Mattel brings back the immensely popular Hot Wheels Legends Tour, hosts the first-ever view from home tour stop May 8th-16th.
Photos courtesy of Mattel
COVID-19 can stop us from congregating in large groups but it cannot stop us from loving car culture, or more specifically Hot Wheels. I’ve dealt with the shelter-in-place lifestyle imposed upon me by increasing my consumption of Cheez-Its, Netflix, and — you guessed it — Hot Wheels. If I had the foresight to rebalance my 401k to reflect this triumvirate of comfort perhaps I’d have a 1:1 scale car collection approximating my 1:64 scale one.
We’ve covered this super cool touring competition from its inaugural season, and it keeps getting bigger and better. Rather than delay the next stop, fans are getting the chance to participate in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour with the brand’s first-ever view-from-home tour stop hosted by Hoonigan.
Pre-shutdown your average tour stop draws hundreds of cars and thousands of spectators. Last year over 110,00o attendees watched 5,000 cars battle for bragging rights and a ticket to the grand finale at SEMA. Winners from each stop duke it out for the chance to be made into a Hot Wheels die-cast. For 2018 it was 2 Jet Z, for 2019 it was the Nash (a car I thought would be a contender at the first event I attended at the Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera in ’18), and it’s up for grabs this year.
Fans, families and car enthusiasts can participate in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour by submitting their builds and by tuning into a live virtual “stop” on Hoonigan’s YouTube channel as well as Hot Wheels or Hoonigan’s Facebook pages on May 16. Starting at 9 am PST, audiences will watch LIVE judging from a panel consisting of top motorsports athlete Colette Davis, Hoonigan auto experts, and Hot Wheels designers.
Bonus Round: 2 Jet Z die-cast review
As luck would have it, I spotted a die-cast of the first Hot Wheel Legends Tour winner, 2 Jet Z, at Dollar Tree last week. I could not believe my luck in scoring this significant die-cast on my trip to buy paint and crafts to occupy my clones’ time so I could get some work done.
I had the opportunity to speak with builder Luis Rodriguez back at SEMA in 2018 before he was crowned the first Hot Wheel Legends Tour winner. He is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Tack on that I love aircraft and I love Supras, and his 2JZ-powered (get it, 2 Jet Z) fighter jet on wheels was my sentimental favorite to win.
How does the model compare? Hot Wheels did a great job of capturing the full-size 2 Jet Z car, particularly the main body. The rivets really sell the die-cast and the P51 Mustang-eque livery looks great. Out back the key details of the exposed engine are there. The former modeler in me wants to take a paintbrush and apply some Testor’s red and yellow paint to accentuate the exhaust manifold and the gold heat foil in line with the original.
I collect Hot Wheels for fun, meaning I may keep certain ones sealed but I generally play and let my kids play with them. Given the history behind the 2 Jet Z I am going to resist opening this one as long as possible, and find another to play with!