History of MPC’s Dodge D/W Truck Kits

Following with the trend at the time of releasing annual model kits to depict year-to-year changes in the real vehicles hitting the showroom floors, MPC tooled up a kit based on the new-for-72 Dodge D/W series trucks.

The first kit issued with this tooling’s long run was the Baja Brute, which was actually the 1972 annual although not labelled as such. The truck depicted is a regular cab, 8′ full width box trimmed as an Adventurer SE. The engine is a cobbled together Chrysler B/RB V-8 that lasted throughout the tooling’s run. Options with this kit included both 2WD and 4WD suspension with stock wheel covers and 4WD 8-lug wheels, a stock hood and a bulged center hood, off-road race equipment, and service station attendant equipment. The kit has the grille used for 72-73 and is molded in white. MPC #1-0458
mpc1-0458.jpg

Next up was the 1973 Dodge Pickup annual. This was a straight re-issue of the Baja Brute, swapping the service station attendant building option with an emergency attendant option. The kit has the grille used for 72-73 and is molded in white. MPC #1-7309
mpc1-7309.jpg

Moving on to 1974, the kit was re-issued with changes appropriate to the full size truck, which was mostly limited to the grille. This same grill was used until 1976. To keep the kit interesting to buyers of the 1973 issue, this version had many of the same options including a choice of either 2WD or 4WD and associated wheels, both hoods as before, service station equipment and a dirt bike. This kit is also molded in white. MPC #1-7409
mpc7409.png

The 1975 issue is almost the same as the previous 1974 issue, however the service station equipment was swapped out for the race equipment from the 1973 issue. MPC #1-7509
mpc7509.JPG

In the year of the US’s bicentennial, the changes were limited to the omission of optional truck equipment and inclusion of a second dirt bike. There also appears to be two boxes for this issue: one with ’76 in the upper left corner and the other has ‘NEW’ in the same location. MPC #1-7609
mpc7609.png

Late 1976-1977 was a big year for this tooling and saw a lot of kits issued. The body trim was re-tooled to reflect the 1:1 trim changes: the body side moulding was moved from above the wheel well flares to below them, a new trim line added just below the cab window along the entire body and bed, the Adventurer SE badge moved from behind the rear wheel well to between the front wheel well and the door, the tailgate relief panel was re-shaped and lost the ‘Dodge’ badge, and the new-for-77 grille. All subsequent re-issues would include either 4WD or 2WD suspension rather than the option to build one or the other. The first kit on store shelves was the 1977 annual with the ubiquitous dirt bike and off-road racer equipment. The bulge hood was also omitted. MPC #1-7709
mpc7709.JPG

Also in late 1976 a separate, non-annual version was released as an Off-Road Camper. This issue includes the dirt bike and an odd partial-length camper/sleeper arrangement. The Adventurer SE badge on the front fenders was replaced with Power Wagon 100. MPC #1-0412
mpc412.png

The seemingly final edition of the annual kits for this series was for the 1978 model year. Addition from the 1977 issue include wood stake box sides and a front roll pan. MPC#1-7809
mpc7809.png

At some point in 1977, the tooling was modified to include a 6′ step side bed. The bed is an entirely new piece as is the shorter chassis pan. The cab was also stripped of any molding or emblems. The first version with the step side bed was released in 1977 as the Warlock. Buildable only as the box art truck, this kit was the first inclusion of the generic MPC 5-lug wagon wheels. Molded in black. MPC #1-0417
warlock.png

The existence of this next kit suggests that there may have been plans for a 1979 annual, but I can not seem to find any references to one. The biggest re-tooling for this kit occurred at this time to update it to the 1979 body style which included modifying the cowl, a new hood, and a new grille. Aside from the model year changes, this kit includes the same options as the previous Warlock. Molded in orange. MPC #1-0418
firefighter.png

Curiously, the next issue of this kit from 1979 returns to the previous 77-78 body style, depicting the 1:1 special edition Li’l Red Express truck. The 2WD suspension returned and the kit included new 5-lug slotted mags and exhaust stacks. Molded in red. MPC #1-0427
lre1979.png

For 1980 the tooling of the Li’l Red Express was re-issued with the body of the 79-80 body style, this time in grey/silver plastic and new decals naming the truck Pumpin’ Iron. This is one of those buyer beware issues as the box art shows a 77-78 truck, however the contents are the 79-80 body. With appropriate decals this is a perfect candidate for a 1979 Li’l Red Express. MPC #1-0432
pumpiniron.png

The full-width 8′ bed returned in 1981 as a pulling truck called Thunders Truck (see what they did there?). The bed was stripped of trim to match the cab, which was the same as the LRE however the kit curiously included the 79-80 grille. The bulge hood from the original annuals was modified with holes to allow headers to exit straight up. The engine also was modified to add a blower. Molded in black. MPC #1-0442

thunderstruck.png

The final offering of this tooling associated with MPC was first issued in 1984 in the middle of the monster truck craze. This version is an almost carbon copy of the Thunders Truck but with monster truck suspension and wheels. Molded in red and first issued under MPC #1-0451. Re-issued again in 1988 by Ertl, the box art was unchanged other than to note that Ertl stock number 5344 replaces MPC stock numbrer 1-0451.

mpc6344.jpg

AMT later reissued the kit multiple times in 1994, 2005, and 2006, all as the Li’l Red Express and seemingly forgetting that other versions of the tooling exist. This version is the same as the original MPC LRE and Pumpin’ Iron releases only molded in the typical AMT grey plastic. Stock numbers 5459, 38248, 31938.

amt6459.jpg

Rumours currently floating around the online modeling community suggests that some time in 2019 Round2 will be reissuing the Dodge trucks yet again. What we know so far is that it will depict a full-width, 6′ bed that will be a new tool to match the last known issue as a LRE. Preliminary box art states a 1978 D-100 and kit MPC901. Stay tuned!

Originally posted on the Model Cars Magazine on 29 January 2013. Thanks to those posters in that thread that helped me sort out what which kits came in which order. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

History of AMT & MPC Action Line Truck Kits

To date, there have been four separate, but related, toolings of this style of truck. AMT and MPC both tooled up versions of this truck that are very similar but have some minor differences. Both use a simplified, one piece chassis plate with molded in suspension and exhaust. AMT versions featured dual exhaust while MPC featured single exhaust with a molded in crossover. AMT versions after 1969 included plastic pins and a lowering block for the front suspension whereas MPC used a metal axle. AMT also tooled a GMC pickup as well as a completely new Blazer/Jimmy set when those trucks came on the market for 1969. Although AMT and MPC were competitors at the time, Chevrolet alternated between the two for the annual promos from 1967-1970.

First kit on the market was the AMT 1967 Chevrolet pickup annual. As with previous annuals, the truck was a long box, with the option to build a stock truck, custom truck, and a tow truck. Kit number 8747.

For 1968, MPC released the same tooling however the same modifications to the full size trucks were made to the model. This was released under the product code MPC868.

By 1969, it seems as though both AMT and MPC were releasing kits. The basic truck body was updated to the new-for-69 grille. The MPC version was changed to a fire truck and the AMT version was a stock pickup with the camper shell previously seen on the 61-63 annuals.

Once again, in 1970 both AMT and MPC released versions of the tooling. AMT started with a desert theme that it would continue to use for the next few years while MPC had racing theme. MPC kit number 1-870, AMT kit number Y-733.

This version of the tooling was also used to release the MPC Open Road Camper, a popular recreational vehicle at the time. The camper featured a complete interior and opening rear patio. Kit number MPC403.

The tooling was modified for the final time to reflect the changes to the full-size trucks for 1971. So far I have been unable to find annuals for 1971 and 1972, but MPC did release the Racer’s Wedge for 1971. The kit included a modified chassis plate to accommodate the rear tag axle but could still be built as a regular pickup. Kit number 1-7108.

Model King issued the Open Road Camper and Racer’s Wedge in a single box in 2004 with the kit number 21923.

The kit issued for the 1972 model year saw the return of the tow truck components. Kit 1-7208.

It seems that at this juncture the tooling remained with MPC, who made good use of it and released several pickups over the years until their eventual purchase by AMT/Ertl.

In 1974, the tooling was modified to produce an 8′ stepside bed. This is an odd configuration and even the fenders weren’t proportioned correctly: the fender is too short from the wheel well forward. The first offering included a Yamaha dirt bike. Kit number 1-0411.

Released again in 1979 as Rolling Thunder, this version was modified to follow the big rig craze of the time and included an airhorn, air-deflectors, hi-rise stacks, saddle tanks, sleeper box, West Coast mirrors, wide wheels and tires. Kit number 1-0426.

Finally in 1982 the tooling was sold again, this time called Heavy Pedal. None of the Rolling Thunder extrasnor the dirt bike made it to this release. Kit number 1-0448.

In 1981 as part of the Dukes of Hazzard promotional tie-in kits, MPC reissued the ’72 Cheyenne tow truck kit with decals to depict Cooter’s tow truck. Kit number 1-0441, reissued in 2009.

After their acquisition of MPC, AMT/Ertl dusted off the tooling again and re-issued the kit in 1995 using the 8′ fleetside bed that MPC seemed to have either lost or forgotten about. Using kit number 6691, AMT reboxed this same kit in 1998 with a picture of an actual truck on the box. Several reissues followed, each with new box art and kit numbers, but no changes to the kit inside the box.

Reissued again in 2004 with kit number 38163 as part of AMT’s Hot Trucks series. The grille was modified to remove the bowtie and a tonneau cover was included.

Reissued again in 2005 as kit 38566, this issue included paint, a brush, and glue.

The final issue as of this writing for this pickup tooling is the Rides Magazine tie-in kit, issued in 2005 with large diameter wheels and tires. This carries the kit number 38259 and is molded in blue.

Seemingly independent of MPC, AMT developed the GMC tooling based on their Chevrolet kit. Changes from the Chevrolet kit included a new cab, grille, hood, bedsides, and tailgate. The inner bed, chassis plate, engine, and interior are shared between the two.

Issued first for 1971, the Sierra Grande pickup box art featured a mountain scene. There are two variants of this box art: one with the ’71 and one without. Both carried the same kit number of T120.

For 1972, this kit was reissued as a desert racer. Kit instructions showed where to cut the roof to depict the open cab racer on the box. A rollbar and lights were added, side-exit exhaust, as well as off-road tires even though the same two wheel drive chassis plate was included. Kit number T-364, this also had two versions: with the ’72 and without.

For 1972, the GMC kit was modified to a short bed, stepside version. This required a shortening of the chassis plate as well as tooling up a new stepside bed. As a 2-in-1 kit, the building options included custom wheels and tires, chrome rocker covers, and a Corvette-style tri-carb intake manifold and air cleaner. The fenders in this kit are correctly proportioned and include the steps between cab and fender. Kit number T-409.

The final GMC pickup kit issued as of this writing was kit 6081 in 1990.

Completely separate from the pickup line, AMT independently tooled up an all-new Blazer/Jimmy combo that sported a separate frame and suspension. The two versions were issued simultaneously with the only differences being the grille, hood, and tailgate. These kits also have a strange quirk with the wheels: they are chromed steel wheels that have a correct six bolt locking up for the front, however the rear wheels are five bolt.

The first to debut in 1970 was the Blazer and features a desert theme. This is kit T-336.

Also in 1970, the GMC Jimmy was issued as the Jimbo 4×4 dragster. Kit number T-213.

Next up in 1972 was the Crew Chief Blazer, with a modified hood and grille to keep current with the trucks on the showroom floors. Also included in this version is the Feathers decal package. This was issued as kit T-340. In 2015, Round 2 reissued this kit as AMT897.

In 1973, the Jimmy kit was issued as the Bushwacker and included a dirt bike and rear-mounted carrying rack. To date this is the last release of the GMC Jimmy. Kit number T-428.

For 1976, the Blazer was reissued as the Boondocker. This appears to be the same version as the Crew Chief. Kit number T-200. As an aside, Round 2 has released a 1:64 scale diecast Blazer as the Boondocker and even includes a mini box with the same art. One small detail, however, is a modification to the box art to have a 69-70 grille to match the diecast.

During the Lesney era, the Blazer was modified as the Bandit and included a rollcage with bikini top and a brush guard with winch. Co-branded as AMT and Matchbox, this kit carries the number PK-4631 and arrived on store shelves in 1981.

After another change in ownership to Ertl, the Bandit and Bushwacker versions were combined with monster truck suspension and wheels as well as fuel injection stacks and tube headers. Dubbed Thunderbolt One, this was issued in 1983. Kit number 6609.

For 1989, the Thunderbolt One kit was updated to the Thunderbolt II to reflect evolving monster truck technology and included new suspension and wheels. The dirt bike was omitted from this issue. Kit number 6931.

Thirty years after last being issued in stock form, the Blazer was brought out as a Model King limited release in 2006. This kit did not include the Feathers decal package and did not include the roof cargo depicted on the box art (nor the camper). Kit number 21638P.

Originally posted on Model Cars Magazine message board 25 January 2013. Special thanks to the Scalemates database on correcting the years and order these kits were issued. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

 

History of Monogram’s GM Truck Kits

The tooling for the squarebody GM pickup was introduced in 1977, representing a 1975-1977 model Chevrolet K10 stepside.This is kit 2228 and is molded in black plastic. Represents a stock pickup with an optional winch, sunroof, gunrack (with guns), tailgate-mounted spare tire carrier with jerry can, and roll bar with lights. Wheels are 6-bolt GM rallye rims and Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.

2228.jpg

For 1978, the tooling was either modified or appended to represent a 1978 GMC styleside shortbed pickup. Kit 2236, molded in a red/orange plastic. Options include a roll bar with lights and bed rails. Wheels are GM 6-bolt, 10-hole mags and Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.

2236.JPG

Also in 1978 a separate but related tooling was created to represent a 1975-1977 Chevrolet Blazer, kit 2238. Molded in red plastic, this kit builds up as a completely stock truck with a tailgate mounted spare tire carrier and jerry can. Wheels are incorrect 5-bolt chrome wagon wheels (most likely those shared with the Jeep CJ-7) and Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.

2238.jpg

For 1979, the Blazer tooling was modified and appended to make a GMC Jimmy. Modifications to the original Blazer include the grille and a bulge in the hood. Options include a bull bar, roof-mounted lights, sunroof, and fender flares. Kit 2248, molded in white plastic. Wheels are 6-bolt, 5-slot mags and Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.

2248.jpg

For 1980, the Jimmy tooling was reverted back to a Blazer to represent a generic law enforcement vehicle. This issue retains the Jimmy’s 5-slot mags and optional parts, as well as a set of headers. Kit 2249, molded in red/orange plastic. This issue seems to have been run at least twice. Options include roof-mounted light bar with siren horn and decals for Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department. Tires are Goodyear Tracker A-Ts. Second run replaced the Goodyears with PCV Desert Dawgs; an instruction sheet insert was issued indicating the tire change.

2249.jpg

Also in 1980, the original 1977 tooling of the Chevrolet stepside pickup was reissued. This kit, 2264, was molded in yellow plastic and retains all the original components. Wheels are GM 6-bolt rallye rims and Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.

2264.JPG

For 1981, Monogram introduced their High Roller series of kits with lifted suspension and big tires. The only GM pickup representation was the GMC styleside pickup from 1978. Modifications to the tooling include raised suspension and lengthened driveshafts. Kit 2273, molded in red/orange plastic. Box art shows 6-bolt, 10-hole GM mags with Ground Hawg tires. Box actually contains 5-bolt chrome wagon wheels specially tooled for the Ground Hawg tires.

2273.jpg

The Blazer tooling was revisited in 1982 to represent a pulling truck. This issue, boxed as the Pulldozer and number 2295 was molded in yellow plastic. Modifications to the original tooling include raised suspension with ladder bars; omission of front bumper, stock seats, removable roof and glass; front support frame, weights and tank; hole cut in hood for direct headers, high-rise intake manifold with dual carbs and individual air cleaners; rear pintle hitch; single racing bucket seat, and; a roll bar with lights and fire extinguisher. Wheels are incorrect 5-bolt chrome wagon wheels specially tooled for the Ground Hawg tires.

2295.JPG

With a monster truck craze sweeping the nation in 1985, the GM pickup tooling was revisited again. The first kit issued was the Monster Mash, kit 2420. This kit uses the styleside bed from the GMC and the cab and grille from the Chevrolet. A new hood was molded to allow the high-rise intake manifold to stick out. Suspension was modified to depict a typical mid-80s monster truck. Options include roll bar with lights. Molded in red plastic. Wheels are generic monster truck rolling stock.

2420.jpg

The second monster truck for 1985 was the Hammerhead Shark, kit 2421. This is a straight reissue of the Monster Mash, molded in blue plastic and different decals.

2421.jpg

Keeping with the monster truck craze, the Monster Mash kit was reissued twice in 1990. Kit 2426 was molded in yellow plastic and issued as the Demolisher; a second issue, kit 2427, was molded in pink plastic as the Ground Pounder.

demolisher.jpg

2427.jpg

The tooling sat dormant until 1992 when Monogram decided to reissue the original stepside tooling once more. Boxed as kit 2963, this issue seems to have had two runs; one in blue plastic and one in aqua plastic. Box contents are identical to 1977 and 1980 issues with the exception of a new decal sheet.

2963.JPG

After the purchase of Monogram, Revell decided to revisit the Blazer tooling in 2000. This was boxed as the “Mad Mudder” Chevy Truck and is a straight reissue of the Pulldozer with a new decal sheet and molded in white plastic. Revell kit 85-2584.

REV2584.jpg

And finally in 2012, Revell revisited the tooling once again to release a stock GMC styleside pickup. Options are the same as the original 1978 issue, with the addition of an optional snow plow and the Chevrolet’s tailgate mounted spare tire carrier and jerry can. Revell kit 85-7222, molded in white plastic. Wheels are GM 10-hole mags and blank sidewall tires (Goodyear Tracker A-Ts).

Originally posted on Model Cars Magazine message board 6 March 2012. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

History of Monogram’s Dodge Ramcharger Kit

Monogram originally released the Dodge Ramcharger in 1980. The kit was molded in off-white, carried the stock number 2263, and depicted the 1979-1980 body style. This kit depicts a stock, four wheel drive model of the Ramcharger. Options include a CB radio/antenna and a roll bar. Wheels are 5-slot mags with Goodyear Tracker A-Ts.
2263.jpg

Carrying on with the company-wide High Roller theme, in 1981 the Ramcharger was reissued. Kit 2272, this issue features the raised suspension and Ground Hawg tires common to the High Roller series. Molded in yellow plastic, this version adds aftermarket bumpers, side steps, off-road lights, roof rack, and fender flares. Rims for this version are chrome wagon wheels.
2272.jpg

After Monogram’s acquisition of Revell,, they decided to reissue the Ramcharger again in 1992 as a Revell-branded kit. This issue, 85-7242, was bundled with a trailer and boat, following along with a set of tow-vehicle-trailer-and-boat series Revell was marketing at the time. This version is molded in white plastic and contains all the components of the original 1980 release with the addition of a trailer hitch.
rev7242.JPG

Possibly as a result of consumer requests or a search of available back catalogue kits to reissue for minimum cost, Revell reissued the Ramcharger again in 2016. Again molded in white with a refreshed version of the original decal sheet that depicts the available Top Hand graphics package, this kit was issued as part of the Trucks series and given the number 85-4732.

Originally posted on Model Cars Magazine message board 8 March 2012. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

History of MPC’s Rounded Line Truck Kits

Let’s go back in time to 1977: GM’s new Rounded Line pickups have been on the market for almost five years and MPC has gotten wind that Monogram is going to be releasing a kit of this truck. Not to be outdone by the competition, the fine folks at MPC tool up a kit of this body style in their best-selling 1:25 scale. They even went as far as including extra parts to build different versions of the truck.

The first offering was released in late 1977 as well as in 1978 in boxes that proclaim first NEW and then 1978, as was their trend at the time with annuals. The depicted truck is a Scottsdale 10 trim, which is the entry level package with little exterior chrome and a bench seat. The bed is a one-piece stepside with opening tailgate. The engine is a standard Chevy small-block, comes with stock valve covers and chromed, finned valve covers, and is mated to a Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. This version of the kit included two wheel options, side exhaust pipes, high-rise intake manifold with hat, custom grille with quad-square lights, and some wild decals. Curiously, the box art trucks have no mirrors. Molded in white, stock number 1-7814.

As of this writing, this was the only 2WD offering of this tooling.

Next up was a full-on off-road version, complete with bull bar, off-road lights, winch, tow hooks, roll bar, rear-mounted spare with jerry can, and fender flares. Rolling stock included generic spoked wagon wheels with MPC’s staple Formula Desert Dog PCV tires. A set of tri-pod, low mount mirrors are included. The grille for this version depicts the 1977-78 style. Molded in red, stock number 1-0416, issued in 1978.

Again in 1978 another version of this kit was released with different decals as the Dust Devil. This version included a set of bucket seats and a console but curiously the engraving remained the Scottsdale trim. Box art shows a stock 2WD version as well as the off-roader but there are no other indications that the kit has multiple build options. Mirrors remain the same tri-pod style.This time the grille was modified with a larger chrome surround for the 1979 model year. Molded in black, stock number 1-0419.

A third run of the tooling was made in 1978, this time as a Super Dualie (sic). Still a stepside bed, extra-wide fenders cover the extra set of wheels out back. A hood scoop is also included to cover the high-rise intake manifold that returns from the original issue. Also unique to this issue is the heavy-duty front bumper and grille guard. The only grille available for this build is the same custom tube grille, also from the original issue. Mirrors are the tri-pod style. Molded in black, stock number 1-0424.

Sometime in 1979 the tooling was slightly modified to accomodate the new-for-1980 grille, which would end up being a single year offering. This time the kit was branded as the Mule Skinner and was otherwise a straight reissue of the Dust Devil. The tri-pod mirrors carry on. Molded in red, stock number 1-0433.

The tooling was adjusted again in 1980, this time for the new 1981 body style. This involved not only a new grille, but altering the fenders and hood and a new front bumper with integral turn signals. The box art depicts the Scottsdale 10 engraving in the 1973-80 location above the beltline, however the actual kit has Custom Deluxe 20 engraving just below the beltline. The fender flares from the previous issues are included, however they no longer fit the front fenders. The only off-road accessories remaining are the roll bar with off-road lights, a CB antenna, and tailgate mounted spare tire carrier with jerry can. Molded in yellow, stock number 1-0440.

The tooling was again refreshed in 1981 to depict a 1982 model truck, which was little changed from the 1981. Differences in this kit include a new set of rims closely matching GM’s 8-hole aluminium offerings. A new grille guard was included and the hood scoop last seen in the Super Dualie returns. The tailgate mounted spare tire carrier and jerry can were dropped. All other accessories are carryovers from the Sodbuster. Molded in blue, stock number 1-0444.

Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the TV show The Fall Guy, MPC made the most radical changes to the tooling to date in 1982. The Custom Deluxe 20 engraving was stripped from the fenders and a new 1983-84 style GMC grille was tooled. Although the TV truck was actually an eight foot bed, the kit offering was a six foot bed. Other major change include an all-new, one piece, full width bed with opening tailgate. Suspension blocks were added to the kit to reflect the TV truck’s lifted suspension with larger wheels. The rims and tires were borrowed from the 1/16 scale Chevy truck. A new grille guard with off-road lights and winch was included, as well as a new, chromed roll-bar with off-road lights. Mirrors are the high-mount flag type. The box-art build shows a Chevy grille however the kit contents are the GMC 81-82 style. Molded in brown, kit 1-0673.

Again hoping to capitalize on the popularity of a TV show, this kit was trotted out again with some minor changes to depict Judge Hardcastle’s truck from Hardcastle and McCormick. The stepside bed returns, this time with a new GMC tailgate. The bench seat, which was last seen in the 1978 off-road release, is back once again. The window “glass” for this version was molded tinted rather than clear. A completely new chrome sprue was tooled up for this issue, updating the grille to the 83-84 style, spotlights, and new, custom wheels. The grille guard from the Ground Shaker returns, as well as the older-style roll bar. Molded in silver, stock number 1-0450.

Sadly, MPC came on hard times and was eventually purchased by AMT/Ertl. This tooling sat dormant until 2005 when it was trotted out again. This issue was a combination of the Fall Guy and Hardcastle kits, resulting in the incorrect bumper/grille combination and too-big rims. A departure from the two kits combined to make it, this kit came with clear window “glass” rather than tinted. This version was issued in 2005, 2006, and again in 2007. The first two issues were molded in AMT grey while the 2007 issue was molded in white. AMT stock numbers 38363, 31939, and 38583, respectively.

In a slightly related tooling, MPC introduced a snap kit Blazer in 1978. The tooling appears to share some pieces with the pickup line. Curiously, although released in 1978 the truck depicted is actually a 1975-76 style with the full-length removable roof. The front bumper includes an integral bull bar and off-road lights. Another set of off-road lights are included for the roof. The rims appear to be the same generic spoked wagon wheels as the pickups but the tires are two-piece plastic versions rather than vinyl. Side mirrors are the small, paddle style. Molded in yellow, black, and tan, stock number 1-3304.

In 1979 the Blazer was re-issued as a rescue vehicle. All the accessories from the first issue are included and a light bar is added. This version is molded in three colours: white for the body, tan for the interior, and black for the chassis plate and suspension. Stock number 1-3307.

After a long absence, this kit was brought out by AMT in 2007 (a good year for these kits). This version is a straight reissue of the Rescue Van, with the exception of being molded entirely in AMT grey. Stock number 38597.

Round 2 saw fit to reissue the Blazer snap kit again in 2013 as the MPC-branded Rescue Van. Still molded in three colours and with the same decal sheet, listed as MPC797.

After much wait and surely fielding lots of requests, Round 2 finally reissued the GMC pickup version of this tool in 2016, identical to the last RC2-era issues. This time branded as the MPC Deserter, this version was molded in all black or all white with a sticker on the box indicating which colour is inside. Given the stock number MPC917 regardless of colour.

Originally posted on Model Cars Magazine message board 4 March 2013. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

History of Revell’s Squarebody Truck Kits

I confess that I had no love for the Revell squarebody kits. That being said, once I started researching this tooling due to many requests and confusions with the Monogram squarebody kits, I discovered that out of the three manufacturers the Revell version is the most diverse. I have catalogued 22 different issues of this tooling spanning from 1978 through to 2012. The Revell kit also has the distinction of being the only squarebody kit ever issued in ensemble packs with trailers and various accessories. I don’t claim this article to be the be-all-and-end-all of this tooling’s history, and in fact there is one kit for which I only have a box cover image and no other information. During my research, more kits popped up that I never knew existed and I will be pleased to add more information to this article as new information surfaces. So, let us begin!

From what I have been able to determine, this tooling was first issued in 1978, barely recognizable as a GM pickup, in the form of the Sneaky Pete California Pickup. This kit depicts a heavily customized pickup with a big rig Peterbilt style front clip, big rig style wheels, exhaust stacks, bed rails, and a California Stepside bed (aside: California Stepside was a customizing company that offered stepside beds for full-size and quarter-ton pickups. They could be installed on any short-wheelbase pickup from any manufacturer). A separate cab roof insert piece was included that added clearance lights and mounted bosses for air horns. This kit was marketed as a glue kit with a very simplified chassis and molded in brown. Released under two different stock numbers, H-1379 and H-1380, with two box art versions.

This same tooling was also offered as the Midnite Cowboy Custom Chevy Wrecker, offering a clue as to the base pickup this kit was based on. This version replaced the California Stepside bed with a wrecker body and was again marketed as a glue kit. Released as stock number H-1383 and molded in black, this kit was also released in 1978.

Hoping to maximize the potential of this new tooling, Revell finished up the Chevrolet body adding a stock front clip but retaining the same simplified chassis and California Stepside bed. The Ice Patrol California Pickup kit was also released in 1978 and included off-road accessories, exhaust stacks, and a snowmobile. The cab roof opening was re-shaped slightly for a sunroof in place of the clearance lights. Molded in blue, this kit was issued with the stock number H-1384.

In 1978, the US’s favourite down-home country boy was none other than President Jimmy Carter’s little brother Billy. Simply by virtue of being the sitting president’s brother, Billy Carter was afforded celebrity status and managed to bumble his way through many official duties (see his Wikipedia article). Hoping to capitalize on his fame, Revell modified their squarebody kit to reflect a replica Billy’s “Redneck Power” Pickup. This version added a wood front push bumper, wood beside rails, and a bed cargo of beer bottles and other “redneck” gear. The original clearance light cab roof insert was used. This was the last version of this tooling released in 1978, molded in white and with the stock number H-1385.

In 1979, a new tooling intended for release as a line of snap kits was created based on the glue kit line Revell had been issuing. This new tooling included 4×4 suspension and was molded as a Blazer and a pickup with the same body dimensions as a Blazer. The first kit issued with this new tooling was the Chevy 4×4 Pickup. Molded in tan and black, this kit included a one-piece pickup body, molded fender flares, Fey rear step bumper, Hickey front bumper with winch and grille guard, and Jackman wheels. The cab roof of this version was completely closed. This kit was issued under the stock number 6200.

The same basic kit was also offered as a Blazer, which added the Blazer’s removable hard top and removed the rear cab wall bulkhead. This version added a different front bumper but used the same wheels and rear bumper as the pickup, plus the addition of a roof rack with cargo that snapped into the molded in hardtop. Molded in grey and black, this kit was released in 1979 with the stock number 6204.

The Blazer was reissued again in 1979 with different decals as the Chevy Mudslinger, this time molded in tan and black. Other than the decals, this was a straight reissue of kit 6204. This version was given the stock number 6217.

The glue kit made a re-appearance in 1979 as the Big Red California Pickup. This was a straight re-issue of Billy Carter’s Redneck Power pickup, only this time molded in red and given the stock number 7305. This would be the last stock pickup version with the clearance light cab insert.

For 1980, the glue tooling was heavily modified to produce the Big 6 Wheeler. This kit included many big rig accessories including a new grille and front clip, sleeper, and a long-wheelbase dually bed. The cab front the glue kit was modified to include a molded-in sunvisor and engine, and a hood scoop was added to the hood. The original cab roof insert was used. Released as a snap kit under the stock number H-6407, this kit was issued in red and black in the US and Canada and in blue and black under the Lodela brand in Mexico.

Again in 1980, the Big 6 Wheeler tooling was modified to return the cab’s front clip to a stock pickup. The dually bed was replaced with a Holmes wrecker body, and the grille was modified to resemble a 1979 GMC only with no emblem. Also new to this version was a combination front push bumper and grille guard. This version was labeled as the Captain Hook Wrecker, molded in black, and issued under the stock number 6408.

Hoping to capitalize on popular TV show themed kits, Revell reissued the first version snap pickup as Jon’s Chevy 4×4 from the show CHiPs. The actual kit, however, ended up having only the decals and body colour in common with the truck it was attempting to depict… A straight re-issue of kit 6200, this version was molded in blue and black and given the stock number 6421.

In the first of several combination kits, the glue kit last seen as the Big Red California Pickup was re-issued in 1981 as Mr. Sandman bundled with a sand rail-type off-road vehicle and a trailer. Molded in yellow and black, this was issued under stock number 7404.

In 1980 a new toy was sweeping the nation: the Stomper. These little battery powered 4×4 toys originally depicted a Chevy Blazer, Ford Bronco, Jeep Honcho, and a Dodge Warlock. In a licensing agreement with the owner of these small toys, Revell (now owned by Ceji) released a line of kits using existing tooling of Stomper vehicles adding the Stomper 4×4 wheels and lifted suspension. The first Stomper kit was the Blazer, and featured the same decals as the smaller, battery-powered version. Molded in black, this kit was issued under the stock number 6423.

A second Stomper kit was issued, this time on the snap pickup tooling. No other information is known about this kit at this time.

Sometime between 1980 and 1984 the snap kit pickup was re-issued, this time molded in blue and black. No other information is known about this kit at this time.

The second of the Revell squarebody combination kits was released in 1984. This issue featured the snap kit pickup molded in red and black accompanied by two dirt bikes and the same trailer as the Mr. Sandman kit. Issued with stock number 6411.

Also in 1984, a third combination kit was issued combining the Stomper Blazer with the same dune buggy and trailer as the Mr. Sandman kit only with stomper wheels for the trailer as well. Molded in white and black with the stock number 6508.

As part of a company-wide licensing agreement, Revell issued many kits under the HOT ROD Magazine label. One of these kits was the glue kit Chevy pickup. The kit was modified to include a front roll pan, rear drag slicks, sleek mirrors, and zoomie-style exhaust. All other accessories previously issued with this kit were not included. Molded in black, this kit was issued under the stock number 7135 in 1987.

This same kit was also issued in 1996 with different box art but curiously the same stock number. Again, molded in black.

This same version of the pickup was issued in a special promotional twin pack at K-mart stores bundled with a 1956 Ford F-100. This version was molded in dark green and featured green versions of the HOT ROD decals.

The fourth and last combination kit (to date) was issued in 1990. This version included the same glue pickup as the HOT ROD issue and was paired up with a Mach I racing boat and trailer. This kit was molded in white for the pickup and blue for the boat and trailer under the stock number 7240.

The Captain Hook wrecker was issued again in 1994, this time simply called Wrecker Truck. This version was molded in red under the stock number 6393.

The original Sneaky Pete/Midnite Cowboy tooling was issued again in 2001, not having seen store shelves since 1978. This kit was part of the Blacktop Warriors theme and labeled the Alley Rat. A straight re-issue of the Sneaky Pete, this version was molded in black and given the stock number 2145.

The street version of the glue kit pickup was again issued in 2004 as the 76 [sic] Chevy Street Pickup. This version was molded in yellow and featured the same decals as the HOT ROD Magazine issue. Stock number 0806.

This same issue was also boxed in a Walmart only issue in the Motorworks series and included a tube of Testors glue. Molded in yellow with the same stock number.

The wrecker snap kit was re-issued again in 2012 as the ’77 [sic] GMC Wrecker Truck, curiously as a glue kit. The only modifications to the kit since the 1994 issue were new decals and inclusion of Goodyear Tracker A/T tires instead of the original plastic tires. Molded in white, this latest version was issued under the stock number 7220.

Originally posted on Model Cars Magazine message board 19 May 2013. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.

History of Revell’s 1980-86 Ford Trucks

The first kit on the shelves was the Ford Off-Road Bronco, released in 1980 as kit #7307. This kit depicts a custom four wheel drive Bronco with one-piece body (rear roof not removable), grille guard and off-road lights, off-road light bar on roof, sunroof, CB antennae, spare tire carrier with cover, gas cans and carrier, entry steps, and molded-in fender flares. The engine is a crude, simplified small-block Ford. The front suspension on the Bronco kits is a new-for-1980 twin-traction beam setup, however incorrectly depicted as leaf sprung (Bronco and half-ton pickup front suspensions were coil sprung). Wheels are generic wagon wheels shared with other Revell glue kits of the era with rubber Goodyear Wrangler R/Ts. Molded in yellow and black with no chrome and tinted “glass.”

Also in 1980, another version of the Bronco was released as the LA Sheriff’s Bronco with kit #7308. The custom options in this issue were modified for a police vehicle and include all the same options in the original issue save for the roof light bar being replaced with a police light bar. The light bar itself was a single piece on a new chrome tree with blue and red decals. The wheels and tires are the same as found in the original issue, with the exception of the rims being chromed. Molded in black and chrome with tinted “glass.”

For 1981, the Bronco’s basic tooling design was copied and modified for a line of snap kit pickups. The first kit on the shelves was the Ford Styleside 4×4 Pickup, released as kit #6411. Issued as part of the Snap Kit line, this regular cab, short styleside box truck depicts a custom pickup with bull bar and driving lights, roll bar and off-road lights. The engine is a crude small-block Ford simplified for snap kits. The wheels are a generic wagon wheel shared with other Revell snap kits of the era and the tires are two-piece hard plastic Goodyear Tracker A-Ts. The front suspension was modified from the leaf-sprung TTB to a correct-for-pickups coil-sprung TTB. The kit is molded in red and black with no chrome and tinted “glass.” To date this is the only scale release of a styleside 80-86 pickup bed, albeit a bit slab-sided.

The next kit out was also released in 1981 and was the Night Rider Ford Flareside 4×4. This issue switched the styleside bed for a flareside bed, and also switched the wheels to five-slot wheels similar to those offered in the Free Wheeling package on sixth generation F-series trucks. The custom options available are the same as the original issue with the roll bar being modified for the narrower flareside bed. Molded all in black with no chrome and tinted “glass.” The original 1981 issue carried stock number 6414 with a 1990 re-issue carrying stock number 6439.

The last pickup released in this line was once again also released in 1981 with the stock number 6415 as the Ford 6-Wheeler Pickup. This version depicts a regular cab, short box, four wheel drive dually pickup, a rather rare combination. Custom options for this version are limited to the bull bar and driving lights. The wheels are Alcoa aluminium dually rims with the same two-piece plastic Goodyear Tracker A-Ts as the previous issues.. This kit was molded in orange and black for the domestic market with international market releases molded in white. No chrome and tinted “glass.”

The Bronco tooling was re-issued in 1982 as the Custom Bronco. This version is an almost straight reissue of the original, replacing the chromed police light bar for the original off-road light bar. Molded in black and chrome with tinted “glass” and released with the stock number 7334.

The final kit released in this tooling family was issued in 1990 as part of the combo kit Yamaha Formula One Team with a trailer and racing boat. This issue marks the biggest departure from the original tooling as the mounting holes for the roof light bar and the CB antennae are covered over, the gas can carrier is omitted (the extra hinges on the body remain), and the wheels and tire are new for this issue (five-hole swirl mags and Goodyear GT Radials shared with the Monogram eighth generation F-series kits). Molded in white and chrome with clear “glass” and kit number 7241.

As with other Revell kits of the era, this line of kits is somewhat crude and simplified and frought with errors. The Bronco front suspension is all wrong and should be under the 6-Wheeler instead. The bodies on the pickups are pretty slab-sided with no curvature on the bottom of the body. However, when compared side-by-side with the comparable Monogram Bronco and pickup kits, the body proportions are much better and with some effort and parts-swapping can be built into nice kits!

Originally posted on the Model Cars Magazine message board 27 March 2014. If you would like to share this article, please remember to credit the source.