Monday, August 29, 2016

I don't buy all the Hot Wheels 5-packs, but when I do, I buy Silverados and Skylines...

Go to Instagram.


What do you see?  Gran Turismo at Walgreens, Trucks at Target, Matchbox at Walmart, a cat, a _crew, a custom Kool Kombi, calininja's loose finds, another cat, and the Hot Wheels Night Burnerz and Hot Trucks 5-packs.

So me showing the contents is nothing new.  I have already posted about both packs anyway.  And yeah, outside of that fantastic R32 in yellow, there is little to get excited about.  So here are the models I like.  Starting with the R32 to get that out of the way, and then the whole Trucks pack.

If you aren't into the R32, then the Night Burnerz can stay on the pegs, but that Trucks pack.  You NEED the Trucks pack.  Either because you know how cool pickups are, or because you need to learn.

I will claim the Silverado as my favorite, but the Ford F-1 is the big surprise.  As far as I know the first plastic chassis for this one, among a couple of other changes, but a beauty in black with era-appropriate deco.  What a great pack this is...

US Walmarts are catching up on Matchbox...

Just a heads up that many of you are finding the latest batch from Matchbox, Batch K, at US-based Walmarts.  And considering hobby dealers just say these a few days ago, that is really good news.

That means the Dodge A100, Land Rover Defender 110, and the National Parks Ram Police are all up for grabs.

Interesting because the batch before just showed up within the last few days at US Walmarts as well.  So if you are really lucky, you could be coming home with the VW Transporter as well.

And yeah, this is all good news for collectors here in the US, but what about elsewhere?  There was a rumor about Matchbox being pulled from the UK, but that was exactly that, a rumor.  If stores want Matchbox, they will get it, and with reports that ASDA stores have restocked Matchbox lately, hopefully that means more to come.

In the meantime, keep posting pics of your local Matchbox pegs on Instagram with the tag #mymatchboxpegs to show Mattel what is and what is not showing up.  The more the Matchbox Team can show those in charge of distribution what it really is like out there, the more ammo they have to get Matchbox to everyone.

Ultimately, stores will stock what people want.  Many of you share my opinion that the product is vastly improved, and will continue to improve, so make sure you let your local stores know that you want more orange on the pegs...

Lamley Showcase: Hot Wheels Entertainment Forza Motorsports...

You that slight complaint that gets murmured here and there about Car Culture?  The castings are amazing, the decos spot-on, and the card art is the best ever, but...the lack of front and rear details is a  tiny little bummer.

Well it appears Hot Wheels Entertainment has you covered.  Soon after the release of Gran Turismo in the Entertainment line - not to be confused with the set currently being devoured at your local Walgreens - later this month in the US, Forza will hit.  And Hot Wheels is allowing us a little preview.

Hot Damn.

The full photo showcase is coming in a bit, but we start with the YouTube feature, including the full DLM:

Full photo feature coming soon...

UPDATE: It has been pointed out by several of you that I botched the pronounciation of "Giulia" pretty badly.  Yep, I did.  I have done it several times before (re: Renault) and I promise I will do it many times more.  If you are concerned however, you can watch this video to know I have pronounced it correctly before:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lamley Unboxing: Opening a 2016 Hot Wheels Q Case...

The last case of 2016!

Crazy eh?  We are done.  2016 is history.  Sort of, clearly, since these cases haven't hit retail just yet, but we are essentially moving into the Hot Wheels 2017 year starting now.

But not before we go through this case, which just arrived from A&J Toys.

One final significant new model, plus some welcome recolors.  But I would say this one doesn't hold up to previous Q cases.  Remember 2014, with a Datsun Super, new Ford Mustang, and Porsche 934?  Not this one.

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lamley Unboxing: Opening a 2016 Matchbox K Case...

Our rush to the end of the 2016 diecast year continues.

I will open a Hot Wheels Q Case tomorrow, which will be it for Hot Wheels, and we are now two cases away from the end of Matchbox with the opening of this K Case.  2017 is so much in our minds how that I accidentally used 2017 in the title of the video.  Drat.

But, here it is, the K Case as provided by our friends at A&J Toys.  Model showcases coming to YouTube and the blog soon:


Hot Wheels '17 Ford GT: Fantastic model, but a lousy $uper?

Okay, where do I start with this one?

Well, let's start here, with a photo of the brand new Hot Wheels '17 Ford GT, in both basic and Super Treasure Hunt outfits:

And here is a cool photo from Ford:

Just look at those photos, and I think you will agree with me that the '17 Ford GT from Hot Wheels is stellar.  One of the best of the year.  Sure, the size difference between the front and rear wheels on the Hot Wheels is more exaggerated than the real thing, but considering what they had to work with, this model is just about perfect for a Hot Wheels basic.

And look at that color!  I already highlighted the Liquid Blue Trifecta that Hot Wheels released this year, but it is still stunning to see how well they did.  Just looking at the Hot Wheels Ford GT, it is an easy choice as one of the best new models of the year, if not the best model of the year.  A significant car done well by Hot Wheels.

And then add to that the fact that it debuts as a Super Treasure Hunt!  This is a first.  No model has officially debuted as a Super, and that takes into account the Toyota 2000GT, which wasn't an official new model.  (The tool was slated for a previous line, but the line was cancelled after the tool was made.)  If Hot Wheels is going to debut a New Model as a Super, this is a perfect choice.

So add that together, and the Ford GT is up there with a whole slew of fantastic New Models in 2016, from the Ford Focus RS to Porsche 356 to Honda Odyssey to BMW 3.0 CSL.  It has been a stellar year.

But as Supers go, it could be argued that the Ford GT is a bit of a dud.

I should probably explain.

Let's start with this.  It actually doesn't really matter what model gets the Super Treasure Hunt treatment.  Supers are so entwined with Hot Wheels collecting now, everyone knows what the current Super is, and everyone wants to find it.  Sure, they might compare Supers, but ultimately Supers are more about the hunt than the actual model.  So really, it doesn't matter what model is a Super.  We will all hunt them.

That being said, the more premium a Super, the more $uper it really is.  The Super TH these days is an upgraded version of a standard basic model.  It always has real riders, spectraflame paint, and many times additional deco, in addition to the "TH" logo somewhere.  It definitely is an upgraded model.

And if I am honest, the Ford GT just isn't.  It is hard to say that, because I actually REALLY LIKE the Super.  If it were a Car Culture or Boulevard model, I would probably have two.  It looks beautiful in that dark blue with the grey GT wheels.  But the basic looks better.

First off, the signature Ford Liquid Blue is an exciting color, and Hot Wheels duplicated it perfectly.  Second, the PR5 wheels are the better wheels on the model.  They have lower profile tires, which work better.  The PR5s are not as deep as the GT wheels, which replicates the actual car more accurately.  It is strange to say, but the basic is the more significant model.

Want to compare, look at these three stellar models:

The Datsun Wagon is a great Super not because it is the Datsun Wagon, but look at the wheel upgrade, the splendid spectraflame, and additional deco.  The Honda takes things several steps further.  Chrome base, headlight tampos, hood tampos, and an additional flat black on the hood and roof.  I think the S2K is the most upgraded Super Hot Wheels has done, next to the 2000GT's metal base.

And then there is the Mooneyes van.  The basic is a very nice model, especially in its signature Mooneyes colors and livery.  The Mooneyes models are always a favorite.  But the Super takes things to a completely different level.  The gold spectraflame is nuts, the additional logo on the rear is crazy cool, and the most appropriate upgrade of all - moon discs!!  Those wheels were made for this model, and sporting one of Mooneyes' signatures makes this model significant.  It is what makes the Mooneyes Van, to me, the best Super TH Hot Wheels has ever done.

The Ford GT is kind of the opposite.  The basic is the significant model, the Super is a little treat.  So, do I love the Ford GT Super?  Hell yes I do.  But judging solely on its merits as a Super, there have been a lot better.  I could actually see myself calling the Ford GT the best model of the year, and still think it is less than stellar Super.  How about that?

Alright, I will stop yapping.  I need to get my hunt on.  There are Ford GT Supers to find...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hot Wheels Gran Turismo is appearing at US East Coast Walgreens stores...

photo credit: Dan Pardo
(UPDATE: Not five minutes into this posting and I have gotten several reports of them being found in California Walgreens as well.  So everyone go look!)

Over the last 24 hours, I have received countless messages from collectors who have found the ever-elusive Hot Wheels Gran Turismo Assortment at Walgreens.

The only caveat?  Everyone who has reported finding them lives in the Eastern US.  (Canadian collectors, wipe that smug look off your face.  We know you have had them for awhile.  By the way, where are the Car Culture Trucks?)  Dan Pardo of Florida, Jim Woodburn of Maryland, and Freddy Roshe of Miami all sent photos.

So, while you are out hunting Walgreens for exclusive Hot Wheels Dodge Rams and other N Case models, keep an eye out for Gran Turismo and even Car Culture Euro Style.

And if anyone out west finds these, let us know...

photo credit: Jim Woodburn
photo credit: Freddy Roshe