Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Fast & Furious Preview, Part 1: It is time for one Hot Wheels Roadrunner to tap out for the other...
There is a lot to talk about on the latest Hot Wheels Fast & Furious set, and a full DLM'd photo showcase is coming soon.
But I thought one of the models merited its own post. Not the white Supra, although it definitely deserves it. Not the first Porsche in the assortment, or the debut of the Escort, even though I like both of those a lot as well. Not the ripe-to-be-hoarded Johnny Tran S2K.
It's the 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner.
The Roadrunner is new to the Fast & Furious line, and is replica of Dom's car that appears at the end of Tokyo Drift and I think in other movies as well (you guys are the experts). Here is that scene:
There is no doubt that is a beautiful car. The Roadrunner is all muscle in performance and looks, and it is no surprise that Hot Wheels has had a '70 Roadrunner casting since 1998.
And that is what was used for this replica of Dom's car. The paint, deco, and wheels look great. The casting? Well, not so much. The Roadrunner casting has been used quite a bit since its debut, and I have no idea if the problems it has have always been there, but there are problems.
The main problem has to do with the stance and chassis. The rear sit nice in the wheel wells, although they may be a bit too high. And because the Roadrunner's base should sit parallel to the ground to give it its best look, the smaller front wheels sit high to prevent a rake. That makes the whole car sit high.
On top of that, the placement of the front wheels is way too wide. The rears are inside, the fronts totally outside. And to add to the problems, the driver side wheel pushes out past the well while the passenger side sits somewhat flush. Even the gaps between the front driver-side and passenger-side wheel wells are different. As I said, I don't know if that has always been the problem, but it has been the last several releases.
Typically I would just show the Roadrunner as part of a while F&F feature and move on. I like to highlight what I like, and let the other models speak for themselves. Hot Wheels isn't going to create new tools for this line, and the Roadrunner is what it is. It is a nice choice for the line.
But this case is different, because Hot Wheels has a solution for the flaws of the casting. Why not use the OTHER Roadrunner tool?
Because it exists, and it is a FAR BETTER casting, and it has hardly even been used.
I am talking about the '70 Roadrunner that debuted in the Modern Classics line about 10 years ago. The one-and-done companion line to Hot Wheels Classics has been talked about a lot lately, especially because of the debuts of so many castings that we love today. Jun Imai developed the line and designed the castings, which included the '83 Silverado, '92 Mustang, '07 Mustang, and Chevy Nova.
Jun also created a new '70 Roadrunner, one that solved all the issues of the previous casting. It sits low, the wheels are in the right place, and the casting is clean. Look at that video above again, and you see Jun's Roadrunner would be the perfect choice.
But the casting was only used for Modern Classics, and then once in Vintage Racing, and it has vanished since. Like the Lamborghini we showed yesterday, that is only two uses for a supercool casting.
Clearly a plastic chassis would need to be developed for Jun's Roadrunner, but that hasn't been a huge issue in the past. Maybe the tool is lost, or broken. But with Fast & Furious going nowhere, and with some obvious big plans with Mattel, maybe it is time to bring the new one back. It sure would have worked in this line, and maybe a premium line like Entertainment later.
So yeah, I am fine that the spoiler on the Supra isn't exactly correct, or that Johnny Tran's S2K doesn't look exactly like the Hot Wheels casting. For a line like this, Hot Wheels uses what they have, and that is totally cool. But they HAVE a better Roadrunner. Time to dust it off and put it to work...
(Find the Modern Classics Roadrunner on eBay...)