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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kinsmart vs. Hot Wheels 1999 Dodge Power Wagon Concept




One must wonder what would happen if we got the Power Wagon instead of the next Dodge Ram in 2002?  Well, it would look like this yet it didn't happen: instead we got a mixture of the Power Wagon and the Dodge Maxxicab concept truck for the final result.  Why I don't see a whole lot of classic Dodge Power Wagon castings in this scale I dunno but what I do know is that someday soon we'll see a bunch of them.  For now, these two castings based on the 1999 concept is the best that you can get.



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The Power Wagon was Dodge's call to World War II support as they provided a pickup that was capable all-around and can go anywhere with it's part-time 4WD system.  Many have also been converted into panel vans for ambulance duty in the war as well.  By the time the war was over the Power Wagon, like the Jeep, became a favorite for American citizens from farmers to firefighters to national park rangers.  The classic design would last until 1963 when the name was carried over to the D-series 4x4 pickup line.  The name was revived in 2005 for the Ram Heavy Duty line and still continues today.  This 1999 concept blended the original with the new-age technology.








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At first this Kinsmart 1:32 version looks to be a bit off:  one of the reasons has to do with the ground clearance being a bit high and the tires are skinny even though the 5-spoke wheels are correct.  The color is anything but silver, yet the blue looks really good on this truck!  The front has the crosshair grille with silver mesh insert, Ram logo on the hood, side hood vents or gills, and projector-beam headlights and LED signal lights on the external fenders.  The bumper is a separate piece with an integrated winch that is not shown here.  The fenders flare out to give it that classic look that also includes exposed bolts on the fender flares and recesses stamped in the bed.  The cab is rounded and larger for a regular cab body-style, though the Power Wagon name is a bit long on the doors.  The rear has round taillights and reverse lamps that extend out of the bedsides, Power Wagon and Dodge nameplates, and the Ram logo stamped into the rear plate area.











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Ground clearance is plenty despite the pullback motor taking up much of the space at the rear, while the base shows little of drivetrain detailing and I had to manually detail the exhaust system since it was missing (and I did it a bit sloppy).  One of the disadvantages of pullback racer pickups is that the motor always takes up the cargo area.  Not on the Power Wagon: Since the truck has lots of ground clearance the motor sits lower to allow a fully-detailed bed area, and boy it is with the detailed wood planks on the bed floor and LED center brake lights the highlights back here.  The interior has seating for two with the rear small doors opening up to a small indoor cargo area that features cabinet trays along the cab wall to secure smaller items. The front dashboard has a rounded look with a large round gauge pod that has a chronological clock layout for the gauges, round air vents, central radio and HVAC controls, and basket handle for the transmission shifter, right next to the transfer case shifter.  The 4-spoke steering wheel sits too far into the dashboard and the door panels lack details.  Despite my doubts this Power Wagon actually came out pretty well despite a few flawed areas.



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Better than my sole Power Wagon concept in the past, the Hot Wheels 1:64 version released in 2000.  Silver was the first color, followed by black and then appearing more often in the last decade with flames and graphics like the red 2008 model shown here.  Things are done differently here as the bed area is capped off by a tonneau cover with the Hot Wheels logo, the ground clearance is lower while sitting on large and chunky tires, and the headlights are part of the window piece but looks poorly done.  The basic shape from the flared fenders, external running boards, round cab, and stamped bodywork of the concept remains.  The interior has the same details but with less finesse than the Kinsmart, while the base has the proper details from the drivetrain to the exhaust system from the headers to the dual exhaust to the spare tire at the rear.  Again, nicely executed but does have some flaws in the front-end detailing, low ride height, and lack of a detailed bed area.



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While it may be a while before I have an original Power Wagon in my collection i'll stick with these two concepts for the time being.

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