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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

007 Aston Martin's: Hot Wheels Aston Martin DB10, DB5, V8 Vantage, One-77, and Matchbox and Majorette DB7



Wow, how has time come!  Ten years ago Hot Wheels had only one Aston Martin, the V8 Vantage, and now there's about a half a dozen Aston Martin's, including the V8 Vantage GT3 that I profiled last year and the DB4 GT Zagato (not shown).  With the latest Aston Martin, the DB10 specifically made for the 007 James Bond movie "Spectre" I decided to bring out the family of Aston Martin's, including several recolors of the DB5 since the first review with the dark green version a few years ago, and a DB7 from Matchbox and Majorette.





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Hot Wheels Aston Martin DB10

Ever since the DB5 starred in Goldfinger the Aston Martin has been an icon for agent James Bond, and as an added twist the producers of the new Bond film wanted an Aston Martin of their own.  So Aston Martin started with the V8 Vantage platform and its 4.3L DOHC V8 and 6-speed manual transmission, then added stylish bodywork that is clean and efficient, and finally added an interior that is more driver-focused.  Several were made specifically for stunt work and prop cars for filming, but two were made as drivable show cars.  Hot Wheels did a nice job with the car and it's smooth flowing lines.  The front has slender headlights with a slight kick up that will appear on future Aston Martin models and a lower grille that is wider and almost takes over the whole front-end (it still has a chin spoiler.  The sides show a bodywork that is sexy with flared fenders and smooth roofline.  Note the hood that has air vents as small dots that Hot Wheels has carefully replicated from the actual vehicle.  The rear has a molded in spoiler with slim J-shaped taillights and a higher diffuser with dual exhausts and a plate that reads DB10 AGB.






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Compared to the V8 Vantage it has better curves that are more eye-catching and modern, but it lacks further details to add emphasis on the styling, not to mention what will be the next color after silver?  Also it has exterior mirrors that are a rarity for a Hot Wheels car in this scale.  The interior has a driver-focused dashboard with digital gauges, 3-spoke steering wheel, radio and HVAC controls and shifter all within driver's reach.  The front seats are supportive racing seats with 5-point harness, while there seems to be rear seats but they are left out-of-focus as the main attention is with the front.



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Hot Wheels Aston Martin DB5

One of the most popular Hot Wheels castings to really get the good comments from Matchbox collectors (gasp!) is the DB5.  The starting point in 2014 was British Racing Green that is so smooth that it lacks any metalflakes in the paint.  The car since then has had the same deco: front and rear lights, winged badges front and rear, and a rear plate next to the DB5 logo.  All of them also had a chrome base and lace wheels.  The interior is still 2 plus 2 with right-hand drive setup and simple dash layout.  The engine is the same 4.0L DOHC I-6 and 5-speed manual.  The differences are in color: from Green it gets the silver and different rear plates for the 007 version in "Goldfinger", later also replicated with a metal base for the Retro Entertainment series.  What gets me next is the two reds: a metallic red last year and a solid red this year, both for the Then and Now series and both pared again with the DBS.  Could've used some variety this year!  The latest are some finer recolors:  My favorite is the light blue version from last year and the recent black version, though it uses a bit too much metalflakes in the paint.  While I do like the overall design, I still don't like the higher stance and the flat-faced front-end that ruins an otherwise sharp car.





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Hot Wheels and Matchbox Aston Martin DBS

The car that really got Mattel brands pumped and producing more Aston Martin started with the DBS coupe at Hot Wheels in 2010 and the DBS Volante roadster for Matchbox in 2011.  The new sports car for Aston Martin replaces the Vanquish as the top-tier model of the brand, and also just in time for the next Bond movie in 2005 "Casino Royale" and continued duty until the last film "Skyfall".  The new one looked more like a hyped-up DB9 than it's own unique model.  Powertrain is the 5.9L DOHC V-12 that produces 510 hp. and 420 Ib-ft. of torque through a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.  The DBS was replaced by a unique model, the Vanquish, in 2013.




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The Hot Wheels version was introduced in the New Models series as part of a five-car line that was released internationally first then to the U.S. afterwards.  The DBS starts with a sleek silver paint with a red interior that nicely sets the car off.  So does the 10-spoke wheels (later PR-5 wheels would be the often choice for this car).  The front has detailed headlights, small grille that is part of the body, and a lower bumper with lines to direct airflow.  The sides are long and sleek with no kickups or sharp angles anywhere.  The rear has red and silver C-shaped taillights, integrated rear spoiler, and dual exhausts below.  The interior is much like the DB9 with a right-hand drive layout, 3-spoke steering wheel, gauges just behind, and central area for the radio, HVAC controls, and an analog clock.  The seats are supportive and comfortable at the same time, while the rear seats cannot be said the same.



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The DBS was then issued several recolors, and like the DB5 all of them were very clean except for the usual headlights and on occasion the taillights.  The dark blue version was the 2013 recolor.  For more detail of the interior, with the added windscreen to cover the useless rear seats, check out the DBS Volante by Matchbox.  This is the first Aston Martin for Matchbox since the DB7 back in the 1990's.  The colors for this car also started clean with green, red, silver, and my favorite black with red interior.  The front-end has detailed headlights, usual bumper cutouts, and a larger grille that is separate from the body.  The same clean sides carry as well but with more clarity and with no roof top; only a windshield and the attached exterior mirrors.  The rear has white taillights, trim and badging details, and the dual exhausts.  The Matchbox version has more details and interest, but to me it seems like the beltline is a bit too tall compared to the slimmer Hot Wheels version.



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Matchbox and Majorette Aston Martin DB7

During those quiet times of the 1990's only two 1:64 scale versions of the DB7 were made: Matchbox and Majorette.  The DB7 was the first new Aston Martin in a long while to sport the classy and retro styling that would be the face of Aston Martin for years, including now.  The DB7 was more rounder with a softer front-end with round headlights and arched grille to recall the DB5, joined by oval lower bumper scoops that make the front look more like the Jaguar XJ220.  The sides show a clean beltline with more oval shapes in the side windows, while the rear has typical rectangular taillights and dual exhausts that exit through the bumper.  This Matchbox version got limited use when it was introduced in 1994 as green was the only color to be offered in the Mainline (mines with silver DB7 logo's), with most of the work going into the Matchbox Premiere line.  The body lines are perfectly executed and the stance looks good.  The base has pretty good details of the drivetrain, while the interior has the appropriate tan color with a two-plus-two setup.  The dash is flat-faced (something the 1996 Jaguar XK8 would use) with radio, HVAC controls, and the shifter in the center, while the driver's steering wheel is to the right.  Also at that time Majorette released their version of the DB7 with a metal base, working suspension, opening doors, and clean body lines, but the car tends to squat in the rear, the exhaust does not go through the rear bumper, the interior is so-so to say the least, and it could use some lighting detailing for a change.





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Hot Wheels Aston Martin One-77

Finally is the car that set the stage for the DB10 and other future Aston Martin models, the One-77.  Started as a concept car at the 2009 Geneva motor show and then into limited production of 77 cars for about $1 million dollars.  The body is all-aluminum, the chassis carbon fiber, and the engine a 7.3L V-12 that produces 750 hp. through a 6-speed automated manual transmission.  Hot Wheels replicated the car nicely, if a bit plain-jane at times.  The front-end has large headlights that wrap around the side vents that direct air through the front wheels, while the typical arched grille is part of the base.  The side profile has more flair in the fenders, just like the DB10, and unusual Corvette-style side vents.  The rear has the familiar L-shaped taillights that the DB10 has and a lower diffuser where the dual exhausts hide.  For a change of pace the steering wheel is on the left-side, facing a dashboard that is much more cleaner and laid-back than any other Aston Martin.  The center stack that houses the radio, HVAC controls, and hidden screen, rises up and slopes down just like the consoles in the current Porsche vehicles, like the Panamerica sedan.  The front seats are supportive, while the rear seats are an option, but likely not necessary.  One interesting thing about this car is the reverse-opening hood not seen since the DB5.



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It's a nice group of Aston Martin's, though i'm not really sure how you can top the next one, but at least the good news is that there's room to try.




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