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The History of Hot Wheels II: FERRARI TESTAROSSA

Just last week I took a look at #The History of Hot Wheels II set on the OTD YouTube channel. The set itself is severely underrated as it contains eight great castings with plain decos and premium wheels. It was a #FAO Schwarz Exclusive in 1996, and isn’t all too hard to obtain. In the video, I reference the #Ferrari Testarossa as being my favorite from the set. Its a casting that I didn’t care for in my early days of collecting, but this release (through the lens of today) gives me an all-new appreciation.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Ferrari Testarossa from the 1996 FAO Schwarz Exclusive, The History of Hot Wheels II Box Set (all 8 cars in set)

The Hot Wheels #Ferrari Testarossa casting made its debut in the 1987 mainline. It was designed by Larry Wood who was designing just about everything back then. While the casting has a rich history of releases from 1987 into the mid ’90s, the Testarossa was ultimately modified in 1998 to become the Ferrari F512M.

#The History of Hot Wheels II release is easily its best variant as the metal on metal casting received a magnificent metalflake candy apple red paint job on body & base, AND the Gold #Pro-Circuit 5-Spoke Wheels couldn’t have been a better fit given the other premium wheel styles of this era.

If you have this release in hand, you’ll probably notice the fit of the wheels (axle length) leaves something to be desired, however, for the sake photography, that can be adjusted to give the #Ferrari Testarossa the ideal look.

Hot Wheels collectors that have only been collecting for the last several years may think the #Pro-Circuit 5-Spoke Wheels (PC5) on this release are the same as the #Real Riders Exotic Wheels (RRE) of today. If you don’t have an example in your collection, you may be inclined to believe these premium wheels are of the #Real Riders variety, however, the PC5 wheels are actually plastic. In addition to that, the axle is capped on the wheel versus the RRE which has it exposed. You can see the comparison below.

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Hot Wheels Ferrari Testarossa from the 1996 FAO Schwarz Exclusive, The History of Hot Wheels II Box Set (Pro-Circuit 5-Spoke Wheels compared to Real Riders Exotic Wheels)

Its funny how one release of a Hot Wheels casting can have you go from not caring for a casting to thinking about collecting it. Honestly, its one #Discontinued Casting that I’d love to see come back, and I’m willing to bet other collectors feel the same way. The color breaks provided by the interior piece in the front air intake and the rear fascia are something on par with what you would see in today’s Hot Wheels designs, AND those side strakes are actually executed fairly well.

The #Ferrari Testarossa may be long gone but this #The History of Hot Wheels II release is one that any Hot Wheels collector of #Exotics and/or #Ferraris should have. Its a great release that could have really benefitted from some additional details, but as-is, its a perfectly fine specimen as well.

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RELEASE DETAILS: Metalflake Candy Apple Red Body (metal). Clear Windows. Black Interior. Gold-Chrome Pro-Circuit 5-Spoke (PC5) Wheels.Β Metalflake Candy Apple Red Base (metal). Made in Malaysia. Toy# 15732. Released in 1996 as part of the FAO Schwarz Exclusive, The History of Hot Wheels II box set.

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5 replies »

  1. Nice article BRAD. One should read and article before letting pictures let him get carried away. I at first thought FERRARI & MATTEL (HOTWHEELS) had made up. Wishful thinking. One can dream. I found an F4 (RED ONE) from the BOULEVARDS last year in of all places Pep Boys. Love finding stuff like that in the wild.

  2. Have to admit.. an online source had this very car for more than a year… selling price.. $5! .. Yes, $5! But I kept putting it off & off, until.. it sold! Damn!
    I initially thought the combo of that rich red paint combined with those super gold wheels made for an over-the-top bling bling appearance, but the more I saw it, the more I had to have it, and so I waited too long.. for $5!
    And then you post the History of Hot Wheels II set right after and then the pain kicked in!
    So I searched on Evil-bay and got a set for $35, which isn’t too bad for what you get. I’m starting to appreciate these older models with their premium wheel set-ups with simple paint jobs and confusion free graphics!
    Cool deal for shining a spotlight on these rides my man!

    • You’re welcome, Wheaterz. Its nice to take a break from the new stuff to show some of the underrated older items. $35 for the set is still a great deal.

  3. Brad, while watching your YouTube video on the FAO Schwarz set, something you said there caught my ear.
    You’ve repeated it here… “the Testarossa was ultimately modified in 1998 to become the Ferrari F512M.”
    Can you explain how this was done? I thinking a modification to the actual die?
    Thanks for helping make collecting fun.
    Greg

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