Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The ever-blossoming romance between Hot Wheels and BMW...
Hot Wheels and Matchbox collectors know why I say that. The first thing they think of is the long drought that continues. The second thing is how it used to be - Hot Wheels doing the CLK DTM, Matchbox releasing Unimogs and CLS500's and SLR McLarens. The third thing varies. Some have anger towards Mattel, others towards Mercedes-Benz. The fourth thought is acceptance. It still seems that things are way off between them.
We have documented it before. Mercedes asked all diecast makers to include a hologram sticker of the Mercedes logo on every package that contains a Mercedes replica. Mattel won't do it. Some collectors say that is Mattel being cheap, others, like me, think it is unrealistic for Mattel to do it for massively produced $1 cars, and that Mercedes is to blame for missing out on so many cool opportunities.
And it is too bad. Among the diecast set, JDM, Porsche, BMW, and Trans Am racing cars are super hot, and Mercedes-Benz isn't even in the conversation. And there are so many cool Benz's, classic and current, that could make any collector drool. We don't see that relationship getting repaired anytime soon, but we will always hope.
And the main reason we hope is because if Mattel and Mercedes kiss and makeup, we collectors will most surely benefit. There is precedence, and it is that other German brand.
We are all fortunate to be collecting at a time when Mattel and BMW are in a blissful relationship. Mattel, especially Hot Wheels, is releasing new BMW castings every year. Current, classic, racing, you name it. Matchbox is doing its part too, but we will save that post for when the M5 Police is released.
And it wasn't always this way. Just a few years ago, BMW and Mattel were where Mercedes and Mattel are now. Something happened - we don't know what - and whatever licensing agreement they had was thrown out the window. All of a sudden the BMW's were gone. This hit Matchbox especially hard, as they had a whole arsenal of castings to play with.
After what seemed like a very long time, one of the parties humbly returned to the other, flowers in hand and remorse in the heart, and they went out for a romantic dinner and hashed everything out. Now the marriage could not be better. Rules have been set. Mattel creates a slew of models, and BMW gets to be sticklers about design details, and we are benefit with realistic Hot Wheels BMW's on the pegs. No crazy designs or colors, no large rear wheels, no upsloped chins (well, maybe a slight slope on the M4), just awesome models.
And NOTHING epitomizes this like the BMW M4 recolor.
After introducing the M4 in stock Yas Marina Blue, which really made the model stand out, they one-up it with Austin Yellow Metallic. I have no idea who decided to use these two colors, but a massive kudos to that person or persons. When I first showcased the M4, I was a little underwhelmed. My opinion has changed. Good music is the stuff that grows on you. That appears to apply here. The appeal of the M4 grew and grew, and now the Austin Yellow has me putting it up with the Cadillac Elmiraj and, methinks, the Nissan 180SX as the best models of the year.
And that continues a glorious run, that we hope seeps nicely into next year. So today, we start with the M4, and then happily move through all the other Hot Wheels BMW's that have been released since these two groups have made up. It is really a tremendous group...
Hot Wheels BMW M4 (2015 New Models):
BMW Z4 M
BMW M3 GT2
'92 BMW E30 M3
BMW E36 M3 Race