Greenlight was founded in 2002 by Kevin Davey, originating from sporting-goods companies Davey Sports Management Inc. and Radius Group Inc. The company initially sold sports-oriented goods and IndyCar replicas. Later it took a turn to producing diecast toy cars and replicas. It was acquired by Russell Hughes, Tom van der Scheun and Fred Lo in 2013. Hughes focused on obtaining a license from movies and TV-shows to produce vehicles associated with them.
The brand already had a successful experience in 2010 of selling replicas of Ford Mustang featured in the film Bullit, the company saw substantial revenue growth since then, reaching $12.5 million in 2015 and tripling the revenue of 2013.
Greenlight products focus on providing details and aim to produce diecast models which are meant for collecting. Among the top-selling products are replicas of vehicles featured in movies and TV shows, including the Fast and Furious series, Gone in Sixty Seconds and Supernatural. Greenlight offers some products a limited line known as Green Machine which only counts for 3 percent of a total production run. Demographically, more than 80 percent of buyers of Greenlight products are older than 18 years old and 88 percent are male. While 70 percent of the products are sold domestically, they are also sold internationally in more than 40 countries through local retailers.
We Checker collectors are very lucky as it appear that Greenlight is now focused its energy on producing 1/64 scale replicas of Checkers. The first one launched a while back was a licensed version of a model that paid tribute to the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver. This year Greenlight has offered a new licensed product line that pays tribute to the Mecum Auto Auction concern. This has resulted in issuance of a replica of the 1972 Checker Marathon Anniversary car auctioned by Mecum in 2019.
Also introduced this year, another licensed Greenlight Checker product, this time by the package express company UPS. The model depicts the various Checkers used by UPS when they introduced service in Canada in 1975.
These models are high quality and represent a very good depiction of a standard Checker. Some diecast and Checker purists may be concerned with the accuracy of some of the models, for example the Anniversary Checker sports 1974 bumpers, not 1972. That said, this writer will gladly over look slight design variances and proudly display them on my mantle.
The header photo depicts the next scheduled release, a Checker Chicago squad car. The beauty of diecast Checkers is that they represent an opportunity to produce many other Taxi of Police liveries. Wouldn’t it be great to see a 1/64 Chicago Checker, Neveda Whittlesea or Framingham Tommy Taxi? We can only hope.
Please check out Ebay or you local Walmart and support Greenlight by buying one of these great little diecasts. For such a low price, they models really can’t be beat.