New from the 2016 Nuremberg Toy Fair; Greenlight & GMP & Road Signature Oh My

hobbyDB’s man on the scene at the 2016 Nuremberg Toy Fair has started filtering back photos. Here’s what we’ve seen so far…

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From Greenlight, the infamous Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation (and the recent, best-not-mentioned, reboot.) This is the 1/18 version, there will also be 1/64 and 1/43 models.

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Also from Greenlight, in their new 1/18 Precision Series; Cadillac Ambulances (and maybe a hearse!)

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From Lucky Diecast (successor to the venerable Yat Ming) comes this very cool 1955 Willys Jeep Station Wagon in 1/18.

And from GMP, a new Hot Rod model. This is a new tool, the unpainted one is the first tooling test, the red one is the prototype (they ran out of time to paint the roof!).

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Comments (1 Comment)
James Vizza

I think that the GMP hot rod would look pretty cool with silver paint and those unfinished wheels for more of a rat rod look.

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Ten Hot Wheels Models So Cool They Inspired Real, Full-Sized Cars

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

We recently looked at some great Hot Wheels cars that were inspired by actual cars that were umm… not that great. Today, we’re turning the tables on that.

On several occasions, Hot Wheels has produced models that were so over-the-top awesome that they inspired someone to make a real-sized running version of that car. Let’s clarify that a bit… We’re talking about miniature vehicles made by Hot Wheels (which may have been inspired by an actual running production car or even a scale model kit from another company) that served as the template for someone to create a functioning full-size car based on that crazy model.

Got all that? Good. Here they are, including the most authentic reproductions as well as ones requiring a bit of squinting and maybe a little suspension of disbelief to make them work.

Twin Mill

hot wheels twin mill redline

Possibly the most quintessentially perfect Hot Wheels design ever, the original Twin Mill has been reproduced in several scales from standard 1:64 to a 16-inch-long remote control car. But the most majestic Twin Mill is the real, running, full-size version produced by Mattel in the late 1990s. The car is faithfully scaled up from the original, but also features amazing new details like the flame-treaded tires and the twin hood-mounted tachs perfectly angled for the driver.

Deora II

deora ii 2

The original Redline Deora was based on a Dodge concept pickup truck built from the cab-forward, mid engine A-100, so it doesn’t qualify for this list. But in the early 1990s, Chip Foose and company designed the Deora II, a modern take on that truck. The toy was popular enough that Mattel later commissioned a big version of this truck. While the design looks kind of dated a quarter century on, who wouldn’t find garage space for it?

Rip Rod

hot wheels rip rod

Flash forward to to the 21st century, when Hot Wheels introduced the Rip Rod, a fenderless 1930s baja coupe representing no specific brand of car… that is, until the folks at Ford decided a full size version of it would be a nice showcase for their latest EcoBoost engine technology. You’d drive the snot out of that thing, right?

Bone Shaker

hot wheels bone shaker

The Bone Shaker was another miniature design inspired by the rat rod movement, but not representing any particular prototype. Yet here we have a real version of the chopped, channeled pickup, complete with the skull-shaped grill shroud. As with the previous cars, Mattel authorized this jumbo version to trot out at trade shows.

Bump Around

hot wheels bump around

For many of us, bumper cars were the first time we got to really cut loose behind the wheel of a self-powered car, and one that was designed to crash into things at that! So, of course we love the Hot Wheels version. This street rod may or may have not been inspired by the miniature, but can we all agree it looks like it would be fun to drive into stuff?

Darth Vader car

hot wheels darth vader

In honor of the latest “Star Wars” film, the folks at Hot Wheels created a series of model cars that captured the look and feel of several characters from that galaxy far, far away. The baddest one has to be the Darth Vader ride, which looks like the result if the Twin Mill mated with Vader’s helmet. So, yeah, of course they built a real one. And it is extremely bad. You can watch a video of it with Jay Leno, because, yeah, he’s Jay Leno.

Scrape Modified

hot wheels 1939 lincoln zephyr

What, you don’t have this one in the blister? Well, the Custom ’39 Lincoln was first introduced as a 1:18 Hot Wheels model when the company dabbled in that scale. Even though it’s originally based on a production car, the real version considered here is a faithful reproduction of the model, including the slammed, bumperless body and the dazzling purple paint. The model was available in other schemes as well.

Whatta Drag

hot wheels bmw isetta whatta drag

This car made our previous list, becaue it’s a ridiculous scale model hot rod based on a puny micro car. But that ridiculous model became the inspiration for an accurately detailed, 1:1 ride by microcar collector Bruce Wiener from a spare Isetta shell that was sitting around his garage. It supposedly cranks at over 700 horsepower, which is about 695 more than the original bubble car. Whatta hoot!

Express Lane

hot wheels express lane

At some point in life (probably around age two, but for some of us, well into adulthood), we’ve all pretended that our shopping cart was a race car. So when Hot Wheels made a model of such a thing, it resonated deeply with a lot of people. Apparently deeply enough with a few grocery store chains (Schnucks, H-E-B, Save-Mart) who made their own giant show drag shopping carts, because we only live once, and we need to shop fast.

Hot Wheels Edition Camaro

hot wheels camaro 2013

Lastly, we have the latest generation of the Chevy Camaro. When Hot Wheels released a variant of this car in their proprietary shade of metallic blue, complete with flaming logos on the fenders, it was only natural that GM would copy the look for a 2013 special edition of their production car right down to the redlines and 5-spokes. As customs go, this one was pretty easy to execute. But of all the cars on the list, this is the only one you could actually buy if you weren’t Jay Leno. Now if we only had some giant orange track to run on!

Can you think of any others to add to this list? Add them to the comments below! Remember, the Hot Wheels model had to come before the real car, not the other way around.

Comments (6 Comments)
Tony Hammons

The Red Baron would a awesome car to replicate!

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Liberty Promotions Archive Now on hobbyDB!

 

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hobbyDB is a tool for managing collections, a resource for research, and now…a tricked out bus stop. We’re proud to announce our collaboration with Liberty Promotions to bring hobbyDB and LP fans the official Liberty Promotions Archive!

Visit the official Liberty Promotions Archive Now

See only Drag Buses

See all Rebel Runs

Fans of the iconic Liberty Promotions designs are now welcome to peruse their favorite diecasts and take a gander at the countless details provided on each and every item. Come to keep track of your collection or just take a look around and reminisce about your favorite model. For some tips on managing your collection on hobbyDB, check out this handy help article.

hobbyDB also offers a marketplace for collectors to buy and sell among each other, so now you have a better chance of getting your hands that custom bus that’s been evading you all this time. Even if you can’t find your favorite bus, with the new archive you can add any item to your Wish List and the hobbyDB team will notify you as soon as any of your coveted items become available for purchase.

hobbyDB is the only place you can find such an extensive Liberty Promotions Archive and we want it to be perfect! That’s why we’re encouraging fans of the brand to pitch in and contribute their knowledge wherever they can. You can show off your Liberty Promotions trivia skills by curating your favorite casting or series, which proves invaluable in the future for those looking for a quick reference on their items.

Curators are collectors who are put in the driver’s seat of their favorite series or casting, and are therefore given unique admin abilities that allows them to edit and organize their pages how they see fit. So grab the wheel and give it a test run!

Of course, we’re providing this LP archive for fans of the brand – so if there’s any feedback that you’d like to offer, or even features that you’d like to see – don’t hesitate to let us know!

happy collecting!

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George Barris SuperVan Cruises to Auction

SperVan movie poster

One of George Barris‘ bigger custom projects is going up for auction, the mighty SuperVan. If you don’t remember the 1977 movie “SuperVan,” that’s okay… it was a largely forgettable film, starring nobody you remember. But the van itself… now that’s another story.

George Barris SuperVan

Barris started with a Dodge A-100 Tradesman van and made a few modifications… And by a few, we mean a lot. An entirely new body was crafted with giant, panoramic windows (including an opening windshield), solar panels and a huge ramp side door to give riders access to the interior. The folks at Dodge thought it was neat, but didn’t do much with it, and after a bit of time on the show circuit, it sort of vanished.

Then in 1977, director Lamar Card set out to make the ultimate disco vansploitation film and got ahold of it for his movie. (To be fair, he was also the executive producer of “Heart Like a Wheel,” a pretty good biopic about a really good drag racer, Shirley Muldowney… but we digress.) Anyway, the entire interior was done in red crushed velvet, starring a rotating bed with a disco ball, and a new, wild paint scheme was added.

SuperVan Back to the Future II 2 Biff

The van would appear in several other movies, including a cameo in “Back To The Future II” as a city bus (above). At least that was a pretty good movie. You can follow the auction at Barett-Jackson Auctions January 23-31, 2016. The photo below shows how it looks today.

SuperVan disco ball Dodge A-100

Comments (1 Comment)
jimlongan@aol.com

Hot Wheels needs to release it as a Hot Wheels along with Shirley Muldowny's Dragster and Funny nCar!

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Thirteen Awesome Hot Wheels Cars Based On Not-So-Great Real Cars

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

For almost half a century, Hot Wheels vehicles have fueled the imagination of kids with their cool, innovative, wild toy car designs. While many of them are pure fantasy creations, a lot are based on real cars. And in a few cases, they are based on regrettable, forgettable, even horrible cars. Here some examples of when the folks at Mattel turned head-scratching automotive duds into head-turning models.

Poison Pinto (Ford Pinto)

Hot Wheels Ford Pinto Poison

Unreliable at best, explosive at worst, the Pinto was a disaster waiting to happen, especially when tapped from behind. This miniature panel wagon hot rod at least looks like it could outrun anything trying to hit that rear bumper/trigger.

Open Fire, Greased Gremlin, Gremlin Grinder (AMC Gremlin)

Hot Wheels AMC Greased Gremlin Open Fire

In retrospect, the Gremlin wasn’t a really terrible car, it just wasn’t terribly reliable or sturdy. Heck, you could even get one with a Levi’s denim interior. Hot Wheels has tried to redeem this compact hatchback with several versions, including the six-wheeled Open Fire shown above.

Front Runnin’ Fairmont (Ford Fairmont)

Hot Wheels Ford Fairmont Stocker

Remember the Ford Fairmont? Of course not, because there was nothing noteworthy about the styling or performance. It was perfectly… adequate. They were used for stock car racing in the 1980s, so Hot Wheels created a version that could at least be painted in lots of cool liveries.

Custom V-8 Vega (Chevrolet Vega)

Hot Wheels Chevy Vega

The Vega redefined depreciation in the 1970s by rusting while still in the showroom. But hot rodders had all kinds of fun modifying them, and the small scale model represents one of those hopped-up, tricked out cars. Also, diecast metal doesn’t rust, so that’s an improvement.

80 El Camino (1980 Chevrolet El Camino)

Hot Wheels Chevy El Camino 80s

For a vehicle allegedly designed to haul things in style, the last generation El Camino was underpowered and not very exciting to look at. That didn’t stop the designers at Hot Wheels from lowering the suspension and raising the hood bulge to make it a little bit more desirable.

Amphicar (Amphicar 770)

Hot Wheels Amphicar

What’s not to like about a floating car with a built in propeller? In theory, it’s fantastic, but in reality, it was a poor boat and an even worse car. The Hot Wheels version has a much bigger motor in the back, so it should be able to pull some skiers at least.

Chevy Lumina Van (Chevrolet Lumina APV)

Hot Wheels Chevy Lumina APV Van

The APV van was an odd spaceship-looking contraption, and when you sat in the driver’s seat, the steering wheel was actually a couple inches off center. Yuck! Hot Wheels didn’t alter the basic design much, but at least they gave it some cool paint jobs.

MetroRail (Nash Metropolitan)

throwbackmetro

The Metropolitan is a delightful little car if you don’t mind driving something that looks like Donald Duck’s jalopy. But stretch that front end to dragster proportions, and you could really burn things up the race track.

Packin’ Pacer (AMC Pacer)

Hot Wheels AMC Packin Pacer

American Motor’s Pacer was an oddball… significantly wider than most cars, and very glassy, it resembled a fishbowl on wheels. All that interior space was the perfect place to stuff a monster engine, however, so Hot Wheels did just that.

Chevy Citation (Chevrolet Citation)

Hot Wheels Chevy Citation

Really, we’re not trying to pick on Chevy here, but the “First Chevy of the Eighties” was really the “Worst Chevy of …. Ever!” The miniature model doesn’t change the basic look much, but if you squint, it does sort of look like James Bond’s Lotus Esprit submarine car. Sort of.

Whatta Drag (BMW Isetta)

Hot Wheels BMW Isetta

Sure, everyone smiles when they see one of these bubble cars on the road… until you actually drive one. “Underpowered” is an understatement. Hot Wheels turned it into a stretched three-wheeled dragster so cool that someone actually built a running real sized version of it!

Got any nominees for other Hot Wheels vehicles based on lame real cars? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments (7 Comments)
Tom1

Awesome list

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