It’s been a long time since I’ve been a completist collector. The year was 1997 and I was 13 years old. On the Hot Wheels front, I managed to collect every First Edition as well as every segment series car. A grand total of 60 carded HWs filled a few shoeboxes. Allowance and snow shoveling earnings well spent, I say. But wait, what about the standard mainlines? Or Treasure Hunts? Truth is, I didn’t find my first green-banded TH until 1998. It was the very patriotic Sol-Aire CX-4 and I happened upon two of them while grocery shopping at Pathmark. It was a miracle.
To be honest, actual completists would scoff at my disingenuous use of the title. Variations, what were they? To an ignorant teenager, I was unaware of alternative wheels, recolors, and other variances that set similar releases apart from one another. Thinking back, I could have sworn I recalled seeing a fifth car in the usual 4-car series, but now, 24 years later, I can’t find any evidence of that. Memories fade over time apparently.
Before you go ahead and file my intro under Things that don’t pertain to this post, just know that while I’m not interested in filling in the blue brand vacancies from long ago, I do, on occasion, browse the ‘Bay for previously released M2 Machines. Specifically, Detroit Muscle. And I’ve just had quite the binge.
Before I get on with it, let me address one thing. I understand there are instances where M2’s quality control leaves something to be desired. Whether a headlight is rattling around the inside of the packaging or the entire body has come loose, we’ve all seen examples at our local retailers that look as if they took a tumble from the top shelf. Or that the postal providers were playing touch football with their shipments. However, I like to think the team at M2 is providing tremendous value at the price point their product is being sold at. It’s that compromise that allows me to take comfort with my purchases, knowing full well when they’re screwed together properly, their models are outstanding.
Thus, while I can examine auction pictures closely, I know I’m rolling the dice by not being able to hold an M2 and inspect it up close. Luckily, my online crapshoot turned out to be a winner.
M2’s are offered in two different packagings. The cars are screwed to a base in either plastic clamshells or acrylic casings inside cardboard window boxes. I prefer the latter, because although I open just about everything, I appreciate the ability to repack if the need arises (it hasn’t yet, in case you’re wondering). My recent haul was a mix of both, as well as a few previously opened cars without any baggage.
As I mentioned a few hundred words back, it’s the Detroit Muscle whose siren call I cannot resist. I don’t necessarily gravitate towards the poster children of the decade – the Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs, but that’s not to say I neglect them altogether. It’s M2’s ability to offer unique features that sets the hook on certain castings. Whether it be a special order color, as in Release 33’s 1970 Olds 442 in Regency Rose, or a rare option (R32’s 1969 Camaro SS/RS 350 Z10 comes to mind). In fact, I find myself on their website often, making mental wish lists for future late night eBay exploits.
Anyway, back to my recent additions. I don’t have the space, nor the budget, to source every release from every series. I salute those that do, and encourage them to journal about their innermost thoughts while languishing over missing links and holy grails. I prefer the selective method. And these are my newest selections:
You can’t navigate the muscle car playground without running into the Hemi gang, and this haul brought three more members to the fold. Out of Release 10’s 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1969 Plymouth Road Runner and Release 12’s 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, if given the choice, I would put the middle one in my garage. Not withstanding the Daytona probably wouldn’t fit, the simplicity of the Road Runner is something I prefer, although I’d want a heavier hitting hue than white. Also, as an aside, in the excitement of bidding, I had forgotten the Daytona was already in my proverbial garage. I digress…organized collecting is for a future post.
I have an affinity towards the 1971 Dodge Charger, regardless of flavor. The fuselage styling, the bright colors and bold trim packages, all combine to assist in a Tony-worthy production of Muscle’s Last Stand. Heroic engines teeter on the edge of impending fuel crises, defiantly taking their place in the long nose. Two Super Bees arrived in style for my collection, a red Hemi and a blue 383, both wearing white vinyl tops. For comparison, I pulled out a few of my favorites, including the Butterscotch SE with a white canopy vinyl top. A previous year Super Bee, based off the Coronet, was also added.
Not only do I have an attraction to the unadorned, but I almost prefer it. Case in point is the R12 1969 GTO in Starlight Black. The Pontiac features black wheels with poverty caps and little else, including a smooth trunk sans spoiler. A contrasting white interior with a bench seat certainly doesn’t uphold the phrase ‘it’s on the inside that counts’. Release 13’s Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W-30 in Matador Red is of a similar vein, albeit one adorned with side and hood stripes. These two particular versions are quintessential muscle – no frills, just thrills.
I snagged a few freestanding 1970 Chevelles, a 396 and a 454, as well as a 1970 Ford Torino GT 351 off The Toy Peddler. The Chevelles both feature vinyl roofs, with the 396 outfitted with green guts to match its skin. The Ford, well it’s just cool.
Finally, some vitamin C to balance out the iron. The 1969 Chevy Camaro Z/28 RS in Hugger Orange of Release 18 is the perfect yang to the aforementioned Z10-optioned Camaro already hanging around my back porch. And while I’m currently not sure exactly the shade of orange Release 1’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner is, I’ve been assured by Sean from M2 that whenever possible, they try and replicate factory colors.
And that last line is one of the main things that draw me in. Similar to another brand I recently chronicled, M2 relies upon authenticity when it comes time to dress their castings. I understand there are a handful of releases that don’t adhere to this philosophy, such as the Stars and Stripes, Titaniums, and others, but for the most part, they’re spot on. And it keeps me coming back, either through new releases or sorting through the want ads.