Big things with little cars

2016's Not-Top-Ten

Each year, all collectors set one common goal: to be more selective in what they buy. That means being more methodical in choosing what to collect, filtering out the bad models, not buying into the hype, and collecting solely what one likes. Some have techniques they use to minimize poor decisions - a common one is to walk around the store with car in hand, ultimately deciding you don’t really need it, and walking out empty-handed. This is a method I use all the time and it works like a charm. I also like to think this way: Would I rather order that Kyosho I saw on the forum or take this handful of Hot Wheels?

As idealistic as we try to be, by the end of the year, we always end up with dozens of cars that make you go “what was I thinking?”. Those are the ones we wish we could have back. Some model are good but not great. In some instances, the appeal of a new model quickly dies down not long after you take it home.


Here, I will list the ten models from 2016 that disappointed me the most. Unlike the previous list featuring the ten best, there are far fewer cars to choose from this time around. Obviously, because no one goes out and intentionally grabs all the lemons. There were also a number of unsatisfactory models that have since been passed on to others. Not all of these are bad models, but they’re the ones needing major improvements.


Hot Wheels - Datsun Fairlady 2000

Can you say o-ver-ra-ted? I just don’t see it. What this model is is a vintage, classic car with widebody kit, lowered suspension, decals, and modern sport wheels. Do you throw flared fenders on a Ferrari 250 GTO and slam it to the ground? Never, and you shouldn’t do it to the Fairlady 2000 either. And can we get rid of two-tone wheels already? A nice, stock Fairlady with some lace wheels would’ve been wonderful, you know...


Tomica Premium - Subaru Impreza STi 22B


The 22B is a legendary car that no one outside of Kyosho has made recently in 1/64. Then, Tomica introduced it to their Premium line, looking to save the day. Except they didn’t quite get the job done; to be cheesy, I’d say the operation was a success but the patient died. The wheels on the 22B look awful, which is a shame because the details on this model are superb.


Hot Wheels Car Culture “Euro Style” - Porsche 911 GT3 RS


The GT3 RS is a fine casting that hasn’t been used to its full potential, in my opinion, outside of the First Edition releases. This iteration is a bland mess, if that makes any sense, marred by tacky decals throughout the car. The lone weak link of the fantastic Euro Style series.


Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment “Forza Motorsports” - Ford Falcon XB


I’m not fond of this livery because there’s nothing here that screams Forza to me. It’s like Hot Wheels took a design that was slated to be in the mainline, slapped the Forza logo on the doors, and called it a day. Unimaginative and boring.


Greenlight - Nissan GT-R (R35)


It’s funny how quickly my opinion shifted on this model. I thought I was the luckiest man alive when I found my first one, the Black Bandit release, on the pegs. It had its share of flaws, but it was a darn nice model then. And then I treated myself to the TLV version, which became the new kid on the block. Side by side, the Greenlight looks like rubbish, lacking the aggressive nature of the true Godzilla. Even then, my fanboy roots won’t stop me from coming back for more.


Matchbox - Lamborghini LM002


Matchbox does a fine job, as always, replicating the most unusual cars and keeping them in stock form. But that flat red paint job is such an eyesore. Not a huge fan of the Rambo Lambo myself, so this was one I should’ve skipped.


Hot Wheels “BMW” Series - BMW M1


Hey look, the M1 is back! Oh wait, Hot Wheels done goofed with the paint job and hideous stripes. You could actually say that about the entire series. In fact, all of the Walmart-exclusive series put out in the past couple years have been forgettable. I get treated to a dump bin full of ugly every time I walk in there. Who’s designing these models anyways?


Hot Wheels “Exotics” 5-Pack - Alfa Romeo 8C


I like the 8C, but the casting just never looked right. I have never seen an Alfa Romeo in lime green. Furthermore, I’ve never seen one with stripes either. This one features both and the result is appalling. 5-packs are always a mixed bag, with one or two great models and a bunch of filler in the other slots. I never understood why a fiver can’t have, you know, five nice models; after all, it doesn’t cost more to produce a red, stripe-less Alfa than a green, striped one.


Hot Wheels Car Culture “Redliners” - ‘69 Corvette Racer


The ‘Vette was a new model for 2016 and easily beats out generics for worst-new-model-of-the-year awards. The proportions are cartoonish and the model has a plasticky look to it, from the front bumper to the roll cage. The colorways put out so far haven’t been kind, as you can see here in a garish yellow with matching wheels. The racing livery is messy. Bleh.


Johnny Lightning “Classic Gold” Series 2 - Datsun 280ZX


There was never a doubt which model would take the top spot on this list. The main issue with this Z is the enormous gap in the rear fenders. I’ve been told that older releases have sported large wheels in the back, and Johnny Lightning tried to be realistic by fitting the same-sized wheels all around without retooling the casting.


So, which models would make your list of the biggest disappointments of 2016?

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