So how many of you out there collect Hot Wheels by the casting? When I first started collecting, I was a cardboard completest, buying anything and everything to complete the numbers on the blister cards — the more extreme version a cardboard collector. While that persisted for a couple decades, I had broke into a form of loose car collecting known as casting collecting — buying up every variation of a particular casting. For a long time, I didn’t even count wheel #Variations as I had just tried for every release, not variant. Well, in the madness we know as “collecting” I recently began filling some of the holes of missing variants in these collections.
Most of the madness of chasing casting variants comes from the early ’90s when runs of particular releases lasted for months, transcending years, and producing seemingly every wheel variation under the sun. These Hot Wheels came on what is known by collectors as “blue cards” due to their solid blue background color behind the attached bubble & car. The #First Edition of the #Jaguar XJ220 was released as part of the #1993 Hot Wheels mainline, Collector# 203. Its run at Collector# 203 would actually run for two more years producing a whole new set of variants when the color went from silver to metalflake dark blue. Since there were so many, that metalflake blue set will be in a future article as this set of three is quite the grouping in itself.
The two, silver #Jaguar XJ220 #Variations with the chrome #Ultra-Hot Wheels (UH) were part of the #1993 Hot Wheels, while the gold UH wheel variation came along in early 1994 with the #Gold Medal Speed mainline designation. These two 1993 releases are known as the “Closed-Spoiler” and “Open-Spoiler” variants. The open-spoiler variant was the true #First Edition of the Jaguar XJ220 but this very part of the casting was believed to have been omitted for future variants since it was a hard feature to pull off cleanly at the factory with the tooling — and, to a kid, it probably didn’t make that big of a difference. The closed-spoiler tooling has been used since.
My story with the #Jaguar XJ220 actually goes back to 1993 when I won the very car you see below at my dad’s company picnic — I was 10-years-old. As you can see, this car has remained in remarkable shape which is a testament to how much I loved this car. I had it on a small platform above the rest of my cars on the shelf in my room and it was actually one of only a handful of cars that crossed over from my childhood days to my collecting days, circa 1995.
To me, the highly #Exotic #Jaguar XJ220 is ultra cool and an automobile that, to this day, I still have not seen the real 1:1 version of. At one point in history, the actual Jaguar XJ220 held the record for world’s fastest production automobile and was my favorite car to play as in one of the early Need for Speed games for the original Sony Playstation. This all factored into my decision to make it the one of (if not the first) casting I collected in 1997.
It wasn’t until I got involved with helping build the Hot Wheels Wiki in 2008 that I had even heard of the open-spoiler #Variation of the #Jaguar XJ220. Its not a rare variation by any means but it was one that I really didn’t even consider a major variation until after I went from cardboard completest to casting collector. Its a detail that is ever-so-slight and obvious one that is often overlooked. Now that I have the two side-by-side, its an added level of detail that I actually prefer.
Cue the #Gold Medal Speed #Variation. Just like the open-spoiler variant, it is one that I acquired fairly recently despite collecting this casting for the last 20 years. Its a variation that I’ve seen go for $10+ at times, but also one that is often not very collectible in the eyes of collectors today. Great for me as I have finally completed this segment of the #Jaguar XJ220 and move that much closer to having every variation of one of my most treasured castings.