2019 Johnny Lightning 50 Years Class of 1969 2-Pack with 1969 Chevy Nova SS 396 and 1969 Dodge Coronet Convertible

I don’t often check the little diecast section at Hobby Lobby, but when I do, I usually see things there that I don’t see anywhere else. (And by “anywhere else”, I guess I mean WalMart, which is about the only other source for comparable models around here.) They carry mostly Johnny Lightning and Greenlight brands, and most of the items are two-packs, mini-dioramas or vehicle and trailer combinations. I suppose they cater to a different buyer than WalMart does, since most of these items are a bit pricey.

This Johnny Lightning 50 Years Class of 1969 2-pack is an example. I hesitated paying $15 for it, but then my wife reminded me that I could use the 40% off coupon from their website. I hadn’t seen this 2019 release at WalMart. And though most people would snatch it up for the nice metallic blue 1969 Dodge Coronet Convertible, I was after the Hugger orange 1969 Chevy Nova SS 396.

The Class of 1969 series celebrates 50 years of the Johnny Lightning brand by featuring cars from “the heyday of the muscle car”. There are several different castings available individually, but as far as I can tell, this is the only 2-pack that has been released so far. (It would be nice if the official Johnny Lightning website would update its product page – the most recent listings are from 2017!)

I have several other Johnny Lightning third-generation Novas, including the Blacked Out 1968 Nova from the 2017 Street Freaks series, the 2005 Projects in Progress 1969 Nova, and a Zinger-esque 2006 Collector Club Exclusive 1970 Nova.

Johnny Lightning | 2019 | 50 Years Class of 1969 2-Pack Release 1 | 1969 Chevy Nova SS 396 | Hugger orange with metallic blue 1969 Dodge Coronet Convertible

This JL Nova reminds me of the (mostly) orange 1968 Nova SS that my brother, John, used to have. I took this photo of it back in July of 1986.

1983 Matchbox Convoy NASA Rocket Transporter

In 1982 Matchbox introduced the Convoy series of vehicles, interchangeable tractor-trailer combinations that used the same wheels and sizes of mainline vehicles. The Convoy page of the online Matchbox wiki (which, by the way, is actually a really thorough but concise history of Matchbox tractor-trailers) lists 13 tractors – most based on actual vehicles – and about 20 different trailers in the range. See the photo at the bottom of the page for some of the various combinations pictured on the back of the card.

This 1983 Matchbox Convoy NASA Rocket Transporter is another of the NASA-themed item I recently scored on eBay. The item had been shipped wrapped in bubble wrap in a soft envelope, and when I opened it up the vehicle came spilling out of the blister, which had separated from the card en route. Fortunately, I was able to take a little bit of Elmer’s white glue and seal the model back inside the blister card.

This Convoy NASA Rocket Transporter features a white Macau-cast Kenworth Aerodyne (COE) cab. The NASA Kenworth cab can also be found with gray paint, cast in either England or Macau.

The trailer is the Low Bed Trailer, which has holes in the base to accommodate different plastic brackets for either a boat trailer or, in this case, the rocket. The Low Bed base was also used for other box trailers, such as the Horse Box and the Mobile Workshop in the Convoy series. The rocket on mine is white, but there is also a variation that features a chrome plastic rocket.

Matchbox | 1983 | Convoy CY-2 Rocket Transporter | white Kenworth cab with red and blue NASA trim, gray Low Bed Trailer with white plastic NASA rocket | Macau | 1:90 | chrome hub 8-spoke concave treaded

1993 Matchbox NASA Rocket Transporter

The Matchbox Rocket Transporter, first released in 1985, was produced in close to two dozen variations – many of them with military liveries – up until 2007. There is also an Airplane Transporter (identical vehicle, different cargo) and there are another 10 versions of that model. I have been wanting the NASA Rocket Transporter for my collection of NASA-themed models, and I finally bought one recently on eBay.

I could tell in the photos on eBay that the rubber band holding the rockets to the bed had snapped, which was okay with me for the price. The card is straight and clean, but by the time the package arrived, the left side of the blister had been shattered. Not wanting to mess with a return, I decided to shore it up with a little bit of packaging tape and call it good. (You can’t even see it in the photos, can you?)

There is an earlier version of the Matchbox NASA Rocket Transporter that is cast in Macau and has an American flag on the rear corners of the bed. My version (package copyright 1993) is China cast and has checkerboards at the rear corners.

Matchbox | 1993 | #60 NASA Rocket Transporter | white with NASA logo and checkerboards, white rockets | China | 1:150 | chrome hub 8-spoke concave treaded

1987-1991 Majorette NASA Land Rover Defender 90 with Radar

I recently added a few items to my sub-collection of NASA-themed models. I found this Majorette 300 series NASA Land Rover and Radar on eBay. The blister is a little crinkled and cloudy and the card has a few creases, but otherwise it’s in pretty good shape.

The Majorette 300 series can be either long vehicles such as semi-trucks or buses, or they can be regular vehicles pulling trailers of some kind. See the photo below of the package back, which lists some of the other various combinations available in the 300 series.

There are two general versions of the Majorette Land Rover Defender 90; one with a roof rack and one with a light bar, as you see here. This popular model has been produced in at least two dozen variations of each version. The NASA Land Rover can be found with a translucent or opaque light bar, three different wheel variations, and was cast in both France and Thailand. Mine has the opaque light bar, runs on 5RDL (five rounded discontinuous lines) wheels and was cast in France.

I believe the Majorette Radar was only found in the 300 series paired with the Land Rover Defender 90 – although not always with the NASA version. It can be found in French-cast white or Thailand-cast white, gray or red, and might wear TLD4S (trailer double four spoke) wheels  or TL4S (trailer four spokes) like mine.

The package advertises “Action Moving Parts” and this set delivers with a positionable radar disc on the trailer and an opening plastic rear door on the Land Rover.

Majorette | 1987-1991 300 Series | #266 Land Rover Defender 90 with #362 Radar | white with red and blue NASA trim, red opaque light bar, black plastic rear door, white trailer with black plastic radar dish | France | 5RDL

Hot Wheels ‘Tooned Cars Featuring the 2020 ‘Tooned Chevy Impala 1964

Hot Wheels ‘Tooned cars – models with exaggerated, cartoon-like features – have been around since 2003, when 8 castings were included in the First Editions. In 2004, they were given their own segment, then went back to being sprinkled into the mainline until 2014 with HW City ‘Tooned I and II. I like these models because they remind me of CARtoons magazine, which was published from 1959 until 1991 and was a favorite of mine for a certain period of my childhood.

This 2020 Hot Wheels ‘Tooned Chevy Impala 1964 is the other item that came in the recent package from my friend, Brad. The ‘Tooned Impala has a giant blown engine, ridiculously large wheels and dual exhaust stacks poking out of the trunk lid. I love the metallic blue color and the subtlety of the white and silver tampo on the sides.

The 2020 ‘Tooned Impala can also be found in zamac, so I’ll be on the look out for that variation and will add it to this page if/when I find one.

Hot Wheels | GHD48 | 2020 ‘Tooned | ‘Tooned Chevy Impala 1964 | metallic light blue with white and silver stripe | PR5

I also have the Hot Wheels ‘Tooned Impala from the 2004 First Editions. This model has an even more giant engine and satin brown paint with a striking gray and black tampo design.

Hot Wheels | C2706 | 2004 First Editions | ‘Tooned Chevy Impala 1964 | flat brown with gray and black tampo | 5SP

The photos below show how the ‘Tooned Impala casting has been retooled so that the front and rear grilles are now part of the chrome plastic piece that includes the engine and exhaust, which is sandwiched between the gray plastic base and the metal body.

I also happen to have a few more examples of ‘Tooned Hot Wheels that I bought at the GameStop Hot Wheels Collector Day event back in November. These cars have been removed from their blisters so that I could send the cards in for the mail-in Chevelle Wagon. They are probably not keepers for me, but I thought it would be nice to show a few more ‘Tooned models, since I have them handy.

The Hot Wheels RV There Yet is new for 2020 and has generated a lot of animated conversation between collectors. It’s a wacky fun design, but personally I’m disappointed that the middle set of wheels are dummies and that the trailer doesn’t unhitch from the car. The second color variation is turquoise with a light gray camper.

Hot Wheels | 2020 ‘Tooned | RV There Yet | red and pearl white with yellow and white trim | 5SP/AeroDisc

The Hot Wheels ‘Tooned ’69 Chevelle has been around since the 2005 X-Raycers series. It has already been produced in nearly 20 different variations, usually with a translucent plastic body which shows off the car’s interior, roll cage and engine. Here the body is opaque (though still plastic) and the interior roll cage has been removed. For 2020, this model can also be found in chrome.

Hot Wheels | 2020 ‘Tooned | ’69 Chevelle | metalflake green with black and yellow trim | chrome red ST8

The Hot Wheels Cool-One is a hot rod ice cream truck that made its debut in 2004 and has been produced in more than 30 variations. The 2020 model can be found in white, as you see here, or in black.

Hot Wheels | 2020 ‘Tooned | Cool-One | white with red, blue and yellow trim | 5SP

 

2018 Johnny Lightning Hot Rod Power Tour R5 1966 Chevy Nova SS

In 1995, the Hot Rod Magazine staff decided to drive their own cars from Los Angeles to Norwalk, Ohio, for the first Power Fest. As they went, they promoted the trip in the pages of their magazine, and they invited readers to join in along the way. Though only a few dozen joined that first year, the event has become an annual trek that attracts more than 6,000 participants and over 100,000 spectators.

This nice Green Mist Poly 1966 Chevy Nova SS from the 2018 Johnny Lightning Musclecars U.S.A. Hot Rod Power Tour, Release 5, came to me in a recent shipment from my friend, Brad. I think it’s interesting that the series claims to feature replicas of actual Power Tour vehicles, yet they still insist on offering more than one color variation of each casting. As you can see here, the car pictured on the card is not the same color as the car in the blister.

Johnny Lightning | Muscle Cars USA | Hot Rod Power Tour 2018 R5 | 1966 Chevy Nova SS | green mist poly | 1:64

I have other JL 1966 Novas in my collection, including a nice Street Freaks Zingers! model from 2005. JL also uses the same casting for a 1967 Nova, and I also have a few of those, including a version from the Musclecars U.S.A. 2016 release and one from the 2006 Project in Progress series.

1993 Hot Wheels Custom Corvette on #200 Collector Card

The Hot Wheels Custom Corvette was one of the original 16 cars in the line-up when the redline wheel wearing, Spectraflame painted toys were first released in 1968. Well, this Custom Corvette is from a different era. This Hot Wheels version of the C4 Corvette convertible was first released in 1989. It was produced in about 40 variations until it was included in the 1999 Final Run Series.

My 1993 Collector #200 version is the third of three Corvettes I recently bought from the same seller on the Facebook Marketplace, and the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection. I’m not a huge fan of the fourth generation ‘Vette, but the pearl white paint, colorful tampo and Ultra Hot wheels make this a fun model.

Hot Wheels | 1993 | 200 | Custom Corvette | pearl white with red, black and yellow trim, red interior | MY | uh