|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.
|Something Old, Something New and …
Every time we feel confident that weve got Minichamps figured out, they go and throw us a curveball like the 1:43 version of the 1969 Mercury Marauder X100. Its 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, theres the practical side: this 1:43 is just about the only Marauder that you dont need a harbor pilots license to park!
|SPIED: Something Really New
Heres 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 years 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.
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. Weve 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; well let you know as soon as we get our hands on a sample. Stay tuned!