Showcase

Factory Fresh (2019 New Model): MOD ROD

The #2020 Hot Wheels have started to appear, but before we totally move on from 2019, we need to look at the last #2019 New Model: the #Mod Rod. This modern, modified hot rod — hence the name “Mod Rod” — is a super slick Hot Wheels original design by Dmitriy Shakhmatov. It just started appearing in the last case code for 2019, the “Q” case assortment; and will carry over to 2020 in the “A” case assortment.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (on orange track)

So what’s not to like about this #First Edition of the #Mod Rod? Everything about it is edgy: from its aggressive casting details to its moody blue paint. This 2019 #Factory Fresh series release is probably the furthest thing from being “factory fresh” as this custom hot rod is certainly not “factory”. But yeah, that paint, let’s start there. This one wears a #51 #Gumball 3000 livery that is unlike any color scheme we have seen on a Hot Wheels car before. The moody matte blue is a perfect contrast to the metalflake gold tampos — AND, it’s a livery that we will actually see again. This is car #1 in an unofficial 3-car set that will be released over the next year or so. The Erikenstein Rod showed by Hot Wheels Designer, Eric Han at the latest convention; will be #2 with a #52 on its sides.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (top-right view)

So what’s not to like about the Hot Wheels #Mod Rod??? I have been arguing with myself over the coolest feature of this casting and simply cannot decide on just one. The aggressively raked stance is pretty cool with the meaty #Steelie 8-Spoke Wheels in the back and (more) slim #Aero Disc Wheels in the front. Even the overhanging roof that eliminates the need for any A-pillars, creating a panoramic front windshield is a cool design element…

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (side)

Perhaps it is the fact that the #Mod Rod just looks fast! There are three massive spikes coming out of the V6 engine that is fed large amounts of cool air through a streamline billet grille. The cone-shaped, side-mounted exhaust comes right out of the engine like a cannon that is ready to fire. Oh, and in the rear, there is an elongated porthole window — if I’ve ever seen one — looking at everyone in its dust. Below that is a trunk — think leather and used in 1920 for an affluent family vacation — of a trunk (modern car) that is held shut by two leather straps.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (rear)

Basically, the #Mod Rod screams classic Hot Wheels Design which is always cool to see from a young(er) designer in Dima. It inspired me to bring out two friends… the first of which being the similarly-named, Mob Rod which came out in 2010. Yeah, it was a modern design, but it came from redline-era & classic fantasy car designer, Tom Daniel. Tom designed the Red Baron, S’Cool Bus and Sand Crab which should say enough; but his ability to come back and work with Hot Wheels to design the Mob Rod speaks volumes. It was also one of the cooler moments in the history of the Red Line Club.

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (head-to-head with 2010 HWC S9: Mob Rod)

In every which way that the Mob Rod represents classic gangster though, the #Mod Rod represents modern-day rebel. The Mod Rod is totally something you could expect to see pull up at one of the Hot Wheels Legends events. It is definitely built, not bought furthering the head-scratching notion as to why this is in the Factory Fresh series for 2019. Hot Wheels factory fresh? Yes! Automotive factory fresh? No.

That leads me to the other classic Hot Wheels design it reminds me of: the #Bone Shaker. Yes, I know the Bone Shaker isn’t a classic design in terms of age, but its designer — Mr. Hot Wheels, Larry Wood — is as classic as they come. From the moment the Bone Shaker was released in 2006, it became a mainstay on all collector-favorite lists — an instant classic!

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models (head-to-head with 2006 First Edition: Bone Shaker in red)

If you think the #Bone Shaker has attitude with its aggressive stance, simply look at the head-to-head above and tell me the #Mod Rod doesn’t look more fierce. It is not to take anything away from the Bone Shaker as there is a reason why its an all-time collector favorite. Its to show how nice of a design this new Mod Rod is — the new #Hot Rod on the block.

Will the #Mod Rod ever reach #Bone Shaker status? Probably not as those are some large shoes to fill. The Bone Shaker was met immediately with collector acclaim while the buzz around the Mod Rod has already simmered as collectors look ahead to 2020. Still, I think collectors will respond well to the Mod Rod in the years to come as its too great of a casting to simply ignore. I have already made up my mind that I will collect this casting throughout the years to come. How about you? What are your thoughts on this badass design?

Orange Track Diecast

Hot Wheels Mod Rod from the 2019 Factory Fresh series … also part of the 2019 New Models

24 replies »

  1. I just hope someone had the foresight to get this casting rolled into the 2020 Boulevard series or Car Culture line so we can get an all zamac body/chassis release. The sooner the better in my mind. If I have to come up with a flaw at all in this release is that it’s not all metal construction right out of the gate.

    Brad, great article and spotlight on what is to me a new iconic casting and probably THE best one of 2019..

    • I really like this casting, I just wish I could actually find it! I wondered if the 51 was a nod to this being the 51st year. I too hope that it does get into a premium set. We need some kind of outlet where we can get premium versions of unlicensed castings.

      • Trevor, you are correct: the #51 is a nod to the 51st year. This release is hitting pegs now. I found several hanging in the last week. A premium release is definitely a must for this casting. Hopefully it pops up in the new Boulevard line.

  2. I’m really enjoying this new casting. I agree with your article 100%. I really see some awesome paint apps in the future and to be honest, I was more excited to find this than the standard Bugatti. The gold tampo and Gumball were the nails in that coffin. Hopefully I’ll find a couple more in the wild. Thanks for all the hard work.

  3. The Mod Rod wasn’t a casting I was overly excited for, but once I got it in hand, I gave it immediate respect! I enjoy it for several of the reasons you mention: such an aggressive stance and the paint scheme is amazing and unique!
    Personally, I think the Mod Rod stands “wheel to wheel” with the Bone Shaker as far a superior designs for hot rod castings. For me, they’ll have a track rivalry that’ll last for years!
    Once again, thank you Brad for another great spotlight and review.

  4. It is one cool car! You guys are right about this one needing to be a metal/metal casting. I personally think it is the best mainline car of 2019.

  5. It was an instant get when I first seen on the pegs. I am not a fan of the Bone Shaker. This Mod Rod is spot on. The design is fresh, the details, wheels, the paintjob (even on the rims), all just right. More of these type of fantasy cars are very welcome HW.

  6. BEST of the NEW cast in 2019!!! I have look at all the others and NOTHING comes close! Stance, engine, wheels, paint choice and tampo…this MACHINE has it ALL!!!

  7. This casting and Muscle Bound were both pleasant fantasy casting surprises in 2019. This is just my humble opinion, but I think they both work so well as designs because they are bounded by some sense of reality in terms of their proportions and overall styling. This is not to disparage the work put into any of the other fantasy designs, but these were the only fantasy castings of 2019 I bought.

  8. Nothing gains more notoriety than a showcase like this to highlight a particular casting release! I have to admit.. when you isolate this ride into a photo op setting, it really brings out the features. That black chrome, matte blue paint along with those neat tampos.. lines are accentuated to catch your eye & amplify it’s personality.
    I agree the Mod Rod should be an premium model, cuz it’s just dying for some Real Riders to bring it to life. I can see a V8 mill up front, but I understand the ‘up-to-date’ scheme.. this ride being equipped with a V6 motor to adjust to the times and all.
    This is a fresh new design influenced by an instant classic which could potentially be a real road machine. You could mistake this for a fantasy creation, but again.. you can also see this being a miniature cog an actual project!
    Now let’s see some more variations shall we??!!

  9. 2019 was a really strong year for licenced new models, but the unlicensed ones lacked IMO, but the Mod Rod the exception. It’s very cool.

  10. A collector friend of mine FOUND me one TODAY at a local “dollar store”! It’s on a short card…but it did’nt matter as she is “LOOSE” tonight and in it’s very own carney display…slot / case #1!!! Please Mattel…BRING MORE variations soon!

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