It sure feels like with every mix of Hot Wheels #Car Culture / Team Transport there is a level of excitement that comes with it. Not sure if that comes from other collectors, internally or is a solid mix of both. Whatever it is, its a great feeling considering the line is now in its third year of existence.
The first Team Transport mix of 2020 has #Muscle, Euro, racing and custom elements to it — while handling vintage thru modern. Even the colors of the liveries offer a nice range while being bright and vibrant. It is truly a well-rounded mix that consists of three unique releases (RWB TT comes 2x per case).
Team Transport #16 (ɛ̃fini)
The ɛ̃fini Team Transport has the lowest number in this mix so we will start there.
How many people knew what #ɛ̃fini was before this mix? I sure didn’t. Considering it was the luxury vehicle division of Mazda — existing only in Japan from 1991 to 1997 — I suppose that is acceptable. Yet here we are seeing the brand resurface is this Hot Wheels lineup. Why? Well, that is because this ɛ̃fini #Mazda 787B is a replica of the actual #Race Car back in 1991 that competed in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. Suffice to say, resurrecting this livery for a cameo in Team Transport is ultra-cool.
Seeing as how the #Sakura Sprinter is an #Unlicensed Hot Wheels casting, it’s hard to believe that the actual ɛ̃fini #Mazda 787B showed up to the race track in this style Japanese box truck. Why should it matter though? The Sakura Sprinter is just a fabulous casting design and the fact that it is a Hot Wheels original design means it can appear in any livery the team at Hot Wheels deems necessary. That means collecting the Sakura Sprinter is going to be extremely fun.
If you have been collecting the Hot Wheels #Sakura Sprinter since the first #Car Culture / Team Transport mix in 2018, you will have a total of four now. This ɛ̃fini one joins the three prior releases that wore G-Reddy, JDM•L and Nissan liveries. Consider it a mini #Collection Update as they are all pictured below.
There isn’t a lot out there about the ɛ̃fini #Mazda 787B race car. A good resource seems to be racingsportscars.com. It probably has to do with the fact that there were only three that were ever built. Based on the data, it appears the #201 ɛ̃fini Mazda 787B was actually the same car that took 6th at Le Mans in the #18 Mazda livery.
You Probably recall that Hot Wheels already replicated that car for the casting’s initial release in Car Culture. These are the two releases of the Hot Wheels #Mazda 787B thus far. That still leaves room for the most well-known 787B: the #55 RENOWN livery — the car that won Le Mans in 1991. Think we will see that one?
Team Transport #17 (RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF)
One of the newer partnerships Hot Wheels has is with RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF. In German, this company’s name translates to “Rough-World Concept” with the name tracing back to the founder: Akira Nakai’s roots in Japan as part of the Rough World drift crew.¹ RWB is led by Nakai and Christian Coujin — who is represented by this second Hot Wheels x RWB release.
The interesting thing about RWB is that they are considered outlaws in their own niche of Porsche tuning culture for the unconventional results they produce. They name every design after the build is done as a reflection of both car and owner. Christian’s RWB logo can be found on the sides of this release of the Hot Wheels #Aero Lift, followed by the phrase, “Sky • Ocean • Rain”.
Another #Unlicensed Hot Wheels transporter in the #Aero Lift means that Hot Wheels can pretty much do whatever they want with it. It is a relatively new casting as the first instance showed up at the end of 2019 — two mixes ago, in the Team Transport “E” cases. That was September and now, 4 months later, we are already checking out its third release. The second landed at U.S. Walmarts about a week earlier as part of the Hot Wheels Premium Set: Nissan Garage.
RWB Porsche 930
Let’s be honest. As nice as the transporters are, the cars are often the stars in the Team Transport line. That is the case with this purple #RWB Porsche 930. It shines like the star that it is. The car is meant to represent Christian’s 1:1 RWB Porsche as it features the same color/graphics as his. The only difference? His is actually a 911. Still, I don’t think that bothers anyone — Christian included. He has been posting continuously on Instagram (@christiancoujin) about his excitement for this release.
The first RWB release Hot Wheels did was for last year’s #Car Culture / Silhouettes series. It was Nakai’s matte black Porsche 930 affectionately named, “Stella Artois” after his favorite beer. Since Mattel doesn’t do licensing with alcohol brands for their toys, the name was replaced with “RAUH-Welt” on the sides. There is actually a Red Line Club version of this car that will sell on hotwheelscollectors.com in February that will take the #RWB Porsche 930 casting to a new level of premium. It will have opening doors, spectraflame paint, and will be accompanied by a mini Akira Nakai! Until then, the RWB Porsche 930 casting collection stands at two with this latest release.
Team Transport #18 (Union 76)
Like #Muscle Cars, #MOPAR, Vintage Racing, or two vehicles & a livery that hasn’t appeared in Team Transport yet? Ha! Then you are probably rejoicing over the #Union 76 combo that is: the brand-new Hot Wheels casting, #Wide Open and the return of the premium #’70 Plymouth Superbird.
The Hot Wheels #Wide Open was teased way back in 2018 at the Hot Wheels Convention in LA. 15 months later, we finally have it in our hands and this retro-inspired hauler designed by Hot Wheels Designer, Mark Jones, does not disappoint. It is heavy. It is detailed. It looks great hauling a vintage race car like the Superbird. To give you an idea of how detailed it is, check out the fixed “spare tires” on the top: two of the five have tread on them while the other three are drag slicks.
’70 Plymouth Superbird
Seeing the Hot Wheels #’70 Plymouth Superbird return to premium is a true gift. Seeing it appear in this two-tone #Union 76 livery is the icing on the cake. The Superbird silhouette is one of the sickest in automotive history and this two-tone scheme by Hot Wheels graphic designer, Steve Vandervate seemingly adds another dimension to it.
I may be a tad biased though. I have loved Superbirds since I was a kid and collected the Hot Wheels casting since it was first released in 2006. I am still chasing down some super hard-to-find variations, but there is definitely a #Collection Update coming for this casting. I really try to stray away from calling anything new a “favorite” but this Team Transport release my just very-well-be my favorite release of it thus far. That’s how much I like it! So, rather than me rattle on about my boyhood crush on this car and its color scheme, here is a picture of it with its last premium release, the #43 Richard Petty car from the 2011’s Hot Wheels Vintage Racing line.
Hobby dealers have this assortment now and it should hit retail within the next month. What is your favorite set in this latest mix? Sound off in the comments below!
¹ 2015 Article: “Rauh Welt Begriff: The Story of Porsche’s Most Polarizing Tuner” by Matt Kirsch. oppositelock.kinja.com
Categories: Series Profile
I’m lusting after the Mazda/Sakura – Plymouth SB/Wide open sets. Great write up, thank you. Looking forward to finding those two sets.
Superbird and Mazda for me. Really hope these hit Amazon soon!
That Plymouth set is awesome!! Great article Brad!
If I will find RWB for reasonable price, then I will buy, but not hunting for it. Rest is nice too, but don’t fit into my collecting preferences.
When do the next set come out and what does it consists of team transport
I have enjoyed these sets since they started and have not missed one yet. The Union 76 may be the first set that I buy doubles of because I like it so much.
When can we see a spot featuring the new Boulevard line for 2020 (No, not Cruise Blvd which wasn’t a wise choice as a name considering they’re putting out a Blvd line)?
As we all know how successful the original Boulevard line was, now we want to see some action with the new offerings, which contain a nice mix for every taste!
58 years old, but just started getting back into HW’s a couple years ago. I grew up with the original Snake & Mongoose which ended up launching HW’s popularity. Their release of the team transport sets in 18 was a great move for veteran fans of this iconic team, as fans of American muscle, whether it be muscle cars, drag racing, or just the legends of Prudhomme and McEwen. Now I see the team transport release of the Union 76 hauler and Superbird, so I have to get that one too. But after looking at previous releases of the Superbird, namely the #43 Richard Petty car, they dropped the ball. Larger rims and tires on the rear like a drag car? WTH? King Richard is NASCAR! HW’s did previous releases of the Superbird with same size wheels on all four corners in the past, why didnt they do it right on his car?
Nearly a year later and the RWB is still hanging in some stores. Hot Wheels needs to stop doubling up.