Posts by marcboz

Marc Bosworth is an artist who teaches printmaking and works as an art director. He lives in a 100-year-old bungalow in Wichita with his lovely wife and their young ninja son.

Playart Tow Truck

This Playart Tow Truck is one of the few non Hot Wheels in the JG Collection. I still have the Playart cars from my childhood – in those days they were sold under the Peelers brand at Woolworth – so I always enjoy finding them now.

Playart cars were made in Hong Kong between 1965 and 1983. I’ve always thought this cab design was a rip-off the Hot Wheels heavyweights series of trucks, which came out in 1970, but perhaps it was the other way around. The cab on this tow truck was utilized for a variety of different vehicles, including the fire truck from my youth, as well as a dump truck, a tank truck and a cement mixer.

Earlier models were all metal, later releases might have a metal cab with a plastic bed. Interestingly, this example has a metal cab and bed, but a plastic base (and tow hook). The flower (5-spoke) wheels are also a sign of a later model; earlier wheels were two-piece with a chrome hubcap.

Playart | Tow Truck | green cab, red metal bed, black plastic base | flower wheels | HK


1980 Tomica Ford Truck

While most of the items in the JG Collection are Hot Wheels, there are just a few nice examples of other brands like this clean Tomica Ford Truck. The 1980 page of the online Tomica History Museum shows this Ford Truck casting with the same color cab but a different livery on the box. I can imagine it was used to advertise a whole range of different brands, unfortunately, I don’t know where to find a listing of Tomica variations. Anyone?

This Ford Truck makes a nice companion to the Nissan Diesel and Hino Semi Trailer from my childhood collection (although it’s interesting that neither of those have decorations on the cargo boxes.) Click here to see my Tomica childhood cars and here to find links to some of my other Tomica models.

1980 | F62 | Ford Truck | yellow with white box, Frito Lay trim | 1/95 | Japan

1995 Hot Wheels T-Bird Stocker

Hot Wheels has released a few different castings of the Ford Thuderbird stock Car. The first is the Thunderbird Stocker, which was released in 1984 based on the 1983 NASCAR race car. That casting was later used for Thunderburner and Velocitor. In 1990, Hot Wheels released the T-Bird Stocker which was based on the 1989 Thunderbird. In 1994, there was yet another casting with a different front end, also called the T-Bird Stocker. And then, in 1997, a third version of T-Bird Stocker came out with another change to the front end and a different rear airdam.

My T-Bird Stocker is the Ultra Hots-wearing first-release of the 1994 version, which would have been found in the Ford 5-Pack. This particular casting, was only used up until 1996, but can be found in about 12 different variations. This model came to me in the JG Collection.

Hot Wheels | 1995 Ford 5-Pack | T-Bird Stocker | metallic dark red with white, blue and red trim | MY | uh

1994 Hot Wheels ’57 Chevy

There are two different Hot Wheels ’57 Chevy castings. The first was released in 1977 and is still going strong after more than 50 variations. The second is referred to as the “exposed engine” version and first appeared in 1984. It is even more plentiful than the original, with just under 100 variations to be found. This teal model with Ultra Hot wheels is from 1994 and was included in the JG Collection.

Other exposed-engine ’57 Chevys in my collection include the 1984 first-release, as well as one in the 1992 Classic Collection 5-Pack.

Hot Wheels | 1994 | #213 | ’57 Chevy (exposed engine) | teal with yellow, purple and orange trim | MY | uh

1994 Hot Wheels Hiway Hauler

Let me first say that I don’t think I’ve ever even tasted Dinty Moore Beef Stew. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this Hormel Promotional Hot Wheels Hiway Hauler that I picked up in the JG Collection. Now, I still prefer the original Hiway Hauler, which made its debut in 1980. But this more aerodynamic model, which first appeared in 1992, is growing on me. The first-casting promoted Kool-Aid and there have been over 60 variations produced since then.

Yes, it was still sealed in its plastic baggie.

And, yes, I slit the baggie open.

Unlike the 1980 Hiway Hauler, this version does not have opening doors on the back of the cargo container.

Hot Wheels | 1994 Hormel Foods Promotional | 4642 | Hiway Hauler (1992) | red with Dinty Moore Beef Stew trim | MY | bw

The only other version of the 1992 Hiway Hauler I have in my collection is in the Little Debbie Promotional 3-pack. Although my Dinty Moore Beef Stew version does make a nice companion to my Spammobile.

1993 Hot Wheels Ford Aerostar

The first minivan sold by Ford in North America was the Ford Aerostar, which was manufactured from 1986 until 1997. The clean-sheet design was introduced as a reaction to the Chrysler minvans and utilized lightweight materials throughout to improve fuel economy.

The Hot Wheels Ford Aerostar first appeared in 1986 with two separate versions (one called Capsider, the other Vaultin’ Van) in the Flip Outs, which were vehicles with spring loaded levers in the base that would activate when the cars were crashed, causing them to tip over.

In 1991, the casting was given a typical base and was released in about 8 more variations up until 1995. This black version with Rollerblade livery is from 1993 and came to me in the JG Collection. It has an unpainted metal base which makes it nice and heavy.

It’s interesting to note that all of the Flip Outs had opaque windows because the flipper mechanism, which was housed inside the vehicle, did not allow for the cars to have interior details. Even after the Ford Aerostar was given the standard base, all of the variations continued to have opaque windows – either black, or chrome like you see on mine.

Hot Wheels | 1993 | 4640 | Ford Aerostar | black with red, purple, blue and yellow Rollerblades trim | MY | bw

4/5ths of the 1992 Hot Wheels Construction Crew 5-Pack

When it comes to early- to mid-1990s Hot Wheels 5-Packs, the cars included were often identical to variations released individually a year or two previously. So it’s hard to be sure, but I suspect these four Hot Wheels – which came to me loose in the JG Collection – came out of the 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack.

The CAT Road Roller made its debut in the 1987 Workhorses series. That first release had black and white Caterpillar tampos on the sides and also could be found with either 3 or 5 bars cast into the safety rail. This Malaysia-cast model with no tampos and a single bar on the safety rail was found individually in the 1989 Workhorses series, in 1990 and 1992 as Collector #55, as well as in the 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack.

Hot Wheels | 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack | 3871 | CAT Road Roller | yellow, no tampo, black plastic base | MY | black rollers

The CAT Wheel Loader was first released in the 1980 Workhorses series, cast in Hong Kong and with CAT tampos. The Malaysia-cast, no tampo version you see here was found individually in the 1982 Workhorses, in 1989, 1990 and 1991 as Collector #3, as well as in the 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack.

Hot Wheels | 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack | 1173 | CAT Wheel Loader | yellow, no tampo, yellow plastic base | MY | yellow ct

The CAT Dump Truck is also a 1980 Workhorses first-release. It was cast in Hong Kong, and had a metal dump bed, with either tampos or a raised “C777” cast into the sides. My Malaysia-cast model with smooth sides, no tampo and a plastic dumper was found individually in 1992 as Collector #38 or in the 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack.

Hot Wheels | 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack | 1171 | CAT Dump Truck | yellow with smooth sides, plastic dumper | MY | yellow ct

The Ford Stake Bed Truck was first released in the 1983 Extras Series. In this case, this Malaysia-cast red with yellow and white tampo version was released in the 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack the year before it came out as the 1993 Collector #237. (Although I’ve seen photos online that show the Construction Crew 5-Pack with a blue cab Ford Stake Bed Truck).

I also have the metallic dark red 1986 Ford Stake Bed Truck which you can see by clicking here.

Hot Wheels | 1992 Construction Crew 5-Pack | 4018 | Ford Stake Bed Truck | red with yellow, red and white trim and yellow bed | MY | bw

The casting I’m missing to make the Construction Crew 5-Pack complete would be the Oshkosh Cement Mixer in white with blue fenders and a red mixer, also the first-release from 1992. I guess I’ll be on the lookout for one of those.