Hot Wheels Boulevard Set: The Ultimate Collection for Car Enthusiasts
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a fellow Hot Wheels enthusiast who is a part of the same Hot Wheels group as I am. To my surprise, his collection far surpassed mine in terms of size and variety. He had dozens of Premium models and several RLC exclusives, making me realize that I still had a long way to go in expanding my own collection. We were both eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the new Hot Wheels Boulevard set in stores, which promised to be a game-changer in the world of diecast car collecting.
It had been almost three months since the last Boulevard release, known as Mix 3 for 2023. In that set, I was fortunate enough to acquire the Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno, which was undoubtedly a highlight for me. However, it was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI that stole the show in that collection. Of course, everyone has their own preferences, and opinions may vary. So today, let’s take a sneak peek at the upcoming Mix 4 for 2023, which features three German cars, one Japanese car, and one American car. Even before seeing them up close, I dare say that this set deserves four out of five stars.
The first car in the spotlight is the Audi S4 quattro, which some may consider the least visually appealing among the collectibles in this set. The Audi Motorsport-inspired livery has worked brilliantly on previous cars like the IMSA 90 and the RS2. However, there seems to be something missing in this particular casting. Designed by Mark Jones for its 2021 Car Culture: Deutschland Design debut, I actually gifted the Nogaro Blue edition to a friend who is a huge Audi fan. Seeing it in Imola Yellow made it even more spectacular. The third variation of this casting might be a hit or miss, depending on individual preferences. It’s not just the livery that’s new; Mattel has opted for a set of Real Riders 10-spoke wheels, a departure from the six-spoke wheels used in previous variations. The black finish adds to its unique appeal. With the promise of many more iterations of this casting in the future, now is the perfect time to start collecting if you’re a fan of the design.
Next up is the Porsche 930, the car that every Hot Wheels collector has been eagerly waiting for. Although it made its debut in the 2022 Replica Entertainment series, only a few enthusiasts appreciated the Cyberpunk-inspired livery. An exclusive variation was released earlier this year for the 23rd Annual Collectors Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, with only 4,200 units produced. It’s not surprising to see some listed for as high as $350. However, the new Boulevard version will be more readily available and is poised to become one of the most incredible 1/64th-scale Porsches out there. With a simple yellow paint job and no distracting livery, it showcases the true beauty of the car. The Real Riders Exotic rims with a black finish perfectly complement its overall aesthetic. Without a doubt, this could easily become one of the best Hot Wheels Premium collectibles of 2023. Who knows what other surprises the diecast manufacturer has in store? I might even consider buying two of these when they hit the stores, keeping one in its original packaging.
As the only American vehicle in the upcoming Boulevard set and the only one not designed by Mark Jones, the ’70 Dodge Hemi Challenger stands out from the rest. Phil Riehlman is credited with the design of this iconic casting, which has been around since its Metalflake Dark Purple debut in the 2006 First Editions series. Numerous variations featuring Real Riders wheels have been released since then, with the 2011 Dick Landy Vintage Racing model being a standout. Amazingly, there are over 40 variations of this casting for collectors who aspire to complete their collection. The 2014 Collectors Nationals edition is particularly rare, with a price tag of around $300. In the new Boulevard release, the ’70 Dodge Hemi Challenger shines as the fourth offering for 2023 and the first Premium model since the 2021 Pony Rides Collector Set. With only a thin white stripe to contrast the black body and black Real Riders Steelies, this casting captures the essence of the muscle car era, with the powerful 426 CI V8 engine eagerly awaiting to be unleashed.
The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 is undoubtedly one of the most exciting cars in the Boulevard set, on par with the 911 Turbo. Mattel has been hitting all the right notes with their recent Mercedes-Benz releases, attracting fierce competition among collectors. Interestingly, this particular casting has primarily been used in the Car Culture series. It made its debut in the Modern Classics lineup in 2017 and subsequently appeared in Eurospeed, Open Track, and Team Transport in the following years. The casting saw two more variations in 2021 but remained absent in 2022. As a Premium exclusive casting, the price of all the previously mentioned variations combined would still be lower than that of the rare Period Correct release, limited to only 750 units. Some may be asking as much as $1,000 for that coveted piece. But let’s focus on the future – the new iteration of this iconic Mercedes-Benz features a stunning Evergreen finish and is graced with Real Riders Exotics. This color combination perfectly captures the essence of a Saturday night at Daikoku Futo in Japan, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it was inspired by a real-life car.
Last but not least, we have the Nissan Silvia (S15 NISMO R-Tune Proto), a JDM icon that will surely catch the attention of any drift fan. Designed by Jimmy Liu in collaboration with Mark Jones, this casting made its debut in the Replica Entertainment: Forza Motorsport set almost five years ago. It later appeared as the “Mona Lisa” from Tokyo Drift, becoming an instant favorite among collectors. Mattel has two more S15 castings in its portfolio, with one no longer in active use. Keep an eye out for a Liberty Walk version, as it may be released in the Boulevard series next year at the latest. The rarest variation of the 2018 casting was unveiled earlier this year, with only 5,000 units produced. Currently, the most expensive listing on eBay is priced at $500 or best offer. This makes it rarer than most, if not all, RLC models available today. Given Mattel’s impressive growth, one can only imagine how much more valuable it will become in 10 or 20 years. The Coppermix livery is reminiscent of RC drift cars and brings to mind Team DriftMonkey from Norway. The S15 has a storied history in the world of drifting, having achieved multiple championship titles in D1GP over the past two decades. Mattel has plans for more versions of this casting, and fans can look forward to the possibility of Slide Street or Mountain Drifters editions in the near future.
In addition to this exciting Boulevard Mix 4 set, there is another one currently in the works. Although only an initial sketch has been revealed, it already piques the interest of collectors. Two new castings will be included, with one of them being the ’67 Ford Anglia Racer. The other two Japanese cars will evoke nostalgia for the ’90s era. And last but not least, the set will feature the beautifully designed Porsche 935 by Asada. Stay tuned for more information in an upcoming story.
With so much to look forward to, the Hot Wheels Boulevard sets continue to captivate car enthusiasts worldwide. Each new release brings a sense of anticipation and excitement. As collectors, we eagerly await the chance to add these exceptional models to our own collections. The level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into each car is truly remarkable, making them prized possessions for those who appreciate the beauty of these miniature marvels.
As for me, I’m eagerly counting down the days until the new Boulevard set arrives in stores. With its diverse lineup of stunning cars, including the Audi S4 quattro, Porsche 930, ’70 Dodge Hemi Challenger, Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16, and Nissan Silvia (S15 NISMO R-Tune Proto), it promises to be a winner. Whether you’re a fan of German engineering, American muscle, or iconic Japanese drift cars, this set has something for everyone. So, get ready to rev up your imagination and embark on an unforgettable journey through the world of Hot Wheels with the Boulevard collection.