Well, finally the major toy makers cranking out those beautiful large 1/18th scale opening doors, opening hood and opening trunk heavy metal models in China--are going to do the 1968 and 1969 AMX two-seater. Yes, the news came out weeks ago on the internet, but there some interesting sidenotes you will only read about in hard copy here.
Ertl announced they were going to do the AMX, but still needed serious help and advice with the project. So, they looked up The Classic AMX Club, International on the net and the Ertl manager in charge called the club and got hooked up with leading AMX historian "Uncle Larry" Mitchell. First, they needed a 1968 AMX to photograph to capture the details of the body, the trunk, the interior and the engine bay. It had to be dead stock and CACI National Best of Show quality. Uncle Larry sent Ertl photographers to Dan Behymer’s 1968 Matador Red car in nearby Minnesota. They then needed a 1969 AMX and Uncle Larry sent them to Kenosha for Mike and Mark Knapp’s 1969 1/2 Big Bad Green AMX. So, the Knapp brothers and Dan have the honor of having their AMXs used for modeling the new toys.
Ertl then needed samples of interior fabrics and colors of interiors, exteriors and the 390 engines. Larry took the chance and sent them original brochures and even rare Color and Upholstery Binders. The company was grateful. Larry was satisfied that the AMXs are going to as right as can be from an historical point of view.
Finally, the Marketing Department at Ertl had picked some external body colors like Saturn Blue and Willow Green. Larry spent a Sunday afternoon suggesting external, internal and stripe color combinations he felt would be much more welcomed by the AMC hobby which is where most of these cars will be sold in the next few years. As of pressdate of September 4, 1999, Ertl has decided for sure to do Matador Red cars, Frost White cars, and the three Big Bad Colors for 1969. Interior colors and stripe colors are still up in the air as well as other exterior colors. Big Bad Orange and Big Bad Blue will be released with the first batch scheduled to be available to the public in June of 2000. Big Bad Green will be in the second batch a few months later. Because costs to make the AMXs will be the same as, say a 1969 GTO, and sales of the AMXs will be only 1/3 of the GTO cars, the AMXs might have to be sold for up to $39.95 suggested retail.
A very limited run of the cars are planned in chrome plate and goldtone plate, expect only a hundred or so. These cars will be given away to a handful of people who helped with the project and possibly sold to selected general public, we don’t know. If sold outright, these cars could go for a few hundred bucks each as they will be the most collectible AMX models of the lot.
Ertl is also considering a Limited Edition racecar. Larry has suggested the 1968 Breedlove Records Car in hash red, white and blue and this is high on the list, but the car would require a custom race interior with a tin dash overlay with racing gauges, fiberglass bucket racing seats and no door panels, carpet, etc. This car would require a special interior verses the stock cars and also a race-modified engine. That adds a lot to the costs of the model and jacks up the price even more. Larry and Ertl agree, the cars have to be sold on toystore shelves to the general public as the AMC hobby alone will not sell enough cars to make the stockholders a fair return on investment. And too high a price will sink sales. A second choice is Shirley Shahan’s SS/AMX with a Stock interior, but a hood scoop (easy) and a 390 with dual quads and headers and Cragar mags. An outside decal pack would have to be made, no big deal, but adding to the price. A third choice is a hash red, white and blue generic SS/AMX with no lettering. Ertl is considering what one combination of the three to do and a private company in Minnesota is also considering a special, limited production racing version AMX based on the Ertl cars. More on that as we learn what either is going to do.
Save your bucks for summer 2000 as we need to buy enough of the 1968/9 Ertl models in order for Ertl to consider making the 1970 AMX and down the line, a possible Javelin model.