As I was admiring them earlier today, I'm looking into the topic of Hot Wheels McLarens and sharing the knowledge with you, too. It all started in 1969 with the M6A racer that Ira Gilford designed. It was only available that year, but Mattel released multiple variations, most featuring Spectraflame paint jobs. These days, you'll have to pay hundreds of dollars to get just one iteration, so buying them all will be tricky at best.
In the past 50+ years, the diecast manufacturer has only developed 12 McLaren castings, but one never made it into stores. I chose the best five for a more detailed analysis, so here they come.
McLaren Mercedes MP4-13
The two collectibles were sold as part of the same package, and Mattel reportedly only made less than 10,000 units. I'd dare to say that these are two of the best Hot Wheels F1 cars ever, and it's almost shocking to see you can buy them for $30 to $60 today. The diecast manufacturer recreated the MP4-14 casting next, but then there was a long hiatus with no new McLaren castings.
McLaren F1 GTR
Three more similar iterations followed, and I'm a massive fan of the red and yellow design. In 2011, Mattel ditched the Co-Molded wheels in favor of something more basic for a Walmart-exclusive release. After two more less-than-exciting Speed Machines variations, the F1 GTR entered the Mainline series in 2017. I still have this and the following two models in my collection, as seen in the photo gallery. One of the best variations of this casting came out in 2019 as part of the Car Culture: Gulf series.
The blue and white livery looked sublime with the orange Real Riders Exotics wheels. Mattel copied this recipe for the 2021 Car Culture: British Horsepower series but used a lighter shade of the Gulf livery this time. In 2022, the F1 GTR took a stroll through the iD series, but some fans would rather have the NFT Garage iteration instead. There are 18 different releases of this car for a complete collection, and the most expensive ones will cost anywhere between $200 to $700.
I'm talking about the 2017 Car Culture: Cars & Donuts model in orange. It was disappointing, and if it weren't for the Real Riders wheels, it was less exciting than most Mainline designs. Currently, there are 19 variations of the P1, all of which are relatively inexpensive. But I don't think we've heard the last of it, and I wonder what a Super Treasure Hunt iteration would be like.
The Senna looked great in Spectraflame Burton Blue for the iD series, so you might need to pay as much as $90 for one this year. The only version of this casting I've held on to is the 2021 1/4 Mile Finals model in Volcano Yellow. It would have been the perfect color for the Premium Exotic Envy release, which looked rather dull in Dove Grey.
The 2022 McLaren Car Culture 2-Pack Senna had the same problem with its Abyss Black paint job. But Mattel finally got it right with the Hot Wheels: Rift Rally Collectors Edition earlier this year. Spectraflame Volcano Orange is the color I'd like to have on an exclusive supercar. Naturally, this is the most expensive Hot Wheels Senna, as prices can go as high as $275.
There are six variations on the market, four of which are Mainline items. I like the orange one the most, and I've been thinking about the 2022 Car Culture: Jay Leno's Garage recently. The wildest version of the F1 so far has got to be the 2023 NFT Garage model in Spectraflame Silverstone Green, rolling around on 10-Spoke Modern Real Riders wheels.
It should be rarer than the other iterations, but prices can increase to over $200 in some cases. A new Premium release is coming soon, and we might have another Mainline F1 in 2024, so keep an eye out for that.