Hot Wheels Insider - August 1999
© 1999 Paul M. Provencher
In my October 1998 Die Cast Insider column, I wrote about the first Lexmark Special Edition releases from Mattel. Since that time there have been a host of Special Editions from the same creator, Bob Whaley. Hes also responsible for the J.C. Whitney cars. Well it would be an understatement to say that Bob has been busy since last year. Bob has chosen some of the best new castings and favorite old ones and produced a remarkable selection of Special Editions.
Every time I get a care package from Bob, I give him a call and we talk on the phone long enough for me to use up one battery charge on the handset and get halfway through the spare battery. He loves what hes doing and honestly enjoys talking to Hot Wheels geeks like me. And Bob is a car guy, which earns him extra points in my book. When you look at his choice of subjects, you can see that he is interested in giving the rest of us car nuts something more than just another kooky paint job on a fantasy car.
I am never going to escape writing about Mustangs. Just when I think I can get through another column without uttering the name, I am forced to do it anyway. This time it comes up to describe the latest Lexmark. Now I am stuck trying to give the correct name for this casting and have compared it to every Hot Wheels Mustang that I have and it does not match any of them. It comes closest to the Mustang Stocker, but the detail is much better all the way around and the hood opens. The car has Good Year rubber tires with chrome hubs (AKA Real Riders). The car is white with a double stripe that runs from front to back over the top of the car. It starts out purple at the front and fades to red and finally yellow on the trunk. The sides of the car bear the Lexmark logo and a similar stripe across the rocker panels. The nose of the car has great detail driving lights and pony logo are painted silver on a black background. The headlights are painted silver. The taillights are painted red on either side of the silver gas filler cap. The hood opens to reveal a basic engine painted car color. The interior is black. The base is metal and has typical chassis detail. The rear window has the Lexmark logo and a Canadian flag. The flag is what I like to call "a clue". You see, this car is only available in Canada. Its about time our friends up north got something just for them! Of course the cars will find their way to the United States but they will be a little harder than usual to get. Its worth the hunt and then some!
A Window with a View
Years from now, when I look back at my all time favorite castings, I have no doubt that the 3-Window 34 will still be on my list. Its the classic Hot Rod and Mattel has done a good job of keeping the variations coming. The Lexmark version is another keeper. Its white with the Lexmark logo on the sides and trunk. The color is provided by purple, red and yellow striping that runs down the sides along the bottom edge of the body where it meets the black running boards. There are red stripes that run down the sides from stem to stern. The center section of the roof is a black painted panel. Clear windows look out from a black interior. The engine, dash and grill are all chrome plated. Good Year tires on chrome hubs grace the metal base and look great.
Back in 1970 when the Muscle Car was becoming an endangered species, this Cuda was king of the Mopars. The Toy Cars promotional is painted purple with a flat black roof and black "shaker hood". (We are not talking about furniture here, unless you consider 3000 pounds of Hemi-powered street racer your kind of easy chair.) The car has several details painted on. The hood pins are painted silver, the taillights are red, and the rear panel is flat black. The interior is black plastic. The base is chrome plastic. The Toy Cars and Vehicles logo adorns the sides and rear deck. A double white stripe runs down the top edge of both sides of the car. The windows are clear.
Look for several more Special Editions from the Whaley camp through the rest of the year. Bob tells me that there will be a great 55 Chevy in a two-tone white with baby blue. In keeping with his habit of giving us great packages to go with great cars, Bob was inspired to make the package for this one match the back view of a 55 Chevy, with the window portion of the box being the trunk and the car sitting inside. It sounds great and should be coming out later this month. There are others that sound great. All I can say at this point is to pay attention to your favorite car magazines and online sites for news of some incredible special editions that will no doubt be here and gone!
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