Back when the Hot Wheels #Pop Culture line first started in 2011, it was known as the Nostalgic Brands line. For a kid that grew up in the ’80s/’90s, #Super Mario evokes all kind of nostalgia. After a move to a new house a couple months ago, I realized the bin that housed the Nintendo games I saved, and “big bertha” — my large bin full of loose cars — were in close proximity. I had been wanting to pair up the #School Busted from the 2015 Pop Culture / Super Mario Bros. series and the original Super Mario Bros. 3 cartridge since this Hot Wheels car was released. Mission accomplished!
After originally playing Super Mario Bros. 3 at a friend’s house, I did what any kid would do at the time — forced my parents to buy it for me through good behavior, getting my homework done, doing chores, saving allowance and a large amount of begging– since I had to have it. I had come to love the game, even though I really never got past level 2 without using Game Genie — or wait, wasn’t there a flute thing that warped you to other levels? I honestly don’t remember, but what I do, is that Tanooki Mario (seen on both the cartridge & Hot Wheels car with raccoon ears and tail) was the best … dude could fly, literally and figuratively. So it was pretty awesome to see one of my favorite childhood Nintendo characters grace the sides of another childhood (and adult) passion of mine: Hot Wheels.
I’ll admit that I am not the biggest fan of the Hot Wheels #School Busted casting, even though I do have a couple in my collection for several different reasons. It is usually never a task to find this #Pop Culture release as the pearlescent orange paint seems to shine like the sun in level 2 of Super Mario 3 — which I can only imagine that being the reasoning as to why it was chosen in the first place.
The different graphics on the left and right sides of the #School Busted are a staple of the #Pop Culture line — a true treat to the “diecast liberators” out there. Even the evil goombas on top are a nice, quirky touch — giving the perfect sense of nostalgia to this Hot Wheels collector. Now, had a more nostalgic casting been selected, say one from that era, that would have just been super awesome — oppose to the School Busted that was introduced in 2009. But even so, with the newer “billboard” casting, at least it brings back those memories of swapping Nintendo cartridges on the school bus, which I seem to remember looking a lot different. But hey, its Hot Wheels, so hot rodded, drag racing school busses is where its at. Time to warp to level 8 and get out of here.