With Japan Historics 2 hitting retail already, it almost feels like the time to shine (on the pegs) for the #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts series was cut short. Heck, I know several collectors that haven’t even seen the series pegged yet. It is rather unfortunate that the series never made it to the pegs in some spots due to big box stores like Walmart and Target no longer replenishing the SKU, to make room for the new 2018 Car Culture SKU. You do have to wonder though, if we will see these cars creep up in value due to the fact that their run was seemingly cut short … or if we could possibly see them show up at one of the overstock retailers like Big Lots or Tuesday Morning. If you’ve been a Hot Wheels collectors for at least several years, you can attest to how the last wave/mix of a line is often sought after once the secondary market supply runs dry. While this is still years down the line, we will just have to wait and see what happens — just stating an observation here.
From the #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts series, I do have two personal favorites that I had to have, even though I ended up buying the whole set from an online retailer. The #First Edition of the Subaru Impreza WRX was a must have and this beauty, the #Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA — or Giulia for short. 😉
After appearing for the first time in 2016, the #Mark Jones Designed #Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA returned in 2017 for #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts. That 2016 release? Definitely my favorite Hot Wheels car out of all the #2016 Hot Wheels, so it made quite the first impression. However, when I saw that the casting was planned for Cars & Donuts, I was worried it wasn’t going to live up to that first release.
While I was right in some respect that the #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts release didn’t quite reach the bar that the 2016 release set, it had mostly to do with the limitations of the 2017 #Car Culture line. Since that 2016 release appeared as part of the #Entertainment / #FORZA Motorsport series — at a higher pricepoint $5.49 (USD) — it was awarded full front and rear detail that certainly made the difference. Add that to a red/white two-tone body and its hard not to love that release.
Since the #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts release was released as part of the #2017 Hot Wheels line — at the lower $3.49 (USD) pricepoint — those details weren’t added. That’s the big difference between the 2017 and 2018 #Car Culture lines, however. 2018 Car Culture will have those details (along with that higher price point) so I will be highly anticipating the casting’s next release.
Now, with that said… kudos to Hot Wheels graphic designer Steve Vandervate who detailed this release. The simple “Italian stripe” graphics give this car some unique flavor coupled with the #2 on the sides and hood. And, since Mark Jones did such a great job with this casting and its front grill detail, it doesn’t have collectors really worrying about the lack of detail. The back is another story, but it is what it is, as the car’s classic feel (with that silver paint) makes you look past it anyway.
Currently, the third release of the Hot Wheels #Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA is slated for a return to #Car Culture in the 2018 lineup — if the list we have in place holds up to be 100% true. That release will surely have that extended front and back detail, but will it top these two… well that will remain to be seen. For now, don’t pass this one up at retail as it doesn’t seem to be lasting long on the pegs — if it was ever pegged in the first place. If you’re after #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts, keep checking back here and we will let you know where they end up.