Mercedes-Benz A-Class #216 - trade
Porsche 928 #247B - trade
Mitsubishi Pajero (Paris-Dakar) #292A- trade
1969 Chevy Pick-up custom - $.92
Bad Mudder (Ford off-road) - $92
Mitsuoka Le Seyde #25 - trade
1956 Ford Thunderbird #290 - $3.99
1959 Ford Thunderbird #295 - $2.99
1961 Ford Thunderbird #292 - $2.99
1968 Ford Thunderbird #291 - $2.99
1970 Dodge Charger custom #488 - $2.99
1966 VW Beetle #273 - $2.99
2002 VW Beetle #274 - $2.99
April brought some very interesting toy cars my way. The car of the month has to be the factory prototype of the Porsche 911 GT-2 produced by Anson for Tiger Wheels. This casting is ready for production but may not be offered unless collectors indicate they want it. A recent discussion on Mac Ragan's diecast forum seemed to indicate that this is not model desired by many. You can add your comments to the survey (click here). For a full review of this model (click here).
Through a trade with a French collector, I was able to add missing Majorette models. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is really quite good. It features an opening rear hatch and the window detail is especially well-done. Two of the rear seats are folded down, a nice touch. You may recognize the Porsche 928. Majorette offered this model in their light and sound models some years ago but it did not appear in the regular line until now. It has smoked windows and no interior. The Mitsubishi Pajero is especially welcome. It represents the 2001 Paris-Dakar winner of 2001 the first woman to win this amazing event. The tampos are generic but the colors are right.
From Hot Wheels the custom '69 Chevy Pick-up was found and it represents how popular these 'muscle trucks' have become. I finally released the Bad Mudder from it's package in preparation for an off-road racing article. It is clearly based on a Ford pick-up but I have no idea which one. Is it from an F150?
Tomica is offering one of the more curious models this year. The Mitsuoka Le Seyde is a neo-classic available to any Japanese who are taste-deprived. This throw-back to the 1970's is unlikely to get us salivating for an Excalibur (Majorette and Ertl) or Stutz (Hot Wheels) but joins these two as the only neo-classics done in 1:64 scale.
Johnny Lightning has released their new T-Bird series and it is very welcome. It's nice to see something other than muscle cars form the 1960's. The white '56 T-Bird is actually from the American Grafitti series but I like it better than the 'top-off' version that came with the T-Bird series. The one oddity is that all the models come with red-stripe tires. Red-stripe tires did not appear until the mid-1960's and look wrong on earlier cars. The colors of the cars are correct for the period and the detail is up to JL's usual high standards. A '58 and a '67 model are also available but use the same castings as the '59 and '68 models shown here. I expect we will see the '61 as an Indy Pace car soon. I hope the 1964 convertible, my favorite T-Bird will also appear. A 1977 would also be nice. Let's hope the '80-82 T-bird is never done as it was an offense to any definition of good taste.
Also from JL is #17 in the Rebel Rods Series, a '70 Dodge Charger. Lastly, Two more VW models from another new JL series were added.. The '66 classic Beetle and the '02 New Beetle show JL's expected attention to detail and will be popular.
Easily the best Matchbox models of 2002 are the Barrett-Jackson cars. These are 'Premier Collection' models at realistic prices and best of all, they somehow avoided the 'Matchbox' logo stamped on every other 2002 model. I hope this series continues for a long time and that older castings are re-issued as well. The '71 Camaro is particular well-done with black, chrome-rimmed wheels and white-letter tires that look just right for the age of the car. The '57 Corvette and '56 Eldorado are nice as well and re-enforced my decision to not buy the kitchy Elvis Caddys at $15 each. Not they need to do the M.G.A. and Jeep in this series too.
I also found the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chevrolet Corvette convertible from the Motor Trend series on sale and bought them. I refused to pay $7.99 for these models. The '62 VW Beetle is another 50th Anniversary model. From the regular Matchbox line, the Land Rover Discovery joins the recent Freelander model to continue the long association of these two (former) British companies.
Racing Champions provided a peek at the Chrysler Crossfire concept in their 'Concept and Muscle' series. For $1.99 it is an excellent model. I especially like the wheels. The '70 Dodge Charger Daytona from Ertl's American Muscle series is the best example of the 'winged warrior' yet. Even the tiny trunk opens. With plain steel wheels and red-stripe tires, this one looks ready for business.
Motor Max is doing a fine job with their new castings. Most recently, I added the Nissan 300ZX and Toyota Corolla. It is rare that we see plain-jane family cars like the Corolla and Motor Max deserves credit for these models.
New models from Maisto include two Lexi. The Lexus SC430 is clearly a response to the success of the Mercedes-Benz SLK and the Lexus IS300 is the counterpart of the C-Class. While it's nice to see these models from someone other than Tomica, the lack of interiors and the smoked windows continue to disappoint. Compare these to the Toyota Corolla from Motor Max that comes with a very nice interior and sells for the same price.
Also from Maisto are the Chevrolet Suburban and Avalance. These are huge vehicles in real life and join the collection of American SUV and pick-up models from Maisto. It's great that Maisto continues to do vehicles not done by other manufacturers.
Lexus SC430 by Maisto - $.46
1971 Chevrolet Camaro - $3.99
1957 Chevrolet Corvette - $3.99
1956 Cadillac Eldorado - $3.99
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee - $2.99
1962 VW Beetle - $3.99
Land Rover Discovery #62 - $.84
Chrysler Crossfire concept - $1.99
1970 Dodge Charger Daytona - $3.99
1996 Nissan 300ZX #6029 - $.75
Toyota Corolla #6014 - $.75
Lexus IS300 - $.46
Chevrolet Suburban - $.46
Chevrolet Avalanche - $.46