50th An­niver­sary Fa­vorites

Die Cast X - - 64 -

The lat­est pre­mium re­tail re­lease from Hot Wheels is the “Hot Wheels 50th An­niver­sary Fa­vorites” se­ries. There are 10 ve­hi­cles in the col­lec­tion that are be­ing re­leased five at a time. As with most of the pre­mium Hot Wheels re­leases, they’re quite hard to find at re­tail out­lets be­cause of their de­sir­abil­ity. But they are avail­able for pre­order from many of the larger on­line diecast ven­dors, so if you’re hav­ing a hard time com­plet­ing your set, this may be the way to go for you.

Be­ing a “pre­mium” re­lease means that each of the ve­hi­cles come with more de­tail than the ba­sic main­line re­lease ve­hi­cles; their paint­work, tampo dec­o­ra­tion, pre­mium wheels with rub­ber tires, and—what seems to be the most im­por­tant item to many col­lec­tors—the fact that the body and the chas­sis are both diecast metal. Over the past few years, the man­u­fac­tur­ing process for diecast ve­hi­cles has changed from the prac­tice of hav­ing both the body and chas­sis made out of diecast metal to hav­ing one or the other made out of plas­tic. That is done to keep pro­duc­tion costs down and weight at a min­i­mum, which, in turn, keeps ship­ping costs down, help­ing to keep that im­por­tant dol­lar-car price point for the re­tail mar­ket.

Num­ber one of the 10-car se­ries is an all-Amer­i­can icon and fa­vorite of many: the 1956 Chevy Hard­top. This ’56 is all one color rather that a twotone color scheme, and looks like it’s painted in Chevro­let’s 1961 Corvette color: Hon­duras Ma­roon. The au­then­tic side trim is done in sil­ver with white-and­pink strip­ing ac­cents and a 50th An­niver­sary logo on the rear of the quar­ter panel. The white­and-pink strip­ing is also car­ried to the roof and hood. The trunk and hood are adorned with repli­cas of the orig­i­nal fac­tory-style em­blems, with the head- and tail­lights be­ing de­tailed as well. The in­te­rior is done in tan plas­tic; I think ren­der­ing it in two col­ors, like it came in 1956, would re­ally have been the per­fect fin­ish­ing touch. The wheels are chrome Rocket wheels with rub­ber tires, fin­ish­ing the over­all ap­pear­ance of the car with a nice clean look.

The ’71 AMC Javelin is sec­ond in the se­ries and looks like the Mark Dono­hue Edi­tion car with its front and rear spoil­ers. The full race in­te­rior is gray plas­tic and has only one seat and a full roll cage, adding to its SCCA Trans Am Race look. This long and low AMC is painted Candy Red enamel, with white and blue enamel ac­cents and the 50th An­niver­sary lo­gos strate­gi­cally placed as if they were the car’s rac­ing num­ber. The wheels also add to the Javelin’s au­then­tic Trans Am look, be­ing done in the tra­di­tional Su­per­lite Trans Am style with rub­ber tires.

Com­ing in at num­ber three is the 1960s’ Ford Econo­line Pickup, which is a fairly new cast­ing by vet­eran Hot Wheels de­signer Mark Jones. This way-low-tothe-ground truck is painted cop­per with heavy sil­ver metal­lic, along with black and sil­ver flames on the side, giv­ing it an old-school look. The win­dows are smoked very dark, not al­low­ing you to see the black plas­tic in­te­rior. The bed is also black plas­tic with large wheel tubs and a skate­board molded into it. The front and rear are nicely de­tailed, with the word “Ford” on the tail­gate, and the front grille is painted black. Top­ping the whole old-school look to this cruiser are wide chrome re­verse wheels on thin white­wall rub­ber tires.

The Cus­tom ’69 Volk­swa­gen Square­back has al­ways been one of my fa­vorites. It’s also done in a Sedan De­liv­ery body, so it’s only fair that it’s in­cluded as num­ber four in this se­ries. Painted up as a VW Parts De­liv­ery ve­hi­cle, this lit­tle Square­back comes in a dark green metal­lic with tan ac­cents on the roof and sides. The sides are de­tailed with the min­i­mal VW side trim and door han­dles in sil­ver, and even the side marker lights are painted. Front and rear lighting are also well de­tailed, right down to the VW em­blem

1956 Chevy Hard­top. This ’56 is all one color rather that a two-tone color scheme, and looks like it’s painted in Chevro­let’s 1961 Corvette color: Hon­duras Ma­roon.

The ’71 AMC Javelin is sec­ond in the se­ries and looks like the Mark Dono­hue Edi­tion car with its front and rear spoil­ers.

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