With SEMA kicking off today in Las Vegas, it shouldn’t be long before we know the winner of the 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour — which will in-turn be the first known 2021 New Model. Before we jettison off to 2021, it seems very appropriate to come full-circle on the 2018 Hot Wheels Legends Tour Winner, #2 Jet Z — which has just started hitting shelves as one of the first #2020 New Models to be released. If you recall, it was Luis Rodriguez who brought his creation titled, “2JETZ” to the Newark (New Jersey) stop on the 2018 Legends Tour. The panel of judges selected Luis’ creation as the winner, ultimately bringing him (and his car) to be one of 16 finalists at SEMA 2018. In Las Vegas, the esteemed panel of Hot Wheels senior leadership, as well as designers and celebrities, crowned “2JETZ” the winner of Legends 2018 — setting forth the grand prize of having Luis’ creation made into an actual Hot Wheels car. 12 months later, I am digging through a 2020 “B” case at my local GameStop and was delighted to find the 2 Jet Z.
As you can see below, the Hot Wheels #2 Jet Z comes on the standard mainline blister card stating that it is “NEW for 2020”. In the upper-left, a black and yellow banner calls out this car as the Hot Wheels Legends Tour WINNER! In addition to that, the black & yellow motif is carried over to the #2020 New Models circle, and the number in the upper-right. Of course, mine didn’t stay in the package for long as I was excited to get its first shot on that signature Hot Wheels orange track.
Upon opening the Hot Wheels #2 Jet Z, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is an all-metal creation — meaning the base & body are both diecast. I reached out to the Hot Wheels Designer privileged with bringing the 2JETZ to Hot Wheels form: Manson Cheung. He said the body and base both had to be metal to meet weight requirements. He also wanted to make it clear that Luis Rodriguez is the true designer of this car.
Manson was one of the judges at that initial stop in Newark. What attracted him to 2JETZ was Luis’ story and how this car was “Built, not Bought”. After Luis won the ultimate prize in Las Vegas last year, Manson was thrilled and hoped he was the Hot Wheels designer who could scale this down to Hot Wheels form.
One year later, kids and collectors around the world will start to find Luis’ 2JETZ on the pegs wherever Hot Wheels are sold. It has been so cool to follow this story from that initial stop in Newark to finding the Hot Wheels car in the wild. I sincerely hope that Hot Wheels continues the Legends Tour for years to come as the journey was awesome, and the end result brings a small tear to your eye. So happy for Luis, Manson and all the others involved with what went into bringing this car to Hot Wheels form. It makes me excited to see what vehicle the Hot Wheels team will choose as the winner for 2019, and for the 3rd installment of the Legends Tour in 2020. For now, I leave you with the 2018 Hot Wheels Legends Tour Winner: #2 Jet Z!