1998 Racing Champions Police U.S.A. Series

I saw this Racing Champions Police U.S.A. 1960 Chevy Impala at Scale Model Supplies in June. I had always enjoyed this series and have a few of these in my collection from the late 1990s. When I realized the package had been slit open, I asked for a discount when I took it up to the counter. He reluctantly agreed and I’m glad he did. When I got it home and took it out of the blister to inspect it closer, the hood – which has badly cracked paint – fell off.

1998 Police U.S.A. #34 | 1960 Chevy Impala | light blue Pennsylvania State Police, opening (falling off) hood | package slit open

The following cars I picked up years ago when I was still taking them out of the packages. Kansas City is a great town and the ’66 Nova is one sweet ride, so this combination works well for me.

06130 | 1998 Police U.S.A #46 | 1966 Chevy Nova | light blue with K.C.MO. Police trim, opening hood | 1:56

One of my all-time favorite cars, this beautiful tan 1960 Impala bears the State Patrol livery of my home state.

1997 Police U.S.A. #48 | 1960 Chevy Impala | tan North Dakota State Patrol, opening hood

The Twin Cities are another of my favorite places. Here’s a nice ’57 Bel Air St Paul police black and white. This model also has badly cracked and flecked paint.

1996 | ’57 Chevy Bel Air | black and white St. Paul Police | opening hood

I display my North Dakota State Patrol car atop this limited edition Swifty’s Garage Greenlight International Durastar car hauler. I think it looks pretty great.

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1998 Racing Champions Mint Motor Trend 1966 Chevy Novas

After finding a lot of success in the early 90s making licensed models of stock cars, in 1996 Racing Champions launched a line of highly-detailed 1:64th-scale models of original factory vehicles called Racing Champions Mint. Then a few years ago, Round2 bought the rights to bring these models back, and I have since added three of the more recent Racing Champions Mint ’66 Novas from 2016 release 2 to my collection.

I found these two 90s Racing Champions Mint 1966 Chevy Novas when I visited Scale Model Supplies in Minneapolis back in June. The colors are not quite as adventurous as the newer releases from Round2, but it’s fun to have examples of both old and new versions.

1998 | Racing Champions Mint Motor Trend | 1966 Chevy Nova | black, opening hood

1998 | Racing Champions Mint Motor Trend | 1966 Chevy Nova | red, opening hood

I also have another loose Racing Champions ’66 Nova from the 90s. This one is without its original packaging, but this model, with its custom paint and wheels, must have come from a different series than Mint.

182 5SS 01 | 1966 Chevy Nova | metallic charcoal gray with satin orange, opening hood

 

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Diecast Hall of Fame: Vote Now

The 2017 Diecast Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held November 2nd in Las Vegas. Did you know you can vote for your favorite collectors, brands and models to be inducted? Click here to go the the Diecast Hall of Fame website and vote.

The Diecast Hall of Fame (DHOF) is roaring into action! A staple of the diecast world, the DHOF is best known for honoring pioneers of the model vehicle industry for their efforts to promote and enhance the hobby. From designers to entrepreneurs, there is no shortage of talented folks on the inductee list.

Now collectors across the entire diecast community are coming together to bring new life into the annual event. Folks from all walks of life throughout the diecast community are ready to take on this new adventure. New event collaborators include DieCast X, hobbyDB, the Lamley Group, Model Auto Review and more. These partners will work together to take the DHOF to the next level, introducing new Models of the Year awards, and a new spin on customizing competitions. hobbyDB is also creating extensive profiles for all inductees in their Diecast Hall of Fame Official Archive.

All proceeds for this year’s Hall go to There With Care, a charity supporting families and children facing critical illness.

To attend the Las Vegas event, click here to purchase tickets.

 

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2017 Chevrolet SS Multipack Exclusives

Sometimes you have to buy a whole bunch of cars in order to get the one you really want. That’s how it is with the exclusive variations that Hot Wheels puts in their multipacks. Buying a five-pack to get a single car is one thing. But these 9-packs are even more of commitment.

I’ve been enamored with the Hot Wheels Chevrolet SS since it first came out in 2012, and I’ve been collecting variations ever since. So I really had to take the plunge when, not just one, but two unique variations were released this year in multipacks.

I really like the orange-with-black on this first one.

X6999 | 2017 Multipack Exclusive | Chevrolet SS (Opala) | orange with black trim | 5SP

But the yellow rims on this metallic green and yellow variation makes it even more striking.

X6999 | 2017 Multipack Exclusive | Chevrolet SS (Opala) | metallic green with yellow and black trim | MC5 yellow rim

This yellow variation is the multi-pack exclusive from 2016.

2016 Multipack Exclusive | Chevrolet SS (Opala) | yellow with black, silver and wine trim | 5SP

You can see the first-release Chevrolet SS as well as others from my collection here, here, and here.

My solution for what to do with the other cars in the multipack? I filled in the empty spots with random loose cars and resold them at my wife’s garage sale.

Don’t worry, I did keep the orange, flamed-out Nova that was in this multipack, even though I already have it in a single blister. You can never have too many Novas.

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Hot Wheels 1980 Dumpin’ A and Other Salvage Finds

My brother Joe is doing some salvage work these days, and when I saw him at my family reunion in June, he brought me a bag of cars he had found in a house he was tasked with cleaning out.

This Hot Wheels Dumpin’ A was coated with grime and had what appeared to be a chunk of modeling clay stuck in the back. I used a popsicle stick to remove most of the clay, then dissolved the rest with vegetable oil. After going over the rest of the car with a damp Q-tip, I had myself a pretty sharp car!

This Dumpin’ A from 1980, with its orange paint and yellow plastic dumper, is the opposite brother to the first casting from 1979, which is yellow with an orange dumper.

1980 Hot Wheels | Dumpin’ A | orange with yellow dumper, yellow, orange and red trim | HK | bw

After looking over the rest of the cars in the bunch, I realized none of them would clean up well. So I decided to photograph them just as is. I often wonder about the history of the cars I acquire. How many previous owners did they have? Were any of them ever a child’s favorite toy? I’ve lived a pretty good life and have a hard time imagining the circumstances that would cause a family to leave a home with belongings still in it. I suspect these cars have some interesting stories they could tell.

1991 Hot Wheels | ’57 T-Bird | red with green, blue and pink trim, gray plastic base | MY | bw

1991 Hot Wheels | Bronco 4-Wheeler | white with black stripes, missing camper shell (Ecolab Pest Control promo) | MY | bw

1994 Hot Wheels | Back Burner | red with grey plastic engine (McDonald’s giveaway) | plastic 5-spoke

1999 Hot Wheels | Trail Runner | lime green (McDonald’s giveaway) | 5SP

2002 Hot Wheels | 40 Somethin’ | yellow with white and black trim | MY | PR5

1965 Lesney/Matchbox | #68 Mercedes Coach | orange, missing top half

1965 Lesney/Matchbox | #69 Hatra Tractor Shovel | orange with yellow wheels, black tires, missing top and shovel

1983 Matchbox | #11 Ford IMSA Mustang | black with yellow and green flames

1983 Matchbox | #7 Volkswagen Ruff Rabbit 4×4 | yellow with black rabbits

Majorette #228/291 Depanneuse | orange with black, blue and silver trim, missing black plastic tow hooks | 1:62 | Made in France

1981 Ertl | Dukes of Hazard General Lee | orange with blue and white trim, missing back wheel

Tootsietoy | La France Fire Truck | red | Chicago, USA

Tootsietoy | Crane | green, missing plastic crane cab and boom

Unknown | S8003 | Race Car | red with black, orange and white trim, plastic base

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2017 HW Retro ’63 Chevy II

On the drive back from Minnesota in June, I was getting sleepy. I decided what I needed was to get out and stretch my legs for a bit at a Super Target in Des Moines. It turned out to be a great idea, because I found the Hot Wheels Retro Series ’63 Chevy II that I’d been looking for. I love the simple, bold design and the beautiful illustrations on these Retro cards. And the series – which is a Target exclusive – includes some great castings such as the ’84 Hurst Olds, the ’85 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, and the Volkswagen SP2.

DTX85 | 2017 HW Retro Series (Target Exclusive) | ’63 Chevy II | metallic orange with red and blue trim | 5SP

The Hot Wheels ’63 Chevy II became an instant favorite of mine when it was introduced in 2016. I also have the first release and the HW Flames version from earlier this year.

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M2 Machines 2017 Auto-Vault 1958 Chevrolet Impala

I admit I don’t give it much effort, but I’ve never found a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt or a chase car of any kind in a store. While we were vacationing in Minnesota in June, I picked up this new variation of the M2 Machines 1958 Chevrolet Impala at a WalMart. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the MEX03 code and realized it was not just a normal release. Could it be I finally found something rare? This is what the M2 Facebook page posted back in April:

Attention M2 Machines collectors – keep your eyes peeled for the first official M2 Machines Auto-Vault release making its way into Walmart stores throughout the US next month. Due to economic situations in Mexico 1600pcs of the 4000pcs of each casting produced for Walmart Mexico 31500-MEX03 and 31500-MEX04 were redirected to the United States for distribution. Wanting to change things up a bit for collectors we decided to repackage the vehicles to maintain a clear visual difference between the Mex and US releases. Though the vehicles are the same, we ditched the clamshell packaging and opted to put these 1600pcs of each casting in an all new Auto-Vault wrap. If you were not able to add these releases to your collection this is a great opportunity to pick them up.

I’m not actually sure how 1600 pieces compares to the production numbers for a Treasure Hunt, but I think M2’s chase cars are limited to 750, so this one is not quite on that level. But I really like the look of it either way.

2017 Auto-Vault MEX03 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala | black

Some of my other recent M2 Impalas can be seen here.

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Scale Model Supplies Vintage Plastic Duncan Batmobile

Whenever I travel, I try to seek out any hobby stores that might carry die-cast cars. This usually means dragging my family to some out-of-the-way location and making them wait patiently while I inspect displays of cars. But on our June trip to my family reunion in Minnesota, everyone was impressed with the unique place I took them to.

Scale Model Supplies is located in a former bowling alley in St. Paul. The place is huge and has such an enormous and varied inventory that it kind of boggles the mind. My cousin, Tom, who was along for the trip, was particularly amazed by the population of HO scale figures in the train section. My son spent some time looking in the die-cast section for another James Bond vehicle to go with the one we found him in Phoenix. There is a huge section of plastic models with every kind of vehicle. One aisle has stamp and coin collecting supplies. There is also a large room with three different slot car tracks. Even my wife was impressed.

I did find a few die-cast cars, but my favorite section was a room in the back that looked like a flea market, with bins full of used train and slot car parts and lots of old toys. When my cousin saw me marveling at this old plastic Batmobile, he bought it for me as a Father’s Day present.

The car, which is about 8″ long, is missing the steering wheel, the two front wheel covers, most of the red painted details, and the three yellow and black batman stickers that used to be affixed to the doors and top. But it still has both front and rear clear plastic windshields and the Batman and Robin figures in their seats. The bottom is stamped with the words “COPYRIGHT DC COMICS, INC,” a Duncan logo and “Toronto, Ont., Canada” and “Baraboo, WI, USA”.

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My Final Village Flea Market Hot Wheels Finds

After 42 years, the Village Flea Market in Wichita has closed. It was reported that the owners had decided to convert the massive building at Pawnee and Meridian to a storage facility for their real estate development company. I’ve made some nice finds at the Village over the years, including this bunch of Hot Wheels blackwalls I picked up on my last visit back in May. These were at a table in the open area out in the middle. When he saw me looking at them, a little boy took some interest, so I stepped away to let him check them out. Fortunately for me, he quickly got distracted and walked away. The man was asking $2 each, but he let me have these four for $5.

This Hot Wheels Old Number 5 was first released in 1981, but this Malaysia casting is from 1982. As with all of these cars, all of the plastic parts are intact – I only had to clean off a layer of dust to find some really sharp cars.

1982 | 1695 | Old Number 5 | red with red painted base, black and yellow trim, louvers on hood | MY | bs

The Hot Wheels ’37 Bugati and Auburn 852 are both from 1981. I knew I already had them in my collection, but when I got them home, I discovered both of these are made in Malaysia, whereas the two I already own are cast in Hong Kong. I have a few other variations of the Auburn 852, including the 1979 first casting.

1981 | 1696 | ’37 Bugati | black w/red sides and hood | MY | bs

1981 | 2505 | Auburn 852 | yellow, dk. brown plastic fenders | MY | bs

This Hot Wheels ’35 Classic Caddy is the first release from 1982 and the first variation of this casting I’ve added to my collection.

1982 | 2529 | ’35 Classic Caddy | tan | MY | bs

 

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2017 Johnny Lightning Musclecars USA 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible

The packaging for the 2017 Muscle Cars U.S.A. series from Johnny Lightning features vintage ad photos and color chips for the factory-matched paint. Cars in the series include two versions each of a 1970 Ford Torino GT, 1969 Dodge ChargerR/T, 1970 Chevy Camaro Z28, 1970 Olds Cutlass S W-31, 1969 AMC AMX and this sweet, Grotto blue 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible.

JLMC003 | 2017 Musclecars USA R1, Version B | 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible | Grotto Blue

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