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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Guest Post: Lionel Racing's Nascar models in 1/64, by Guillaume Maillard.

This is why I love learning about other people's collections.  There are always surprises, and it is impossible to not appreciate someone's interest.
Take Guillaume Maillard of France.  Guillaume has a stunning collection, full of premium diecast in all kinds of scales.  His Instagram feed is truly one of my favorite accounts to follow.  I share many of his same interests, but there are several places we go in separate directions.  
For one, Guillaume loves Nascar.  I don't know the first about Nascar.  I know a little more now, thanks to this feature Guillaume wrote for Lamley.  Only in the hobby can an avid diecast collector who lives in the US get an education on Nascar from a dude in France.  Cool, eh?
Anyway, this is an awesome collection, and many thanks to Guillaume for featuring it.  
Remember, if you have an interesting part of your collection you would like to feature here, shoot me an email ( for consideration.
(Thanks Guillaume.)

That’s fun.  A French diecast collector writing as a guest for a US blog about the most popular racing sport of the US.
I am often asked why French people are so interested in Nacsar.
The answer? I don’t know.
Maybe because it’s the longest championship ever made (a race almost every week-end of the year), Or maybe the longest races.
And the cars! 

We have never heard of Nascar 1:64 on TheLamleyGroup; so when John asked for guests to write on this blog, I send an email immediately about what I am collecting, 1:64 diecast: Kyosho, Tomica Limited Vintage, Aoshima, CM’S, Microchamps (…) and …. Lionel Racing.
For a little bit of history, Lionel LLC, maker of the iconic Lionel Electric Trains, acquired the exclusive rights to produce licensed NASCAR diecast and launched Lionel NASCAR Collectables.
Then, to reflect its new partnership with NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and its continuing license with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Lionel NASCAR Collectables was rebranded as Lionel Racing
And so we have very nice little cars all faithfully reproduced with their sponsors, with the names of their drivers and the “GOOD YEAR EAGLE” logo on the tires.

I started collecting Lionel Racing during the 2016 season, so 95% of my cars are 2016 cars.
Looking at the anatomy of the diecast model, we have, strictly as the real car:
  • Radiator air intake
  • Roll cage
  • Window net
  • Jack post
  • Roof flaps.
At the moment, there are 3 brands racing on the Nascar Sprint Cup series (now called Monster Energy cup series for 2017): Chevrolet with the SS, Ford with the Fusion and Toyota with the Camry.

On a Nascar car, all is body paint: headlights, brake lights, exhausts are fake.
This make Lionel Racing the best you can get for decoration on a diecast car.

For more realism, the manufacturer also reproduced “win” versions, meaning the car is covered in graffiti, gets scratches and is dirty.
I still have not win versions in my collection, but I’m very looking for the Jimmie Johnson’s (#48) win version at Homestead Miami at the end of the 2016 season, winning his 7th title placing this racing royalty in the history book.   

Each car is representative of a team, a driver, and a sponsor, all in several liveries.
Of course, Dale Earnhardt Jr (#88), the most popular driver of the current Nascar, gets the most different versions of models and sponsors.
I personally count 5 versions of Dale Earnhardt Jr car in my collection of 50 models so far.

They all come in their little boxes, with the name of the team and the driver (at least, where I buy them, mostly in the UK).
Here are some of my favorite: 
Of course Jimmie Johnson, 7 time winner champion, in the Lowe’s livery, my all-time favorite.

Kyle Busch, 2015 champion, sponsored by M&M’s (favorite cars of the kids).

Tony Stewart, retired at the end of the 2016 season. I absolutely wanted this version, after his great victory at Sonama (road track).

Landon Cassill, just loved the car.

Matt Kenseth, stunning deco.

My favorite young driver, called “Rookie”, Chase Eliott.

Finally, Danica Patrick, the only woman driver of the Nascar.

All in all, those Lionel Racing display very well and provide nice colors in a collection.

I am very often looking at them, guessing the meaning of their sponsor, and trying to remember in which race I had seen them.

I hope you enjoyed this very short presentation of Lionel Racing cars, and you will add one to your collection!
I want to make a special thanks to my friend Bertrand (64-ever diecast), who made me discover Nascar and Lionel Racing diecast. A great and good way to diversify your collection!
Looking forward to the 2017 season.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Datsun or Toyota? My Kmart mail-in has arrived.

After ordering a 36-count Kmart Case, I figured I might as well use it to redeem a couple of the Datsun 510 Mail-ins.  I hit a nearby Kmart and bought four more models to make it 40 cars purchased, and mailed the receipts and card backs in to Mattel.

One week later the box arrived.

Normally I would just open the case and enjoy it, but because some folks have reported finding Walmart mail-in Toyota Trucks in their parcel, I thought I might as well open the thing on Facebook Live.

Here is what I opened.  (Sorry for the strange sound bursts.  I will try and figure that out.)


Showcase: Auto World 2016 Series 5 "Limited C & D".

Auto World on eBay
There is just a vibe that Auto World is going to have a great 2017.  The first series has been released, and what AW has been teasing for later in the year looks tremendous.

I probably say it on every Auto World post I do: AW is the best premium 1/64 diecast company in the US.  I love collecting my Tomica Limited Vintage and Kyosho, and for me personally Auto World completes the trifecta.  I love the idea of a TLV stock Supra, Kyosho Ferrari, and AW classic Cadillac all sitting next to each other in my display.

And it seems Auto World is coming into its own.  The casting selections are unique, they fill a void, and now with more limited release numbers, I think they will be easier to find.  I know that sounds weird, but when only 1800 of a model are produced, those that want them will find them, and AW can move on to the next batch.

AW has been plagued with slow distribution in big box stores.  The pegs are slow to be stocked, and many times when they are, the same models show up.  The turnover needs to be faster to get more collectors to notice.  And once a collector notices AW, there is a good chance they will snag a couple (or in my case all) of them.

So I am very interested to see where 2017 goes with Auto World, and in a couple of days I will showcase the first release.  But first, let's close 2016 with Series 5 versions C & D, the first "Limited" release from Auto World.


To me at least, AW has figured out the casting choices.  Of course its always American cars.  As a TLV collector, I am totally fine with that.  It is a great niche when you look at the hobby globally.  And instead of a heavy emphasis on the standard muscle and classic cars, AW goes more for a slice of what you would have seen on the road, a la TLV.  They haven't jumped into trucks, but in every Series, a sports car is matched by a standard sedan, maybe a wagon or land yacht, something from 50's, 60's, or 70's, plus a possible modern car.  A mix of the familiar and not so familiar.

That is why I love the '76 Firebird - maybe the best casting of this series - next to the '58 Plymouth Fury.  And with this being versions C & D, you are getting the 3rd and 4th colors.  It makes for a nice set of each model.

So here is release C & D of 2016 Series 5.  It is limited - only 1832 produced of each - so I you can't find it at your local Target or Walmart, head to the Auto World store to buy a set or over to eBay to find the individual models you want.

Then, if I dare say, open them.  It feels good.

1971 Dodge Dart Swinger

1976 Pontiac Firebird T/A

1964 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

1958 Plymouth Fury

1966 Chevy Impala SS

1966 Oldsmobile 442