Thursday, 6 October 2016
The Grail of Hot Wheels '49 Merc Convertibles!
Yeah the whole grail conversation is overdone, and I don't consider this a true grail piece, because it's easily obtainable on eBay. However, when it comes to '49 Merc Convertibles, the Larry Wood World Tour release is king! Yeah there's a Super Treasure Hunt and an HWC Real Riders release, but the World Tour release is more limited and more beautiful than the rest. It's so nice, even a rabid opener like me left it in its prison for nearly a year. Fear not though, because I've mustered up the courage to 'free the piece'!
The Larry Wood World Tour '49 Merc as all shimmer and shine. I'm guilty of giving the 'beauty' label to many-a-Hot Wheels release. I think it's a Canadian-guy thing (that Crosby goal was a beauty, eh?), but this Merc really deserves the title. If you're a Neo Classic wheel hater, put aside your prejudice this one time. They look so perfect here. The color is spectacular. I'm not sure whether to call it blue or aqua, but it's perfect.
The Spectraflame finish also deserves some raving reviews. Contrary to what some might assume, not all Spectraflame is created equally. Over the years, Mattel has used different factories, different suppliers, different countries of manufacture, different processes and different paint chemicals. Those differences have yielded quality differences in Spectraflame paint. When this Larry Wood World Tour release was made, Mattel was putting out the best Spectraflame it had since the Original Redline era. The hand polished finish which has since been abandoned worked shiny wonders for the paint.
Everything about this piece screams Hot Wheels. Larry Wood, gleaming Spectraflame, Redline wheels, thoughtful interior details, flames and a chrome-polished metal base. The World Tour Merc is an under the radar piece. It's not exceedingly rare, although it's numbered, it's not overhyped and I almost never see it for sale. Let's call it a hidden gem. I think you'll agree...