Jump to content
Mattel Hot Wheels Community
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

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.




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.




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.




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.




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 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.




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

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

User Feedback

Recommended Comments



1 minute ago, JIMMEE442 said:

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


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

LOL, sorry, cant, I barrowed the pic to show the original art.. 😉 . . TAZ

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After shopping around for the past two weeks, today I ordered my first custom Otto - the 2008 HWC Exclusive version in Spectrflame Otto Blue.  


Had to have the blue version - at least first - as a very important part of my collection, given its history - as well as since I remember the childhood conversations about what is this car on the packaging? and why can't you buy it?


Thank you again Brad.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I've only been waiting 50 years        😀






and had to free it to get those rubber bands off:





Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I found a candy apple red Custom Otto at Target a couple of days ago. Was it a

red edition? I’ll have to look at it again but I just quickly grabbed on to it because it was one of my favorite castings that I hadn’t seen for a long time.

And, I love that red color !  Now, I’ll have to see if I can find  another one to

customize. Slot mags or deep dish 5 spokes or those slick looking moon look

wheels ?? I was lucky enough to get all of the road  trip editions & actually went

500 miles to Speed, Ks to get that edition & the diamond crusted Custom Otto

was on display to drool over. What a trip !

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Starliner60 said:

I found a candy apple red Custom Otto at Target a couple of days ago. Was it a

red edition?


Yes, that is the:

"2020 – Micro Apple Red – Target Red Edition"

one listed at the top of this article (the last one listed)


Congrats on finding one!


I hope I can find one.

Edited by juke

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...