2016-04-29

Big Day

Yes, it's a big day for Ferrari Friday, today we have a 1:18 Hot Wheels Ferrari F2001.


The attention to detail on the models of this size is pretty amazing. No tobacco logos, but that's probably because they are still nominally toys and you don't want that kind of stuff in kids toy boxes.

These cars only seemed to be available through hobby stores or specialty stores, and here in Ottawa we don't have any of those which last. Which is unfortunate, but probably also means I save a bunch of money I'd otherwise spend.


I have a bunch of other 1:18 cars, all of this vintage or older. I'll dribble some of them out over the coming months.

2016-04-27

Grab Bag

So one of the things I have done in the past is that I bought out a flea market seller's inventory. The exact sequence of events that led to this result are a bit fuzzy, but I seem to recall one of the guys who worked at a customer site I was stationed at got wind of it somehow. For about $100, I ended up with about 300 cars, some carded, some not. The loose cars were in a big box which I've stored in my closet for a couple years now, and during one of the recent clean ups I moved the bulk of my loose cars into it as well. Since the box is up on a high shelf where I can't see into it, I thought it might be fun to pull a car from it every once in a while, completely blind, and post it up here. Which is a fine idea, except the first car I pulled was this one:

Cannonade
1981 Mainline, toy 1691
And I was honestly torn. I mean, this is a crappy model to look at. It is banged all to hell, the windscreen barely stays on, and all the wheels are both rusted up and uneven runners. It really not very interesting. But on the other hand, part of the fun of the grab bag is when it goes hilariously wrong, right? When the grab is a booby prize. So I decided to suck it up and stick to it.

Quasi-ironically, I owned an example of this car when I was a kid, and it lasted longer than most of the other cars I had. It was probably lost in the great purge of 1998, when I got tired of the huge boxes of crap filling up my bachelor apartment and just got rid of about 2/3rds of them after only a cursory examination of their contents. Deep inside one was a Black Magic chocolate box that had the remnants of my childhood collection, including one of these and a Spacer Racer.

The one wheel on this car which isn't rusted to hell is chrome, meaning that this is the 1981 car, not the 1982 car that had GW wheels instead (gold instead of chrome). The wiki page says it had an orange #3 tampo'd on the side, but of course that's long gone.

Even after saying all that, you can see that I still did a re-draw. And came up with a bit of a mystery.

Aeroflash
2001 Mainline #229
This casting of the car isn't on the Hot Wheels wikia site. Even though it has Silver Bullet stamped on its base, the casting was originally released in 1975 named as the Large Charge and has also been released as the Aeroflash. The listing for the last name includes a 2001 Mainline release which describes this car, but without a picture; it claims the release had DW3 wheels (but those are undescribed wheel types) and this one clearly has SB wheels. So based on probabilities (description, age, a time when I was buying cars less discriminately) we can say this is very probably a 2001 Aeroflash.


The low-3/4 rear view is surprisingly attractive, all things considered.

So that's the grab bag for today. We'll try it at least once more in the future and see how it goes.

2016-04-25

MOAR BATMOBILE

I clearly have a soft spot for the classic TV Series Batmobile. I think it's my head.


The classic fleet is now up to three with the addition of the 2016 Entertainment Series TV Series Batmobile. And the more I look at it, the more I think we have a winner.


This car has a more interesting semi-gloss black flake paint, black smoke windshields, Real Rider tires and a metal base. But it also includes more pinstriping on the nose and tail. The nose especially pops more with the red detailing.

My only criticism of the casting -- and this is reaching a bit -- is that I think it would look better with the clear windshields, maybe with some tampo on the emergency light between the two canopy domes. However over all I think this car is good enough to dislodge the blue windshield classic from over my desk. We have a new favorite!

2016-04-22

Final Run Ferrari Friday

And this should bring us back on schedule. Hopefully I can return to the rhythm of posting three times a week again.

For a few years, Mattel made a bigger deal out of retiring certain castings. The last year would be stamped with "Final Run" logos and have more commemorative tampoing. I don't know if this was designed to boost the collectability of the cars -- certainly I fell for it in a couple of cases, buying a casting that I would have otherwise passed on.

This is one of those castings.
Race Bait 308
Mainline 2004-134
There isn't anything special about this casting -- it follows the Ferrari 308 (specifically the 308GTB, if some of the releases' names are to be believed)  reasonably enough, while still having the short overhangs and high skirts that would make it go well on the track. It also has a metal body, increasing the track-ability of this car.

I think I only bought it because I had some 308s from an older collection and the Final Run suggests it might be collectible -- and therefore valuable -- for the future. But of course it isn't, really, and I've opened it so there goes that.

The most notable release of this car, in my opinion, is the fabled and legendary Golden Machines set car, but we'll speak more of this set another time.


The C-U-Later Racing is a nice touch.

2016-04-21

Swisher

It's make-up time for Monday. Everyone likes Rally cars, don't they?
Escort Rally
1998 Mainline, Collector #637
Even though it cuts a bit of an awkward profile thanks to the roof wing, it still is pretty faithful to the original car. I like the extra lights on the nose, the way it was the style back in the '80s. Mattel did a few rally-inspired castings from this era, and most of them are very good. I think this is the only casting I actually have though. I do have several other releases of this casting, so we'll undoubtedly see more in the future.


I've never noticed the Swisher Motors logo on the front chin before. I really like this face-on view of the car.

2016-04-20

No Fear

Fresh from 1997, the No Fear Race Car was designed to echo the Indy Car racers of 1994.
No Fear Race Car
1997 Mainline Collector #244
This is one of the few Hot Wheels cars that includes a driver as part of the car. You can also see that while the car is fairly true to the design of the actual racing cars, it is arranged so that it wouldn't be completely hostile to the needs of the track.

Thanks to the Hot Wheels Wikia, I know that this is one of the 1997 releases thanks to the 7SP wheels that it sports. The original debut model from 1994 wears 5SP wheels instead.



2016-04-18

Logistical Glitch

All work and no sleep make Dave something something. Was at a data center all weekend doing a customer move and didn't get the time to do this week's posts. I should have something for Wednesday, and we'll still do the three posts for the week but they will be delayed. Sorry.

While you wait, have a picture of my yellow Super Tuned that I took back in 2009.

Super Tuned
Mainline 2001-201
This was a picture taken back when I was doing self-documentation with a Sony MVC-1000 camera. Despite the small sensor size -- only 2MP -- the camera had a large lens, which is positively GIGANTIC by smartphone standards, and so it usually took really nice, if small, pictures.

2016-04-15

Ferrari Prototype Racer

Enzo Ferrari very famously didn't care too much for the "sanctity" of his racing cars, and the convoluted history that surrounds many of the Ferrari-P cars bears that out. That said, some of them were quite nice to look at, and today we have the Hot Wheels rendering of the Ferrari P4.

I don't know what it is about matte black finishes, but they rarely look good, and this example is further spoiled by a terrible tampoing job. Looking at the Hot Wheels Wiki page for this model shows another example with middling tampoing, so perhaps it is a failing of the matte paint to accept the tampos properly.

Ferrari P4
2005 Ferrari 5-Pack
Red gloss paint can hide a world of sins, but on this car it only emphasizes the beauty of the car and looks fantastic. I'm a sucker for this shade of red, and having set off by the good tampo job only helps.

Ferrari P4
Mainline 2002-025
This is a good rendition of the model, although the high front fenders are perhaps a little exaggerated from the actual original. Just like one of the originals, this one carries a spare wheel for those moments when you have a flat tire.


Overall, very nice to look at. There seem to be a lot of these in the Ferrari 5-Packs I have not opened, so undoubtedly we'll be seeing more of this casting in the future. And really, who could complain?


2016-04-13

Foiled Completionism

Pikes Peak Celica
2012 Offroad
Remember about six weeks ago when I was complaining about the cost of buying Hot Wheels from the US? Well, this is the car that I bought.


The Pikes Peak Celica is a special casting to me because it represents my return to HotWheels collecting in 2000. The very first car I purchased was the Mainline Pikes Peak Celica from that year, and since then I've been making an effort to collect all the different cars that I can. This car makes 20 different cars of this casting in my collection.

Because this is a premium model, it has Real Rider tires and a fantastic attention to details:



Unfortunately it doesn't roll very well, it has wheel guards on the inside of the chassis that the car skids along on instead. Clearly this is a collector's item rather than a toy, but even so it is a bit disappointing.


The other piece of bad news is that my collection still isn't complete -- while researching this casting after buying this car I discovered that I am still one short.

2016-04-11

Schoolboy Fantasy

Vector W8 TwinTurbo
2012 HotWheels Boulevard
Something a little different today. I got this car back in 2012 during the Christmas shopping rush as a stocking stuffer for myself (yeah, I know, but who else knows me better?). It has been on my desk for a while now, since I went through everything and did the 15 years of Ferrari Collecting post, so I have decided that today's the day we open this sucker.


This was the stuff of school boy fantasies in the '80s. I had a buddy who insisted that this car was the greatest car ever to be conceived and that it would single handedly beat any and all european sportscars like the Ferraris and Lambourghinis of the day. His obsession lasted until the even more unlikely Cizeta v16t graced the pages of Motor Trend.

Everything in the '80s was straight lines, either for aero "reasons" or because straight panels were far easier to make. This resulted in cars having some very boring rear ends.


This casting is a pretty faithful rendition of the car, complete with odd-ball fuel ports, gigantic air intakes, and a back of the car you would never be able to see out of. (If memory serves, this was one of the first cars to propose a TV screen so that you could see out the back of it, although I seem to recall this was supposed to be on full time in liu of rear view mirrors -- although some Googling around suggests I'm wrong with that recollection.) The tampoing on the side skirts is well done and the wheel choice complements the bright red paint. All told this is a very nice model.


I can't help but wonder how many bedroom walls were graced by posters of this car? And in the end, all for nothing.


2016-04-08

Another Dull Wedge


Well it may be another dull '80s wedge car, but it is a Ferrari, so it qualifies as Friday material.


What can be said about this model? It is typical of the 1980's "style", simple lines combined with gentle corner rounding to make the car look aerodynamically efficient and still look like the Ferrari's of the 70s. Unfortunately, even in the electric banana yellow that I usually love, this 2002 car is still terribly dull.


The Hot Wheels wiki claims this 1993 mainline car is "bright red". Well mine is pink. In fact it is shocking as to how pink it is. These photos do absolutely no justice to the pinkness of the car. Not that pink is necessarily bad, mind you -- in this case it does make the car more interesting, and it makes the car suit the UltraHots wheels that are fitted. Also interesting is the ridiculous "Ferrari 348" stenciled across the hood. Trust me, nobody wants the make and model of their car displayed so prominently. Finally, if you look carefully, you'll see that the seats in the car are actually red in an otherwise all-black interior.


In the 90s, this car was released a number of times with wild colors and crazy tampos. Since the car is pretty simple in design it does make a good canvas for that kind of art, however I usually prefer simpler as being better. For example, in black this 2002 car is much better looking. I think Mattel realized that this car wasn't quite so interesting so they tampo'd their logo in the rear window.