The Hot Wheels #Car Culture / Team Transport line has given collectors a wide range of livery combos since it launched in 2018. One of the most notorious decos in Hot Wheels history was notably absent however: the #Hot Wheels Race Team. The deco has served as a default livery for more than two decades due to it being a way to showcase the brand while not having to pay licensing royalties — let me explain.
Back in the early ’90s, the #Hot Wheels Race Team livery appeared in professional racing, from international circuits to NASCAR. So, in a way, the deco is licensed. It just so happens though, the Mattel is the license holder eliminating the need to pay external royalties. It’s kind of obvious, but I felt the need to clarify. Since then, the deco has pretty much had a yearly segment in the mainline and has discretely found its way onto vehicles in other lines.
If there was one thing I repeatedly bugged the Hot Wheels team for, it was for this livery to appear on a Team Transport set. Let it be known that by release #30, my repeated requests wore them down, and they finally obliged. HAHA! The more likely scenario is that internally, they just knew it was a great idea as the #Hot Wheels Race Team has its own breed of collectors. Yeah, it may not be one of the popular automotive licenses Team Transport is known for, but it does embrace the worlds coolest car company.
Of course, with that said, that means the proper place to be shown on the card is where all that magic happens: the Hot Wheels design center. Check out the blister card: You can see the huge metal Hot Wheels logo that sits outside of the entrance. The #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and #Retro Rig are appropriately sitting where most guests like the take pictures while visiting — as they certainly don’t let you get away with any on the inside. 😉
This Team Transport set modernizes the #Hot Wheels Race Team livery. Graphic designer, Steve Vandervate tweaked the design he did for the Collectors Convention in 2018 on the ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon, and applied it to this set. The #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and #Retro Rig wear the deco well. It’s the first time they both have worn the race team deco — in any form — but neither are new to premium.
The #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon casting collection is coming along nicely. This releases marks the second time we’ve seen the casting in premium after it made the jump at the end of last year. There is at least one more release of it coming out in 2021 as it will be released in gray in the 1/4 Mile Finals series (Walmart exclusive themed assortment) so a proper #Collection Update will have to wait until then. So, let’s focus on this one.
Obviously the blue stands out in the lineup above, and overall it looks sharp on this car. Combined with the Datsun 510 Wagon, this modern take on the #Hot Wheels Race Team could be a reoccurring theme on premium and convention models in the years to come. Well, at least I hope so…
This release of the #Retro Rig is the 6th totally unique release. It is worth noting that the Black Hole Racing version was released twice: in Team Transport (2019), and in the premium box display (2020). The 2019 release had a wheel variation — that of which I do have, but it’s still carded, so it didn’t make it into the picture below. Inadvertently, I have built a casting collection of this casting like many other collectors through grabbing every #Team Transport release thus far. Honestly, I’m not sure the Snake & Mongoose releases will ever be topped, but being a #Hot Wheels Race Team collector definitely puts this one right up there with those. Can you imagine if this one would have gotten a more classic Hot Wheels Race Team deco? Imagine all the cars that would have looked good sitting on top!
So yeah, #Team Transport rocks. #Hot Wheels Race Team rocks. The #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon & #Retro Rig collections are growing nicely. To me, this is what Hot Wheels collecting is all about: assembling mini collections within the general realm of collecting the new stuff. It’s the main reason why I collect the race team and love the fact that money hungry collectors are often turned off by the busy, “unlicensed” deco — their words, not mine.
There have been so many nice #Team Transport releases over the last 4 years and this one definitely ranks up there among the best. We will see how collectors respond to it when it hits retail in the U.S.. The case pack has one each of four new releases — none of which I see a huge demand for — so we will see which ones collectors grab, and which ones hang. If I had to narrow it down to one reason why I don’t think this one will be on that hangs for long, its that the Demon seems to be growing in popularity, and this could be a coveted set in the years to come — especially if the bulk of collectors take a pass on it. Either way, you know I’m in… looking to find another!