Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible by Hot Wheels - $.97
Plymouth Hemi Cuda by Racing Champions - $.49
Plymouth Hemi Cuda by Johnny Lightning - $.99
Plymouth Hemi Cuda by Red Box (Zee-Toys) - $.79
Dodge Challenger by Matchbox - $.98
Big-Block Bang for a Buck
by Doug Breithaupt
What can you buy for $1 today in the diecast toy-car market?
To the right are five Mopar muscle cars that were all purchased recently
for less than a buck. All are currently in production, offered in various
colors and represent some of the most popular pony/muscle cars of the early
The five cars shown here provide a good comparison of the quality of in-expensive
diecast cars. The Matchbox model is the oldest casting, dating back to the
late 1970's. It has been offered consistently since that time with a few
casting variations to make it more of a drag-strip special. The blue and
white color version is my favorite.
Zee Toys (now owned by Red Box) was one of the first to do a Hemi Cuda.
While it is a bit on the crude side, the body shape and detail are realistic
and it even came in Plum Crazy or Arrest-Me Orange.
Hot Wheels offered a Hemi Cuda convertible several years ago and the first
color is the best so far. Lime green looks just right for this beast and
the casting is better than many $1 Hot Wheels.
Both Johnny Lightning and racing Champions have Hemi Cuda
models in their budget lines. These are simple, smaller versions of their
high-end cars that sell for $1 or less. Both are available in a variety
of colors. The Racing Champions Cuda carries the ugly wheels used on most
of these low-priced RC cars, what a shame. The JL car is all diecast and
the wheels seem a bit big for the body.
Now that Daimler-Chrysler has finally accepted reality and retired the Plymouth
marque, the Hemi Cuda and all Plymouths will be looked-at in a new light.
Maisto has just released the Hemi Cuda in their 1:64 line (I don't have
one yet) and others will follow. For $1 or less, you can add these Mopar
classics to your collection. It's nice to know that $1 can still do so much.