More is Better

In order to continue bringing you selections from my growing collection, I’ve made some changes to my blog. The Race Case is now four different sites:

  • This site, the original The Race Case is dedicated to my collection of Hot Wheels
  • The Race Case MBX shows my collection of Matchbox cars
  • The Race Case JL is for my Johnny Lightning brand models
  • and The Race Case, Etc. is the catch-all for any other brands in my collection including Tomica, Majorette, Husky/Corgi and many others.

If you follow this site through Facebook or Twitter, posts from all of my sites will continue to publish through those venues. If you follow The Race Case on the WordPress Reader, you may wish to click the above links to the new sites and add each one to your Reader.

All of the existing content has been moved to the appropriate site and I’ve spent a lot of time combing through the new sites, trying to fix broken links and missing images. If you do find anything out of order, please comment so that I’ll know to fix it.

Thanks for your continued support of The Race Case!

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

hobbyDB

For several years, the South Texas Diecast website was my go-to for information on Hot Wheels. The site was home to the most complete online listing of Hot Wheels variations – compiled over 16 years by Diecast Hall of Famer, Robert Graves, Jr. – from the first redlines to the latest releases. In November of 2015, partly to ensure his database would live on, Graves decided to merge the STDC site into hobbyDB.

hobbyDB is more than diecast. The wiki-like site catalogs over 152,000 collectible items in over 30,000 subjects and claims nearly 10,000 users. With detailed descriptions of each item, not only is it a great source of information for the collector, users can also take advantage of the system to keep track of their own collections, create a wishlist, or buy and sell items as well.

Access to this amazing database is “free forever”, but hobbyDB relies on thousands of collectors to help keep the listings up-to-date and accurate. If you are a collector and you are interested in helping out, click this link for more information on becoming a hobbyDB curator.

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The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

My wife and son had a break from school for President’s Day, so I took a few days off and we drove up to Kansas City for a couple of days. The highlight of our trip was a visit to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Housed on the campus of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, the museum first opened in 1982 as the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City featuring the collections of Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall. Over the years, the collection has grown to include over 72,000 objects and the museum has undergone three different expansions, the most recent of which was completed in August of 2015.

With an admission price of only $5 (kids 4 and under are free), the museum is an exceptional value. The collection is beautifully displayed and well-organized. The informative exhibits, which include some interactive and educational elements, kept us entertained for several hours.

The first floor contains the collection of miniatures. I thought we would move through this part fairly quickly, but the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in the miniatures is so mind-blowing that we found ourselves spending a good amount of time marveling at all of the exhibits here.

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There are even miniature miniatures!IMG_7531

Though there is a large section of dolls and doll houses, the second floor toy collections are pretty wide-ranging, including some of my favorite classic board games and construction toys.IMG_7585 IMG_7561 IMG_7584

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are a fairly small part of the exhibit, but there are plenty of other interesting automotive-themed toys.IMG_7560IMG_7567IMG_7572 IMG_7556 IMG_7557 IMG_7558 IMG_7562 IMG_7596IMG_7603IMG_7568 IMG_7601 IMG_7608

There are also plenty of planes, trains and ships.IMG_7599IMG_7593IMG_7598

And there are cowboys, soldiers and spacemen.

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The current temporary exhibit (through August 2016) is Pedal to the Metal, which features a nice collection of pedal cars. My favorite is this Formula One Racecar modeled after Jim Clark’s Indy 500-winning Lotus-Ford from 1965.IMG_7641