Ask Brad

Ask Brad #8: 1:18 Hot Wheels, Treasure Hunt Selection Process, Collector Day Mail-Ins & MORE!

Hey everyone! Once again, I’ve found a way to neglect the #Ask Brad inbox. I really do appreciate those of you who take the time to ask the questions and hopefully, my answers do your questions some justice. A lot has gone on in the world in the last two months since Ask Brad #7 posted in January. In these times of uncertainty, keep those questions coming! Below are your answers: 

“WILLIEB47” • Jagville, Florida
Q: Hey Brad, great articles and answers. I have a Michael Keaton 1:18 Batmobile that I bought back around 2005. I have it still in the box. What a beauty. I was wondering if there are plans or its been discussed bringing back 1:18 cars? Especially to the RLC. Keep up the great work. Thanks in advance.
A: Right now, I don’t believe there are any plans to bring back 1:18. The main focus has been on 1:64 scale diecast from Hot Wheels and we have truly seen some great stuff come out over the last couple of years. Personally, I think with Mattel focusing on 1:64 — especially for the collectors — you’ve seen them really hone in, and eliminate, issues that presented themselves in the past: like poor distribution. So while 1:18 was nice, I think collectors (as a whole) truly appreciate the unseen benefits of not having it more.

Wilbert Johnson • Concordia, Missouri
Q: First off, thanks for this website. My question is will you be giving away any of those cards again at the Nationals? I didn’t get one in LA because I have no idea what you look like!!! Haha
A: I almost pulled off a Nationals trip to Charlotte, but ultimately decided to appropriate the funds I have to use towards more content and a bigger showing at the Collectors Convention in the fall. Thankfully I did as we all know now that Nationals was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So… as long as this doesn’t drag out, I hope to see everyone in LA — alive and healthy! And yes, I do plan on having some new trading cards to hand out for that. 

Alan • Ohio
Q: Hey Brad, I love the site! Is there is any rhyme or reason to how Mattel selects which cars will be Treasure Hunts and Super Treasure Hunts? Do the designers get to choose? Is it based on the sales/popularity of castings? Do they spin a big wheel?
A: Ummm… all of the above? LOL. Over the last several years, I know at least a couple of those methods have been used. The clear distinction that Mattel has made is that the regulars are meant for kids and the supers are meant for the collectors. The regular THs are most likely chosen with a marketing strategy in mind, whether it be tool cost or kid appeal. For the last couple of years, the super THs have been chosen because of designer and/or marketing preference. I won’t rule out the “big wheel” method, but I know that the other selection methods tend to weigh heavier in determining these.

Dave • Alabama
Q: The 2019 Premium List tracker hasn’t been updated since August 2019. Are you working on a new updated list?
A: This question was asked prior to me posting the updated list, but yes, I was working on one. At any given time, I am working on several unpublished lists. It takes a lot of time, but I know collectors love a good list and that’s why I do them. Here is the link to the 2020 Premium List/Tracker for those that haven’t seen it.

Zhora • Russia
Q: Hi Brad! I thank you for such a great deal of work in the form of answers to many interesting and important questions and for the opportunity to ask them to a person who knows much more about HW than many of us do. In this regard, I want to ask you one very important, very exciting moment. Please, if the answer to it is not your deal, please forward it directly to El Segundo. Why Mattel does not provide an opportunity for collectors from Russia, becoming members of the RLC, to receive their orders directly to Russia? The list of countries of delivery contains almost everything, African countries and even little island states, almost any point on the map, except for our country. And while the local community of collectors totals thousands, once again, thousands of people. What is the problem with Mattel? Is this fair? And I’m not even talking about the fact that our Mattel office in Moscow does not consider it necessary to bring something other than the mainline and tracks. Please, Brad, let them understand there that they are depriving a huge community of collectors who are forced to buy something from eBay resellers (even dreaming of Car Culture in the shops is impossible to us), and some of us honestly even buy HW from them who take new releases straight from the factory. I really hope for your help, you are real MVP who draws attention to ordinary lovers of HW and gives them the opportunity to speak. Thanks! Peace for all!
A: Thanks Zhora! Collecting Hot Wheels is truly a passion of mine and I am humbled by your remarks. I am part of the admin team for HotWheelsCollectors.com now, so next time I am in El Segundo, I will talk to them about expanding the Red Line Club to more countries worldwide, including Russia.

Steve • Old Hickory, Tennessee
Q: Hi again Brad, What can you share about mail-in programs for 2020? Who and when will be the first one since February is upon us, and K-mart is seemingly “out of the game”? Will Wal-mart ever participate in these again? Thanks in advance for your reply, keep up the good work.
A: Hey Steve, as you already know by now, Dollar General is the first for the year. That is going on now until 5/30/20. The Kroger one will begin in April. It doesn’t appear Walmart will be doing an actual “mail-in” but will have ZAMAC Collector Editions starting with the Volkswagen Sunagon. I’m not sure about the rest but I am hoping Target is back in the mix for 2020 as that is probably the retail store (other than Walmart) where its easiest to buy 20 new cars from. This reminds me, I should probably get a list together… Thanks, Steve!

“WILLIEB47” • Jagville, Florida
Q: Brad, I have another question? Are their any future plans for an old school or current GREYHOUND BUS in the near future. A couple of buses came up in MATCHBOX that look like the GREYHOUND but were not named GREYHOUND. I sure would Iike to see one on the HOTWHEELS RLC level.
A: HWC/RLC members have been clamoring for the return of the Greyhound Bus for years. I know you know that. However, with a shift in the RLC to more realistic models with opening features, I don’t think the folks that choose the releases will be looking to retool any vintage Hot Wheels designs.

Dylan • Wildwood, Missouri
Q: Here we go again… 🙂
1. The newest release of the Koenigsegg Agera in white that debuted in the Boulevard series makes my collection look dull. But is there a chance it will be as expensive as the original release in the Need For Speed series? I would love to get my hands on one!
A: Not a chance. The Boulevard one should be released in higher quantities AND collectors are going to be gobbling them all up looking to strike it rich on the secondary market or use for trade bait. It is super nice — I can’t wait to get my hands on one — but it should be readily available. If you can’t find it, eBay prices should come down a lot more than the $20-shipped they are currently going for.
2. What are the chances of Hot Wheels selling a customization series where people can buy them and customize Hot Wheels, with maybe just a set of a certain type of wheel or spoilers/splitters, and possibly more?
A: I have heard about collectors inquiring about this in the past. Mainly a line that would allow collectors to do wheel swaps. I have been told in the past that this won’t happen. So, while I won’t say NEVER, I would say: HIGHLY UNLIKELY.
3. Why hasn’t Hot Wheels made the following?: (All-New) Porsche 911 GT2RS, Audi R8, AMG GTR, Audi TTRS, Koenigsegg Regera, VW Golf.
A: No idea. I’m sure all of those have been on a list at some point and weren’t done in favor of other similar models for whatever reason (licensing, design, marketing, etc.).
4. Could Hot Wheels sell pictures/drawings/paintings of their cars?
A: I think they would like to but that stuff would have to be licensed to do so. The licensing fees would probably negate any sort of profit they would make.
5. Which Hot Wheels car has the most variants?
A: ’67 Camaro
6. Is there anyone else who can answer all my questions better than you can? I struggle to think of any! 🙂
Thank you for answering all of my questions! Hopefully next time I will have some more questions!
A: Oh, there are. It really depends on the subject matter you are inquiring about. I ask questions of collectors I deem as “experts” all the time.

Larry McClain • Asheboro, North Carolina
Q: Hello Brad, I asking to see if I can get a pic of the other 5 premium car culture sets, I’m a big-time 55 chevy gasser fan. Thanks, Larry.
A: I haven’t seen any myself. I know the ’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser isn’t slated for Car Culture this year but it does appear it will be in the next mix of Boulevard. I can’t wait to see what that looks like as I am a big fan of the casting as well.

Aaron G. • Texas
Q: Hey Brad! Always good stuff to read in these questions, from beginners to the seasoned collector. Two questions…
A: Thanks, Aaron! 
1.) Do you remember what your first super hunt found in the wild was?
A: Hmmm…. well, I remember my first Treasure Hunt was the ’97 Corvette in 1999 — despite collecting for the 4 years prior. Found that on the front of an endcap at Walmart. My first super was Bad Bagger in 2009 — despite supers coming into play in 2007. I actually found several of that one at a local 99¢ Only store on a couple occasions. 
2.) We usually see the future of hot wheels on here with the occasional flashback, do you collect any of the O16 castings? As always, keep up the stellar work!
A: I love doing flashbacks to older product. However, since a lot of the people involved in those have left Mattel, its a little hard to get facts from them, AND its also hard to remember those myself. I always try to insert when I can. I have been buying a lot of older product as of late as I am trying to be more well-rounded for my gig with hotwheelscollectors.com. I actually had to borrow a couple Redlines from a friend in order to shoot the photography for my latest article which should post soon. I don’t collect any of the O16 castings as mint examples are just too pricey for me. I consider myself more of a “budget collector” compared to most people I follow. Rarely do I spend more than $20 for a single Hot Wheels release. There are a few exceptions though as I just recently purchased a near-mint Bigfoot hauler from 1992 and am looking to splurge on a near-mint Custom Charger when I can find one for a below-market price.

Sean • Tennessee
Q: Will there be a list of locations and dates for the Legends Tour [Vending] Truck for non-event locations like there was last year? If so can you provide a link to said list please? Thanks
A: There was one which I can no longer release since the tour is on hold. When that starts up again, look for the article I did on HWC as that will contain it.

Bill Bellak • Akron, Ohio
Q: Is any store having a Hot Wheels Collector Day?
A: At this point, Dollar General & Kroger won’t be having an actual in-store event. Not sure if any of the other retailers will. After seeing Target try a couple years ago, and Gamestop do one in November, I honestly don’t know if it is worth it for the retailers. With that said, hopefully those two retailers will be back in the fold and try it again!

David • Westchester, New York
Q: Hi Brad, hope all is well. A big THANK YOU for this site, it & you have been a major help & I appreciate all that you do here. I collect the HWs Mazda RX-3. It has so far been fairly easy as there’s only been a few so far and I thought I was missing only one – the Mexico convention RX-3 from 2017. The problem is, I’ve found three pictures of the car and each is different. They are all yellow but with different tampos and one has a black painted nose & tail, they also have different wheels. It is really difficult finding any information about the car so I’m not sure if there are 3 different cars from the same convention or if there were 3 different conventions in Mexico in 2017. Do you know anything about the Mexico Convention RX-3s?
A: The RX-3 convention cars you are referring to as what collectors call: Code 3. Basically, they are customs that are packaged and sold (ie. NOT made by Mattel). I know people like to collect them but collectors like me won’t touch them for that very fact: they aren’t made by Mattel. That’s why they are so “rare”… they are essentially one-off customs. 

Rob K • London, England
Q: Hi Brad. Is the Haulin’ Gas casting one that you collect? If so, could you please do a Showcase entry on this impressive model? I was amazed to read its history, i.e. the original 1930s era truck it is based on. And it’s just one helluva cool casting, real weighty when done in premium metal/metal with RR. But I couldn’t find much about it online. I was wondering if you might give it your usual deep-dive treatment and enlighten the rest of the collecting scene. Thanks in advance! Rob
A: The Haulin’ Gas is one of those Hot Wheels Pop Culture castings that needs to get out of that line! Its been out for nearly 10 years and all 9 or so releases of it have been in Pop Culture with decor that are anything but vintage gasoline liveries. I would loooove to feature this one — do a deep-dive and all — but am really waiting until we see it in some sort of vintage gas station attire. Mobil, Texaco, Sinclair…. any one of those would do! While we’re at it, I’d like to see the ’38 Dodge Airflow in that series as well.

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. Regarding Dylan’s question about the customisation set, I recall RLC doing a box of real riders about 10 years ago.

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