Category Archives: Fit the Box

Some 2016 Racing Champions.

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by the Author unless otherwise stated.

I recently looked at three Racing Champion Mint models from 2017 but here we go back a year further into the past to the earlier releases by Round 2 after they were licensed to produce this range by Tomy. The same ‘3.25 inch’ fit the box sizing applies as it did with the 2017 models with all the models shown here being pretty much the same length. All were diecast in China for the US.

2016 #3 1949 Buick Riviera

The Riviera first entered the Buick line in 1949, as the designation for the new two-door pillarless hardtop, described in advertising as “stunningly smart”: the Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe. It was also in 1949 that Buick introduced “VentiPorts.” Four were displayed on each of the Roadmaster’s front fenders, with three on the fenders of models with smaller engines.  The Riviera joined the line up in the middle of the year selling 4,314 units.

Featuring power windows as standard equipment, the 2-door Buick Roadmaster Riviera was among the first hardtop coupes produced. The Riviera was also notable for its popular optional “Sweepspear” chrome body side moulding, which would soon become a Buick trademark. The “Riviera trim”, as it was initially called, was also made available on the Roadmaster convertible very late in the model year.

The model captures the rounded lines of the Buicks of the late forties well. Note the excellent flush fit of the windows into the diecast roof.

The interior has moulded dashboard with quite a bit of detail as well as seats but no door card mouldings.

At the front the huge ‘grinning’ grille has been well captured. Above it the printed badge is only visible in detail when the photo is enlarged but it is an impressive tiny multi-colour print. The huge bumper has been perhaps exaggerated a little in size and the small number plate looks very small. The chrome printed objects extend to the fittings in the top of the wing. The chrome printing is a little flat  and could do with being a little shinier.

Like other Racing Champions the front lights have been painted in white which works well here.

To the rear the window fits snugly and printing  represents the multi-part screen well. The boot handle is surrounded by a lovely printed Dynaflow badge and the Dynaflow script is also printed neatly on the rear wings. where the rear lights are moulded in the casting and accurately over-printed high on the wing.  Another slightly heavy and rather dull bumper with a tiny license plate. Two reversing lights are moulded in and highlighted by printing silver on them.

Finally the play components. Only the bonnet opens but this fits well and opens sideways in a realistic way. The engine detail is limited but it is clealry powered by the inline eight rather than the V8 that was to dominate in the 1950s.

2016 #6 1956 Chevy Nomad

The original Nomad was the shortest GM offering with a two door body and an estate car rear it was meant to combine sportiness with practicability and it had gathered much favourable comment when originally show as a styling exercise at Motorama in 1954.  Though it has been widely featured in films, and is certainly regarded as a ‘classic car,’ it did not sell well enough for GM and from 1958 onwards Nomad was just a badge on the larger Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon.

When the Nomad was introduced in 1955 it reflected the new styling across their ranges. Nomads, like Bel Airs, came fitted with interior carpet, chrome spears on the front wings, chrome window mouldings, and full wheel covers. A V8 engine option was offered using a new 4.3 Litre OHV engine. In 1956 Chevrolets received a face-lift. This gave Chevys a more conventional full-width grille as fitted to this model. In 1957 the Nomads was changed again and they were fitted with the same interior and rear-wheel pressings as Bel Airs, lacking the original Nomad’s unique trim.

The model captures the short length and the unique Nomad rear roof section, windows and painted rear section.  The wheels are a reasonable representation of the original wheels even if the tyres are slightly too square shouldered and wide. The Chevy badge and Nomad scripts are printed very finely on the rear wing.

The windows and their chrome fittings along the side, and the front door with its forward facing B pillar, are all well represented.

The interior again is a black plastic moulding with a moulded dash and steering wheel with some detail , seas and floor, and in this case the ribbing of the carrying compartment detailed but again it has no moulding on door cards.

From the front the 56 front end with its full width grille are captured well and there is even a black wash on the grille making it much more convincing. Headlights and sidelights are both painted white which contrasts well with the ‘chrome’ The Chevy badge is printed nicely on the bonnet and the bonnet ornament with its aircraft influences is reproduced neatly.

To the rear the small Nomad script in gold is printed above the chrome strips on the rear half of the rear tailgate. The rear lights are neatly cast in and overprinted chrome and red to give a good effect.

The rear bumper is rather dull and slightly heavy but follows the lines it should.

Again an opeining bonnet is the only play feature on this model. Under it lies an impression of a V8 engine.

2016 #4 1960 Chevy Impala

This is a model from the last year of the second generation Impala.

The Sport Coupe is modelled here which featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. Standard fittings included front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. The 1960 Impala models reinstated three round taillights on each side, and a white band running along the rear fenders.

The side view shows that the casting is quite good, though I feel that the rear window may be slightly oversized.  The side moulding with the rocket age embellisher also bears tiny printed Impala script and an  image of someone waving the chequered flag so small magnification is needed to see it.

The side ‘chrome’ is well printed though the front wing embellishment is  rather over large, the four vents seeming much too obvious perhaps because the black sections are printed a larger than needed.

The wheels and tyres are well done, in spite of the fact that the tyres are too wide, with the white walls matching some seen on real cars for sale in the US.

The front grille is very nicely moulded and in a much shinier finish. Again a black wash has been applied to the grille and the light lenses are printed in white. There is no front number plate fitted.

Along the leading edge of the bonnet Chevrolet has been finely printed where the full size car would have had the letters applied. And the centre of the grille has a badge fitted which has the figure with the chequered flag again.

Inside we get the black plastic moulded tub with some detail in the steering wheel, dashboard mouldings and seats, and in this case on the door cards as well.

To the rear the badging and lights are well done. A printed Chevy badge graces the boot though it is perhaps missing a printed dot below it for the boot lock. Again a nice shiny chrome effect rear panel is fitted and the moulded in lights are then accurately overprinted. The number plate to the rear simply says Impala.

Play features are again restricted to an opening bonnet. It looks like the car is fitted with a standard inline six rather than the popular V8 option.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Some 2017 Racing Champions

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Racing Champions Mint is a brand licensed by Round 2 from Tomy who acquired the brand when it bought Ertl. Round 2 are now re-using old moulds from Racing Champions and Ertl to create a Racing Champions Mint line. So the brand is now produced by the same company that makes AutoWorld and Johnny Lightning being run by the same people who originally ran Playing Mantis and revived the Johnny Lightning name originally devised by Topper.

Products under this brand sit between the AutoWorld 1:64 models aimed at discerning collectors of 1:64 and Johnny Lightning which is the fun, play brand.  They are all ‘3.25 inch models’ with some scaling out at 1:64 but others varying from the quite markedly. Looking on the web site it looks like releases have slowed in 2018 with the first release being based on racing cars which again seem to vary in scale considerably.

Here we look at some of the cars released in 2017.

The photograph above shows the scale variation with the 1967 Plymouth smaller than a 1960 Corvair. Whilst nice models in many respects Racing Champion Mint certainly has a ‘fit the box’ approach.

1967 Plymouth Fury New York City Police 2017 Release 1 Version A

The model shown above is an attractive 1967 Plymouth Fury in the ‘America’s Finest‘ sub-range. The livery used is for New York City Police. Pictures usually show the dark green area extending all along the side but I am sure this variation has been researched by Round 2 as they also sell a variation with full length green paint. The Fury badge has even been printed on the wings which is a nice touch.

Under the bonnet is a simple engine  and as can be seen above the bonnet is a good fit and the front lights though painted on work well with the nicely moulded grille.

Police markings are neatly printed and the rear lights, bumper and panel are neat mouldings. The somewhat heavy and square late 1960s  shape has been well captured. Sadly the green painted areas were not masked well and there is a lot of feathering around the edges and they do not align completely with the door shut lines as they should.

The wheels have the correct small hub cap fitted to police cars and a representation of the all steel wheels though the plastic used makes the wheels look much too shiny.

 

1958 Ford Edsel Release 2 2017 Version B

Bigger in every dimension than the Fury this Edsel has no model stated though when you blow up the photographs the script on the front wing might read Pacer which was one of the smaller Edsels based upon the Ford chassis.

Sadly the bonnet is ill fitting and sits above an Edsel horseshoe grille that is fitted at crazy angle. which makes the front look even more like it has been damaged parking.

The two tone paint, chrome printing and badging are nicely done. With finely printed Edsel lettering on rear wings. To the rear the bumper is ok, if a little plastic in appearance and the rear lights are printed on with fine surrounds.

The side view shows that the shape is neatly captured and the hard top nicely modelled. The top is in plastic presumably so the lower casting can also be used to make a convertible.

A colourful engine sits under the bonnet but as usual with models this size lacking in detail.

 

1960 Chevy Corvair Release 2 2017 Version B

GMs attempt to get back sales from the imports from the likes of Volkswagen. A rear wheel drive car which was released after cost cutting measures had left it with a poor suspension solution leaving it suffering from tail heavy handling problems which lead to Ralph Nader’s ‘Unsafe at any speed’ statement. Though GM quite quickly resolved the issues the car was never the success they hoped for.

This model is consistent in size with the Edsel but rather larger than the Fury which in real like was nearly 10 inches wider.

As the photograph shows the front lights are fitted crookedly bu here they can be twisted into a better alignment.

This is a model of the two door coupe which leaves a rather odd long rear deck,  used for the hood on the convertible which looks more balanced. The model is nicely painted though the casting seems rather bland to me failing to capture some of the sharp lines the designers used to add variety to the cars surface.

Rear lights are just paint on moulded casting extensions and the printing is not aligned well.

The wheels are not really typical of the models I can see online but may be OK as many cars seem to be fitted with custom fake wires.

At the rear we see the low mounted suggestion of an engine under to rear cover.

The revival of Racing Champions makes available again some classic fit the box castings and few accurate 1:64 castings from Ertl days. Build and finish quality is only ‘so so’ even though these models attract a premium price in the US. I am not sure whether Round 2 will invest a lot of effort into this range as it already has Johnny Lightning addressing the lower part of the premium market and Autoworld addressing the top-end of the US 1:64 premium market.

For all their faults this series of models will please many who will otherwise have to seek out theses castings on the secondary market.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

 

News from the Continent April/May 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs all provided by the manufacturer.

This article covers two sets of news from NOREV. Unless otherwise stated all models are diecast in China for France.

April 2018

1:18 Scale

181622 Citroen Dyane 6 1977 “Caban”

 

181650 Citroen C4 Cactus 2014 – Hello Yellow & Black Airbump

 

181651 Citroen C4 Cactus 2014 – Pearl White & Chocolate Airbump

 

181660 Citroen C4 Cactus 2018 – Emeraude Blue & White deco

 

183455 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6,9 saloon 1976 – green metallic This model sold out on pre-orders before even being released to the shops.

 

184881 Peugeot 309 Gti16 1991 – Miami blue

 

185242 Renault 4 Parisienne 1964 – black & red

 

185225 Renault Megane R.S. 2017 – Tonic orange

1:43 Scale

 

820313 DKW 3=6 Coupe 1958 – black

1:18 Scale MAXIJET

 

182056A Motobecane AV 65 1965 – blue

 

Peugeot 103 L 1972 – Orange

Minijet “3 inches” – made to fit box

 

310611 Citroen C3 2016 – Red & Black

 

310901 Renault Megane RS 2017 – Sirius yellow

 

310903 Renault Megane RS 2017 – Orange

May 2018 Announcements ‘Norev stay in the Race !’

1:18 Scale

 

181630 Citroen C3 WRC 2017 – Official Presentation Version

 

182719 Ford Capri Mk. III 2,8 Injection 1982 – chrystal green metallic

 

183452 Mercedes-AMG GT R 2018 – red

 

183635 Opel Manta A 1970 – Lemon green metallic

 

185226 Renault Megane R.S. 2017 – Sirius yellow

 

Scale 1:43

 

830027 Audi 80 quattro saloon 1985 – blue metallic

 

820302 Dkw f89 Delivery van “German Post”

 

517961 Renault Trezor Salon de Paris 2010

 

840095 Volkswagen Scirocco GT 1981 – Anthracite grey metallic

1:18 Scale MAXIJET

 

182065A Solex 1966 – black


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Hot Wheels Cadillac Elmiraj

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise acknowledged.

The Cadillac Elmiraj  is a concept car from General Motors. They say that the Elmiraj Concept “re-imagines 2-door design for the next generation of luxury drivers”.  And that it is “Driving forward with a beautiful look back. The stunning Elmiraj exterior is based on the classic El Dorado design” and GM say that “An elongated wheelbase, clean body lines, and wide swinging doors emphasise luxury and elevate status.  It was unveiled at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and It continues the development begun by the Cadillac Ciel concept car. It was named for the El Mirage dry lake bed that was used for high speed runs.

The car is a two door, four seat US full-size luxury coupe. It is powered by a 4.5 litre twin turbocharged V8 driving the rear wheels and delivering an estimated 500 hp. It features a pillar less hardtop , a body style abandoned by U.S. car makers since the late 1970s.  It is obviously an attempt to show that GM can complete with cars like the Audi A8BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Though to the Author it looks like an overgrown Lexus.

The model is diecast in Malaysia for Mattel and features in their Hot Wheels Factory Fresh range. It also appears in blue and red in HW City and Black in HW Exotic ranges as well as on blister cards with no range stated. All appear to be made to a similar standard which is to quite a high level of finish compared to some other Hot Wheels.

The front end has had a fair amount of detail with blackened grill, Cadillac symbol and chrome work round grille and along bonnet printed silver as well as the front lights.

The front and rear windows have the edges picked out in black and the side windows are left open to emphasise the fact it is an open coupe.

However that is pretty much the end of the detailing applied by Mattel and rear lights, window surrounds and rear Cadillac symbol are all just left unpainted. However, I could not resist the temptation to add silver and red to the rear lights, and silver paint for the rear crest, as well as painting the side window surrounds. NB the somewhat messy appearance was because I handled the car and spread the clear red lacquer whilst photographing it – the paintwork has been tidied up since!

Though the wheels are very much plastic “Hot Wheels” the general shape actually apes the huge alloys on the concept car well.

The interior of the car is a creamy brown moulding with a little detail which doesn’t attempt to capture the complex seat shapes but does try to echo in a basic form the cars dashboard.

As far as I can determine this is the only model of this car whose design cues clearly influenced the development of the smaller Cadillac ATS  Coupe even if that is not a pillar less hardtop. And it is great that as a pocket money toy I don’t have to worry about detailing the model  as it cost little in the first place.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.


KTM X-Bow Miniatures

By Maz Woolley

Text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs by, and copyright of the manufacturers.

The KTM X-BOW is built in Graz Austria and KTM say that  “We took Colin Chapman’s idea of a spartan, lightweight sports car reduced to the bare essentials and transferred it into the new millennium – with as many technological innovations as possible”. The X-BOW is the first four-wheeler in KTM’s history

It comes in four models: GT4 with a full bodywork, RR which is race ready, R the road version, or GT which is also road ready. All use a 2 Litre engine in various states of tune and Audi gearboxes. The lightweight gives them blistering acceleration and makes the fast cars ideally suited to track day use and club racing.

Despite the striking styling I can only find two models of this car. One a quality resin and the other a cheap and cheerful diecast.

Spark has done several versions of this car as it has evolved. The photographs show the latest release Spark S5662 KTM X-BOW RR.

 

The Spark model looks to be extremely accurate capturing the cars looks and a lot of detail. It is made in Resin in China to 1:43 scale.  They also made previous year’s models in different versions with a full windshield.

Now to the “cheep and cheerful” model. This is Siku 1436 an X-BOW GT. This is in Siku’s Super range which varies in scale to fit the box. Ignore traders that claim that this model is to 1:87 scale, it is not claimed to be by Siku, and will be closer to 1:60.

Whilst this is a budget model sold as a toy it has quite a good level of detail, though much of the bodywork is simplified to make it suitable for die casting in metal in China for Germany.

An exciting looking car with as yet a limited number of models. I expect that one of the 1:18 scale manufacturers will make one at some point and that could make a spectacular model.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

 

News from the Continent March 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs provided by the manufacturer.

In this article I look at the models announced by Norev in the first three months of the year.

Announcements made in January 2018

1:18 scale

 

185148 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – blue

 

181495 Citroen 2CV 6 – 1972 – Rio Red

 

181494 Citroen 2CV Dolly 1985 – Meije white & Cormoran grey

 

183412 Mercedes-Benz O319 Bus 1957 – blue & beige

 

183569 Mercedes-Benz 280SE saloon 1969 – ivory

 

183451 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster 2017 – yellow metallic

 

183442 Sauber-Mercedes C9

Winner French 24h 1989 – Maas/Reuter/Dickens

 

184832 Peugeot 404 Cabriolet 1967 – Mendoza blue

 

187575 Porsche 911 Turbo 3,3 Coupe 1977 – olive green

 

185727 Simca Vedette Chambord saloon 1960 – tropic green & China ivory

1:43 Scale

 

517860 Box with Alpine A110 1973 & 2017 – Limited Edition

 

517820 Alpine Renault A110 1973 – blue

 

154103 Citroen ZX 1991 – Quartz grey

 

155619 Citroen C6 2012 – Mativoire beige

 

155654 Citroen C-Crosser 2007 – white

 

155653 Citroen C-Crosser 2011 “SMUR de Montlucon”

 

270521 Ford Transit Van 1965 – red

 

270553 Ford Mondeo 2014 – red

270250 Jensen Interceptor 1976 – dark green

 

351337 Mercedes-Benz GLC 2015 – white

 

351349 Mercedes-AMG GT R 2017 – green metallic

 

831018 NSU Prinz 4 1964 – white

 

473412 Peugeot 304 Cabriolet S 1973 – red

 

473413 Peugeot 304 Coupe S 1974 – Alaska white

 

 

473884 Peugeot 3008 GT 2016 – ultimate red

 

510039 Renault 4 1974 – orange

 

517726 Renault Megane R.S. 2017 – Tonic orange

 

517727 Renault Megane R.S. Test version GP Monaco 2017

 

518392 Renault Koleos 2016 – brown metallic

 

518025 Renault Trafic 2014 “Police Municipale”

518024 Renault Trafic 2014 “SAMU”

 

810043 Saab 900 Turbo 16 Cabriolet 1992 – white

 

840094 VW Corrado G60 1990 – dark burgundy metallic

 

AV4109 Box with 8 traffic signs

 

3 inches Minijet

 

310700 Citroen DS23 Pallas saloon 1972 – green metallic

 

310701 Citroen SM 1970 – beige metallic

Announcements February 2018

1:12 Scale

 

121561 Citroen DS 19 saloon 1958 – Narcissus yellow/Triennale grey metallic

1:18 Scale

 

182770 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 1986 – grey metallic

 

183486 Mercedes-Benz V-Class AMG-Line 2017 – black metallic

 

184831 Peugeot 404 Coupe 1967 – Arosa white

184825 Peugeot 504 Coupe 1969 – Arosa white

 

184826 Peugeot 504 Cabriolet 1970 – Capucine yellow

 

188404 VW Golf Cabriolet “Bel Air” 1992 – blue metallic

 

1:43 Scale

 

517862 Box Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – Limited Edition

 

517856 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – blue

155265 Citroen C3 2016 – Ice blue & black

 

155362 Citroen C3 WRC No. 8 Rally Monte Carlo 2017 –S.Lefebvre/G.Moreau

 

155363 Citroen C3 WRC No. 7 Pologne 2017 – A.Mikkelsen/A.Jaeger

 

155364 Citroen C3 WRC No.8 Corse 2017 – C.Breen/S.Martin

 

155924 Citroen Jumper 2013 “Fire Brigade VSAV”

 

509000 Dacia Duster 2018 – Platine silver

 

511320 Renault Kangoo Street 2013 – brown

 

511321 Renault Kangoo Van 2013 – white

 

511316 Renault Duster Oroch 2016 – silver

 

518398 Renault Alaskan Pick-up Van 2017 – white

 

518397 Renault Alaskan Pick-up 2017 – dark grey

 

810033 Saab 900 Turbo 16 Coupe 1991 – grey metallic

Publications

 

NOREV Catalogue 2018 144 pages

 

Announcements March 2018

1:18 Scale

 

181623 Citroen GS 1971 – Maple beige

 

181624 Citroen GS X3 1979 – Mimosa yellow

 

187724 Fiat 500 Giardiniera 1968 – Positano yellow

 

I

183494 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Daytona 2017 – 3rd place GT Daytona Class

 

1:43 Scale

 

270554 Ford Mustang Fastback 2015 – yellow

 

800631 Mazda Carol 360 1962 – white & blue

 

800602 Mazda Cosmo Sport L10B 1968 – white

 

800642 Mazda Luce Rotary Coupe 1969 – white & black

 

800613 Mazda Savanna RX-3 1972 – dark green

 

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Coupe 2015 – blue metallic

 

518026 Renault Trafic Combi 2015 – Cassiopee grey

 

518782 Renault Master 2014 – white

 

517598 Set Renault Sport 2017 – Clio R.S. 16 & Megane R.S. (2 cars)

 

517599 Renault Clio R.S. 16 2016 – concept car

 

1:64 Scale MINIJET

 

310703 Alpine A110 “Monte Carlo 1971”

 

310807 Citroen C3 Aircross 2017 – orange & white

 

310509 Mini Cooper S 1963 – green & white

 

310902 Renault Trezor 2017 – silver


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Majorette Limited Edition

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Majorette are part of the SImba-Dickie group makers of Schuco and many other brands. Majorette toys are made to fit in the box like Matchbox or Hot Wheels and are aimed at the same customers. The current limited edition range caught my eye recently and it contains some nice models of cars in a mildy custom form.

Both models shown below are from Series 2 of the Limited Edition range which includes:

  • Audi R8
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Citroën DS4
  • Ford Mustang
  • Lamborghini Aventador
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS
  • Mini Cooper
  • Porsche GT3 911
  • VW Golf VII GTI
#3 Citroën DS4 1:64

The DS range was created by Citroën to use its existing chassis to create distinctive premium cars to compete with Mini, Alfa Romeo and BMW. The DS4 was based on the C4 its competitor to the Focus and Golf.

The slightly wild colours on this model complement the DS which is often painted in strong colours and has a range of eye catching features. Here the rims are fitted with a nice reflective line echoing the paint work which is a matt type finish.

The model has neatly printed details, and unusual for a budget range separate clear light lenses on the front. A simple black interior has some details moulded in and the DS badging is neatly printed.

 

#7 Mini Cooper 1:57

Again we have a matt effect paint and some eye catching orange graphics including “Go faster” orange stripes. The Mini and Cooper badging is nicely printed albeit a bit over scale.

The front lights are again separate plastic items though blacked out to fit the theme as are the windows making the car far from street legal in the UK. The wheels with orange rim are again nice wild alloy replicas.

 

Although clearly made as toys both these cars have an appeal and look good on the shelf.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.