Aftermarket manufacturers and Hot Wheels have long had a relationship — its custom 1:64 cars meets custom 1:1 cars. Until recently, however, that relationship didn’t extend past the tampo as far as Hot Wheels are concerned. This car had Edelbrock graphics, this one had Mooneyes, so on and so forth. #Fifteen52 had the first licensed Real Riders in 2018, and adding to that, we saw a handful of castings licensed to a specific aftermarket manufacturer. The #GReddy #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z was first in 2017, then the #Pandem Subaru BRZ and the #RWB Porsche 930. We are seeing more and more as the upcoming mix of Car Culture / Slide Street has two in the GReddy ‘20 Toyota GR Supra and the RTR ‘20 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5. These types of licenses certainly don’t make it easy for the licensing/legal department at Mattel as two sets of approvals for every release are required right off the bat. But as collectors, we don’t deal with that. All we see are some cool cars that we see in our various car culture avenues in which we consume media.
Enter the newest casting, the #LB-Silhouette Works GT Nissan 35GT-RR Ver.2 — phew, thats a mouthful. Liberty Walk (abbreviated as LBWK) is known for top-tier aero kits for all types of vehicles, hence why its a good fit for Hot Wheels. The visual stimuli of a body kit obviously translates better to a Hot Wheels car than a performance part since 90% of the Hot Wheels appeal is of the visual variety. The GT-R is one of two LBWK cars to drop in the mainline this year with the Huracán being an upcoming release due out in a matter of weeks.
Compared to the stock ‘17 Nissan GT-R — an exceptional casting in itself, also designed by the late Ryu Asada — you can see the added aero kit which includes front & rear diffusers, massive fender flares, and a large wing — oh, and this car has side mirrors!
When you come across Hot Wheels that are so well done like this #Liberty Walk GT-R, it seems insane that you can still buy them for under $1. Think of the aforementioned dual-licensing on this casting between, not only #Nissan, but also #Liberty Walk. The development, raw materials, production, royalties, etc, must have been crazy expensive, and working them so we can buy at the basic level is no small feat. I find myself looking at this car over and over wondering how Ryu was able to get so much detail into the casting, all while knowing a casting with two licenses tied to it, is twice as hard to get approved.
Fortunately, there weren’t any additional licenses in the graphics so that didn’t convolute things. There is a nice LBWK design by Hot Wheels graphic designer, Leeway Chang — who has already sneaked a peek of the recolor in red that is coming. The racing number on the sides does reminds me of the calendar icon on my mac, but the little bit of red ties in nicely with the GT-R badging on the front.
Where does the casting go from here? Its always fun to speculate on the future of a casting with its #First Edition release — especially one as strong as this one. The casting is so good that I could see it going premium very soon. With the LBWK Huracán also coming out, some sort of limited two-car set also seems like a possibility. As far as future mainline releases, I’m sure many collectors will be hoping for a ZAMAC release of this to really accentuate the body lines with that aero kit. Regardless, it will be fun to collect this casting. I’m sure it will be among my top for the year, just don’t make me say #LB-Silhouette Works GT Nissan 35GT-RR Ver.2 out loud.