Big thanks to Plasticprints for picking up the F-100 for me! Despite the 20mph winds we were having this weekend, I had to get it out with some other trucks to compare them.
Looking from the front, this is an decent model. The root beer brown is spot on, the graphics are cool looking and the grille is faithful to this sixth gen F-series. Plasticprints noted that there were some tampo issues with the store’s stock of these, and mine does have its problems. But I don’t really care about the tampos; they put a lot of detail into this one for the $1 price.
What brings this casting down is at the rear. Instead of casting in a metal tailgate, Hot Wheels added that cheap looking black topper. It doesn’t match the roofline and the tailgate does not match the color of the rest of the truck.
Yes, the contour of the tailgate would have produced die lock with a simple cast, but HW has demonstrated the ability to work around those issues with the VW Caddy and ‘63 Studebaker Champ. Perhaps the elaborate four-color tampos took up the budget for the tailgate- who knows? The thought of customizing it to fix this issue has crossed my mind, but this will not likely happen soon.
A smaller disappointment is the lack of a rear license plate pocket, considering the front bumper has one. I wonder what they were thinking...
Lesney’s ‘68 F-100 “Kennel Truck” compares favorably to the new casting. Although lacking graphics, its crisp casting lines and older body style don’t need them. It, too, originally came with a topper, and dogs to boot. Unfortunately that does detract from the casting when the topper is inevitably crushed underfoot and discarded.
Will the ‘79 F-100 retain its style if the topper is removed? I’m not ready to find out, but we do know that it would lose its tailgate.
Next up is a nice Ertl ‘65 International D-Series. This casting combines the crisp lines of the Lesney with the better wheel detail and larger physical size of modern Hot Wheels. It’s got a metal base, opening tailgate and hood, detailed engine trim, and of course a much heftier price. This Ertl is a fabulous model, and I wish more trucks were available under this brand. It’s nearly to the detail level of M2 or Greenlight, but of course is built heavier, as is standard with the company’s main line tractor models.
This is of course an unfair comparison given the price. However, it brings to light some questions about the reasoning behind the F-100's topper when an open bed looks and functions so much better. A stylish and just-as-70's-tastic two-tone could replace the stripes and possibly save enough money for a real tailgate, even if it doesn’t open.
Maybe I just need to go deep custom on this thing and make it into what I believe it should be. But it’s still a damn cool Hot Wheels and I’m happy to see non-hotrodded vintage pickups making it onto the dollar pegs.
Perhaps my expectations are skewed by all the higher-priced trucks I already have. Perhaps there’s some fundamental difference in the construction of this and the VW Caddy- something that precludes an open bed and metal tailgate. However, these issues aren’t enough to push me away from this casting. From a theme standpoint, HW is spot on. Execution is another story. These average out to being, well, slightly better than average.
What do you think? Am I making too big a deal of this plastic tailgate, or is it a worthwhile sacrifice in order to have those sweeeeeet graphics?