Tag Archives: Matchbox

2017 Ranger Rescue 5-Pack (Matchbox)

This 5-Pack called Ranger Rescue is a new set for Matchbox. This is a team sent in on rescue missions on behalf of the National Parks services.

The first model is the 4 Wheeler. This is only the 7th time it has been released since it’s introduction in 1999. The first 5 version all had a rider. The rider was removed for the 2013 version and has remained off. This is a solid casting with a metal body and plastic top. Much like the 1:1 version would be.

Next up is the Water Hauler. This one has also seen limited release, but it is a much newer casting, coming out for the first time in 2012.

The 4×4 Chevy Blazer has been a fan favorite since the initial release back in 1984. The mold still holds up so well. The lines are so nice and crisp. You can’t beat the big wheels tucked under this guy. This is the non-aerial antenna version. I do love the giant antenna that we have seen in many versions of this truck.

When the time comes for a water rescue, call on the Rapids Rescue. This is only the fourth time we have seen this truck in it’s short few years of existence. I don’t know why they decided to go with a different color on this truck. It does not fit in with the rest of the team, though it does have all of the correct markings.

The Pony Trailer is an updated version of the original that saw life back in 1968. It only showed up a few times over the years. Matchbox has had a long history of great trailers, but we don’t get to see them all that often. This new version does not have an opening back, but the details are fantastic.

The big excitement for this wave is getting a trailer for the Blazer. Well, as you can see, the Blazer’s trailer hitch sits WAY too high for the trailer. So some modifications have to be made for this all to work together.

I decided I wanted to make a trailer hitch that would be able to be added to the model without having to make it a permanent part of the truck. I want to be able to move the hitch to another Blazer if need be. I used about 20 different pieces of styrene plastic cut to shape and glued.

I test fit the pieces many times as I worked through the process. I needed the hitch to sit straight, look fairly realistic, and be able to actually work, as in allow the trailer to be towed by the truck when driving it around.

When all of the work was done, I painted the hitch a matte black and added some trailer chains. Now the Rangers are ready to grab the horses and head out on their mission.

This was a fun build to do. It only took a few hours, but really upped the function of both vehicles. Now this set really makes me happy.

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Matchbox – Ford F-100 Panel Delivery (1955)

This 1955 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery by Matchbox is a car well loved at my wife’s library. After storytime on Fridays, the kids get to bring out the toys. Diecast cars are always a favorite, and she says the more unique cars get the most love.

This truck showed up a few years back, went into the lost and found for a time, and then went into the box with the rest of the diecast for the kids to play with.

Yesterday a kid brought it up with the back axle split in two. My wife said, “I think my husband can fix that.” I have become known as Uncle Toy Doctor after fixing my nephew’s powered toy truck.

I have played around with diecast in the past, and I have a list of projects I want to do. Most of what I have done did not require work on the chassis. Well, this one was going to require something special.

Not only had the axle broken in half, but the wheels were fused to the axle, so if I glued them in place, the wheels would not spin, and that is a no-go when this is meant to be played with.

I had bought some brass tube to allow for new axles, but had not tried it yet. I had only read about it. Well, this was the perfect opportunity. I cut out the other axle, and drilled out the hole for the axle to accept the bigger size brass tube. I glued it into place, cut it to size, and I was half way home.

I thought it would be fun to use a pair of wheels off of a Brush Fire Truck. Unfortunately, with about a millimeter of size difference, that was all that the wheel needed to not be able to fit. Boo! Okay, on to plan 2. Find any set of wheels that fits. All of the donor cars I had laying around, I have plans for and need the wheels in tact, or they were just too big. Then I found wheels to the Hot Wheels Back Slider. This thing has a big set of dual back wheels that were smaller than usual. And that smaller size was perfect to fit in the wheel wells of this truck. And being red, it made this truck look more like a sleeper anyway. It must be a hot rod under the patina.

All glued into place, and ready to go back into service. I would love to have added it to my collection, with the perfect patina to the paint, but it is important for the kids to have the wide variety of cars to play with. Really, this project wet my appetite to really get going on one of my own projects and see what I can come up with soon.


1/64 scale diorama complete

A long time in the making. I have 2 dioramas for 6 inch figures, and one more for Transformers. What I was missing was something in the 1/64 scale range to take proper pictures of diecast cars. The work is over. Time for photo fun.

The diorama is set on two walls. The left wall is a receiving dock for a warehouse. The idea behind this was to have a place that looked industrial with lots of concrete. I made to dock wide enough for a standard 1/64 scale vehicle for when a chase scene happens. I added a fence in the front for some texture to the pictures.

The back wall is a large block wall. It is intentionally a different material than the warehouse wall so the two buildings look like they are together but not the same building. I wanted to be able to add different textures to this wall, and a different color scheme.

Down in front of the block wall is a new car dealership. There are skylights on the removable roof, as well as big front windows to display the cars. There is a concrete display in the front to show off the newest delivery. I am planning to add a sign for the dealership. I am working on a way to make the sign changeable, so I can create different looks depending on what cars are on display in the showroom.

Enjoy some behind the scenes looks of the building process, and how it all came to be, from the initial drawing all the way to the final product. There were a few changes from the initial drawing, but much of it has stayed the same.

design drawing with scale for roads.

Trying to figure out the size for the loading dock. I used pink insulation foam for the big walls.

The road was made with plaster of paris to give a used look. There is a new car dealership, but it is in an old industrial part of town.

The road is painted and the sidewalks are being made. I used pressboard for the sidewalks. It was hard to find a material that was tall enough to be a curb.

The warehouse is getting some art deco style design work to make that massive wall more interesting. I used sheets of soft art foam for the details. Once in place, it all got a coat of Modge Podge to make sure it was nice and strong.

Next up were the warehouse doors. I also added windows and a door to the far right side. The back wall has the blocks scribed into the foam.

The back wall is painted. The floor of the car dealership is cut and glued from illustration board, which is what 95% of the finished car dealership was made from. In the foreground, I carved some foam into a small rise to add some height to the scene. It does not interfere with the angles for taking pictures. Road signs have been made and added too.

The walls of the car dealership are drawn and cut to size on illustration board. From there it was adding the million details and paint to get this store ready to open.


Road Trip Finds

I was gone on a 21 day road trip with my wife and dog. We got a travel trailer and took it out on the maiden voyage. 21 days, 11 states, 4200 miles. Along the way I was able to stop in a plethora of WalMarts, Targets, a few Toys R Us’ and a couple of Walgreens. I even made it to a Fred Meyer in Oregon, which is owned by Krogers, so they had lots of Hot Wheels.

The tally of finds was:

Marvel Legends:
6 of the 7 Spider-Man Homecoming
The Walgreens Exclusive Invisible Woman
The Toys R Us Exclusive 2-pack Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson

The Jim Lee Cyclops figure from the Warlock Series

Transformers:
Blitzwing (Voyager Class)
Octane (Voyager Class)
Bumblebee (Deluxe Movie)
Barricade (Deluxe Movie)
Berserker (Deluxe Movie)

Star Wars:
Tusken Raider (Sand People) (40th Anniversary Black Series)

Diecast:
10 Premium brands
Lightning McQueen (Target Exc)

13 Matchbox
75 Hot Wheels

 


Jurassic World – Matchbox vehicles

It is just about time to start seeing Jurassic World toys pour into the stores. We are a little over one month away from a hotly anticipated summer blockbuster.

The first to start rolling onto shelves are the Matchbox vehicles. This is a line of vehicles that have been specially painted with Jurassic World markings.

Of course we are going to see lots of 4×4 vehicles in the single sets. We also have one boat.

There are also two 2-packs each with a flying vehicle.

This is a no-brainer to bring out in the Matchbox line. Mattel already had a deal in place with Universal for the Fast and Furious franchise, so it is only natural to strike again with the same company. It looks to be all reuses in the line. Matchbox has way more 4×4 vehicles than Hot Wheels, as well as medical vehicles and larger scale flying vehicles.

There are rows of seats in the back of this one.

 

The back of Mauler Hauler opens, and there are dinosaur bones back there.

 

Yes, this is a VTOL plane, and the wings do rotate.

 

It looks to be 15 single packed cars, and two 2-pack sets.  The Mauler Hauler and MBX 4×4 are the same in the 2-pack and single set, so you can skip 2 of the 15.  When you are looking at $1.49 per car at Toys R Us, this is a great way to get some movie merchandise for a good price.  The 2-packs are a little more, at $4.99, but you get the flying vehicle which usually run $3.99 on their own.


New Year, New Display

I built this display out of necessity. The need for shelf space taken up by Hot Wheels. I figured if I could make something on the wall, I could save a ton of flat space.

This is made with 3 pieces of the foam core board. Black on black (meaning black foam in the middle. I used two inch strips to make the shelves, spaced 2 inches apart. That leaves one space double-tall at one part. I had enough left over for a second display on top that is made 7 inches tall with a 2 inch shelf half way.

The shelving his held together with sewing pins in the back and on the sides. That makes it really strong, and at some point I could foreseeable take it apart again, and make it into something else, but I probably won’t.

So, I ended up with room for 80 Hot Wheels, 31 Legion Class Transformers, and my Big Hero 6 collection on top. Of course, you can always set the sizes differently for whatever you want to display.

It was really easy to make, little to no mess. Definitely no glue mess. And it helped clear up a lot of room around the shelving in other places.


Transformers: Prime – Legion Class Arcee and Ratchet

A few more of the Transformers: Prime figures have started to trickle out there.  And boy do I mean trickle.  I am not a huge fan of the little Legion class figures, but Dark of the Moon had some really nice figures with good tranformations, and well done vehicle modes.   I figured I would give a few of these a try to see how they are.   Um… disappointed is a word that comes to mind.  Mostly in Arcee.

In robot mode, Arcee is okay.  She has some funny wings hanging off the back that don’t look anything like her TV counterpart. The rest of her is okay, with a pretty good face and the paint is pretty well done.   I am probably jaded a bit by her larger Deluxe figure that came out earlier that looks absolutely spot-on, and has some extremely well done transforming.

I start to loose faith in the figure as we get to the vehicle mode.  There is a place over her back tire where the two parts of her legs are supposed to stick together, and they barely do, some of the time.   The sides of the bike just stay in place, with no post or tab of any sort.   You can also see her back tire is off the ground from the bottom of the bike touching.    In all, this is not a very player friendly toy.

And let’s not forget about the horrible rubber weapon she comes with.  It pulls her over with no chance of her being able to stay up.  These weapons are terrible, both coming out of the packaging bent.

Thankfully, Ratchet does much better.

Ratchet’s robot mode looks really good.   They were able to give him all of this chest and head detail, and it is really well done.   His feet were quite a surprise for me.  Usually figures like this don’t have feet that move, but Ratchet’s do.   That helps to give him a nice stance.

In vehicle mode, Ratchet looks pretty good.  I think the wheels are a bit on the small side for how big of a vehicle he is.    The transformation for Ratchet is really well executed.  There are not very many moving parts, which is to be expected, so everything fits together well.

Just like with the previous Legion figures, they do fit in very well with the 1/64 scale vehicles like Hot Wheels and Matchbox.  This is great for kids who want to integrate the figures in with their other toys.

These figures are running about $6 a pop.  That is a pretty high price tag, but you have to pay to get moving parts these days, and we are always paying more for plastic all the time.  They are keeping pretty constant with the trend.

Luckily I also got a larger Voyager Class Transformer of Optimus Prime.  And he is really cool.   Come back tomorrow and see what the Prime of all Primes has in store.


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