Wednesday, 28 December 2016
In my opinion, Auto World Ultra Red chase pieces are the coolest thing in 1/64 scale diecast right now. Not convinced? Here are ten reasons why I'm impressed and you should be too...
1. That Shiny Red Paint
Everyone loves a fast red sports car, so why not choose metallic red for your chase pieces? As pretty as Greenlight Green Machines are, not every car looks great in green. Red, on the other hand? Hard to find a car that doesn't look good in red. Especially shiny metallic red.
2. 1/64 Scale means 1/64 Scale
Greenlight and M2 claim to be 1/64 scale, and are usually pretty close, but Auto World is dead on. You want scale obsessed? Look no further. Everything from the air cleaners under the hood to car manufacturer lettering to side mirrors are perfectly to scale. Fat tires and big wheels? Only if the real thing has 'em.
3. The Details are Astounding
The little details on Auto Worlds are mind-bogglingly intricate. Scroll through the photos slowly and you'll see incredibly nuanced details. Signal lights inside the taillights? There. Little vents on either side of the hood? So small you'll think they're paint chips if you don't look closely. Textured grille? Different colored trim around the grille? You got it.
4. The Hoods Open
Opening parts aren't always a good thing on 1/64 scale cars. Often they make a car feel clunky or hoods fail to close once opened. Not with Auto World. The hoods close tightly and open easily. And instead of a non-descript hunk of metal under the hood, you get an accurately detailed and era-appropriate engine.
5. They're Rare
Auto World doesn't produce their vehicles in massive quantities and Ultra Reds are limited to 3% of the run meaning there are probably less than 200 of most Ultra Reds in existence.
6. They're Perfect for Comparison
Every Auto World casting is perfectly scaled. The red color on each Ultra Red is identical. That makes it easy to really appreciate different vehicles side-by-side and compare notes.
7. Ultra Reds are Relatively Cheap
Compared to some Green Machines and M2 chase pieces, Ultra Reds can be had reasonably cheap on the secondary market.
8. The Packaging is Really Easy to Open but doesn't Come Unglued
As you've probably noticed, I open a lot of my diecast. Nothing is as easy to pop out of the blister as an Auto World. While it might seem like a silly reason to buy a chase pieces, the little gap at the bottom of the blister demonstrates the thought the Auto World team puts into pleasing collectors.
9. You get a Little Collectable Box
Heck, even Matchbox cars don't come with a 'matchbox' anymore. But Auto Worlds do.
10. You Can Keep Track of Your Collection Online
That little 'matchbox' has a code you can scan to upload your car to the 'Auto World' garage. It's essentially a free way to catalogue your Auto World collection online. Cool.
Enjoy the photos!!
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
Life in 1/64...not so much with Hot Wheels motorcycles. One of the biggest complaints us collectors have about Hot Wheels motorcycles is the scale. Mattel often winds up making motorcycles that are way too big by attempting to fill a blister designed for a 3-inch, 1/64 scale car or pickup truck. The result is an otherwise well presented and detailed motorcycle that ends up being closer to 1/43 scale than 1/64 scale. Often, oversized motorcycles end up deterring the scale-obsessed collector like myself.
Complaint number 2 I hear levied against Hot Wheels motorcycles is that many of them are fantasy castings and a handful of those fantasy motorcycle castings (more, depending on who you talk to) look downright ridiculous. Hammer Sled, anyone?
The scale issue isn't going to get fixed, and with good reason. I've come to accept that Mattel isn't about to put a tiny one-inch motorcycle in a normal Hot Wheels blister. Parents buying for kids would feel ripped off and the handful of true-1/64 scale enthusiasts out there probably don't care that much about 1/64 scale motorcycles anyways. Issue number 2, the lack of realistic/licensed bikes, is being addressed with castings like the Harley Davidson Fat Boy and BMW K1300 R.
Despite the recent surge of realistic motorcycles we're seeing from Hot Wheels, they aren't a big part of my collection and they never will be. It's not because Hot Wheels motorcycles aren't cool or well detailed, but rather that there are so many great cars/pickup/SUVs to collect that I can't jump down another rabbit hole. Also, motorcycles are more fun to ride than to look at in (oversized) 1/64 scale. There are some beautiful diecast motorcycles out there, but the larger scales are more visually appealing.
There are 2 Hot Wheels motorcycle castings I do have a soft spot for, however. The Harley Davidson Fat Boy is iconic Americana and the Hot Wheels version of it is mostly metal, super detailed and just plain cool. I'm not going to buy every release, but I buy 'em when I see 'em. The Fat Boy is the perfect casting to showcase what Hot Wheels can do with motorcycles and is perfect if you're looking for that 'token motorcycle' to join your collection.
The second motorcycle (do minibikes count?) casting that's a must collect is the recent Honda Monkey Z50. The Honda Z series of motorcycles is called the monkey because of how the tiny bike looks under a usually much larger rider. With 50cc engines and collapsible frames, Monkey Z50s are iconic minibikes. Underwhelming power and overwhelming cool-factor. The same cool factor applies to the Hot Wheels, plus it's got a detailed Honda logo and it actually displays nicely without falling over, thanks to its chubby wheels.
What are your favorite Hot Wheels motorcycle castings? Do you collect Hot Wheels motorcycles? Let me know in the comments below! Enjoy...