After an international tour round several countries to find the craziest cars to be immortalized as a Hot Wheels casting, 24 semi finalists have been picked, narrowed down to four final winners. You might think the winning four will be over-the-top customs, and everyone else did too.
So what won? A drift-missile 1JZ R33, a restomodded Plymouth Duster, your typical instagrammer’s S14, and a comical VW “DaKodok”. It doesn’t sound so bad, until you look at the other competitors.
It’s all down to taste, but it’s safe to say that, out of all the crazy builds that got in as semifinalists, you would think that the wilder ones, like the Anglia hot rod, the lifted Mini, the monster Autozam kei pickup, or the 1000cc kart would’ve got the pick. Look at the fantasy castings of the brand and you’ll see the wild, wacky cars they come up with; more evident in older designs.
But surely everyone will accept the winners. Not. The comments section on the official Instagram post that announced the winners majorly disagreed on the picks, with fans taking shots at the company, and especially the S14. North America’s picks had wilder competitors, and you would understand why people hated on the blue Silvia for winning. Some figured that it won thanks to the mass demand for a mainline S14, which has been kept only for premium variants. Brazillians seem satisfied with the fact that the 1000cc Kart got in the semifinals. Malaysians take a heartbreaking loss being 1% away from victory with a Suprima, which would’ve made for the first Proton in the history of the toy company’s licensed cars. The Indonesian Kombi/Beetle was frequently noted for being the only worthy entry; which, compared to the rest of the winners, is literally the only model that feels just right as a Hot Wheel. Though it could be better.
This year wasn’t exactly the first time a “mediocre” winner got picked; 2020 saw a 1970 Pontiac Firebird win the competition. Sure, the lack of a hood and uncommon engine placement is bound to turn some heads, but it stops there. Nothing wrong about the Firebird, just the fact that this build really isn’t wild enough to be a Hot Wheel. The community still holds disapproval against the winners.
Then again, perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise for Mattel; less wacky cars mean easier for mass production. Still, the basic picks didn’t win any favors from the fanbase, but at least comments were respectful to all the builders who delivered their thanks. Credit where it’s due, respect should be given to the builders for the dedication and effort on their rides, but as Hot Wheels? Maybe not.
Update: the global overall category winner was the “Texas Toot” Autozam Scrum monster truck, with Jay Leno who was involved in the selection process. It will also be turned into a diecast, though we’re not sure which line it’ll be in. Reactions are surprisingly negative, going out to Leno and the winning car itself.
p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Mattel/Hot Wheels)