Since I laid eyes on the Hot Wheels #Muscle Bound, I knew it was a must-have for the collection. Prior articles on OTD would suggest I was drawn to the killer #Shark Face Nose Art graphics done by Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Leeway Chang. But that is only scratching the surface with this release as we’ve seen several vehicles released under the #Speed Blur segment (5-Pack & mainline), and all of them have one thing in common: awesome graphics designed by Leeway. Speed Blur was Leeway’s project for 2019 and the series has been a hit thus far. The 2019 Hot Wheels packaging describes Speed Blur as the following:
Head spinning graphics always on the cutting edge of performance.
…yeah, these can roll down my orange track any day.
Its easily my favorite graphics execution on a mainline car thus far in 2019. I am beginning to think that it is no longer a coincidence that some of my favorite Hot Wheels car releases have worn this motif. Stretching back to 1998, you have the Flyin’ Aces: ’70 Dodge Charger Daytona which was one of the more aero-cars ever designed, so wearing the #Shark Face Nose Art was an excellent choice. Just a little over 10 years later, came the Military Rods: ’69 Pontiac GTO in 2009. The full-body camouflage design was really something then, and continues to be special to this day. The 2019 #Speed Blur #Muscle Bound clearly takes an old design and modernizes it — a good recipe for broadening audiences in design.
Speaking of great design, how about the #Muscle Bound casting? Over the last week or so, I’ve been watching collectors post their 2019 Hot Wheels “D” case finds and have noticed most have picked up this #Unlicensed Hot Wheels design. Yes, even a few of you who love to hate on Hot Wheels “fantasy cars”…
The Hot Wheels Design Team refers to them as “HW Originals”, while I take a more clinical approach in using the term #Unlicensed Hot Wheels. Some collectors seem convinced that their sole purpose in the lineup is for Mattel’s bottom line — avoiding auto-manufacturer licensing/royalties. While that may be true in the simplest of reasoning, its these cars that have truly separated Hot Wheels from other diecast manufacturers over the course of 50+ years — allowing the designers to show their true creativity.
I remember collectors being excited about the #Bone Shaker in 2006. It was a design that had loads of personality and collectors responded — and Mattel saw that. The Bone Shaker would become iconic … not bad for an Unlicensed Hot Wheels car, huh?
Its been fun reading collector comments about the #Muscle Bound over the last few days. I’ve already seen comparisons to GTOs, Mustangs, even Skylines… is it possible the Muscle Bound features pieces of all these cars? That is truly a question for its designer, Tyler Charest.
Upon learning that Tyler is credited with the design for the #Muscle Bound from Hot Wheels Design Manager Dmitriy Shakhmatov, I had to look no further than the 2018 Monster Jam / Epic Additions: Hot Wheels Monster Truck — another #Tyler Charest Design. The castings are totally different, but having the two side-by-side sure made the similarities come out. I remember wishing that Hot Wheels would make the body of that monster truck into a Hot Wheels casting… can you say, “wish granted”?
So between the awesome #Shark Face Nose Art graphics and this brand-new #First Edition #Muscle Bound casting, this release is certainly a hit with collectors — and it appears with other “I don’t like HW fantasy cars” collectors as well. That really says something. I really doubt the car will ever garner a #Bone Shaker type following, but this could be a casting you see collectors focusing on in the future. If anything, I can tell you that this isn’t the last you’ve seen of the #Muscle Bound on OTD as I think I just started a new casting collection. Release one: check!