Monday, 11 July 2016
Auto World Ultra Reds: Pinnacle of Diecast?
I had no Auto World diecast vehicles in my collection until I picked up 2 Ultra Red Muscle Wagons from eBay. I was fascinated by Auto World's Chevy Kingswood Estate and Ford Country Squire castings, so I decided to start with the Ultra Reds. My first experience with Auto World most definitely did not disappoint.
You probably know by now that I'm a pretty big Greenlight advocate/fan. In terms of the premium brands, I've tended to focus on Greenlight over M2 and Auto World. Why? First, Auto World has no distribution at mainstream Canadian retail. Second, Greenlight uses Hollywood licensing and especially unique castings to draw the collector in. Auto World, on the other hand tends to put the focus on the vehicle itself. That's perfectly okay, but it isn't necessarily attention grabbing. However, as you Auto World collectors have known for a long time, Auto World is about quality and scale first and foremost over flash and hype.
I discovered Auto World's obsession with quality and scale first hand last week when I cracked open my two Ultra Red station wagons. I couldn't let them sit in their plastic/cardboard prisons any longer. The first thing I noticed when I popped the 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate out of the package was its weight. I've opened lots of metal/metal diecast cars before from M2, Greenlight and Hot Wheels. However, none of them had the weightiness of this casting. It really feels like a solid block of metal in your hands.
Not only are Auto World releases super heavy, the quality of their pieces is impressive. I can say from experience that of the 20 or so M2's I own, most have serious quality issues. Wheels won't roll, pieces fall off etc. I have nothing against M2 as a company but in my experience, their quality control is extremely poor. Greenlight quality is a little hit and miss, but generally decent. I've had the odd side mirror fall off or tires not fitted to the rims or hoods that are stuck. These two Auto Worlds are absolute perfection in terms of quality. License plate tampos are clear, the roof racks sit solidly in place, the wheels roll and the tires are fitted to the rims. The paint is perfect. No speckling, debris or discoloration. Perfect.
Quality and weight are great, but Auto World doesn't stop there. The detail and scale are exceptional. Let's start with scale. Auto World is obsessed with scale. They will not make a car in 1/64 scale until it's truly 1/64 scale. Sitting these two wagons side-by-side you can see the scale is perfect. The roof rack and engine bay components are also all the correct scale for the car.
Let's talk about detail next. Both wagons have cool little roof racks. Both have front and rear license plates. Both have the manufacturer's name embossed on the hood. Both have accurate engine detailing under the hood. (On a 1:64 scale car!!)
Finally, these releases are just pure beauty. The Ultra Red paint is a really deep, dark red with multiple tones that seem to sit thick on the casting. The result is stunning. Also, doing a couple of big, old American station wagons was an awesome idea. Hot Wheels has also done some great wagons, but not with this level of detail. So the uniqueness factor is also there. After photographing these two, I'll be picking up more Auto World in the future. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do!