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Monday, May 2, 2016

So what's with that plastic door on the Hot Wheels Time Attaxi?

Find the Time Attaxi at Wheel Collectors...

There seems to be at least one or two Hot Wheels fantasy models that really grab collector's attention.

The recently-released Galactic Express Detokora Truck is one, but that isn't a basic model.  However, the model it comes with, the Mad Manga, is a basic, and most definitely has gotten a great deal of attention.  I will admit to a sliver of satisfaction when it comes to the Mad Manga.  I called it my Model of the Year back in 2012, to what you might call a mixed reaction, but I stick by it.  Jun's gem of a model was a door-opener for so many collectors to an element of the car world that seems a lot more familiar now.

Sure, many of the fantasy models have dragon and shark heads or look like dogs, and while they don't interest you or me, they definitely have their purpose.  But there are others that just spark conversation.  The Mad Manga is one, the Time Attaxi is another.

And frankly, I am not here to explain what it is.  I have no idea.  It is clearly based on Hong Kong Taxis, but whether or not its custom looks are based on an actual car or just the imagination of the designer, I have no idea.  Maybe one day we will find out, but for now I will just enjoy it.

What the model is based on is intriguing enough, but what has collectors talking is this strange plastic door.  Does it open?  Why is it there?  And why on only one side?

I can't answer the last two questions, but I can answer the first.  I posted this on Instagram yesterday:



I opens, and it clicks shut.  Sure, it isn't the moving parts we are used to on older Hot Wheels and Matchbox models, nor is it really an option for models moving forward, but it works here.

Hot Wheels has been playing with some interesting ideas this year, from the flip-chin to make models track-compatible but still retain good looks, to the headlights/window/tail light pieces we have seen on the '05 Mustang and BMW CSL.  Consider this plastic door another, although on a much more limited scope.  We surely won't see licensed models with opening plastic doors.  That would be disastrous.  But here on the Time Attaxi, it's cool.

Just look at the design.  Nothing is perfectly symmetrical.  Windows lean one way, so does the exposed engine.  Pieces look be bolted on or taken off in a rush.  It is half Mad Max and half demolition derby.  I could see the doors bolted shut with the exception of the one door that passengers would use to enter and eject from the ride of their lives.  The model is nuts.  The door ads to it.

So yes, I expect the plastic door will piss off a few of you.  The days of opening parts are over for the basic range.  Budgets are what they are, and massive retailers like Walmart will always dictate that.  But Mattel is getting creative with that they do.  Opening parts aren't coming back, nor do they need to, but this little innovation works on this.  I'm a fan.

(Find the Time Attaxi at Wheel Collectors...)










16 comments:

  1. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Its quirky, its custom, its Hot Wheels!

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  2. Looks like a Unlicensed 1981 LA43 13b Mazda Luce. Or rotary powered E70 Toyota Corolla. And I say that because its obvious looking at the air filter setup that it has a rotary. They already did the 510. So I can only think of 2 other cars that shape from that era you would either swap a rotary in or would have a rotary from the factory.

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  3. It looks it was inspired on the Toyota Crown Comfort, which was common as Taxi. It's at least, what the shape of the car, and the space for taillights makes me think. Search for Hong Kong taxis and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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  4. From what I understand, that opening door is in tribute to the Corgi recast of the London Taxi from about 20 years ago. Whether or not that is true is yet to be determined. But I like the concept of this one for sure!

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  5. Actually, I'm pretty sure this is based on the Toyota Crown Comfort taxis of Japan. In Japan, one NEVER touches the rear taxi doors, as the driver opens and closes them for you with a lever in the front.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtZT1ftFos

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  6. I like it. This is one of the few generics that pique my interest. It reminds me of the Police Car from the Matchbox Hero City era. The opening trunk lid was plastic, but it did open, and that feature and the clean lines of that model made it popular during that period, and I've noticed a few fetch a good price on the online auction sites. I now need to find this model.

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  7. I like the front end, especially that single fender mirror. Cool model.

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  8. I'm an avid reader of your blog and I love seeing all the cars before they come out but there is one thing you never seem to picture the underside of the car and if you where to in future show cases that would be fantastic!

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  9. Its a tomica toyota comfort taxi on steroids. The door open also at rear left side.

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  10. Its a tomica toyota comfort taxi on steroids. The door open also at rear left side.

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  11. As much as i loath generics, and this one is one of those i am not a fan of, the one question that must be asked is..........

    ARE OPENING PARTS MAKING A COMEBACK ?

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    1. If the opening parts are indeed coming back, then the parts will plastic. But I'm okay with that.

      And I know how you feel about generics, but that is the way of business today. For the 40+ years I have been collecting, this comes as no surprise. Licenses are expensive, and manufacturers' budgets can only allow for so much. Plus, the proliferation of Matchbox/Hot Wheels copies and unapproved models from Hong Kong in the 1960s and 1970s forced automakers to become more stricter, which led most of the companies to develop generics and fantasy cars.

      And of course, we must remember that the primary target for diecasts are children, so there's no need to complain about generics.

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  13. In my opinion. The Time Attaxi is a combination of a traditional taxi and a drift car. If you have ever seen a drift even they have a category called Time Attack. And this car has all the classic drift car styling cues. The intercooler in the front, all the cannards on the bumber and spoilers.

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  14. So much cool here! This is the kind of casting that gets one excited about a toy car.

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  15. I would conclude this is a 'Mad Max' version of HK taxi. The movable parts are representing the 'automatic doors' controlled by taxi drivers and based on the 'Toyota comfort' operating in HK. In HK, taxi drivers are used to open the rear door when they approaching to the next passenger before fully stopped, this also explained why it named after 'time attack'. Also, there are serveral cell phones around the dashboard, tissue box, and even a phone left on the rear seats…those are all representing the real situation in HK.

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