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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why I am a big fan of the simplicity of Greenlight Motor World...

Find Greenlight Motor World at Wheel Collectors

Keep it simple, stupid.

That is a mantra I find myself repeating in this hobby.  There are ample examples of when that phrase applies, and I will spare you from a long list.  But let's focus on the premium, collector-focus brands like Greenlight, M2, Auto World, and others.  (I think our friends at Mattel are happy to skip this one.)

Collecting these brands really is different than collecting Matchbox and Hot Wheels.  It is the difference between toys and collectibles.  The Mattel brands, like Majorette, Tomica, and Siku, are first and foremost toys, meant to be pushed and pulled, scraped and raced.  The collectible brands are supposed to be looked at.  Maybe rolled here and there, but for the most part they stay in their packages or on a shelf.

Of course, this is where I bring up my favorite collector brand, Tomica Limited Vintage.  I show people my photos of TLV, and unless they are a collector, they ALWAYS assume it is a photo of the real car.  They are almost always flawless looks-wise.  Well-proportioned, highly detailed, and they rarely have a production flaw.

They also roll, and roll well.  I wouldn't put one down the track by any means, but if you want to vroom vroom a TLV, you can.  The shocks help too.

One thing that TLV's don't have are moving parts.  I know some of you disagree with me, but moving parts to me are overrated.  I am not a kid, and I like to look at these models.  Sure, a small replica of the engine is cool, but I don't want to see it if it requires an opening hood that can't close properly.  The tighter the model looks the better, and opening parts usually mean things are out of place.

There are other premium brands that do have opening parts.  Of those that I am familiar with, I would say Auto World do it best.  Half the time I can't open the hood, and that is fine with me.  I can still do without them.

Now Greenlight.  Here is what I love about Greenlight.  They are on a creativity tear.  Hitch & Tow is an amazing series.  In fact I think it is one of the best lines in all of diecast right now.  Cool current and classic vehicles pulling an array of trailers.  Their entertainment cars, like the Breaking Bad RV, are also totally creative.  Same goes with Hot Pursuit, Country Roads, and a slew of others.

But that is in the package.  Open them up and some issues emerge.  Of course most are fine, and look great, as I will show soon with the latest Hitch & Tow, but too often there are problems.  Wheels many times don't roll, tires aren't properly applied, chassis are crooked, axles are bent or separated, small parts are broken.  It's frustrating for a DLMer like me.  I don't know of any real car that comes delivered in a package, so I want my replicas to do the same.  Too bad sometimes they don't live up to their looks when they are released from the package.

Greenlight could benefit from not worrying about opening parts and other details and focus on functionality.  Let it roll, add simpler parts, etc.  Hell, don't worry about super heavy metal chassis if it makes the model function better.

Enter Motor World, Greenlight's cheaper, more simple brand.  No opening parts on original castings, plastic bases, simple decos.  And guess what?  They roll, they are well put together.  They look great out of the package.  They are simple models with fewer parts, and they are great toy cars.  Just look at the photos below.  The one model of the group I am less fond of is the one with opening parts.  The others are spot on.

This isn't to bag on Greenlight.  Many of their replicas are must-haves, especially for me the cop cars and classic pickups.  But after paying $5 at the store, or buying a batch from Wheel Collectors, I hope the models live up to their looks.  Thankfully most of the time they do, but not all the time.  It seems the likelihood is better with Motor World.  I hope that can be applied to all these beautiful Greenlight models.

Simple models plus a variety of car makers and eras (a GT-R with a '56 Ford with a T2!), and you have a great line.  Plus they are a little cheaper.  Not bad...

(Find Greenlight Motor World at Wheel Collectors)































6 comments:

  1. John,

    Just a thought I meant to share for a while now in the context of construction, moving parts and rolling wheels :-)Not only has Hot Wheels produced some outstanding new models this year with exciting choices and great execution, there is also clearly massive innovation going on in the engineering department and we have seen a flurry of novel construction solutions:

    - Adjustable chin
    - New uses of the window and interior pieces for lights, grills etc.
    - Pop-through elements like we have on the Outlaw and upcoming Taxi
    - Opening doors (Taxi)
    - Use of interior piece as body side panel (Renault)
    - Spacing of window against C Pillar (Acura)
    ...

    And as much as you may loathe that Vantage GT3, turn it over and the construction detail is quite amazing - the base, interior and body are layered and sandwiched and the way the body angles in to fit the plastic parts around the exhausts is actually quite stunning (That aside I don't like that model either, especially when you see it next to the real one...urghs!)

    I think a mini series on Hot Wheels "1$ Engineering" is really worthwile this year, never before have they surprised us with so much creativity - and I can't wait to see what's yet to come. I always keep new cars on my desk for a bit before they go into the permanent display (or the "maybe-not-box") and it strikes me that I have kept the 05 Mustang first edition on my desk now for months. This is such an interesting model to look at from all angles and I never get tired of playing with it while I'm on the phone...
    I'm sure there's more to discover and more to write about but I just thought it's worth a consideration!

    Thanks and all the best

    Chris

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  2. Great photos! While I'm Greenlight's biggest cheerleader, I have never been overly keen on the Motor World releases. I'd rather saddle up the extra 2-3$ for an all-metal piece. Motor World are champions in the simplicity arena though as you point out.

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  3. There will come a day when the Haas VF16 gets a 1:64-scale rendition. But which label can do its best version?

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  4. That Cobra seems off. Like it's come pre-stepped-on

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  5. Greenlight is very much hit or miss for me. I recently got the Black Bandit version of the Nissan GT-R (R35) and was pretty much disappointed. Where as their classic muscle cars such as the Trans Am and the Barracuda are pretty though.

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