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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Welly 1:24 2015 Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab




With all this talk today about pickups being all maxed out with four doors and all the bells and whistles, sometimes the hard working man of the truck line feels left out.  While you can go to any dealership and see the various truck lines and cab styles, you have limited options in the diecast world.  While most go for the four door truck look, or for the new Raptor, Welly decides to go the bare bones way with a regular cab XL version of the new Ford F-150.




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Welly has last used the F-150 with the 1997 version, a regular-cab flareside sport that looks too identical to the Maisto version except the Welly version is an automatic transmission over the 5-speed manual of the Maisto.  Also this body-style of the F-series is way too-common for this generation, so this next one better be different.  While Maisto took care of the previous-generation with bare-bones versions starting with the XL in 1:43 scale to the STX trim in the larger 1:24 scale.  Welly returns the favor by taking over with the new 2015 in XL trim, but this is no bare bones truck: it has chrome bumpers, running boards, aluminum 6-spoke wheels on some skinny tires (and detailed brake calipers all-around), and even a detailed trailer hitch at the rear bumper.  This version is based on the regular cab XL that was shown at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.






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The front has a large blacked-out grille with Ford logo, lower chrome bumper with integrated foglights, and C-shaped headlights with excellent details marred by visible retaining holes for the clear lens to mate to the body.  The sides show off a nice slab side look with flared fender areas, large mirror and door handles, and running boards that also include smaller ones over the bed that pull out with the tip of your foot to add a side step that can retract back into the bed (no more flareside beds!).  Out back the bed has nice black trim caps on all bed edges, detailed tailights again marred by the support holes on the sides, chrome bumper with trailer hitch, and the silver exhaust tip exiting out on the right-side.  The tailgate opens by pulling up then swinging down to a bed area that is mostly plastic but can still haul 1:64 diecast cars; though the bed is small so some cars will tend to hang out with the tailgate closed.






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The base shows off excellent details from the front lower A-arm suspension to the rear live axle and leaf springs, the spare tire, the drivetrain, the fuel tank, the exhaust, and the two-wheel drive layout.  Only one screw interrupts the driveshaft layout.  The question here is what's powering the XL F-150: The underside does not show much, but it could be either the 3.5L DOHC V6, the 2.7L twin-turbocharged DOHC EcoBoost V6, or the 5.0L DOHC V8 (my bet is the EcoBoost motor).  All are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission (gone are the days of the standard manual transmissions in pickups).  Thanks to Welly's limited opening features on 1:24 scale vehicles the tailgate substitutes for an opening hood, so use your imagination.  The truck handles very well and is maneuverable (compared to the longer crew cab body styles), though the skinny tires don't like hard cornering well.  At least the front wheels steer on this truck.




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The interior is bare bones as you can get, though it still has room for three on the split front bench, with the outer passengers getting bolstered front seats (unusual for a bench seat combo).  The door panels have not much detail but at least power windows and locks are standard.  The dashboard is simple and yet still has modern controls like radio (without the MyFordTouch), HVAC controls (simple knobs, no dual-zone controls), 4-spoke steering wheel with plenty of buttons, column shifter for the transmission, floor mats, and detailed gauges.  Oddly my tester was missing the rearview mirror inside, but considering it was a clear piece that was part of the windows it was not missed at all.  Finally, i'm not sure what is up with Welly's new idea of sticker manufacturer date labels on the base: they can easily come off if used frequently for play.




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Not as exciting as a Raptor or a fully-loaded Platinum crew cab, but at least it's simple and gets the job done, and believe it or not most collectors now prefer to see a basic truck like this regular cab XL trim F-150 over another crew-cab fully decked out pickup truck.

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6/12/2016: The Blue Flame version of the 1:24 2015 Ford F-150 XL by Welly. also offered as a 1:43 pullback truck in the same color:








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