Volume IX, Number 1

Stay Tuned
by Jan Clevering

Although tuning is not new (Companies like AC Schnitzer en AMG have been doing this for years), it seems that after the film (movie, so you like) "The Fast & The Furious" that the tuning scene exploded. Of course we're talking about a different kind of tuning then for instance AMG did.

It's about making your car look individual, and should be accompanied by a certain performance, both in sound and engine (for most, anyway). Though the scene has been associated with ASBO kids, it seems to me that the money spend on those cars has to come from somewhere. I am not really into tuning, though for me it's an interesting niche. A niche, also found by toy companies.

The picture shown here is a good example. Lot's of spoilers, speakers and as it's an Evo, lot's of power. Maker? Kentoys.

Another company to have found the niche is Norev. Norev was highly praised for it's series of modern cars, but the "tuner" series did not really get a warm welcome from the collector community. Still, I like what they tried to do, with 'fat' rims, paint jobs and by using popular cars as the 205 and Nissan (Fairlady) Z, I think they hit a good spot by a lot of the tuners of the real ones.

Though Hot Wheels has done some outrageous cars, the tuner scene was not really bored upon, until maybe this car here:

But the best example I've seen are these sets, in which you can actually alter the cars. Cars include the popular Escalade, Ford F150, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Honda Integra R and Mitsubishi Eclipse. The cars themselves are highly detailed (and very cheap!)

Altogether, I think it's very cool that toy manufacturers are trying to keep up with the latest fashions with cars. We might not all agree on the subject, or what it is an image off, but in maybe five years time we might see it as "the good old days".

The lights in this car light up and... Mitsubishi apparently actually gave permission for this model by Kentoys

Apparently, VW and other manufacturers did not give permission for these Norev tuners, so they sold them under strange names as "Pink Lady" and "Firefox"

A '85 Toyota Corolla AE86 by Hot Wheels.