In addition to the formal award categories (Best New Casting, Best Super Treasure Hunt) I requested that each admin single out something they felt was particularly noteworthy from 2015. Enginerrrrrr is not an admin, exactly, but he felt strong enough about Hot Wheels most recently canceled “premium” line to give this detailed analysis. Absolutely worth a read. -Jeff

As it’s the end of the year, I’ve decided to make a bit on one of my favorite series: Cool Classics. Unfortunately the series had its final 2 batches at the beginning of the year.

Despite many HW collectors not being completely enthusiastic about the series, I was very excited.

Looking from the beginning in 2013, the Cool Classics series was a sort of replacement for the premium Boulevard and Flying Customs series. The Cool Classics in my eyes seemed to hearken back to the successful Hot Wheels Classics series, with the shiny paint jobs and old-school wheels reminiscent of the original Redlines.

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Cool Classics branched out from the standard Spectraflame paint jobs and gave us some truly epic paint colors - this time in a fantastic satin finish. Gives it some iridescent properties when coupled with the slightly translucent tampos on some models. Here’s what I was able to conjure up in terms of their paint selection. What a rainbow! (The DLM movement should be very proud of what I’ve done... it was very difficult for me...)

For this series of cars we had these fantastic Retro-Slot wheels that are still exclusive to the Cool Classics line. Also seen on the Chrysler Turbine we were given some very nice tampos. You can see the little “Turbine” logo on the front fender.

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Cool Classics started out with this excellent Chrysler Turbine (which was also featured in the Boulevard Series). As can be seen with the Turbine, I think one of the series’ shortcomings was a general lack of headlight and taillight tampos. For a premium price, collectors generally expect those details. I for one was so enamored with the amazing paint colors, I didn’t mind that it was missing some small tampo details.

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I was also pleased that Cool Classics had a good variety of castings. Hot Rods, classics, JDM, muscle cars, concepts, modern, etc; just a little bit of everything. Also one of the few series where I don’t mind the flame tampos. I think having the satin finish where the color changes based on the angle and thus having the tampos ‘disappearing’ made them much better than the stuff we’ve been seeing on the standard muscle cars coming out.

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The Cool Classics line seemed to have a nice rainbow of colors of which Mattel didn’t mind picking from. Nothing reminds me of the original redlines more than super bright colors.

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Going back to the ‘translucent’ style tampo, a few cars exemplified this idea. I noticed the Astro Funk was one of the number 1 pegwarmers, but to me, it has one of the best paint jobs - you just have to look closely.

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Some models didn’t get much love, but of course with any Hot Wheels premium set, there the ones highly sought after. Just a few to not forget (besides some already above like the 51 LeSabre concept, Shelby Daytona, and Mercury Cougar):

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Now I was just really getting back into doing some real collecting when Series 1 of Cool Classics was winding down so I wasn’t able to collect too many of them. Luckily I was able to find most of Series 2. Now as this is dedicated to a recap of 2015, I’ll now focus on the last two batches of 5 cars each. I noticed in my area that most of the previous batches had pegwarmers and weren’t too difficult to find, but the final two sets I definitely lucked out on finding (and even had to do a trade for a few...). Seems the collectors came out to get them knowing that the series was ending.

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The first batch: Mix K consisted of the Boss 302 (of which a main case and Super had also been released at a similar time), ‘84 Hurst Olds, Honda S2000, Ford GTLM, and a ‘65 VW Fastback Drag Car.

The Boss is easily one of my favorites. Super Cool tampos and a great color.

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Next up, the ‘84 Olds. Probably my least favorite (I mean it came from a horrible era in car design), but the best in terms of ghost flames. You really can’t see much unless you angle it in the right light.

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Next up the S2000. Easily a fan favorite and easy to see why:

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Next the Ford GTLM. At first I wasn’t too big a fan of this paint, but the satin finish on this bright silver is quite a nice looking thing. Also look, headlight tampos!!

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Last for Mix K was this super cool VW Fastback Drag Car. Has a nice party piece too!

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First up for the final mix of Cool Classics is the Datsun 240Z. With Jdm cars being quite difficult to find in the past few years, this one and the next Datsun were impossible for me to find. Luckily an HWEP came to my rescue :)

I could have done without the Need for Speed-esque tampos, but the silver does look quite nice.

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Next is the 240Z’s sibling, the 510 sedan. Super sought-after, but unfortunately also sporting some odd (But not bad) NFS-style tampos.

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Next up is the GT500 Super Snake, which looks especially mean in this paint scheme. Great looking model. Also similar paint color to a previous ‘67 GT500 in the Series.

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Now we have the much-loved Subaru Brat, of which we were lucky enough to get two models of this year!

Gotta love the rear-facing seats in the bed to loophole an NHTSA ruling for that time.

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Finally, the last car to ever be released as a Cool Classic, the Chevy Chevette. Hot Wheels did a great job of taking an awful car and giving it that HW zing to make it cool. Nice looking drag car to end out the series.

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I’m quite sad that Cool Classics have faded away with the likes of the Boulevard and HW Classics series, but I’m guessing in another year or two, they will start becoming quite collectible as we reminisce on the very cool paint and tampo details. Hopefully Hot Wheels doesn’t keep these paints away from us for much longer. I would have never thought about buying some of these casts if it weren’t for the paint.

The Redline and Real Rider cars out now as part of the Heritage Series seem to be doing pretty well and are hopefully a good legacy to the Cool Classics.

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As a wrap-up and in the spirit of the Wall-D’s, what was your favorite Cool Classic? Do you think Mattel should have done something a bit extra to help solidify their greatness?

Here are my top 5 (after much deliberation and some help from my wife as I couldn’t decide on just 5):