Tuesday, March 4, 2014
First Look: 2014 Hot Wheels Ferrari 5-pack...
Thank goodness Hot Wheels and Ferrari remain a happy family. Lately, if Ferrari unveils a new car, you can rest assured that a Hot Wheels version won't be too far behind. And it also means we can look forward to a Ferrari 5-pack every year.
So yes, the Hot Wheels/Ferrari pairing has been fruitful, producing a lot of models. That is a good thing. The bad thing? A lot of those models are hideous. There are a lot of Ferrari from the late 90's/early 2000's that could benefit from retirement (512M anyone?), and thankfully many worthy models to take their place.
The best reflection of that is the Ferrari 5-pack. Some years the pack goes 5-for-5 in great-looking models, other years it is plagued by old ugly models that have seen better days.
This year? 4-for-5. A good number.
If we start with the good, we have to mention two models that have become 5-pack staples, the 430 Scuderia and 612 Scaglietti. As real cars, they are on both sides of the spectrum. The Scuderia was generally praised as a fantastic car, and from my perspective ushered in another Ferrari golden age, and led directly to the fantastic 458 Italia. The Scaglietti, on the other hand, was a bit of a bland tourer, and gave way to the much more interesting FF (which is one of my favorite Ferraris).
As Hot Wheels models? Both are fantastic. The castings are clean, nicely proportioned, and quite good-looking. Both are mainstays in the Lamley collection, and these two have a place. Hot Wheels has stuck to the signature center stripe on the Scuderia, and it looks fantastic blue. And I am always a sucker for pearl white, and that makes for a very good looking 612. (We have to pair it with an earlier pearl white 5-pack model, the GTO, in a future post.)
Hot Wheels Ferrari 430 Scuderia (2014 Ferrari 5-pack):
Hot Wheels Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (2014 Ferrari 5-pack):
Now lets go back for a moment. We mentioned this pack went 4-for-5, and that there are some castings that could benefit from retirement. Exhibit A: the Ferrari F40.
All we will say is this casting debuted in 1988. It may have a metal base, and maybe there are some that think its age makes it a nostalgic. We say it needs to go or get a complete top-to-bottom makeover. No, scratch that. It should just be completely redone by one of today's designers. We could use more classic Ferraris in the lineup, and the F40 is surely a classic.
We will let the photos to the talking on what a disaster this casting is. We have done our best to close the rear. What you see is what we pulled out of the pack:
Hot Wheels Ferrari F40 (2014 Ferrari 5-pack):
Pretty bad, eh? Contrast that with the model we consider the cream of the crop in this pack, the 458 Spider. Yes, there are a few flaws in the 458 Italia and 458 Spider castings, but the actual design on this one is fantastic. Understated pinstriping on both the sides and hood, and while we aren't huge fans of the Y5 wheels, they work so much better than the OH5 wheels this model normally sports. They fill the awkward wheel wells so much better, and the model looks better proportioned.
The 458 is easily one of the best-looking cars on the road, and here is a model that exudes that. This is the best looking HW Ferrari since last year's Zamac F12 Berlinetta.
Hot Wheels Ferrari 458 Spider (2014 Ferrari 5-pack):
Lastly, the one that gives us a mixed opinion. Without seeing the model, just knowing that the Enzo Ferrari was in the pack would have made it a 3-for-5. The Enzo is WAY overused, and the casting has some real flaws, starting with its height.
It seems we get an Enzo every year, filling a spot that could have been taken by Hot Wheels Ferraris we love like the 250 trio (GTO, LM, and California). Hot Wheels has done some fantastic classic Ferraris, and there is room to do a TON more, whether new models or new versions of existing castings. But it seems we always go back to the Enzo.
But we can give it a pass when the model looks this good. Metalflake black, great center pinstripe, and nice red-lipped wheels. We're buyers on this one, but let's hope this is the last we see of the Enzo for awhile:
Hot Wheels Enzo Ferrari (2014 Ferrari 5-pack):
All-in-all, one of the better Ferrari 5-packs we have seen. Your thoughts?
(And in case you are curious, you can find a load of previous Ferrari 5-packs for sale on ebay...)