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illest x Hot Wheels VW Panel Bus Launch

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Story and Photography by Ken Chiu

As a self-admitted Hot Wheels enthusiasts, I jumped for joy when I got the invitation to attend the launch party for illest Brand & Hot Wheels Die Cast + Apparel.  The special event took place at Hot Wheels HQ in El Segundo, CA.  The event promoted the newly released Fatlace VW Panel Bus Die Cast; modeled after the life size bus of Mark Arcenal, founder/creative director (Fatlace) illest Brand.  The online pre-sale of the model sold out quickly as collectors eagerly bought up the limited edition casting.

The Hot Wheels team pulled no punches in treating their guests to a wonderful event.  From free Hot Wheels give away, interactive video games, DJ’d music, food trucks and of course a custom car show.  For hardcore collectors the chance to rub elbows with Hot Wheels designers and see full scale versions of their favorite Hot Wheels die casts such as the Deora 2, Darth Vader and the 2005 SEMA Mustang was a childhood dream come true.

Car people like to say, “even if you own your dream car, there’s always another dream car”.  While most of us don’t have the luxury of an unlimited bank account we can all indulge in building our own 1:64 scale dream car collection.  I was lucky enough to score the yet to be released Nissan Skyline R30 casting. Thank you Hot Wheels!

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A few car show highlights: Raul Toledo’s HR31 Skyline sitting on period correct RS Watanabe’s, BISIMOTO turbo Honda Odyssey, Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai’s reimagined 260Z and not to be overlooked a convertible RWB Porsche with custom surfboard rack.

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