Hot Wheels Designer, Brendon Vetuskey is on a roll. Not only is he a spectacular guy and an advocate for the collector, but his attention to detail has him knocking #HWC/RLC designs out of the park! Brendon (and team) leveled-up the RLC back in 2018 when he stated the decision was made to have all new HWC/RLC-level castings include an #Opening Feature. This came on the heels of a several year period where the RLC struggled to garner support.
Now, the RLC is on fire! Mattel has had no trouble selling out 20,000+ runs on HotWheelsCollectors.com in a matter of minutes to a myriad of collectors & resellers — domestically & internationally. Success of the RLC can be attributed to a variety of reasons dealing mostly with quality, and with Brendon (and team) to thank. Collectors have come to expect an ultra-premium product for the top dollar they are paying, and the RLC team has delivered.
Brendon’s latest creation to be released: the #’71 De Tomaso Mangusta, was shown early in development two years ago. At that point, many collectors asked Brendon, “why the Mangusta and not the Pantera?”, to which Brendon replied, “Why not? Everyone does the Pantera, and the RLC is about introducing collectors to a wide selection of cool cars”. What collectors may not have realized at the time is that the gull-wing engine doors of the Mangusta were a perfect way to showcase RLC #Opening Feature functionality.
Mangusta is Italian for, “mongoose” — an animal that kills cobras. De Tomaso released this car in retaliation to take down Carroll Shelby’s heralded Cobra back in the late ’60s after a rumored deal between Shelby & De Tomaso fell through. The #Shelby Cobra 427 S/C is a classic in 1:1 and 1:64 scale, though in 1:64 the collector-favorite Cobra does look a tad outdated next to the #First Edition Mangusta — a testament to Vetuskey’s ultra-premium Mangusta design!
The 1971 De Tomaso Mangusta was the last model year of the Mangusta, which featured the Ford 302 engine in it. It may not have the following of say a, “Cobra” or even the”Pantera”, but it does have arguably the coolest feature among the three: gull-wing engine doors. And here is why having an #Opening Feature is so cool… you can actually see the engine tucked behind the seats. Oh, and look at that: the valve covers are blue, and you can even see the white Ford logo in there. Now that is a cool detail!
What is really cool is that this is the first time that Hot Wheels has done a #De Tomaso. Collectors have had the aforementioned De Tomaso Pantera on wish lists for years, and we even saw an unlicensed casting that resembled one in the La Fasta, but never have we seen a De Tomaso Hot Wheels car — until now.
If there was ever a way to welcome a new license to Hot Wheels, its through the RLC. Having an under-appreciated model like the Mangusta appear with this level of detail and in that signature #Spectraflame Paint can only help the relationship. And who knows, maybe its this release that helps get the Pantera made in a line like #Car Culture. Hats off to Mr. Vetuskey for another stellar RLC design. The #’71 De Tomaso Mangusta is certainly one Hot Wheels car that I will be looking to collect every release of.