By 1979, the Trans Am was at it's zenith and the promo kits were
once again available in Platinum and Starlight Black. Just like
the 1978 Promos, the Black cars features Gold snowflakes while the
Platinum ones were fitted with chrome snowflake wheels.
The tradition of misleading box art continued as the Trans Am
on the cover was the featured ad car for 1979, finished in
||MPC continued their annual kit releases for 1979,
however the cars were now given a marketing name. The 1979 Trans Am
annual was the "Warlord" kit. As on the 1978 kits, the roofs were
scored so you could add your own t-tops.
||The Trans Am celebrated it's 10th
Anniversary in 1979, so MPC offer a special release of the the
Anniversary bird. This must have been one great kit, because it
appeared to be offered in four different variations. The original
kit showed up in 1979 and was a pretty accurate representation of the
actual car. The new turbine wheels replaced the Rally II's and the
snowflakes, and in the interior the seats resembled the seat unique
to the 10th anniversary model. The hood bird was big and bold. The
kits produced in 1979 were molded in a metallic gray. I don't have
open examples of the later kits so I don't know if this was consistent
throughout production.The 1979 release was offered under kit number
||Another release of the 10th Anniversary
Trans Am is represented in these photos. There is no copyright
date on the box, but the box art was almost identical to the
1979 release, but it now carried the ERTL logo. The Kit number was
changed to 6323 and was marketed as a "Golden Wheels" bonus kit.
||Kit number 6323 appeared once again
in yet another non-dated example. This time the "Golden Wheels"
bonus circular yielded to a "2 in 1 Stock & racing" combo.
kit # 6323 unk yr 2 n 1
||1988 saw the forth version of the
kit, once again marketed as kit number 6323. It was still a 2 in 1 kit
but was no longer a 10th Anniversary Trans Am but insead a 10th
Anniversary Firebird. The MPC ERTL connection was now
quite clear as the MPC logo now carried the ERTL logo.
||Combine one of the hotest actors with one of the
hottest cars of the period and you have a new marketing tool. Revell's
replica of the George Barris Modified Trans Am built for superstar
actor John Travolta was decalled as Travolta's Firebird Fever (likely
lifted from Travolta's hit movie "Saturday Night Fever"). I hope
John didn't really drive a real car with the gaudy decals. The same
basic body was used for at least one other Trans Am kit.
||What appears to be the Holy Grail around Trans
Am collectors is USAirfix's Firebird Type-K Sport Wagon. The model
pulled off a pretty accurate copy of the real
Type-K when viewed from the outside. The model is a snap-kit so it
is a little lacking in the detail department, however the rear
side windows swing-up, just like on the real car. Both the interior
and the underhood details are lacking on the AirFix Type-K. Under
the hood are a couple of plastic "lumps" that are supposed to
represent the engine. By having the limited detail, the shaker does
line up nearly perfectly however, something that is hard to get
right on the MPC/AMT/Monogram kits. In the cargo area scuba gear
rests. Thes kit carries item number number 8041.
||In 1984 a second release of the Type-K was
issued by USAirFix. This kit was molded in a tan color rather
than the striking silver of the earlier kit. Included stickers
were also not like the actual car's hood bird, unlike the kit which
was packaged in 1980. Since this kit was already opened, there are
are some photos of the bodyshell. In these views you can see the
poor representation of the engine compartment.
Introduced in 1980, this 1/16th scale version of the 10th
Anniversary Trans Am certainly hit at the right time. The Trans Am
had caught the attention of both young and old, and the bug
to build your very own copy of the 10th was almost too much to
resist. The box curiously showed a painting of the 10th, while
the side panels were views of the actual car. ||
AMT got a lot of mileage out of this partictular body mold. I remember two other 1979
versions of this kit and also an '80 version. This is a big, 1/16 scale version, and the
one I have is of the 10th Anniv. edition. As time passes, I know I'll regret not getting
the others when I had the chance. I am sure this is a re-release, but there are no dates
on the box. Maybe inside the box there will be some dated documents. The celophane wrapper
is in too good of shape to be an original kit. Of note to mislead the youths, the image
on the box is that of the real car, not what's in the box. |