By on August 24, 2012

I still haven’t gotten around to building my 1/25 scale Billy Carter Redneck Power Pickup kit, but that won’t stop me from adding more projects to my “get to it someday” collection… which I’m about to do, now that TTAC reader Neb has pulled my coat about the huge lineup of 1960s and 1970s plastic model kits being made from the original tooling by Round2 Models.
How about a groovy Meyers Manx in 1/25th scale?
Naturally, the van kits have great great appeal for me. The 1/32-scale Zingers, with their absurdly oversize engines, look like fun.
However, Dirty Donny’s Vantasy would be just about right for my office, especially if I install little speakers inside the van to play “Dream Weaver” on an endless loop.
If you’re going to build a classic Detroit machine from the 1960s, it’s always best to skip the Camaros and Chargers in favor of the 421 Super Duty Pontiac Catalina. This kit comes with parts and decals that let you choose between street or strip version.
Having put endless hours into an AMT kit, I must issue the caveat that these models probably aren’t quite up to the fit-and-finish level you’ll get from kits made for the super-obsessive Japanese kit-builder market. This means you’ll need to make with the sandpaper and Model Bondo— just like with real Detroit cars!
In addition to the car stuff, you can get Star Trek, KISS, Munsters, and so on. Murilee says check it out!

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23 Comments on “Vantasy and Superwagon: Vintage AMT and MPC Model Kits Back In Production...”


  • avatar
    eldo500

    These are so great. I’d love to get these as framed prints.

    I always loved the ridiculous “Vandal” model as a kid. So incredibly silly and over-the-top with its bubble canopy for the driver and the blown, smokestacked mill riding shotgun. And on top of all that awesomeness, they threw in a free minibike!

  • avatar
    eldo500

    These are so great. I’d love to get these as framed prints.

    I always loved the ridiculous “Vandal” model as a kid. So incredibly silly and over-the-top with its bubble canopy for the driver and the blown, smokestacked mill riding shotgun. And on top of all that awesomeness, they threw in a free minibike!

    http://www.scalemates.com/products/img/115044-10592.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Neb

      I think I’m going to get that Gremlin. (On Round2’s site you can browse the instructions on the various kits; it’s nice be3cause you get to see the build options before you buy.) Looking at the Gremlin, I’m astonished how much room there is in the engine bay; even with the V8. The light blue is a nice shade, but I have a lime green that just screams 1976…

      The Vantasy looks fun, too: I was thinking of doing it as a white van and stenciling something nonsensical on the side, like “VAN” or “HORSEFORMER” in block letters. But this tiny speaker idea might be too good not to swipe :P

      Oh, and a weird thing I discovered: AMT stands for “Aluminum Model Toys”, and the company originally made car models out of aluminum – as promotional props for use by dealerships.

    • 0 avatar
      Hobie-wan

      I have a Vandal that I put together poorly when I was little. When it was released again in about 1998 or so I grabbed another. It is on my ‘someday’ pile of models too, but hey. I had also grabbed a Battlestar Galactica Viper and Raider that were re-released around the same time.

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    Off to look for mid sixties Mopar wagon kits

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    Vantasy! Oh man that brings me back…

    I was a kid growing up in the 80s. About 1983 or 1984, a hippie couple moved in a few houses down. They had a black shag van (Dodge Tradesman) that was called “Vantasy.” Sweet murals on the sides, and Bordello Burgundy tufted vinyl on the doors. That’s all I saw. My mom wouldn’t let me near that van!

    Murilee, your tiny speaker idea has promise! I used to have original Star Wars SSP vans, sold them on eBay a while back because I needed cash. I wish I still had them…put tiny speakers in them and play the disco version of “Star Wars” on an endless loop ;)

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Ahh… Takes me back to my days in the military; when I was a member in high standing of the KIϟϟ Army.
    ;-)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I had models of just about every airplane out there, but alas, no cars. I wasn’t interested in cars until age 14, the day dad drove home with a beautiful, used, 5-year-old 1960 Impala Sports Sedan.

    Then my love of cars, especially my Impala love began!

    That same year (1965), I bought a model of a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, sprayed it racing orange according to the picture on the box, affixed all the decals including a large number decal on the doors and took several B&W photos against various backgrounds trying to pose it as a real, full-size car! Through the eyes of a kid, it looked pretty good. Wish I’d kept the pics.

    Woolworth’s had a model car contest every summer in town, of course I entered my model…I didn’t win a thing, but it was fun.

    Compared to some of the models, I was seriously out-classed!

    Model car & plane career over. Sure was fun blowing up all my model collection with firecrackers that year!

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    I’m seriously tempted to buy one of those Chevelle wagons and build it as a horrifyingly rusty homage to Speedycop’s ’65 Impala. I did up an early-’80s Dodge Ram 50 (Mitsubishi) that way… might still be in a box somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Slightly related..just watched an episode of Gearz where he had an early 1970s Chevy Chevelle wagon, painted dark brown with white top…and it had a LS1 engine in it! Part of me had a deranged desire to own that vehicle after seeing him lay down some seriously stupid amounts of rubber in it…talk about your dog hauler!

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    The 1970’s graphics look swell, but heed Murilee’s warning- these AMT kits, along with all the other american model kit makers, were pretty low quality. Frankly it’s a disappointment every time you open the box. Unlike the much, much higher quality Tamiya models. The other japanese model kit makers like Fujimi were not as good as Tamiya, but pretty close. At least there is no disappointment when you open the box.

    The Tamiya 1/12 scale motorcycle model kits were some of the most meticulous and fantastic looking model kits ever made.

    • 0 avatar
      Neb

      It’s true the kits won’t contain real rubber wheels like Tamiya kits do. Though, that’s kind of like expecting an AMC Gremlin to perform like a Japanese subcompact. Both are from another era, and judging them by modern standards doesn’t strike me as fair.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Rat Fink lives! Spoiler alert: Actually he still does, there’s an Ed Roth website.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      We’re still trying to figure out a means of adding LED lights to the eyes of my Rat Fink door lock knob kits. Compared to that, dealing with the rusticles in the project car was child’s play.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Yowza, I see they have some of my childhood favorites. However, I remember the original ’55 Nomad kit coming with parts to customize it into an El Camino precursor. Does anyone else recall that or am I making this up? I didn’t build mine that way back then, but I did cut out the C-pillars and paint over the windows to make a Nomad sedan delivery.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    {click} {scan} Bummer; no glow-in-the-dark Leif Ericson space cruiser model kit.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    next best thing to the fountain of youth……
    AMT!!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Nice to see hobbying come back in this hi-tech age. Back in the late 60’s early 70’s the young car geek in me used to build these. AMT, Revell etc. All priced around $2 or so. The only problem was when I used to go to the hobby store, Woolworth or WT Grant to buy the kit the salesperson would not want to sell me the airplane cement to go with it. These were the days when glue huffing was apparently a big fad. So my 10-12 year old self would argue with the clerk and tell them all I wanted to do was build my kit. Really? a pre-teen with a glue sniffing issue as hippydom swirled about. They would always tell me to get my parent to purchase it. So I would buy the kit and then have my folks come back to buy the glue or my dad always had a leftover tube in his workshop.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Testors made a “safe” glue that came in green tubes (the real stuff came in orange tubes). It sucked.

    I’m from the hippie era and I knew no one who would even consider sniffing glue, although I did have a friend who drank a good part of a bottle of Robitussin trying to get a buzz.

    I built more than my share of AMT kits after moving on from model airplanes. The chromed parts needed to be scraped before being glued.

  • avatar
    Neb

    Custom Van dreamers take note: you now have a choice of a Ford or a Chevy van. It’s not on the round2 web site as of yet, but a local hobby shop just got them in:

    http://www.militaryhobbies.ca/product.cfm?ProductID=9299

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    You know…somewhere out there. Somebody has bought that “Vantasy” model kit and installing a little speaker to play “Dream Weaver.”

    That van will be presented to Murlilee as a bribe at a future LeMons race.

    Oh man I wish I were a LeMons racer!!


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