By Maz Woolley
The Fast and Furious films have had model producers scrambling to obtain licences from Universal as they are sure fire winners with a buying public who may not by any other models. They are also crossover products appealing to both model car and film model collectors. Greenlight’s 1:43 scale Fast and Furious Escort model was featured in a MAR Online post some time ago, and Greenlight also have it in 1:18 scale as well.
Greenlight and Racing Champions have already been licensed to create 1:64 scale Fast and Furious merchandise but so has Mattel. Mattel’s Hot Wheels models are around 1:64 and widely collected especially in the USA. Here we look at Mattel’s Fast and Furious range, and in particular the Ford Escort.
Mattel has not branded this model as Hot Wheels but has put it in a premium blister pack with full Fast and Furious branding and a free download of “Fast and Furious Filmmaker” application. The model itself has been diecast in China for Mattel whereas Hot Wheels tend to come from other Far Eastern locations like Malaysia. It appears that they also sold Fast and Furious sets so you may race your models.
The model has rather more details than a typical Hot Wheels model with nice wheels, rather than standard commodity items. The detailing is all printed and fairly basic with rear lights too narrow and only in red and the front indicators not painted at all. The grille and lights is again to a higher standard but all in silver where parts should be matt black. The blue paint is applied with an “orange peel” look when it reflects light.
The interior of the model is obscured by the dark windows but under lights one can see that it is a very basic interior indeed. Looking at the exterior the shape of the car is wrong with no curved line at the bottom of the rear window and the roof looking strangely pinched probably because the rear pillar is the wrong shape and not thick enough which means the rear window slopes at to extreme an angle. The striping is not the same as the film car either,at the front or the rear particularly at the front. The front extra lights are also moulded to sit too low as well.
Mattel has also released a Hot Wheels Escort RS1600 in their HW Workshop series with Fast and Furious branding. This is a completely different casting with a different shape, less detailing, four not two spotlights and the spotlights made in clear plastic. The wheels are ordinary “hot wheels” though with a gold foil finish. The overall shape of this casting seems to be closer to the original Escort than the more expensive Mattel model though the side stripes are utterly wrong here as they do not extend over the wheel arches.
The American market for Movie models must be a very substantial one to lead to so many firms offering models and Mattel offering it twice to two market sectors in two different castings to the same scale.
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