With the Red Line Club debuting a new, ultra-premium ’64 Chevy Impala with a “diecast hydraulic system” in the coming months; it had me thinking that I should start searching for a comparable model for my collection. I didn’t have to look too far as Hot Wheels had done cars with these adjustable bases 20 years ago. No, it wasn’t the mainline; it was the ultra-premium #Cool Collectibles line that was found at retail.
Many Hot Wheels collectors balked at the #Cool Collectibles back then — which later became #100% Hot Wheels. I remember hearing, “I could buy 7 or 8 cars for that price” more than once. See, these models were around $7 each and came in an acrylic cube encased in black packaging — hence why collectors will often refer to these as the “Black Box” Hot Wheels. The tools for these vehicles had several more pieces than the standard mainline car, as these were designed for the collector, and casting details were thought to be important. A Hot Wheels line like this would probably do 100 times better with today’s collector, but back then, it didn’t move as fast as Mattel would have liked. Still, they stuck it out for the better part of a decade and we got some cool castings.
I’ve secretly (not anymore!) been searching to fill a bunch of holes in my collection with castings from this line. The #Opening Features and #Moving Parts are very comparable to the things the RLC is doing now and my logic was to go back and grab these before some of the newer collectors realize they are out there. About a year ago, a good majority of #Cool Collectibles could be had for less than they originally cost at retail, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
I’ve noticed an increasing demand for Hot Wheels #Lowriders. I don’t know if it’s because of the new RLC 6-4 coming out, or if it has to do with Hot Wheels largely ignoring this segment of car culture the last decade or so. I remember Lowriders being super popular back in the late ’90s to the mid-to-late 2000s. Their custom nature in their wide array of colors always translated well to the Hot Wheels brand, and collectors didn’t leave many behind. I’d go to local shows and see tables full of lowriders & #Muscle Cars, much like you see with #JDM today.
Obviously, the cool factor with the Hot Wheels #’70 Chevy Monte Carlo Lowrider is its “diecast hydraulic system” — what else would you call it? You can see in the base shot above that the base pieces that hold the axles are affixed to the main part of the base with a ball that pivots. It doesn’t give much, so it allows for much play while choosing your stance. That is ultimately the coolest thing about the model as it is just fun to play with. You could probably pose it 100 different ways as it feels like I took almost half that in photos just to get the ones you see here.
The other thing that I love about #Lowriders if the artistic expression used not only in the stance but also in the artwork. I’ve been dying to see what the RLC 6-4 will look like, as custom paint is a hard thing to replicate at the 1:64 scale. Add in the fact that the RLC piece will assumingly be painted in #Spectraflame Paint, and we could have an epic model coming that could usher in another “golden-era” for Hot Wheels lowriders.
The #Cool Collectibles / #Lowrider Magazine: #’70 Chevy Monte Carlo Lowrider had two variants of the “voodoo man” paint scheme. One was purple with more color in the deco, versus the one you see here in metalflake golden yellow with more of ghost-style graphics — which seems fitting for a car with a voodoo boogeyman on the hood. The gold-chrome steering wheel highlights an interior that features plush green cocktail lounge shaped chairs.
So just how fast will we see an influx of Hot Wheels Lowriders?
I really think we are a couple years out. I know that its been brought up to Hot Wheels Marketing Manager, Jimmy Liu about doing a series of five cars in #Car Culture. His response was that he didn’t think they had enough (current) premium tools to do one — yet. Could he be pushing to do new posable castings at retail? It seems doubtful but if Jimmy and the Design Team can pull that off for $5.50 a pop, those would fly off the shelves. Give it time, I think we will see a #Lowriders Car Culture segment — sans #Moving Parts. Can you imagine what the artwork on that series would look like??? It would certainly be epic as this is the type of niche group Hot Wheels Car Culture was made for.
Is there a chance we see more premium Hot Wheels Lowriders sooner?
Well, we do have the ultra-premium ’64 Impala with “diecast hydraulics” coming. It should be on sale via the Red Line Club this fall. I did notice a “sign” however, that we may get one sooner. Have you seen the logo for the 34th Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention? It was designed by Hot Wheels Senior Packaging Designer, Julian Koiles and certainly looks like it could be eluding to a #Lowrider model being one of the convention cars. I guess we will have to wait and see. Either way, the return of lowriders to Hot Wheels Premium is long overdue. Looking forward to what the future holds, and especially if that future holds posable models.