2003’s Sega Hot Wheels, featuring your favorite Sega properties.

Back in late 2012, I wrote about Hot Wheels cars featuring iconic Atari brands. The cars featured were based on the 3-4 existing brands Atari already have milked dry but on rather dubious car brands. At the end of that post, I had mentioned that I also had some other Hot Wheels based on a video game brand, and that I’d get around to writing about them someday once I completed the set. Well, that time is now because I finally completed the whole set.

Hot Wheels cars were quite a fascination to me when I was younger. I grew up in the age of the wacky race tracks and those automated machines that moved the cars at high speeds. It was quite an entertaining toy, and naturally I ended up grabbing a bunch of them over the years.

When I bought the Atari Hot Wheels back in 2012, I wasn’t really expecting to have another set to complete. Since I had three out of the five, I thought it was a fairly easy goal to attain. After all, unless it’s from the 80s or earlier, the more recent cars don’t really have high demand, and thus are easy to snatch up for a few bucks each. After all, the Atari Hot Wheels only cost me $12.

But enough rambling, let’s take a look at the cars themselves:

So many interesting games to make as cars…

Much like the previous set I covered, these are all cars based on various Hot Wheels car lines or real cars. These cars give a perfect snapshot of Sega from this period. By this time Sega had already abandoned their console heritage after the Dreamcast floundered, beginning to publish games for their previous rivals the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox.  This was back when they were experimenting with old series frequently and making sequels to Dreamcast titles most people didn’t play originally. Here are the cars in question:

  • A car from the “Fandango” line of cars based on Space Channel 5
  • A car from the “Phaeton” line of cars based on The House of the Dead III
  • A 2003 Lotus Esprit, based on the Shinobi reboot for the PlayStation 2
  • A car from the “GT Racer” line of cars based on Super Monkey Ball
  • A 2003 Mercury Cougar custom based on Jet Set Radio Future.

Each car is based off an existing Sega game from around that time period, and like the Atari Hot Wheels, a few of them are based on unique Hot Wheels lines than real cars. At this time, this brief post-Dreamcast period is an interesting snapshot.

The Sega Hot Wheels look considerably cooler in their style compared to the Atari ones, as they’re based on car lines that would seem grounded in reality, rather than the strange toy car lines the Atari ones used. I bet you could use these cars on racing tracks just fine.

As for how I got these, it was a little bit more complicated than paying $12 for all of them at a Bi-Mart. I already had the Space Channel 5Shinobi and Super Monkey Ball cars as we acquired a giant bin full of 2001-2004 era Hot Wheels cars that likely don’t have much value. I ended up finding the House of the Dead III car at a garage sale in late 2013, and had recently picked up the JSRF car at an antique store in Milwaukie, OR for amazingly low price of 50 cents. It was quite the journey to get all these, that’s for sure.

Now, I’m willing to bet that these aren’t all the video game Hot Wheels out there. Knowing how many companies are willing to make deals with Mattel, I could imagine there’s several other video game collections. Perhaps a Mario set. I know there’s ones featuring Need for Speed, I need to look out for those. (UPDATE: I would eventually find a couple of those Need for Speed Hot Wheels, see this I Bought Stuff! entry for more.)

What a way to start the year, collecting more Hot Wheels cars. Perhaps I should see if I still have some of my old playsets and give them a try with these cars. Bet these would fly off the tracks like crazy. After all, I probably should do something with these $1 cars instead of them collecting dust on my shelf.

Updated October 4, 2020 with paragraph and link updates. Welcome to Year Three of You Found a Secret Area!

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B.J. Brown

B.J. Brown is the creator and sole writer on You Found a Secret Area. Casually writing since 2010, Fascinated by dumb things like game shows, music, and of course, video games. Also on Twitter. You can support their work on Ko-Fi or Patreon.

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