Thursday, June 20, 2013
First Look: Hot Wheels Boulevard 1988 Jeep Wagoneer...
Ok, with a model like this, it is very hard to not write an ode to the awesomeness that is the Hot Wheels Boulevard line.
But that is coming. This Wagoneer is in fact part of the last batch of Boulevard before the line takes its place in the great vault of cancelled lines in the sky. May it rest in peace. Once we are done showing the models from Batch P (and this batch is going out with a bang), we will do a final epic post celebrating Boulevard.
For now, we will concentrate on the fantastic Wagoneer. I am probably the last person with any interest in cars to comment with any authority on a Jeep of any kind. I frankly don't like them. Sure, I associate the original Willys with military, but as a street car, most Jeeps just don't float my boat. The Wranger especially. Show me a Jeep, and I will just shrug my shoulders.
But I also know there is a passionate group of people who love their Jeeps. This spring I randomly found myself in Moab, Utah during the same weekend of the Jeep Festival (or whatever it is called), and I have to say I enjoyed seeing the religion that is Jeeping. The town was flooded with muddy Jeeps of all kinds. Open tops, closed, Grand Cherokees, Wranglers, even a few badly-out-of-place Libertys. (They may have had to have their own table at the cafeteria.)
Among all the Jeeps, however, the model I enjoyed seeing the most was the Wagoneer. For me, the Wagoneer is Jeep plus personality. Like the Wrangler, it went relatively unchanged design-wise through entire lifespan. Sure, it went through a few parent companies (and many share the opinion that its final four years under Chrysler were its best), but the Wagoneer remained the Wagoneer. It has a little more form combined with function compared to other Jeeps, and the one most closely resembling a wagon doesn't hurt.
So that is why I like this Hot Wheels Wagoneer so much. It is the only Jeep I like, it is done 4x4-style like the Wagoneers I see in my beloved Moab, and the model is so well-executed in its Boulevard debut, complete with wood paneling and perfect real riders.
Would I love to see a straight stock Wagoneer done by Mattel someday? Sure. For good reason too. That way we have have Skyler's Wagoneer from Breaking Bad, and I don't think Hot Wheels will ever do Walter's Pontiac Aztek.
But trying not to sound overly dramatic, this Hot Wheels model is (expletive) perfect. I am sure it will make its way to the mainline someday. If it does, great, but it will never look better than this version.
No, I am not a Jeep guy, but this is seriously one of the best new Hot Wheels models of 2013. Go figure.
Funny thing though...it is not even part of the top three best Boulevard models of 2013. One of those we will show tomorrow. Can you guess?
(Find the Wagoneer and other fantastic 2013 Boulevards on ebay...)
Hot Wheels 1988 Jeep Wagoneer (2013 Boulevard):