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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Hot Wheels Heritage Ford Transit Supervan: The best premium debut since the Datsun Wagon...


Yep.  Maybe the best premium model Hot Wheels has done since the Boulevard Datsun Wagon in 2013.  Hear me out.

The list of premium models released in the last couple of years is just smorgasbord of awesome, from the likes of the Porsche 993, to the Jeep Wagoneer, Ferrari 250 California, and Dodge Power Wagon, to name only a few.  All add to what is what I think the best era of Hot Wheels since the beginning.

But here is the thing.  The Porsche is a Porsche (although doing a 90's era Porsche was clever move), the Ferrari is a Ferrari, the Jeep is a Jeep, and the Dodge is a big truck.  All have been Hot Wheels - and diecast for that matter - staples.  And let me reiterate again: that is not a criticism, these models are all fantastic, among my favorites, and hold elevated spots in the collection.

But the Datsun 510 Wagon was unique.  Yes, Jun Imai has become a star among collectors, and the Wagon is widely considered the most popular Hot Wheels casting at the moment.  But releasing an early 70's Japanese grocery-getter as a Hot Wheels was not a norm, and completely unexpected.  We have already documented how the 510 Wagon became so popular, so no need to rehash, but it was such a unique model choice at the time.  It was not something that collectors expected from Hot Wheels, not to mention a model that would become so popular.  On top of that, it was executed perfectly.  There is nothing about the Wagon, especially the Boulevard, that any of us would change.


In the same light, enter the very British Ford Transit Supervan.  Not expected, totally interesting, and as far as a Hot Wheels goes, executed nearly perfectly.  It is all about the attention to detail.  More on that in a minute.  Watch this video, whether you are familiar with the Supervan or not.  It will get the juices flowing, and undoubtedly get you a little more excited about this model:



Sold?  Hard not to be after that.  After all, you can't keep a good Transit down.  And Supervan vs Escort!  Fast & Furious circa 1971.

Now let's move to the model itself.  At this point I don't know which designer did this one, but kudos beyond kudos to whoever did.  You need to look no further than the stance:


It might seem a little off that the front wheel gap is larger than the rear.  But if you watched the video, you know that is EXACTLY how it is.  And it goes from there.  Is the mid-mounted GT40 engine in there?  Yep.  Are the exterior details there?  Sure are.  How about the wheels?  Perfect.  The more you look at it, the more you like it.  And if you are one to not open models, buy a second, because you won't appreciate it until you have one in hand.

I think when this batch appeared, there was justifiably a lot of excitement about the 4x4 Silverado in particular, plus a premium BMW 2002 is nothing to shake a stick at.  But it is the Supervan that is the star of this batch.  This model is so nice it seriously never needs to be released again.  Any future version will get even close to topping this one.  Not that I don't want Mattel to try.  I am just glad this version got the premium treatment.

Another great tidbit about this model?  It completes a duo that I don't know if anyone could have ever seen coming.  Within the last few months, Hot Wheels has released a 1970 Ford Escort RS1600 and a Ford Transit Supervan.  British bombshells to say the least.  It may have taken Fast & Furious to prompt one, but no matter what the cause, I doubt anyone would have predicted these two.  Just awesome.











16 comments:

  1. LOVE IT! classic British van.

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  2. I agree, this is one of the best premium line casting debuts in quite a while.

    But the biggest reason why this is likely my favorite release of 2015, and should be a big hit among collectors?

    It's a panel van casting that is NOT debuting in Nostalgia/Pop Culture!!!

    This will likely (and sadly if so) be the only time this casting is used outside of the Pop Culture line. HW has for some reason been against releasing castings like this lately in the "lower" premium lines for some reason. I'm hoping that this one (and other van/delivery vehicles) get more use outside of Pop Culture.

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  3. Very nice reproduction, although the real thing didn't make much sense to me as a racer (unsafe, ill-handling and top heavy), it was a good marketing product for Ford. It can be part of the "Then and Now" Series.

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  4. To me, this is one of the Hot Wheels cars that separates the Hot Wheels enthusiast from the automotive enthusiast. I'd venture to guess that most collectors have no idea what this van actually is. Fine by me, no hype! Now if only they'd show up in Canada...

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    1. Yes, I have no idea. But it looks like a nice wheel donor... well, also good material for customizing.

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  5. Is there anyone, anyone that can send me a couple of these to the Netherlands?

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    1. Hit me up on Instagram @jrdiecast maybe we can work something out :)

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    2. you would be my hero, unfortunately i dont have a mobile device

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  6. I just found it this weekend and boy was I happy! Its going to be a hard one to find anywhere! Great proportions! I haven't seen a nice one like this since the SIKU one of the 1970's. Zylmex did one too, but not in this league.

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  7. Fantastic model and choice. I read of the real one from old Commercial Motors magazines that I was given as a young lad. This was also the time that I really got into making and modifying model cars - be they Matchbox, Corgi or Airfix. The only Transit model I had wax the old Corgi Juniors camper in blue. ( never saw the earlier Husky one until years later. The doughnutty Cogi wheels were ideal. I filled in the windows - somewhat crudely- and hand painted it white. Wish I knew where it was now! If anyone can recommend an Internet shop/eBay trader that doesn't want to charge me upwards of $25 to ship a model I'd be most grateful. Thanks. Chris

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  8. Groovy! Never knew this particular vehicle existed but after watching the video.. I'm sold. What an awesome, cray combo to pair a full race GT40 powerplant with a utility bodied chassis. Genius.. and it handles respectably too.
    They nailed down the proportions along with wheel set-up. I might have to agree that it's going to be a hard to find piece!

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  9. I didnt know what was so special about this van, thanks for the info now im glad i grabbed a few. Thanks lamley g

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  10. I nearly fainted when I saw this on the shelves at my local store. Had plenty of knowledge about the Supervan (and its two successors, one of which was tooled up by Matchbox waaaaay back when), but had NO idea Hot Wheels did this one -- or that they'd want to, even. Stoked beyond belief.

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  11. Anyone know where I can get a Transit and an Escort in the UK? I've never seen either of them in the shops even though Hot Wheels are extremely common. Have they even been released in the UK yet?

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