade, just like you would find on a real 24 Hour of LeMons car — heck, there is even a “24 hrs” inside of a lemon to make no mistake about where the inspiration came from.
Overall, this Roller Toaster is just a great, playful design that proves Ryu’s stance on racing that, “racing on tracks is for everybody, and inspirations can come from everywhere”…something that a lot of us fail to remember. This car features a diecast chassis which should make it a decent track car, so if you feel like having some fun on the orange track, give this car a whirl. This car is in stores now as part of the “D” case assortment for 2017, so grab one and have fun with it.
One last tidbit of info on this casting, pulled from the All Access video (which you can watch below). Ryu alluded to a planned 2018 release of this casting that will have silver (possible chrome?) paint to make it look just like the original toaster Ryu used for inspiration.