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Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween from the Lamley Group...

I am bah-humbug when it comes to Halloween.  I don't dress up, don't feel the need to go to over-the-top parties, and my "get off my lawn!" codger-isms rev up to full throttle.

That is until I decided to give mini cars away.

I still won't dress up, and I don't have time to go to parties, because our once-ignored house is hopping on Halloween night.  Kids have historically avoided our house because it sits on a fairly steep hill.  It seems kids don't think the climb is worth it.

They do now.  The word got out last year that we were giving away cars, and apparently the anticipation is high that we will do the same this year.  And we are, and we are giving them away via track.  We decided to put it out on the driveway and have the kids park it at the end, where their car will fly down the track and hop into a basket where they will retrieve it.  And of course they can do another run down the track themselves.  Mix in a fire pit and pizza, and we think it should be a dandy time for all.

My daughter and I did a test run the other night, just to prepare:

It isn't elaborate, but it is fun.  The cars will travel about 30 feet.  We plan on adding a few glowsticks to make it easier to see.

So yes, I kind of like Halloween now.  The neighborhood kids love it, the parents like that their kids get at least one less piece of candy, and I get to thin out the collection.

We assume a few of you are doing the same thing.  We would love it if you shared some photos with us, either on the Lamley Facebook page or Instagram (tag #lamleyhalloween).  If we get a few we will share them here on the blog.

Happy Halloween...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2015 Hot Wheels Batch D is shaping up nicely...

The card artwork for Hot Wheels Batch D has been unveiled, and there are a handful of models that definitely interest us.

It starts with the Super Treasure Hunt, the Ferrari 599XX.  We realize a few of you are frustrated that following the 599XX Super in 2012, the next Ferrari to be made a Super is the...uh...599XX.  Sure, there are a few worthy Ferrari castings to be made a Super, but if there is one that deserves to be repeated, it is the 599XX.  So count us as fans.  But check out the artwork:

So which one is the Super and which one is the mainline?  The top is the Super, based on the wheels and the color.  But it looks like this may the first Super to have the exact same deco as its mainline counterpart, save the "TH" logo, which is behind the front wheel.  Who knows, maybe a few early bird collectors will miss this one on the pegs and leave it for you to snag.  Keep your eyes sharp.  This is a Super we are really looking forward to.

And there are a few others:

Happy to see the Lotus already getting a recolor, and the Porsche we unveiled earlier, but the Civic takes the cake.  We may not be head over heels for the red wheels, but other than that it looks really good.

Some other notables:

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

First Look: The logo cars of Hot Wheels Batch B, the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR & Ford Shelby GT500...

When we received Hot Wheels Batch B from Wheel Collectors last week, two models looked an awful lot alike.

They actually make a nice pair.  Two American monsters, in white, with orange and black deco.  And both sporting the logos of two well-known auto-related names, one new and one old.  K&N Air Filters have been around forever, and Speedhunters has become one of the end-alls for car features online.

We start with the Shelby.  It isn't just a Hot Wheels model with the K&N logo on it, like the Torino from a few years ago, and a few others.  This is actually based on a real car:

Hot Wheels '10 Ford Shelby GT500 (2015 Mainline):

Next, the Viper.  We have always liked this casting, and there have been several great versions in the last few years, some not too easy to find.  This version is probably our least favorite, for two main reasons.  One, it doesn't share the design of the real ACR.  Even the green holiday version had remnants of the ACR design, even if it did include holiday stars.  Second, the casting has fallen victim to the metal spoiler, which looks clunky compared to its previous version in plastic.  We know now that all the models with a plastic spoiler will go metal, and sometimes it doesn't bother at all, other times it is actually an improvement, and others it detracts.  This one isn't horrible on its own, but not great compared to the plastic spoiler.

The model still looks good, it just probably won't enter the collection alongside the others.  Looks nice next to the Mustang though...

Hot Wheels Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR (2015 Mainline):

Alongside last year's Speedhunters Camaro:

Some of our favorite Viper ACR models from year's past:

2010 New Models

2010 New Models

2011 Easter

2012 Cars of the Decades (which seems to be hard-to-find)

2012 Multipack

Putting together a Tomica Limited Vintage Tomicarama, and a First Look at the TLV-Neo 1984 Toyota Mark II HT Grande...

You may have noticed a new photo style has crept into Lamley.  If you haven't, just go to the Lamley Awards Super TH Poll post just below this one, or have a gander at this pic:

That is the all-too-common scene of all 15 2014 Hot Wheels Super Treasure Hunts sitting on a Japanese Used Car lot.  I mean, who HASN'T seen a Twin Mill being worked on in a garage next to a flamed Nova Wagon?  We might as well be showing a minivan in the Disneyland parking lot.

Lamley has a signature photo style when we showcase cars, and we won't give that up.  But every once in awhile you want to mix things up.  So when we saw Japan Booster had a couple of Tomicaramas, we pounced.

Tomicaramas are exactly what they appear to be - auto-themed dioramas made by Tomica Limited Vintage.  The set we have is a used car lot, and there are several others, including a police station and gas station.  We wanted something that could showcase several models in the same place, so we went with the car lot.

Our set arrived a couple of weeks ago, and when I had a spare minute, I employed the help of my youngest daughter and we put it together:

That of course is just the basic set, but if you look at what came in the box, you will see there is a lot more to add, including more signs and flags that we have kept sealed up for now.

Once the set was done, it was time to see if it could be a good backdrop for photos.  So we decided to kill two birds with one stone, and shoot the newest release from TLV-Neo, the 1984 Toyota Mark II HT Grande, which is a close relative of the Cressida here in the US.

While we were focused on how the set would look in photos, we kept getting distracted with how cool the two Mark II's were, especially the two-tone version.

Tomica Limited Vintage Neo Toyota Mark II HT Grande:

First off, how cool is the Mark II?  If you agree with us that is fantastic, you can get both versions at Japan Booster.  Next, while the setup needs a little tweaking, we love how the photos turned out.

So now, we have two Lamley studios.  One, the standard, will continue to be the primary way that we showcase new and old models.  But we do want to play a bit too, so look for the Tomicarama to rear its pretty head quite a bit.  We may add more Tomicaramas in the future.

We already spent too much time last weekend playing with the set:

We aren't going to get anything done, are we?  This is too much fun.  Let us know if there is any model you would like us to shoot here...

Japan Booster has told us they will list a couple of Tomicaramas, and if they prove good sellers, they will add more.  Hopefully if these interest you, you will let Japan Booster know...