M2 Machines Posts

Sean Taylor of M2 Machines Has Every Collector’s Dream Job

Over the past dozen years, the premium small scale diecast market has seen some stiff competition. M2 Machines, one of those companies, has filled a niche with realistic castings of older cars in both stock and custom variants. M2’s V.P. of Product Development, Sean Taylor, has been with them since their beginning in 2007.

Sean Taylor M2 Machines

“I basically do all the fun stuff such as develop new tooling, design paint schemes & graphics, work on packaging and anything else creative that we may need.

In fact, Taylor goes back even farther with the M2. He was with Funlines, Inc., who produced the Muscle Machines line of diecast. After the brand was sold, one of the former owners of Castlines started M2 Machines with a mission of creating more authentic and detailed castings. “ This line was very accurate and detailed for the time,” he said. “These castings even hold up today. So when we started M2 detail was the main focus for the brand.”

Despite the past connections and even the company name derived from the old line, M2 Machines has no plans to revisit the old Muscle Machines castings. “we don’t have anything to do with the old MM tooling anymore,” he said “It’s changed hands a few times from Funlines, to Action Performance, to Motorsports Authentics, to privately owned and to currently under Maisto ownership.”

Sean Taylor M2 Machines

If working in the diecast industry sounds like a dream job, Taylor is here to confirm that. As a graphic designer for a small ad agency and a diecast collector, he stumbled onto his dream job and Muscle Machines. “I told my wife I collect these little ca

rs, and I have to send my resume and see what happens. I’ve never dreamt about making a living designing die cast car. I would have never imaged that it would have been a possibility, but I absolutely love it.” So yeah, that sounds cool.

In addition to their mission to keep it detailed and accurate, M2 tries to stay in their lane with what cars to represent. “Our bread and butter scale is 1/64 scale. We do produce 1/24 scale cars and trucks but definitely 1/64 is the focal point,” he sais We also love to produce the classics when it comes to cars and trucks. Currently, our newest casting is 1979. We will soon get a little newer, but not too much. The majority are American cars & trucks from the 1950s to the 1970s. We do have some vintage VW and Nissan castings.” He hinted at a couple of newer muscle cars from the 1980’s and early 1990’s coming soon.

M2 Machines chevy SquarebodyM2 works on the leading edge of diecast technology when developing new products. They recently released a Chevrolet Squarebody trucks (1973-87) casting. “We teamed up with the Squarebody Syndicate out of Arizona, and we 3D scanned there show truck ‘SS01’,” he said. “This casting is gorgeous, and the details from 3D scanning is wild.” (The Tiger Mouth variant above is a nominee for best 1/64 scale model in the 2019 Model Car Hall of Fame. Taylor himself is a 2011 inductee.)

M2 Machines Mercury EcololineWhile justifiably proud of everything M2 has produced, Taylor has his favorites. He lists a few: 1949 Mercury custom, 1963 Ford Econoline (Van Go version), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, 1971 Dodge Charger, and VW Double Cab truck. “One series or them I take pride in is our cars & trucks with Flames. I believe that hands down our 1/64 scale flames and the best out there.

M2 Machines charger vw transporterHe also lists some less obvious contenders for diecast production among his favorites: 1954 Dodge Coronet, 1955 & 1957 DeSoto, 1960 Chrysler 300 F, 1954 Mercury Sun Valley, 1955 Pontiac Star Chief, 1949-54 Studebaker 2R trucks, and 1954 Buick Skylark. “Some of these cars are a harder sell. They will never be as popular as say a ’57 Chevy, Mustang or Camaro. For us, it comes down to how many variations can we get out of tooling?”

M2 Machines DeSoto 300FAs a native of Southern California, car culture has always been a huge part of his life, but he has other interests. “Yes, I love Star Wars and Batman, so I have a ton of figures from both fandoms,” he said. He also still has his first car, a 1972 Chevelle and a 1965 Buick Sportwagon, so 1/1 scale is of interest to him too.

What’s your favorite M2 Machines model? Let us know in the comments!

M2 Machines buick studebaker

 

 

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Diecast Car Toy Shows and Conventions – a Continental Divide?

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

Rob Graves is a Hot Wheels collector and was the creator and for 16 years the only operator of the South Texas Diecast database.  He is now the Head of Data for the hobbyDB project.


When I met my European hobbyDB colleagues Andrew and Christian, I was surprised to find that on “the other side of the pond,” even the biggest diecast events last just a few hours! Events like Sandown Park in England, Houten in Holland or Aachen in Germany are one-day-events and the longest last for about eight hours.  You can find some amazing stuff but there is no other program!

Sandown Park Toy Fair draws up to 5,000 collectors - for a few hours each

Sandown Park Toy Fair draws up to 5,000 collectors – for a few hours each

 

The NAMAC event in The Netherlands attachts even more - up to 12,000 collectors

The NAMAC event in The Netherlands attracts even more – up to 12,000 collectors

It’s a little different in the US. Imagine if you will, a Hot Wheels car show that lasts for 4-7 days. Hundreds of attendees are there, some of whom have traveled from all over the country – some even from overseas. They include everyone from seasoned collectors to new enthusiasts. There are competitions for individuals who customize diecast cars, a huge charity auction, charity bingo and poker games, a dinner honoring a special well-known guest, autograph sessions with Mattel designers, multi-lane downhill and battery powered oval car track racing, a question and answer open forum with Mattel. Oh, and in the evenings, everyone who has models to sell puts up a sign outside their hotel room and everyone goes from room-to-room, buying, selling and trading everything from Original Redlines to the latest Treasure Hunts.

Customzier Competitions

Customizer Competitions, …

 

Hot Wheels Racing

Hot Wheels Racing, …

 

Games!

Board games, …

 

Dinners and interesting talks

Talks over plush dinner (here with Larry Wood) and much more!

No you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone, this is a real event that occurs twice a year. Currently the fall event occurs in California and the spring event can be found in different towns across the Midwest or East coast each year. The first Hot Wheels convention was held in Toledo, Ohio in 1987. It was produced by Mike Strauss of Hot Wheels Newsletter and Tomart’s Hot Wheels Guide fame. This was a single, annual event, until 2001 when the 2nd show, the Hot Wheels Nationals, was added.

Both of these Hot Wheels conventions are now produced by Jennifer and Mark Millhollin from Collectors Events Unlimited under license from Mattel. This year, the fall convention is the 30th Annual convention and will be held in Los Angeles.

Some of the most notable conventions include those held in 1998 and 2003. The 1998 Convention coincided with Hot Wheels’ 30th Anniversary and was the first convention for which Mattel officially produced event cars. This was also the event where ZAMAC (unpainted) cars were first offered. There were 25 carded models (only 500 each produced), a baggie release, and a 4 car set.

At the 2003 Convention, Mattel was celebrating Hot Wheels’ 35th Anniversary. In addition to producing the event cars for both conventions, they also provided all the event baggie cars (which are normally Code 3 versions). The Nationals convention in Cincinnati featured nine different colors of the Midnight Otto casting and the fall convention in Irvine featured nine different colors of the ’32 Ford casting.

In the past there have been smaller conventions, including the Wild Weekend of Hot Wheels (hosted by Randy Price of Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza), Summer Smash, and DiecastSpace. The DiecastSpace convention is now part of the Super Toy Con which is held in Las Vegas in the month of August. And other brands are now doing their own events.  Jim Gallegos has been organizing the  Matchbox Gathering since 2003 and Andy Goodman, CJ Cramer and Sean Taylor from M2 Machines are now organizing an annual M2 Experience,

The US-style Hot Wheels conventions have now even spread to other countries, including Brazil, Mexico, and Australia. The Brazil Hot Wheels show started in 2008 and now encompasses all major diecast model car brands. It is produced by Marcos Torresi at Expo Diecast. The Mexico Collectors Exhibition also started in 2008 and will be hosting their 9th Annual event on 11th,12th, & 13th of November this year. The Australia Diecast Models Expo was started in 2011 and also includes all the major diecast model car brands.

And on the other bonuses these conventions have is that there are always special convention cars!

Libery Promotions' Flamethrower VW Drag Bus for the last Brazil Convention

Flamethrower VW Drag Bus by Liberty Promotions for the last Brazil Convention

In fairness to the Europeans they have an annual 3 day Matchbox event (link to come); the NAMAC event is organized by the largest toy car club in the world (NAMAC also published a great diecast magazine) and the Danhausen event is organized by Minichamps and you can combine it with visiting their fantastic inhouse museum!

As they continue to thrive, conventions become ever better places to meet, socialize and talk diecast – and a truly unique experience for anyone attending!

If you want to go here are the next ones coming up

Where else can you discuss planned models with folks like Hot Wheel designer Brendon Vetuskey?

Where else can you discuss planned models with folks like Hot Wheel designer Brendon Vetuskey?

Make sure you add going to each of these events to your bucket list!