There has never been a Hot Wheels vehicle with an adjustable suspension — until now! The toy industry thrives on innovative product yet one of the most popular toys of all time — Hot Wheels — have remained largely unchanged for the better part of 52 years. Innovation occurs all all fronts though as is a large part why you can still buy a mainline Hot Wheels car for under a buck.
But this isn’t the mainline, this is the Red Line Club — the R-L-C. For Mattel, it is where the diehard Hot Wheels collectors go to buy vehicles that you cannot get at retail. Innovation has been at the forefront of the club as of late — despite the club’s early motto of “we make them like we used to” — and the numbers show collectors are loving it.
The latest release from the club is the RLC Exclusive: #’69 Chevy C-10, and it’s an innovation marvel.
What makes the release of this truck so significant is that it is the first Hot Wheels car to feature a suspension that can be raised/lowered. Courtesy of a dial that has been casting into the base, collectors can toggle the suspension of this classic Chevy pickup from a street/stock stance to a slam’d/lowered one.
Hot Wheels Designer, Brendon Vetuskey is the innovative genius behind much of the club’s product which feature no shortage of opening parts. Brendon also has a love for incorporating many details that go unnoticed to the casual eye.
The adjustable suspension may be his latest triumph, but it certainly won’t be his last. Brendon has been a collector of Hot Wheels since he was young, and his ability to innovate with RLC and Monster Trucks product shows his passion. He repeatedly stops by the HotWheelsCollectors.com forums to engage with collectors about his product and offer explanations as to why things were designed a certain way. He even left the nugget you see below on the forums as an insider’s view on how exactly the mechanism inside the #’69 Chevy C-10 works. So before you go drilling those rivets out of your precious RLC piece, make sure you check out the photo below if your curiosity has gotten the best of you.
Before you go thinking that this is now out there for the other diecast companies to take for their own benefit; just know that the adjustable suspension was patented by Mattel early on in the design process which took nearly two years to develop. For collectors, the wait was agonizing, but the final product has been well worth it.
As you can imagine, the #’69 Chevy C-10 is a completely new casting and is not based on any of the other late-’60s Chevy trucks done by Hot Wheels previously — even the wheels are new! Below you’ll see it with the Custom ’69 Chevy Truck that was originally released in the 2002 First Editions. Noticed that the castings share no similarities beyond the fact that they are both ’69 Chevy trucks.
The casting I was most eager to compare the #’69 Chevy C-10 with was the ’67 Chevy C-10. Its a basic-range casting that has been overdue for a premium release. Many collectors had hoped for the ’67 to get the RLC nod, and figured that it would be a good casting to make with an adjustable suspension since it is already in a lowered stance. When you look at the ’69 next to it, you can see why a new casting in the ’69 was needed for a premium release in the RLC. The slammed look developed allows for there to be a larger differential between street and slam’d mode whereas the mainline ’67 sits almost in-between.
Of course I would be remiss to not mention the work of Hot Wheels Graphic Designer, Steve Vandervate, as he always makes sure RLC models shine — literally and figuratively. The RLC Exclusive #’69 Chevy C-10 is painted with a spectraflame root beer brown paint and finished off with cream-painted sides and tailgate. The “C/10” badging and the “CHEVROLET” namesake across the tailgate & grill give this truck a very authentic feel. Even the license plate reads, “UPNDWN” which clearly is a nod to the casting’s suspension.
Upon arrival of the truck, you will probably noticed the tiny black “flecks” that are seemingly adhered to the body. These come from the felt-lined box the #’69 Chevy C-10 comes in and for-the-most-part, are able to be wiped off. The model comes loose out of the box so you can play with that suspension oppose to coming screwed to a plinth in an acrylic case where the suspension would be a moot point.
It is alway fun to wrap these #Showcase articles up with speculating where we might see the featured vehicle show up again. The downside is that there is a good chance we don’t see this casting outside of the RLC — sans any removal of the adjustable suspension — and lets not go there. There is always a possibility we see the ’69 Chevy C-10 as a convention model or some kind of other high-end release, but beyond that, this is one casting that certainly makes your Red Line Club membership feel validated, as you won’t find it anywhere else.