Japan Booster

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The joy of purging and organizing the collection (and discovering the forgotten)...

As I mentioned in a previous post, the flu hit my house this week, and most of it was spent in bed.  Towards the end of the week, however, I had enough energy to get up and work on something I have meant to do for while.


I don't like clutter.  It makes me nervous, and it bothers me if something doesn't have a place.  I definitely got the OCD side of the collecting gene instead of the hoarding side.  Plus, I don't like getting overwhelmed by the collection.  My rule?  If the collection can't fit in my office closet, then it needs to be cut down.

That's the first part.

The second?  The Tomica Limited Vintage takeover continues.  I still love the Mattel brands, and will continue to collect many of the castings, but I would be more than happy to just collect TLV.  You can tell by my displays.

Here is what they were when I first got them:

Two cases of Hot Wheels/Matchbox, one case of TLV/Kyosho.

Here is what they are now:

That's 2 cases of only TLV, and the third has even more TLV, plus Kyosho, Greenlight, Aoshima, and a few Matchbox/Hot Wheels.

And as more TLV comes in, which is now every month from Japan Booster, they will go in the displays.  I actually need to start thinking about a fourth display.

All this means things are changing.  There is the Lamley collection and there is the "Lamley Blog" collection.  The Lamley collection are my personal favorites, and those are most of the models displayed.  The "Lamley Group" collection are those models that I do like, and also interest many of you, and they are good to have on hand for future features on the blog.

But ultimately, I can't keep everything, and all has to fit in the closet:

So, during my flu week, I purged:

That means going through everything, extracting the extras I don't need, removing models I am no longer interested in, or have already done their job on the blog, and using those to make a very cool pile of diecast.

The collection is now down to the size I want, with room for future models coming in.  Peace and tranquility, brother.

So what will I do with these extras?  Donate some for sure, but I also know many of you would be interested in a good number of what I no longer need.  Any ideas of what to do?  eBay is the easiest method, and that is probably what I will do, but any other suggestions are welcome.

Another enjoyable aspect of the purge?  Discovering models I essentially forgot about, and that give me great ideas for future posts.  (That is what prompted the Matchbox SLR McLaren post on Thursday.)  I took some pics as I went along.  Some we have featured, others we haven't.  And there is a ton of Matchbox from a few years ago that will definitely interest a lot of you.

Let me know if you would like to see some of these on the blog sometime down the line:

Fun huh?  I love the flu.

No I don't.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Confirmed: The final batch of Cool Classics will be a JDM lover's paradise...

We can put our fears to rest.

A few months after Mattel made it seem that they were killing off the Cool Classics line two batches short, today they confirmed that the final batch, Batch L, is in fact on its way, and it will be a doozy for a lot of us.

The release of Batch K obviously was the best indicator that L was coming, but we had heard no specific confirmation from Mattel.  But now we have.  Slated for March, this is what is coming:
  • ’76 Chevy Chevette
  • 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake
  • Datsun 240Z
  • Datsun Bluebird 510
  • Subaru Brat
Yeah, those last three should grab your attention (doomus, you can continue to salivate over the first one).  Two Datsuns and a BRAT.  (Incidentally I think that was also the title of an 80's movie starring Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, and Steve Guttenberg, but I can't remember specifically.)

That means a plethora of those three castings in 2015.  The 510 in CC and Heritage, the BRAT in CC, Heritage, and the mainline (fingers crossed for a Super), and the 240Z in CC, Heritage, the mainline, and RLC.  

You might need to put some money aside.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What could have been: Matchbox Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren...

Do we even care about Mercedes anymore?

That is probably a dumb question.  Of course we do.  But in our little world, when they are not showing up in a blister, we tend to focus elsewhere.  On social media networks, everything BUT Mercedes is all the chatter.  Speedhunters is showing modified Volvos, the BMW 2002 has its own day on Instagram, McLaren wants Honda motors, and Liberty Walk would rather work on a Bimmer than a Merc.  It seems the only Mercedes magic right now is coming from these guys.

In world full of Porsche, BMW, and now Audi, doesn't it seem sometimes that we forget the Mercedes-Benz has made cool cars too?

We sure wouldn't forget if we had more miniature versions winding through our collections.  But there aren't any.  That would change very quickly if the MB folks would get their heads out of the sand and relax their licensing requirements a bit.

As we have discussed several times before, Mercedes requires that all companies making miniature versions of their models also attach a small hologram sticker with the MB logo to the packaging of every product.  Most companies have said no, including Mattel, and we totally side with them.  It is a stupid requirement.  It costs a ton for licensing rights to cars already, and requiring that on top of everything else is pushing things too far.  I don't blame Mattel and others for saying no.  We wouldn't blame them if they were strict on what a casting looked like, or what colors and decos were used, but the damn sticker!?!  C'mon....

And Mercedes is definitely missing out on some great marketing opportunities.  Look at the Hot Wheels Heritage line.  Five years ago it would have been all muscle and classic American cars.  Now it is full of JDM, classic pickups, unique British cars, and vintage Euro, along with some great muscle as well.  Wouldn't a mid-80's Mercedes Turbo Deisel Wagon fit in nicely?  The party is jumpin', and Mercedes is still trying to get past the bouncer with their precious hologram sticker.  Drop it guys!  We want you here!

And that is just thinking about the new models we could see from manufacturers.  What about the existing casting we would love to see return?  Hot Wheels has a couple, but Matchbox has a ton.  And none better than the SLR McLaren.

Unfortunately it is also the one model that was used the least.  It was really a matter of timing.  The SLR debuted in 2009, was recolored once, AAAAANNNNNNNNDD...it was gone.  The Mattel/Mercedes licensing riff started right after.  We know a blue SLR was slated for a 2010 5-pack, and our guess is we would have seen at least 5 or 6 versions since.

But no, we only have two, and that may never change.  At least we have the two, and in two great colors.  The Matchbox SLR actually came to be because of a collectors vote the year before, I think at a Design Preview in El Segundo (We weren't there, no matter where it was).  The Design team told collectors they wanted to do a supercar, and they had five options, and asked the collectors to vote on what license to pursue.  Also, according to our blurry, vague memories, another car won the vote (DT thinks it was a Maserati, I think it was a Rolls Royce), but the license was not able to be secured, so Matchbox went with the second choice, the SLR.

And they nailed the casting.  Other diecast companies have tried to the do the SLR in 1:64, but Matchbox's was far and away the best.  We just wish we would see more versions...

The SLR in both colors continues to get harder and harder to find, carded or loose.  A search on eBay yielded only one result.  Maybe this post will compel a few sellers to list a few for those that want them.  Be prepared to pay a few dollars...

2009 Matchbox Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren: