Where’s the Lightning?
Hey guys, great magazine — I really appreciate how you have expanded your coverage of the 1:64 scale segment. With limited space to display my collectibles, and an appreciation for many vehicles, I’ve found that I can get the most for my dollar at the 1:64 scale. Yes, I know the attention to detail is not the same as on a 1:24 or 1:18, but for a $2-$5 cost, I am more than satisfied. I have to ask, though, as a Johnny Lightning fan: why don’t I see any coverage on Johnny Lightning products?
Hi Steven, and thanks for the kind words. We know there is a huge community of collectors who appreciate diecast in 1:64 (I am one of them). We also agree with your logic concerning the cost factor; though they don’t have the operating features of the larger scales, collectors can bring home and display many more models in 1:64 than they could in 1:18 or larger. Even better, a recent trend of adding ever more detail to the models in this scale is drawing more collectors. Companies such as M2 Machines and GreenLight have really raised the bar with their lineups, as has Johnny Lightning. Bottom line: we try to reach out to as many companies as we can to request samples that we can review and include in our pages; unfortunately, Johnny Lightning has not yet responded to our inquiries. Hopefully, your letter will move them to do so. - AG
Please Help Me Find Betty!
After 40 years of marriage, finding something unique for my wife’s birthday is a bit difficult, so I am reaching out to you for some help. I recently saw a photo online of a Betty Boop model car. It was a Cadillac convertible; the color was black with stickers all over it, and it had a Betty Boop character inside. I thought writing to an expert might lead me to finding out the specific details about this vehicle, and ultimately lead me to where I can purchase one for my wife–she is a huge Betty Boop fan and novelty collector.
Jack, you (and your bride) are in luck. We know exactly what you’re describing. Danbury Mint released a 1959 1:24 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible “Betty Boop” edition, complete with figures of Betty Boop and her pals Bimbo and Pudgy. You can order one from Danbury Mint through their website at danburymint.com, or by calling 1-800-822-6143. According to Danbury Mint, the item number is 0976 — 0034. - AG
Where’s the New Meat and Potatoes?
I really like where the magazine has gone over the last few issues — the new team of reviewers has really brought the text to life, and your website is amazing. I am not usually one to comment, but I have to share my disappointment in something that has nothing to do with the magazine, but rather with the manufacturers. I am sick and tired of all the repaints. Why are we seeing such limited new offerings lately? I don’t mean to sound like a drag, and I know there is a huge cost factor when creating new products, but don’t the manufacturers understand that there is a world of collectors out there? Don’t they know that if they make the right vehicles they will sell, and that they will make the needed profits?
As collectors ourselves, we hear you loud and clear, and agree — we want more, too. The thing to take into account is that in addition to a downturn in the economy (though that’s starting to turn up), much of the recent crop of problems is coming from the manufacturing plants. Many of the factories that produce diecast are battling with the Chinese government and their workers over taxes, materials, wages — you name it. The trouble has caused more than a few factories to close their doors for good — and several companies around the world have had to go through miles of red tape just to get their paid-for molds back from behind padlocked doors. It’s tough out there right now, but after speaking with insiders at many of the companies based in the United States, we’re convinced they’re doing everything they can to keep their product lines flowing. We’re watching. Hang in there. – AG
On the Fence — Off the Fence
Thank you for the detailed review in your summer issue of the Hot Wheels Elite Ghostbusters Cadillac “Ecto-1”. To be honest, I was on the fence about buying this one, because I was a bit disappointed in the final product of their recently released A-Team van. There were some rather noticeable differences from the actual A-Team van that took away from the truck’s authentic feel in my opinion, but after reading your detailed review of the Cadillac, and seeing the pictures you provided, I ordered one. When I got it in hand, your opinions were confirmed as facts; this one is a beauty for sure.
Hello, Jamal, and thanks for writing. That Ghostbusters piece was truly one of the better movie models we’ve ever seen, and you’re not alone in the opinion that it was a better image overall than the A-Team van. We’re betting that once stripped of the TV truck’s distinctive pieces and paint job, the A-Team model’s molds will see limited use, if any, going forward — there just isn’t much of a market for that kind of replica (and Highway 61 already did a killer series of 1:18 vans a while back). Mattel’s been around the block a few times; it knew that given the popularity of the 1959 Caddy in just about any form (especially if connected to a successful movie license that can yield up to three different models from the same base tooling), it could lavish more detail and finesse on the Ecto-1, make collectors happy, and still make a profit. We’re glad we could help out. Be sure to check out the video we did of the model on DCXmag.com — and stay tuned; there’s a new “Ecto” due to drop in soon. - JK
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