If you were a Hot Wheels collector back in 2006, you undoubtedly would remember the brouhaha over the 2006 Mainline Corolla AE86. Variations were a very hot ticket at that time, and the grey FTE and red 5sp AE86's were on everyone's want list. Soon after the 3-spoke Corolla was discovered, and the craziness happened all over again.
If you were lucky, you could take this photo:
I was lucky. I took this photo. And then a year later I got rid of them. HUGE REGRET! I have tried to rebuild this 3-car collection, and have had luck with the grey FTE, but am still after the other two. My forehead gets a nice "shoulda had a V8" slap to the head every time I think about it.
Well, back to the task at hand. Since it's debut in 2006, the AE86 casting has been used sparingly, until last year when it appeared looking mighty fine in the Decades line, and then this year in an Initial-D-looking outfit (and from what I hear, will reverse the tux for a nice recolor soon).
And with the AE86 back, I am happy to report there is another variation to pursue. Just recently a small 5-spoke version has been found in 9-car Gift Packs. And when I say small 5-spokes, I mean Mad Manga small:
An added bonus. It looks kinda cool with these wheels. Slam the body and you might have something in 1:1 scale that you could park on the shores of Long Beach in September and cause a nice stir. I have no idea if this was a fun little prank by a factory worker in the HW factory, or like most wheel variations, some wheels that were thrown on to keep the machine from stopping. Either way, we have a cool variation to pursue...