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First Peek with Joe Kelly Edition Date
2-19-04
VIEW ARCHIVE
 
 


New York International Toy Fair (2 of 3):
RC2, Maisto, M&D Distributors, Ricko, Signature and Yat Ming

 

RC2 & Maisto M&D Distributors, Ricko & Signature
 
     
 
Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly
 

The continuation of New York International Toy Fair (2 of 3)
 

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  RC2 & Maisto

RC2 is still showing those sad figures of a smiling Dale Earnhart dressed in fishing and hunting gear in their showrooms. God, that’s depressing. I know that someone, somewhere is buying this tripe. I’m hoping it’s adult collectors. It’s a tough thing to imagine quality childhood playtime centered around the maquette of a dead guy.

Ghosts of another kind were the big attraction in the Joyride portion of the tour. The model of the Ecto 1 from the movie Ghostbusters looked pretty good, if movies are your bag. If they are, you’ll dig the Shaguar from Austin Powers, as well.

In an attempt to emulate the wildly popular – and rightfully so – Muscle Machines lineup, RC2 will field a series of cartoonish takes on the General Lee, Fast and Furious Dodge Charger, and Starsky and Hutch Ford Torino. Mazel tov.

A better focused image – if woefully incorrect – was the Authentics 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. As with its predecessor (the 1965 Chevelle Z-16 of last month), the model will attempt to sway the buyer with bells, whistles, and a lowball price point rather than true authenticity.

Newly-licensed motorcycles and East Coast Choppers custom bikes were sweet, as was one of the family Teutul’s full-sized rides, parked next to a menacing figurine of Paul Sr. himself, wearing miniature size twelves.

Earnharts and Teutuls and bikes, oh my… but Craig Flickinger – RC2’s last, best hope to be a contender in the diecast arena it started ten years ago – was nowhere to be seen. Nor were the first cars he’s designed. In his place were play sets, figures, and a boatload of hired-gun PR persons. Send flowers, folks.

…

Maisto had a couple of new things to crow about, and after the disappointment I felt over their ’63 Dodge 330, I had a ball scoping out their killer new ’55 Chevy Nomad. This one is a must-have, even if you usually lean toward the upper crust of the collecting pie. Everything opens on convincing hinges, and the fit and finish of the model are great. Even the engine – an occasional sore spot on these replicas – looked convincing. For what this will go for in the real world, I’ll take it in every color they make.

Equally cool was a Jeep Rubicon in a bunch of colors –as well as an infra-red remote control version – that had the looks and stance of the real rock climber cold. Mercedes fans will swoon over the new SLR in black or silver, and the rest of the lineup, embracing some new colors on their existing models, looked great. These guys must be doing something right.
 

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  M&D Distributors, Ricko & Signature

The biggest smiles were to be had at the M&D Distributors booth in the Hong Kong aisle. There sat the folks who rep Ricko.

Great things are a-brewing here – and the shelves stacked with old-time Wanderers, Dixi’s, Horch’s, Alfa Romeos, and racing Mercedes’ made for a kid-in-a-candy store feeling that had me back time and time again.

A ‘thirties Horch cabriolet looked great, and it’s almost ready to go. So are the first shots of the awesome Cadillac Sixteen show car and 2004 CTS-V – both of which should be available soon. Still planned are a 1963 Lincoln, a ’34 Cad Aerodynamic coupe, and ’31 Lincoln Model K. Added at the show was an announced 1955 Chrysler 300 and the modern concept version of the same car. Man, oh, man. I’m going to need a whole new wing.

…

We didn’t get to Signature’s showroom at the Toy Center, but local distributors showed us what’s on deck. Long live these guys! An Aston Martin Le Mans car from the ‘thirties, and recent releases like their Delahaye, had me drooling. Offbeat never looked so good.

The paint, spoked wheels, and overall detail of these twenty-buck bombshells is incredible at these prices. Unfortunately, a lot of good new product goes unsung because of Signature’s seeming inability to give the hobby a heads up. The result is a pattern of finding these superior cars at inferior price points – good for us, bad for the company’s image and bottom line. Hope they can hang in there for a while.
 

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  Yat Ming

Yat Ming had one of every model they make on the shelves, and that made for wall-to-wall glitter in their aging showroom at Toy Center. The room, like their lineup, will be rethought after Toy Fair, with a distinct up-market bent in mind. I’m rooting for them. These are some of the nicest people in the business, on either side of the Pacific.

Larger than life was the engineering model for what will be their 1:24 1961 Lincoln X100. I begged and pleaded for this image in 1:18, but was met with stares that rivaled those hanging on Mt. Rushmore. Hey – I can try, right?

The Signature series looked great, and a couple of new colors on their Ford and Mercury models looked good with flocked floors and simulated upholstery. Their Marauder and Riviera models are neat, as are the Mercury Convertible Cruiser and Buick Electra. Their Lincoln Continental Mark II is still very much in the pipe, and we’re hoping to see those first shots any day now.

These guys are starting work on images we’ve clamored for – I can’t drop the other shoe(s) – not yet, anyway – but you Olds fans can get all fired up looking at the stars ‘til the new crop of late ‘fifties/early ‘sixties models shows up. Some of these will be front runners, to be sure. Stay tuned.
 

 
     

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