Here we have another fun installment in kit history. Let's go back in time to 1977: GM's new Rounded Line pickups have been on the market for almost five years and MPC has gotten wind that Monogram is going to be releasing a kit of this truck. Not to be outdone by the competition, the fine folks at MPC tool up a kit of this body style in their best-selling 1:25 scale. They even went as far as including extra parts to build different versions of the truck.
The first offering was released in late 1977 as well as in 1978 in boxes that proclaim first NEW and then 1978, as was their trend at the time with annuals. The depicted truck is a Scottsdale 10 trim, which is the entry level package with little exterior chrome and a bench seat. The bed is a one-piece stepside with opening tailgate. The engine is a standard Chevy small-block, comes with stock valve covers and chromed, finned valve covers, and is mated to a Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. This version of the kit included two wheel options, side exhaust pipes, high-rise intake manifold with hat, custom grille with quad-square lights, and some wild decals. Curiously, the box art trucks have no mirrors. Molded in white, stock number 1-7814.
The box shows a 2WD truck but I seem to remember someone claiming that this is actually a 4WD; can anyone confirm/deny? Edit: Thanks to 1972coronet for confirming that this was indeed the only 2WD offering!
Next up was a full-on off-road version, complete with bull bar, off-road lights, winch, tow hooks, roll bar, rear-mounted spare with jerry can, and fender flares. Rolling stock included generic spoked wagon wheels with MPC's staple Formula Desert Dog PCV tires. A set of tri-pod, low mount mirrors are included. The grille for this version depicts the 1977-78 style. Molded in red, stock number 1-0416, issued in 1978.
Again in 1978 another version of this kit was released with different decals as the Dust Devil. This version included a set of bucket seats and a console but curiously the engraving remained the Scottsdale trim. Box art shows a stock 2WD version as well as the off-roader but there are no other indications that the kit has multiple build options. Mirrors remain the same tri-pod style.This time the grille was modified with a larger chrome surround for the 1979 model year. Molded in black, stock number 1-0419.
A third run of the tooling was made in 1978, this time as a Super Dualie (sic). Still a stepside bed, extra-wide fenders cover the extra set of wheels out back. A hood scoop is also included to cover the high-rise intake manifold that returns from the original issue. Also unique to this issue is the heavy-duty front bumper and grille guard. The only grille available for this build is the same custom tube grille, also from the original issue. Mirrors are the tri-pod style. Molded in black, stock number 1-0424.
Sometime in 1979 the tooling was slightly modified to accomodate the new-for-1980 grille, which would end up being a single year offering. This time the kit was branded as the Mule Skinner and was otherwise a straight reissue of the Dust Devil. The tri-pod mirrors carry on. Molded in red, stock number 1-0433.
The tooling was adjusted again in 1980, this time for the new 1981 body style. This involved not only a new grille, but altering the fenders and hood and a new front bumper with integral turn signals. The box art depicts the Scottsdale 10 engraving in the 1973-80 location above the beltline, however the actual kit has Custom Deluxe 20 engraving just below the beltline. The fender flares from the previous issues are included, however they no longer fit the front fenders. The only off-road accessories remaining are the roll bar with off-road lights, a CB antenna, and tailgate mounted spare tire carrier with jerry can. Molded in yellow, stock number 1-0440.
Edited by kataranga, 20 March 2013 - 03:04 PM.