We walked into Target last night to buy some eggs and boy was I surprised what I found in the toy section. I was making my usual beeline to the Hot Wheels when I stopped about halfway down the aisle. The entire midsection was taken up by pegs full of M2 Machines, Auto World and even the new Johnny Lightning models! I’m glad to see Target is expanding their offerings. This line of M2s is even a Target exclusive, as you can see by the snipe on the front of the package. Apparently this line of M2 Machines is being introduced this month at 400 stores nationwide.
There is a new variation of the Hot Wheels ’64 Chevy Impala in the 2016 Muscle Mania 5-pack. Normally when I get one of these multi-packs, I open it up and take out the car that I’m after. But I like all of the other cars in this pack – a metalflake gold ’69 Ford Mustang, a metalflake sea green ’74 Dodge Charger, a metalflake dark orange ’55 Chevy Nomad, and a metalflake blue ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400 – so much that I decided to keep them together in the box. At least for now.
I have several other Hot Wheels ’64 Impalas, including the 2013 Cool Classics version.
Back in 2009 and 2010, Hot Wheels released a ’63 Nova in the Dragstrip Demons series (see below). I’ve often wondered why the ’63 Nova hasn’t shown up since, so I was happy to see the ’63 Chevy II in this year’s Muscle Mania series. Although, after comparing the two, I’m pretty convinced these are two different castings. Apart from minor differences in detail, the new car appears to be almost 1/8″ longer.
There is also a Target-only Snowflake Card version of the Chevy II, which I will be on the lookout for.
The Dragstrip Demons series was a tribute to real-life Funny Cars, Top Fuel dragsters, factory experimentals, fuel altereds and super stock vehicles. The 2009 line had 30 different vehicles, while the following year had 25 more. I am missing the AWB ‘Snake Eyes’ ’63 Nova from 2010, but I do have this Wilshire Shaker Match Bash Nova from 2009.
In 2013, Hot Wheels introduced the ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon. Last year, they removed the rear windows and created the “delivery” version, which opened up a world of decorating possibilities. The first delivery was in 2015’s Pop Culture Marvel Comics series, featuring Spider-Man packaging and trim. This model flew off the pegs so fast that I never even saw one in the store – and I’ve yet to have a chance to pick one up.
Fortunately, I did find the latest delivery – from the 2016 Pop Culture Nestle series – at a Toys R Us. Considering they elected to put the 100 Grand logo across the doors, I’m not sure the delivery version was necessary for this release. Still, it’s a sharp model, especially with the whitewall Real Riders on deep, gold five-spoke wheels.
While on a family vacation to the Phoenix area over the holidays, I checked out a little place called Cubbiehole Collectibles. Tucked inside the Postal Plus More in a strip mall off 19th Ave. and Northern, the store is a classic example of collecting as a sideline business. The proprietor answers questions about his inventory of diecast vehicles while simultaneously helping customers with their shipping needs. The store is fairly well organized (I spent most of my time in the Chevrolet section) and offers an array of brands from Hot Wheels and Matchbox to Johnny Lightning, M2 Machines, Greenlight and more. There are either “more than 15,000” or “more than 25,000” items, depending which page of the website you refer to.
I could have spent a lot more time combing through the pegs full of packaged cars and cases of loose items if my patient family wasn’t waiting on me. Also, I would suggest going in with a specific want list to help from becoming distracted or even overwhelmed by the far-ranging collection.
For my part, I zeroed in on this white Johnny Lightning 1969 Impala SS. Information that I’m finding online tells me that the rare (2% of the production run) White Lightning version of Release 13 has a white engine and chassis. This is the only White Lightning I have in my collection of quite a few JLs.
I also picked up a loose orange Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray from 1980. I already had one of these, but you can never have too many Stingrays.