interesting Hot Wheels items are scheduled for release this year, many of which
are related to the high-profile Mattel-maintained collectors’ website. I will
be touching on some of those releases in future months. One of the highly
anticipated features of this series of limited runs is the return of the Spectraflame
finish, which is a coat of transparent paint over nickel or chrome plated metal to
simulate the California-customized "candy paint" finishes of the 1960s.
After months of work, the engineers at Mattel have been able to duplicate the
original process utilizing today’s materials and technology. In addition,
they have updated the appearance with a new decorative enhancement they call
"ghosting," which is the tamping of designs on the body in the same color
as the base paint. This gives the illusion that the colors of the
tampos change slightly based on how the light is reflecting off the Spectraflame
finish. While the release of the Spectraflame website cars is still a
few weeks away, the process was first used on the limited edition items produced
for the 3rd Annual Wild Weekend of Hot Wheels East Coast Convention.
In a first for this convention, the models offered are based on the
highly detailed 100% Hot Wheels castings instead of castings from
the basic line. The primary focus of the 100% Hot Wheels
castings is the attention to detail rather than performance, and most of
the models feature a diecast body and chassis. Two of the most popular
castings were chosen for the project, the `57 Nomad and the
CheZoom. The Nomad has been used for a number of limited projects,
but I believe this is the first appearance of the CheZoom since its
initial release in the Boyd Carrington set back in 1997.
The `57 Nomad (Stock #85558) is the model that was given to the delegates upon registration. The body carries a handsome coat of orange Spectraflame paint over
most of its surface, with the exception being a satin white finish on the roof.
Ghosting is used on both the hood and roof, with orange flames tamped on the
Spectraflame paint and silver flames tamped on the white paint. Other decorations
are tamped on the body as well, including white pinstripes on the tops and sides
of the fenders. Details on the body are highlighted including headlights,
taillights and fender trim. Five spoke chromed Cragar wheels ride in the
nickel-plated chassis, and the rubber tires are tamped with thin redwalls.
As is standard for this casting, the body pivots open under the front bumper to
reveal a white plastic interior and a chromed plastic motor sitting over the rear axle.
CheZoom (Stock #85557) is the second convention car available for the
attendees to purchase at the convention store. The body is beautifully
finished in a rich yellow Spectraflame paint, and features ghosted yellow flame
tampos on the hood and trunk. The body is detailed similar to the Boyd
version, with one exception. The headlights now appear to be part of the
body casting and are painted silver, instead of being separate clear plastic
inserts. The chassis details are not painted as on the Boyd model, but
the chassis is painted gloss black. The plastic fender accents and body
trim are chrome plated and the taillights are highlighted in red. The
car rides on the original chrome Boyd wheels, with thin redwalls tamped on
the thin tires.
Both models feature the multi-colored convention logos tamped on the roofs
and other references tamped on the lower car sides. The logo of the
primary convention sponsor, Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza Shop, is crisply
tamped on the back of both cars, along with Connecticut "WLDWKND" vanity license
plates. The models were manufactured in China.
These are great looking models, and nicely whet the appetite for the future
Spectraflame website releases.