It just came to my attention a few minutes before writing this that you can walk into one of the many big box retailers across this country right now and chances are you could walk away with a Hot Wheels diecast of a Nissan R390 GT1 road car. It’s incredible.
Every time Mattel makes a 1/64 scale version of one of my favorite cars from Gran Turismo, I am filled with both joy and sadness. Joy, because it would have made my week – no, my month – if I had had a little R390 to play with during those times between school and being glued to Gran Turismo 2. Sadness, because I am no longer six years old.
Know that if you are a child today, I am incredibly jealous of you for exactly that reason. But that’s the unfortunate cycle of history. Kids like me growing up in the ’90s were constantly drip-fed with ’60s and ’70s Americana, even though many of us weren’t interested in those cars. That’s because baby boomers ruled the world, baby boomers were our parents, and parents tend to project their nostalgia onto their children.
Now, millennials and gen X are calling the shots, and I guess zoomers don’t care. To all yougins reading this, I apologize. But know this: I love Mattel’s newfound obsession with obscure ’90s homologation promos, even though I was born too early to benefit from it and probably wouldn’t care if I was a kid right now. .
Apparently a Lancia Delta IntegraleBugatti EB110 and Audi RS2 Avant are equally the low alongside the R390 for 2021. If I was a pedant, I would have preferred Mattel to go with the older red short-tailed R390 road car design, which was apparently quite shy before it disappeared and was replaced by the long, blue tail that we all recognize today. Some people say the original road car was scrapped and reused for racing; others say it was rebuilt in the blue pattern. Anyway, I’ll take what I can get.
There’s so much good stuff in the small car aisle these days that I feel like every time I visit a Target or a Walmart I regularly end up spending $5 that I don’t. hadn’t planned. Last year I got back Porsche 959 and Lancia 037 rally cars, a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evolution IIa Nissan skyline silhouette and a mark ɛ̃fini Mazda787B; in 2019 I caught a Subaru SVX manufactured by Matchbox, an Advan livery Porsche 962 and the latest Ford GT GTE.
These are some of my favorite cars in the world, and I bet they’re yours too, since you read Jalopnik and we’ve probably written about all of them at one time or another. And now you can buy small versions of it. It’s a much easier investment to bear than the hundreds of dollars on real models from Auto Art, HPI and Ixo that I burned through when I was a teenager. I can’t afford this stuff anymore, I have bills to pay. But Hot Wheels? Yeah, I’ll buy them every time I see a car on those retail stakes that would have made kid Adam cry with joy.