Model Cars Posts

CarWarz joins hobbyDB to Put New Spin on Hot Wheels Collecting

Hot Wheels Carwarz track

At hobbyDB, we’re always looking for other resources that share our passion to help document our hobby and add gobs of fun to it at the same time. We recently became friends with Jeff Lacroix, who started ‘CarWarz Hot Wheels Review’ in Dec 2015. “I wanted to create a video database of my collection, and make it searchable with the titles containing all collector information, he said. “We’re just approaching 1000 videos, and still have lots to go.”

Of greatest interest to us at hobbyDB would be his 360 degree “Hot Wheels Review” videos. The videos aren’t critical reviews that rate the cars… you can do that for yourself. Instead, they offer a chance to get a good look at a model from all angles, particularly useful on rare variants. He has about 1,000 of them up and is adding more. How much do we like these? We’ll be adding external links to our Hot Wheels listings for cars when there is a video available as an extra resource. See an example of how it works on hobbyDB here. You’ll find the link to the video in the external links section at the bottom of the page. 

Carwarz Hot Wheels Olds 442

Jeff has other great plans for his videos. “I also created the 12 CarWarz Raceway to do some racing videos as well.” (Note the HD camera at the finish line in the photo at the top of this page.) So, look for us to post some of that action soon as well. 

On another note, his CarWarz Modbogging channel gets about 1.5 million views a month. So if you like real vehicles too, especially ones caked in mud, well, this is for you. Enjoy!

Vision for the hobbyDB Value Guide

Vintage Price SignsThe hobbyDB Value Guide will be the most up-to-date and accurate on the net, primarily because we plan for it to be drawn from the most comprehensive range of data sources possible and to have it updated by many stakeholders in real time.

Our data sources will be:

Expert Opinion
As a jumping-off point, we’ll be using the opinions of leading brand and sector specialists (many of whom you’ll find as members of our Advisory Board) to get the price guide off to the best start possible. We’ve already introduced the ability for experts to add value information to items for examples of that item which are in perfect condition in and out of packaging.These expert views will be used to set a baseline, which will then be enhanced as we introduce other factors into the mix.

On-site Transactions
As the hobbyDB marketplace grows, so too will our repository of pricing data.We retain details of the price and condition of every item which sells on hobbyDB – something we designed into the site from the start. This will allow us to aggregate the prices into averages and track these over time, opening up a wealth of pricing data possibilities; users will be able to view all time highs and lows an item, see how the values have risen or fallen over time and get an up-to-the-minute value for the item in any condition.

Off-site Transactions
We’re always aware that some people will still be trading on other platforms besides hobbyDB (until they see the error of their ways!) and in real-world situations like toy fairs and shops.To accommodate this data, we plan to allow experts and buyers/sellers to enter values and conditions from offsite sales that they’ve verified or been a part of respectively. Users will then be able to view value information that includes these offsite sales or which is solely calculated on the basis of hobbyDB sales. We are also looking into the potential of scraping data from third party sites if they allow that – although this can present issues when it comes to matching item conditions.

Nudging
We’re aware that sometimes users may simply feel that, however many factual data sources pricing information is derived from, it simply may not reflect their buying/selling experiences or what they’ve seen. As such, we plan to allow for “nudging,” whereby users can “nudge up” or “nudge down” prices. Of course, we’re also aware how open to abuse this could be, so limits will be in place on how many times a user can nudge a price for an individual item, details of nudges and their nudgers will be displayed prominently, and you’ll have the ability to view un-nudged pricing data too, of course.

hobbyDB Collectible Stats
With records of how many hobbyDB users own a particular item, in what conditions and how many other users have it on their want lists, we’ll be able to generate stats for rarity and desirability. But for items which are very rare and have no sales records, or very limited data, we can use these stats to create estimated values by looking at variants of these items – or other similar items if there are no variants – and combining this information with the number of “wants”.

Lastly, all of this will have to be displayed in an easy to understand fashion and should work well on small screens (think mobiles).  We love to hear your opinions and ideas in the comment section here below and might occasionally update this vision post.

Mocking Up the Mach 5

This article first appeared online at diecastxmagazine.com

Speed Racer Mach 5

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

As diecast collectors, we seldom consider the amount of effort that goes into creating a miniature version of a real car, especially one with working features. Rolling wheels are a bare minimum, but when a vehicle also features opening doors and hood, working steering and even suspension, it’s really a miniature marvel of engineering that we often take for granted. But what if that car only existed as two-dimensional animation? How hard would it be to make a convincing 3-D replica? How about one with a lot of unique, imaginary working bits as well?

Let’s then take a moment to appreciate some of the models of the Mach 5 from the Speed Racer cartoon that have been released over the years. Until about 20 years ago, such replicas were few and far between—usually simple, small-scale plastic cars available mostly overseas. They were cute, but none of them fueled the imagination as much as they could have with functioning bits. After all, there are six buttons on the steering wheel of the Mach 5, fans know they all have a purpose! Thankfully, several later models addressed the gadgetry with different approaches.


JL Speed Racer Mark 5

In 2000, Johnny Lightning retooled and released their second series of Speed Racer vehicles, with an even better detailed Mach 5, this time featuring different snap-on accessories in different packages. So if you dared take them out of the package, you could pose the car with saw blades extended and resting up high on the auto-jacks. Heck, the hood even flipped open to reveal the engine. Not bad considering the size! There was also a very limited edition of the car in bronze as the Mach 4.

rare Speed Racer Mach 4 Johnny Lightining

Shortly after that, a company called ReSaurus got really ambitious and created a large scale Mach 5 along with 6-inch action figures of Speed and the gang. Assuming Speed is about 6 feet tall, this car would be roughly 1:12 scale. In truth, it looks a bit bulky when he stands next to it, but you forgive that when you see the features.

ReSaurus Speed Racer playset

The car came beautifully packaged with snap on gadgets visible: Auto jacks (with springs), saw blades, bullet-proof/water proof canopy, pop-up periscope, and homing pigeon (but no opening hatch for the bird to hide in). That’s five out of the six buttons represented, which is pretty impressive. (Alas, bullet-proof belted tires are just not available in any scale). The hood didn’t open, but the trunk lid did, which anyone who watched the show would appreciate… this car came with figures of Spritle and Chim Chim as well as a picnic basket, all of which could fit comfortably in the trunk.

But the most impressive Mach 5 has to be the 1:18 scale version from American Muscle. The overall intricacy of detail is better than the ReSaurus model, which to be fair, was designed as a toy instead of a display piece. But instead of separate snap-on gadgets, the folks at Ertl managed to hide these elements within the car when not in use.

Mach 5 open Ertl

The auto jacks retract into the chassis, as do the saw blades. The periscope pops up, and the homing pigeon tucks into a hatch on the hood. There is no canopy, but other features make up for it… it has an opening trunk (early releases came with a Chim Chim figure, but he won’t quite fit in there), opening doors, working steering, and an opening bonnet. The entire front end flips open to reveal a 12-cylinder engine with some wiring, and exhaust pipes that extend to the convincingly detailed chassis.  Just like the real car… oh, wait.

Considering that there was no real version of this car to model the technical details after, the creators of all of these did a fantastic job bringing the Mach 5 to life. Now if someone could just get working on an affordable 1:1 replica, we could complete our collections!

mach5lead1 copy

Technomodel Brings Back Disco at the 2016 Nuremberg Toy Fair!

We just keep finding more and more interesting upcoming models at the 2016 Nuremberg Toy Fair. If you missed our earlier posts, you can read them here, here, here, and here.

First, from Tecnomodel, we have the resin first shot and the pre-production versions of the Disco Volante concept car from Alfa Romeo. (In case you didn’t know, “Disco Volante” means “flying saucer”). These are 1:43 offerings.

Technomodel mythos superleggara Alfa Romeo Disco Volante

Technomodel mythos superleggara Alfa Romeo Disco Volante

 

 

 

Also from Tecnomodel, this 1:18 McLaren GTR race car. Since you will never own a real one, you should buy this model when it comes out.

Technomodel mythos mclaren p1 GTR

 

Speaking of things you can never own, here is a giant, life size, 1:1 scale Lightning McQueen model. No word on if it has a working drivetrain (probably not) or if it is sentient and can talk (also unlikely). Pixar’s “Cars 3” is scheduled to hit theaters June of 2016, so expect many more models in more collectible scales.

life size full scale lightning mcqueen

 

Schuco is expanding the US-flavored models in their Piccolo range of 1/87 scale cars with one of the most ‘Murican rides of all… the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard.

Schuco general lee

 

 

Racing Champions will be offering these highly detailed models, including a Plymouth Road Runner, 1960 Chevy Impala, Pontiac GTO, Buick Roadmaster, and 1955 Chevy Nomad.

Racing champions buick chevy nomad

 

 

Johnny Lightning’s Back in Town

Johnny Lightning is coming back Under the Playing Mantis brand! Here are a cool new cars we snapped at Nuremberg…

Johnny Lightning

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and a 1971 GTO

Johnny Lightning 1970 AMC Matador Rebel Machine

1970 AMC Matador Rebel Machine

Johnny Lightning 1963 Nova

For those who prefer things zingier, a 1963 Nova.

Johnny Lightning 1958 Plymouth BelvedereAnd a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere