Last week's article by Danny Akers' profiling his HW Grand National collection was a huge hit. I got many comments on how much they liked the piece. I plan on doing a whole lot more of these "Special Collection" features.
For our second I turned to HWC member 1.eyed.jack. If you are a regular at the HWC variation boards, you know Jack is a vari nut, as well as one of our more entertaining members. One of his favorite castings is the Hot Wheels AMC Javelin AMX, and like Danny and his Grand Nationals, has compiled quite a collection.
I asked if he wanted to do a write-up on them and he obliged.
Many thanks Jack!
Greetings fellow collectors, bloggers, lurkers and pinheads. Known as “1.eyed.jack” on the Hot Wheels website, I am a babe in the grand scheme of Hot Wheel collecting. I got into diecast collecting when I purchased a 2001 PT Cruiser for my wife and quickly followed with a white 2002 for myself. Both are still our daily drivers with my Cruiser topping 205,000 miles and the wife's at 185,000. After about 5 years of nearly 100 different 1:64 diecast cruisers by a multitude of manufactures (and Hot Wheels not one of them), production pretty much dried up and I was left with nothing to collect.
Somewhere in 2007 I found a tampoless Straight Pipes and my world of error and variation collecting had begun anew. I turned up the wick in 2008 choosing to collect a couple different HW castings as well as any errors and variations that I happened upon. In 2009, Hot Wheels brought out the AMC Javelin AMX. Having been a 1972 Gremlin X owner, and a big AMC fan, I jumped all over the Javelin. I also am deep into the Gremlin Grinder, the Greased Gremlin, Metrorail, and of course the 1970's Open Fire (not deep, but I have one foot in the water), all from the AMC family.The Hot Wheels issue of the AMC Javelin AMX appears to represent a 1972 AMX. The only real issue I have with the casting is the grill on the 1:1 is more of a mesh and the casting is more of a large hole “egg crate” design. Otherwise, proportions are nice and despite being a 70’s “muscle car”, the all-small-wheel design suits the true proportion nicely, in my opinion. New for 2009, the Hot Wheels AMX was delivered in 3 metalflake colors, 1) orange, 2) black, a Kmart exclusive, 3) and green. All had chrome bases and 5 spoke wheels. Outside of tampo and assembly errors, I am unaware of any HTF variations of these 3 New Models.
The AMX returned to mainline use in 2010 in the Muscle Mania Series, again in three colors but this time with an added attraction. Found in red, blue and green, the Muscle Mania cars were trimmed with silver door drip molding. Somewhere very shortly after the green cars was released, the silver window trim was omitted, so there are very few out there with the silver trim. All three have chrome bases, black interiors, and MC5s wheels. A lone copy of the blue AMX surfaced with 5 spoke wheels on the HW web site but one has never crossed my path and appears to be the only hole in my Javelin collection.
The Javelin AMX found it’s way into the 2011 lineup via the Faster Than Ever (FTE) Series, but only in 2 official colors, bronze, then blue (another Kmart exclusive). I say “official” because the bronze color was found in quite a large color swing with the darker bronze looking much more like root beer. The 2011 Faster Than Ever lineup also was a transition year for Hot Wheels introducing the second generation FTE wheel. The switch happened after the bronze color, so the bronze has the first generation FTE wheel and the blue has the second generation FTE wheel. Disappointed doesn’t come close to how I feel about the design of the second gen FTE wheel. It has no sidewall and looks more like a “bling” wheel, and I just don’t care for the look on a muscle car. Another option for the FTE cars is when these are used in multipacks, they do not receive the FTE wheels and axels, but get a more generic wheel. When the bronze AMX was used by Mattel in multipacks, it was found with silver OH5 wheels. The blue AMX was not found in multipacks. Additionally, the 2011 AMXs for the first time has tinted chrome bases, but again, the tint was variable and was found everywhere from lightly tinted to nearly black. While these variances are not tracked officially, I tried to find the extremes of each.
For 2011, the AMX also made HW’s premium line of adult collectables as “Vintage Racing” cars. The premium line cars have metal bases, Good Year marked, Real Rider tires and detailed racing hubs. The first Vintage AMX was a recreation of the Marc Donahue Trans Am car, very nicely done and very hard to find. The second Vintage AMX appears to be just a generic Trans Am racer, nice, and still very findable on the pegs. Unlike the “stock” mainline production Javelins, the vintage racing AMXs are complete with full roll cage racing interiors, and chassis with racing details.
For 2012 the cars returned to the original mainline format but were only found in nine and ten car gift boxes and were highlighted as “exclusives”. Available in 3 colors, maroon, yellow, and teal, the title “exclusive” is over marketed and over hyped. It’s true that the car is exclusive to the multipacks and not available packaged as a single car for a buck, but these exclusives are not to be confused with illusive, unless……..Unless Mattel throws in a couple of XHTF wheel variations that is, and that’s what we have with the multipack AMX’s. The maroon was the first color, first and most commonly found, with gold MC5 wheels, but then a few were found with gold OH5s, and then even a third wheel, gold rimmed MC5s. Both of these were very hard to find with less than a handful of each have been reported. What is probably most confusing to me is that I have 2 copies of the VHTF OH5 car and one was made at the beginning of the production run and the other at the very end bracketing both of the other types of wheels on the maroon Jav.
The second color exclusive came out in yellow, and is normally found with the chrome rimmed MC5 wheel. The VHTF wheel on the yellow car is the fully chromed MC5 and is probably a transition wheel to the third color teal green AMX, which so far is only found with the fully chromed MC5 wheel. While the first and last color exclusive Javelins use the chrome base, the yellow one has a gray base. Since the grill and rear fascia are molded as part of the base, the gray grill is unattractive and just tacky looking.
Lastly, while I do save the errors of Javelins I find, and have been given a few as raoks, I don’t “chase” the errors nearly as strongly as the variations. Below are just a few of the better errors I have, and by coincidence are all the same issue. They are an unspun, a tampoless side, with out of register hood tampo, and a reversed window.
Oddly enough, my Javelin collection is a worldwide collaboration “acquired” via trades ands raoks from collectors across the U.S.A. and from Canada to Australia and without this help, would be nothing, so to all my fellow collectors that I have wheeled-and-dealed with, this collection is as much yours as mine, and for that I thank you.
(Find the AMC Javelin AMX for sale...)