[Shooting] Matchbox Buick Century '56

Definitly one of the best new 2012 castings, this Century deserved its own shooting. I had some luck and grabbed a way better camera, giving way more interesting pictures.

 Despite a disappointing 2012 lineup, Matchbox made a few good castings this year. Beside the '52 Seagrave, the Century might deserve a shot at "Best New Casting Of The Year". Coming from the 1950's serie called Highway Patrol, all the details are perfectly reproduced, except for the three sidevents that are a tad too big. Light tampos could have been great, but the overall is of a rare awesomeness. Definitly a casting to watch and watch again. Let the pictures speak by themselves.


[German Classics] Squareback & Notchback

Between all those mythical Volkswagen of the '60s, between the Beetle, the T2 Bus or the Thing, one is often forgotten : the Volkswagen 1500 (also called 1600). Introduced in 1961 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it was available in a two-door hatchback, fastback and also station wagon (called the Squareback). Just as every VW of those years, they all got a rear-mounted engine air-cooled combined with a rear wheel-drive layout. Mostly known in Europe, a few have been imported in America from 1966. Its career lasted until 1973, and 2.5 billions units have been produced. The 1500 is also widely liked for its tuning possibility, often  saw with matte paint. It has been replaced by the well-known Passat. With this beautiful autumn day, i took a few of my 1500's diecasts for a shoot.

A typical VW 1500.

Hot Wheels Volkswagen Squareback '69

Firstly called "Volkswagen Variant", this casting appeared in 2010 in the Slick Rides special series as black and silver with a KONI decal on the side. In 2011, it was now called Squareback, and appeared in the HW Garage series. We only saw it one time in 2012, decorated with some "Jolly Rancher" decals. Being a high-end HW, it surely has great details, starting from those slick wheels. Mine's the 2010 second edition, still KONI branded. You can admire lots of details on the body, except on the rear where's less attention has been given. Still a great casting, the tuning really gives it a sleeper look. You can feel the quality of this one when you handle it... definitly a favorite.

Maisto Volkswagen 1500 '67

On a tuning note again, let's take a look at the 1500 replica done by Maisto. Released in the 2006 "G-Riderz" serie, it's once again a high-end diecast (well according to Maisto usual standards at least). You can note lots of details on this again, starting will all those painted parts, from lights to wipers. Wheels are quite lovely and really detailed. You can feel this "European Tuner" look, with dropped suspensions and this light purple color. Interior is really detailed also, and the rear bonnet can be opened, revealing a chromed engine. This one has also been released in a flashy green and black-red bicolor. Definitly a great one, if you like that style of cars.

Let's finish with a few automnal group shots!


[Restauration] Majorette Land-Rover Defender

Just a little project i finished today! Here's the real deal i tried to reproduce :

And here's what i just did, enjoy the pics!


[European Classics] Ford Cortina

Cortina isn't a familiar name for the usual american Ford fans, but it's been one of the most successful car in the brand's history. Named British best-selling car in the 1970's, it's the predecessor of the Sierra, already addressed in a previous article. Introduced in 1962, the car was named from an Italian ski resort, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. Even more, a few Cortinas were used as bobsleighs for some publicity. Since we're focusing on diecasts, we'll present the second and the last generation.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, origin of the name.

Second generation : Cortina Mark II
Introduced in 1966 after a brilliant 4 years of career, the second generation of Cortina was way more square and classy. Offered as a 2,4,5 doors saloon and a convertible, the Mark II was named 1967's Britain most popular new car. The Cortina 1600E remains famous, being used in rallies and various races. Lotus also developed it own version called the Lotus Cortina. Compared to the american Falcon (same size offer in USA), in my humble opinion, it was definitly more modern.

Matchbox Lesney Ford Cortina #25D

Introduced in 1968 in the regular Lesney lineup, this Cortina is one of the classiest Lesney you can find. Under the number 25D, it first appeared in a pale cooper color. It adopted Superfast wheels in 1970, but soon disappeared from the line-up, making the transitional ones quite expensive. A mint condition one with the box can get up to 50$ nowadays... making me a really lucky guy to have one. Found in a flea market a few years ago, it's definitly a masterpiece of my transitionals collection. Take a look at those perfectly reproduced lines, with the intact trailer hitch. This one shines on my nearest shelf :D

  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 9/10
  • Total : 44/50

Fifth generation : Cortina Mark V

Holding the Britain's best selling car title since 1972, the Cortina's last generation was introduced in 1979. It was mainly a huge restyling of the IV rather than a brand new car. Way bigger than the first generations, it featured a more flat and luxuous style, quite typical of the first 80's european cars. Engine offering also received a slight boost, peaking at 116 bhp. Also known as the Ford Taunus, it was virtually unbeatable in selling, even if the competition was becoming better and better (just think about the VW Passat, Opel Ascona etc.) The Cortina lost its title in 1982, last year of production of the car, being replaced by the Escort on the sales top.

Matchbox Superfast Ford Cortina

The 1979's Matchbox Superfast Cortina's replica is quite one of the most populars around. Mostly known in its pale green tint, a few Cortinas were produced with different colors for the Bulgarian market. It's been in the line-up from 1979 to 1982, just like the real car. Again, i'm really lucky to have a Bulgarian pale cooper one, this time with an almost mint box. It's quite a masterpiece, reproducing a lot of details from the real, and again featuring a trailer hitch just like the first one. Unfortunately, mine doesn't roll so well, so it's better exposed!

  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 8/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 42/50

Sorry for the lack of posts past months, i've been quite busy! Enjoy this one :)


[Customization] Nissan Hardbody

So it all started with this :
That is, imho, an horrible model. So i stripped it apart, changed the wheels, made a complete new base, cut a few pieces out, and i tried to reproduce a "real" Nissan Hardbody, with a small custom look. Here's what i ended with:
Any comment is welcomed :)


New additions : 14 january 2011

Here's my january edition of new additions! Lots of new Hot Wheels, and a few others that were missing for a long time. I want to thanks folks from MCCH who helped me to find these cars!

Maisto Dodge Ram 1500

Quite a great casting for a Maisto! Nice wheels, great tampos and a cool color. Only actual 1:64 latest Dodge Ram. 

Maisto Scion xB

Again, an awesome new casting from Maisto. This one is missing a few tampos on the front, and wheels could be a little better. As every Maisto, windows are badly black. But it's the only 1:64 new Scion xB replica, and quite rare :)

Matchbox LesneyRover 3500

A long long time wanted that i finally found at a reasonable price on eBay. This casting has only been produced once in this cooper color (a few can be found in yellow, but they're sold around 350$ each), and is quite elusive. Even more, having one near mint is even more harder to get. With a working sunroof, it's definitly one of my favorite casting, of a quite rare england car. I'm a huge fan of these old 70's-80's sedans!

Matchbox Nissan Fairlady Z

Casting coming from 1979, this one is for filling a hole in my collection. I already had the 300ZX of the same years (Kidco), but didn't have the japanese version. As a old Matchbox, it is an awesomely done casting, with opening doors. Those wheels are quite strange for a Matchbox though, they are really small.

Johnny Lightning Plymouth Fury '67

A high wanted one, already got the Police version a few weeks ago. This is one of the longuest 1:64 i've seen! As every JL, it is very high detailed, with tampos and opening hood. Those wheels are new (or rarely used). The driving wheel is huge! Color fits really well for the car.

Corgi Junior Citroen Dyane

The Dyane always intrigued me.Kind of a rip-off of a 2CV.... This one is also a quite rare casting, one of the older Corgi(s). Pretty much well done but lacking a bit of details, such as lights or black bumpers? It is a big too big for a 1:64 though, as it is the small size of the Ram 1500.

Hot Wheels Dodge Charger R/T 2011

First of a few HW castings i was missing.Clearly not one of the best of 2011s, but still not bat. Problem is, it doesn't look like so much the real car... And tampos are in the wrong place. I mean, those black stripes are cool, but where are the lights? Front calander is awesome though.

Hot Wheels Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca

Awesome casting of an awesome car. Definitly my style. This black & red combination makes it look a bit evil, and the front bumper is indicating some racing in the air. Red wheels makes it look agressive. Tampos would have been welcomed though... but it's definitly a needed one.

Hot Wheels Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Now this is clearly one of the best looking cars of 2011. Style was already announced with the Reventon and the last editions of the Murcielago, but this one is stunning. Lines are so much agressive but well-balanced, and the orange color looks like it's burning hot. Hot Wheels reproduced it very well, and is clearly one of the best add in this batch. YOU NEED IT!

Hot Wheels BMW M3 GT2

This new casting of 2012 is the racing version of the M3 introduced in 2011. It's a neat reproduction of those LM racing cars. Racing tampos are greatly applied, but a few lights could have been added (although racing cars don't always have these). The rear wing is somewhat cheap and plastic, but was needed. A great new casting for 2012 overall.

Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The new Camaro ZL1 is a stunning car, looking soooo powerful. With this huge bumper, agressive hood, hidden headlights and red/black paint, it's ready to burn down some rubber. Problem with the HW casting is its cheapiness... it looks like fragile! Rear tampos could have been added too. Still a neat addition to my Camaro collection.

Hot Wheels Ferrari FF

The Ferrari FF is one of the strangest looking car released in 2011. The "chase break" style has already been used a few times in the history (Volvo P1800es), but it's the first time that it's applied to a Ferrari. The result is... quite good, but still strange. The front calander is also quite strange, looking "vulgar" for a Ferrari. But although i'm not sure about the real car, the diecast replica is admirably well done by HW, and is needed in any collection!

Hot Wheels Volkswagen Sunagon

Released in 2011 as a re-tool in the "Hot Ones" serie, the Sunagon has been one of the most elusive Hot Wheels in the market. The original ones (from the beginning of the 80's) are sometimes the most expensive Hot Wheels regulars you can find. This new edition offers brighter colors than the original one (that was brown). This is a great classy HW, with the opening roof and motorcycle at the back. A casting that i needed for a long long time.

Hot Wheels Ford Falcon Race Car

Finally, this is one of the first Hot Wheels introduced in 2012. Aussies are quite happy with this one, although it isn't a great casting. Looks plastic, the interior is quite horrible (what's with that big plastic rollcage?). The design tampos are not bad, but are missing on lights. I'm not sold on this one, but australian cars are rare, so it's welcomed in my collection.

Which one is your favorite? Thanks for looking! :)