Right out the gate it is probably appropriate to remind everyone about our approach to Hot Wheels movie cars.
Just like all the Retro Entertainment cars, we are more interested in the cars themselves than the movies they came from. At least when it comes to our approach here on the Lamley Blog. I am a movie geek (Fargo remains my favorite movie), and love to see some of my favorite cars pop up on the big and small screen, but when it is time to showcase the mini versions of those cars, there are folks far more qualified to take the movie angle.
So we will focus on the car. Yes, the just-released Ford Gran Torino was a bad guy car in the F&F 4, but that is all I remember because someone told me. I saw the movie, I just don't remember.
But I could not be more excited for the model's release. That is why we sought out a good friend in Canada and asked him to get us a couple. They arrived this week, and we could not be happier with the release.
First off, we are as much in the dark as everyone else when it comes to this new Fast & Furious release. Last year's release at Walmarts here in the US, and to hobby dealers elsewhere, was a huge success, and a perfect match for Mattel and Hot Wheels. So successful in fact that it appears that they decided to do it again.
But that is where the questions arise:
- What models are in this set? Many from last year's set, and we can't see any differences, outside of the new metal spoiler on the R34 Skyline. Other than that, the color, wheels, and decos are exactly the same.
- What are the new models in this set, and what did they replace? New to this set is the '72 Gran Torino, which has never been released elsewhere, and the '69 Dodge Charger Daytona, which was released as a mainline last year. They replaced the matte grey Chevelle and grey Nissan GT-R. All the rest are the same.
- Why was this set released again, one year after the first? We don't know for sure, but maybe the release of the set, with the two new models was already scheduled to coincide with the release of Fast 7, which was planned for this summer. As we all know, the release of 7 has been delayed due to the tragic death of Paul Walker. But maybe the set was already so far into production that Mattel carried on. Pure speculation, but it could be the case.
- Will we see this set in the US, or will it be an international-only release? Once again, we have no idea. There is no reason to think we won't, other than it has been released overseas for a few weeks now, with no sign of it anywhere in the States. Maybe Mattel wanted to make these available to the markets that didn't get the first set, and US collectors will have to make Canadian friends. Not a bad option...
- Is the Gran Torino as awesome as we think it is? Hell yes.
If you have been a reader of Lamley for awhile now, you probably have a few things figured out about us. We are JDM-obsessed, we break for classic Porsches and BMW's, we have a severe wagon fetish, classic pickup trucks strike our fancy, and we ADORE the Hot Wheels Gran Torino Sport. While muscle generally means Mustang, Bowties, and Mopar, the Gran Torino is our favorite of the bunch. Its profile evokes the classic muscle lines from front to back, but its grill is a telling sign of the over-the-top designs that were coming later in the 1970's. It looks like nothing else, and Hot Wheels captured it perfectly.
And it is clear someone at Mattel shares our passion for the '72 Torino, because it has gotten a lot of attention since its initial release in 2011. It has been in the mainline every year since, with recolors, it has been a Walmart exclusive, A Kroger exclusive, an RLC model, and a Super Treasure Hunt. And now a Fast & Furious exclusive. Whoever in El Segundo is responsible for this plethora of Torino tastiness, we salute you.
And it looks great here in green on chrome J5 wheels. Obviously the 1:1 F&F version was updated and enhanced, but the design was kept clean, and the car is a beaut. And the mini reflects that well. The J5's, at least to me, really work, as does the green and white. The design is very close to the actual stock version of the Gran Torino, with the side pinstripe, but updated enough to look very modern.
Nonetheless, we are very happy to add this to the ever-growing Gran Torino collection. In fact it is time to give it an updated listing, which you will see below.
Hot Wheels '72 Ford Gran Torino Sport (2014 Fast & Furious exclusive):
The Gran Torino Sport Family:
2011 Mainline recolor
2011 Mainline recolored (also released with a Walmart-exclusive banner on the windshield)
2012 Kroger exclusive Super Speeders
2012 Mainline white MC5
2012 Mainline white-lipped MC5
2012 Mainline recolor MC5 (rare)
2012 Mainline recolor J5
2012 Walmart exclusive
2013 Super Treasure Hunt
2013 Mainline recolor
2014 Mainline recolor
2014 Fast & Furious