Friday, 29 July 2016

Instagram User 'sungkangsta' Unviels 2017 Hot Wheels Fairlady Z Re-Color

It looks like Instagram User 'sungkangsta' (Sung Kang) has showed us what the 2017 Hot Wheels Mainline Nissan Fairlady Z will look like. It is just the second color of the model and will look great next to the 2011 First Edition Kenmeri Skyline, also an all white release.

Keep an Eye out in Stores starting October 2016!!!

1965 Chevrolet Truck from the 2005 Holiday Classics Line: Obscure Beauty!

Johnny Lightning kind of faded into obscurity over the past 5 years or so until Round 2 resurrected the brand last year. That's a shame, because there are some incredible gems hidden in the brand's (somewhat) recent history. After opening up a 2005 Holiday Classics 1965 Chevrolet Truck, I have to say I hope Round 2 puts out releases of this quality. Since Auto World is the gold standard for quality, I don't have any doubt that the rejuvenated Johnny Lightning brand will continue to deliver gems like this 1965 Chevy.

The future looks rosy, but let's focus on 2005 for a second. The first thing I notice about this model is the incredible heft of it. It feels weighty in the hand. It honestly feels heavier than my Auto World 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate wagons, which themselves have a lot of mass for 1:64 scale releases. I don't know where the weight comes from, but it is noteworthy, even compared to other metal/metal releases.

Second, the paint. It's a 'spectraflame' green. The color is similar to that used on Greenlight's green machines, but without the metallic/sparkly hints to it. It's got a slick Hot Wheels redline-era sheen.

Third, I must belabor the quality of this model because it is so incredible. Everything on it just works. The rubber tires roll smoothly like they're plastic Hot Wheels wheels. The hood opens, and stays open, and then shuts tightly and crisply again. That's rarer than it sounds. The detailed bits are all cast into the model, so you don't risk them falling or breaking off like you might with other premium brands. The quality on this model is as good or better than modern Auto Worlds. It's that good.

Fourth, the details. I'm a sucker for good detailing, and this model has it all. The engine compartment looks incredibly real. The truck tailgate has cast-in locking handles that are painted. Chevrolet emblems, taillights, headlights, grille detail, and trim are all accurately painted on. So are the windshield wipers. I could go on.

To sum it up this is a release that is about as close to perfect as I've found in 1:64 scale. My only tiny complaint is that the wheels look a little small for the casting. At the end of the day, you've got a car with the heft and quality of Auto World, the clean, 'stock' Greenlight look, the M2 opening features and details and the Hot Wheels-Style spectraflame paint and roll-ability.

If I've sold you on this model, here's the JL lineup on Amazon. If I haven't, just enjoy the photos!

Johnny LIghtning: Yesterday & Today: Metal Die-Cast Minature Cars by Johnny Lightning

Happy Collecting!!

The Pokemon Go/Hot Wheels Connection...

Okay, I'll admit a bit of a click-baity title. I don't do it often, so forgive me. The biggest craze in the world right now seems to be the Pokemon Go app. For those that don't know (which I don't think is possible unless you live in an undiscovered Amazon tribe), Pokemon Go is a geo-caching app that allows users to track down and catch virtual Pokemon.

Full disclosure: I don't play it, and I haven't downloaded the app. But my Instagram news feed, which is normally 99% diecast, has numerous Poke-posts lately, which tells me diecast collectors are joining the fun just like everyone else. Personally, I don't get the craze. Or at least I didn't. Until I thought about it.

As Hot Wheels/Greenlight/Whatever collectors, we travel from store-to-store and eBay link to eBay link in hopes of finding the latest-greatest diecast, or that hard to find chase piece that you've only seen on eBay once. Ever. A huge part of this hobby is the 'thrill-of-the-hunt'. Sure, owning diecast is great, photographing it, customizing it, giving it away and displaying it even better, but we all love to hunt, even if we only do it once in awhile. I think even if I was a billionaire and could have every rare exclusive delivered to my private jet, I'd still go to the pegs once in awhile for that thrill of finding that one super.

So diecast collectors like to 'hunt'. I think it's human nature. Why do big game hunters track down that rare beast, why do kids love Easter egg hunting? We all love a good treasure hunt. Mattel's made a living capitalizing on that human desire.

The same thing applies to Pokemon-Go. Some Pokemon are rarer than others. Some you've never found before. Or you find it and your friends haven't. Plus you meet lots of great people along the way, just like you do in the diecast hobby. So, while I'm not going to go download the app, I have to say I do get it now. Sort of.

Happy Hunting!!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Blue Looks Good on You! Hot Wheels Liquid Blue Mainlines

Hot Wheels mainlines are the bread and butter of most collections. Or at least they're the jumping off point to higher end lines and chase pieces. The gateway drug so-to-speak. I have a love/hate relationship with Hot Wheels mainlines. I love seeing each case report online and selecting the 5-10 models from the mix I deem worthy of being picked up. The hate stems from half of the cars in the case being fantasy models (but hey, I'm not Mattel's only target demographic, so I get it) and from the spotty mainline distribution I face in Canada. My local pegs are a mix of 'C' and 'E' case cars, yet the United States is one case away from 2017. I'll live.

With all that being said, sometimes Mattel delivers some absolutely stunning mainline/basic Hot Wheels that leave me shaking my head as to how they came up with such a gem for under a dollar. Lately, Hot Wheels has been using their version of Ford's 'liquid blue' color on a number of models, including non-Fords. It really does work wonders for the models. I have the Ford Raptor somewhere, but couldn't find it in time for my photo shoot. And the GT has yet to hit my country.

I think, however, the '17 Acura NSX and the Shelby Mustang GT350R provide ample evidence of how perfect mainline Hot Wheels look enrobed in liquid blue. Enjoy!

Happy Collecting!!

TWDR Preview: Next Week's Las Vegas Toy Con Exclusives!!

The annual Super Toy Con returns to Las Vegas next week. It's basically Comic-Con for toy nerds. Many of the major diecast brands come up with exclusive models that are only sold at the weekend event. Compared to Toy Fair and Hot Wheels Convention models, the Toy Con models sometimes tend to get overlooked. That's a shame, because the manufacturers bring their A game to put out some incredible releases for this event.

Today, lets take a look at the Las Vegas exclusive offerings from M2 Machines and Greenlight Collectibles.

First up, M2: (Photo Credit to

Next, Greenlight's Incredible VW Van! (Photo Credit to

If you're in Vegas, check it out! The rest of us will have to turn to eBay for a shot at these awesome releases.

Happy Collecting!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Greenlight Collectibles wants YOUR Input: Vote HERE!

Greenlight Collectibles are marketed to collectors only. In other words, they're designed for us. Unlike the big diecast manufacturers like Mattel, who have shareholders, kids, parents and other brands to appease, Greenlight's only accountability is to the collector. They've shown this time and time again by asking for collector input in the design process.

Today, Greenlight would like input on their new yet-to-be-named Hitch & Tow line. You can have your vote by taking the brief survey in the link below!

Shhh...It's a 1:43 Scale...

Yeah, I know, I know it's 1:43 scale and it's an F1 car. Not exactly familiar territory for a blog focused on 1:64 scale civilian vehicles. However, with Mattel losing their Ferrari license and the Formula 1 season in full swing, I needed a fix. Bburago gave it to me. Much of my readership is North American, and at the risk of painting with broad strokes, not too many over here are huge Formula 1 fans. Fan or not, it's hard to deny the brilliant engineering excess that is poured into Formula 1 cars.

Today, we're taking a look at a Bburago Ferrari replica of Sebastian Vettel's 2015 race car. I only collect 1:64 scale, yet this 1:43 scale was so good it gets the title of being the first in my collection. At only $8 Canadian (roughly $6USD) the detail on this model is astounding. The curvy lines of the Ferrari make for a model that was fun to photograph and fun to look at. Every sponsor decal is dialed in. The livery of the real thing is replicated perfectly, right down to the Santander logos on the side mirrors. The tires have the proper Pirelli badging on the sidewall and even the plastic interior looks rather realistic.

The tires are real rubber, and the model comes packaged in a display-friendly context. Whether you're an F1 fan, a Ferrari fan or simply a fan of great quality diecast, this model's for you. Since I'm all 3, I had to get this one on the blog for you guys and girls. Stay tuned and happy collecting!

Happy Collecting!!