9/12/2019 — Phoenix brought the heat — literally — as temperatures last Saturday, September 7th at the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Event exceeded 110˚F. Despite the heat, that didn’t discourage a crowd of thousands of Hot Wheels enthusiasts from coming out. Since I live in the Phoenix metroplex, I headed out to this year’s Walmart location in Tempe. This year I had a surprise for the attendees as I passed out two different collector trading cards, complete with variant checklists on the back — both of which were limited to 500.
The cards were of the green Legends Tour ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon and the Captain America Character Car. The Datsun was an obvious choice for the event, and the Captain America car was chosen because Hot Wheels Designer, Bryan Benedict was one of the judges for the event — and this is his design.
Speaking of the judges, in addition to Bryan, Mattel also sent out Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Mario Godoy who currently works on the Monster Trucks and MarioKart lines — and is formerly a Phoenix resident. Former NBA player, and current Phoenix Suns Assistant Coach Steve Blake was there, along side a nationally-syndicated talk show host, automotive blogger, and two Walmart associates.
Hot Wheels and Walmart loaded the event with tons of Hot Wheels product which included a whole “action alley” of the store with Hot Wheels merchandise. Fresh cases — despite already being cut open and raided by a local collector — were brought out starting at 7:30AM, and the Vending Machine line was over 100 people long. Hot Wheels also brought four 1:1 scale cars with them including the Deora II, ’67 Camaro, Bone Shaker and the Gas Monkey Garage ’68 “Midas Monkey” Corvette.
When it was all said and done, Ronald How earned himself a trip to SEMA in Las Vegas with his “Two Cool” ’71 Volkswagen Squareback as he was the winner of the custom car show. Him and his son, custom built the drive train when the placed dual air-cooled engines in the front of this VW. The car definitely embodied everything the event is about, and personally was one of my top 5 as well. Ronald’s prize package that included a Legends Bone Shaker “Winner’s Award” which is also shown below.
There are so many custom cars that show up to these events and the cool thing is that there is something for everyone. The diverse selection of wild vehicles is what makes this car show so cool. If you have a Hot Wheels Legends Event coming to a town near you, you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already. With that said, I will leave you with some of my personal favorites from the event. Enjoy!