Hottest HWs of 2016
Hotwheels has gone into overdrive bringing new model after model. 2016 started off with a bang teasing us with more JDM specials and factory USDM hotrods. Couple years back options were limited to the R34 and the Hakosuka/Kenmary Skylines. The Datsun 510 had disappeared for a while. In fact, when it first came into the Bangladeshi market, few people paid attention. Last year, the 510 wagon caused a resurgence in interest for these once basic Japanese models. This year we saw a raked, custom Acura Integra and NSX grace JDM collections. I love it that these have been kept recognisable while the custom touches were kept to a subtle minimum allowing model customizers to work their magic. The KPGC10 Syline was a big hit among model tuner as was the Datsun 240z. This year's big number is already the Integra, rear engine CRX and a 240ZG modelled after famed HW designer Jun Imai's very own 1:1. And let's not forget the excellent 180SX Silvia complete with sleepy headlights. Seems it's a big year for Nissan/Datsun.
And then there's the 2016 Charger and Mustang GT350R, cars that are built precisely down to factory spec looks. As if the factory looks aren't wild enough. The 350R is one of the best Mustang casting I've seen pop out of HW right down to a well-crafted snake on the grill. I've always preferred realism meaning I've gravitated towards the Matchbox collections when looking for stock cars. But Hotwheels has ramped up their new model releases to include cars that are not quite mainstream but bring in a rich collection of styles from different car cultures. The 240ZG is a quick nod to the Kaido racing style of Japan. Whereas the excellent 356A Porsche Outlaw based on the design by Magnus Walker shows off the subtle, clean hotrod styles of German cars. The 356A is at this moment available in silver and matt black but customisers have turned it into anything from chop tops to stock bumpered versions with a simple swap of Matchbox dog dish wheels.
This year we've also gotten hold of the Austin Mini van complete with a spoiler and bolted on fender flares. It's a great platform for building pickups or phantom long wheelbase convertibles. What we've done in the pictures is the beginning of some custom work. Most of these have received slightly more appropriate wheels with paint and body work soon to follow.
What Hotwheels is doing by offering such a varied menu is opening up car culture to a lot of new young collectors. They would otherwise have been limited to a meagre understanding of Mustangs, Lamborghini Huracans and Skylines only. I'm hearing 240z, CSL and 180SX from young people who would previously only utter Lambo and Ferrari. And this is a good turn to appreciation of different car cultures. And more importantly, we're expecting tons of custom work to follow. Show us what you've made by posting to www.facebook.com/
Words and photos:E. R. Ronny