The return of #Hot Wheels Boulevard in 2020 has been a welcomed addition in the eyes of collectors. Three waves into the star-studded lineup, we’ve seen a terrific array of diecast diversity. The line has showcased all kinds of cars the Hot Wheels team could see themselves in, including a few they have actually driven!
Apparently, each mix will feature a car from the Hot Wheels “Garage of Legends” — Mattel’s garage of 1:1 Hot Wheels. The site for the cars is inconveniently down at the time this article was published, but if you’ve been a collector for a while, you can probably recall most of them. From the 2020 #Boulevard line alone: the #’67 Camaro, ’18 COPO Camaro, this #’66 Pontiac GTO have all been released, with the #Twin Mill coming in mix D.
Instead of re-releasing the old Hot Wheels ’67 Pontiac GTO casting, Hot Wheels designer #Mark Jones Designed the new #’66 Pontiac GTO as a premium replacement for the ’67 GTO casting he designed over 20 years ago.
The result is a #’66 Pontiac GTO that is a much closer replica to the GTO Mattel has in its Garage of Legends. A short time after the 1:1 was first built for SEMA in 2006, Hot Wheels released the ’67 Pontiac GTO in a replica color scheme for Larry’s Garage in 2009. The car was considered premium at the time as it retailed in the $3 price range and wore #Real Riders, despite not having a metal base, nor front & rear details. One year later, a closer replica (in terms of paint) of the 1:1 found it’s way into the mainline as part of 2010’s Faster Than Ever series. Below you can see the difference between the castings, and how far Hot Wheels Premium has come in the last 10 years.
Clearly, the big difference between the ’66 and ’67 GTOs is the stance. The ’67 has a raked stance while the new ’66 sits a lot closer to the ground. When comparing the two castings side-by-side, you can also tell that the ’66 has many more refined details to the casting. Given that this is a rare case in which the same designer designed the cars 20+ years apart, you can see how Mark’s skill has evolved in addition to his ability to utilize modern technology such as 3D printing. What’s funny is that the car is still sitting on #Real Riders LW5 Wheels as no #Real Rider that more closely resembles the 1:1 car’s wheels was developed. With that said, the chrome lip on the black 5-spokes looks twenty times better than the all gray LW5s on the Larry’s Garage release. As far as graphics detail goes, there is no contest as the new #Boulevard edition is done up exceptionally well. This release even carries over the “HW GTO” California license plate.
I regrettably did not get any pictures of the new #’66 Pontiac GTO with the Custom ’66 GTO Wagon which also has the same lowered-stance. Coincidentally, the wagon was actually used in the first iteration of Boulevard back in 2012.
This GTO though … let me just say that even with the numerous #GTOs that were retooled for ultra-premium use in the Red Line Club, this tool is the best one so far and you GTO-nuts out there have to be ecstatic for this one. I personally cannot wait to see how this one is released next. The Hot Wheels #’66 Pontiac GTO was made for cruising the #Boulevard as this one flaunts a new era of Hot Wheels premium design.