Tuesday, September 27, 2016

M2 can be a nightmare for DLMers, but boy is it worth it...

My fingers hurt.

I spent the last few minutes opening the Auto Zone exclusive M2 set.  It started like this:

Several tiny screws and some cramped hands later, I had this:

Honestly, I don't know if M2 really wants you to fully DLM their stuff.  That packaging is really nice, and terrible to open.  And even once the box is in its rightly place in the recycling, the lift that holds these cars is too cool to take apart.

But I did, and wow, this is some cool stuff.

M2 needs a lot more coverage here.  And they are going to get it.  For one, they are supercool folks over there.  Designer Sean Taylor with his killer beard is quickly getting a reputation as an approachable, down-to-earth guy whose passion for all things vehicular is greater than all of us combined.  He talks about his creations like I talked about my first diecast firetruck when I was four-years-old.  Pure, unadulterated joy.  And he is a skilled designer to boot.

M2 is for the collector, so these guys know collector-speak.  They know what collectors like, and they make collecting M2 fun.  The chases they do always change, for example, and I have sensed more and more excitement about finding them.

Oh, and the models.  The best way to put it is these models are really good looking.  They are not afraid to do what it takes to max realism AND style.  And from what I have heard, they are going to take that to new levels in the future.

So I am showing M2 now, because we are going to be seeing a lot from them moving forward.  I want to be part of the movement.

So today it is the Auto Zone set.  I will say, if this were a Hot Wheels set, I would not have picked it up, unless I couldn't resist the castings used.  In the case of this set, the Auto Zone logo is all over these, but in a realistic, vintage style.  They picked the right castings, and made the deco appropriate. Not a current style on a classic truck.

And yeah, once you sacrifice your hands to get these open, hot damn!!  Some have mentioned the use of so many little parts can add to the detail, but can make these models fall apart.  I see what they are saying, but so far I haven't seen the lack of quality that I have sadly seen with Greenlight in many cases.  But as I open more, I will see.  Right now, these are begging to be opened and displayed.

I haven't talked too specifically about the castings here, but that will come in the future.  Collectible diecast for me has to be a mix of interesting casting choices and fantastic execution.  That is why Tomica Limited Vintage has my unbridled devotion.  That is why I collect Auto World and Kyosho.  That is why I have finally started hitting the M2 section of the pegs every time I visit a store...

(Next M2 feature?  I am going to open some chases.  Better get my hands ready.)


  1. Love M2. Would love more if they had no misaligned door gaps or better doors that didn't open.

  2. Having taken apart many M2 vehicles in the past, the Auto-Lift is indeed the hardest with two screws for each vehicle, and to get to the top vehicle off the four screws on the base of the lift need to come off first (if you can get all the screws off without stripping them!).

    The Auto-Haulers is next difficult with two screws for the cab, two for the trailer, and once the trailer is off two (or was it one?) screw for each vehicle inside the trailer. It was a lot of work for me to take the M2 Auto-Haulers Camaro set apart to take pics and put it back together again!

    The M2 Acrylic and low-end Drivers set are the easiest: just take two screws off the base and that's it! So far I only got one of the screws stuck and that was the Auto Lift, though thankfully the display base that got destroyed to get the stuck screw loose was intentional as I only wanted the lift for my display and not the base.

    As for the missing or loose parts and door gaps I've seen it all. My main motto: if it is fixable, get it; if not, then leave it behind. Small trim touch-ups are easy, but when the hood or door is flying loose in the package or the base is deformed it's a no-go for me (this was a common sight in last year's Detroit Muscle pink edition).

    Finally, to simplify taking vehicles and/or bases apart do what I did and at Wal-mart (or any hardware store) get the Precision ratchet screwdriver and magnetic bits set to make it easier on your hands. The ratcheting mechanism on the handle gives you the ability to create a hammer effect (just like an Impact Gun is used to take lug nuts off a wheel) to get the screw loose or a stubborn screw that would be difficult to take off with a regular screwdriver. I got both Precision and the Regular sets at Wal-mart a few years ago, but so far I find myself using the Precision set 95% of the time than the regular set.

    Hope this info helps for the next group of M2's to take apart!

    1. Joseph this is one of the most thorough comments anyone has left here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! You sound like an avid M2 collector. If you ever would like to feature parts of your collection here on Lamley, please reach out - lamleygroup@gmail.com

    2. Glad to see that I'm not the only one dealing with this. M2's are great models, just the quality of the products make me balk at buying them regularly.

  3. I find that M2 for the price, is an excellent vehicle representation. The fact that Sean is regularly searching for ways to re-present current production models, and also introduce new pieces each year, shows his solo effect on the collectors at large. He is also atuned to the collector community and responds as he can; and with enthusiasm; to suggestions or issues without fail. Supported by Andy Goodman, they tag team the best product delivery, marketing, and end product for serious collectors like me, who have hundreds of pieces of these little lovelies! Hats off to M2! And Hats off to Lamely too for a great write up and solid review!