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Monday, December 15, 2008

They're Not Just Toy Cars Any More!

Lately, I have been excavating through my Hot Wheels collection and finding out that there are some old ones I have that are worth quite a lot of money! I found a Hot Wheels Road Grader, still in it's original package, (like most of mine are), and the price sticker was still on it. When I purchased it in 1988, it cost me .77 cents. Today, I have seen where it's worth $45! So, what I thought was just some old diecast cars that I couldn't part with might turn out to be a collection actually worth something! Now, they're not all Hot Wheels, of course. I have some Matchbox cars, and other brands such as Road Champs, Johnny Lightning, Sun Toys, Zylmex, Yatming, Corgi Junior, The Lindberg Line, Playart, Summer Toys, Zee Toys, Majorette, Ertl and my newest discovery - Maisto Diecast cars. I even have some that are so inexpensive, (i.e. cheap!) that they don't have the name of the manufacturer on the base!
So, having figured out that I need to think of them as more than just toys, I have started photographing my collection and posting them here and there on the internet. You probably remember seeing a few of them on this blog in past post. But, taking pictures of a tiny car or truck just sitting there can get somewhat repetitious and boring at times. So, to jazz things up a little, I have been thinking of themes and backgrounds for various cars and posing them in such a way as to make them look more like real cars. This is probably why I like models that look like real cars rather than custom cars that were either one-offs by customizing kings like Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, George Barris and Boyd Coddington, or just made-up designs to look fascinating. Here are a few that turned out interesting and I'll tell a little bit about them underneath each image.

Here is a Hot Wheels Dairy Delivery truck that I photographed just last night. I even created the Milk Advertisement seen on the billboard behind it! I thought it was pretty good, so if the Milk Council feels a need to use it, feel free to contact me about it!

The first car I ever bought, back when I was 17 years old and still in high school, was a huge, mile long 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood. They made less than 3500 of this model and had I only known it was so rare, I probably would still have it today. But, nevertheless, I have always had a fondness for Cadillacs, so I wanted to make the Hot Wheels Cadillac V-16 Concept car above look classy. I posed it on the big city streets like they use in the current crop of Cadillac commercials on television.

I liked those big city streets, so I put a Hot Wheels 1964 Lincoln Continental in the same setting. Don't you just love convertibles!?

This is a Hot Wheels Dodge Charger Stock Car. What better place to find a model such as this but on the racetrack!?

Here is a Hot Wheels 1957 Thunderbird. I own a Ford Thunderbird, so I thought this one would look good on the track as well.

This is a Hot Wheels convertible truck known as a Dodge Sidewinder. I tried to photograph it in such a way as to make it look like it was travelling through the city at a great rate of speed.

This one is a Hot Wheels casting of an Airport Rescue vehicle. Where else would you find one but on some airport runway somewhere? Hopefully no flights were landing when the picture was taken.

Speaking of flying vehicles, here is a Police Helicopter from my newest find - Maisto Diecast. They are quite interesting and have some rare models. I just discovered them this year, so I suspect Maisto is a fairly new company.

I have also taken to buying 2 or 3 identical models of cars I really like so that I can have one for my collection and at least one to customize. Pictured above is a Hot Wheels 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback. I have several of them and this is one that I drilled apart, stripped the paint and repainted it in gloss black. For a hot car such as this, I figured it would look good making a pass down the quarter-mile dragstrip. Hence it's blurred wheels as it sped past me.

And lastly, a set of Hot Wheels that were released in 2003 called the Wild Wave Series. You had to buy each one separately and when you had all five, you had the complete set. Since they featured a surf theme, complete with surfboards, what better place to photograph them than at the beach? Here they are all posed by the shore, with their boards drying in the sun. It looks like their owners just finished surfing and have went to the hamburger stand for some food. This was the first scenic picture I took of my cars and the pleasure of coming up with a theme and a picture for the cars continues to grow. I have lots of fun trying to think of a theme for certain cars and the next one I have in mind will feature a military Jeep flying over a sand dune on it's way through the desert. If you want to see more of my cars, you can check out the Hot Wheels Wiki, the Matchbox Cars Wiki and a wiki I started myself, the Maisto Diecast Wiki. These are all interactive sites where anybody can add and change content. It's a great place to hang out and study the cars or add new information and pictures of vehicles not already represented there. So, be sure to check those places out sometime!
And remember, you can find all kinds of 1:64 scale diecast cars and trucks like I do at lots of places other than Wal-Mart.