There was once a time when I had a solid collection of Hot Wheels #Police Vehicles going — this was many years ago. I never really got rid of them, but haven't collected the livery per se. Back in the day, Hot Wheels had some pretty cool police vehicles. Mattel didn't own Matchbox pre-1998 so we saw Hot Wheels put out a lot more realistic "city cars" — which also included fire trucks and ambulances. It was surely another time and bringing Matchbox onboard allowed for Hot Wheels to go the more custom route. Once Mattel made the choice to have Hot Wheels be the "speed, power, performance" brand, and for Matchbox to go the more "everyday vehicle" route, there was clearly a transition. Hot Wheels did not stop making cars with police decos; rather, you saw all kinds of vehicles with them — some worked, others… clearly not. The same applies today even though it feels like we are seeing police decos on more appropriate vehicles that could actually be police vehicles. In addition to that, being that Mattel is a global company selling Hot Wheels worldwide, they've done a great job at expanding the Hot Wheels police vehicles to represent the police liveries seen in countries outside of the US.
Hot Wheels '92 BMW M3 "POLIZEI" cars from 2020 HW Rescue series (left) and 2016 Car Culture / Euro Style (right)
"POLIZEI" is the German word for police, and seeing that #BMW is a German brand, it makes sense to see it on one. Four years ago, #Car Culture was released. The first two series of the line were Japan Historics and Euro Style, respectively. Both had a police car in them. Among that second series (Euro Style), was the #'92 BMW M3 in a "POLIZEI" deco.
Hot Wheels '92 BMW M3 from the 2016 Car Culture / Euro Style series
The downside of this premium version of the Hot Wheels #'92 BMW M3 being in that first year of #Car Culture was that this was pre-full-detail days, and some cars did not receive front and rear detail — and this was one. Given today's premium standards, it almost doesn't seem fair calling this release "premium" with the front and rear looking so bare. Regardless of whether you feel a premium car needs full deco or not, the Car Culture / Euro Style #'92 BMW M3 is a car that isn't getting any easy to find. Fortunately, a very comparable model was released in this year's mainline as part of the #HW Rescue Series.
Hot Wheels '92 BMW M3 from the 2020 HW Rescue series
The HW Rescue #'92 BMW M3 comes in a 1-color "POLIZEI" deco and does look rather drab when compared to the vivid 3-color deco applied to the Car Culture release, but it can currently be found for a buck. It is a great alternative if you're looking to add a German police car to your collection, but honestly, who can stop there.
Believe it or not, I had passed on the Euro Style release several times, including back in 2016 when I saw it on the pegs. When I got my hands on the new #2020 Hot Wheels mainline release, the "older sibling" became a must-have. I think you'll agree they make a terrific pair. Together, they have me thinking that maybe I should give that #Police Vehicle collection another go. What do you think?
Hot Wheels '92 BMW M3 "POLIZEI" cars from 2016 Car Culture / Euro Style (left) and 2020 HW Rescue series (right)