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Monday, June 1, 2015

First Look: Hot Wheels Tesla Model S...


Alright, I almost changed my mind.

When the first images of the Hot Wheels' Tesla Model S emerged, they were not met with much excitement, Lamley included.  The consensus was that it was too sporty, shaped a little too egg-like, and was not proportioned properly.

Of course the fact that most collectors had already seen photos of Matchbox's Tesla 2015 entry didn't help.  The orange brand's version was realistic, sharp, and a bit of a throwback to the realistic Matchbox of five years ago.  That will never help a Hot Wheels model's case.

But we like to reserve complete judgement until the model is in hand.  And now that it is...

I almost changed my opinion.  I wasn't going to ever praise it as the best model of the year (it's Batch L New Model counterpart, that we will be featuring tomorrow, might be the surprise recipient of that praise), but my initial glances in hand had me liking it more than I thought.


The rear spoiler is nicely detailed, the rear is definitely sporty, but hits at all the right angles, and while its side profile is a little more "eggy" than the real car, it still passes for the Tesla.  And front and rear tampos are ALWAYS welcome.

But as you slide around to the front, that plague that has spread across the blue brand, and that hid itself in the first images, undetected by collectors, rears its ugly head.

Yep, it's the up-sloped chin:


Drat.  Just after I was starting to like it.

Ok, I won't fall to my knees in agony, as it is what it is.  But I thought I had this whole up-sloped chin thing figured out.  Replicas of street cars get the realistic treatment, and replicas of race cars get the up-sloped chin to ensure they work on the track.


But is this Tesla really a race car?  Sure, the wheel wells are a little exaggerated, and that spoiler is large, and that is definitely not the standard rear diffuser, but still.  Even the Acura NSX, which instead of being stock got a Type R package, didn't have the track-friendly front spoiler.  Just when I thought I had it figured out, Hot Wheels throws another curve.

Like I have mentioned before, maybe there is a rebranding going on with both Hot Wheels and Matchbox, and maybe the cross-pollination of designers and marketing teams have the brands paying more attention to each other.  Maybe because Matchbox is doing a realistic Tesla, Hot Wheels should make a track-friendly one.  Before, if you asked if there was some correlation between the brands, you would have gotten a hearty "no".  Maybe that is not the case now.

It could be that Matchbox is returning to the realism, and Hot Wheels is emphasizing its racing heritage.  I am all for it if that is the case, although making so many of these cool race cars wear the distorted face doesn't seem like the right way to do it.

That is all speculation, but it further makes the intrigue around Matchbox's 2016 presentation at the Matchbox Convention next month all the greater.

Big picture aside, we aren't totally disappointed with Hot Wheels' Tesla, but the chin is not a welcome site.

Feel free to share your thoughts...


Hot Wheels Tesla Model S (2015 New Models):











14 comments:

  1. I like this casting a lot, but Hot Wheels is starting to get overboard with the up-slope chin.

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  2. Personally I don't like it that much, the Silver colour does not do it any favours, unlike the stunning red one from matchbox, maybe in another colour it would look better, until that next one pops out, i will reserve judgement - Oh yes - LOATH THE CHIN

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  3. I can't say this is a winner.

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  4. (it's Batch L New Model counterpart, that we will be featuring tomorrow, might be the surprise recipient of that praise)
    Sure hope you're talking about the Elmiraj and not the NSX.

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  5. Nope. Not gonna. Ever. Sorry but it barely looks like a Tesla. Chin aside.
    As far as correlation between brands. What about the Audi R8? Or the BMW 7? Those seemed to have been cast from the same mold for both orange and blue cards. But that is dropping a little farther back than 5 years....
    And I said it before....Hot wheels knew how to do track ready without alteration long ago. Now it seems redundant and ridiculous.
    This one will warm pegs as far as I'm concerned.
    I hope they didn't alter the Elmiraj. And I hope MBX puts out the Caddy Concept.

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    Replies
    1. Hot Wheels' R8 and MB's R8 were way different, with MB's being much better (surprise).

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  6. Oh my gosh, the front end looks NOTHING like a Tesla model s, what a terrible casting

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  7. Where I live (Seattle area), I see Tesla's on the road nearly every day. There's a Tesla display in a nearby shopping mall wherein you can see the chassis and hand-spin an electric motor. Tesla's are everywhere around here, & are such nice-looking cars that it's almost possible to mistake one for an Aston Martin sometimes. Beautiful cars. But this Hot Wheels monstrosity is... well... not a Tesla.

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  8. This chin thing has gone on long enough. Yes it is cool for kids but us collectors would like nice models for us and fantasy ones for the kids. So why, oh why do HotWheels insist upon this upsloped chin for what should clearly be a collectors item like the Corvette C7.R, the Viper GTS-R, the Aston GT3, the new F-Type thing coming later this year and now the Tesla Model S. What the frack Mattel.

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  9. Hot Wheels Tesla: 0 ~ Matchbox Tesla: 1

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  10. Since I haven't stuck any HW track pieces together in, oh, probably 37+ years, what am I missing here - do the tracks these days have such bad/misaligned junctions that any HW model can't roll down several sections of track without getting hung up? Are all these upsloped chins really necessary? They can't make track that joins evenly and smoothly?

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  11. I'm looking forward to this one coming out, simply so I can take a sledgehammer to a few of them. I thought the Panamera-ish styling was awful enough in itself, then you have the godawful front end. This blob of zamac should never have left the drawing board.

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