The #Hot Wheels Classics line was a roller coaster of a ride for collectors as it certainly had its highs and lows. After word got out in early 2005 that there would be a line of retro-inspired vehicles wearing #Spectraflame Paint and basic wheels with #Redlines, collector hype ascended. A just like that, the Hot Wheels Classics were launched off that initial perch (landing at retail) and collectors were thrilled as there was a feeling of exhilaration in trying to find all the colors of your favorite classic casting.
Fast forward to the line’s third year (2007). Interest had started to wane a little bit as the less popular castings started warming pegs, causing delays in later assortments, and gimmicks had to be instilled to breathe fresh life into a line that was starting to falter. First came the larger cards with redline buttons, which were only available at certain retailers in 2008. Then, in 2009, #Chase cars were added. By that time, retailers were extremely frustrated with the line’s poor distribution that they dropped the line all-together — which was actually rather unfortunate as the fifth installment of the series introduced several castings that went on to be collector favorites, like the #Texas Drive ‘Em and #Convoy Custom.
So while it took a little bit of work to find all the colors of your favorite castings at retail, and maybe some extra cash purchasing them online, its was definitely worth it when you could put a nice, colorful set together. Case-in-point: the #Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
With releases in Chrome and Spectraflame Red, Black, Blue and Light Green the #Hot Wheels Classics Series 4 #Volkswagen Karmann Ghia had quite the array of colors given that it only received five colorways — which was actually a decent amount for a casting in Series 4 — its just that I would have liked more! As a collector of the Ghia at the time these were released, I remember searching retail for each of the colors, and only coming up successful in finding the first three: Chrome, Red and Black. The #Spectraflame Black release was the one that came on the larger card with a collectible “redline button”, and a different Toy#/SKU — which were only available at non-big box stores like KB Toys, Walgreens and hobby dealers. A couple years later I added the Spectraflame Blue and Light Green #Variations to complete the set.
The #Volkswagen Karmann Ghia has been one of my favorite castings since it first made its debut in the 2006 First Editions. Designed by Hot Wheels Designer, Phil Riehlman, the “Go Fast Ghia” is a heavily-modified, drag racer’s take on the classic Karmann Ghia design. For me, the coolest feature is the #Opening Feature where the rear/top air vents come off, along with the spoiler (as one piece). Its that added custom nature of this casting that truly makes it a Hot Wheels car and separates it from all the other brands that do that stock Karmann Ghia.
In my opinion, the #Volkswagen Karmann Ghia has looked great in every one of its releases during its 10+ year run. However, its the colorful array of #Spectraflame in its #Hot Wheels Classics release that was probably the most fulfilling to collect — a true roller coaster of a ride, but it was one that I was glad I rode.