19th Annual Hot Wheels Nationals Convention: ’81 DeLOREAN DMC-12

As you can see, I collect Hot Wheels #DeLoreans. When I found out that Hot Wheels Designer / 3D Sculptor Manson Cheung was going to be the guest of honor at the #19th Annual Nationals Convention, I was excited for two reasons: 1) Manson is a great guy and he certainly deserves the accolades. 2) I knew his #Dinner Car was going to be something cool. Manson has designed a lot of pop culture castings, but his first design was the #’81 DeLorean DMC-12.

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Hot Wheels ’81 DeLorean DMC-12 casting family photo (April 2019)

Ruling out most other castings, I was convinced that Manson’s #Dinner Car would be a #DeLorean, but the only problem was figuring out which one. There hasn’t been a premium version of the stock DeLorean since 2012, when it appeared in both the Boulevard line and as a Special Edition. With those being released seven years ago, I figured the Back to the Future Time Machine DeLorean would be the convenient choice since a premium version of that casting appears almost every year in Replica Entertainment. Much to everyone’s surprise last Thursday night in Lombard, IL, it was the “gull-wing” door version of the casting that was chosen to honor Manson — marking the second time in eight years that the casting would be used … a version of the casting that many thought was gone.

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Hot Wheels ’81 DeLorean DMC-12 from the 2019 19th Annual Collectors Nationals Convention in Lombard, IL (doors open) with 2012 Special Edition

Convention attendees were told that the #DeLorean almost didn’t even make it on time. So much work went into this car — more on that in a bit — that production extended past the deadlines, and ultimately the cars had to be overnighted by Mattel to Lombard, IL.

If you compare that packaging on this #Convention Exclusive to the others from the #19th Annual Nationals Convention, you’ll notice that there is an obvious difference. The background (behind the logo & car) is actually a portion of Manson’s 1:1 DeLorean, so eloquently snuck in there by Hot Wheels Packaging Designer, Julian Koiles.

When it comes to details on this release of the #’81 DeLorean DMC-12, Mattel looks to have spared no expense. Besides the fact that they resurrected a 7-year-old tool, the design team really went all out. The best example is the paint. It is something that has never been done before on a Hot Wheels car: a “brushed zamac finish”. At the dinner, it was mentioned that the zamac body of the casting was literally brushed with (assumingly) a wire brush, and then clear-coated, giving the look of the stainless steel body of Manson’s actual 1:1 DeLorean. How epic is that? Its that kind of detail-oriented part of the design process that should have everyone excited for whats to come in future collector lines. And, since we are on the hood, you can see the fuel door is decorated with a single black stripe. That black stripe is on Manson’s actual car, so Hot Wheels Graphic Design, Steve Vandervate made sure to include it on this one.

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Hot Wheels ’81 DeLorean DMC-12 from the 2019 19th Annual Collectors Nationals Convention in Lombard, IL (brushed zamac finish, hood view)

Since this #Dinner Car is designed to look like Manson’s actual car, three window stickers that really are on his car, made it onto this release. Those include a white Hot Wheels logo on the right rear window, along with the phrase “Here in the Present” and a QR Code to Manson’s web site on the left side. As if that wasn’t enough detail, you can also see the rear brake light in between the rear louvers, and Manson’s California license plate, “AWLDRMD” on the back.

When the “brushed zamac finish” is compared to the Spectraflame Chrome finish of the HWC Special Edition, and the unpainted #ZAMAC body of the Boulevard release, you can see how this is truly the best option for recreating that original stainless steel body of the actual #’81 DeLorean DMC-12.

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Hot Wheels ’81 DeLorean DMC-12 from the 2019 19th Annual Collectors Nationals Convention in Lombard, IL (doors closed) with 2012 Special Edition and 2012 Boulevard releases

There’s no describing how nice this piece truly is. As soon as I laid eyes on it Thursday night, I had to have one (or two). 😉 It easily gets vaulted into “one of my favorite cars in my whole collection” territory because of my #DeLorean fervor, #Opening Doors, crazy detail, and because it honors a super cool dude.

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RELEASE DETAILS: Brushed ZAMAC Finish (metal). Tinted Windows. Black Interior. Chrome Real Riders Turbine Wheels. Matte Black Base with Silver details (metal). Made in China. Toy# GDF71. Sold exclusively at the 19th Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Nationals Dinner Event in Lombard, IL. Limited to 4,000 pieces.

3 replies »

  1. i didnt get to go but this and the drag bus are probably the best ones that were made for the national. atleast to me..

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