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):