POWr Multi Slider

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Flea Market Finds, Part 2



In this group example we take a look at a couple of McDonald's Hot Wheels cars, a few special edition Hot Wheels cars, and one unique item from Mattel.






Click for Photo Gallery


Custom 1957 Chevy and 1957 Thunderbird

In 1980 Mattel introduced Barbie and Hot Wheels to the McDonald's Happy Meal toy line, with the Hot Wheels line consisting of the same vehicles sold in retail stores at the time.  By the 1990's that began to turn with unique vehicle offerings and, sadly, a turn for more plastic and generics.  Today's Hot Wheels Happy Meal cars are not as special as the original's.  Case in point these two cool 1957 cars.  The 1957 T-bird has been a long-serving casting since 1977 and still looks good today!  The McDonald's vehicles were the first to use plastic base (now common in the basic range) and sported unique paint and decals.  The turquoise blue is always one of my favorites and looks good here.  The graphics are more in line with the California Customs line, while the white plastic base makes the car look more cheaper than it is.  Based on a 1957 model that featured the revise rear end to place the spare in the trunk (the hump is detailed on the base) and a revised taillight design with fins and exhaust into the bumper for a more aggressive look.  Combine that with the raked rear end look and this 'bird looks hot!  The front has round headlights, a large eggcrate grille, and signal lights in the bumper.  There are two versions of the hardtop model with and without the porthole on the sides (the porthole is the less common of the two), while the interior dashboard and seats are part of the clear window trim for a unique and nice touch.  Strangely there has not been a convertible version of this casting, although there was a Corgi-based casting briefly offered in the late 1990's.






Click for Photo Gallery


As Hot Wheels started to provide generic designs for the Happy Meal cars unlike today most of them still look like a real car.  Coming straight out of a hot rodder's garage is this custom 1957 Chevy Bel-Air that looks almost like the Chevzoom that Boyd Coddington created (and Hot Wheels did do some collector edition cars of the Coddingtion collection, with the Chevzoom being one of them).  The red paint is very tasty with very familiar 1957 Chevy fins at the back.  The rest of the car has a more unique and custom look to it.  The front has large round headlights (almost 2001 Mini Cooper-style) that are placed on more rounded fenders, lower bumper that is slanted, and a large grille with billet endcaps.  On the sides only the roofline and the fender fins are indication of the 1957 roots and sit on five-hole wheels that don't look too bad on this car.  The rear end looks more like a 1957 with dual exhausts now located below the bumper in the center.  Now while this car looks cool the downsides of generic cars starts to appear with no interior and a base that, well, looks like something out of a fuel cell concept car.  As I have reviewed (or have yet too) some of the generic Happy Meal cars look like real cars despite not being called that or licensed by the auto manufacturer, and being affordable are some of the best kept secrets for collectors looking for those hard-to-find replica's of their personal vehicle.












Click for Photo Gallery


Hot Wheels 1940 Ford Coupe and 2010 Ford Mustang GT

The next two are specialty vehicles not sold in the normal basic Mainline: one was a promo for Ford, while the other was a multi-pack exclusive.  When the 2010 Ford Mustang was introduced in 2009 there was plenty of replica's to go by even at the time of the car's official unveiling:  Maisto was first with a metallic red 1:18 convertible, and then Hot Wheels followed suit with the 2010 Mustang GT coupe in yellow.  This is nothing new as Hot Wheels has done past promo's for automakers:  Saturn in 2003 with the Ion Quad Coupe and Ford in 2007 with the red Fusion sedan.  The benefit here is that the same fantastic details of the 2009 New Models version carries overe here in the yellow promo version.  Unfortunately my version has been played with gracefully so there's a bunch of paint chips around the vehicle.  I added some lighting details to the front to make the headlights and grille-mounted foglights stand out of the black front-end, while the taillights and faux gas cap in the rear are nicely done by Mattel.  Also I added details on the base for the drivetrain and the dual exhausts.  This is one very nicely done casting and one that finally ditched the cartoonish squised look of the 2005 Mustang GT casting with a more proper-looking stance, and this yellow really brings it out.








Click for Photo Gallery


The 40 Ford Coupe has been a favorite of mine since 2002 when it appeared in a bright red color, excellent detailing to the front, and a rear end larger than a certain Kardashian that we know of.  This version sports a nice gold paint with only side purple scallops the only decals on this car.  The front-end has the proper V-shaped grille with round headlights that peak down like a teardrop.  Those large fenders and running boards are all metal, unlike earlier Hot Wheels early 20th century castings that cast the fenders as part of the interior, while the rear nicely slopes down from the split rear window and to the small taillights.  Underneath you can see how carefully the fenders and running boards are tooled into the metal body as the chrome plastic base is only a slim strip in the center.  It's a beaut with plenty of nice details and best of all most of these versions of this casting were mostly clean of any wild graphics.  Hot Wheels did release a convertible version as well, but there's something about that coupe bodystyle.










Click for Photo Gallery


Mattel Shift Kickers 1977 Ford Thunderbird

Finally is something unique and common in the 1980's: shift kickers.  This design was very common with Hot Wheels and Matchbox having their own versions.  The concept was pretty easy: pull-back motor cars use various gears that connect with a main gear that is attached to a spring rolled like a coil.  When moving the vehicle forward the transfer gear freewheels to allow frontal movement without interference.  When the car is pulled backward the transfer gear locks to the main gear and starts moving the main gear to absorb the tension of the spring.  When the car is let go the spring unwinds and the car rips forward until the spring is out of tension or something stops the car.  Now take that concept and provide a hold switch to lock the vehicle in position and with a flick of a switch the spring unwinds and the car launches forward.  That is the idea behind the shift kicker.







Click for Photo Gallery


The shift lever on the rear window has two positions: the down position is the lock position that allows you to pull the car backwards yet when released the car stays put with spring tension ready to go.  The up position release the lock and launches the car forward.  Using rubber tires and larger rear tires helps the car gain traction during the launch.  The idea is very cool, in hand, but when trying it out with the car on a flat surface and using your fingers to flick the shifter it doesn't work as smoothly at first.  Now as for castings most were generics but there were a few realistic models.  Now this is a Mattel casting sold by Mattel, NOT as a Hot Wheels.  Most of the real vehicles are Ford with the Mercury Capri coupe and this 1977 Ford Thunderbird.  The construction of the body is nicely done despite a large gap between the body and base at the rear.  After that the rest of this car is more for play as the base shows off the pullback motor and of course there's no interior.  Still this is one very neat model with a feature that was brief and is now unique amongst the many pullback vehicles.
















Click for Photo Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment