Some of us when we were kids were “lucky” enough to go on some family road trips. Some of us that went on family road trips got to ride in a nice big station wagon. If you fall somewhere around my age group or older you might have experienced some long drives to visit family or perhaps a vacation destination while rolling toy cars around in the back of a wagon.
While likely considered very unsafe by today’s standards, the back was the place to be to fight the boredom of the road. While growing up we drove from Wisconsin to Ohio almost every year to visit family. I vividly remember my little brother and I playing in the back of our early 80s Oldsmobile Cutlass Station Wagon. We would pack that thing up like we were going to be on the road for a year with all sorts of toys, games, blankets, pillows, snacks… etc. The time spent getting to the destination was often the most memorable part of the trip.
Our 80s Olds may not have been as cool as the wagons in this Greenlight series, but childhood experiences may be why I as well as many other collectors think wagons are so cool today.
And here we have it, the 4th installment of the Estate Wagon series from Greenlight. This series just hit this last December 2019. Per usual for Greenlight, there are six cars in the set and of course, for this set, we get six wagons.
So let’s start with the new tooling and my favorite wagon in the group. The Pontiac LeMans Safari Wagon is a welcome addition to the growing number of wagon toolings Greenlight has to offer.
Yes, I am a little biased since I tend to collect Pontiacs (I also drive one). Regardless, both colors offered here look pretty darn good. The best of the two, in my opinion, is definitely the one with the wood grain. Fun fact: (cause I love fun facts) the simulated wood grain was a nod to the old “Woodie” wagons from 1910-1945.
The Grand Safari in red looks pretty nice as well. Sans simulated wood grain it has a meaner look. While I prefer the blue one in diecast form, If I had to choose one to drive it real life it would have to be this one. This tooling also has an opening tailgate which is executed well and opens with ease.
Next, we have the 1980 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park in a dark chamois metallic (it’s brown). This one has some wood grain action as well. Being that it is a car from 1980 it is the latest wagon represented in the series. It has that classic 80s rectangular shape.
This tooling also has a moving part. This time it is a tailgate that folds down. Because of this moving part, there is no back window. I like this one too. What makes it really look good to me is the wheels. They look very nicely done and highly detailed. I also like that hard-edged boxy look that was commonplace in the 80s.
We get more simulated wood grain with the ‘71 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. This casting was used in the Hollywood series for National Lampoon’s Vacation and this time we get it in Family Truckster colors. It is pretty nice and fits the series well.
The real car appears to sit high but the stance of this seems a little too high for me. It almost looks like the wheels are a hair too big. The hood appears to be a separate piece but it does not open (as far as I can tell). The tailgate drops on this one as well and like the Mercury, there is no back window. Perhaps what makes the design of this car interesting is that the roof line “steps up” at the C pillar. The curved glass of the sun roof and rear windows are also designs that make this wagon stand out.
The Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback is kind of the odd one out in this Estate Wagon series. It really is more of a 1 bedroom flat than it is an estate. It also is the only car in the series that is not of a US manufacturer.
The dark green suits this car well and so do the wheels. The roof rack is also a really nice touch giving this car a premium look. The back hatch opens on this car as well. It may not fit the series but it is a nice one and out of all the releases of this casting thus far I think it is the one to have.
The Sea Mist Green Chevy rounds out this series with as a classic 50s style wagon. This might be my least favorite in the series but it really is a matter of taste. I am not really into that many 50s style American cars.
This is a nice tooling though and seems to be well proportioned. This one like the others in the series has a moving part and this time it is the rear window that lifts up.
Overall I like this series more than the past Estate Wagon series’ from Greenlight. It has more variety and the chosen colors for the cars are more interesting. The Pontiac is a smash hit for me especially in blue. Also, the VW has a nice premium look that would pair well with someone’s pine-lined road diorama.
Here is a quick look at what is coming later this year in series 5 which includes yet another new tooling.