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Feel the Earth Move

In our constant quest to bring you the latest in cool from the diverse landscape of die-cast, we present the Classic Mint Collectibles Komatsu D57A-3 SD Crawler Dozer. That name is quite a load, but this sucker was built to handle it and more. This model, even at a minuscule 1:87 scale, measures more than 5 inches long; the real thing is one major-league earthmover. The model is also major-league detailed; it’s Classic Mint’s first-ever in brass. Brass allows impressive precision in this type of small scale; the treads are made up of individual metal links that flex and roll in perfectly scale fashion. The functional track equalizers allow the Dozer to sit properly on uneven terrain. The blade hinges and tensioners work, allowing you to set the blade at virtually any realistic angle. The highly detailed engine compartment and cab again show off the advantage of brass construction. At about $440, this model is not cheap, but if heavy industrial equipment is your thing, we challenge you to find a better example in any scale.

Classic Mint Collectibles (972) 871-2576

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Get into Gear

From hot-rods to heavy haulers, First Gear has an impressive array of die-cast subjects. First up is this Mack Granite Material Handler. What caught our eye was its impressive size (the 1:34 truck is more than 13 inches long), highly detailed engine, stabilizer legs that deploy and functioning load crane with an extendable swiveling boom and pivoting forks with width adjustment. Mack is a name that resonates with truck collectors, and this model, with all of its functional parts, is sure to please.
First Gear (888) 771-5576; firstgearreplicas.com

Something Old, Something New and …

Every time we feel confident that we’ve got Minichamps figured out, they go and throw us a curveball like the 1:43 version of the 1969 Mercury Marauder X100. It’s hard to imagine a vehicle more singularly un-European than the mammoth Merc. It definitely earns points for originality and for Minichamps’ usual fine work on the paint and interior. And then, there’s the practical side: this 1:43 is just about the only Marauder that you don’t need a harbor pilot’s license to park!

Response to Carroll Shelby and Ford’s new collaborative Cobra Concept was controversial, but looking at this 1:43 version, we really don’t see what all the fuss is about. It is no more sacrilegious than the concept versions of Ford’s GT, or that of the ’05 Mustang, for that matter. It retains more of the Cobra character than does the new Cobra Daytona coupe. Regardless of whether a version makes it to production, the car made a splash when it debuted, and any sports car with ol’ Shel’s name stenciled on the side probably deserves to be die-cast.
Minichamps North America (305) 971-1171; minichampsna.com

SPIED: Something Really New

Here’s a peek at the second 1:18 Ferrari headed our way from BBR, courtesy of our friends at Minichamps. These are photos of the pattern for a 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus Spyder No. 4 that won that year’s Le Mans in the hands of Frenchman Maurice Trintignant and Argentinean José Froilán González. If the recent BBR Enzo is anything to go by, expect dizzying precision and exquisite craftsmanship throughout. Obviously, details are sketchy at this point in the development, but we will stay on the case and let you know more when we do.

The Chip on RC2’s Block

You may recognize this guy from his most prestigious appearance on the very first issue of Die Cast X; it is none other than Chip Foose (OK, apparently he has a TV show or something, too…). Now, he has a new arrangement that brings together his exploits on “Overhaulin’” with the world of die-cast. He has partnered up with RC2 to release a whole line of die-cast models called JL Full Throttle. Full Throttle, technically a spin-off of the Johnny Lightning brand (hence the JL), will feature cars designed specifically by Foose himself, many of which are project vehicles from the hit series. The model he is holding in this PR shot is just a mock-up, but it represents the theme of the line. We’ve been told that the line will establish a new scale that falls between the popular 1:24 and 1:18 scales. At roughly 1:20 scale, RC2 believes this new scale will deliver more car for the money and help the line stand out in a crowded market. The first JL Full Throttle vehicles should hit the stands in early 2006; we’ll let you know as soon as we get our hands on a sample. Stay tuned!

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Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:22 AM

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