50th Anniversary Favorites
The latest premium retail release from Hot Wheels is the “Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Favorites” series. There are 10 vehicles in the collection that are being released five at a time. As with most of the premium Hot Wheels releases, they’re quite hard to find at retail outlets because of their desirability. But they are available for preorder from many of the larger online diecast vendors, so if you’re having a hard time completing your set, this may be the way to go for you.
Being a “premium” release means that each of the vehicles come with more detail than the basic mainline release vehicles; their paintwork, tampo decoration, premium wheels with rubber tires, and—what seems to be the most important item to many collectors—the fact that the body and the chassis are both diecast metal. Over the past few years, the manufacturing process for diecast vehicles has changed from the practice of having both the body and chassis made out of diecast metal to having one or the other made out of plastic. That is done to keep production costs down and weight at a minimum, which, in turn, keeps shipping costs down, helping to keep that important dollar-car price point for the retail market.
Number one of the 10-car series is an all-American icon and favorite of many: the 1956 Chevy Hardtop. This ’56 is all one color rather that a twotone color scheme, and looks like it’s painted in Chevrolet’s 1961 Corvette color: Honduras Maroon. The authentic side trim is done in silver with white-andpink striping accents and a 50th Anniversary logo on the rear of the quarter panel. The whiteand-pink striping is also carried to the roof and hood. The trunk and hood are adorned with replicas of the original factory-style emblems, with the head- and taillights being detailed as well. The interior is done in tan plastic; I think rendering it in two colors, like it came in 1956, would really have been the perfect finishing touch. The wheels are chrome Rocket wheels with rubber tires, finishing the overall appearance of the car with a nice clean look.
The ’71 AMC Javelin is second in the series and looks like the Mark Donohue Edition car with its front and rear spoilers. The full race interior is gray plastic and has only one seat and a full roll cage, adding to its SCCA Trans Am Race look. This long and low AMC is painted Candy Red enamel, with white and blue enamel accents and the 50th Anniversary logos strategically placed as if they were the car’s racing number. The wheels also add to the Javelin’s authentic Trans Am look, being done in the traditional Superlite Trans Am style with rubber tires.
Coming in at number three is the 1960s’ Ford Econoline Pickup, which is a fairly new casting by veteran Hot Wheels designer Mark Jones. This way-low-tothe-ground truck is painted copper with heavy silver metallic, along with black and silver flames on the side, giving it an old-school look. The windows are smoked very dark, not allowing you to see the black plastic interior. The bed is also black plastic with large wheel tubs and a skateboard molded into it. The front and rear are nicely detailed, with the word “Ford” on the tailgate, and the front grille is painted black. Topping the whole old-school look to this cruiser are wide chrome reverse wheels on thin whitewall rubber tires.
The Custom ’69 Volkswagen Squareback has always been one of my favorites. It’s also done in a Sedan Delivery body, so it’s only fair that it’s included as number four in this series. Painted up as a VW Parts Delivery vehicle, this little Squareback comes in a dark green metallic with tan accents on the roof and sides. The sides are detailed with the minimal VW side trim and door handles in silver, and even the side marker lights are painted. Front and rear lighting are also well detailed, right down to the VW emblem
1956 Chevy Hardtop. This ’56 is all one color rather that a two-tone color scheme, and looks like it’s painted in Chevrolet’s 1961 Corvette color: Honduras Maroon.
The ’71 AMC Javelin is second in the series and looks like the Mark Donohue Edition car with its front and rear spoilers.