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Toys of Yesterday and Today

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Scales: Trains to Cars

traincarscaleToys come in a variety of sizes from small, i.e.,, micro to very large, i.e., ‘model’ trains that are for the outdoors.   Therefore, when looking to buy a toy consider the age of the child you are buying for and the intended purpose.  Is the gift going to be meant as a plaything or to be set on a shelf as a collectible?

If the child is very young, look for toys that they cannot put into their mouths and does not have small parts that might be broken off.  If the child is older, some of the highly collectible items, such as Hot Wheels, NASCAR and train sets can offer both play time, collectability and come in a variety of scales.  When talking about scale, we are talking about the measure of the size of the  toy item vs. the size of the original it is based on.  You may remember from math class this can also be the ratio.

Trains

Various train sizes range from those large enough to be ridden to those that you often see set up as models. Often times, in addition to an elaborate track layout, you’ll find landscaping, cars, people and animals included.  Train scale is measured not so much by the size of the train itself (engine, cars, etc.) but rather by the size of the track or gauge.  Some of the most popular gauge or scale measurements are:  [1]

 

  • G – often referred to as ‘Garden Scale’ as it is large.  Scale can range from 1:22.5 to 1:29.  A typical 40′  box car would be 17.25″ L  x 4.50″ W x 6.50″ H.
  • O – most common and what we typicall think of; like Lionel.  Scale is 1:48.  A typical 40′ box car would be  10.50″ L x 2.50″ W x 3.75″ H.
  • HO  –  most popular.  Scale is 1:87.1.  A typical 40′ box car would be 5.75″ L x 1.50″ W x 2.00″ H.

Other scales used for model trains are S (1:64), TT (1:120), N (1:160), Z (1:220),  OO (1:76.2), 1 Scale (1:32), and T (1:450).[2]

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To see a selection of train sets on Amazon, visit this link.
 

Die Cast

The size for these cars is based on the size of the actual car, truck or other vehicle.  The most popular size used by Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightening is the 1:64 scale.  A good rule-of-thumb for determining the difference in the sizes is:  [3]

  • 1:12 scale = 14″ – 16 ” in length –  Highly detailed, often featuring motorcycles.
  • 1:18 scale = 8″ – 11″ in length  –  Detailed model targeting the adult collector market.
  • 1:24 scale = 5″ – 8″ in length  –  Favored scale for model kits; also used by Franklin Mint.
  • 1:43 scale = 3″ – 5″ in length  – Most popular around the world and used by Dinky.

Other popular scale sizes are:

  • 1:32  – used by Ertl and Britians
  • 1:64 – used by Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightening.
  • 1:87 – used by Herps, popular due to their compatibility with HO trains.

To see a selection of diecast cars on Amazon, visit this link.

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Slot Cars

Seemingly a cross between die-cast and trains by making use of a track are slot cars.   These scaled down cars make use of actual car bodies that have been tailored for racing.[4]  Raced on a ‘slotted track’ these cars are controlled by a hand-held controller.  Might add that new digital technology now has it where these cars can not only change lanes but share lanes.  Similar to other scales, you’ll find slot cars in the following:

  • 1: 24 – larger size so they are typically run on commercial or club tracks.
  • 1:32 – most common home ‘friendly’ size; also popular at clubs and hobby shops.
  • HO (1:87 – 1:64) – originally designed for train layouts; size may vary due to need for larger motor.

These cars have also been produced in 1:48 (1960’s)  as well as 1:43 scale (2007 – today) although it would appear there is little ‘organized’ racing.

Scale can be used to fine a toy, based on individual desire or purpose.  However, shopping for a gift  should simply  be based on the person it is intended for and if it is to be played with or collected.

To see a selection of slot cars on Amazon, visit this link.

Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/CTGY/Scales

[2]  https://support.modeltrainstuff.com/hc/en-us/articles/202970203-What-are-the-different-Gauges-and-Scales-What-do-they-mean-

[3]  http://www.mintmodels.com/scalesize.aspx

[4]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_car

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Posted 1 year, 6 months ago at 8:50 pm.

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Racing Champions “Chase Cars” 1997 #12 Chad Little

 

 

When NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) was founded back in 1947-48, who could have foreseen the growth and popularity of the sport. Not only does NASCAR now sanction three (3) of the largest racing series around:

 

Spring Cup

Nationwide

Camping World Truck

 

…. but they also over see local races that includes over 1,500 sanctioned races at over 100 tracks in 39 states and Canada. They are headquartered in Daytona, Florida with many more regional and international offices. NASCAR is second only to football in terms of television viewing and holds 17 of the top 20 attendance records for a single-day sports event in the world. Not hard to understand how these 75 million plus fans can account for the purchase of over $3 BILLION annually in licensed NASCAR products.

 

Their product line covers just about anything you could think of. But, if you are a NASCAR fan and looking for a ‘diecast car’ collectible, you will find you can fill the bill with licensed ‘chase cars’. They are not too pricey to collect even if you want to collect all of them, you’ll not break the bank and they’re easy to display or store. The chase car pictures here was manufactured by Racing Champions and came in two (2) sizes: 1:64 and 1:24.

 

From the photo, you can see, the models produced by Racing Champions were very detailed. So much so, they reflect the original chase car’s logo, paint color, car number, driver’s signature, and more.

 

This 1997 edition of the John Deere, Pontiac Grand Prix, #97 was driven by Chad Little. This car is part of the #12 series that had 12 cars; and is #0433 of a production limited to only 1,997 cars manufactured for collectors that year. (Number manufactured same as the year, interesting!) This particular package comes with a collector’s card, display stand and Racing Champion diecast car. All sealed up in a blister pack.

 

Much like Hot Wheels collectibles, you want to take care of your NASCAR items – keep them out of heat and sunshine, do not remove them from the package and when stored – lay flat.

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Posted 6 years ago at 8:19 pm.

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