One of the things I hate about collecting Hot Wheels is that you have to keep on top of it. The Scooby-Doo The Mystery Machine first hit in 2012, then in the "pop culture" assortments for $4-$5 each in 2013 after a rerelease in the basic assortments, and now just hit in the new 2014 assortments at a buck with different wheels. It's nice that patience is rewarded at times, but I fundamentally don't get why they don't just keep items like this in circulation. That's three basic runs and one special run so far, at least, I might be missing a few. I was elated to find this in a bin at the store a few weeks ago, because a) I loved the cartoon as a kid, and b) my friends and I watched a ton of it at a hotel while on a road trip to San Diego in an era where televisions in hotels still showed scrambled porn. Is that her elbow? The world may never know.
For a buck - and this is usually how I grade these things - it's fantastic. The green parts are die-cast metal and have a nice heft to them. The underside of the vehicle is chrome plastic, and it also looks nice. You'll note that the wheels aren't as flowery as previous releases, and for this reason I expect this version will be less desirable. But it's also in stores now, and a dollar, so I'm not shelling out for a pricey variant on eBay when I can just get this.
It more or less matches the animation model - the paint is finely detailed, although not evenly applied. A few spots are a little thin, but the designs and flourishes seem to have been adapted directly from the cartoon. The spare tire isn't the right color, but hey - it's a buck.
Marked 2012 on the bottom, this tiny die-cast vehicle is about 2 1/8-inches long. The orange-tinted wheels and the "metal" plastic bumpers give it a lot of character, with an orange plastic interior that looks perfectly nice. It's certainly not fancy, but as one of the most recognizable vehicles from the childhood of pretty much everybody from 1969 and beyond it doesn't need to be. You can get more expensive versions of the vehicle, but why? (Well, aside from this one being harder to find.) It's the perfect size for desks and it's at a nearly disposable price point. This is one of those toys I wish that absolutely everybody could find, because it's totally worth it and fun enough that I assume it's impossible not to get your money's worth.
In addition to George Jetson and Fred Flintstone's cars, the Mystery Machine is another worthwhile addition to the line. I'm a huge fan of the toy, and I'm thrilled to have one - I only regret not buying more for friends of mine as gifts. Maybe next time!
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