Customizers Posts

Customizers Corner: Chris Stangler

There’s an amazing sector of the diecast collecting world populated by customizers who take mild mannered factory produced models and turn them into something more inspired and unusual. Some customizers create individual one-of-a-kind models, never to be reproduced again, while others create limited edition runs of identical vehicles. In many cases, the mods involve mostly paint and decals; others chop, mold, combine, and perform more complicated voodoo. 

Many of these customizers are profiled on hobbyDB, so we thought we would start highlighting them in greater detail here. Look for a new entry every Wednesday morning!


Chris Stangler head shot

Chris Stangler created his first customs in the early 199s and has been modifying small scale rides ever since. He is one of the most respected diecast customizers around, known for mixing popular models with well-known themes and schemes from elsewhere in pop culture.

One of his favorite mashup series combines the familiar Snake and Mongoose drag racing colors with identical pairs of Hot Wheels vehicles. Even the most casual Hot Wheels collector should recognize the original red vs. yellow liveries, but Chris also works with the later blue and white schemes. These customs are sold in very limited edition pairs.

Chris Stangler Hi-way Hauler Snake Mongoose

Another popular base for his creations comes from Kustom City in the form of their super-stretched “Evo” vehicles inspired by Volkswagen buses and transporters. Chris has worked wonders with these models as well including his “Stangler Construction” Series.

kustom city breast cancer volkswagen bus

As for the future, he hints at big things on the horizon, but doesn’t want to spill the beans just yet. “My big news would be that I’m working on some new designs that will be coming out this summer after I finish up some orders that are taking a lot of my time.” he said. “I have big designs coming for the L.A. Hot Wheels convention, great 1-of-1 pieces that I will be doing for the Charity Auction.”

Chris recently started hosting his historic archive and his store at hobbyDB. You can read more about his work (as well as his upcoming models when he shares them) here.

chris stangler busted hot wheels

 

Introducing the Chris Stangler Customs Archive on hobbyDB

Chris Stangler head shot

One of the most respected diecast customizers around, Chris Stangler is no stranger to the world of Hot Wheels. He transforms 1/64 Scale models into magnificent works of art, which is why we are so excited to announce the launch of the official Chris Stangler Customs Archive now at hobbyDB! Travel back in time and take a look at all of the past designs that made Chris one of the most popular Hot Wheels customizers in the industry.

Chris Stangler Snake Mongoose Hot Wheels 55 Panel

His customizing history dates back to 1992. “I was really into full size cars and was inspired when I went to The World of Wheels in Minneapolis Minnesota,” he said. “There were vendors who had custom painted some 1/64 cars, so I bought a few as samples and I asked a few questions and headed home to research and started customizing a few Camaros for my collection.” Since that first IROC Camaro (he chopped the top off and repainted it), he has created over 8,000 customs.

Chris Stangler Kustom City Evo Snake Mongoose

It’s easy to find your favorites, whether it’s the Kustom City Evo, the Batmobile, or any of the other special designs that immediately caught your attention. Chis is equally excited about the opportunity. “I’m happy to be part of the HobbyDB site, as they are an up and coming database that really gives people a chance to come across my work if they haven’t had a chance to see my work elsewhere online,” he said.
Chris has also opened up his own storefront on hobbyDB and will be giving our community members exclusive access to never before seen items such as the Snake and Mongoose versions of the Drag Bus, Blown Delivery, and ‘55 Panel. In addition to mashups of classic liveries on unexpected castings, he takes inspiration from customers. “I have done many requests for people as wedding gifts, memorials, designs made to resemble a full size car,” he said. “The most difficult design that comes to mind was custom order ‘55 truck. The details and design he wanted was very complex and it took many attempts to draw it up the way he wanted it. In the end he was excited and happy with the outcome which made it worthwhile.”

Chris Stangler Snake Mongoose Hot Wheels 55 Panel

hobbyDb has also official archives for other customizers including Liberty Promotions (added in early February) and many more of your favorite diecast legends. In the past, it was easy for a customizer’s work to get lost as time flew by. Now, we can finally document and preserve the great work these customizers have given to the world of diecast in the hobbyDB catalog.

Chris Stangler Snake Mongoose 55 PAnel

Diecast Customizers Add Style to hobbyDB

Who hasn’t thought about repainting a Hot Wheels car at some point, only to find it’s not as easy as it sounds? At hobbyDB, we have met a number of folks who have perfected the art of modifying their diecast vehicles to the point that even the experts do a double take when they see them.
We have vehicles from Chris Walker who works as “Night Stalker”. Luis Tanahara has worked in miniature and full-size for Boyd Coddington. Vince Mosely (AKA Vman) creates customs, notably custom drag buses, blown deliveries and Atomic Punk customs. There’s JSR Code3 Models who bases his work on Corgi Toys and other 1/43 scale donors. Chris Stangler Customs specializes in short run 1/64 scale models. Keep an eye out for more customizers soon!
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We are happy to feature the work of some of these customizers on our site, both to catalog their work and to provide the opportunity for you to acquire them.

 

Custom Truck
vman 53 custom
Custom Drag Bus

Custon Crew Sledster

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