The evolution of the Red Line Club continues with another casting getting the #Opening Feature treatment: the #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z. If you recall, this casting made its debut just two years ago in the mainline as part of the 2017 Factory Fresh series. The FuguZ was tied into actor, Sung Kang’s real car, and licensed by performance company, GReddy. Later that year, the casting had already been upgraded to “premium status” as the casting received a metal base for its inclusion in the Car Culture / Cars & Donuts series. Then, last year (around this time), RLC members voted the Custom ’72 Datsun, “WINNER” of the 2018 #sELECTIONs.
The path the #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z took to win the #RLC #sELECTIONs was a tad unconventional as it wasn’t even included in the first three rounds of voting. Rather, it was the original #Datsun 240Z casting that won the bracket of castings picked by Mattel staff. However, since the Sung Kang RLC piece was apparently cancelled… the newly tooled, Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z with #Opening Hood was offered as an option (via head-to-head vote) to RLC members. The collectors responded in favor of the new casting, voting it in over the original winner with an astounding 80% of the vote.
Per Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Steve Vandervate, the Hot Wheels #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z casting is licensed by #GReddy so all releases of it must incorporate the GReddy logo. He found a minimally invasive spot for the logo on the rear license plate, similar to how the previous releases had carried the logo requirement. Sticking with the rear, the #Datsun badge appears on the rear deck lid, and the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary logo made its way onto the car at the request of the collectors — even after it was made clear that this casting wouldn’t be in the hands of collectors until mid-2019. Also, since this car was designed last Spring, collectors opted for the #Real Riders 6-Spoke Mag Wheels since they were brand-new, and had not been released at retail yet.
In the voting, Spectraflame Race Team Blue beat out the other #Spectraflame Paint colors in Classic Yellow, Orange & Olive. Van chose to incorporate “GReddy Orange” as a supplementary color in the interior’s roll cage, and also as the rim and side tampo color. If you look at that side tampo closely, you’ll notice that it reads “4.4”, which is a nod to the after-the-voting process in which Van surveyed forum contributors. This final deco was the 4th revision of the 4th deco option, hence the “4.4”.
Van also took in suggestions from RLC members for a “carbon fiber looking hood” and to display the car in package with the hood fixed in the open position. Its decisions like these that really make the RLC forums on HotWheelsCollectors.com a special place. This is truly the members’ car, as this is what WE designed — with Van’s help of course. 😉
I did a horrible job at capturing the interior detail. So, what you don’t see is the blue-painted seat inserts and the silver-painted floor and spare tire cover. However, what I lacked in showing in the interior, I definitely made up for with the shot of the engine below. You can see the embossed GReddy logo detailed on the matte black engine, as well as other details highlighted in silver and orange. An additional detail that will probably go over most collectors’ heads is the fact that the side mirrors are actually separate pieces that were painted black, which contributes to the clean color break.
The #RLC #sELECTIONs are great for numerous reasons, none better though than the fact that RLC members get to design at least one car, every year! Since these are designed right on-the-spot, the downside is that it takes 1 to 1.5 years to finally have the car in hand, but that just proves that these cars are truly made-to-order. And speaking of being made-to-order, collectors took full advantage of the “no limit” on these as 20,000 of these were made based on the orders — that is the highest-produced HWC/RLC car of all-time, and quite an amazing feat considering HWC has been producing cars since 2001.
It just goes to show that the Red Line Club is officially back, and better than ever. Demand has never been better and with collector interest so high, the club can continue to evolve. First quality/backorder problems were eliminated, then came opening parts, next — dare I say it? — a new web site! I hope you all enjoy your 2018 RLC #sELECTIONs: #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z… “from collectors, for collectors”!
One thing that I do want to note. The original mainline casting was designed by Jun Imai, and the re-tooled HWC/RLC version of the casting was designed / re-engineered by Brendon Vetuskey. Also, a chameleon-colored release of this casting will go on sale later this summer on HWC.