|------------ From my point of view!
III - August 1998
The new Tampo!
Note: With this next color and tampo change, it would be wise for you to note the color of the windows in the models. The previous models described had all used clear blue tint plastic windows. Also, a fact left out of the last article was that by 1985, all of the Thunderbird models were using the 1977 chassis date.
In 1985, a new tampo was applied to the models. The first color using this new tampo was red, package # 9522, made in Malayasia. The tampo on the red cars consists of a wide yellow stripe and a wide blue stripe running across the top of the car, crossing on the roof and ending on the hood with the word "TBIRD" in yellow outlined in purple. The wheels and tires are the standard, the interior is "black", and the windows are smokey clear. Apparently none of this color phase were made in Hong Kong.
In 1986, the next color, black, used this tampo design with a change in
the color stripes. The new stripes are now purple and a red-orange.
The word "TBIRD" is in red outlined in blue. The interior is still
black. There are three variations that I know of:
The next time this tampo was used, color change paint was popular. Mattel released the Thunderbird in a 3-pak labeled "Color Racers" in 1988. The model has clear windows, and standard wheels and tires. The package # is 5608-0910-G4. The car was purple that changed to a pinkish orange when exposed to warm water. The stripes are yellow and orange and do not change color. Also, the word "TBIRD" is orange outlined in purple and does not change color. However, the body paint is very light sensitive. Models exposed to light over time become a neon orange and the "orange" stripe almost disappears against this neon backdrop. The ability to change colors also disappears. You'll find plenty of this model on ebay, sold as "pink" or "orange " and few know that it was a color changer at one time. If you should have this model still in its package and it is still purple, then keep it out of ANY light.
The following year, 1989, package # 5608-0410-G1 came out with another Thunderbird, again a "Color Racer," again in a 3-pak. This time it has a "triple-change" feature. Originally, the car is purple when cold that changes to blue and then changes to white - the warmer it gets.
By 1998, since the paint is light sensitive, it has become a dull purple with white showing through upon extended exposure to light. See above photo for purple color on it. Mine still has some color changing ability - turns almost plum purple when left in the refrigerator and then tan when dipped in hot water. The non- changing stripes are dark purple and white and the "TBIRD" is white outlined in blue.
2008 on triple changer (10 years later) -
the color is still deteriorating and now at room temperature, the color
is brown (not purple). There were still some purple on parts when
placed in freezer. Odd though, this is the only "brown" that has
surfaced on a Hot Wheels t-bird since the redline era of the 60s!
Both of the Color Racer packages were printed in 1987. Both were made in Malaysia.
Another color changer has surfaced. From cold to warm, it changes from dark army green to lime green to bright yellow. The stripes are dark blue-green and yellow. The word "t-bird" is yellow outlined in red. Apparently was a foreign issued model. Thought - This model still retains it color changing abilities & the one I picked up is well used. Too bad that Mattel didn't continue using this color paint since it seems to have outlasted the other colors.
I'm always looking for more information on the
©1998 -2008 Dot Lang