With the recent announcement that Toys R Us will be closing its last Wichita store, it’s safe to say that the Round 2 products (Johnny Lightning, Auto World and Racing Champions) will be harder to find locally. WalMart – which doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon – is where I found these two models from the 2016 Racing Champions Mint series. By adding this pale yellow 1966 Chevy Nova to my collection, I’ve actually completed the set of four versions.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version A) | pale yellow
This dark green 1964 Chevy Impala is the second of four versions that I’ve found – I also have the silver variation.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1964 Chevy Impala (Version A) | dark green
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
This nice gray 1960 Chevy Impala is version B from the 2017 Racing Champions Mint Release 1. I have several of the Racing Champions 1960 Impalas from 2000 and prior, as well as two from 2016.
2017 | Racing Champions Mint R1 | 1960 Chevy Impala (Version B) | gray
I recently found two more of the Racing Champions Mint 1966 Novas from Release 2. The white model is Version C and the blue one is Version D. I previously found the green Version B, so the only one I am missing is the pale yellow Version A.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version C) | white
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version D) | blue
Much like the recent Auto World releases, Racing Champions are also upping the number of variations in each release. While their Mint Release 1 only had a version A and B, Release 2 can be found in 4 different variations. I happened to find both the 1966 Chevy Nova and the 1964 Chevy Impala from Version B.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version B) | willow green
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1964 Chevy Impala (Version B) | silver
Thomas E. Lowe is a busy man. In additon to owning Auto World and recently resurrecting the Johnny Lightning brand, his company, Round2, has also brought back Racing Champions diecast collectibles. While I understand new castings are in the works, Racing Champions Mint brings back some of our old favorites. I found my red 1960 Chevy Impala at a WalMart, but the cars are also available at Target, ToysRUs and Meijer (according to the very minimal Racing Champions website).
UPDATE: I recently found the blue variation at Target (see below).
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R1 | 1960 Chevy Impala (Version B) | red with white top
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R1 | 1960 Chevy Impala (Version A) | blue with white top