Ask Brad

Ask Brad #7: sELECTIONs, Chinese New Year, 2020 Hot Wheels Sales Dates, International Collectors/Events and MORE!

Another round of questions from the #Ask Brad inbox. Thanks for taking the time to ask them. Keep them coming! Below are your answers: 

Craig • Ohio
Q: When will the RLC sELECTIONs yellow gasser ship?
A: By its 6/1/2020 backorder date. Backorders aren’t as common these days, but I do keep track of any on the Upcoming Sales page.

Todd • Oklahoma
Q: Hi Brad, I am wondering about the Rip Rod iD car. Was it just a short run or has it not hit in big quantities yet? I have not been able to find one. Even Amazon doesn’t have them. Thank you for such a great website and all the information you post. Keep up the good work.
A: Thanks, Todd! I actually believe that the Rip Rod iD car was a Target first-to-market, and for some reason, Amazon never received mass quantities of it like it did with the other cars. There were some to have, but they didn’t last long. It looks like the same situation with the Fiat 500 as well… though, I don’t believe Amazon US ever had any of the Fiat for sale — at least not yet. 

James • Kingsland, Georgia
Q: I just got the 2020 Year of the Rat: Ratical Racer and I got the 2018 Year of the Dog: Hotweiler. My question is : What happened to the 2019 Year of the Pig ??? Thanks
A: Great question. I never did ask anyone at Mattel this, so don’t quote me. I did consult with a friend who has a theory that since southeast Asia — specifically Malaysia and Indonesia — are very diverse countries, the “did not want to offend” logic came into play as there are some sensitivities to the pig in the religious beliefs there — around the world as well. If you want to further gauge the perspective, there is a decent BBC article that talks about whether the pig is indeed offensive in those countries, giving both sides to the argument. 

John Lamm • Spring Hill, Tennessee
Q: Do you know when the RLC 2020 memberships go up for sale? Per the norm, my forum viewing died on January 1st on the site and they never said anything prior as to when anything was happening for this year. Thanks.
A: Since I am an admin on HWC now, I have been making sure we keep the HWC Calendar up-to-date. You’ll also find those dates here on the OTD Upcoming Sales page. The 2020 RLC Memberships are currently slated for February 25th. Oh, and btw, your forum viewing should be working now.

Guy Lahaie • Trois-Rivieres, Canada
Q: Hi Brad! I swear I read somewhere that there will be a “Boulevard” VW Kool Kombi for 2020…Can’t seem to find that info anymore…Can you confirm? Best regards and Happy New year!
A: I saw the same premature list you saw online. It was on there. I will say that with those lists that are floating around, they are often wrong. So many things change at Mattel internally with tooling availability and licensing that castings are often pulled/replaced after those lists are initially created.

Dylan • Wildwood, Missouri
Q: Hi, me again with more questions!!! 🙂
A: Okay… let’s do this (again)…
1. The Ford Thunderbird Stocker with Valvoline designs on it is currently my fastest car, along with the purple Viper RT/10 (with 3sp wheels). But I haven’t seen any major collectors recognize them as their fastest cars. Is it because they have faster cars or am I doing something wrong?
I’m not a racer by any means so I will preface this with that. With that said, since track setups vary, those cars could be better suited for your setup. Have you tried racing those against cars that other collectors recognize as fast? If your cars beat those, it sounds like you are doing something right. 
2. The 2019 Hot Wheels 9-pack contained an orange McLaren Senna. I was so excited to open it at the time and when I did I turned the car around and saw that the wheel arch was messed up. Later on, I found pictures of the same thing happening to other orange Sennas. But when I opened a blister pack Senna there was no messed up wheel arch. Am I on to something?
You could be, but you should probably try and find a larger sampling. I hadn’t heard of this before.
3. Another Senna question: Why is there no headlight decals on the Senna?
I think it can down to cost. However, it sounds like Mattel heard the complaints and are working on a solution — possibly reworking the casting to institute a color break — so that area isn’t glossed over in the future.
4. Hot Wheels ID came out with the yellow Lamborghini Miura recently. They used the same body style as the Best Of Matchbox Premium Miura in Blue. Which company brand owns the Miura body style?
As similar as they look, the two brands don’t share pieces outside of Matchbox using Hot Wheels Real Riders.
5. Why won’t Hot Wheels open their own store? Is it a company thing, Financial thing or what?
Mattel is a toy manufacturer, not a retailer. Retail stores would not be happy if their supplier opened their own store and undercut their price-points. With that said, there are a couple Mattel Toy Stores. If you’re ever in LA, make sure to check out the one on the Mattel campus in El Segundo.
6. The Zoom In car (I’m sure you’re familiar with it) doesn’t fit/work with my 6-lane super speedway. Is there a way to fix that?
The Zoom In has to be wide enough to fit the GoPro on top. Since that trackset came out previously, the lane widths weren’t taken into account for the width of the Zoom In.
7. Recently, Bugatti came out with the Chiron 300+, which went over 300 mph. What are the chances Hot Wheels will make a special edition car of it?
I’m sure the team at Hot Wheels would love to — especially with how well the Chiron is doing with collectors. But with how long it took for the Bugatti to be made, I venture to guess that Bugatti wants accurate & fully-detailed representations of their cars. That hard to do with a mainline car. Not saying it can’t be done, there is just that much more work that goes into it.
8. Why isn’t there a Hot Wheels Rolls-Royce?
There have been Hot Wheels Rolls-Royce in the past. If you’re referring to the newer ones, I am not sure.
9. Would it be better to show all angles of a basic car in a blister pack instead of just the front?
Technically, you can see everything except the side facing the blistercard. At that price-point, it is not cost-effective to put in a rear window (like on HWC/RLC cars).
10. In your opinion, what cars should I be looking for in the new year?
Collect what you like! Best motto to adhere to.
11. I have about 8-9 Chirons in the package, 4 Vulcans, and 1-2 McLaren Sennas. What is the best place I could sell them at?
Local swapmeets. Sell them to local collectors who were unable to find them: for a buck. Sure beats grabbing them only to make a dollar or two off them.
12. I have every single release of the Mclaren P1. In your opinion, what’s the best way to display them all?
An acrylic display case from Carney Plastics
In the future, I’ll probably have more questions. But this is it for now…….. 🙂 Thanks for reading and answering my questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert • Ohio
Q: if I don’t renew my RLC membership this year will I still get my sELECTIONs 55 gasser that has not been shipped out yet?
A: Yes, but why would you? The RLC membership comes with a free car that is well-worth the cost of it — among other things. If you don’t like that stuff, you can trade it for something you do like. 2020 is going to be a great year for HWC, and I have a feeling 2021 will be even better.

Rob K • London, England
Q: Hi Brad. First, thanks for answering my earlier questions (Ask Brad #6; incl. a great reply from Darkjedilair about the Datsun 120Y and its existence in the US under a different model name). A nice welcome back to collecting! Seems there’s a lot of good people out there, and I’ve also found some active local UK groups on FB.
Great! Glad to hear the community here is helping you too. I don’t know everything so I am more than elated to know that people come here to help others. Thanks Darkjedilair!
Second: how do you track/catalogue your collection, and what do most collectors use to track their collections (as far as you know)? I’ve only recently waded back into acquiring cars, but already I’ve doubled on a couple without realizing it. I don’t have the luxury of displaying my collection, so they are having to live in cardboard boxes for now. So, do folks typically use a spreadsheet? An app? Paper notebooks? Memory?! Any tips on this would be really helpful. Thanks!
A: When I started collecting in 1995, it was in a notebook. When I got my own personal computer in 2001, I created a Microsoft Access database. I was actually using that, along with a couple Microsoft Word documents up until last year when I finally went into crazy detail on my Google Drive, building Google Sheets on the cloud. Now, I can access my collection information from anywhere. Building your own database takes a lot of work though — at least for a collection my size. HobbyDB offers the capabilities to build/track your collection on their site. It might be a good starting point for you.

John Osbourn • Bellevue, Nebraska
Q: Hey, Brad, I’ve got some interesting news for you: Last Friday, at my local Walmart, I found a 2020 Mainline Factory Fresh Lamborghini Huracan, that came from the factory flipped on its side, and the blister was sealed around it. Also, I found two Blizzard Bashers series Monster Trucks, at the same store, along with a new Marvel Character Car: Storm. So, I’d like to know if that flipped Lamborghini has any increased value, versus one on its wheels. As, always, Brad, keep up the good work.
A: Sorry, there is no value in an error like that. Cars being flipped on their side/top are actually fairly common.

Jeff • Oklahoma
Q: Brad thank you for all the great info you provide! I really like the team transports and am wondering if Mattel has plans to do an accurate version of the blue & white Ford Drag Team Transport ramp truck with the 1960’s C-600 COE with tool boxes and tire rack. A model kit was released a couple of years ago and it looks like another die-cast company is producing a similar ramp style bed before Mattel could do it. Mattel did a Ford type hauler this year but its not the Drag Team style from the 1969 era. Any word on if Mattel plans on doing this type of Ford Drag Team ramp truck soon?
A: I haven’t heard of anything like that in the works. I am sure the Mattel folks that read this site will note your suggestion though. It sounds cool.

Cullen Lane • Michigan
Q: Hey Brad, I was curious what sort of things Hot Wheels does specially for international collectors? I have came across a couple of different things that have been exclusive to international markets such as a certain variation to a car or even recently I found that in 2013 they did a Mystery Models Tesla Roadster that was only released outside of the U.S. Although the car in the U.S. was carded and a Kroger exclusive. Just curious if this is a regular occurrence and if there is anything else that they do. Thanks in advance!
A: Every year, there are always international exclusives — they just aren’t labeled as such (in most cases). One of my favorites was the Gold Pass’n Gasser from 2018.

Luke Hickox • Cairo, Georgia
I got a few. Lookout.
1. OK, this is a question I have always wanted to ask; Why on earth hasn’t HW made a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing casting yet? It’s like one of the most iconic cars in history, it should have happened by now.
Aside from this one?
2. How many of that limited edition HW De Tomaso Pantera GTS were made? I can’t seem to find the answer online.
Three in 1:18 scale, zero in 1:64 scale. Are you thinking of the unlicensed Hot Wheels casting: La Fasta?
3. This is not a question, I’m just thanking you for suggesting the Lamley Group website to me. Very good for Matchbox.
You’re welcome. The Lamley Group is a great site for all diecast.
4. Did HW ever make a Ferrari 599 GTO? I know there was the 599XX, and I think one other version, but I don’t know.
Just like the Pantera, they did in 1:18 scale, but never in 1:64 scale. The other 1:64 scale Ferrari 599 you’re thinking of is the GTB which occaisionally had the Fiorano name attached to it.
5. Does HW have, like, top designers or something? I know that there is the HW Grand Tour, where people make real custom cars and they are judged to see which one will go into production as a 1:64 scale model, and they make models of real cars, but are there some certain top designing guys behind all the highly modified and/or fantasy cars they make? I’d like to know.
A: All the designers on the Hot Wheels Design Team are great and like any other team, they all bring certain skill sets to the table. Some handle mainline, some handle premium, some handle specialty lines — all Hot Wheels product has to be designed The “Grand Tour” you are referring to is the Hot Wheels Legends Event, and will kick-off for the third year this spring. Those real cars can be built by anyone.

Rob K • London, England
Q: Hi there Brad. I recently picked up a bargain in TK Maxx in London. It’s a Fast & Furious 6 1970 Ford Escort Rs1600 MK1. I released it from its badly damaged blister pack, and have a clear view of its baseplate. There’s no Hot Wheels logo, nor a base code in the usual format. But there is the Mattel name, an FFO16, toy code FCF41, another code 0207EAA, and its made in China. It’s clearly a Hot Wheels car but why are the usual markings not there? I’ve recently returned to collecting, so please pardon my ignorance if this was in HW Collecting 101! Cheers
A: Ha! What you found is a car from the (now discontinued) Fast & Furious line by Mattel… NOT Hot Wheels. If you noticed, the Escort you are talking about is larger than the Hot Wheels version. It’s actually 1:50th scale. The whole line was done at that scale. I don’t think many Hot Wheels collectors collected that line because it wasn’t done under the Hot Wheels namesake, and the cars were just too large. They were nice, they just couldn’t be integrated into 1:64 diecast collections.

David • Westchester, New York
Q: Hi Brad! My last question to you was about the Nissan premium collectors set, which turned out to be a fail for me as I put 300 miles on my car & wasted 2 day’s going to Walmarts that said had them in stock, but for some reason were not to be found…oh well.
My question this time is about the HW id Fiat 500E & Audi R8 LMS. I know the Fiat became available from a third party seller on Amazon in the U.K., but the only other place I’ve seen either is eBay. I know the Audi is a limited run Target exclusive, and I’ve been very diligent in going to the 5 Targets between home and work. Any idea what’s going on with these 2? I really want to complete the first years run and need only these 2 and also the ones from the mainline cases, but I’m not really chasing those. I don’t want & won’t go to overPay… excuse me, I meant eBay. Any help is greatly appreciated.
A: Those are some toughies… I personally was unable to find both. Fortunately, two of my good friends were each able to help me out. The Audi is a Target Exclusive, and depending on how often your Target stocks iD cars, you’re kind of at the mercy of that. My Targets have been horrible at replenishing stock. I mentioned above that I believe the Fiat 500E is actually a Target first-to-market and just like the Rip Rod (which was also one), Amazon never got these in the mass quantities it did with the others. It’s also possible that they may have been shorter runs… I just don’t know.

Hector • Puerto Rico
Q: Greetings from Puerto Rico Brad. I know I’m a little early but I plan to visit the 2020 Mexico convention. Do you know what date the information will be available on the internet? How can I get tickets for the convention as for the dinners show too.
A: Hey Hector, I hope all is well there in Puerto Rico. I don’t know off-hand when that info gets posted, but I would try the Facebook page for HW Mexico Collector. Maybe you can message them and ask. I hope to make it there for one of these conventions. It looks like they put on quite the show. Perhaps, I’ll see you there…

THANK YOU ALL for your awesome questions! Keep them coming. To be part of the #Ask Brad segment, please fill out the form below.


Categories: Ask Brad

1 reply »

  1. David from new York… I read that you were unable to find that Nissan premium box set. I’m selling one on ebay but if want it I’ll take it off and sell it to you. Let me know if you want it. My email is thank you

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