2016 Racing Champions Mint R2 1966 Nova and 1964 Impala

Much like the recent Auto World releases, Racing Champions are also upping the number of variations in each release. While their Mint Release 1 only had a version A and B, Release 2 can be found in 4 different variations. I happened to find both the 1966 Chevy Nova and the 1964 Chevy Impala from Version B.

img_9477 img_94792016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version B) | willow green

img_9476img_94812016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1964 Chevy Impala (Version B) | silver

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2016 Maisto Design Elite Transport 1959 Impala and International Durastar Flatbed

This is the second Maisto Design Elite Transport combo from 2016 that I’ve added to my collection, the other being the 1970 Nova with a 2004 Silverado SS. Interestingly, unlike the 19970 Nova which could also be found individually, the 1959 Impala was not included in the Maisto Design 1:64 Muscle series. These car haulers are always fun and I enjoy the paint job paired with those wide white-walls on this Impala.

img_9294img_9295img_9296img_92972016 Elite Transport | 1959 Chevrolet Impala / International Durastar Flatbed | green and silver

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HW Flames, Flames, Flames and More Flames

I have a new favorite Hot Wheels 5-pack. In fact, I’m pretty sure they had me in mind when they put an Impala and a Nova in the same pack. It sure doesn’t hurt that they included a Camaro, a Shelby Mustang and a 70’s Dodge van – all decked out flames. Yes, this 2017 HW Flames collection has even surpassed the cool factor of my previous favorite, the 2016 Muscle Mania 5-pack.

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The ’65 Chevy Impala goes all the way back to 1998 and its many variations include a previous flame-wearing Sunburnerz version from 2013.

img_9473DVF91 | 2017 HW Flames 5-Pack | ’65 Chevy Impala | metalflake gold with yellow flames  | gold 10SP

The ’69 Chevy Camaro Convertible was first released in 2006 and has since been produced in over 30 variations.

img_9472DVF91 | 2017 HW Flames 5-Pack | ’69 Chevy Camaro Convertible | metallic maroon with orange, yellow and white flames | OH5SP

This year, the ’66 Chevy Nova celebrates its tenth year as a Hot Wheels casting. One of my favorites is the HW Road Trippin’ release from 2014.

img_9471DVF91 | 2017 HW Flames 5-Pack | ’66 Chevy Nova | dark green with lime green flames  | PR5

This black ’67 Shelby GT500 is only the tenth appearance of this casting since its debut in 2010.

img_9469DVF91 | 2017 HW Flames 5-Pack | ’67 Shelby GT500 | black with red and yellow flames | red chrome 5SP

The Custom ’77 Dodge Van has a nice, large sunroof to illuminate the 6 large bucket seats in its interior.

img_9470DVF91 | 2017 HW Flames 5-Pack | Custom ’77 Dodge Van | metallic dark blue with red and yellow flames | yellow PR5

As if it this flaming 5-pack wasn’t a good enough find that day at Target, I also scored the HW Flames ’68 Chevy Nova – which happens to be my preferred alternate tool version.

img_9456img_9478DTX79 | 2017 HW Flames 1/10 | 1968 Chevy Nova | orange with black and silver trim | OH5 | Alternate tool (no hood scoop)

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The Spammobile

This is another one of those items I found at the consignment store that doesn’t really fit in my collection. But who could resist The Spammobile?

When I got it, it was in a little clear plastic baggie, so the only info I had to go on is what is stamped on the base. A Hormel promo, dated 2002, made in China. After asking around online, I was told this was originally sold on the Spam website. The Spam Shop does have a very interesting selection of items for sale, but I don’t currently see any diecast vehicles. The “Series #1” stamped on the bottom of this bus makes me wonder if there might be more out there.

It’s a model of decent quality (1:64ish scale) and, though the base is plastic, all of that metal makes it nice and heavy. Apparently this is based on a real vehicle and – aside from the wheels being yellow on the real thing – they seemed to have captured most of the details.

img_9454 img_9455img_94022002 The Spammobile | blue and yellow with Spam graphics | made in China

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Auto World Vintage Muscle R5 1966 Chevy Impala SS

It seems the folks over at Auto World have been busy. I was happy to have found both sets A and B of the Vintage Muscle Premium Series Release 5 1966 Chevy Impala SS, only to realize there are also sets C and D. I really like the willow green of set A.

img_9205 img_92082016 Vintage Muscle R5 Set A | 1966 Chevy Impala SS | willow green

Despite the fact that some sellers on eBay are trying to pass this off as a rare “chase car,” I believe this regal red version is the common color under set B.

img_9648 img_96492016 Vintage Muscle R5 Set B | 1966 Chevy Impala SS | regal red

I’ll be on the lookout for the ’66 Impalas from R5, sets C and D, which are mist blue Aztec bronze.

Also of interest to Impala lovers, the Auto World website is showing a 1970 Chevrolet Impala in the Premium 2017 Release 1. Set A is Mulsanna blue with a flat black roof and set B is Gobi beige with a flat black roof.

 

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A Cheerful Matchbox Delivery Truck

I try pretty hard to keep my collection focused. There are a lot of items out there that tempt me, but I can usually resist. Recently, while searching for Impalas in the bins of Hot Wheels at the local consignment shop where my wife found the HotWheels.com 5-pack, I failed to stay focused. This First Edition Matchbox Delivery Truck from 2000 reminded me a little bit of the Dodge Cattle Truck from my youth. And the cheerful crowing rooster art on the sides just made me smile.

img_9647 img_96502000 First Edition | #48 Delivery Truck | red with white container, barn and rooster labels

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M2 Machines Auto-Drivers and Detroit Muscle 1967 Chevy Nova SS

I remember being impressed when, about a year ago, I first saw a preview on Facebook of this M2 Machines Special Edition Auto-Drivers release of the 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS. And I was not disappointed when I eventually found one in the store last fall. The “frozen black pearl” paint is really striking against the black interior, black wheels with redlines, and blacked-out grill and bumpers. Unfortunately, my photos don’t do it justice.

img_9203 img_92102016 Auto-Drivers R35 Special Edition | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 15-28 | frozen black pearl | 1:64

I also found the Detroit-Muscle R34 ’67 Nova in “emerald turquoise”, which also sports redlines.

img_9207img_92062016 Detroit Muscle R34 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS | emerald turquoise with black top | 1:64

I have many M2 Machines 1967 Novas. My favorites include the Target Exclusive version and the 60 Years of Turbo Fire release.

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Unopened 1983 Fire Eater

A few weeks ago during the holiday break, I stopped at an estate sale to see what could be found. I’ve been to some strange places in the search for cars, but this place was among the weirdest. It was a hoarder’s delight – a compound of shacks strung together in a veritable maze full of foul-smelling junk. Books, tools, records and 8-track tapes, lots of Elvis and John Wayne memorabilia. Part of it had obviously been a house at one time, but I cannot imagine living there. Among all of this, I found a single Hot Wheels toy. This Fire Eater, still sealed in what was left of its filthy original package.

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Had the package been more complete, I would have probably left it sealed. But the poor condition (and mostly the lingering smell) convinced me to open it up. The first-release Fire Eater from 1977 looks much the same as this, with the exception of redline tires. The back of this package was dated 1983.

img_9448 img_94491983 | 9640 | Fire Eater | red, black & yellow trim, blue hose bed, holes in base | MY | bs | mint – had been in unopened card

It’s pretty cool to have a car that’s in such shiny and clean condition, especially when I have another (that I used to think was in pretty good shape) to compare it to.

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Interestingly, the chrome plastic base does show some oxidation. This is also a good opportunity to show that the blackwalls Fire Eater has a base variation. Although both versions are made in Malaysia, it can be found either with holes in the base or without.

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New Year’s Inventory

Someone asked me recently how many cars I had in my collection. The best guess I could come up with was “in the hundreds” but I wasn’t really sure. So I decided to spend part of New Year’s Day counting everything up. I keep updated lists, so it was mostly just a matter of counting and totaling the numbers. Or so I thought, until I realized how many items were not on my supposedly updated lists. After a few more days of inventorying, I came up with a total of 951 items.

I generally think of my collection as having three categories: Vintage, Novas and Impalas. But occasionally I can’t resist something that doesn’t really fit into any of these. I counted multi-car packs as single items and I did not include several buckets of cars that I have acquired over the years that I have deemed not worthy of my collection. These are the cars that my son and I use whenever we break out the Hot Wheels tracks.

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397 Vintage
In my collection, “vintage” is very loosely defined. These 395 items include my childhood collection and a bunch of almost entirely loose cars with a focus on blackwall-era Hot Wheels. The oldest items would be a few late-1950s Lesney-era Matchbox cars, and I cheat the “blackwall era” with a few cars into the early 1990s.

I have 45 cars that I’ve managed to hold onto from my childhood. They include 18 Matchbox, 9 Hot Wheels, 7 Tomica Pocket Cars, 6 Husky, 4 Playart and a single Majorette.

The remaining 350 Vintage cars break down as follows:

Hot Wheels – 219
Matchbox – 53
Corgi – 14
Zylmex – 11
Yatming – 9
Racing Champions – 8
Majorette – 7
Road Champs – 4
Ertl – 4
Tomica – 4
Siku – 2
Summer – 2
Barclay – 1
Husky – 1
Kidco – 1
Playart – 1
Pit Row – 1
Tin Toys – 1
Unknown – 9

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262 Impalas
When I first started picking up Impalas, I would take them out of the package and display them on a bookcase I had in my bachelor pad. Series like Jada’s Homie Rollerz and the Revell Lowrider Magazine cars encouraged me to start keeping them in the packages. Since Hot Wheels rolled out the ’59 Chevy Impala in 1997, there has been a steady stream of new Impala castings and variations, which puts the brand at the top of this list with 85 items.

Hot Wheels – 85
Johnny Lightning – 59
Revell – 22
Jada – 21
M2 Machines – 15
Greenlight – 14
Maisto – 11
Ertl – 6
Racing Champions – 6
Malibu International – 5
Motor Max – 4
Muscle Machines – 3
Auto World – 3
Disney – 3
Classic Metal Works – 1
Craft House – 1
Geospace – 1
Route 66 – 1
Unknown – 1

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188 Novas
The 2004 release of the Hot Wheels 1968 Nova was an exciting moment for me as a collector. Hot Wheels now has a variety of Nova castings going back to the first-generation body style, so the brand is at the top of my Nova list with 85 items.

Hot Wheels – 85
Johnny Lightning – 38
M2 Machines – 27
Maisto – 10
Muscle Machines – 9
Jada – 7
Ertl – 5
Racing Champions – 3
Playing Mantis – 2
GMP – 1
Universal Hobbies – 1

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104 Miscellaneous
The 90 items here include 10 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary models from 1998, lots of Batmobiles, NASA-themed items including 3 Hot Wheels Action Packs, some 2005-2006 Hot Wheels Classics and a bunch of other odds and ends.

Hot Wheels – 78
Johnny Lightning – 5
Jada – 4
Matchbox – 4
Lledo – 2
Quartzo – 2
Revell – 2
Bauer – 1
Hormel Promo – 1
Maisto – 1
Upper Deck Collectibles – 1
Unknown – 2

My Collection by Brand
My collection is made up of at least 41 different brands. Being well-represented in all of my categories, the Hot Wheels brand dominates with 476 items. Johnny Lightning comes in second with 102, mostly due to the many Nova and Impala releases during the RC2 era. It’s interesting to note that Matchbox has never made a Nova and the only Impalas made in recent years are the eight-generation version which I have no interest in, yet the brand takes third place with 75 items in my vintage collection.

Hot Wheels – 476
Johnny Lightning – 102
Matchbox – 75
M2 Machines – 42
Jada – 31
Revell – 24
Maisto – 22
Quartzo – 2
Racing Champions – 18
Greenlight – 14
Corgi – 13
Tomica – 11
Zylmex – 11
Yatming – 9
Husky – 7
Majorette – 7
Ertl – 6
Malibu International – 5
Motor Max – 5
Playart – 5
Road Champs – 4
Disney – 3
Auto World – 3
Lledo – 2
Playing Mantis – 2
Siku – 2
Summer – 2
Barclay – 1
Bauer – 1
Classic Metal Works – 1
Craft House – 1
Geospace – 1
GMP – 1
Hormel Promo – 1
Kidco – 1
Pit Row – 1
Route 66 – 1
Tin Toys – 1
Upper Deck Collectibles – 1
Universal Hobbies – 1
Unknown – 12

Posted in Auto World, Bauer, Childhood Collection, Corgi, Ertl, Greenlight, Hot Wheels, Husky, Jada Toys, Johnny Lightning, Kidco, M2 Machines, Maisto, Majorette, Matchbox, Muscle Machines, Nylint, Playart, Playing Mantis, Racing Champions, Revell, Road Champs, Summer, Tomica, Yatming, Zee Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

2015 and 2016 M2 Machines 1958 Chevrolet Impalas

I’ve recently acquired three more variations of the M2 Machines 1958 Chevrolet Impala. First, the Auto-Thentics R37 from 2015.

img_9298img_92992015 Auto-Thentics R37 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala 283 | metallic green

Next is the Auto-Drivers R36 from 2016.

img_9202img_92112016 Auto-Drivers R36 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala | yellow

And finally, the Auto-Drivers R37, also from 2016. The chase car for R37 is this same Impala but with gold wheels.

img_9201img_92122016 Auto-Drivers R37 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala | metallic purple with black top

Some of my other M2 Impalas can be seen herehere, here and here.

 

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