The #Final Run series was the Hot Wheels version of the double-edged sword. The cool thing was to see a retiring Hot Wheels model go out in style, BUT do the models really have to be gone for good? Hot Wheels castings come and go every year. For as many that make their debut, roughly the same amount are unceremoniously gone for good. That is why the Final Run series has such mixed reviews among collectors today.
For those that remember when the series made its debut in 1999, the idea was to send these models out in style. Special wheels — mostly #Real Riders — and exclusive decos really gave these basic-level cars a premium look in this semi-premium line. The Hot Wheels #Range Rover was actually the first car on the chopping block as it was number #1 in the series of 12. No real reason was ever given why the Range Rover was being discontinued, but a common reason why models disappear from the Hot Wheels lines is that the tool — essentially the giant mold that makes these cars — is worn out from repeated use. The casting had a 10-year run after being introduced in 1990, so it would be reasonable to assume that the tool had simply degraded over time. Instead of replacing it, one more “Final Run” was produced.
The caveat of the #Final Run series was that the packaging stated, “LAST PRODUCTION RUN!”, which legally bound Mattel to never produce the casting again. That is a big deal as that means the casting can never come back from the dead — it’s like the Hot Wheels version of a double-tap. For every unpopular casting — like the Alien, Treadator, and XT-3 — that was Final Run’d, collector-favorites such as the Kenworth T600A, #’70 Dodge Charger Daytona, and #Lamborghini Diablo met their demise. There is even a rumor that the #Purple Passion had once been considered for this series.
The #Range Rover wasn’t a trendy Hot Wheels casting at the time, but one has to wonder with the influx of #Land Rovers these days, what if the classic Range Rover was brought back … ’80s and ’90s cars seem to be all the rage these days and this model straddles both decades. You have to think that the boxy Range Rover would be a popular choice to make a comeback in some nostalgic line. Too bad it legally can’t.
A quick eBay search shows values for this #Final Run release ranging between $10 and $25. From an aesthetics standpoint, the other releases don’t compare, so it was great to see this casting go out in style. But the fact that it can not come back, hurts. The Final Run release proves that if this casting was released in a time where #Land Rovers were popular among Hot Wheels collectors, and given the correct premium treatment, this casting may never have been Final Run’d in the first place. We will never know for sure though, as this casting is gone for good.