So normally I don't do this -- buy a car that is nominally still part of the current model year while there is still a chance I'll find one on the pegs -- but if we're being honest, I'm not going to find this one because it is a Treasure Hunt. And Treasure Hunts are not likely to get any cheaper over the long run, in fact if they become trendy for some reason the only direction the price is going to go is up.

So, off to eBay.

This seller had one for a reasonable price. Shipping was on the expensive side, so after some back and forth I threw some more cars in and made a bundle; we completed the deal and the cars arrived unbelievably quickly. So for US$60 I ended up with a bunch of cars I wasn't likely to find elsewhere.

We start, therefore, with the reason for the bundle: the 2017 Fandango Treasure Hunt.

2015 Mainline - Treasure Hunt
The Fandango is a casting I am collecting, so buying this was a no-brainer once I found an affordable deal. I am very pleased to be able to put this car up on my wall, and we'll have to find somewhere with the more permanent collection for it to live.

I did buy a whack of Plano cases (well, a half-dozen, which is a small whack?...) so there will be some reorganization coming in the future once I figure out what I want to do. Right now the Fandangos live in the old black Mattel Hot Wheels display cases, and while there isn't room for this one (or the previous one I got recently) I'm not decided on which cars to remove in order to add these new ones.

And maybe the best news? While doing the research on this car, I discovered that there is going to be a red non-treasure-hunt version released! More Fandango is never a bad thing.


Jacked Up

And here we are back with the trucks, eh? This is a uber-lifted Chevy Blazer 4x4. This sort of reminds me of the old Ford Bronco castings -- of which I have a couple, and am now motivated to dig out.
Chevy Blazer 4x4
2017 Mainline #034
This isn't a terrible model, although I am turned off a bit by the excessively chromed front of the suspension, something probably necessary because of the casting process.

And look, there's even stuff inside the back!


Load Up

Construction equipment! Woo. I like these older ones where the bucket is a separate piece from the arm. More recent pieces have them all together as one, and have ridiculous "blown" engines hanging on the back. I don't need anything like that, this is fine.
Wheel Loader
2001 Mainline #123
More of these coming in the future, promise.


Chin Up, Part 3

There's low chin spoilers... and then there's this one. This one almost rubs the ground even fresh from the package.
2016 Ford GT Race
2017 Mainline #166
The car itself however I can't get excited about -- there's just something about the length of the car and the tacked-on-the-back diffuser that spoils the car for me. The whole thing is almost comically too long.


Chin Up, Part 2

Echoing yesterday's Porsche, this '94 Toyota Supra from the Fast&Furious series also has a deep, track-unfriendly chin spoiler. On the other hand, it handily shows more how the plain white car should be executed. It
'94 Toyota Supra
2017 Fast&Furious #7
Perhaps the Porsche was too busy -- here the white looks clean and purposeful, a statement on its own, instead of a blank slate waiting to be written on. I can't really tell you why this one works and the Porsche didn't. Maybe it's the extra splash of contrast in the LW wheels. It also has details on the back which help break up the potential monotone of color.

I passed on this the first time I saw it, but regretted it. I am very glad that the Fast&Furious line became a bit of a peg warmer and I got another chance.


Chin Up, Part 1

Once in a while you see a casting that's clearly been released more for collectors than for play value. This casting of the Porsche 934.5 is clearly such a casting because of the ridiculously low chin spoiler that will make the car hopeless on the orange track and will end up dragging on the ground at the first hint of front axle deformation
Porsche 934.5
2017 Mainline #153
This particular instance of the car needs more decoration than it has -- there isn't enough detail in the casting to wear the smooth white paint with dignity. It looks like an empty billboard, and I'm sure future releases of this car will be garishly decorated.



So today's offering represents a science experiment that I wanted to do -- I wanted to see how much of a difference FTE wheels made to a car's track value. In 2005 this was made easy, since the exact same car was released with FTE wheels and with the more standard 5SP wheels.

Off Track
2005 Mainline #159
I did some basic experiments in which the FTE wheels would clearly go much further every time, however quantifying it is difficult since there is so much variation in wheel running quality. As a comparison, I also own a black 2004 Off Track which also has the 5SP wheels -- and in running back to back tests with these two cars, the 2004 car was closer to the FTE car than it was to the 2005 5SP car. Clearly roll quality is a crap shoot.

Off Track
5SP Wheels
Personally I think the 5SP car looks better.

Off Track
FTE Wheels

You can see that there's an engine molded into the inside insert.

Pretty nice all around.


Blurred Lines

Here's another Datsun 620, I bought it mostly because I have the other... three? four?... can't remember. Neat enough, except for the details.

Datsun 620
2017 Mainline #181
Tampo application is pretty terrible here, especially towards the back of the truck. The last white one we had was similarly terribly tampo'd, I wonder if it is a problem with the casting or the paint that is used.

Simple lines, neatly executed, good track value since the scary deep spoiler at the front isn't really as low as it looks thanks to it being tucked back.


Unexpected Focus

So why not another Focus to close out the week? This is another casting I've liked for a long time.
'08 Ford Focus
2008 Mainline #031
The attraction to me is the fender flairs, the extended nose, and the way the spoiler flows off the back. And in bright yellow it is a great winner. I remember liking it when I got it, but if you'd asked me before I pulled it out if it was a favorite I doubt I would have rated it at all. It is surprising how much better some cars are when you have them out again. I don't think I have any more of these castings, but I'll definitely add it to the list of castings I check for when I'm padding an eBay order.


Stripper Focus

...I did mention I had more than one of these, right? Right.

So this year at least some of the Zamac series made it to Ottawa. This is the first one I'll present; I have two more waiting for a more suitable time. The cars arrived in February or March, and such was the state of disorganization at some Walmarts that the mainline pegs were populated exclusively by the three Zamac models from the case.
Ford Focus RS
2017 Zamac #002
The Zamac series exists outside of the mainline and so has a different series number. This one is wearing the tampos from the white car, and shares the same red-rimmed wheels from the other two 2017 releases.

Zamac is something that always looks better in photos than it does in the hand. In photos it looks like this sparkly silver finish that has depth and reflections. In real life, it looks like abused aluminum. I didn't like the Subaru Brat in Zamac for the same reason. This one is somewhat better -- but only somewhat. Lots of people will pursue it because it is different; me, I don't see what the attraction is.


Alternate Focus

So since I have more than one of these, I figured I'd just put them together. This is the color variation for the Ford Focus RS. For 2017 Mattel has done something different, the color variations all have unique mainline numbers. This does rather sharpen the hunt, since you end up with a definitive list of what is going to be out there for the year instead of wondering exactly how many color variations there are going to be.
Ford Focus RS
2017 Mainline #176
This one has rather crap tampo application. It is bad enough that I'll be buying another one if I can find it, and this one will probably go to the office.
Love those red rims though.


#1: Top Ten Things I Found in A Ten-Pack

And so, at long last, we end the top ten series with the top position, the anchor, the main reason for buying this particular 10-Pack. I give you the Ford Focus RS.

Ford Focus RS
2017 Mainline #079
I really like the previous one I got, I liked it so much that I ended up buying a second one for the desk at the office. The car is really reminiscent of my 1:1 scale 2010 Mazda 3 that I drive every day, so I was keen to get more examples of this casting.

The rest of the 2017 Mainlines have been almost criminally absent here in Ottawa -- seriously, all the Walmarts are still grinding down what's left of the December pre-Christmas dump or just rocking completely empty mainline peg boards along with stuffed Fast&Furious or Track Day peg warmers. Toys'R'Us got some in February and then some more just in the last week as I write this, but still there are a large, large number of cases that we'll just never see here in Ottawa. If anything, the Dollaramas are currently working their way through a newer case than what Walmart has. Usually there's a drought after Christmas while the stores do inventory, but this year's drought has been on the epic side. So this might well be the only way to get this particular car.

And generally I don't buy 10-packs. I'll buy 5-packs for one car, but 10-packs are more expensive so I need them to have more than one or two cars that I want. For this 10-pack the cars I wanted were this one, yesterday's 911, and the Scion that ended up free-falling to 8th place on the list. I also didn't want a lot of fantasy cars, and most 10-packs seem to have a 50/50 split in terms of fantasy/licensed models. This 10-pack had only 2 fantasy models which is exceptionally good.

This particular model has some nice design work on the tampos, but lacks the headlight tamps which make the car work. The white paint also brings out some of the flaws in the modelling, as seen in the front left corner, above. The red ring rim on the wheels is nice, too.

And I'll conclude by saying that it wasn't until I saw this picture above that I realized the casting had the RS badge on the rear hatch. Really nice detail.

So that's the multipack I bought in Cambridge. What did you think of this feature? Is it something I should do again in the future? Is anyone out there? Is this thing on? Bueller?


#2: Top Ten Things I Found in A Ten-Pack

So after all the juvenile hand-wringing over third place, we're down to the top two, and both of those are easily ranked. Today is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and this is one of the reasons why I picked this 10-pack in the store (tomorrow's offering being the other reason).

Porsche 911 GT3 RS
2017 Mainline #117
This car is from the 2017 Mainline. This casting is a current favorite of mine and I appear to be moving mountains to collect them all as they come out. This particular example is well executed, with simple tampos and a nice oddball green color.

I don't have much to say about this car other than I think its neat, so I bought it.