Japan Booster

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lamley Customs: Chris Huntley's Datsun 620 Pickup...

It is vacation time for me.

There are two reasons why I mention that.  First, vacation means I have no desire to take the time to go through all the custom submissions for As is the Custom.  That will come later.

Reason #2, Ms. Lamley and I have decided to spend our vacation time in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, looking at art.  We have spent time with Cartier and Matisse at the Denver Art Museum, Chiluly at the Denver Botanic, and Eames at Design Within Reach (not a museum, but a great place to visit until DWR decides to open in SLC).  Am I telling you that to up my uppity factor?  Yes.  But I am also telling you that because we have, as always, enjoyed understanding the signature talents of these artists - Cartier & Co. with Jewelry, Matisse with paint and color, Chiluly with glass, and Eames with furniture and function.

Which brings us to Chris Huntley, or as he is known in the Instagram universe, @78toy4dr.  Of all the extremely talented customizers we have featured over the years on Lamley, no one has developed a signature style like Chris.  Ask anyone on Instagram - you know when you come across a Chris Huntley custom just by looking at the pic.  The matte paint, the subdued colors, the cambered/hellaflush style, and the crisp and clean detail.  Add to that his wild imagination, which can morph a recognizable casting into something completely different, without changing the essence of the model.  The Dairy Delivery is still the Dairy Delivery, only a completely different take.

Are we comparing Chris to Matisse?  No, of course not.  But in a sea of amazing and emerging custom talent, Chris gets kudos for his signature style.  And we feel like we can say that, because it won't get to his head.  Having met Chris, I can sincerely say this is a guy who loves what he does, and always wants to get better.

And that is why we want to feature his Datsun 620, which somehow made its way to our abode after JCCS.  The signature style is there, and execution fantastic, and whether or not Chris ever wants it back, it is staying with us.

(Thanks Chris.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why we love Tomica Limited Vintage: The subtle change in the latest Nissan IDx Freeflow...

At first glance, you have seen this many times on Lamley before.  The Tomica Limited Vintage Nissan IDx Freeflow and Nismo turned out to be immensely popular, and we were completely on the bandwagon.

We are still on the bandwagon, and if we were asked to name our Minicar Model of the Year, we would probably say the IDx.  It introduced many to TLV, and it was also their first non-vintage entry. It proved very popular, even here in the US, and TLV is pushing that further with two more IDx releases and the upcoming Nissan GT-R Nismo and N-Attack in February/March 2015.

But back to the IDx.  Tell us if you have seen these photos on Lamley before:

Sure you have, but this one is a little different than what we have shown before.  Take a look again:

Do you see it?

Maybe this will help:

Yep.  The grill.  The model on your left is the new "North American Show" version, which uses what they call the V-motion grill, or what we call an upside-down trapezoid with a Daft Punk helmet in the middle.  Call it what you want, Nissan wanted to stay true to the North American design queues they use, and Tomica Limited Vintage followed.  Dope.

And as far as we can tell, that is the only difference.  Can you see any others?

So yeah, on one hand you could say having both for just a subtle change in the grill is nonsense, but on the other you can celebrate just how great Tomica Limited Vintage is.  They do this with casting after casting.  Could be the grill, or the headlights, or the tail lights, or the vents, or whatever.  If the real thing had them, TLV includes it.

So hell yeah we got both!  And you should too.  We will be doing the same thing with the Nissan IDx Nismo North American edition that comes out in December.  And as always, all will be available at Japan Booster.  (You definitely want to get the Freeflow while it is at its current price.)

She's next:

The Hot Wheels 1969 & 1970 Mustang Boss 302: We never noticed the difference...

I am not an expert when it comes to Mustangs.  I can stop and stare at a classic Mustang with the best of them, but when it comes to the ins and outs of all things pony, I am not the guy you want to ask.

That is probably why I never noticed that Hot Wheels produced two different Mustang Boss 302 castings for their Racing Series.  It also didn't help that the only difference between the castings was masked by glossy black paint.

When the 302 casting debuted in the Vintage Racing line (in yellow), it was dubbed a 1970.  When it reemerged in the Hot Wheels Racing line the next year, it was a 1969 Boss 302.  The bases were the same (both say 1970), as were the silhouettes.  There was no noticeable difference.  We assumed they were the same.

But if we knew our Mustangs, we would have known that there was a difference between the 1969 and 1970 Boss 302's.  The 1969 had 4 headlights (2 on the outside, 2 on either side of the grill), but the 1970 had only two (the outside lamps were replaced with vents).  And Hot Wheels, to stay accurate, did a very un-hotwheelian thing and reflected the difference in the castings.  Take a look at the area on either side of the front grill:



It might be hard to tell on the '69, but those are headlamps molded into the casting.  Everything else, as far as we can tell, is the same, except for the headlights.

And that is why we assumed the just-unveiled Mustang Boss 302 Super TH for 2015 was the 1970.  We should have noticed it was the 1969:

Obviously another difference the Super and its mainline counterpart have with the HW Racing is the spoiler.  It is now metal, but that is not a surprise since Hot Wheels has done that with all their castings.  The chin spoiler is also more rounded compared with its previous version.

1969 or 1970 aside, we can't wait for this model.  The 302 casting is personally my favorite Hot Wheels Mustang, and the Super looks great.

We have featured the Vintage Racing versions before, so let's give the Hot Wheels Racing 1969 version its own showcase.

(And another good reason to show it now?  It is part of the Lamley Sale at Wheel Collectors and is dirt cheap.  Now is the time to get one.)

Hot Wheels 1969 Mustang Boss 302 (Hot Wheels Racing):

Thursday, November 20, 2014

First Look: Hot Wheels Toyota AE 86 Corolla Super Treasure Hunt and Mainline...

Let's start with the Datsun 510 Wagon.  Folks be nuts about that one.

Now rewind.

Past the Civic EF, the Datsun 620, the Toyota 2000GT, two vintage Skylines, a BRAT, an RX7, and even the 510 Sedan and 240Z.  There are plenty more we didn't mention.  But the Jun Imai (and friends) era is full of models that have the Hot Wheels set in a frenzy.

But when it comes to Jun's JDM output, the AE86 started it all.  While it has taken several years off, the AE86 Corolla has now been around for 9 years.  It debuted in the 2006 mainline, popped up again around 2009 as a 5-pack model, became a Decades model, and now has been a mainline mainstay for the last three years.

And its resurgence has hit its peak as the AE86 gets the Super TH treatment for Hot Wheels Batch C. Well deserved.

To be honest, we would have preferred any previous deco to this more modern drift-style deco, but that is a big part of the car's legacy, so we can't complain too much.  We are just happy to see it here.

Hot Wheels Toyota AE86 Corolla (2015 Super TH & Mainline):

The JDM-themed maroon Super TH streak continues:

2015 Supers so far: