In news I didn’t expect to read, Hot Wheels and Gucci have announced their first-ever collaboration – a 1:64 scale Cadillac Seville, customized with a golden roof to celebrate the centenary of the Italian fashion brand. It comes in its own acrylic display case with a green embossed paper cover. As you’d expect from anything sporting those interlocking Gs, it costs a bit more than the typical Hot Wheels die-cast you’ll find at Target. Ten times more, in fact.
Yes, this limited edition Seville is $120. For that price, you’d assume a few crystals and gold leaf were added, as my colleague Owen said. But no – this Seville is about on the quality level of one of Hot Wheels’ slightly more premium Car Culture products. The paint is misaligned in places, just like on the toy cars we commoners buy. Even the Gucci name is not centered on the front license plate.
At least you get Hot Wheels’ “Real Riders” rubber tires, which are properly striped. The attempt to come close to the spoked wheels of the Seville also looks decent. But I can’t help but think this toy would cost $10 if it lost the Gucci logos.
For one thing, paying for the name is literally at the heart of high fashion, so it makes sense. On the other hand, I’m not used to seeing brands like Gucci fraternize with the toys and media of my childhood. It was strange when it happened to Segaand it’s weird now.
Nevertheless, there is a historical reason for Gucci and Mattel to join forces in this way. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, General Motors sold a Cadillac Seville “designed by Gucci”. The head of Gucci was Dr. Aldo Gucci, one of the sons of the brand’s founder, Guccio Gucci. (I didn’t know that was the name of the guy who started Gucci until three minutes before I wrote this; if you didn’t either, I swear I didn’t make it up.)
Either way, Aldo Gucci was proud of the opportunity to design a Cadillac, because it was the kind of association a world-renowned fashion institution could still be proud of in the ’70s. Gucci said of Seville, by classic driver:
“I have strong feelings for this car because it’s fundamentally different from anything I’ve designed in my life,” the designer said over a glass of champagne in the driveway of his Palm Beach estate. . “This Cadillac is one more stone in the necklace of our international success.”
The Gucci Seville had the brand’s logo strewn inside and out, and prominently displayed as a hood ornament. It featured special patterned pillows and a red and green striped pattern, as well as a custom luggage set. For all that, you paid at least $19,900, which is $7,000 more than a standard Seville. In 2021, that translates to a shade below $75,000. The $7,000 bounty is about $26,000 today.
These days, Mattel releases a new Hot Wheels of one of my favorite cars from my youth apparently every two weeks, so I can’t blame them too much for Gucci’s money. My local big box stores are perpetually sold out of the good ones, which frustrates me to no end. Somehow, though, I don’t envision that happening with this Seville. If you are tempted, you can order yours on the Hot Wheels website October 18.