Hey everyone! In an effort to revive a dead part of this website, the blog will now be updated more frequently with news on product updates!
Time flies doesn’t it? Vancity Diecast is approaching its 1.5 year since inception. A lot has definitely happened over the course of the past year and a half! We released a lot of new wheel designs, added some new color options, and also began offering custom card services as well as diecast sales (to which a large amount has already been sold off). A lot of updates happen behind the scenes with regards to the wheels. Many wheel designs receive constant revisions every few weeks in an effort to improve them. Wheel barrels get strengthened, axle hole diameters get adjusted, durability enhancements for faces, and much more! Most of these changes are hardly ever noticeable, but now for 2021 we are looking to make more dramatic changes to the lineup!
To those who have been shopping on Vancity Diecast, some may be familiar with the wheel styles we were selling which were not produced by us. In particular, we sold some real rider wheels sourced overseas which used a simple press-in axle system. Originally, we felt like we didn’t want to design our wheels with a press-in axle system because it took away from the standard Hot Wheels look with the capped axle ends. We no longer restock on these wheels made from overseas because they don’t fit the type of aesthetic we are aiming for. Many people will notice that these wheels appear too small when swapped over on various castings. They look like 16″ wheels on cars designed to be fitted with 18-19″ wheels. The axles that were supplied with these sets were also a bit too big to fit nicely through the axle holes on almost all castings, which meant that if you wanted to do a drill-less wheel swap it would be difficult squeezing the axles through.
Moving into 2021, we are looking to introduce some wheel styles with a similar press-in axle system. We are looking to improve on this concept and are hoping to make it even more user friendly. Using a press-in axle system definitely saves a lot of time from having to close off or crimp the ends of the axles. The resulting finish is also a lot cleaner as well without having the silver axles showing in the center of the wheels. Below is a quick reference photo of a pre-production test set of our “Rival” wheels utilizing the new press-in axle system.
Unlike the press-in wheels made overseas with the larger diameter axles, we are sticking to our axle pins which you guys may already be familiar with. Our axle pins pretty much have the same diameter compared to original Hot Wheels axles, which means they will slide through the castings without modification. The only difference with our axle pins now is that the capped end as well as the pointed ends are now trimmed off. Almost every casting has a different sized axle lengths, so we make this easy by having axles that can be trimmed down with some side cutters. The wheels should be able to fit onto the axles snug, but we would advise that a small amount of glue be placed onto the ends of the axles before putting the wheels on in order to secure them better.
Drill-less wheel swaps will be even easier than before! We want our wheels to be very user friendly. The new wheel swap process is so easy even a monkey can do it. As long as you can take off the original wheels with some sharp side cutters or flush cutters, it’s smooth sailing afterwards.
The transition to press-in axles won’t be immediate, and not all wheels will be given this upgrade. More refinement and product testing will be required on our end and an opportunity for a small number of customizers to try these will be available in the future!
Aside from changes to how wheels get attached, we are also updating a few popular wheel styles to use our new barrel and lip designs! The new lips will cover a small portion of the tire sidewall, which will reduce the amount of tire that’s showing. In real life, skinny rubber band looking tires don’t look good. However in 1/64 scale, maximizing the size of the wheel face greatly improves the overall look once you account for how car proportions are changed. Many times customizers who use our wheels don’t have to put in work to lower their castings. Our wheels provide the illusion that your car is lowered due to the sizing of the faces and the amount of tire showing. This updated wheel barrel and lip design is also shown on the Ford GT Race Car above.
More design updates and changes are taking place. We are also experimenting with chrome, so look forward to that as well!
Stay tuned for more updates on the press-in axles as well as design changes on our Facebook group!