Saturday, February 6, 2016

February Matchbox Ambassador Report: Time to submit your questions to the Matchbox Design Team..

Dirk Schleuer has just released his February Ambassador Report, which highlights all the sneaks Matchbox has shown in the past month, along with what has been released, as well as reader requests for future castings.  You can find the whole report here:

Dirk Schleuer's February Matchbox Ambassador Report

As we have said before, things have changed with the Matchbox Team now releasing sneaks themselves on their Instagram Account.  They will even answer questions.  Even if they don't, changes to models like wheels on the MX-5 and window line on the Skyline prove they do pay attention.

But Dirk, along with The Lamley Group, want to give you a way to ask questions.  The Matchbox Team has agreed to sit down every few weeks with a series of questions and answer them to the best of their ability.  That includes reps from the design, marketing, and production teams.

So consider this post a request for questions.  The best way is to post them here in the comments section, or email them to Dirk at  Submit them by February 15th, Dirk will compile them and submit the most answerable questions, and the team will have the answered in time for the next report.

PLEASE NOTE: There are a lot of questions the team can't answer.  They won't reveal upcoming models for 2017 or beyond, and there are plenty of other details about upcoming models that cannot be shared until things are finalized, so don't be disappointed if your question falls in that category.  Also, questions like "Will you make a (Insert random car your dad drove) in the future?" will get the same answer every time: "Don't know."

Other than that, this Matchbox Team loves to share with collectors, and loves the passion and participation.  They listen.  And now here your chance for them to answer your questions...


Friday, February 5, 2016

Diecast goes Art Deco: The Greenlight GM Futurliner...

It is a very rare occasion for Lamley to go back to the 1940's.  Probably because it is a very rare occasion for any of the diecast companies we cover to go back to the 1940's.

But Greenlight just did, and it is spectacular.  Not just any car, but the GM Futurliner, in all its art deco glory.  It isn't a bus, but essentially a display created for the Parade of Progress, a way for GM to promote future technologies.  And oh how cool it would have been if we went all art deco in the future.

There has to be a few reasons that Greenlight did the Futurliner.  It is a significant vehicle, to be sure. It is also straight-up stunning.  It also garnered a load of money at a Barrett Jackson auction a few years ago.  But let's just run with how amazing the model is.

It's heavy.  It's detailed.  It is a step above most other Greenlights.  Greenlight has been known to be a little inconsistent quality-wise, but this model is flawless.  And honestly my photos do it no justice.

Greenlight continues to step up its game with casting choices, special lines like Hitch & Tow, and now special models like this one and the Fleetwood Bounder RV's.  For someone like me who loves 1:64 like Tomica Limited Vintage, it is great to see...

(UPDATE: I talked to Wheel Collectors this morning, and they informed me that they are completely sold out, as is Greenlight entirely.  No idea if this is a limited run, but here is what is left on ebay.  It is worth it.)

(Find Greenlight at Wheel Collectors)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Monster Pallet Attacks: Motor World Nissan GT-R and a slew of other fantastic Greenlights...

This is what you call a big pallet:

This is what our friends at Wheel Collectors are going through at the moment.  It is all Greenlight, and it is fantastic stuff.  Some hobby exclusive pickups, an AWESOME C10 with a camper shell, and a superb match of Motor World.  In fact, this batch marks the debut of the new Motor World Nissan GT-R, and Wheel Collectors is offering it at a very nice price:

Greenlight Motor World Nissan GT-R at Wheel Collectors

But while the GT-R will be the most popular, there is quite a bit of other cool models, so check them out here:

Greenlight at Wheel Collectors

Features definitely coming soon...

The Must-Have Hot Wheels Ferraris: Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole...

In the oft-quoted words of modern American poets Cinderella, "Don't know you got ('till it's gone)."

And oh is that the case with Hot Wheels Ferraris.  So many collectors are sadly sitting over their collections, lamenting that they didn't appreciate the little red sports cars until it was too late.  Then they feel that urge to put on their best white spandex, enlarge their hair as much as possible, and go play guitar in the desert.

(Tangent: I sure do miss hair bands filming videos in National Parks.  You didn't even have to visit the National Parks.  The hair bands did it for you.  Just flip on MTV and boom, instant National Park tour.  The Scorpions gave us a full tour of the Land of the Morning Star in just one song!  Then Creed ruined it.  Back to topic.)

I miss the Hot Wheels Ferraris.  When Mattel had the license, each year you could count on at least one new Ferrari casting, a Ferrari 5-pack, and a slew of Italian Stallions scattered all over the various Hot Wheels lines.  We took it for granted people.  And now they are gone, and some of us are scrambling to find those that we missed.

If you want them all, it is an impossible task.  I remember meeting a collector at Hot Wheels Nationals that focused solely on Ferraris, and he was carrying around a binder that listed all he had that resembled the budgets of some countries.  It was super thick.

But since we can't focus on any new Ferraris, there are some that are totally worth pursuing.  Some are getting harder and harder to come by, others are fairly easy.  But all that I am going to show are, in my opinion, must-haves.

Since I have already dubbed 2006 to 2011 the Last Golden Age of Matchbox (although it is looking more and more like the work "Last" has to be removed), I don't think I can dub the same time period as the Last Golden Age of Hot Wheels Ferraris, but it deserves it.  Surely we got some nice Ferrari castings like the FF the last few years, but during that time collectors were bathing in a plethora of Ferrari gold, most notably the Ferrari Racer series.

So over the next few weeks, I will be showcasing the Ferraris that I feel are must-haves.  This is by no means a comprehensive list.  I have been very selective in my Ferrari collecting.  Many of the models I will feature aren't complete, meaning I only have some of the examples issued.  And if you go older, into the 90's and 80's, I have none.  But there are so many you can collect however you want.  Just look all the listings on eBay...

And to start this series, it seems that the Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole was a good choice.  Not only because it is one of the best-looking Ferraris ever made, but because I can't think of a better Ferrari casting by Hot Wheels.

The 308 is iconic for many reasons.  It was a dream car for many of us growing up, it was Magnum's car, and yes, Christy Brinkley.  That flat nose, the targa top (GTS only), and that dramatic side intake.  Just awesome.

Hot Wheels has done a few of 308 replicas.  The hard-top GTB, of which I own a total of zero, a very rough Corgi replica from 1995, and this one, the GTS Quattrovalvole.  The GTB was nice, but the GTS is, like I said earlier, one of the best Ferraris Hot Wheels has ever done.  Every detail is there, including the all-important stance.

The GTS debuted in the rapidly-becoming-legendary Ferrari Racer line.  I wasn't paying too much attention back then, but from what I know, this series was a Toys R Us exclusive in the US, as well as a "rest of world" line elsewhere.  Meaning there were some exclusive to TRU, but other models could only be acquired in overseas markets.  Trying to determine which is which is hard, especially since every Ferrari Racer I have acquired has come from eBay or other secondary stores.

We are Real Rider obsessed these days, but what made the Ferrari Racers great was the use of Comold wheels.  There is something about the Comolds that looks great on Ferraris, as well as sportscars in general, as was proven in the Speed Machines line.  As great as the Real Riders look on later versions of the GTS, the two Racer versions are my favorite.

After that, the 308 GTS made its way to the basic range, but only once.  It debuted in blue and then was recolored red.  The blue debut surprised a few people, as Hot Wheels Ferraris always debut in red.  They must have forgotten that this model had already been released.

Blue might have surprised, but the 308 in everyone's minds is red.  That is why, of the eight models released, only two are not red.  Yes, the second Racer in more maroon, but that is essentially red.  But not even counted the maroon, there are four straight-up red models.  And that is how it should be.

The other two reds are the premium versions released later, one from the Garage Series, and the other from Retro Entertainment, in full Magnum PI garb.  Color is essentially the same, wheels are the same, and there are only a a few small differences, like the color of the interiors.  But I am happy to have both.  Looking back, it is crazy that both of these premium versions tended to hang on the pegs.  Cue Cinderella.

The rest we will say with photos.  The model is beautiful.  It is Hot Wheels perfection.  It is sadly missed.

Now go out and get a couple HW 308s before it is too late, and you find yourself playing guitar in the desert...