Tag Archives: Round2

Die-cast: Auto World 1968 Nickey Chevy Chevelle

A Nickey-pimped Chevelle was, and is, a thing of beauty … 

Many 1960s car lovers believe the second generation Chevelle and its related GM cousins were the epitome of automotive styling and beauty. It’s hard to argue the point, at least that the Chevelle displayed beautiful lines and proportions, in addition to being highly affordable.

Chevelles often rumbled with the power of large V8s that made them true muscle cars, and a few were tweaked even further by the likes of hi-perf shops like Nickey Performance for racing, drag or otherwise.

That’s what Round2, via its Auto World American Muscle brand, delivers in its new 1:18 scale  1968 Nickey Chevelle. It’s decked out in Ermine White with a flat black (vinyl) roof and sharp gloss black Stinger hood scoop. And like most American Muscle die-cast metal models, this one retails for $99.99. That’s high value for a model with detailed engine, interior and undercarriage. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World 1968 Nickey Chevy Chevelle

Round2 acquisition confirmed

Auto World, Johnny Lightning owner partners with
investment firm to expand product lines …

By Mark Savage

Round 2, one of die-cast car collecting and plastic car modeling’s big dogs, made it official today. It has partnered with an investment group that should help it to expand its product lines.

The announcement from Round2’s headquarters in South Bend, Ind., said it is partnering with Praesidian Capital, a private investment group based in Larchmont, N.Y. Praesidian has purchased controlling interest, 51%, of Round2.

Those of us interested in die-cast cars and plastic car models, or HO slot cars, knows all about Round2, founded by Thomas Lowe, who earlier founded Playing Mantis to revive the Johnny Lightning brand, among others.

I regularly review products from Round2’s Auto World,  American Muscle, Johnny Lightning and Racing Champions brands. In fact, a review of AW’s new 1977 Dodge Warlock was just posted today.

Die-cast: Auto World 1977 Dodge Warlock | Savage On Wheels

Lowe, who remains as president of the firm, said he’s thrilled by the deal because of the resources Praesidian brings with it to help it grow “both organically and through acquisitions.” He added that there are no staff changes and Round2 will remain in South Bend.

Jason Drattell, Praesidian’s founder, made similar statements, praising Lowe and noting Round2 “has emerged as a market leader in the collectibles space and we look forward to supporting the management team as Round 2 continues to expand its product offerings.”

Glenn Harrison, Praesidian Capital partner, added that “product design and innovation will always be at the core of Round2’s growth strategy, but we also believe that there is a significant
consolidation opportunity within the highly fragmented collectibles space. We will be working closely with the Round 2 team to continue to build on its already impressive list of brands.”

In addition to Johnny Lightning and the other brands mentioned above, Round2 also includes Polar Lights, AMT, MPC, Lindberg and Hawk model kits, including a Star Wars license. Auto World also markets HO slot cars and parts along with die-cast vehicles. Other miniature car brands include Legends of the  Quarter Mile, Ertl Collectibles, Vintage Fuel. Forever Fun is a seasonal products brand also a part of Round2.

For more details on all the product lines produced by Round 2, see: http://www.round2corp.com

Die-cast: Auto World 1977 Dodge Warlock

Blingy Warlock pickup stirred our love of custom trucks …

I have to admit that when I heard Auto World was releasing the 1977 Dodge Warlock I was confused. I’d never heard of it, and I pride myself in being a pretty heady car guy.

Of course, it’s a truck.

Still, in 1977 I was just out of school, just married and my vehicle tastes were fuel-efficient small cars that didn’t cost much, think Mazda GLC, Datsun B210, Honda Civic, and Plymouth Horizon. OK, I was smart enough to avoid the later.

So I did a little digging on the Warlock, a name that no doubt would be nixed by any marketing person today. Seems Dodge was ahead of the curve with factory-produced custom pickups. Now any pickup, custom or not, is hotter than a Kardashian’s bikini photo. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World 1977 Dodge Warlock

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1967 Shelby GT350

Rare Shelby GT350 originally meant for Hertz …

What car lover doesn’t long to own a Hertz-intended Shelby GT350, a rare black fastback Mustang from its 1960s hey days?

Most of us would part with some serious coin for one of these black beauties in any size and now Auto World delivers a stout one in 1/18 scale as part of its American Muscle series that reproduces cars honored at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals events.

Like others in this series it’s a high-value die-cast metal model with opening hood and doors and a finely detailed interior. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1967 Shelby GT350

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

1969 Charger R/T  cool in Light Blue Poly …

As a teenager in 1969 I was enthralled with muscle cars for their speed, their rumbling V8s, and their looks. My family was Mopar crazy and so that made me a prime candidate to love Dodge’s Charger. But really, I was more into the Challenger and Plymouth’s Barracuda.

Once the Superbird came out, that was a winner too, in more ways than one. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Silver Screen Machines: 007

Johnny Lightning creates fun James Bond mini dioramas …

When we think of certain movies we picture the cars that were stars, such as Steve McQueen’s Mustang in Bullitt, or Sean Connery’s Aston Martin in many James Bond movies.

That’s what we as modelers build, and what us die-cast car collectors like to collect. These are famous wheels, iconic vehicles that remind us of the fun and excitement of the movies they appeared in, and just maybe, of a car we once owned, or at least dreamed we would. Continue reading Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Silver Screen Machines: 007

Die-cast: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary cars

The metallic green ’63 Corvette and its matching metal storage tin.

Anniversary release cars feature metal storage tins …

We knew that Johnny Lightning would be surprising us with some unique releases to mark it’s 50th Anniversary, and the latest releases offer a fun twist with snazzy metal storage tins.

Our review product is Release 2 with the tins, with version A and B cars. We like the special collector’s tins, which remind us of our younger years with Matchbox cars that came in their blue and yellow cardboard boxes. But these tins are much spiffier and more colorful, not to mention sturdy and have a sharp image of the car that’s to be stored inside printed on the tin. Continue reading Die-cast: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary cars

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1971 Plymouth GTX

A 1971 Plymouth GTX you can afford …

My neighborhood was packed with Road Runners back in the early 1970s, in no small part because we had one of the top-selling Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships in Indiana a few blocks from my house.

The wild fruity colors of the late 1960s and early ‘70s lit up the dealer’s lot, and us pre-teens and teens loved circling the lot on our bikes picking out what we just “knew” we’d own, once that $1.50-an-hour bus boy job came through down at the Chuckwagon restaurant. They were sweet dreams to be sure. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1971 Plymouth GTX

Die-cast: Racing Champions’ Mint, Release 3A

Round2’s small scale cars deliver bang for the buck! …

As I mentioned in my introduction to this issue, Round2’s Johnny Lightning brand celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year and while various special releases are eminent, its Racing Champions brand continues to make similarly excellent 1/64 die-cast cars that are available right now. Continue reading Die-cast: Racing Champions’ Mint, Release 3A

Die-cast: Auto Worl’d Premium 2018 Release 4, True 1/64

Auto World True 1/64 Chevy Impala

True 1/64 scale cars are little gems from Round2 …  

Didn’t most of us start out collecting Matchbox, or later Hot Wheels, die-casts?

I spent a lot of time ogling and dreaming about those 75 metal 1/64 (roughly) scale Matchbox vehicles in my hobby shop’s display case. And when really lucky, I snagged a catalog. They were affordable, and a load of fun to play with, even before they developed better wheels.

Continue reading Die-cast: Auto Worl’d Premium 2018 Release 4, True 1/64