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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hot Wheels 1983 Chevy Silverado 4x4 and (Matchbox) 1979 Ford F-150 and F-250

Here's a look at two new trucks for the Hot Wheels line that have been modified: one to improve some negatives on the existing one and the other to just add another fantastic model to an otherwise fantastic line of trucks.

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1983 Chevy Silverado 4x4

I already profiled the Silverado line from Hot Wheels a while ago, and it was a nice review of one of my favorite new Hot Wheels trucks to come out in the past ten years.  Yes it has been through many variations, including two Super Treasure Hunts, but only a few are my most cherished, especially those with a more stock look like the first release in the Modern Classics in 2008.  In 2012 another member of the family was added in the Hot Wheels Off Road line, the raised 4x4 version.  I never got the race version but finding this second version from the "Friday Night Lights" movie was icing on the cake!  The metal base is now lifted with a two-speed transfer case and larger 5-spoke wheels on chunky rubber tires.  The front bumper has an additional grille bar, the rear bumper is the tubular type, and running boards are added on as well.  The bed area, unfortunately, still has the wheelwell cutouts and air tank.  The interior, unlike the latest Silverado releases this year, sill has the front seats forward instead of against the back of the cab.  The look is amazing in black with detailed headlights, taillights, silver tailgate with CHEVROLET, and silver side stripe and trim with Silverado badges on the front fenders.  It looks even more bold than the 2WD version and goes great with the 2008 version.  The white FRAM version is the Toys-R-Us special recolor and has orange windows; personally the orange FRAM version is better.  If you see this truck at stores (which I've seen a few times already!), buy it.  It's that great!

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Hot Wheels 1979 Ford F250 and F150

In 1999 Hot Wheels did a tribute to the late founder of Wal-mart, Sam Walton, with a replica of his special truck.  It is painted red with white center stripe, has rubber tires, and comes with a case found on the Hot Wheels Collectibles series at the time.  The tailgate was positioned down to show off the dog cage and his dog Roy.  It was pretty easy to find back in 1999; then in 2013 it was re-released again as a special Treasure Hunt for the Wal-mart Road Trippin (or whatever they called it in the past few years) with a few slight changes.  The truck was released in the mainline and in a Harley-Davidson 5-pack in 2000 with more changes:  The tailgate was removed and in its place was a plastic tailgate molded into the plastic camper shell.  At this point problems were raised:  The interior and base were poorly-detailed and it lacks enough metal.  After a few runs it disappeared quickly with a quirky Preying Mantis blue and black with Harley logo's and flames.  For 2015 Hot Wheels addressed this issue with a revised casting, the Ford F250, for the "Close Encounters of a Third Kind" movie.  Nice touch!

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The new truck is a smidge smaller, but otherwise is the same size as the F150 for this regular cab, long bed truck with a metal bed area, metal tailgate with FORD letters, and a nifty roof rack with ladder's and ropes; you can still use the cargo area despite the rack and it can be removed for future variations without it.  The front has the large bass-like grille with detailed headlights, hood that wraps around the sides, smooth straight body lines in yellow with Dept. of Water and Power on the doors and F250 badges.  The back has detailed taillights and if you look close you can see the clearance lights on the roof.  The metal base still has the same lack of details as the plastic base on the F150, while the interior has a more flat dashboard but otherwise still has the same lack of detail interior setup, and note the split rear window as well.  A few negatives:  The gas cap door is now missing on the new tool and the use of large steel wheels are nice but they are too wide and tend to rub against the fenders (not to mention they're slicks!).

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Speaking of 1979 Ford's this next one is the wild Matchbox Ford Flareside Pickup.  It was introduced in 1983 with typical treaded 8-spoke wheel, then the race car slicks arrived and this pickup gets them.  Wow, what a look!  Sure, they make flare out past the fenders but hey they enhance the look of this truck and give it better handing as well.  The front has a chrome brush guard with foglights ahead of the typical F150 grille and headlights.  The sides of the cab have that typical angular look with Custom F150 badges on the front fenders and side exhaust pipes.  The rear stepside is classic with front and rear Euro plates, rear bumper with integrated taillights and tow hitch to tow trailers, rollbar in the bed, and that neat raked stance.  The interior has the same typical bench and dash layout with a small sunroof that pops up (this was the original sunroof for trucks!).  With all of this custom look you'd think it would only be for the streets, but in fact it has a transfer case to support 4x4 travels as well.  I've seen many examples over the years, with these two the nicest and shows how good this truck looks with flames or white flames.  While I hated the custom add-ons (I remember as a kid trying to remove the front grille guards on one of these), I always admired the cool and radical look of this pickup even though it takes a closer look to realize this is based on a 1979 Ford F150 stepside pickup.  Today it still looks cool!

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