1979 was the year that Hot Wheels introduced the Scene Machines. These were a special series of trucks with a magnifying lens embedded in the back window, through which a scene could be viewed. These vehicles tend to be fairly valuable, so finding them in good shape for not a lot of money presents a bit of a challenge.
This Motocross Team van, which I found on eBay, was the first Scene Machine that I added to my collection. When I opened the package and peered into the back window for the first time, I was truly impressed with the effect. In this case, it’s as if you are actually looking into the back of the van. You see a guy in a motocross uniform seated on his motorcycle with another guy crouched next to him and the third guy in the driver’s seat, but turned around to face you and his friends in the van. The scene is illustrated as you would expect in the style and colors of the late 70s, matching the look and feel of the decoration on the outside of the van. I wish I could figure out a way to photograph the view and include it here, but I guess you’ll have to find one for yourself so you can get the real experience! [Edit] I have since figured out how to photograph the scene in the back (see photo below).
The casting of the Motocross Team is identical to the Baja Breaker, which was first released the previous year. As with many of these vans that have been played with, the hood latch has broken off of the plastic hood, which causes it to remain in the open position.
Photographing the scene in the back is tricky on this model. The lens in the back is very small and I wasn’t able to capture the entire scene. Still, it gives a fairly good idea what the effect is like.