Thursday, 30 June 2016

Cracking Open a Hot Wheels Convention Car

 I'm not special for cracking this open. It's a $20 value piece at most and limited to 3000 pieces, but at the end of the day it's a collectible toy car. If I was cracking a 1995 Treasure Hunt Camaro, I might deserve a medal for being ballsy, but this post is more about showing you some photos of a car I've been dying to crack for months, but somehow just let it sit in its plastic/cardboard prison until now. So here it is. There's something fun about opening higher end or limited pieces. It allows you to fully appreciate the details and color of the car, the lighting doesn't glare off of a blister and distort the paintjob; you can roll the car around and mess with the opening features too. 

Being able to appreciate the spectraflame paint and soak in the details are the real reasons I opened this '70 Dodge Challenger. I know there is an anti-neo camp out there, but I'm a huge fan when they're paired with spectraflame paint. The anti-freeze paint with ghost flames and black hood and accents is a dream paint combo in my books. Plus, now I can open the hood and appreciate all the minute detailing this car features. All of the badging, logos, license plate and lights are there. I hope you enjoy all of this Challenger's details too!

Happy Collecting!!

Truly a Classic: The Classic Rides 5-Pack from Matchbox

As I get ready to throw some epic Matchbox 5-packs up on the blog in the coming week, (Think NYPD, MBX City and a Golden Age-era pack) I realized I have some photos of one of my favorite Matchbox 5-Packs on deck. Last year's Classic Rides 5 pack was a home run in my books. Every single car in the pack was awesome. The only possible thing I can complain about is that the yellow Ford GT-40 and black '68 Mustang also got single releases. In other words, only 3 of 5 pieces are exclusive to the set, but I'm nitpicking.

The Classic Rides lineup was absolutely stellar. The gem of the bunch is the rust-brown 1957 GMC Stepside Pickup in what is easily one of the best liveries this truck has seen. Everything about it is perfectly realistic and ideally executed.

My number 2 pick in the set has to be the 1971 Pontiac Formula Firebird. This casting is one of my favorite Matchbox castings of all time and looks nearly perfect in red with the proper Formula striping and tri-blade wheels.

Number 3 for me is the Ford GT-40. It looks perfect in it's iconic yellow paint scheme and non-existent graphics. The tampos do what they're supposed to: provide taillights, emblems and headlights.

In 4th place, I'll go with the Karmann Ghia. This casting is a little off to me, but I still love it because, well, it's a Karmann Ghia. The stylized silver lettering on the sides really adds to the two-tone blue paint scheme. I enjoy this model also.

Last, but not really least, is the '68 Mustang. This casting has always been a bit too chunky for me, but I still enjoy it. It's a nice Mustang. The black and gold California-Special deco looks great on it. It's last for me because I saw it so many times in single-blister packs that it does nothing for me in this set.

The Matchbox Classic Rides 5-Pack was just released last year, and is still hanging around at some stores. I'm not paid by Matchbox, but as a fellow collector, I'm recommending you to get out there and find one if you haven't already. It's $5 bucks well spent.

Happy Collecting!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Matchbox 1963 Cadillac Ambulance: Less Metal, but Still Cool!

Like the punk bands of the early '90's, Mattel seems to be screaming 'Less Metal'! While more plastic/less metal is a recurring theme that pains us diehard diecast collectors, it's an unfortunate reality at Mattel. Between the constants of inflation and profit margin pressures put on traditional toys by electronic gadgets, Mattel is forced to reduce metal and increase plastic in order to keep its Matchbox and Hot Wheels models at a $1 price point.

One of my favorite Matchbox castings, the 1963 Cadillac Ambulance was the victim of cost cutting last year when the solid metal roof was given a large, clear plastic insert. I'm not going to complain too much about it though. The clear top allows you to see some more of the detail in the casting's interior and I'm happy Mattel hasn't scrapped the casting altogether as it's done with other heavy castings over the years.

The photos below show the two most recent 1963 Cadillac Ambulance releases: The 2015 multipack exclusive in neon yellow/green and the 2013 mainline in orange. The casting is a classic and the ambulance theme fits the Matchbox modus operandi of creating utility/work/construction/emergency/rescue vehicles. I'll continue to buy every release, regardless of the added plastic on the roof. Enjoy!

Happy Collecting!

Brand New Hot Wheels Mystery Models Foil Packs have Arrived!

 Another set of Hot Wheels Mystery Models Foil Packs (that's a mouthful) are hitting Wal-Mart stores. I'm not sure if every country is getting them, but they're turning up here in Canada. Usually I don't get too excited over the Hot Wheels Mystery Models and this time around I'm not overly excited either, but Mattel did throw us collectors a bone with the Honda Civic SI and a Mustang Laguna Seca. The 'chase' piece (made in the same quantity as every other car in the set) is the Rocket Box and obviously leaves a lot to be desired.

I was so focused on finding the Civic, I forgot to grab a Mustang. Since I don't collect Mustangs, that's okay for me, but I would've liked to show some photos of it in this post. The Civic alone, though is worth getting excited about. In an era of JDM-everything, it's no surprise the Civic will be the star of the bunch. I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with this one too. It's not the greatest casting ever, but it's a cool casting of a realistic car we see on the streets everyday (minus the spoiler).

I personally own a Civic (different generation and style from this one), so I enjoy picking up diecast Civics. I also just started collecting Hot Wheels in 2006 and one of the coolest new models back then was this Civic SI casting in lime green livery with gold FTE wheels. Along with the 1:64 scale memories this one brings back, a college buddy of mine had a 1:1 of nearly this exact car in blue. We definitely made a few midnight Red Bull runs and drifted down more than a few side-streets made possible by Canadian winters and the snow they bring.

Beyond my memories of this car, there are other reasons to enjoy it. It's a realistic car in a series littered with duds. Licensed Honda livery on the sides adds to the casting and the bright red paint really pops. Enjoy!

Happy Hunting!