Collection Update

Collection Update: The ’91 GMC Syclone is the next sought after modern truck from Hot Wheels; Prove me wrong!

Released just last year, the #’91 GMC Syclone now has seven variants. In this family are a #Walmart Exclusive #ZAMAC, a #Target Exclusive premium, and a fresh #Kroger Exclusive in yellow. Suffice to say this little buttkicker from the ’90s may be destined for quite an epic collection when its all said and done.

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone from the 2020 HW Hot Trucks series (2020 New Models) — black variant

Before we enter crazyland by talking about this casting’s yet-to-be-determined Hot Wheels legacy, let’s walk through the collection. The #First Edition of the Hot Wheels #’91 GMC Syclone (above) came in black and is the only stock version of the truck. Only 2,995 1:1 GMC Syclones were built in 1991, with 3 more in 1992, totaling 2,998 Syclones in existence. Originally more colors were planned for 1992, but with production only lasting a year, we will most likely never know what outrageous ‘90s colors GMC had planned.

As a kid who learned to drive in the ’90s, I can tell you this: the Syclone was popular. It was the fastest stock pickup truck at the time and was often compared to sports cars in various automobile magazines. If kids had posters of a truck on their walls, it was this one.

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone from the 2020 HW Hot Trucks series (2020 New Models) — both variants (black & red)

Last year the #’91 GMC Syclone debuted in basics — as part of the mainline #HW Hot Trucks — in black and red. Both featured #RA6 Wheels which most closely replicate the design of the original wheels on the truck. Some collectors weren’t fans, but it seems like the most legitimate wheel choice for this casting. Hot Wheels Designer, Brendon Vetuskey knew what he was doing when he delivered this legendary compact truck.

The black variant seemed to disappear from the pegs quickly as there is no telling when (or if) we’ll ever see a stock version again. The red, on the other hand, hung around a little bit longer — typical for recolors in the same year. It just didn’t have the legitimacy the black one does, and it was done as a precursor to what was coming in premium…

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone from the 2020 Car Culture / Power Trip series (Marlboro Red)

Yes, Hot Wheels made the Marlboro #’91 GMC Syclone, but didn’t actually partake in the Marlboro livery. The 1:1 Marlboro Syclones are infamous due to their cigarette-branded livery, however, these weren’t standard production vehicles. The 10 “Marlboro Editions” of the 1:1 started life as the standard black car before being painted Marlboro Red as part of a sweepstakes by cigarette company Phillip Morris. These custom Syclones were seen on tons of advertisements and sweepstakes catalogs at the time, and are considered by many as an additional trim level — despite being a custom-built run of 10. Kudos to the team at Mattel for making this historical car while sticking to their no alcohol, tobacco, and firearms restrictions. It was by far the most popular vehicle in the Car Culture / Power Trip series.

In 2021, we saw the Hot Wheels #’91 GMC Syclone in basics again, and this time it was part of the #HW Turbo series. I’m not sure if blue was a rumored 1992 production color for the 1:1, but it seems like it would be a decent choice if it was. The metalflake blue with silver “trim” was the first release of the Syclone this year debuting all the way back in the “D” case. The #ZAMAC variant would follow, and proved to be tough to track down in a year of supply chain delays. And, just recently, the yellow variant is part of the Kroger Exclusive cases that are hitting now.

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone from the 2021 HW Turbo series — all 3 variants (standard blue, Walmart ZAMAC, and Kroger yellow)

All three colors look great on a truck that was only produced in black. These do make you wonder what colors GMC had planned for 1992, as the blue and the yellow seem like legitimate options for a ‘90s truck. It is worth noting that the yellow variant does buck the trend of #RA6 Wheels on this truck in basics, as it received #PR5 Wheels instead.

The Car Culture 2-Packs were all the rage a month or so ago and the next wave is certainly on collectors wish lists right now. Of the three that were released (Larry Chen R32 Skylines, Mercedes, and Borla shop trucks), it was the #Borla pack that proved to be most difficult to find. Paired with the ’91 GMC Syclone was a Hot Wheels truck that needs no introduction: the #’83 Chevy Silverado. It was an interesting pack to say the least and the “pull-forward” Silverado was essentially the #Car Culture / Shop Trucks release with a few minor changes. The Syclone was the new guy, and seems like a great choice to bring into the Borla 2-pack.

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone from the 2021 Car Culture BORLA 2-Pack

I have a feeling it was almost a “changing of the guards” situation where we are going to see the popularity of the Hot Wheels #’91 GMC Syclone take off, much like we did with the #’83 Chevy Silverado several years back. We have seen a great selection of the Syclone thus far from Hot Wheels, and it will be interesting to see where they take it next. Usually — of a vehicle with only 1 trim level — we don’t get to see much play on it from he Hot Wheels graphics team, but it appears #GMC is letting the designers have a little more freedom to explore “what could have been” possibilities should the truck had continued production back in the early ’90s.

Small trucks were all the rage back in the mini truck days. You could haul your friend’s crap while hauling ass down the highway, and still look good doing so. The #’91 GMC Syclone was the first of many powerful trucks meant to appeal to car enthusiasts — it was just ahead of its time. The Hot Wheels team made a basic and a premium version of the casting right off the bat so that tells me that they have big plans for the Syclone. I fully expect that once we see a few more versions of this casting, collectors will be going back to pickup the variants they are missing from the image below. Until then, this serves as your warning on get on-board with the Syclone. Discover how badass these trucks were at the time, and why you would have been totally rad if you owned one — then and now.

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Hot Wheels ’91 GMC Syclone Casting Collection (Family Photo, October 2021)

3 replies »

  1. Now I’m not a truck guy in the least, but I do remember the Syclone being the hot truck of its day, so I was easily on board for the debut in its correct blackout livery. This one proved quite challenging to track down. The follow up red was also slow to appear after its case-mates were readily available. It did finally begin to surface in moderate numbers. The blue mainline was yet another scarce version of this casting. I was originally planning to skip this recolor, but ended up getting one by default in a 9-pack I picked up. The premium “Marlboro” release was definitely the popular model in its mix, always selling quickly. But since Power Trip was one of those extremely rare times when a Car Culture mix actually restocked many, many times, you could find the Syclone if you wanted it. The Target 2-pack line has also proven popular and don’t last long. I can’t say the Syclone/Silverado set sold any quicker than the Skyline or Mercedes sets. Finally, ZAMAC. Is that still a thing? I can’t say that I’ve seen any ZAMAC in several years, so in my eyes the Syclone is no more or less popular than any other ZAMAC casting.

    So with that said, I’d have to agree that the Syclone has proven to be one popular new casting! For me personally, I’m good with my first 3 mainlines and will leave any new releases to others.

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