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Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Volkswagen Käfer Racer continues the tradition of Wicked Hot Wheels VWs...

The Hot Wheels C Case isn't going to cause any riots.  The Super isn't a mind-blower, and it isn't as loaded with good stuff compared to other batches.

(Actually I take that back.  If you count the Target-exclusive Gasser as part of the C Case, there might be riots.  That has been gobbled up as soon as they hit the pegs, much to the chagrin of the next collector to arrive.)

But there is a New Model debut here of what I think will be a popular model moving forward.  A new VW is always an event for Hot Wheels.  VW Collectors are a special bunch.  "Passionate" isn't enough to describe VW Collectors.  "Bat shit crazy" might be better.

And Hot Wheels sometimes just hits the right notes with their VW releases.  The Drag Bus is a Mount Rushmore model, easily one of the most popular Hot Wheels castings of all time.  And we are so used to it that we sometimes forget how nutty it is.  It is VW DRAG bus.  DRAG!

And since the release of the Drag Bus, Hot Wheels has released one legendary VW after another.  We all knew the Kool Kombi was special the second it was released, and it has proven so.  The racing Karmann Ghia is another.  The Brasilia another.  The Squareback.  On and on.

And here is another.

It takes one second in person to knew the Volkswagen Käfer Racer is special.  We have seen a few modified Beetles in the past, but most went drag.  This one goes Euro, and fits in so well with where the car scene is going.  "Käfer" is German for "Beetle" if you didn't know, hence the name.

You see this one appearing over and over again.  Super?  It is only a matter of time.  RLC?  I can see it.  Zamac?  Car Culture?  Bring it all on.

It is yet another Mark Jones design.  Mark's name should be becoming a bit household if it isn't already.  He has been around awhile, done a ton of work, and if you are displaying Car Culture and Forza, you have a few of his designs featured, like the Alfa Romeo and Mazda RX3.  Add the Käfer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Case Report: 2017 Matchbox Basic B Case AND 2017 Best of World A Case...

Two Matchbox for the price of one!

Matt and Matt at Wheel Collectors were a little surprised today when not only did they get Matchbox 2017 Basic Batch B, but the highly anticipated Best of World as well.  Both are listed here:

2017 Matchbox Basic Batch B

2017 Matchbox Best of World Batch A

You remember Best of World, the merging of Matchbox with Hot Wheels Real Rider wheels.  A splendid batch of cars, highlighted by the absolutely stunning Lamborgini Miura.

Well, I asked WC if they could do an opening of both, and there they are:

2017 Matchbox Basic B Case:

Matchbox Best of World A Case:

Lamley Unboxing: Opening a 2017 Matchbox A Case...

On most occasions I do an unboxing on a case that hasn't hit stores yet.  That isn't the case with this one.  Matchbox A Cases have been hitting several Walmarts, and I have come across several of the models at various stores between Utah and Colorado.

But these videos aren't always about previewing what is coming out.  It is also to see patterns, and to see in what direction we are heading.

There is an overall direction many of us are interested in.  Is Matchbox going more realistic?  It seems that the answer is yes.  There are still several uninspiring generics, but the ratio is changing, and there are a lot of desirable models in this case.

The other smaller detail we have been watching case to case is the actual assortments themselves.  Will we get multiples of the more desirable models?  The answer here is a definitive yes, with the '58 Chevy Wagon and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren getting the multiple treatment.  Judging by what I have seen in stores, those are the two most sought after models, with the Toyota Land Cruiser and green Mini next.

All in all it is nice to see 2017 starting.  It will be a very interesting year.  There is an evolving direction with Matchbox, and there is some very cool stuff coming.  There have been some personnel changes at the orange brand, but designer Abe Lugo is still holding down the fort and designing some true gems.  The Wagon is one, with the Hudson Hornet and Toyota Tacoma coming in the next batch.

For now, let's enjoy the 2017 A Assortment.

(As always, this case was provided by A&J Toys.)


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A $uper, a variation, and other gems from the Hot Wheels D & E cases found in the UK...

The Super has been found.  The Surf Crate is the E Case Super, and a few collectors in the UK found them in this onslaught of Hot Wheels short cards they have been dealing with the last few days.

The model looks good, although it isn't my cup of tea and crumpets.  Based on the response to the earlier post on these finds, the '56 Ford Pickup is the model to be had, especially with the new wheels.     I am sold.  I asked my friend @jckyphotography to find me one, which he did:

A photo posted by JCKY Photography (@jckyphotography) on

So yeah, I have one coming for a feature.  (Tesla and FuguZ too.)  Can't wait.

Oh, and that Toyota is pretty awesome to, right?  FuguZ, '56 Ford, new wheels, toilet and toaster cars, and a slew of other gems.  Such a nice batch.  Can't wait to see them here, but let's celebrate the UK's luck this season.  Nice to see them getting stuff first for once.

Of course to make things more fun, there is a variation to look for too:

No idea which will be more rare, but my guess is the PR5.  We will see as these batches start hitting.  Man this batch is loaded...

I am a very serious collector. So why to I like Tomicaramas so much?

So, my YouTube setup.

Love the vintage Matchbox Store display in the background.  I was so happy to acquire one, and even though it takes a ton of space, I love having it serve as the backdrop for the videos.

I even like my little turntable.  It helps showcase loose models without you having to stare at my hands too much.  Consider that a win.  But it needs something else.  How about a Matchbox Unboxing with this?

Granted, all those cars there would make it a little difficult, but once I got the set out there was nothing that could stop me from putting cars on it.  I started with the new TLV Hakosukas and before I knew it I was adding more TLV's, then some Auto Worlds just for kicks, and then some accessories.

If you are not familiar with the Bayside Motors Used Car lot, it isn't an old Saved by the Bell toy set. It is actually a Tomicarama.  In other words, a Tomica Limited Vintage Diorama, but you probably figured that out.

TLV has released several Tomicaramas, from Used Car lots like this one to Police Stations to Service Stations and so on.  I have set up this Bayside Motors set and the Shell Gas Station, but I have a couple of others to set up as well.

There is something about these.  I don't know what it is that makes it so fun to set these up.  I thought I got past that, but then again, I collect toy cars.  These sets are way more about the cars themselves then any fight for a Super or hoard of a Skyline.  This is pure fun.

And I am not alone.  Judging by the prices people bid on the Tomicaramas in the Japan Booster Holiday Sale ($140 to $255 each), many of you want these too.  The sets are highly detailed, just like their TLV vehicle counterparts, and folks are willing to pay for them.  And once you have one, set it up.

It is time.  As long as don't get too carried away during my YouTube Videos and start playing Zack and Jesse's Bayside Motors Dealership, I think it could be fun to have the Tomicaramas serve as a backdrop for the videos as well.  It's just more fun.

I will get out the other sets and show them here and on the videos as soon as I can.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lamley Unboxing: Opening a 2017 Hot Wheels C Case...

After previewing the Hot Wheels D and E Assortment finds in the UK yesterday, let's take a step back to the C Case, which hasn't been found here or in the UK.  Some nice recolors, and an instant new model classic in the model pictured above.

A&J Toys sent out this C Case, and as always I opened it on camera.  Enjoy:


It's Cyber Monday at hobbyDB, and there is a ton of stuff for sale...

Cyber Monday/Thanksgiving Sale at hobbyDB
Ever bought anything from hobbyDB?

Most of the dialogue about hobbyDB, at least among the set here, has been on the database.  I am a BIG believer in collector databases, and one of the reasons I partnered with hobbyDB was because of the effort being made on their end to catalog everything.

I have actually visited their offices twice, just to see what was going on.  And it is pretty damn cool.  Up until now diecast databases were a confusing mix of online databases, usually run by one dedicated collector.  The quality of the sites varied, and the biggest risk was always that the person running the site would lose interest, or means, to keep going.  The result would be dead websites with lots of valuable info for you and me.

hobbyDB is changing that, and changing it rapidly.  There is a whole dedicated team to this, and Christian and the gang are constantly pursuing more and more information.  Each time I have left their offices in Boulder, Colorado, I have left excited with the possibilities of what hobbyDB can be.

Of course, there is a lot of work to be done.  One of the reasons I was there earlier this month was to share my ideas on how to improve the database.  Mainly how to make it more user friendly, and how to make it a tool that you and I would use daily.  The info is all there, it just needs to be easier to access.  They are implementing all kinds of new, simple tools, and I am pretty stoked about it.

All that said, did you know that hobbyDB is also a massive collectible market?  Here is the vision:  You think of a model you like, let's use the Hot Wheels '83 Chevy Silverado as an example.  You want to know all the releases of that model.  You head to hobbyDB, and there is an easy to navigate list of all of them.  Once you see all of the releases, you figure out which you still need, and the cool thing?  There will be some there for you to buy!  Plus, you see that there are other Silverado castings by other diecast brands, some obscure.  You want those too.  And you can get them.  Look at that Toyota 2000GT above.  Did you know about it?  You can buy it now.

Think about it.  This is what we need.  How many times do you use eBay as a database, hoping all the models you need are available?  We need something more complete.  That is where hobbyDB is heading.  And quietly it is getting there.  In my view, the "easy to navigate" part is the most important, and they are working on it.

The market is already there.

If you haven't looked at what is available from the various sellers at hobbyDB, today is the day.  The Cyber Monday Sale is happening today and today only, and some of the models are discounted up to 50%.  You can see all of them at the link below:

Cyber Monday/Thanksgiving Sale at hobbyDB

Go check it out.  Look up the models you are after.  You might find some awesome stuff.

And bookmark the damn page.  You are going to want to keep visiting.  Lots to come...