Toy Show Haul – Early Car Culture, 2003 Treasure Hunt, and Matchbox Golden Era – March 2023

Another Sunday means another toy show haul, and first up is the BMW M1 Procar featuring a Project Cars livery.  This model was released as part of the Eurospeed set from the early days of the Car Culture line, a set which sadly managed to elude me when it first came out.  While I generally prefer stock liveries, the bright colors on this M1 really pop, which is what drew me to the model. 

I do find it kind of funny that the Hot Wheels logo on the windshield actually covers the windshield wiper.  The gold lace wheels have never been my favorite Real Riders, but they work reasonably well here and the wheel fitment is perfect.  With these wheels fitting so perfectly in the fenders, it makes me wonder how the infamous black Fast & Furious Aventador was ever released…

Next up is a treasure hunt from all the way back in 2003: the 1971 Plymouth GTX.  This is an older model than I would typically go for, but I’ve always been rather fond of the Cuda.  Bizarrely, there is no model name on the base, just a Hot Wheels logo and “Malaysia”.  The Cuda has a black roof that seems to be printed on top of the clear window section, which is something we don’t see on many modern models.  Note that these wheels are not Real Riders, they are co-molded wheels like the Speed Machines series. 

The last Hot Wheels of this trip was a Cadillac CTS-V in pearl white, which I believe was from a holiday series in 2011.  Compared to more modern castings, this CTS-V definitely shows its age, as the proportions aren’t perfect, but it’s still a cool car.  It features detailing on all four sides, a rarity in the Hot Wheels world, and these 10 spoke wheels fit the car quite well. 

The remainder of the cars from this show were all Matchbox golden era models, starting with this Opel Speedster.  This casting is old enough to feature Matchbox’s old logo on the base!  I’ve always rather liked the Opel Speedster, perhaps partially because it’s forbidden fruit for those of us in the US.  Low and sleek with classic sports car proportions, this model holds up well, even by modern standards.  Unlike the early versions of the Speedster, this red version features Matchbox’s modern split 10 spoke wheels and full front and rear detailing – something that was sorely lacking from the first several iterations of the Speedster.  

I particularly like the Speedster’s vertically stacked exhausts, which vaguely reminds me of the Lexus F models with their stacked exhaust tips.  The tail light detailing wraps around to the side of the model more than I would expect as well.  Sadly, there’s a small paint chip on the back…such is the peril of buying loose models. 

This Aston Martin DBS Volante hails from the best era of Aston Martin design, in which their cars looked sporty but luxurious and mature.  As usual, the black paint doesn’t show off the casting detail as much as I would like, but it does seem like a rather fitting color for a car like this, and it really shows off the lights at the back! 

I’ve always loved the clear tail lights Aston Martin used during this era, and I’m so glad Matchbox got that detail right.  They really pop against the black paint, as does the silver trim along the trunk.  The red interior is a bold choice, but one I could easily see being optioned on a DBS.  Matchbox modeled the interior with the wind deflector up, proving that even they knew nobody would ever use the back seats in a DBS. 

Naturally, I saved the best for last.  If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll be familiar with both my love for Lotus and my fondness for blue cars, and this ticks both boxes.  The Matchbox Lotus Exige is a great model, seen here sporting a lovely shade of metallic blue.  This Exige has a clean design with front and rear detailing, just as it should be.  Even better, we get a very clever color break on the rear side vents and the spoiler, as this model is from the days when Matchbox would use more complicated construction methods with more pieces.  The end result is one of my favorite Matchbox models, and it only set me back 50¢.

As always, use this as a reminder to visit your local toy show, and check out my other toy show haul articles here.

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