Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Forgotten Hot Wheels Ferrari: The Test Facility 458 Italia...
Before I even start, of course this is not the best looking of the Ferraris. And yeah, the ugly ones tend to be the forgotten ones.
Take the pink Redlines. Back in the day, Billy and his Pa made their way into the general store (my era is off, but run with it), looking for a Hot Wheels to play with. There were blue, and red, and purple, and green, and pink cars to choose from. Wait, pink! Aw shucks Pa, I can't have a pink car! All the neighborhood boys will surely tease me for having a pink car, just like they did when they thought I had eyes for Sally.
Pa would buy the blue or red or anything but pink for Billy, and that poor pink would hang. And now, nerdy completists have a hell of a time finding those hated pinks. Thanks Billy. For nothing.
Now fast forward a few years. Older collectors will speak of a day when Hot Wheels actually made Ferraris. Folks will pull up eBay on their embedded Apple Watches and try to fill in their vintage Ferrari collections. There will be some that will be highly desirable, like the Enzo and 599XX Super Treasure Hunts, that everyone will battle for, and others that will be the fill-ins.
Then there will those that no one paid attention to when they were out, and because of that no one has one to sell. Legends will begin.
Collectors will speak of a strange and obscure Hot Wheels line that was sold at Target and random drug stores having something to do with a stunt test facility. The cars had VERY busy decos and very strange wheels. Most of the models were unlicensed fantasy models, but there were occasional licensed models, like the Nissan 370Z, Hyundai Genesis, and yes, a Ferrari 458 Italia. They remember the white, and the green, and black, and a skull.
That is when someone in the Hot Wheels Ferrari Club will blurt out "Oh! I think I have that! Give me a minute to check." He will remember those details, and sure enough emerge with this:
"Woohoo! I've got it! I can't believe it!" he will proclaim. That is until his bubble is burst when someone mentions that the one he has was just the mainline model. The obscure Test Facility Ferrari looked a lot like that one, but it had the strange wheels, AND more importantly, what makes it even more difficult to acquire is that it only appeared in a 4-pack, that also had a DVD.
No one wanted to buy an overpriced 4-pack, so the Ferrari sat with its 3 counterparts until it eventually vanished. Now everyone wants it. Pink Redlines. Weird looking Ferraris.
Back to the present, even I forgot about this one. As I was going through things after my move I came across the Ferrari, which I bought for a Lamley feature. Up until that point if someone asked me to list all the 458's, I would have totally left it out.
I then went to eBay, and could not find it until I searched "Hot Wheels Test Facility" and rummaged through the results. I found a few, but not a lot.
And now I am happy to have it. Not because it will become the next pink Redline - it won't, but the story was fun - but because it will definitely be an oddity in my Hot Wheels Ferrari collection. The tampo work is actually well-done, even if it isn't that good looking, and I really like the wheels. I wonder if we will see them again somewhere down the line. They might look good in the mainline.
But there it is. Already forgotten, and if Lamley survives in internet land long after I do, maybe someone will dig deep and find the post and start the legend of the forgotten Ferrari...