Hot Wheel’s Faster Than Ever 2011: Volkswagen Type 181

After I finished my review of the Volkswagen Fall Fling 2012, I rewarded my efforts by adding a Volkswagen car to my Hot Wheels (and Matchbox) collection. I still have my complete childhood collection, which ranged from mainly funny cars to some real life cars, so after I gained an appreciation for muscle cars and in particular the old American iron thanks to my dad, I started collecting them again with a focus on pre-1972 muscle cars. Here’s a review of that toy, since I figured it’d be a fun diversion from the academic reviews we normally provide.

“If my calculations are correct, when this [Thing] hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious sh*t.”


Hot Wheels packaging should be a gold standard for toys. The cardboard stock is high quality, higher than the still good quality from Matchbox, the hanger doesn’t easily bend or tear, and the print job on the front is solid. I would rather see a fancy gloss print job on the back of a normal action figure toy, but considering how inexpensive these cars are for their quality, I call it a good trade-off. The plastic blister pack is also very thick.

Do a barrel roll!

Sculpt and Design

Looks like a Volkswagen Type 181. In sparkly puke brown.

Steampunk, anyone?

OK, OK. Hot Wheels always have a great level of detail. You can clearly see the VW emblem, or at least as close to one you’ll see at that scale. Headlights, taillights, bumpers, and all sorts of little details that really make these cars great to collect for kids and adults alike. There is also a bit of an Easter Egg because the truck cap / convertible top unhooks to reveal a highly detailed interior.

Silly Thing, you can’t drive a Jeep. You don’t even have any hands.


Collector: It rolls.


I brought out my Hot Wheels Oldsmobile 442 (my dad’s favorite car), ’70 Corvette (such a cutie), and ’68 El Camino (my favorite car) for comparison. Unlike some of the funny cars with different wheelbases, the Thing has a standard length from front wheel to back wheel. It doesn’t stick out as long on either side of the wheel, so it does appear shorter. It’s the same height as the other cars, so I can safely assume that this toy was created as a tribute to the Volkswagen Type 181 rather than just as a joke car.

Which one of these is not like the other one?

Wrap Up

Cute little car. The metal flake brown paint job isn’t such an appealing color, and wasn’t any of the four probably-stock colors I saw at the Volkswagen Fall Fling 2012, but it’s easy to live with if you have any interest in Volkswagens or Jeeps.

Silly Hulk, you aren’t The Thing!

About Zombiepaper

My interests are very specific and sometimes esoteric: writing, videogames (EarthBound), movies (zombie, martial arts, and animated), music (listening and bass guitar), thrift stores, philosophy, and toys. Also, Cowabunga!

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Reviews, Toys and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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