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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mark Jones, the unsung hero of Hot Wheels' & Magnus Walker's big Porsche unveil...

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog
It was a Porsche Party over at Magnus Walker's shop today.

Who am I kidding?  It is always a Porsche Party at Magnus Walker's shop.  Let's try again.

It was a "MINI Porsche" Party at Magnus Walker's shop today.  Jun was there (methinks he really enjoys this part of his job), Magnus was there, although not in a tux which was a bit surprising, a TON of grimy jean-wearing car nerds were there, and a plethora of Porsches were there, 1:1 and much smaller.

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

The event was the unveiling of three new Urban Outlaw-inspired Porsches, all in the Car Culture line.    The 935/78 race car and 911 GT3 RS will both sport decos created by Magnus and the Hot Wheels team, and those two by themselves are noteworthy, especially sitting next to the two colors of the 356A.  But the star of this event has to be the brand new Porsche 964.

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

The new 964 is Urban Outlaw'd-out with the front red panel and blue bumper, and sports a simple deco.  The gold wheels are a perfect touch as well.  Hot Wheels has released a lot of Porsches lately, but four really stand out: Jun's 993, Ryu's 934, the 356A and now the 964.

And we might want to start calling it Mark Jones' 964.  Many collectors know who Mark Jones is, but if you don't, all you need to do is look at this 964 and recently released Mazda RX-3 in the Japan Historics line.  Mark is the quiet, unassuming dude who is in charge of many of the premium designs we have seen in the last while.  Think RX-3, think this 964, think the 2017 Ford GT that was just unveiled, think Ford Transit Supervan, an all-time favorite of mine.



Mark's name doesn't come up as much as others, and he might be annoyed that I am writing about him, but that cat can design.  Mark has been with Mattel for a long time, and has designed for both blue and orange.  He was in charge of the Matchbox Real Working Rigs, among other projects, before he jumped into the premium offerings for Hot Wheels.  His work speaks for itself, but the more you look, the more you will see how many Mark Jones creations you have in your collection.

In fact, here is the ultimate compliment.  My Lamley co-founder David Tilley and I were chatting the other day, and he brought up the fact that he came across the Hot Wheels Ford Supervan at the store.  If you know anything about Tilley, he is ALL Matchbox, and stubbornly nothing else.  That is all he collects, and he doesn't have one example of any other brand in his house.  The mere mention of Hot Wheels makes him change the subject.  Saying DT doesn't like Hot Wheels is a bit of an understatement.  Yet, in our chat, David VOLUNTEERED how impressed he was with the Supervan casting.  I didn't bring it up.  He did.  Those who know DT will verify the magnitude of that compliment after you revive them.  Mark Jones should add the note "Made David Tilley compliment a Hot Wheels casting" to his portfolio.  It should land him any design job.

And while I am heaping this praise on Mark, the same goes for Steve Vandervate, who is in charge of all the premium decos.  I don't even want to try to create a list his work, but we can start with the RLC Candy Striper Gasser and everything you see in Car Culture.  You can start getting a sense of the amount of talent over at the Design Center.

Ultimately, it has been tremendous to see the direction Hot Wheels has committed to.  Car culture is rapidly changing with tools like Instagram and Facebook, as more and more yahoos like you and me have access to what gets folks giddy on all corners of the world.  And Hot Wheels is capturing it better than they ever have.  Just think, this week we have seen the debut of Magnus's Porsches and a flippin' Dekotora, and I still can't stop talking about the BMW CSL.

Couple that with Matchbox's return to realism, and Mattel is on a roll.  Let's hope the number crunchers agree, and we see this continue for a very long time.

In the meantime, keep taking care of these designers, Mattel.  You've got it real good...

(Read all about the Magnus Walker/Hot Wheels Porsche event at autoblog.com...)


photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

photo credit: Hot Wheels/Autoblog

8 comments:

  1. they all look great 277 is the best. I think Porsche is best of hot wheels

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  2. So now all the air-cooled generations are present. YES!

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    Replies
    1. Technically, the original 911 (901) is not present. And that is 100% Matchbox material.

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  3. So finally a 964 has arrived! I am most happy. Let's hope they bring this casting to the mainline very soon. I can't wait to see one in black or red with lace wheels!

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  4. Not feeling the gold hubs on the 964, but the casting looks supurb!

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  5. Welomce 964. I do wish it was or still could be in the MB line up as I think the proportions would be a bit better. This one has an extended bumper and the wheel arches look a little large.

    But I am happy it is here.

    This looks to be a pretty good set. The 935 is stunning with the new wheels as well. The GT3 is good too with the 5 spokes. I always thought the looks a bit like Fuchs and on the Porsches they come to life. I do wish the tampos were a bit more subdued on the street cars with out the numbers, etc.

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  6. They are great keep them coming!

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  7. great post, well written and good on you to give a shout out to Mark Jones

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