Speed Racer Mach 5

       
 
Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5
Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Packaging Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Headlight Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Interior Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Nose Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Wheel Hot Wheels Speed Racer Mach 5 Rear

Packaging

Hot Wheels used the same theme across their entire 2008 Speed Racer line, adjusting it to fit 1/64 cardbacks, various R/C vehicles, and their 1/24 diecast cars. The 1/24 cars come in a standard window box with a dark gray textured background (likely supposed to represent carbon fiber), Speed Racer movie logo in the top left, and Hot Wheels logo in the top right of each panel. The front panel also has the age restriction and car printed across the bottom (the latter above a set of black/yellow/red stripes). The top panel includes the scale and a faint "5/4/3/2/1/Go Speed Go!." Each end flap shows an illustration of the Mach 5 and Racer X racing, sparks flying out from between the cars. The back has a large photo of the 1:1 Mach 5, the slogan "A driver is only as good as the car," and a co-sell for the Mach 6. Hot Wheels tends to release a pair of 1/24 diecasts for any licensed property in the last few years, so these will likely be the only two we'll see. The various legal information is on the bottom and near the bottom of one end flap. The inner tray is printed to look like the track illustrated on the end flaps, and the Mach 5 is held to it with four of the neat no-tools twists that Mattel uses. A plastic band is used to hold the doors closed.

 

Casting/Paint

Mattel has been hit-and-miss with their 1/24 cars in the past, but the Mach 5 shows what they can do when they want to. The casting is absolutely flawless, and the panels all fit perfectly despite the complex shape of the car. The door panel fit is especially impressive: the seams are nice & tight all around (including between the windshield and side windows on both sides), and the flow of the fender bulges and beltline are perfect. The wheels are also well done, with bright clean chrome, delicate knockoff hubs, and vented brake rotors visible through the wheel holes. The headlights, headlight shields, windshield, and side windows are cast in clear plastic, and the taillights are cast in transparent red - all of which are very clean and properly seated. Paint work is equally impressive, with a solid coat that shows no runs, fades, or mistakes - even inside the door jambs. I can't tell if it's simply "white" or not - the way it reflects light looks like there might be a bit of pearl in it (notice in the above photos how it can appear bluish or gold depending on where the light hits it). The "M" on the hood and "5" on each door are printed cleanly, and the rondels reflect the correct red-black-yellow-red edge striping seen on the 1:1 car. The front, rear, and rear fender scoops are painted flat black, and have very sharp edges with no overspray. The cockpit is mostly red, with silver used to highlight the door handles, handbrake, and center console details. The switches on the center console are black over silver bezels, and are painted very well. The shift lever has a silver base, red boot, and striped ball complete with a tiny "M" on top. A similar "M" is in the center of the black steering wheel. The gauges are printed with white & green faces and black numbers. The underside of the car is relatively plain, though there is a neat touch in that the mounts for the twists are roughly located where the jacks would be on the Mach 5. Very nice work all around.

 

Features/Accessories

The only "feature" of the Mach 5 is opening doors. The front end has the workings to make it steerable, but uses a solid metal axle. The design was likely a holdover from one of the R/C cars. The door hinges work smoothly and hold the doors at any position well.

 

Accuracy

Overall it looks great. Mattel has captured the body of the Mach 5 perfectly, from the overall stance to more subtle design cues. The seams between the upper and lower fascias are a little distracting, but because the breaks are on existing lines for the most part, they're not too bad. The only misstep I really see is inside: the seats shown in photos of the 1:1 car look like modern padded seats, while the ones here look more like the old racing buckets seen in GT cars. The tires were also on backwards (they have directional pattern in the treads), but that took about a minute to fix. Without having figures for the 1:1, all I can say is that scaling looks pretty good. I can say that they resisted the urge to make the tires too big, and thank them for that.

 

Overall

Cars like this make me wish Hot Wheels did more 1/24 cars. The fit and finish are on par with more expensive diecasts, and it looks great in or out of the box. Very highly recommended.

 

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