Did anyone see the Faraday Future car park itself the other day? GEEZ! Long before Smart cars and artificial intelligence existed, they were merely science fiction as one the first “smart-cars” was from the TV Series, Knight Rider (1982). This #Pontiac #Firebird turned secret weapon was known as Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.). Over the course of 85 episodes of Knight Rider (1982-1986), this high-performance sports car with artificial intelligence helped crime fighter, Michael Knight kick some bad-guy butt.
Hot Wheels didn’t produce K.I.T.T. back in the ’80s as the brand didn’t have the expansive #TV & Movie Cars licenses it has today. In the early 2000s, Hot Wheels finally produced K.I.T.T., however, it was only available in Japan in a joint venture between Hot Wheels & Bandai under a brand known as “Charawheels“. After many years of Hot Wheels collectors clamoring for this casting to be released in a worldwide assortment, Hot Wheels eventually created a brand-new K.I.T.T. casting that made its debut in the mainline as part of the #2012 New Models.
Designed by Hot Wheels designer & Firebird-aficionado Brendon Vetuskey, K.I.T.T.’s lone mainline debut was part of the 2012 New Models before serving as a premium-line casting for several years. That was all until this year, when Hot Wheels ultimately decided to include K.I.T.T. once again as part of the mainline in the 2017 #HW Screen Time series.
This little piece of $1 nostalgia has been highly sought after by collectors and profiteers, making it harder to find than some of the other “A” case cars for 2017. Its no surprise as most of the other K.I.T.T. releases have been selling well on the secondary market.
As you can see, the biggest difference between the 2012 & 2017 versions are the wheels. The 2012 New Models release has #PR5 Wheels whereas the 2017 HW Screen Time release has #Muscle-Car 5-Spoke Wheels (MC5). Now, there was a rare variation of the 2012 New Models release that did have the MC5 Wheels so you should always check the base if you are looking to buy one of those as its entirely possible that some “genius” may decide to repackage the 2017 release in the 2012 New Models packaging.
If you look at the comparison below, the 2012 release will have a 2011 copyright on it along with a base code in the vicinity of D51 versus the 2017 release having a 2016 copyright with a base code in the vicinity of J34.
Speaking of the base, how cool is it that Brendon decided to include the four rockets underneath the rear axle! Such a cool “hidden” feature that I don’t think many collectors realize is there. There are a few other cool details on this release that also appeared on the 2012 New Models release: the red scanner in the front is there in addition to the detailed A.I. computer that resides on the dashboard.
Though this release has been out in the U.S. for about three months, there is a variation that has surfaced and is proving to be quite rare. It has orange-painted side markers on the front quarter-panel and features a white Hot Wheels logo on the back. Look for K.I.T.T. in stores now as you can be sure now that he won’t be around for long and there is no timetable on his return to the mainline.