Today is what has become the greatest of American sports days- Super Bowl Sunday. For those that don’t know, the Super Bowl is the National Football League’s annual championship game. It has become the most watched annual event in America and is seen by millions around the world as well.
This year, the New England Patriots play my Atlanta Falcons for the crown. The Falcon’s motto for the past few years has been “rise up”, hence the title. I’m taking this opportunity to show you guys a something of that doesn’t usually get much attention: sports die-cast.
First, I should mention that the #56 stock car is actually a Racing Champions based on a real stock car driven by Jerry Glanville (a former Falcons head coach). It was released along with other RC stock cars in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s and doesn’t really count as a “sports die-cast”. But I had to include it in the shoot this morning.
Anyway, the rest of these cars and trucks do count. As you can see, they are normal die-cast that have just been done up in team liveries and plastered with logos. These were available in sports merchandise stores here in America and couldn’t usually be found alongside Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.
They’ve been made by various companies over the years. The most prominent one has been Fleer, which eventually merged with Upper Deck. Both of those companies have produced various sports memorabilia but are probably best known for their trading cards. And indeed, some of the vehicles were packaged with cards.
One particularly interesting thing about these, especially with Fleer, is that these castings were not borrowed from a die-cast company. These Mustang and Explorer Sport Trac Adrenaline Concept castings cannot be found in any other line. Considering that, it’s impressive just how good they look. There is some serious untapped custom potential in these cars.
Not all sports die-cast were original castings though. One company in particular, White Rose Collectibles, licensed several Matchbox castings in the ‘90s for sports related releases.
I have been using past-tense throughout this article. Unfortunately, it looks like this type of product fizzled out a few years ago as far as I can tell. The most recent that I know of are from the 2013 NFL season. That said, I don’t follow other sports terribly closely. There could still be new product out there from other leagues.
Anyway, enjoy the game if you watch it today! And cheer for the Falcons if you have any decency about you at all ;) Rise up!