REVIEW: Mattel Hot Wheels SDCC 2012 Exclusive KITT
Knight Industries Two Thousand is Back in Black...
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Each year at San Diego Comic-Con Mattel offers a variety of cool exclusive items from their various toy lines. One of the most anticipated is their annual Hot Wheels item which brings to life a vehicle (or vehicles) from a popular movie or television series. In the last few years these have included various Batman vehicles from the classic show, the Batmobile “Tumbler” and Batpod from The Dark Knight, Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, and the DeLorean from Back to the Future. That last one really set the bar last year with not only a cool car but an amazing package based on an element from the film. Hot Wheels would need something really iconic to top that, and that’s just what they got for 2012: KITT from Knight Rider!
Knight Rider first debuted on NBC in 1982 from TV mastermind Glen Larson. In it, Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) partners with a super-intelligent computerized car, the Knight Industries Two Thousand. The two perform missions for the Foundation for Law and Government, taking down everything from petty criminals to rival artificial intelligence vehicles. While Hasselhoff had top billing, KITT was really the star of the show. Based on a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am, KITT has been the dream car of generations of fans and still looks great (it even appeared at the Mattel booth during Comic-Con!).
KITT has been made into various toys throughout the years, but none have come in a presentation as nice as this year’s SDCC exclusive. It came in a sturdy outer box (8 ¼ x 5 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches), black with white logos for Knight Rider, Knight Industries, and Hot Wheels. Pop that open to find the inner box (slightly smaller at 8 x 4 ¾ x 4 inches), covered in faux leather and wrapped in a sleeve with metallic gold details. The box itself features a solid bottom and two sections on the top held together by magnets. Pulling them apart and down lifts the interior compartment with the KITT display case and activates its sound chip!
The display case has a solid black base (6 ¼ x 2 ½ inches) and clear acrylic container 4 ¼ inches tall; on it are “Hot Wheels,” “Knight Rider,” and “K.I.T.T. Knight Industries Two Thousand” in red lettering. The bottom part of the display base is where the action is. On its underside is a small button; after being depressed let it go to activate the sound and light features. Directly behind the car is a speaker that plays three KITT phrases and sounds. In front of the car is a miniature version of the scanner on KITT’s hood; as the sound plays the light moves back and forth.
KITT is a standard sized die-cast Hot Wheels car, a little over 3 inches long. A clear “Turbo Boost” base holds the vehicle up in the air, angled so that you can see every little detail. And the details are abundant. KITT has an intricate sculpt to represent this specific variant on the Pontiac Trans Am. Every detail is there from the black rims to the red scanner bar, “KNIGHT” license plate, T-Top roof, and a fully realized interior with seats, distinctive steering wheel, computer displays, and more. All of the colors are show accurate as well from the deep black exterior to the yellow on blue license plate, tan leather interior, and multi-colored electrical components in the dashboard. KITT’s wheels are rubber and spin freely, and the car can be removed from the display via two screws on its underside.
The Knight Industries Two Thousand is an amazing piece of TV and car history, and this exclusive really captures that in a cool presentation that’s stylish and sophisticated while also fun and entertaining. Whether you keep everything in the package and open up the panels to activate the sounds and lights or you disassemble it to free KITT, this is definitely going to be a centerpiece in any Knight Rider collection. Hot Wheels even went one step further in making this exclusive even more special; an unknown number of these have KITT replaced with arch-enemy KARR! This variant has the same packaging but KARR details on the car and display case with voice and sound effects from that vehicle. Both KITT and KARR were only available from Mattel at San Diego Comic-Con, but you can still find it for sale at many fine online retailers including many of our sponsors.
Review and photos by Scott Rubin.
Review sample courtesy of Mattel.