Hot Wheels #4 - Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 (or 392 Rubicon as HW prefers)
At the risk of causing mental anguish to a certain curmudgeonly Scottsman, here is the HW Jeep. The '392' designation is for the hemi V-8 provided in this particular Rubicon, offered since 2021 as far as I can tell. The color equates to Ocean Metallic and is well applied with miniscule 'flakes' in the pigment. Various attachments imply this Jeep is ready for off-roading in the wilderness (or beach, or desert) - more on the various attachments below.
As with the Mustang, the black interior doesn't offer a whole lot to view. But with flashlight and magnifying glass I can read "Rubicon 392" on the seatbacks. The rollbar is also painted body color.
Looking at the side view above, note the higher roof when compared to the GreenLight Rubicon. I looked at a lot of 1:1 images online and didn't see anything quite like it, but I suspect it could represent a roof mounted camping tent package. The gray attachment on the passenger side roof could be a roll-out awning. Maybe some of you have seen this and can offer more input. Wheels are nice and accurate but there's no side lettering on the tires. A few suspension components are picked out in silver under the fenders, probably more to show that they are there rather than focusing on accuracy. Tampo printing is great - I can just make out 'Wrangler' beneath the 'Jeep' side script with a magnifier, but the word below that is just too small for my old eyes.
On the front there is a representation of a winch and auxiliary 'roo bar' as the Aussies call it. Headlights are painted, a cheap but reasonable way around the dreaded pupil look of plastic inserts.
Now to those appendages on the rear. BTW, these are glued in place, no doubt to meet consumer product standards for kids as well as to keep them from getting lost over time. On the left is what appears to be a jerry can for gas, or auxiliary water supply for the desert. I might lead toward the latter, since the cap is on the bottom. In the middle are some tracks to aid in getting out of mud or deep sand - these are painted, not molded in orange. Then there's that thing on the right. At first I thought it was a spear gun. Then I thought it looked like the bar clamps I have in the basement for gluing wood together on edge to make, well, really wide wood. Or it could be a really odd jack. Any ideas?
The underside has a lot of detail, with nice renditions of the transfer case and axles. Only the muffler and exhaust tips, a separate part, are picked out in silver.
I am glad HW is marketing these models through a popular US big box store chain. Perhaps it will inspire some new, younger collectors out there, something our hobby sorely needs. BTW, I should mention again that these first four 1/43 HWs are diecast WITH a diecast base, much like many of the old Corgis. This gives them a particular 'heft' compared to diecasts from PCT et al. Not BRK heft, to be sure, but I know several of you equate heft with quality.
Thanks for the nice review.
Inverness, Illinois, USA
Thank you, Harv. I am suitably anguished. Even more of a tacky dollar store toy. The Greenlight looks so much better and I see it on eBay for £10-£20. A no-brainer.
That is an excellent HW Jeep Rubicon. I have a white one in about 1/38 scale from Kinsmart and it is also a good-looking vehicle.
Harvey - how do you rate the HW vs GL in look and feel and quality? Is one better than the other when viewed side-by-side?
The HW designer, Phil Riehlman, says on Youtube that it has a rooftop tent, custom roof lights, awning, spare tire, "farm jack", gas can, recovery board, custom bumpers, and winch... I am learning all kinds of new terminology!
@karl I had to look up what a farm jack is. Here's a video, with a Jeep:
It can also be used to raise up old fence posts! Ya learn something new every day....
OK, I gave up on my local Tarjay and target.com and went to ePay - only spent $4 extra for the 2... (including postage). I do like the battleship gray on the Mustang in 1/43 even though like others. not a big fan on 1:1 cars. And the extra orange and red bits on the back of the Rubicon look much less plasticy in person. So I am very happy with both, especially. I am a great fan of the packaging also - very innovative.