So it turns out this Hot Wheels wheel swapping and customising is quite addictive. I’ve done over a dozen now and I reckon I’m getting better with each attempt. Here I wanted to share a few ‘before and after’ images so you can get an idea of the difference a little bit of work can make to your humble little Hot Wheel. 

My level of customising is fairly basic. I’m not doing paint strips or tampo replacement. That stuff is too advanced for me. But hopefully you’ll appreciate my level of handiwork. This has become a fun hobby and even if you’ve only considered it, I recommend giving it a go. Be prepared to make some mistakes and trash a few cars along the way, though! 

I have some other cars to show off a little later but these are the cars that I have both a stock and cusomised version of so you can see the difference. Enjoy. 


This is a revised fantasy model from the early ’70s loosely based on the Dodge Challenger. The 2017 version is honouring this year’s Valentine’s Day. I really like this car as it is but wanted to mod a few things. I removed the tampo artwork from the sides and threw some Real Riders on it. 

Rodger Dodger BEFORE
Rodger Dodger AFTER


This is a great new casting for 2017. But I really wanted to try something different with it. I removed the red stripe tampo from the rear and added some Real Rider wheels which I spray painted in a vivid green and then clear coated. Green + Black = instant win. May not be to everyone’s taste, but it does it for me. 

Dodge Charger BEFORE
Dodge Charger AFTER


I really dig this car in it’s stock form. The new 2017 flame livery is very retro and the gold 5-spoke wheels really pop. But despite liking it so much, I thought some Real Riders would make it better. Once again I painted the wheels, this time in a semi-metallic bronze and applied some clear coat to seal it. In the photos the wheels look a little dark. But in hand they look BAD ASS. 

Plymouth Barracuda BEFORE
Plymouth Barracuda AFTER


This model has been around for some time and has always been one of my favorites. The 2017 release features the vivid teal colour with a surf/woody motif. Very cool. I had a couple of these so one of them had to get a facelift. Just a simple wheel swap on this one. Although I notice Mattel have modified the chassis on this casting by adding some extra plastic to widen the rear wheel base to accomodate the narrower rear wheels. I had to file the extra plastic down to get the wider Real Riders to fit. It’s a pretty clean mod and barely noticable. 

Beetle AFTER


Once again, a straight wheel swap here. But it just goes to show what a difference a decent set of Real Riders can make. I also added some silver paint to the headlights as they desperately needed it. 

Mustang BEFORE
Mustang AFTER

So that’s it for now. Hobbies become really fun when you can share them with others so I hope you found some of that interesting and worth a look. Cheers.