Wednesday, March 19, 2014

AutoWorld - The Return of Quality Diecast

We had to wait ten long years before Playing Mantis founder Tom Lowe could jump back into the diecast arena...and it certainly was worth the wait. They have introduced 3 levels (Deluxe, Premium and Licensed Premium) of detailed castings at price-points offering varying degrees of increasing detail. The selections introduced by Auto World have been a good mixture of popular Muscle Cars and obscure castings previously not available. It makes sense to grab collectors of Mustangs and Camaros but to also pull in new collectors by introducing station wagons and the like.

AutoWorld Packaging Proofs

Final Packaging

The brand itself has been quite hard to least in my neck of the woods. I have only been able to find them in a very small number of Walmarts, ToysRus and recently from Hobby Lobby. Hopefully the distribution gets better as the newer releases start to hit retail. My advice for now is to reserve yours by contacting your favorite Online retailer. Be sure to check out their website at:

Now let's take a look at the numerous teasers that Mr. Mike Groothuis has been very kind enough to show us to keep us on the edge of our seats.

(Limited to only 10 of each casting mixed into the entire production run)

(Limited to 3% of the production run)
Just take a look at those gems....absolutely beautiful. Keep in mind these were all pre-releases and some small issues had yet to be rectified.

One very important attention to detail was the desire by Auto World to keep these models all true 1/64 scale.

This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was the main reason why companies such as Jada, M2, modern Siku and even Greenlight to a degree did not get my $$$. The scale was just too big to sit on a shelf next to my Lesneys, Majorette, Johnny Lightnings, Welly, Hot Wheels etc. This is important to many collectors from what I have read on the boards.


Very Nice!

Another area where Auto World are really making a difference is their presence on the diecast boards answering collectors questions and more importantly responding to their grips. Some complaints by the collector are valid where early 'testshots' are previewed with minor mistakes. Mr. Groothuis is aware of some of these but on a few occasions, he has thanked the collectors for pointing these issues out before the final product hits the retailers.


Collectors have waited a long time for Station Wagons...especially those of the Land Yacht species:)

Very RARE chase models

(Limited to 3% of the production run)

Their latest Sneak Peeks show that more goodies are on their way. The trend is the same...popular casting desired by collectors with some oddities thrown in. I am so looking forward to these upcoming releases!!!!

A 1976 Trans Am...never done until NOW!

(Limited to only 10 of each casting mixed into the entire production run)

(Limited to 3% of the production run)

 Well, this article can not be complete until we show you some of the pictures of their early prototypes so here you go.

Casting Differences for Various releases...amazing!

Look at the forward thinking of creating molds for various options and years...Very smart!

 And just because followers of my blog know I am nutty about Wagons, check these out! Early word is that the online dealers have completely sold out of these and they are bringing a good amount of $$$ on ebay. My hope is that Tom and Mike will see this trend and get some more models into the design phase to join them.Until then, how about some 'Sport' versions of these wagons to keep them fresh...

Now, I would like to profile some of their first releases that I have in my collection. Please enjoy and let me know if you have any questions about this article.

This is one of the longest 3inch replicas that I have in my collection.

TRU Exclusive: $14.99:(

These were very nice but not worth $14.99. I got mine at 50% off!

TRU Exclusive

TRU Exclusive


Jeff (94SS)

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to post this comment from Mr. Groothuis on a another board and I am embarrassed that I left Mr. Karamitsos out...

    "Great blog Jeff. It's a true pleasure to work on these cars. Tony Karamitsos should have a prominent mention here as well. He's responsible for the bulk of the casting development. I just consider myself the "art guy" that looks over his shoulder when asked and offer my 2¢ (occasionally 5¢). When choosing the castings, Tony, Tom and I all pitch in equally. It's a fun process."

    Thank you Tony for your passion to these 3inch gems....