Lately, the Red Line Club (RLC) has been one-upping itself. #Spectraflame Paint has always been a part of the online club that has spanned two decades, but since last year, there has been a focus on increasing the details, and adding at least one #Opening Feature to all new castings. This has been a huge win for the RLC team at Hot Wheels, as they are now selling out 10,000 piece runs in a matter of minutes — this release included.
The #’41 Willys Gasser (pronounced WILL-ISS) is the latest #RLC Exclusive and the newest #Gasser Hot Wheels has to offer. This highly-detail premium casting features a steering wheel that is separate from the interior, and a chrome-plated metal foot pedal that is actually part of the base. The engine is chrome-plated as well with extensive detailing of the belts (black), block (orange) and exhaust pipes; which received a tampo that mimics the look of heated metal (see image below).
Hot Wheels Designer, Brendon Vetuskey went all-out in designing this #Willys #Gasser. Brendon has been known for his automotive knowledge, and the way he can implement specific details into castings. RLC members have been privy to the design process involving this casting since the “first shot” — which is basically the first time the new vehicle is cast in diecast. Brendon has talked about his refinements, and its safe to say all were important in getting this release to look as good as it does — and function the way it should.
While we are “talkin’ ’bout…” design, how about the man in charge of taking that raw casting and giving it life: Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Steve “Van” Vandervate. Van has also shared his design process with the RLC members (via the HWC forums). Apparently there was an internal debate — or realization — when it came to the pronunciation of “WILLYS”. Many wanted to refer to the casting as a “WILL-EEZ” Gasser, but it was Brendon who shared that it should be pronounced, “WILL-ISS“. Shortly after, RLC members were treated to the first proof of the design which had “Whatcha Talkin’ ’bout” on the sides, in what only can be a nod to the TV Series, Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986). In the series, Arnold (played by the late, Gary Coleman) was known for the famous phrase “Whatcha talkin’ ’bout, Willis“. The wording on the side of the #RLC Exclusive #’41 Willys Gasser was eventually whittled down to just, “Talkin’ ’bout…” to avoid the direct affiliation with the show. Now, this gasser is what collectors are “Talkin’ ’bout…”.
Since this is the #First Edition of the #’41 Willys Gasser casting, many collectors are interested to see how it compares to the mainline casting for the #Custom ’41 Willys Coupe. Silhouette-wise, the body lines look very similar, but apart from that, the crisp, highly-detailed nature of the ’41 Willys Gasser makes it a casting that should have collectors clamoring for it for years to come — oh, and its a #Gasser (have I mentioned that???).
Hot Wheels #Gassers continue to rise in terms of popularity and secondary market prices. Look no further than earlier #HWC gassers and you’ll see that collectors love the #Spectraflame Paint paired with witty liveries, and #Real Riders. Could the #’41 Willys Gasser become the next high dollar #RLC Exclusive? Probably not with a 10,000 piece run, but that shouldn’t stop collectors from paying nearly double its retail price on the secondary market.
A lot of work has went into developing these new, ultra-premium Hot Wheels castings for the RLC. The question is not if, but rather: when will we see this casting again? It is a “China tool” meaning it can only appear in lines that source manufacturing from the China plant. That rules out all retail lines. Sorry. Chances are, we will either see it as an upcoming convention exclusive, or in the RLC for 2020. Until then, collectors will surely be talkin’ ’bout this one for a while. What are your thoughts on it? Please comment below and let us know!