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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interesting Cars

The wonderful thing about having my own Matchbox Diecast Blog (go "Matchbox Frenzy!"), is that I can talk about all of the fascinating elements of diecast collecting that I can't talk about with anyone else except for you!

Hot Corgi Wheels:

About 15 years ago I started noticing a few new odd How Wheels castings. I'm not sure how I knew that they were odd - but they just looked different than the normal new Hot Wheels castings. In fact, a few of them looked like Corgi castings. And it wasn't long before my suspicions were confirmed when I heard that Hot Wheels had bought some of Corgi's castings and was reissuing them as Hot Wheels.

I've never gotten a comprehensive listing of which castings were included - but I think it includes a Porsche 911 (yellow or silver - slightly larger than 1/64th scale), a Ferrari 308 (one of my favorite 'Hot Wheels' castings - and one that Mattel has been re-issuing a lot recently in some of their more expensive Hot Wheels lines), a tow truck, an '80's Mustang (the one that Corgi issued painted with NHL hockey team logos), and of course the '80's Corvette shown on the right.

The white version is the Corgi, the green is the Hot Wheels. Close examination of both the top-side and upside down photos (or the cars themselves if you have your own) leaves the viewer with no doubt that the 2 cars are from the same casting.

The odd thing about these Corgi/Hot Wheels castings is that they were unneccessary for Hot Wheels. In most cases, Hot Wheels already had existing castings of the same cars. For example, the blue Corvette is the photo is the common existing Hot Wheels Corvette casting.

Yellow/Orange Lamborghini Murciolagos:

Shown on the right are 3 similar models of the Murciolago - all in roughly the same crazy yellow/orange color (it is cool that all three are so similar). The first (bottom) is the AutoArt version, the middle is from Tomica, and the top is from Hot Wheels. (In fact the next photo includes 2 additional Hot Wheels Lamgorghinis - again in the same color paint).

Of the three Murciolagos, the Hot Wheels version is my least favorite. It is light and cheap feeling, the paint is less lustrous, and the wheels are the standard Hot Wheels wheels. The Tomica version is nice - but is slightly let down by the starndard Tomica wheels. Of the three, the AutoArt version is the nicest and the most detailed - and one of the few AutoArt models which feel to be in a true Matchbox 1/64 scale rather than being overly small.

Malibu Land Rovers:

Some of the unexpected treasures of my collection are my Malibu models. For those unfamiliar with this toy line - they were displayed in individual plastic boxes at WalMart stores about 2-3 years ago - much the same way that the M2 models are displayed today. Malibu made a number of highly detailed diecast cars, including models of cars not covered by any other diecast makers. After finding (and getting excited about) the models - WalMart stopped stocking the cars a few years ago. I haven't been able to find any new retail outlet for the cars, and there are few mentions of them on the internet or Ebay. If anyone knows where to buy them - please let me know!

Malibu included 3 current Land Rovers in their line - the LR4, the Range Rover Sport (shown in both black and white), and the full size Range Rover. I was thrilled to find them offering both the sport and full size versions of the Range Rover - completely different and realistic castings - and both in the same shade of white.

The next photo includes the VW and Audi SUVs - the Q7 again shown in 2 colors. A few of the models have nice rubber tires - others have cheaper plastic wheels. Not shown are a few other Malibu models that I have, including an Audi A4 cabriolet, an Alfa Romeo, a cheap feeling VW microbus, and a Jaguar XJ8 cabriolet.

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