I’ve been on the #Hot Wheels iD hype train since the beginning. One of my favorites things was that I could order each car — store exclusives exempt — off Amazon, and have them delivered to my door. Collecting the entire line was easy, and honestly, the initial $7 price tag didn’t scare me off due to there being a limited number of vehicles being released each month.
Suffice to say, the success of the line didn’t go as hoped for Mattel — I think. The same thing that made the cars easy to obtain online seemed to have made those in charge rethink their strategy: quantity. Series 1 (2019) seemed to be in stock forever, and coupled with pandemic troubles in 2020, it is believed the line wasn’t selling as anticipated. Two waves of Series 2 were released in 2020, before the line was seemingly canceled before Mattel chose to embrace a growing segment: collectors.
The #Hot Wheels iD line was targeted at kids from the beginning like most Hot Wheels. Collectors weren’t shunned, but they weren’t the line’s primary target — imagine that! 😉 However, collectors have proven that they can carry a line with a higher price point when fresh mixes are presented coupled with favorable castings. The downside? There may be less to go around. Retailers are always in a state of flux when it comes to non-established toy lines and iD has seen its shelf space diminish at retail. It simply does not move as fast as the mainline. So, to start 2021, it seems as though hobby dealers are the main method of distribution for the line.
Case assortments have been reconfigured to accommodate collector-friendly releases like this HKS #Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) and the #’16 Bugatti Chiron from the latest mix. The R34 came 4 to a case (of 16), while the Chiron came 3 per case. That is just less than half the case. The other 4 castings (Arkham Asylum Batmobile, Subaru BRZ, Sting Rod II & Supercharged) made up the other 9/16 of the case. That right there tells you the expectations Mattel has for the HKS Skyline edging out the Chiron for case content supremacy.
It is no secret that #Hot Wheels iD allows for full-detail on standard Hot Wheels castings which obviously makes it a hit with collectors who love the realism that it presents. #Unlicensed Hot Wheels castings that normally wouldn’t be slated for premium, get it too, which makes someone like me who also collects fantasy cars happy. For cars like the #Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34), the signature headlights and taillights look amazing with that full detail. The full-wrap, #HKS livery is also a major benefit.
This isn’t the first #HKS livery that Hot Wheels has done and will not be the last. As collectors eagerly await the Super Treasure Hunt ’18 Honda Civic Type R which will appear in the mainline, and the HKS Van appearing in Pop Culture, the Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32) from 2019’s Car Culture / Open Track series is available as a companion piece. Since that car was done in premium, the deco does appear a little different as the colors are distinguishably brighter.
Together, they make a beautiful start to the #HKS Super Oil livery collection which will surely grow this year with the addition of the mainline Civic — common & super variants, plus any additional colorways — and the HKS Van.
For me, the #Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) will be added to my casting collection. There is one mystery I cannot solve with this release, however. The license plate reads, “2F2F03” like the premium Fast & Furious release. To my knowledge, this car never appeared in #Fast & Furious and is not marketed as such so I am curious as to why the license plate was not updated to something else. The search for an answer continues…
As far as the rest of the 2021 Hot Wheels iD line, it is still a mystery as the next wave of cars has not been unveiled yet, but the SKU list I posted back in August 2020 still seems to give an indication as to what vehicles lie ahead. Not sure if any of those can top this release, as it is clearly one of the best iD vehicles for 2021.