Seeing as 2022 brought us an additional 15 TH cars and we’re only interested in the Top 10, that means five of them won’t make it past the first stage. Mattel gave us a total of nine fantastic treasure hunts this year, meaning there are only six licensed cars to look at. Most collectors will agree that all of the latter should be included in the Top 10, so only four fantasy items will be included in the main list. Design is intelligence made visible
In case you’re wondering who we chose to leave out, here they are: The Dark Knight Batmobile (Case A), Pixel Shaker (Case C), Tooned Twin Mill (Case D), Gotta Go (Case J), and the HW Warp Speeder ( Case M). It’s almost certain that some of you might rank the following items differently, but we thought we’d give you our perspective on the subject. But feel free to tell us which of this year’s Treasure Hunts was your favorite!10. Duck N’ Roll
When we first saw the gold chrome rubber duck on wheels, we thought it was pretty silly. But the Duck N’ Roll that came with the Case G has grown on us since then and we even got one for our collection at home. It’s the kind of vehicle you’d expect to see in cartoon series like Wacky Racers from back in the day, and you’ll be thrilled to see the TH logo in the pupils of its eyes.
You might be surprised to learn that Ryu Asada was responsible for the design of this casting. It was introduced in 2020 and there are now four variants of it to look for. And it’s the 10th coolest treasure hunt of 2022, at least from our perspective.
9. A quick bite
The Quick Bite Food Truck is ninth on our list, and it’s no wonder Ryu Asada designed this one as well. This is one of the oldest castings on our list today, having been around since 1984! There are over 50 variations of it and most of them have different names including Tropicool, Grillionaire or Good Humor Truck. Hot Wheels collectors never get old
The 2022 Quick Bite Treasure Hunt is your go-to place for fantastic hot dogs, and it’s fun to see that the side menu mentions the other castings featured in the Fast Foodie series. A new variant of this casting is coming out in 2023, and this one seems to sell exclusively chicken-based products.8. Muscles and blowout
Next comes the Muscle and Blown casting that draws inspiration from Dodge viper This fantastic drift car doesn’t look half bad, and that’s why it makes it to P8 on our list. Somehow this is the only treasure hunt we haven’t been able to find anywhere this year, but we’ve seen other people find two or three of them in the past few months.
Dmitry Shakhmatov designed this casting for its 2021 release, and it reveals Mattelthe strategy of releasing more exciting fantasy cars in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. We wouldn’t mind seeing a full-on version of this casting roll down the runway, and it’s not a completely wild idea considering Mattel’s history.
We came across Draftnator by accident, at a gas station of all places. While this is fantastic casting, you can tell right away that it was inspired by the NASCAR Truck series. The combination of red and orange might be too much for some collectors and it also reminds us of the first edition that came out in 2021. If you have Hot Wheels tracks at home, make sure you build the setup accordingly as this thing probably likes to turn left quite a bit. This is the final fantasy casting on our list today, and overall commands a respectable P7. It’s a long road from concept to completion
6. Maurice Meany
The Hot Wheels Morris Mini has been around for over 20 years and Phil Reelman made it look so good. You’ll notice his name on the top of the doors just above the HW 7 sticker. Mattel has built around 50 variations of the Morris Mini and this isn’t the first time it’s featured in Treasure hunt series.
In 2019, it was even released as an STH item, so a complete collection of these cars might not be cheap to get. At the moment, we’re not sure if the casting will be used in 2023 as well, as the last time this happened was in 2010. Although many collectors seemed eager to get their hands on the 2022 TH Mini, it occupies P6 in our list today.5. ’17 Jeep Wrangler
The Matte Orange Jeep Wrangler appeared in Case F for 2022 and had its BLOR wheels artificially covered in mud to show that it is part of the Mud Studs series. The same guy who designed the aforementioned Mini worked his magic on this casting as well. And while we couldn’t find the 2022 TH in the wild, you may have spotted our 2018 Metalflake Green variation that we talked about in a recent story. An interesting fact is that Mattel never used any other wheel design for this vehicle other than the Beadlock Off-Road model. And the seventh iteration of casting is coming in 2023.
4. ’98 Subaru Impreza 22B STI-version
At this point it started to become difficult for us to rank the competitors. In the end, the ’98 Subaru Impreza 22B STI-version takes P4 on our list. The livery feels like the main flaw here, as previous iterations looked much cleaner without side decals. To give you an idea of how successful this Ryu Asada casting has been so far, the Treasure Hunt model is the eighth iteration of the series. Then comes a ninth model, as part of Hot Wheels: Boulevard in 2023.Continuous innovation is the best way to beat the competition
3. ’71 Mustang Funny Car
The ’71 Mustang Funny Car is the third best 2022 Treasure Hunt model in our opinion, though it certainly had the potential to top the list today. It appeared in the final case of the year, featuring Metalflake Brown paint and Chrome Gold five-spoke wheels. Larry Wood designed this casting for its debut in 2004, and you’ll find over 20 variations of it on the market. While we like this one a lot, it feels a little rough around the edges. 2. ’87 Dodge D100
We found the ’87 Dodge The D100 in the same spot as the Drafnator TH, which was quite a surprise. Sometimes you can go months without finding any of the special vehicles, and suddenly two of them are right in front of you. The D100 was introduced at Case K this year and looks more than ready to take on the sandbox located in your yard.
Mattel first introduced the casting in 2018, and Brendon Vetuskey was in charge of the design side of things. The only other variant of this truck that looks this good is the Walmart exclusive ZAMAC that came out in 2020 with the K&N livery.
1. ’58 Impala
And we’ve made it to the top of our Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt list for 2022. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we think the ’58 Impala is the best TH Mattel has released all year! Everything feels so special without being over the top, and could easily take center stage in a rap music video.
The Mexican style skulls and decals on the car match the rims and you could even say it looks better than some others STH patterns we have seen in previous years. This Larry Wood design has been around since 2007, but Mattel hasn’t used it in almost a decade, so that adds to the excitement of it all. 2022 was a pretty good year for Hot Wheels collectors and we can’t wait to see more of what 2023 has to offer!