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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quick Looks, Part II



The second installment focuses on three castings profiled before in new colors, with the Johnny Lightning Porsche 911 Carerra joining the group.




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ZAMAC Mad Propz and '64 Corvette

As mentioned before, the Mad Propz celebrates ten years for 2014 and with it I showed off most of the variations that I have of this casting.  I don't know why I collect this casting, heck I even don't like to collect aircraft compared to regular road vehicles, but for some reason something about this plane just gets my attention.  I like the World War II-style fighter-jet look with the two-tone metal body construction, chrome engine, 5-spoke propeller, and smooth body lines.  It may not have an interior and the wingspan is small (to make it fit in the blister bubble diagonally), but it sure is cool.  The newest addition to my collection is also a first for me:  Right now, Wal-mart's have been the ideal place to find 15 special recolors of Mainline cars each year in Zamac suit.  What this means is that the body has no paint, only the bare metal of the material (hence the Zamac term) shows.  However, back in 2004 it was a novelty as the first 30 or so vehicles in the 2014 line got the Zamac treatments to a limited run equivalent of the typical Treasure Hunt.  While I've found unique variations and Treasure Hunts in 2004, finding one Zamac still eludes me, until now.  Thanks to Milezone I have found the only Zamac that I really cared about in the 2004 line, and one that fits nicely in the collection of Mad Propz.  Shortly after receiving this model, I also got the new 2015 recolor not shown in the pics (it arrived days after I took pictures of the Zamac).  It has an impressive gold top with grabber blue lower bottom and the typical racing decals on the wings.  This new recolor is the best one by far since the 2004 introduction in red, K-mart-only blue, and Zamac variations.



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Speaking of K-mart is the new recolor for the 1964 Corvette.  After an excellent run in the red with factory-stock decals that really put a different aspect on this casting after a year swirling in wild colors and graphics, the K-mart version really shines the most in Dark Green with the return of the blacked-out 5-spoke wheels with white outer lip.  At first I thought the color was black, and after previous experiences with this casting, including the ill-advised wheel rubbing at the rear, I was skeptical of this recolor.  Then I saw the recolor in person only to find out it's a much darker green that really pops out of this casting (this is the same coat used for the 9-pack only '71 Ford Maverick Grabber), as does the wheels.  The other benefit is that the version that I got does not have any wheels rubbing against the fenders, so for the first time I get a 1964 Corvette that rolls smooth without drama, with an eye-catching color!



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Hot Wheels Porsche 934 RSR takes on a Johnny Lightning counterpart

Many of you have viewed my review on the new Porsche 934 Turbo RSR a few months ago in the eye-catching orange with excellent details of this road racer built for the street.  Now the color is black with gold lace wheels for an even more stealthy look.  Now in that review I showed off the past Hot Wheels versions related to the 934 generation, but one that was not included and is fair to say should be included to compare with the RSR is the Johnny Lightning version of the 911 Carerra.  Now note I said it was a Carerra because even though it looks like a Turbo it lacks the visible turbo on the flat-6 motor on the bottom of the black-coated metal base.  Back in the 1980's you can even have lower-end 911 models look like the Turbo model.  This is an odd-suit for Johnny Lightning to make foreign cars since they primarily focus on the American vehicles, yet there were a few exceptions in the 2000's, and this 911 was the sole Porsche model to vast fanfare.


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The colors on these vehicles were impressive ranging from black to silver to my favorite, burgundy.  All have the same blacked-out 5-spoke wheels with silver outer lip, though sadly they're all-plastic tires, and black trim on the sides and front and rear bumpers.  The headlights, parking lights, and rear taillight bar is all nicely-done.  The interior is simple, yet effective to show the proper layout of the 911's dash and two-plus-two seating.  The real interest is out back where the rear trunk with large spoiler opens to reveal the flat-6 motor that produces 230 hp though a 5-speed manual.  Alongside the Hot Wheels 934 Turbo RSR in black it clearly shows how two different 911 from two different diecast companies can come together in unison and really show off the best of what Porsche has offered in the past.


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New vs. Old Camaro's in red

Finally is a look at two different Camaro's, both in red and both have their ways of showing their stuff.  The first is the 1965 IROC Camaro, done in Z28 trim, for the 1980's T.V. show 'Simon and Simon'.  This series has been through lots of castings recently, and the Camaro is nicely-done.  The red body of the attractive and well-done IROC casting has a lower silver trim with Z28 badges, detailed front-end with silver headlights inside the black surround, Camaro badge, and lower grille and signal lights.  The hood scoops still show off and now join the blacked-out panel for the targa piece; now typically you see these Camaro's with t-tops, so why does it have the targa?  Well as it turns out there was a small number of Camaro's with the targa top option which gives it a much cleaner look over the t-tops.  At the rear is the taillights, now fully-stamped on a black background and joins the detailed California plate.  The multi-spoke wheels with white-letter rubber tires really give the additional pop to the detailed body.  The interior is the same as the IROC, nicely-done, with the carry-over base now dipped in black and cased in metal.  While this modal seems to be a pegwarmer lately, I can't see why when this IROC Camaro has lots of interesting details to offer.



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The other one is the Johnny Lightning 1969 Camaro RS/SS in red with black stripes.  This version can only be found in Tractor Supply Stores, and it's based on the fantastic, if overused, 1969 Camaro coupe casting.  The front has the silver grille with louvered covers, detailed bumper and signal lights with lower chin spoiler.  The rear has the detailed taillights and bumper setup.  The interior has the typical Camaro layout with seating for four and an angled-back dashboard.  The hood opens to revel the 350 CID V8 mostly in all black with no details.  The base is plastic, but nicely-detailed, while the wheels are custom 5-spoke with plastic tires.  Notice anything different?  If you caught it, the wheels are white and so is the base; this is the so-called White Lightnings, Johnny Lightning's version of a Treasure Hunt.  Every casting since the late 1990's has the opportunity to have the White Lightning treatment, which is usually reserved for the wheels, tires, base, and/or interior.  Sometimes the exterior body is white, and then there are times when it's not exactly white: case in point the JL Poker run series where the cars have green fuzzy body, just like the seats, or green wheels as the WL (I have the green fuzzy wheel WL version on the '69 Ford Mustang casting in a sinister black look).  Yes, they still make them even for Tractor Supply stores.  I was lucky to find this one, and I must say it looks good with the red paint.  I even named it the 'Cherry Bomb' since this has more of a reaction for me to this casting than the 1968 Camaro custom with the same name that premiered in the Forever 64 line a few years ago!


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