Japan Booster

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Model of the Day: Hot Wheels/Toys R Us Mail-in '88 Jeep Wagoneer...

We may have 20 models to add to the Lamley "Trick or Treat" pile later this month, but at least we now have the mail-in Jeep Wagoneer...

We like these mail-in promotions that Hot Wheels does with retailers.  Kmart gets three, Walmart one, and Toys R Us one.  And the set of 5 all share the same theme and similar deco.  It makes for a pretty cool set.  As soon as the Kmart mail-in arrives, in fact, we will do a post on all of them.

But of the promotions, the TRU set-up needs the most improvement.  The Kmart mail-ins coincide with the Kmart Collectors Day event.  Buy 20 models and send in the receipt and card-backs.  That is easy, especially considering the Kday cases are full of exclusives or just-to-market cars.  Finding 20 to buy is easy.

The Walmart mail-in is even easier.  Photograph a Walmart receipt, upload the photo to special promotion website, and points are added.  Once enough points are accrued, you can order the special model and it is shipped without charging you shipping.

The TRU promotion?  Bleh.  There are exclusives in the TRU batches, but there are not that many, and are many times gobbled up by the first person who finds them.  Plus, this year at most TRUs the shippers containing the special TRU colors were put on the floor several days before the promotion started, meaning you could not use a receipt for the 20 models if the purchase was made before the promotion began.  I actually found the exclusives at my local TRU, but left them because the promotion had not started yet, and I could only use receipts from the specified dates.  When I returned after the promotion had started, all the models were gone.

I waited to see if ebay prices on the mail-in would settle, but they stayed high.  So a few days before the promotion ended, I returned to my local TRU, and bought 20 models I cared nothing for, returned home and opened them all, and sent in the cardbacks.  Those 20 models will now be given away along with a slew of other extras on Halloween.

As annoying as the promotion was, at least it paid off in the form of this fantastic Wagoneer.  I have said before that Jeeps rarely interest me.  Actually, no Jeeps interest me, except for the Wagoneer.  I have always had a soft spot for the wood-paneled Wagoneers, and I absolutely love the Hot Wheels version.

Nothing will beat the Boulevard version in black with wood paneling, but the mail-in is a worth runner-up.  It looks good in this year's exclusive deco, and it is thankfully fully detailed.

We assume those that wanted these already have theirs.  Those who don't, ebay is the best option now, as the promotion has ended...

Hot Wheels '88 Jeep Wagoneer (2014 TRU Mail-In):

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What happened to the Hot Wheels 2014 Q Cases, and will this make the Datsun Wagon Super even harder to find?

On the way home from California yesterday, the family made a pitstop in St. George, Utah.  There was a Walmart nearby, so I decided to take a break from driving and get a little walking in.  While there I found a Hot Wheels dumpbin that clearly had been put out in the last 24 hours.

It seemed logical that this could be a Q case, considering no Q cases have shown in western US Walmarts.  But it was a 2015 A case.  While I was very happy to pick up the models I needed, it did lead me to wonder what happened to Q case dump bins at Walmart.

If we follow the normal Hot Wheels release pattern, Q case dump bins were supposed to hit Walmarts in early September, and they were to include the last three Zamacs of 2014.  They never did.  Some collectors in the Eastern US reported finding Q case bins, but without Zamacs.  No reports surfaced after those first few.

In late September, the last Zamacs have appeared, but as part of R cases.  We have never seen R cases before, and they seem to be 2015 Batch A models with the last batch of 2014 Zamacs.  These cases don't include Supers.  This photo was posted by HWsMichael at HWC:

Since then some have reported finding the Zamacs with dump bins containing A case cars, along with Fast & Furious and Batman cars, and others, like me, have found A case dump bins.

So does this mean the Q case run is over at Walmart?

It seems something like this happened last year.  The 2013 Q cases showed sporadically at different Walmarts, with many not seeing Zamacs.  We never saw them around here.  So whatever that issue was, Mattel is trying to resolve it with R cases.

But where does that leave the Datsun Wagon Super TH and the 2015 Mustang New Model?  New Models and Supers only stay in one batch, and from all reports they are not in the R or A cases.  We assume more Q cases will appear at other stores like Target and Kroger, but without Walmart, the numbers of some of these models will be much smaller.

So while it is early, could this make the Datsun Wagon Super even more sought-after?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime we will try and figure out what is in all these batches.

And let us know what you are finding by way of our Facebook or Instagram pages.  We definitely want to know...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First Look: 2015 Hot Wheels Datsun 240Z along with its compatriots...

We have been wanting to do a post on the 240Z for awhile.  It seems logical that the next model for collectors to be scrambling for past versions is the 240Z.  Well, as soon as their 510 collections are complete.

One of the most popular booths at JCCS is the diecast booth, run by Jeff Koch.  Those who have been there know of the frenzy he deals with.  And for good reason.  The selection of Japanese mini cars Jeff brings with him is nothing short of mind-blowing.  There is almost too much.  I remember watching a collector come up, ask if Jeff had anything MR2-related, and without skipping a beat he was pointed in the right direction.  Any brand, any make.  It was amazing.

I bring this up because I asked Jeff after the show what sold the most.  He said without a doubt anything 510 sold really well.  Hot Wheels Bluebird 510 Sedans and Wagons were gobbled up, as were 510's from other brands.  That seems to be the trend right now.  Anything with the numbers 5-1-0 or the word "Skyline" is bound to get gobbled up.

Which makes one wonder what is next to join that group.  It seems the 240Z is a logical answer.  The Hot Wheels version has been out a few years, meaning there are plenty of versions that current collectors would love to get their hands on, and we older collectors love to torment them with tales of yore when the 240Z hung side-by-side the 510 for months, and even years, on the pegs.

So we thought it would be prudent to go through all the 240Z's released so far.  We were going to do that earlier this summer, but then we heard the 240Z was returning to the mainline, so we decided to wait.  Plus, we still hadn't opened our extra RLC 240Z.

We finally have our hands on the 2015 version of the 240Z, so now is as good a time as ever.  (Even though the RLC BRE version is slated to go on sale soon.  When it will be actually released is as much a mystery as all RLC release dates are right now.)

So first things first, we have a couple of models to open:

That is always easier than it seems.

Now that the hard part is done, how about all versions released so far?

(Keep in mind we are not showing variations on this one.  There are a few wheel variations on some of these models, plus 3 tampo variations on the Zamac.)

2006 First Editions

2006 First Editions

2006 First Editions (Kmart Exclusive)

2007 Mainline

2008 Modern Classics

2008 Modern Classics

2011 Regular Treasure Hunt

2011 Super Treasure Hunt

2011 Holiday Hot Rods

2013 Mainline

2013 Mainline (Walmart Zamac Exclusive)

2013 RLC

2015 Mainline
Have a favorite?  If we were forced to answer, it would be the Super TH, but that Zamac strikes our fancy as well.  To be honest, all are pretty good looking, and that goes with the latest version as well. Shall we take a gander?

Hot Wheels Datsun 240Z (2015 Mainline):

And, because the camera was on, the RLC Exclusive: