Something can be said when a brand continues to evolve, yet it remains true to the concepts that were set forth early on. The #’20 Jeep Gladiator is a brand-new casting design by Hot Wheels Designer, Ryu Asada. Its boxy form represents the new pickup truck by #Jeep quite well. However, its what is in the back that is going to have the collectors talking.
The idea of the #’20 Jeep Gladiator having two #Bikes in Tow is a concept we saw very early on from the Hot Wheels brand when they introduced the #Hi-Tail Hauler in 1977. Larry Wood’s decision to incorporate two bikes into the casting essentially created an “add-on” feature, contributing to the casting’s overall personality. Personally, I have always been enamored by this niche grouping of Hot Wheels vehicles — so much so, that I decided to write a full feature on Hot Wheels with Bikes for Red Line Club members.
The “Six Decades of Hot Wheels with Bikes” article posted last month on HotWheelsCollectors.com and features these two castings. The #’20 Jeep Gladiator came directly from Mattel for that feature and should be out soon as part of the #2020 Hot Wheels “J” case assortments.
Aside from the two dirt bikes in the back, its worth noting that the front grille is actually part of the window piece, meaning it had to be colored red to match the body. This release’s overall tampo design is minimal so cost savings didn’t prevent them from doing so. This likely means that future releases will have simplistic designs if the painted grille is something the folks at Hot Wheels plan on doing going forward. It is a nice touch as you can see it really gives that signature #Jeep grille some nice depth — something you don’t ever see on a basic-range Hot Wheels vehicle.
It will be interesting to see how the collector base responds to this casting. Given the popularity of the #Hi-Tail Hauler and #Texas Drive ‘Em, I could see aspiring customizers out there capturing small hoards of these to try their hand at detailing those dirt bikes. If that’s the case, we will be in for a treat. The #’20 Jeep Gladiator is certainly fun to look at and already looks great in my Hot Wheels #Bikes in Tow collection. Looking to pick up a few more of these!