|Vehicles here are mostly Hot Wheels, but there are a few Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines to fill out the collection.
There are countless scales and manufacturers to choose from to play Machinas, but I will focus on just a few that I use, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines - all 1:64 scale.
Something I don't mention in the descriptions below is that all my cars are pre-1960 models. In the Machinas background, the (nuclear) apocalypse occurred in 1959. So if you want a more authentic Machinas experience, use only car models from 1959 and older. My personal favorite below for availability of pre-1960 models is M2 Machines; their Auto-thentics line is almost entirely made up of cars from before 1960.
|'53 Chevy custom. From the Hot Wheels Wiki
The only thing I don't like about Hot Wheels is that the bodies and frames are riveted together, and the only way to get them apart is with a Dremel tool and a steady hand. If all you're going to do is glue weapons to the body, then - rivets be damned - Hot Wheels is your best choice.
Pros: Cheap, available, NUMEROUS choices to pick from
Cons: Difficult to convert if you don't have the right tools
|Matchbox checkered cab. From the Matchbox wiki
I don't actually have any Matchbox cars in my collection, so I can't comment on the construction and conversion possibilities.
Pros: Everything about Hot Wheels is just the same with Matchbox
Cons(?): Quality of the sculpts might be a touch less than Hot Wheels, (but really not enough to make a difference, in my opinion), not an as expansive choice as Hot Wheels
|'57 Buick custom. This was one of my very first
Machinas cars. Copyright RC2 Corp.
|'71 Chevy Chevelle ready to chase down the
Nightrider. Copyright RC2 Corp.
Johnny Lightning cars are a bit more pricey than Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Whereas the former brands are usually just under $1 per car, Johnny Lightning cars are around $3 to $4 per car. But that price range isn't that bad, especially if you're looking for a specific car model not available from the other brands.
Again, these cars have that rivet construction, so be prepared to do some work if you want to do any heavy mods.
Pros: Nicer looking models, great "not"-movie cars, enough of a different variety than more common brands to help fill out your collection with your favorite cars.
Cons: A little more pricey, construction seems a bit flimsy
|Auto-thentics '58 Impala. Copyright Castline Inc.
One thing I like to do is to take out the smaller engines (use gentle force if you try this) of some cars, and replace them with larger engines I've pulled from one of my Hot Wheels. If you prefer to have the hoods down, you might still remove the engines to save for a later conversion. All of this is also made easy in that the frames and bodies of the cars are put together with one or two small screws -- no rivets to knock out and glue back together!
I do have one minor gripe and that's with the interiors. The modelling is OK, but the construction seems a little flimsy. Windows seem to push in easy, and dashboards don't seem to be firmly fastened down. If this is something that bothers you, then keep to the other brands- especially if you don't want to pay the price for these cars (see below.) Personally, I don't mind. Since I cover most of the windows up with armor, blocking the view to the inside, I rip out the interiors and add the pieces to my bits box.
Other items of plastic, such as bumpers and exhaust pipes are also a bit flimsy. These cars are meant for display (and will stand up just fine to Machinas play), but are not meant for the kids. Again, since I'm putting a hell of a lot of glue and green stuff on these cars, anyway, the somewhat subpar construction doesn't bug me too much.
So what kind of cars are there?
|Auto Projects '58 Plymouth Fury. Copyright Castline Inc.
|"Drivers" line: '70 Ford Torino Cobra. Copyright Castline Inc.
If you don't want to stick to the Machinas background, M2 also has plenty of Detroit muscle cars (M2 even has a line devoted and so named "Detroit Muscle.")
Now for the bad news
These cars aren't cheap. they'll run you from $4 to $7 each. So I'd reserve these cars for when there's a specific model you just have to have and can't find in the other brands.
|Did I mention M2 makes limos! They can be found in the
Stretch Rods line.
My latest purchase was actually through Amazon; I bought a 6-pack of Auto-thentics cars for $30, which isn't too bad for M2s. And since the six pack was sold direct through Amazon, shipping was free. So if you like M2, do your research and shop around: The price discounts are out there.
Pros: Beautiful cars, plenty of pre-1960 choices as well as American muscle cars, easy to take apart and reassemble (with a small screwdriver), Auto Projects line has half the work done for you already.
Cons: Some plastic parts don't seem firmly attached, most expensive of all the options talked about here