Friday, April 5, 2013
First Look: Hot Wheels Boulevard Subaru Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter...
C'mon, calling the BRAT by its proper name was fun...
I think most of us have seen the Boulevard BRAT before. It leaked from the factory several months ago, but just hit dealers in the last couple of weeks. And based on how slow Boulevard has been to occupy the pegs, we may not see it in stores for some time.
But when Wheel Collectors got this batch in, I was able to grab one from them. Much of the attention from this batch of Boulevards has gone to the new Astro Van, and that makes sense. But here at Lamley the BRAT is the gem of the batch (along with the Ford GT LM, which we will show later).
And it is the gem because of where it falls on the "cool" scale. There are obvious cool cars in the Hot Wheels lineup. Straight-up super cars, off-the-beaten path American muscle, classic JDM. Those epitomize cool. Then there are the Cool's cool of models. Models that might not be considered classics right off the bat, but are working their way there. A preemptive strike on the cool scale. The BRAT is one. Oh, and plus Subarus occupy a whole cool category of their own. Double cool. A Japanese classic that is undeniably American? Ok, triple cool.
There is always a little swell of joy anytime I encounter a BRAT on the road. A BRAT owner is someone who at some point in their life made a good decision, and can always lean on that if needed. I look at the person driving the car with a certain amount of admiration. I mean, that person can put on their life's resume that at some point they bought a BRAT! What else do you need?
They looked at that car, with so many functions, saw the rear facing open seats in the back, and most importantly the word "BRAT" making its way vertically down the rear pillar. And then they said, I'll take it. Touché...
I encountered this one last year. Rust and all, it is still a gem. And it was for sale. I did not join the ranks of the supersmart that day, being able to call myself a BRAT owner. Instead I sat with my wife and ate lunch. At least I took the photo. We know BRAT owners can become a US President. Did I show a subconscious fear of ambition by avoiding that BRAT? Maybe I did. The world was there for the taking, and I flinched.
That plain white BRAT with the single black vertical ID remains a favorite. I love the BRAT. I will keep writing until I make that clear to each of you who have persevered this far into the article. That is why I love the Hot Wheels version. I am not bothered by the fact that it is lifted, as it adds a little character to a model that will go unrecognized by many a young kid and collector. The model is well balanced, and it takes no time to recognize what it is. The casting is a complete winner.
And here, in moss green and racing livery, it looks good. Now I would love to see one in red with white rims and a little multicolored trim, a la the Reagan-mobile, and maybe that comes in time. The key is the deco needs character, and thankfully we are two for two since the Hot Ones debut last year.
I hope we continue to see it every year. I hope it soon takes a Super TH slot in the basic range. I hope this one is easier to find than the Hot Ones version, so our hobby's clever customizers can have their way with it. That is a lot of hopes, but they can't surpass how happy I am that Hot Wheels decided to cast the BRAT...
(Find the BRAT for sale here...)
Hot Wheels Subaru BRAT (2013 Boulevard):
The BRAT with some of its Boulevard counterparts:
And we end with a happy little photo (like I pointed out yesterday, who woulda thunk? A BRAT and Datsun Wagon in the HW lineup...):