Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cool is Cool is Cool: Hot Wheels classic pickups in red, including the just-released Datsun 620...

We thought we would start a new series here on Lamley.  

Cool is Cool is Cool.

There are some models, whether from Hot Wheels or Matchbox or Tomica or Kyosho or wherever, that have to classified as cool.  Of course that is completely arbitrary, but we hope you are catching our jive.

Top Gear always spends a segment or two trying to figure out what cars are cool, and it opens up quite a barrage of debate.  The same could be said for the mini versions.  There is really no way to define what is cool, but we do it anyway.

In the minicar world, cool could just be the real car it represents, or maybe the way the mini version is altered to make it cool.  Maybe it is the scene it represents, or whatever.  Cool is cool.

Here is an example:

Look at these two Lamborghini Sesto Elementos:

The gunmetal grey is mean, menacing, and looks as close to the real show car as Hot Wheels can do.  But the Sesto Elemento, like the Veneno, is clearly uncool.  Most supercars fall into the same category.  Amazing machines, a little over-the-top, driven by people in True Religion jeans.  Not cool.

But take that gunmetal grey Lambo and go nuts on the color, making it matte white with bright green trim, and...BINGO!!  Supercool!  Argue with me all you want, but the white Sesto is far cooler than the grey.

But this post isn't about the Lambo.  We thought the best way to start this series was by using it to show our first images of the just-released new color on the Hot Wheels Datsun 620 Pickup.

This isn't a Lamley exclusive, as Japanese Nostalgic Car rightfully previewed it last week.  (It is after all their logo on the rear panel.)  But its release is the perfect opportunity to highlight the plethora of cool classic red pickups Hot Wheels has given us in the last few years.

Pickups aren't even called pickups these days.  They are called "Trucks", usually described in commercials by the most masculine of masculine voices.  Blah.  These are spectacular machines, able to carry big rocks through mud in slow motion while towing space shuttles, and I am sure they get the job done.  But they are a complete bore.

We love pickups.  Pickups are cool.  The folks at Hot Wheels know this, and have given us some gems.  And whether they ride low, or high, or whether they have chin spoilers, or are racing versions, or come from an 80's cop show, these are all a joy to have.  (We will admit the Macho Power Wagon might be better described as a truck, but bear with us.  We are having fun with our descriptions.)

Our lineup:

Datsun 620 (2014 Mainline)

Studebaker Champ (2011 Mainline)

Dodge Li'l Red Express (2012 Mainline)

Chevy Silverado (2012 Decades)

Chevy C10 (2013 Mainline)

Ford F-150 (Walmart Exclusive)

Toyota Pickup (2012 Hot Ones)

Dodge Macho Power Wagon (2014 Retro Entertainment)

How is that for a mix?  Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, and Datsun/Nissan all represented, and throw in a Studebaker for good measure.  Over a period of just a few years, Hot Wheels has churned out some fantastic pickups, and yes, they are all cool.

Let's start with the Datsun.  After looking stock in orange and blue, the 620 returns with a more sporty outfit, looking sharp in red with gold-lipped MC5 wheels.  While blue remains our favorite, we love the variety.  Since most of you are here to see the Datsun, here you go:

Hot Wheels Datsun 620 (Mainline recolor):

We don't need to spend a ton of time on the others, but know that each of these was taken from the Lamley collection.  If there was one to focus on, however, it would definitely be the '63 Studebaker Champ.  While the Silverado, C10, Toyota, Li'l Red Express, and to a certain extent, Macho Power Wagon, seem like a perfect match with Hot Wheels, the Studebaker was a complete surprise.

Hot Wheels will always throw an obscure vehicle or two into various lines, and the Champ is a perfect example.  This hauler wasn't around long, only from 1960 to 1964, and not nearly as well-known today as other classic pickups.  But it is a Hot Wheels car because one of the Mattel team members created it as a tribute to father-figure in his life, whose last project before passing away was restoring a '63 Champ.  That pickup was apparently being colored aqua, and that is what the model was recolored a little later in the year.

There are probably many stories behind why a certain model was created, and I hope we can hear more.  That little tidbit itself makes this an interesting model, but we also love how it got the Hot Wheels treatment - lowered, with a bed-cover, and placed on blacked-out 5-spoke wheels.  They even gave it front and rear tampos.  A classic pickup with a super-sporty, sleek look:

Now couple those first two with these other red delights.  Ryu Asada's Chevy C10 (which we cannot wait to see more of soon), Jun Imai's '83 Silverado, which will be a Super TH in a few months, the Dodge Li'l Red Express, '87 Toyota (also a Jun Imai creation), Sam Walton's Ford F-150 (definitely a model we hope to see more of), and the completely wild Dodge Macho Power Wagon from Retro Entertainment:

There is always room in the Lamley Collection for pickups.  Trucks might have a little harder time getting through the gates.  After all, cool is cool is cool...


  1. Very good. But how and when did you get that Datsun recolor already? It didn't come out in the H case, but how could you get it still if it's probably in the J case or K case though? That's way ahead!

    So anyway, this is a line of red truks eh? While I say, the red Datsun is pretty much the star here because of Hot Wheels making this J.N.C. (Japanese Nostalgic Car) sporty. But it does. That's why I like sporty.

  2. I love that last pic with the brand names on the tailgates. Great shot. Didn't know the Decades series Silverado had that written on the back (still need one...)


  3. Where's the '69 Chevy F.E.? It was red.

    1. He likely just doesn't have it, considering when it came out. Might not really be his thing, too.


  4. I'm really more of a car guy at heart, but trucks, in the right hands can definitely be cool. Especially when it comes to pickups. My favorites though are the Datsun and the Stude, just because of their sporty stance. I have to say however, the Sam Walton truck is beautifully done as well.

    On another note, I really like the Custom '69 Chevy Truck. In fact, I still have the one that I bought last year.

  5. Great pictures! Sadly, they just reinforce the disappointing color of the Lil Red Express. Wouldn't it have looked more "authentic" if it was the same bright red as all its peers here?

  6. Lovin the pics great work!

  7. Where is the 2013 Kmart exclusive Nissan Titan in red? Have you got it yet?