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The first question is whether or not Euro Style, or any future Car Culture batch for that matter, can achieve the level of interest that the Japan Historics have commanded.
I think it is safe to say no. The Japan Historics are exactly that - historic. The set might be the pinnacle of the JDM craze with Hot Wheels. Five signature models, all iconic in their own right, all in liveries that are very much Japan. Add to that a fantastic new model and the debut of a new Real Rider wheel that might be as special to collectors as the models themselves.
Euro Style has a few of the same aspects. It debuts a new model, the Golf MK7, and it also debuts a new Real Rider wheel. But the casting choices aren't as exciting, and neither are the decos. But I still think the set merits attention.
That leads to question #2. What about those new wheels?
Frankly, I don't have an answer. There are some Real Riders I really dislike, and there are some I really love, but I don't know what to make with these. I don't know what the official name is for these wheels, so let's call them Lace Real Riders. When I first saw them I had mixed feelings, and now that I have them in hand I still do.
At first glance they look like new basic wheels. There is no depth to the actual wheel, and it looks like a slightly better J5 wheel. They just don't look as real as other Real Riders.
In hand, that concern remains, although I like them better then when I first saw them. They look good on a few of these, namely the Porsche 993 and BMW E30 M3, and the Fiat to a lesser extent. But they don't work as well on the Golf. So honestly, the jury is still out on these wheels as more models are released with them.
There are other interesting elements to this set, and let's just bullet-point through them:
- My favorite model in this set is a toss-up between the E30 BMW and Porsche 993, with a slight nod to the M3. The wheels look best with black spokes and the police theme is cool.
- There is a difference between "favorite" and "best", and the best model of the set is without-a-doubt, at least to me, the Fiat. Great design, love the white rims, and front and rear tampo.
- The Euro Style makes the lack of front and rear tampos on these models more glaring. As great as the Japan Historics are, it is a real bummer that this premium set, the best in years, doesn't get the full premium treatment. It doesn't look as bad on the JH, but on the 911 and 993 it is bad.
- Something is off with the 911 GT3. That metal spoiler is too thick, and the wheels don't work as well as others might.
- Same goes for the Golf. No head light or tail light tampos really hurts this one, as well as the lack of that supercool red trimmed grill. The casting looks great, but the wheels seem to big as well. Strange to say, but I am looking forward to a future basic range version to get a better sense of the casting. I am very glad it is stock.
All in all, there is no doubt this set will be a little easier to find than JH once it hits the pegs in the US in July. I have heard they hang a little longer in Canada, where they have been out for a few weeks.
But don't underestimate this set. Car Culture is an amazing line, and I plan on collecting all the models...