Many of the major toy car publications (and we know who they are) see Wellys as toys rather than models. I believe the pull-back mechanisms may have been responsible for this. (Personally, I like the pull-backs and don't think there are enough pull-back collectors out there.) The same publications that ignore Wellys seem to readily acknowledge friction motor diecast vehicles (like New Ray's 1/32 scale New-Ray F-150 Ford pick-up truck, for example.)
Granted, while quality varies with each series and marketing stategy, Wellys have within the past few years really come into their own. Obviously, you have noticed that I am an avid colletor of anything Welly (not only under its own name, but also Autocraft (China), HongWell, among others. I am especially fond of emergency vehicle and construction playsets.
As far as your article is concerned, I am puzzled, as I have yet to see any Speed Wheels 1:60s as Wellys. All packagings of Speed Wheels Series VIII, sold by East West Distributing Company, Deerfield, Illinois (read Walgreens) are Maistos, and are so marked on the bottom, and on the back of the blister pack. This leads me to suspect that Wellys were previously sold as Speed Wheels, but certainly not Series VIII.
Also, with respect to your inquiry about 1/60 scale Wellys in their own packaging, I acquired two of these in single Welly "Super City Team" blister packs at a Great Eagle food single in Brooklyn, Ohio. The vehicles are distributed by Vertical Merchandising Systems,Inc., of Brooklyn Heights, Ohio. Previously the only blister packs that I have seen are the four-pack Emergency Vehicle Set No 8630-4B sold in Franklin Foods Stores in the Chicago area. The four-pack vehicles are identical to those found in the larger 10 PCS Fire Rescue (8635-10G) and 10 PCS Emergency Rescue (8630-10G), the "Super 3 Series" play sets found in the more exclusive (and expensive)toy and hobby stores.
I suspect that there are more Welly collectors out there, but are reluctant to come forward lest they be severely criticized by Matchbox, Maisto, and Hot Wheels collectors as being into "toy" cars.
Insofar as Welly vehicles are still fairly hard to find throughout the
midwest, I would like to see more collectors, and more suppliers."
"Thank You for your assistance in helping me finding Welly's among East West Distributing Company's Speed Wheels Series IX. So far, we have 11 of the 29 cars depicted on the reverse side of the blister packs. We have not yet found any trucks, the bus, the Corsica police cruiser or the Corsica taxi.
You probably already knew this, but for the benefit of your other Welly collector readers I would like to report the following: When searching the Speed Wheels Series VIII for Maisto's that we did not have, I happened to find a Welly Kenworth W900B Tractor No. 4444. This makes me wonder, are there are other Series VIII Speed Wheel Welly's? The back side of the Series VIII blister pack for this vehicle uses only the generic name "Tractor Racers."
I'm constantly on the look-out for Welly's, especially emergency vehicle and construction playsets.
Keep up the excellent work!
Bruce Mibeck, Abbott Park, IL
Editor's reply: Welly's great toy cars deserve more fans like Bruce.
I found your site when brownsing the internet and would like to congratulate you on a magnificient site, furthermore, I would like to ask you if I could use some of your articles on our Club Newsletter. We have a club of + - 90 members out here in Africa and would be very interesting to share some of your articles with all the members.
Please let me know, Thanking you"
Fernando Soares, Bedfordview, South Africa
Editor's reply: I told Fernando that it it would be fine to reproduce some of the TofTC articles as long as the source is credited.
I have another Motor Max car in my collection, it's a red Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. It's a good casting too, the doors open, but the car is not identified. I've found nothing on it neither.
Do you know anything about that company? I'd like to know more about
it, especialy those two cars. Thanks,
Michel Beaulieu, QuÈbec, Canada
Editor's reply: Motor Max is the brand name used by Red Box for their diecast cars. Many of these castings were accquired by Red Box from Zylmex when Zylmex was purchased. Red Box is now beginning to produce some new castings like the recent P.T. Cruiser.