Monday, October 12, 2015

The models of Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Batch J are better than I thought...

Retro Entertainment Batch J is at Wheel Collectors

Not all Retro Entertainment Model strike my fancy.  But I have said that many times before.  If it is a replica of a real car, no matter what movie or tv show it comes from, I am interested.

But even then, some models just don't peak my interest.  Maybe they are from an era that doesn't interest me, or I just don't like the casting.

That is what I figured would be the case with Retro Batch J.  First off, it has a Batmobile, and I have no interest in Batmobiles.  (I know many of you do, so of course I included pics.)  Second, there is a motorcycle, and I have never collected motorcycles.  Third, no other models really stood out.

Except they do!  Now that I have them in hand, the '56 Chevy and Checker Cab are fantastic models. I have no idea if they are new castings or not, but I am happy to have both models.  Same with the Corvette.  It is a dated casting, and a little sloppy, but it has never looked better, especially with the clever way the mooneyes disk wheels were tampo printed to show the 80's Corvette wheels.  Very nice touch.

Nonetheless, this is a worthy set.  Yeah, the '56 Chevy is a Brady Bunch car, but it is the star of the set.  I see many uses for that model in the future.

Enjoy the pics.

(Find Retro Entertainment at Wheel Collectors...)

The Hot Wheels Convention Mercury Cougar, the model that upstaged the Datsun Wagon...

Find the Convention Cougar on eBay

If course that is my opinion, but now that we are a week removed, I keep returning to the Mercury Cougar as the best exclusive model from the event.

That is not to say I dislike the Datsun Wagon.  It is clearly the most sought-after model from the event, and deservedly so.  It looks sharp in black with its Mustang Boss-esque decor.  I am happy to have one in my collection, and happy I only had to pay $25 for it.

But let's be honest.  We are in a bit of a Datsun Wagon overkill.  I have always subscribed to the "more the merrier" approach to diecast, but the Wagon has been a little overexposed.  Of course I will add the Kmart exclusive to the collection, and the Car Culture version (also in black) coming next year is a must-have, but maybe it is time for a little break.  I never thought I would say it, but I miss the muscle.

So maybe that is why the Mercury Cougar keeps demanding my attention.  I have loved the casting since Rob Matthes designed it.  I have never found an actual vehicle it is based on, but seeing the Cougar Trans-Am'd out is fantastic.  And every deco the model has sported since its release has been fantastic.

But nothing beats this version created for the Dinner held in Rob's honor at the Convention.  The color is great, the racing deco and wheels fit the Trans Am theme, and if you look closely, you will see that this is a modified version.  Gone is the upsloped, track-friendly chin for the basic version, replaced by a more realistic front grill.  That means two things: One, this is the must-have version of this casting, and two, hopefully we see this in future premium lines.  The casting certainly deserves it.

There seemed to be a bit of an underwhelming response to the model when it was first released, but I think this is one of those "let it grow on you" models.  It certainly has for me.  It takes the cake in an even that was full of fantastic exclusives.

(If you don't have one, you can find one on eBay...)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Opening a huge box of Golden Era Matchbox...

I had a little fun today.

And considering my office is still torn up following last weekend's flood, and I have been working the last few days trying to prevent another flood, this was a refreshing break.

A few days ago I bought a small loose collection of Matchbox.  I have been touting the brand for awhile now, showing how great Matchbox was only a few years ago, and watching with the rest of you as they slowly return to glory.  Needless to say, since meeting the new team at the Matchbox Gathering in July (follow them at @matchboxworld on Instagram), and learning about where things are going, I have been on a massive Matchbox kick.

And that prompted me to want to fill in some gaps on my "Golden Era" collection.  I have called 2006 to 2010 the last golden era of Matchbox, where realism was the focus and variety was the fun.  There are so many nice models from that time, and I want to make sure I have a good representation of those models.

So I called an old friend who is thinning out his collection, and a few days later three very heavy packages arrived:

Today I opened the first package, and without even unwrapping one model I was happy with my decision to buy these.  It also was further evidence that Matchbox should ALWAYS be opened.

And the fun continued from there.  So many cool models.  Standard releases, recolors, even special series like Stars of Cars.  It is amazing the output and variety of models.  So many of these would be so popular today, and maybe some of these tools are still in good enough condition for a rebirth.  We will have to see.

I only opened one box, and here are some of the highlights.  Two more boxes later this week...