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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Are Hot Wheels collectors ready for a Nissan Laurel? Or is the Nissan Laurel ready for them?

The Hot Wheels Design Team dropped this today:

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That is one pretty Nissan C130 Laurel, affectionally known as the Butaketsu, or "Pig's Butt" Laurel, due to its large rear and bumper-embedded tail lights.  And it is purely Japanese.

Hot Wheels has already replicated several Japan-only models, including several Skylines, but the Laurel definitely goes a little deeper.  It is not as well known in places like the US as much as the Skyline.  But JDM is JDM, and as the bosozoku-inspired Mad Manga has proven, unfamiliar can still become popular among the collector set.

But JDM is JDM, and my guess is this beauty will be immensely popular when it hits.  Then we can enjoy the "I've liked the Laurel much longer than you" arguments among the more insecure "car guys", while the rest of us enjoy what looks to be a fantastic casting.

For me, kudos to the team for doing this one.  It is exciting to see.


M2 Machines unveils the first images of the upcoming 1970 Datsun Fairlady Z

Here I am, grinding along in my daily duties when an email pops up that definitely wakes me up.

One of the big developments in the diecast world this year is M2's take on Japanese cars.  They are coming later this year, but Head Designer Sean Taylor is sharing the first image.

I'm just gonna leave this here.

From Sean and M2:
Hi guys, here’s our brand new M2 1/64 scale 1970 Nissan Fairlday Z casting. This is a first shot sample as we are testing the mold. The final product may differ. 
Get excited.


Another Hot Wheels Ferrari we miss: Ferrari 458 Spider.

No diatribe today on why Mattel doesn't have Ferrari.  It is just time to enjoy another Hot Wheels Ferrari that sadly hit the shelf when Mattel lost the license.

I came across my Hot Wheels Ferrari collection the other day, and thought the 458 Spider was a good one to feature.  It might be a bit lost among all the Ferraris that get a lot of attention, like the 599XX, 250 GTO, and Enzo.  Like many of the later Hot Wheels Ferraris, it never got a premium release, and was just one of the many Ferraris that was released in the later years.  But it does deserve some love.

For one, it is a really nice casting.  I will agree that the size differential between the front and rear wheels is a little out of proportion, but other than that, it looks great.  In fact, the two later versions, one in blue and the other in red with white stripes, have bigger wheels with larger rims and the car looks much more in proportion.

Second, the 458 Spider was a great companion to the 458 casting, for obvious reasons.  They are the same size, and three of the models share the same colors.  It might be just me, but I like when Hot Wheels does companion models like that, especially when they look like this:

I can keep writing, but I don't need to.  As nice as these are, it is hard to look at them without thinking about what could have been.  Think of a Ferrari batch in Car Culture?  Or Forza?  Or more releases of the California?  Or a new Ferrari casting every year.  Damn, it's a bummer.

At least most of the Ferraris were released in several colors, and nice ones at that.  If the Spider never sees the light of day again, at least we have these.  And they are pretty easy to obtain.

Now to think of what other Ferrari to feature and get depressed about never seeing again.

(Find the 458 Spider on ebay.)

Tan and black interior variations:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

As is the Custom: (Some of) my faves since the last time we did this.

Welcome back, As is the Custom.

I could probably spend 2 or 3 posts on the history of As is the Custom here on Lamley, and maybe in the near future I will.  As is was a defining feature in the first few years of Lamley, but it got a bit cumbersome for me.

But I miss it.  The world of diecast customizing is always changing, and much of it has moved to Instagram, and that makes things easier.  I see so much good stuff, and I want to share it here with everyone.  Plus, my mom of all people was a fan, always commenting to me at how amazed she was with the artistry demonstrated by each piece that was shown here.  And not one to disappoint Mom, I need to bring it back.

So I am, just a little differently.  As is the Custom will return as a weekly feature, usually mid-week, but sometimes weekends, depending on what news that needs to be shared that week.  And all the customs I share will come from Instagram.  There is so much going on there, it will provide plenty of content, and when I share images from IG you can follow that person right from the post.  They deserve that.  Lastly, it will be a little smaller.  No more 40 image posts.  Only the customs that really catch my attention will make it here.

So how will I see your work?  First off, if you are not on Instagram, join up.  It is free and easy.  Second, share your stuff with the hashtag #lamleycustoms.  If you do that, I will see it.  Promise.  It is by NO MEANS a requirement.  I try to find customs using other hashtags, but the #lamleycustoms tag will guarantee I do.  That is it.  If it catches my attention, it might land here.

I can't guarantee your custom will make it, nor can I say what will qualify.  Some of my favorite customs have been simple wheel swaps.

I plan on writing a lot more about the custom world, in the coming weeks.  I might also dedicate full features to some of you.  I am just happy to be doing this again.

So, here are some from the last few weeks.  Some older customs might appear later.


Don't call it a repost, moreso a proper reintroduction because my previous post did no justice to the car nor the guys who worked on it. Say hi to the "Moon Rocker": a @hotwheelsofficial #66SuperNova whose era-reminiscent name invokes both my love for @mooneyesusa @mooneyesjp & alludes to a certain super-potent smokable, hence the bloodshot version of the famous #Mooneyes logo which, along with the side lettering & signature on the decklid, were all hand-painted by their resident guru #HiroWildmanIshii. The vibrant Spectraflame yellow paint and other body details were applied by the #818's resident paint whiz @betom03, while everybody's favorite bearded boy wonder @lukeshotwheels was gracious enough to oil wash and wire up the motor to his specs. The @matchboxworld Kenworth Transporter also got some love from both Albert and Wildman. Mucho thanks to these guys for dealing with my OCD ass! #thelamleygroup #lamleycustoms #hotwheels #hotwheelsgram #hotwheelscollectors #diecast_daily #diecast #diecastcustom #customdiecast #diecastphotography #toyphotography #gasser #Chevrolet #ChevyII #ChevyNova #dragcar #dragstrip #kustom #handlettering #handpainted #oneshotpaint #pinstriping #mooneyes @thelamleygroup @matchboxworld @hotwheelsofficial @hotwheelssounofficial @ssss4199 @southeast_gassers #itowtuesdays @skdc_thawhips #WednesdayWickedRaces
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The Hot Wheels '55 Gasser & the rest of the Nationals Models - Opened.

My video space is finally getting put back together, so I can get to what I have been dying to do - open the models from this month's Hot Wheels Nationals.

It was a pleasure:


More to come.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All Hot Wheels '73 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car releases, ranked.

Ok, ranking the releases of this model doesn't make a ton of sense, especially considering the liveries have stayed true, for the most part, to the actual racing liveries of the actual car.

Maybe, instead, I should rank the Fast & Furious movies.  5, and then the others.  Ok, done.

Back to the BMW.  Want me to rank them?  Ok, here it is:







Actually, I think the lace wheels on the 2017 release really make it look fantastic.  And honestly can you ever beat a Zamac?  But then again the detail and spectraflame blue on the Toy Fair make it the winner.  Actually, white is the most realistic so it wins.


But who cares?  They are all nice, and this casting easily enters that Gran Torino/Greenwood Vette/Kenmeri pantheon for me.  (Oh man, every time I start thinking about the Lamley Hot Wheels Pantheon, I can't figure it out.  Those three I just mentioned, plus maybe the 510 Wagon?  '55 Gasser?  Porsche 934?  Upcoming 190E?  E30?  A/FX Coronet?  I need to think this through.)

There is a lot to like about this model, but one thing I love is Hot Wheels' approach to it.  Whether it is a licensing request from BMW or not, it doesn't matter.  I just love that every release so far as been a play on the actual livery.  And I am fine if it stays that way.  Basic, premium, doesn't matter.  I could see this model in Car Culture some day, maybe with the actual licensed livery, as much as I could see it in future basic releases with different takes on the stripe and racing stripes.

And the way the casting was created makes it work as well.  Creating a window piece that includes the headlights and tail lights is brilliant.  Those got tampo treatment for the Toy Fair Model, but on the basic they don't really need it.  The break is there.

So all that means here are 5 releases of the CSL, all with a similar livery, yet all look very different.  Truly Hot Wheels at its best.

It was the Zamac that spurred this feature, so here it is, along with a smattering of other pics.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Porsche 911, Honda Prelude, and Toyota Supra Tomica Limited Vintage batch is here.

Tomica Limited Vintage at Japan Booster
A couple of weeks ago I described a Matchbox case as "loaded", and many of you, understandably, took issue with it.  You mentioned there were nice models, but not enough of them compared to generics.

Well, let me try again.  The April assortment from Tomica Limited Vintage has hit, and yes, it is LOADED.  Tell me if you agree.  Two Porsche 911 (one a special 50th Anniversary model), two Honda Preludes, and three Toyota Supras (all in emergency livery).

And they are available now at Japan Booster:

Tomica Limited Vintage at Japan Booster

So, do you agree it's a loaded batch?  Will photos help?

I have these coming, and can't wait to feature them, but I would not wait.  The Porsches are bound to sell quickly, and prices always go up on these.  The Preludes are fantastic as well.

As is always the case with TLV, you won't one disappointed.