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Custom Otto Is Back by Collector Request!

By Brad Bannach

 

The “Lost Redline” has found its way back (again). Originally created by Hot Wheels artist Otto Kuhni for use on the original Hot Wheels packaging in 1968, this redline-era car was never meant to join the Original 16. Rather, its all-encompassing design took many styling cues from the muscle cars of the era and served as the backing for the first Hot Wheels vehicles. In 1993, the car’s role as nostalgic packaging superstar was reprised as it was brought back to grace the blister cards in the Hot Wheels Vintage line as part of the 25th Anniversary.

 

Otto-93VintagePKG-1570-tiny.png

 

The fate of this “Lost Redline” changed in 2008 when -- in honor of the 40th Anniversary -- this design was cast as an actual Hot Wheels vehicle. It was dubbed the “Custom Otto.” The “Custom” portion of the name was reminiscent of the original naming for the custom cars in the Original 16, and the “Otto” portion was in honor of the car’s original creator, who also had a reprised role of sorts. In the early days of HotWheelsCollectors.com, Otto came out of retirement to create much of the art that was featured on the posters, HWC master sets, and even the packaging for the sELECTIONs vehicles. Otto would go on to attend several conventions, signing autographs and letting collectors know that he was thrilled to have his illustration become a Hot Wheels car.

 

Otto-Group-1570-tiny.png

 

The Custom Otto has had a very unconventional run as a Hot Wheels vehicle. Of the 14 total variants, 13 were released in 2008 -- including a very special one-off release that was cast in 18-karat white gold and encrusted with more than 2,700 diamonds. Four years later, the Custom Otto was last released was in Spectraflame bright orange as part of the HWC Series 11 Neo-Classics. The casting was then unofficially retired.

 

Otto-HWC-S11-1570-tiny.png

 

Over the last eight years, Hot Wheels has put out several surveys asking for collector input. Collectors just like you have repeatedly asked for the return of the Custom Otto -- oftentimes, even insisting that the Mainline was a great place for it. The good news for those collectors is: They listened! Due to your persistent requests, the Custom Otto has been tooled for Mainline use and will start appearing in the 2020 Hot Wheels Mainline starting in Mix J, in the Muscle Mania mini collection.

 

Otto-2020-MuscleMania-Purple-ORANGETRACK-1570-tiny.png

 

Due to requirements for all new castings in the Mainline, the hood has been sealed shut, but they did manage to keep that original metal body. The Custom Otto will appear in three different colors for 2020 -- including one that will be a Target-exclusive Red Edition. Also, they know that some of you enjoy racing your Hot Wheels cars. The good news now is that you can leave those collectible Custom Ottos on display -- or even race them, too -- as they have new releases coming your way that you can take to the track.

 

Otto-2008Blue-2020Purple-1570-tiny.png

 

Otto Kuhni, unfortunately, passed away in 2017. Collectors these days celebrate his legacy, as his artwork has touched millions of people over the last 52 years, and even inspired a few Hot Wheels designers. His Custom Otto lives on so a new generation of collectors can embrace this timeless design. Thanks go to you, the collector, for consistent reminders that designs like this make up Hot Wheels lore.

 

Otto-2020-MuscleMania-Purple.jpg

 

Custom Otto Checklist

  • 2008 - Spectraflame Red - New York Toy Fair
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Green - New York Toy Fair
  • 2008 - Diamond-encrusted, White Gold - 40th Anniversary Celebration
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Otto Blue - HWC Exclusive
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Pink - HWC Exclusive
  • 2008 - Chrome - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (El Segundo stop)
  • 2008 - Red/White - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, UT stop)
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Brown - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (Speed, KS stop)
  • 2008 - Metalflake Blue - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (Indianapolis stop)
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Black - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (Detroit stop)
  • 2008 - White - 40th Anniversary Road Trip (Watkins Glen stop)
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Gold - 22nd Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention (Otto Kuhni Dinner)
  • 2008 - Spectraflame Pink - Employee Exclusive
  • 2012 - Spectraflame Bright Orange - HotWheelsCollectors.com Series 11 / Neo-Classics
  • 2020 - Metalflake Purple - Muscle Mania
  • 2020 – Micro Intense Blue - Muscle Mania
  • 2020 – Micro Apple Red – Target Red Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BIGBADBRAD01

BIGBADBRAD01
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18 hours ago, HOTWHEELED1 said:

I have all of them, except, well I'm sure you can guess which one, eh?

 

So who owns the Diamond-encrusted one?

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JIMMEE442

Posted

23 hours ago, Bunyip said:

Mattel requirements for mainline releases

was this because of cost?

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JIMMEE442

Posted

i started collecting AGAIN in late '95... & i've tried to hoard (?) as many opening-hood or door (Camaro, Mustang, Cobra, Blazer, etc) releases as possible.

Trucks, & Funny cars with moving parts &/or 3-4 axles were also a focus (as were "removable parts" releases)!   

it takes more to make them, & i appreciated that  👍

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Hot rod

Posted

Otto rocks on...

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THIS GUY

Posted

Id in spectraflame red

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 5/23/2020 at 9:51 AM, JIMMEE442 said:

was this because of cost?

 

Mainlines go through an automated assembly process that require 4 pieces that can be assembled without any special steps, hence why some older castings had to be redesigned and retooled. As the path down automation continues, there may actually be room for these features to come back. So in a backwards way, its about cost, but its not the reason (I assume) you think.

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 5/23/2020 at 6:46 AM, juke said:

 

So who owns the Diamond-encrusted one?

 

Not me, or it would be have featured here. 😉

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

On 5/22/2020 at 5:01 PM, Brockwheels said:

Just wondering about the list of Ottos. Are there not also the Worlds Smallest or don't they count

 

Only included the 1/64 standard Hot Wheels versions of the car.

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REDBARON1818

Posted

On 5/22/2020 at 8:33 PM, REDBARON1818 said:

Love seeing this car again! (Despite what some say! SMH) I hope I can see it more in other variations!  Would love to see it as a  Super! 

 

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BIGBADBRAD01

Posted

Talked to Larry Wood the other day. According to Larry, Harry Bradley actually designed the car but Otto drew it up for the package. The car never went into production until the 40th Anniversary. Larry ended up submitting his design of it for an internal design contest called, "What car would be best for the 40th anniversary". His design also included a rear view since there wasn't one previously. Working on getting the original drawing from him...

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DAR1988

Posted

On 5/22/2020 at 7:09 AM, RC1981 said:

Perfect example of Mattel still making product for the old school and muscle car collectors so now all the old people who were crying in the forums can give it a rest ...here's a bunch of peg warmers for you old heads! LoL 😎 

 

 

Is 1981 your birth year??? Becasue if it is you ain't no spring chicken yourself.

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DAR1988

Posted

On 5/22/2020 at 1:29 PM, STEVE1339 said:

Gee guys, can't you come up with something new? Retreading old stuff although nostalgic, doesn't take the place of New Ideas! 

 

Are you kidding??? There is new stuff every freaking year. More than enough. 

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Aaronwyatt1981

Posted

Thanks brad. Good article man. 

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Slideways

Posted

Cool story, and can't wait to see this at my retailer.  I would've never thought it was the car that represented the original artwork though...hahah.  (Sorry Mattel)

 

Out of respect to Otto, a couple simple tweaks make this a much better casting...;);)t

Otto.jpg

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NeroC24

Posted

On 5/22/2020 at 9:35 AM, ZAPHOD_NTH said:

Due to requirements for all new castings in the Mainline, the hood has been sealed shut

gov't requirements , mattel requirements ?

cost cutting requirements most likely.

 

On 5/22/2020 at 1:29 PM, STEVE1339 said:

Gee guys, can't you come up with something new? Retreading old stuff although nostalgic, doesn't take the place of New Ideas! 

its this or another zoom in repaint. take your pick.

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Rusty A J

Posted

Several months ago I saw one in a cards and collectibles shop. They have a lot of Hot Wheels so my memory of it may be a little blurry. I think it was white and red in a "Since 68" blister. ( does that sound right?)  I think it was $60. Good price?  To much?

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ARMATAZ

Posted

On 5/24/2020 at 2:01 PM, BIGBADBRAD01 said:

Talked to Larry Wood the other day. According to Larry, Harry Bradley actually designed the car but Otto drew it up for the package. The car never went into production until the 40th Anniversary. Larry ended up submitting his design of it for an internal design contest called, "What car would be best for the 40th anniversary". His design also included a rear view since there wasn't one previously. Working on getting the original drawing from him...

 I remember Jun posting that Q for membership consideration. I had  a thread asking for the concept car featured in Otto Kuhni package art work going for a bout a year prior to that (the custom Otto). and HWC brianF.. generated an official poll from that (as he did with the pit crew car)  stating that he would not promise anything.

harry bradley did the innitial design of the car,  Otto Kuhni, adapted the design to work with the  rest of the card art...

when set side by side there are  differences  in the 2 artists renderings of the car.

 the EVE boards are long gone, so are the original polls and discussions. larry submitted his design and may or may not have been aware of the site  discussions. what matters is, we got the custom Otto. life is good. TAZ

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ARMATAZ

Posted

On 5/26/2020 at 7:16 AM, Slideways said:

Cool story, and can't wait to see this at my retailer.  I would've never thought it was the car that represented the original artwork though...hahah.  (Sorry Mattel)

 

Out of respect to Otto, a couple simple tweaks make this a much better casting...;);)t

Otto.jpg

larry wood did the actual car design. many members thought it was too modernized  and that it was done in the 1990's 100% spoiler  fatter body design.

 and less in the original 1968 styling they had hoped for..   I have a custom that I shaved a full 1/32 off the rear end, and added original  HK bearing TBS too.

 TAZ

 

 

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Slideways

Posted

Very cool TAZ! Great custom work that looks original.

 

It looks like you did the same exact thing that I did:)  You gave those quarter panels a much needed diet.  Also, the way you shaved 1/32 off the rear, the front needs that same treatment to get that iconic 'wide track' look.  The wheel arches are another thing that needs some finesse.  Front radii is way to tight and rear is too soft.

 

  Anyway.... I just want to clarify, no negativity is being cast on the design.  We are just passionate collectors having fun.  

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ARMATAZ

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ARMATAZ said:

015.JPG

020.jpg

016.JPG

  I started right behind the front wheel,  and gradually shaved the body back through  to the rear bumper. then shaved the tail panel until everything fit back together. as a result the side rocker below the door all but disapeared and the top row of tail iights did get removed. the only modification to make the interior to fit was shortening the legs supporting the package tray.

 I took it as far as I felt I could go.  and still keep the paint. the wheels are off the 30th aniversery twinmill.. . in keeping with the 1968 customs motif, it should have small skinnies up front, and mediums in back to give extra room in the wheel wells. and give it the hot wheels rake. TAZ

 

 PS. sorry brad for the multiple posts. it would have just been one, but we are no longer able to come back and edit in additional info.TAZ

Edited by ARMATAZ
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JIMMEE442

Posted

Taz: I really like the '08 issue, & your version.  very nice.

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ARMATAZ

Posted

15 hours ago, JIMMEE442 said:

Taz: I really like the '08 issue, & your version.  very nice.

 thanks, the changes I made are subtle.. and could go pretty easily un noticed. which was kinda my goal.

 I may try to take it further, once I find a few mainlines to tinker with. 

the original art work,  did not have  as much of a wedge shape in it. as the actual casting does

. it was leaner in the rear quarters, which , visually,  adds length to it.

 since he was rendering a 2 d graphic into a  a physical casting, .

I dont blame Larry  wood for wanting to add his personal touches as well.

TAZ

See the source image

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JIMMEE442

Posted (edited)

On 6/5/2020 at 2:16 PM, ARMATAZ said:

 thanks, the changes I made are subtle.. and could go pretty easily un noticed. which was kinda my goal.

 I may try to take it further, once I find a few mainlines to tinker with. 

the original art work,  did not have  as much of a wedge shape in it. as the actual casting does

. it was leaner in the rear quarters, which , visually,  adds length to it.

 since he was rendering a 2 d graphic into a  a physical casting, .

I dont blame Larry  wood for wanting to add his personal touches as well.

TAZ

 

+++++++++ looking forward to some pics.

 

BTW: i really do not like that green BP Camaro- maybe u should send it my way!   🤪

Edited by JIMMEE442

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