Welcome to the newest segment on OTD: #Power Ratings. This is something I’ve personally wanted to do for a long time as these ratings (and subsequent rankings) will be a cumulative list of Hot Wheels #Car Culture as the line progresses throughout 2023. The list will be fluid as the year progresses based on outside feedback I hear from the collecting world. Who knows … maybe you’ll see some familiar names commenting as well. I have partnered with 1 Stop Diecast to bring you this segment so make sure you pre-order your Car Culture cases via 1StopDiecast.com!
In this first-ever Hot Wheels Power Ratings, we start the 2023 #Car Culture year with the first mix of 2023: Speed Machines. #Speed Machines are the rebirth of the stand-alone Hot Wheels line from 2010 that featured exotic cars with a unique 2-piece wheel called the CM6 (Co-Mold 6-Spoke). The wheel actually debuted in the #AcceleRacers line, but Hot Wheels collectors really took a liking to it in the Ferrari Racer & Speed Machines lines back in the late 2000s. Beyond Speed Machines demise by the 2011 Hot Wheels year, the CM6 had yet to be repurposed as it was speculated that the wheel became too expensive to produce at the semi-premium level ($3) where Speed Machines sat at retail.
The return of #Speed Machines comes via the extremely popular, #Car Culture line which has been a favorite since the line debuted in 2016. Car Culture quickly set the standard for Hot Wheels Premium as it was the first line to feature custom card art for each series. The 2023 rendition of Speed Machines replicates the overall aesthetics of the original blister cards quite well. That wasn’t the only thing replicated … The retooled version of the CM6 shows up in this series. It was speculated that the tires on the CM6 wheels would be converted to Real Riders, but the Hot Wheels team stayed home with bringing back a collector-favorite, opting to keep the wheels all-plastic despite this being a first in Car Culture. You could argue all-day on what would’ve been the best choice, but the team went the nostalgic route and I support that! The added benefit is that you can now race this premium mix on the orange track, complete with cool cars, full deco, and heavy metal/metal body/chassis combos. These should be fast, just like the name of the series implies!
POWER RATINGS are comprised of an average of 3 scores: Casting Choice, Deco/Livery, and Cool Factor. Below is what is factored into each rating:
- Casting Choice: Rating is based on how well does the casting fit within the series. Is the casting a good choice for today’s Car Culture?
- Deco/Livery: Looks are everything! Rating is based on the color/deco/livery and how appropriate it is for this release.
- Cool Factor: The real X-factor here. Does the car resonate with collectors? Will it be sought after?
POWER RATING: 7.7
Casting Choice = 7 • Deco/Livery = 8 • Cool Factor = 8
Porsche 911 GT3 (chase)
SPEED MACHINES 0/5
It should come as no surprise that the first car here is the #Chase. The “murdered-out” black chase pieces were a hit with collectors in 2022 and it was a no-brainer by the Hot Wheels team to bring them back. You could argue that this isn’t the best casting in the series (see no. 2 here), but it is an awesome tribute to the 75th anniversary of Porsche — a manufacturer that had some nice castings in the 2010 Hot Wheels Speed Machines.
From Jimmy Liu (Director of Marketing for Hot Wheels) on why the Porsche 911 GT3 was chosen as the chase: It’s Porsche’s anniversary and [the Porsche 911 GT3] is rad!
POWER RATING: 6.7
Casting Choice = 8 • Deco/Livery = 6 • Cool Factor = 6
Pagani Zonda R
SPEED MACHINES 3/5
The #Pagani Zonda R is one hell of a Hot Wheels casting! It was my favorite of all the 2022 New Models as the 2022 release in particular makes you feel guilty for only paying (a little more than) $1 for such an accurate representation of a cool supercar. It is great to see this one already make the jump to premium and I feel this release will be highly sought after in the years to come.
From @grunty_diecast on IG: This is probably, alongside the Porsche 911 GT3, the most hotly-anticipated casting in this stellar lineup of cars. The tampoed graphics used on this car used for the wing, headlights, taillights and dive planes give this car some much needed character that was sorely lacking in the mainline releases. Its use of metalflake paint is also a nice difference from the glossy and satin colors used in previous releases. Combine the aggressive stance, detailed dive planes, a heavily tinted windshield, styling accentuated by the tampoed headlights and taillights and a large “Zonda R” on the side in flashy letters show you that this is a car not to be messed with.
POWER RATING: 6.3
Casting Choice = 7 • Deco/Livery = 7 • Cool Factor = 5
Porsche 911 GT3
SPEED MACHINES 1/5
Two-tone liveries always tend to be unique while looking at any casting collection, so I am venturing to say this #Porsche 911 GT3 will stand out in the years to come. Combine that with those ultra-cool, dark gold colored CM6 wheels and its a bold look for a very new casting — something that is often needed on Hot Wheels #Porsches, where the year isn’t usually included in the casting name.
From Walter, The Hot Line of Diecast on YouTube: Ultra excited to see the Porsche 911 GT3 casting make a splash in the return of the Speed Machines series. I could speak on the co-molded six spokes, alone… Though, they are just one asset to an overall gem. “Bold” is what the paint screams, and contributes to it appearing fast, even at a stand still. But these track friendly plastic tires will make for a good time. #dontforgettoplay
POWER RATING: 6.0
Casting Choice = 7 • Deco/Livery = 5 • Cool Factor = 6
SPEED MACHINES 4/5
The #Ford GT LM is the only casting from this batch of revived #Speed Machines to appear in the 2010 rendition. The deco may look extremely familiar as well since this white with black stripes and #4 livery also appeared in the 2018 Gran Turismo themed assortment. Great to see one of the original Speed Machines return in a classic livery!
From Reece, @aussiehotwheelscollector on IG: I have every version of the Ford GTLM casting that has been released since it’s debut in 2009, and can’t wait to add this latest one to my collection. This is the first time we’ve seen it in Car Culture and it’s fitting that it’s in the Speed Machines revival series, as the GTLM was part of the original Speed Machines Series from 2010. This latest version is very similar to the one from the 2018 Gran Turismo Series and I’m sure we will see many side by side photo comparisons once it starts hitting the pegs. The 2023 version is the clear winner, the full detailed tampos and Co-Mold wheels elevate it to the next level and make it one of the best executed versions of the casting.
POWER RATING: 3.7
Casting Choice = 4 • Deco/Livery = 3 • Cool Factor = 4
SPEED MACHINES 5/5
The #Lamborghini Veneno is a beast! It is a crazy Lambo on steroids but the Hot Wheels casting seems ancient by today’s standards with that large rear wheel. Had there been some meaty Real Riders on this, you may be able to look past it, but with the CM6 wheels, it doesn’t appear that you can.
From Matthew, Matthew on Cars & Hot Wheels on YouTube: The Veneno would have been my favorite from this series had it been a different color. I think they did a great job on the detail and made it look really similar to the actual car.
POWER RATING: 3.0
Casting Choice = 4 • Deco/Livery = 3 • Cool Factor = 2
SPEED MACHINES 2/5
Does the car fit within Speed Machines? Of course! Does the #McLaren 720S Hot Wheels casting work within Speed Machines? Meh, kind of… The 720S looked great for its basic (2018) and premium (2020) debuts, but something seems off when I look at this stock image from Mattel. Hopefully that changes upon seeing it in person. With this series being limited to only 5 vehicles, you can’t help but wonder what else could have been…
From Thomas, @diecastleno on IG, diecastleno.com: I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed by the Speed Machines 720S. I actually quite like the casting (I’m very excited for the upcoming 2 pack release), but the black deco along the back of the Speed Machines 720S just ruins the look of the model in my opinion. I have absolutely no idea why they chose that deco vs a factory look.
From @grunty_diecast on IG: The first Car Culture release of this thing could not have been done better. Dark tinted wheels provide variety among the wheel colors used in this series, while bright orange combined with black for vents and trim make for much needed color breaks and variety among most McLaren releases. The heavily-tinted windshield and contouring of the body make this supercar look like a speed machine. It looks the look and walks the walk.
There you have it! Our first #Power Ratings here on OTD for #2023 Hot Wheels #Car Culture. What do you think? Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
John at the Lamley Group received the physical models from Mattel. Check out his showcase here:
Categories: Power Ratings
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