Monday, June 30, 2014

First Look: Hot Wheels BMW E36 M3 Race...

This is a model that leaves us more curious to know what you think than to totally go into what we think.  If that makes sense.

The BMW E36 was a bit of a surprise when it was announced at the Hot Wheels Nationals convention back in April.  No one knew it was coming.  No one except a BMW aficionado who called Mattel late last year and asked the rep who answered if Hot Wheels was doing more BMW's.  The rep called him back a couple of days later and said that Mattel would be releasing an E36.  That is a true story.  When I heard that I just assumed the operator was confusing the E30, but in fact she asked, got an answer, and passed it on.  Does that give anyone some ideas?  When you do call and ask, find out about the Mazda Cosmo.

Anyway, this model was a surprise, and after a few early images, we finally have it in hand to give it a good look.  And...well...we want know what you think.

On one hand, the E36 is a such a great choice.  Another legendary BMW, fitting in nicely with recent Hot Wheels releases like the 2002 and E30.  For that reason alone we will be thoroughly collecting this one.

On the other hand, something is off.  Here is the real thing:

And the Hot Wheels version:

Too long?  Too high?

It probably appears too long because it in fact sits too high.  So we will fun with the "too high" thing. It is way too high.  But why?  Well, it has probably been deemed by those in charge a Hot Wheels track car.  Meaning, "it's gotta run good" on the orange track.  So it sits a bit higher to not get caught on a track connector piece.  We have seen those cars deemed racers suffer the same fate, most notable the Lotus Evora and Mastretta MXT.  This isn't as bad as those, but the high stance does distort the look of the model a little too significantly.

And yes, that's a bummer.  I know, Hot Wheels are toys, meant for the track, I as always I respect that.  But obviously others don't get the same treatment.  The Porsche 993 GT2 sits appropriately low, but then again it was originally meant for collectors in the Boulevard line.  The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta sits low.  Maybe that was a Ferrari licensing thing.  Why the decision was made here, I have no idea.

Which is made further disappointing when you put the E36 next to the BMW M3 GT2 that was released a couple of years ago:

Same pedigree, different stances:

It is crazy how one little detail can make a world of difference.

So are we happy with it?  Ultimately yes.  It exists, and it is really well detailed.  Could it have been better in our books?  Yes.  But count us fans.

Whether or not you want to riot in the streets, let us know.  We are definitely curious...

(Find the E36 and the rest of Hot Wheels Batch N at Wheel Collectors...)

Hot Wheels BMW E36 M3 Race (2014 New Models):


  1. the front bumper is completely wrong, the rest is excelent.

  2. Whatever.. I can wait to get it

  3. i told ya so ;)

  4. I am going to buy this, obviously because I am an M3 fan. But the height still kills it a bit for me. Put simply, I'm not as excited as I was when I first saw the blueprint images. This raised stance makes it look more like a rally car rather than a track racer, which it is, and that takes a point away in the realism and accuracy department. But apart from that, its still a pretty cool model, the livery and colors and all, and I guess it will be popular with customizers. I think I will rate this 7.5/10.

    - Black Wind

  5. Maybe if we look at it as a street car dressed like a racing car, it get's more friendly. Or, check this one out and we have another source of inspiration for that stance:

    Plus, what really bothers me on this one is the front that looks nothing like the original. It looks way too square, while the original has a round and more modern look.

  6. lets see it as a good base for customizing... different front bumper, smaller wheels and it might look ok

  7. Nice model - but I can see that it, like many others, rides a noticeable shade too high.

    I suspect it's the need to loop loops and not get caught in carpet that causes this design compromise. One of the worst, in my opinion, are some of the later large wheeled Mat chbox jaguar XK 220s. They look like off readers.

    The grille / front bumper looks a little awkward.

    However I'll be getting one.


    Ps if Mattel are back in bed with BMW what about a Marchbox BMW i30?

  8. I think I'll pass on this one. The height annoys me and the front end just doesn't look right.

  9. Both of the BMW models shown above suffer from one of the biggest problems hotwheels seem to have, inconsistency with tampos.

    Hotwheels if you are reading this, please put tampos of headlight and tail lights on all models, especially ones that are real cars, or race cars!

    Neither of these models have headlights or taillights, but somehow smaller cars released from Hotwheels have more tampos, with better attention to detail and still remain cheaper mainline models.

    Perfect example is the Fiat 500. The tiny little car, has head and tail lights, fog lights turn signals and all the badges possible, which is why it looks so good ( even for being a car I do not like at all, it is very well done)

    then there is the wheels choice, the wheels on the e36 seem to be larger than the m3 gt2 and have smaller tires.

    also the tooling is a bit off, especially around the grill and the bottom rear corner of the rear side window it too sharp.

    Also would it kill for models to have side mirrors?

    I know the kenmerry would benifit from this greatly as well as the s30 and this e36.

    1. on the plus side with the tampo, I like the number 36 on the side. makes sense.

  10. Wow! It is stunning to me than most of you, well some of all of you think the shape is ass. Nop. All it is is a darn Beamer racer. I love it a lot. �� that Beamer.