Friday, December 10, 2010

Fish'd & Chip'd

Fish’d & Chip’d

Brand : Hotwheels
Debut Series : 2003 First Edition
Designer : Fraser Campbell

Number 56356

Hotwheels designer for Fish’d and Chip’d is Fraser Campbell who wanted to do a replica of a Jaguar model for Hotwheels but there was no license in place. With the help of a graphic designer the Jaguar design was customized by lowering the roof line from the front to the back. Fish’d & Chip’d appears to be based on the 1975 Jaguar XJ6C and a comparatively rare 2-door version of the XJ6 saloon.

The pictures below is a 2007 Fish’d & Chip’d Mystery Car (#22/24). On the front passenger side (left side)(right hand drive), the window panel is present while on the driver’s side (right side) there’s no window panel or we could say it was wound down. This could be done with a purpose to allow the food and tray to be seen from the front passenger window.

On the front passenger seat, there appears to be a basket of fish and chips while on the driver’s side there is a tray folded out of the back of the front driver seat with what looks to be a can of drink.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hot Wheels Purple Passion In Silver Chrome

Hot Wheels

Purple Passion In Silver Chrome

Hot Wheels ‘Purple Passion’ resembles one of the great American cars of the 1950s; the 1951 Mercury. 'Purple Passion’ was designed by Larry Wood in 1990 based on the concept of the 1951 Mercury and was the first design that was not bound by Mattel's restrictions such as; it must perform well on the track and all wheels must be fully visible. It is said to be the first model that was aimed at the adult collector. It is true to say that Purple Passion resembles very much that of the 1951 Mercury, the only difference being the absence of the B- Pillar while the back portion of the car roof tapers at a steeper angle to the tail lights for the Purple Passion. The first Purple Passion released by Hot Wheels in 1990 is a mainline car #087 and is indeed purple in colour.

Over the years, many series of Purple Passion were released and purple color remains the most number of cars released. A quick check at revealed the number of cars released for different colors, in descending order as follows :-

Purple (16), Black (11), Red (11), White (8), Blue (7), Green (6), Yellow (5), Orange (5), Pink (5), Silver Chrome(5), Gold Chrome (4), Aqua (2), Grey (2), Silver (1), Plum (1)

A piece of Purple Passion in my collection in plain silver chrome has no tampos and a quick check with to identify it’s casting yielded no results. It is indeed a unique piece of Purple Passion with absolutely no tampos on the car surface and it remains a mystery to me which casting it belongs to.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels

’55 Chevy Panel

’55 Chevy Panel made its debut in the mainline series as First Editions (Old Card) and New Models (New Card) coming in at car #37 of 38 in 2006, in Metal flake Dark Blue color. It remains one of the heaviest cars ever produced by Hot Wheels and also remains one of the most sought after car that has prevented many collectors from completing their 2006 First Editions collection. This car is a must for completist collectors and it shall remain as one of the most sought after cars in years to come.

'55 Chevy Panel was subsequently released under different series such as :-

Hot Wheels (Error Cars)

Hot Wheels

Error Cars

There are a few hundreds of different cars produced by Mattel yearly, ranging from Red Lines, First Editions, Segment Series, T-Hunts, Mystery Cars, Mainline Special Series, Adult Collectibles, Other Special Series, Collectibles, Promos, Exclusives, Conventions etc.

At some point of time collectors will come across ‘error cars’ either by chance, unknowingly or set out on purpose to locate these rare pieces. Some are worth a few dollars extra while extremely rare ones can fetch as high as $1,000.00. Yes, $1,000.00 extra for a 1:64 scale car measuring no more than 8cm in length. Again it depends on how badly you wanted to own the car or how much the seller is willing to part with the piece.

There are 5-groups of errors, namely :-

1. Missing Parts (Engine, windshield, interior and wheels)
2. Wheel Error (Different rims & wheels of different sizes)
3. Tampo Error (Missing part or all of the tampo printed on the car)
4. Assembly Error (Rivets not installed & chassis/overturned and riveted)
5. Packaging Error (Vehicle upside down, car inside package different from the name of the car stated on the card, front of car facing left direction as opposed to the right as front of Hot Wheels cars are placed facing the right)

It is very difficult to put a price to a piece of error car, it varies from one collector to another and it depends on how badly a collector wants to possess the piece or at what price the collector in possession of such piece would like to let go. However, some errors are definitely rarer than others and thus fetch a much better price.

Most error cars are not “one of a kind” but it is true to say that there is a small quantity of it distributed all over the place. Even though there are several hundreds or thousands of error cars out there but it is still rare when we consider there are a few million pieces of the same car without error, produced and distributed worldwide. There are indeed very few pieces of “one of a kind” error cars out there and it is extremely difficult to locate and identify and some may have been lost forever when children unknowingly picked up these pieces, removed it from the blister pack, plays with it and eventually ends up as thrash.

In the course of collecting diecast toy cars, I’ve come to know of a few collectors who collects nothing else except error cars and they go hunting not for the T-Hunts but error cars and it takes hell lot of an effort to locate and identify it. Their collection is by no means big in quantity but each piece certainly does worth a lot.
It was never my intention to seek out these “error cars,’ however, by chance I’ve found one piece in the #133/166 (7/10 Faster Than Ever – ’66 Batmobile) where I picked up from a local departmental store and it was the last piece available and I was never given the chance to choose another piece as there was none left. I did not notice the front wheel error of white wall instead of gold rim after a few weeks when I wanted to store it away in a box. God knows how many of these are around and it will be interesting to find out how much it’s worth.

The car in my collection that I can recall having "Packaging Error" is the 2003 Treasure Hunt 12/12 - Plymouth Barracuda which was wrongly labeled as 1971 Plymouth GTX on the card. I then clarified with the seller whom I got the car from whether is it a Barracuda or a GTX and I was given a good volley ........ " don't you know what car you are buying? It's a 1971 Plymouth GTX'. Till this day, I believe the seller may not have noticed that he has sold me an "Error Car"? Well, worth all the walloping when you get a rare piece. This piece does not fetch a very high price as it is a printing error on all the cards, but it still remain as a rare piece as I haven't found another piece of T-Hunt with an error card hitherto.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Many Disguises Of "Letter Getter"


'Letter Getter" is a Hot Wheels diecast car with many disguises of different names over the years but it's the same car. It made its debut in 1977 (Card #9643) (Series Name : 1977 Hot Wheels) under the name "Letter Getter" by Hot Wheels, designed by Larry Wood and subsequently took on many other names, but yet it's a similar car. Last check with reliable sources suggests that if you still hold the same piece in LOOSE, yes loose, it would most probably fetch something between USD 400 to USD 600, depends on the condition of the car. 'Letter Getter' appeared another 4-more times over the years, also in 1977 (Series Name : Flying Colors #20), 1979 (Series Name : The Heavies), 1979 (Series Name : Hot Wheels) and 1982 (Series Name : Hot Wheels). Since then, we have not seen another piece of 'Letter Getter'. One just can't tell the difference between the 5-different castings as they look alike. However, the 1977 and 1979 models are Hong Kong castings while the 1982 model is of Malaysia casting. Below is a loose piece of "Letter Getter" - 1982 Malaysia casting :-

The same car also took on other names such as; Incredible Hulk, S.W.A.T. Van, Racing Team, Delivery Van, Combat Medic, Delivery Truck, Simpson's Nuclear Waste Van, Delivery Truck, Pit Crew Truck and Combat Ambulance. The picture below shows the same car with a different body tampoo; eg. 2006 Hot Wheels - Combat Ambulance (#079- Spyforce Series).

The "Grumman Long Life Vehicle" or LLV is a light transport truck designed for and used by the United States Postal Service. It entered service in 1987 and the last of it in 1994. Notable points of the vehicle were: serviceability, handling in confined areas, and overall economical operation. The LLV is capable of 20 years of operation where the original design lifespan of the LLV specified by the US Postal Service was 24 years, but was extended to 30 years in 2009. The body and final assembly is by Grumman, and the chassis is made by General Motors.

It has been something a long while since the last we saw 'Letter Getter' in Hot Wheels and we most probably may or may not see another similar piece again as the latest US Postal vans promotes the use of hybrid electric power to reduce fuel consumption and is poised to usher in a new era of US postal delivery. The US Postal Service has some 30,000 strong fleet of delivery van undergoing conversion to electric powered vehicles. Below is a typical "US Postal Service Electric Powered Chrysler Minivan".

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Fifteen Millionth Ford

The Fifteen Millionth Ford

A fellow collector of diecast cars was gracious enough to hand me a piece of the 1925-Model-T-Tourer-Convertible (1983 Lledo - Models of Days Gone). What caught my attention was the phrase imprinted on the side of the car which said "The Fifteen Millionth Ford". So I ask, what is so special about this car? This is the very car that was driven by Edsel Ford, son of one of the great guru of modern car producer - Henry Ford. What I know of this great man is little, but what I do know of him is that had it not because of him we would not be driving the car or cars hitherto.

Henry Ford was borned in 1863 and had said in 1909; "when I'm through with the design of the car, everybody will be able to afford one, and about everybody will have one, which effectively means a continuous reduction in price by improving the assembly line so that the Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie and Flivver) could be produced inexpensively. The car was sold to the first customer on October 1, 1908 and he transformed the automobile itself from a luxury to a necessity. In 1914, the Model T dominated the world's leading market and on May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the fifteen millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. The Model A which is sporty, attractive, well-built, and smooth-running replaced the Model T in 1928.

Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947, at the age of eighty-three, 20 years after the first Model T rolled out of the production plant.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Le Mans - Ford GT 40

Le Mans - Ford GT 40

Mere mention of Ferrari would automatically evoke a feeling of class and elegance and we are talking about one of the many top of the range sports cars ever built in this century. Ferrari won the Le mans 24 hours endurance race a total of nine times from 1923 to 2009, those victories came in 1949, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965. Ferrari appeared to be invisible from 1960 to 1965 until Ford GT 40 came along to break the stranglehold and won its first Le Mans endurance race in 1966 and continued through to 1969.

The car was named the GT (for Grand Tourisme) with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches (1.02 m, measured at the windshield) as required by the rules.

The Ford GT 40s that won the Le Mans from 1966 to 1969 were :-

1966 - Ford GT 40 MK II

1967 - Ford GT 40 MK IV

1968 - Ford GT 40

1969 - Ford GT 40

The 1968 and 1969 Le Mans Series were won by the same car Ford GT 40.

The first Ford GT 40 diecast car that I've ever held in my palm is the black 1966 Ford GT 40; produced by Hot Wheels under the "Hall Of Fame" Milestone Moment series. It is truly one of the most beautiful diecast car that I've ever seen.