What separates Hot Wheels collectors from collectors of diecast is that Hot Wheels collectors will tend to accumulate oddities. We will pick up cars based on rarity or “collectibility” whereas the general collector has more of a licensed vehicle focus. We fancy Hot Wheels original designs as it’s a designer’s expression in the purest form. Some of the coolest vehicles — where the Hot Wheels designers have done an exceptional job in creativity — have been in the #Character Cars line. I’m sure in some (virtual) classroom in Detroit, aspiring transportation design students are studying this Hot Wheels line that meshes character with vehicle.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been a few designs that haven’t worked as well as others, but there have been some really cool cars to come out of the line. Had they been released on standard blisters, there’s a chance you wouldn’t even know it was a #Character Car. One of those cars for me is the #Repulsor Blast. It’s an incredibly smooth and sleek car design from the mind of Hot Wheels designer, Ron Wong — who is based out of Mattel’s Hong Kong office. Ron has worked on a variety of Hot Wheels products, but this one of two of his 1:64 scale designs. The other is the #Web Car, and we’ll get to that in a second.
The #Repulsor Blast is an oddity within its own #Character Cars line. It’s not a Character. Rather, its an extension of #Iron Man. Its literally something that Iron Man shoots out, which of course makes perfects sense as a #Launcher Exclusive. The use of transparent light blue and chrome plastic in the body of the vehicle gives the car a glowing effect. That in itself is awesome as I would assume that was the effect the design team had in mind. On the other hand, it is actually a tad tragic as the “glowing effect” seems to overshadow the meticulously crafted vehicle. It’s a hypercar that you could totally see Tony Stark driving.
Overall, the #Repulsor Blast is a fun car that was meant for track use as I am sure it’s only on a handful of collectors’ radars. As a Hot Wheels collector, these essentially one-off cars are cool to discover years later as they are often forgot about. Should you have an interest in the design, the $19.99 price point for the Iron Man Launcher will tell your conscience speak up as a penny-pinching collector. Fortunately, I have kids, so the justification was a little easier: grab a new toy for them, and let dad keep the #Launcher Exclusive. 😉
Just like the Iron Man launcher, the Spider-Man launcher comes with an exclusive vehicle that is modeled after an element that the character extrudes. #Spider-Man has his web, so it made sense that a #Web Car came with the Spider-Man launcher. Again, the oddity-factor really drove me to grab this one as well — plus, I have two kids to buy for. Honestly, I can’t see any other use for the Web Car in future lines, and with the quantities on playsets and launchers being less than your standard blister carded vehicles, you can bet these will be hard to find once they are no longer available at retail.
It’s quirky, its fun, its got to be somewhat limited… that was my rationale. My #Character Car collection is purely based on the “buy what you like” style of collecting, and I liked these aspects of this car. If you fancy Hot Wheels oddities like I do, the Spider-Man launcher with #Web Car is currently available on Amazon for $19. Should you prefer the Iron Man one, that one should be back in stock soon: Iron Man Launcher w/ Repulsor Blast for $19.99.
10 years from now, will collectors regret not picking up Hot Wheels #Character Cars after the market for older releases burgeons? No idea. But if it does, these could be two of the oddest, and rare — in turn, valuable — cars out there. For me, it is just fun to share oddities with you, the collector, for the years to come!