According to eBay, these things have been floating around for a few weeks now, but it was only about a week ago that I found them…and it wasn’t even at my local Walmart, it was at this other one in the middle of nowhere about 30 minutes north of here. One of the perks of making that drive for a single store is that sometimes they have heaps of stuff that sells out of other stores relatively quickly. I remember I found several of those Mandalorian Talon’s and a few other Starships that were rare-ish at the time.
I don’t know why, but I kinda have a softspot for these sorts of cars. I know they’re nothing more than “Hot Wheels Originals” designs with some thematic paint jobs, but they’re cool in a way that’s separate from Character Cars. Character Cars are the characters if they existed in car-form, but these others are like, I dunno, like a superfan decorated a fairly unique car in honor of their favorite character. Let’s go ahead and take a look!
Hot Wheels likes reusing some of these designs a lot: for instance Rivited has been used for both a Superman and a Winter Soldier themed car. Fast Fish – I think – doubles as the Mustafar car from the Star Wars’ “Planets series.” (Several of these sets don’t have official names.) Scorcher was one of the cars features in the 2016 Holiday Hot Rods series, and RD-08 is from the same Captain America set as Rivited / Winter Soldier. And I feel like I see Quicksand as a part of the regular mainline series all the time. This isn’t an aspect that’s ever really bothered me, I guess I just find it surprising seeing as how many freakin’ Originals Hot Wheels has dreamt up over the years.
So let’s take a look at ’em followed by a quick blurb from yours truly. I have not gone to the trouble of opening these and photographing them yet again. Truthfully this is an awfully long part of the blogging process and sometimes it’s the process of taking, editing, uploading, and then integrating pictures that hold me back. One of these days I’ll dig in more completely, but for now, I just want to feel “caught up” enough to actually start tinkering with the site’s structure and things like, oh, I dunno, the name of the damn site! (Any suggestions, btw?)
- 1 / 8 – “Star-Lord” – Slingshot – When graced with a sleek paint job, Slingshot looks a lot like one of those ultra-high-end hypercars that only exist i the single digits. Does it fit Star-Lord? I guess I’m on the fence about it because Star-Lord isn’t really defined by a concrete ability or characteristic other than being the leader and adding a touch of comic relief. I may have chosen a more whimsical vehicle, but I love burgundy hue and the use of Star-Lord’s face/mask as an emblem on the side.
- 2 / 8 – “Drax” – Rivited – This muscle car has become unmistakable, but for mostly good reason. The design is classic but the exposed engine prevents it from becoming droll. I always thought the black paint job on Winter Soldier’s version was pretty cool, but I’m also diggin’ this gray finish with the orange accents representing Drax’s tattooed (scarred?) appearance. And c’mon, you’d be hard pressed to match Drax’s burly physique to a better vehicle!
- 3 / 8 – “Rocket Raccoon” – Fast Fish – I probably would’ve paired something smaller with Rocket, but the Fast Fish is a good-looking if slightly average looking car. I do like the subdued color scheme and I can definitely see Rocket’s swiftness and agility captured in the body’s shape.
- 4 / 8 – “Gamora” – Scorcher – Man, the Scorcher has never looked as good as it does in this deep, saturated purple. Coupled with the vibrant blue “glass” and neon green accents from the chassis, Gamora makes for a very eye-catching car. The shortened spoiler gives this slick ride a subtle feminine touch, even if Gamora herself isn’t the paradigm of all that is womanly and maternal.
- 5 / 8 – “Groot” – Solar Reflex – This isn’t a design I immediately recognize, which is a good thing! The odd sort of dual-yet-separate cockpit design is its most noticeable feature, with the rest of the roof being a level surface – something like a ramp, or I guess something all plant-like with its translucent green appearance. The color scheme – brown and green – is obviously ideal for Groot, and I suppose the car does resemble a tree with an exaggerated lateral stretch. The design alludes neither to Groot’s current status as a curious, child-like entity nor to his former version as a humble yet loyal and powerful warrior. To put it simply, the car is a bit weird, much like the idea of a living tree humanoid thing – regardless of its maturity!
- 6 / 8 – “Guardians of the Galaxy” – Quicksand – This one isn’t labeled, so I guess it’s just supposed to be a “team vehicle,” despite Vol. 2 also having Yondu, Mantis, and Nebula to draw on – and presumably Star-Lord’s father. And a villain for that matter! But no no, Hot Wheels won’t give us Marvel villains…sigh…anyway. It’s kinda hard to reconcile the team with a single vehicle, though I do generally like the Quicksand design. It’s sporty, rugged, a tad futuristic, and definitely flashy with its borderline lime-green paint job.
- 7 / 8 – “The Milano” – Rocketfire – This one doesn’t have a label either, but judging from the artwork on the front of the card, we’re looking at a tribute to the Milano, the spaceship that the Guardians use and what has become something of an icon for Guardians Vol. 2, appearing in several different toy forms. Hot Wheels absolutely nailed the paint job on this one – deep blue and orange, with just a touch of chrome and/or gray. However, Rocketfire looks more like some sort of mechanical skull than the bird-like Milano. I get the impression of something akin to a rocket-powered tank rather than a vessel twisting and twirling its way through space.
- 8 / 8 – “Guardians of the Galaxy” – RD-08 – The RD-08 has the potential to look sorta bland and boxy, but the chrome paint job on this one really brings out the curves. It still looks more like a workhorse than anything, though now it has some dignity in this regard – a good “solid” vehicle indicative of team “solidarity.” Or some shit.
So whatcha think of this latest batch of “fake” character cars? (Seriously, find me a better name!) Overall I think the set is a success – I’ll give it a B+, knocking off a couple points for 2 “team” vehicles when so many other characters are available and a bit of a flub on the Milano homage.
That is it for me for now. I’ma turn right around and start work on another piece, but it could take a while. I got lots of pics to deal with but I may save myself some trouble and not worry about wiping out my backgrounds. With any luck, maybe I’ll have it done sometime in the next 12 hours…? I could be laughing my ass off at that statement in a couple of days. We’ll see.