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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Greenlight Hitch and Tow release 8




My-my how Greenlight has come a long way after the first release of this hot series: today there are more full-size pickups in the Greenlight line and even more trailers (in 1:24 and a new 6-trailer line called Hitched Homes).  Plus not to mention the recent large RV's that appeared.  Now in its eight release is more new trailers with even more so to come later on.  This makes me wonder if this might be my last full Hitch and Tow set?  It was a novelty at first with the newest trailer tools in one batch, but now that Greenlight is releasing trailers outside of the Hitch and Tow release at alarming rates it's getting to be too much for my collection.  Nevertheless the show must go on so here's the newest from release 8.











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VW T2 Bus and Teardrop trailer

Just before this release another hitch and tow appeared in a separate series dedicated to the new VW line and the new teardrop trailer specifically designed for the VW line, so this is not an entirely new tool but it is for me.  A few years ago Greenlight has gotten into the Air-cooled VW business with the same-old replica's of air-cooled Bug's and Busses, with a few unique models like the Westfalia camper, but again it's a crowded market so this hitch and tow version makes a bit more sense.  Starts off with this gorgeous turquoise with white trim that really makes the Bus and trailer stand out.  The Bus is based on the second-generation with less V-curve and more blockiness to the Bus line.  The front has rounded headlights with lower signal lights and a white bumper with integrated steps on the sides to gain access to the chrome roof rack that looks a bit choppy.  The neat part is the spare tire cover with the black and white pattern found on the curtains of the trailer.  On the sides its typical Bus profile with side sliding door in the rear and classy white steel wheels with chrome VW hubcaps.  At the rear is tri taillights and a trailer hitch that is a nice touch but the unit attaches itself to the bottom of the engine!  Speaking of which the engine and suspension details are nicely done on the metal base.  Inside is seating for eight with black bench seats and plenty of cargo space.  The front has a two-spoke steering wheel and a dashboard with a simple layout of gauges and controls with a tall shifter coming out of the floor.












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The trailer is the teardrop trailer that is retro like the Airstream and benefit vehicles that are smaller with less drag.  However, this all-metal trailer is quite heavy for its size and is also rather cramped for a small trailer; I have no idea where a person is to sleep in this thing!  The silver trim glides along the color-matching turquoise sides and matching VW wheels.  Then the black fenders direct your attention to the rear where the smooth area lifts up to reveal a small kitchen area with stove.  Thankfully with a Bus you can probably sleep better in the Bus than the trailer.  The heavy weight of the trailer does tax the Bus's air-cooled flat-4 motor and can make handling a choir despite the small size (tires don't help, either), but this is an attractive set that will be popular with air-cooled VW collectors.










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1995 Jeep Wrangler and small trailer

The Walking Dead is one of the latest TV shows to grace the Greenlight line and it's evident with the Winnebago Chieftain (a review coming soon) and several vehicles from the series.  This Jeep and flatbed owned by Michonne in the series has plenty of potential but failed to attract many noted by the countless models still sitting on the Toys R Us pegs.  This Jeep is the best of this Wrangler generation with a nice silver paint topped off by black wheels with Goodyear rubber tires and red dirt sprayed along the body.  While the Jeep has the accurate trim and front-end details it lacks foglights or the winch from the All-terrain series.  The rear has a large spare tire, Georgia plate, and a trailer hitch that is again too close to the rear fuel tank.  The interior is even more special with two-tone black and gray deco (the first for this Jeep), detailed dashboard, shifters, and steering wheel though the connection between the windshield and the rollbar is still rather awkward.  This jeep is the smallest of the group and is more manuverable, can go anywhere outside of the road, and has lots of power from the 4.0L I-6 and 3-speed automatic transmission.














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Manuverability also improves with the small trailer attached behind the Jeep.  While the small utility trailer (which now has an opening rear door) is nice most of us think of this open trailer as a more true utility trailer seen often on the streets.  It is light since most of it is plastic with wood trim floor, outer rails, and a full flatbed gate to load gear.  It is small so it won't hold much nor will it fit the smallest of cars (no-go for any 1:64-size motorcycle or even Hot Wheels own Go Kart).  The biggest drawback was the original plan: to place a pile of dead zombies in the trailer.  Greenlight backed out at the last minute so its up to you to get creative and create your own pile of dead zombies.











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Ram 2500 and Heavy Duty Flatbed Trailer

In the Hitch and Tow line there was a few items that I though would benefit the line: Heavy-Duty pickups and a more versatile flatbed.  Well both came true in this Ram and heavy duty flatbed trailer set adorned by the crew of the TV show Fast and Loud, Gas Monkey Garage.  The Ram has been a veteran to this line ever since the beginning and without the Hitch and Tow line the Ram would cease to exist in the Greenlight line.  Now that competition is getting stronger from Ford and Chevy it's time to take it to the next level with the Heavy Duty Ram.  After the first release of the mighty Power Wagon model the HD Ram takes it down a notch with a more traditional Ram in black with Gas Monkey Garage logo's and quotes along the sides and rear.  The front has a bold chrome grille with side headlights and foglights, ribbed hood, and roof-mounted clearance lights.  The sides are more traditional using the 1500's 5-spoke wheels yet still having enough ground clearance to tackle the rough stuff better than the 1500.  Also remaining is the nifty RamBox on the edges of the cargo box.  In the rear you've got the red taillights, RAM on the tailgate, and below the chrome bumper that trailer hitch.  The roomy interior is still nicely done and looks good in a light gray color.  The only difference between the 1500 and 2500 is the shifter knob for the eight-speed automatic is replaced with a column shifter for the 6-speed automatic (the transfer case switch now returns to the knob).  And while the base is the same coil springs on all four wheels the engine is the more powerful 6.4L HEMI V8 motor (i'll review the Cummins-powered Ram HD in a later review as this version was released in Hitch and Tow series 9).












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The Ram is strong and powerful, capable, and a bit big.  Still it has the guts to carry the largest trailer in the line the new heavy-duty flatbed trailer.  When you have vehicles that are longer and heavier than traditional trailers or a vehicle that has been sitting for decades and refuses to get up the ramp on its own this trailer will do the job.  Of course it has the black paint with Gas Monkey Garage logo's and the Blood, Sweat, and Beers tagline on the sides.  The flatbed starts with a slightly wider track with metal frame and stainless steel floors over the normal flatbed's wood floor and narrow width.  The ramps are tubular and stronger and yes they can be fidgety when trying to attach them to the trailer.  For safety there is reflector tape along the trailer, a toolbox just behind the trailer jack, and a winch with lights to help dig out that old relic out of the weeds.  Still don't get the chrome handles at the rear as they don't really serve a function on this casting.  Now in past reviews the flatbed and closed-in car carriers did well in loading and unloading several vehicles, but if those vehicles are longer, wider, taller, or heavier they had a hard time fitting into those trailers.  The heavy duty trailer solves most of those problems as the wide track and open area allows for taller and wider vehicles to sit in the flatbed with the ramp arms up.  Length, on the other hand, will vary:  the winch and toolbox does give up some useful space for longer vehicles and even those who can fit on the trailer will push the ramps out at a 45 degree angle, so it's not 100% perfect for all vehicles but for the majority it gets the job done.  With a strong truck like the Ram it can handle the extra weight that some of these cars on the flatbed can bring, just make sure you give it lots of room to turn as both the Ram and the trailer are very long.















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2015 Ford F-150 and Pop-up Camper

One long-overdue trailer is the pop-up camper, something that hasn't been done since the Matchbox version back in 2000.  Pop-up campers allow for a large trailer to fit family and friends in comfort and security without the bulky and drag-resistant body of permanent trailer designs.  The Ford F-150 was introduced last year as another addition to the growing pickup line at Greenlight.  Unlike the Chevy and Ram this Ford goes for an extended cab profile that means a tighter rear seat and more cargo area in the bed.  The green color looks nice on this truck as does the chrome bumpers, grille, and gray 6-spoke wheels.  From the C-shaped headlights to the L-shaped taillights this truck is nicely done and at some angles very sporty (not to mention the work-based XL models).  Despite having body panels made of aluminum the body here is still diecast metal and does not strangle the 5.0L DOHC V8 and 6-speed automatic transmission.  This Ford is the swiftiest pickup of the line so far and has no problem going through the rough stuff.  The interior has a nice dashboard layout with detailed controls, 4-spoke steering wheel, shifter and center console, and seating for five.











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That's a good thing because this Ford needs to tackle a trailer that might not seem heavy or bulky, but it can.  In top-down mode the trailer sits low and offers better view and maneuverability, though being all metal it is heavy.  The sides show a nice graphic and all the connections and vents for the inside amongst the tan color with a metal roof that features a skylight.  The rounded rear has taillights and clearance lights, while the rounded front has a diamond plate texture and a propane tank that broke off from its tab on my tester (easily glued back on).  To get the top up is not as easy as popping the top up on the real campers: remove the top lid, grab the solid plastic tent, and sandwich it between the lid and lower camper.  The tent is green and has the correct texture of the wrinkles, the mesh windows, and even the mesh texture of the beds inside.  The opening part allows for a detailed interior where the beds are mounted on the sides of the camper.  There are two tables and benches: a smaller one for two at the front and a larger one for four at the rear.  In the middle is where the sink and stove reside.  Any nature business is conducted in nature and that includes showers, toilet, etc.  With the top up this is the largest trailer in the lineup by far, but reduces that status when top down.  The complications of the folding sides in such a small scale meant that Greenlight had to create a separate piece for the pop-up tent material to get the correct details, so expect to drag around another piece.  Also with the top up you can still attach the trailer to the Ford as it clears the bed by a small gap.












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Finally is the verdict.  Now I know this is not a comparison test but it is fun to see who wins after examining and testing all four vehicles and trailers.  Fourth Place goes to the VW Bus and Teardrop Trailer: it's a nice and very attractive color combination and excellent details, but the teardrop is not a convenient camping trailer, nor is the bus capable of hauling heavy trailers in real life.  Third place goes to the Jeep and utility trailer: This is the best the Jeep Wrangler has ever looked and both truck and trailer are very manuverable, but the trailer lacks any excitement as evident by its pegwarming status even with help from The Walking Dead tv series.  Second place goes to the Ford F-150 and Pop-up camper: The Ford is a great workhorse and the pop-up camper is a nice and unique touch among camping trailers, but the complex operation of the tents means additional items must be made to keep the original camper look.  The First place winner is the Ram 2500 and Heavy Duty Flatbed trailer: a Ram pickup that is now much stronger and better tied to a new flatbed trailer that is designed to take or haul any vehicle thrown or attached to it.  And for those who don't like the Gas Monkey Garage deco there's a better example out there as well.  Overall another fantastic Hitch and Tow set from Greenlight.




















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