Category Archives: Promo Models

Unicorn Promo Models

How a $2 investment generates a 2,000% return

One of my favorite episodes of Fast N’ Loud on Discovery channel is when Richard Rawlings and his friend Dennis Collins (who is also a big Jeep guy) go look at a Shelby Mustang they are looking to buy only to find more Mustangs, one of the Dennis describes as a unicorn. It was one of just a handful made with the exact options he explained. A car that could potentially generate a HUGE return on their investment, in the tens of thousands of dollars. The same situation is true of the plastic promotional model cars only the money is not quite as big. Continue reading Unicorn Promo Models

For the Rekord

Photo: WikiCommons
Photo: WikiCommons

Spellcheck went crazy with this

Lots of red lines below my copy when I wrote this blog entry about the Open Rekord. It kept wanting to change it to “Record”. You know me and odd ball cars. I was actually running through eBay looking at promo models when I came across a Record, oops, Rekord. More about the promo model in a minute but first I needed to find our more about the real deal since I’d never heard of the car. This car was no one-hit wonder as there were approximately ten million sold between 1953 and 1986. It was produced by GM’s Opel brand and was the second best-selling brand in Europe behind the Volkswagen Beetle. Check out the spot but brush up on your German. Continue reading For the Rekord

Exactly like your car down to the paint code

Carpeting and paint codes

1968 AMX, 1970 AMX, promotional model cars, American MotorsAs a kid my first promo model was a pink ’63 VW Bug. I had my eye on this at the local hobby shop for the longest time lusting over it although I doubt at age five I knew what lust was. Dad said is was mine if I would give up dragging around my blanket, yup just like Linus from Peanuts. Tough but I did it for my first promo model and the rest is history. I bet I’m not alone either touching up promo models or redoing them the exact paint code. Dad brought home lots of them when he went to work for American Motors in 1963. I didn’t have to give anything up when those started rolling in the door and I had boxes of them. Most promo model cars will come in the colors that their big brothers were painted in like this rare red 1970 AMX that I have in my collection. Sure AMC made a red AMX in 1970 but this color is more of an approximate, not exact color match. I must have painted and detailed lots of them but none to the detail I have seen on the auction sites. Continue reading Exactly like your car down to the paint code

No warp promo cars

Hybrids even before the word was in vogue

markx toy company, marx toys, fix it all series, 53 merc wagonI’m not blogging about one of the cars that all the manufactures make, I’m blogging about a promo model made by Marx Toy Company where metal and plastic combine to make an exceptionally detailed collector piece like this tin and plastic 1953 4 door “paper” woody station wagon.

The “Toy King” of the United States

That’s what Time magazine called Louis Marx in an 1955 article. Marx was said to have business savvy with the mind of a child because he could see into the eyes of kids and create models that they wanted. Beyond this car, Marx Toy Company, made tons of other toys such as a Alabama minstrel dancer and the Zippo climbing monkey. In 1922, these two toys accounted for 16 million in sales. A few years later he came back with whistling yo-yos, and they climbed in sales faster than Zippo and sales were not up to 100 million of these whistling and non-whistling toys. But the company is perhaps best know by people in my era when in 1964 they produced and distributed Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and in the 70’s a large plastic tricycle called Big Wheel which is in the National Toy Hall of Fame. Marx didn’t make the jump with the new electronic toys hitting the market and was purchased by Quaker Oats who shut down the factory. Could you imagine how much fun it was working for this company? The only thing cooler would be working for Mattel at Hot Wheels. Continue reading No warp promo cars

They’re eBay’s version of barnfinds

More like a cyber barn

Hey I just coined a new term. I’m always on eBay either selling or buying stuff. If you’re looking for something rare, that’s the place to start. I have a search parameter set up for promotional model cars and just they other day these two finds came up. What makes them unusual is that both of them were being sold by an eBayer located in Japan so they both have some miles on them. Well not literally. Continue reading They’re eBay’s version of barnfinds

Renault Dauphine

I have never been a fan of French engineering

From my collection
Ad from my collection

I have first-hand experience with my mother owning a Renault Alliance and then me owning an Encore. This was the big deal about the partnership with American Motors and Renault. The cars were a hit out of the gate with the Alliance named Motor Trend Car of the Year but it all went down after that. Mom had the 1.4L engine in her car and I thought it sounded like a sewing machine. I opted for the 1.7L in my Encore and the car could still only barley get out of its own way. I did like the manual shift. The cars had a bunch of issues but it basically came down to cheap materials and bad engineering. Did you know that the Continue reading Renault Dauphine

Jeepster: A classic large or small

My favorite Jeep

Jeepster-adA big reason we collect cars is because there is an emotional attachment. Mine for AMC, and Jeeps, coming from my dad working at American Motors. AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser in 1970. My favorite Jeep is the Jeepster originally produced by Willys-Overland from ’48-’50 and then ’66-’73. A vehicle so popular T. Rex wrote a song about it. Continue reading Jeepster: A classic large or small