After going online in 2020, the crowds were back at an in-person SEMA Show in Las Vegas last week. The aftermarket event is a car show like no other. Chevy C10 with a Tesla powertrain? Check. Tesla Model S with an LS swap? Also check. Miata-powered Austin Healey Sprite? BMW M2 with a Hellcat motor? The list goes on…
SEMA is a huge networking event so there are lots of meetings to discuss new products, licenses and collaborations. That means there’s always some 1:64 diecast news to report, too. Fun Lines (M2 Machines) and Greenlight both had booths at the show this year, while Hot Wheels and Matchbox were present in other ways. Let’s run through some of the highlights.
M2’s SEMA specials have become a show tradition. Available to order only at the show or through hobby dealers, this year’s three models are sold in the usual cases of six. Production numbers are up slightly – each case contains four regular chases and two super chases for total production of 800 and 400 respectively of the two variants of each model.
The favourite of the three for me is the 1971 Ford Bronco in orange – perfect for a show at which new Broncos were everywhere. It looks great with a roof rack of off-road gear and the card art is awesome. The super chase version gets gold wheels and rack.
Next up is a crowd-pleasing 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Gasser in gold with NHRA deco and some sharp-looking roof stripes. More gold for the super chase on the wheels, engine, bumpers and interior.
The final SEMA model is the familiar chopped 1960 VW Delivery Van in Steve’s Surf Shop colours. The SEMA surfboard on the roof is a nice touch. Trim is chrome on the regular model, gold on the chase. I’m not a fan of this casting Kool Kombi-like casting but I know plenty of other collectors love it.
The M2 booth (pictured here before opening time) had the full range of models available to order by dealers and wholesalers (not to buy in person at the show). Cool to see them all together.
Greenlight also had plenty of samples on show, particularly of the promotional models it produces for automotive and other companies. Here are some shots from the booth.
Greenlight was also giving away a SEMA show model, a nice looking 1967 Chevrolet C-10 short bed in pale green with Holley logos (unexpected, given that Holley wasn’t at the show). I managed to snag one for a friend; some are sure to appear on eBay.
Looks pretty good!
There was no official Hot Wheels presence at SEMA this year (the Legends Tour final has been held there in the past) but designer Brendon Vetuskey’s ‘BVbird’ was on display thanks to sponsor, Borla exhaust. The ’67 Firebird was sporting new ‘distressed’ painted graphics for Borla and Hot Wheels. This was the first time I’ve seen it in person, and it looked great.
No new models to report but Brendon (in a Triassic-Five T-shirt!) was periodically leaving some stickers and signed models for a few lucky visitors to grab. Whether the new graphics will mean a new Hot Wheels release of the Firebird, we’ll have to wait and see.
I also spotted this Luftgekühlt Porsche 914 Safari on the Mobil 1 stand, the 1:1 of the Hot Wheels. Cool-looking car and that design by Dmitriy Shakhmatov is super-accurate!
Elsewhere, Matchbox logos appeared on this custom Bushwacker Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. The guys on the booth told me that this real-life Jeep show car will appear as an upcoming Matchbox release (makes sense, as the MB1182 Jeep JL casting already exists). I don’t know when or where, but one to look out for!
And finally… Off-road suspension experts Skyjacker have a history of Matchbox collaborations. The latest set of Convoy releases features an updated version of the Skyjacker Lonestar box trailer paired with a new colour of the ‘72 Bronco casting. At this year’s SEMA, customers were being given a version of that same Bronco, set in a crystal case. I was fortunate to be given one that I can share with you here!
My friend Rob (@robmatchbox117) has compared the SEMA model with the Convoy release and reports that there are a few differences. The SEMA model has tampo printing on the hood and ‘Matchbox’ on the fender, neither of which appear on the Convoy version. The SEMA wheels are nicer, too.
The plan had been for Skyjacker to have a full-size 2021 Bronco in matching colours at the booth, but that was scuppered by the supply-chain problems that are hitting the industry. Instead a grey example showed the company’s 2in lift kit, plus we got this awesome 1985 Chevy G10 van. Now there’s an idea for another Matchbox model!
To finish, here’s the new ’72 with some previous Skyjacker releases.
And that’s it! I’m sure there was plenty of other stuff there that I missed. That’s the thing with SEMA, with 1,300 exhibitors, there’s always something else to see… Until next time!
(follow me on Instagram @diecast215)