1:64 SCALE OUTLAW, 1:1 SCALE PASSION
The Hot Wheels Urban Outlaw Collection
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, May 8, 2016
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Glenn Oyoung
Three years ago I stumbled across a YouTube video about a rocker with dreadlocks and an unrivaled obsession with vintage Porsche 911s. That was before the name Magnus Walker or the nickname Urban Outlaw really meant anything to me. All it took was one viewing of that mesmerizing documentary to be in awe of Walker’s passion, artistry, and his sincerity.
In the modern era of bolt-on performance, there was definitely a romance to his work. The fact that Walker didn’t constrain himself to restoring his cars to period correct and instead worked tirelessly shape them into his own hot rod-flavored vision only made his story and his cars more appealing. I couldn’t help but say to myself, “I want one of those someday.” (The vintage 911. Not the dreads and beard, they are badass – but I could never pull that off.)
Clearly, I wasn’t alone. Today Walker’s builds regularly fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars, his fans around the world swarm him for autographs, and his hobby has become a full-fledged business that includes Urban Outlaw apparel and performance parts. Since the skyrocketing prices of air-cooled Porsches make owning my very own Suburban Outlaw out of the question, it appeared the only piece of Walker’s genius I would ever own would be a sticker I got from him at SEMA.
That’s where Mattel comes in. I’ve said this pretty much since I was five years old: “Thank God for Hot Wheels.” For those of us who cannot afford to purchase, maintain, or store every car we’d ever want to have in a 1:1 scale, since 1968 Mattel has kindly produced 1:64 models that we can more easily afford (and explain to our spouses.) Their Premium Car Culture Assortment is aimed at adult collectors and enthusiasts and includes Japan Historics, Euro Style, Trucks, and Track Day vehicles. The Euro Style set includes a Porsche collection designed by Magnus Walker and the Hot Wheels design team, modeled after Walker’s very own Porsche collection. It includes a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Porsche 964, 1978 Porsche 935, and my personal favorite, two 1956 Porsche 365As.
It’s a very cool set for fans of Hot Wheels fans, Porsche, and Magnus Walker. Like their 1:1 scale brethren, these die-casts are bound to increase in value. But like Walker’s creations, one gets the sense that the money isn’t the point. It’s about the passion.
I had the chance to ask Jun Imai, Design Manager at Hot Wheels, about the Car Culture product line and about the collaboration with Walker.
Glenn: What inspired Mattel to do this collection with Magnus Walker and Urban Outlaw?
Jun: We’re big Porsche fans, and after seeing Magnus and his cars on the Urban Outlaw documentary, we thought it would be awesome to do a Hot Wheels collaboration. He had the passion, persona and the cars to match, and has a true appreciation for the craft.
Glenn: How would you say do the two brands (Hot Wheels and Urban Racer) complement each other or fit together?
Jun: I feel that both Hot Wheels and Urban Outlaw brands stand for similar attributes: creating a unique and personal look, doing what we love, and appreciating every aspect of a car project, from its humble beginnings to its first time out on the track.
Glenn: Can you share any examples of extraordinary measures or steps you had to take to make this collection more accurate and/or authentic as far as Urban Outlaw's actual builds?
Jun: This partnership was unique in that Magnus was very hands on with each vehicle being offered with his Urban Outlaw logo on it. He personally designed each graphic with our design team, and that gives them greater authenticity than if we were to come up with something for his approval.
Glenn: Are there are any details that you are particularly proud of in this collection that make it unique from your previous experiences making Hot Wheels collections?
Jun: The Car Culture product line is great as it focuses on current car trends and is representative of what’s hot in the streets and track. The first two mixes, Japan Historics and Euro Style is a perfect representation of the current pulse on the streets.
Glenn: It sounds like there is a whole range of cars and trucks in this collection, why was it important to have a variety of vehicles instead of just one thing (e.g. vintage 911s)?
Jun: Variety is key in any collection, in any scale. We aim to have something for everyone, so differences in marque and silhouette is important. However, once you see them all, you’ll want them all. Each car contributes to a well-rounded collection and the selections complement each other beautifully.
Glenn: Do you foresee more collections like this with Urban Outlaw in the future?
Jun: Absolutely, our partnership is a growing and long-term relationship.