For this, the last week of the year, we at the Lamley Group are highlighting some of our favorite models from 2012. It won't be all, that is for sure, but we will try to get to a nice assortment.
We will start today with a model that epitomizes what 2012 was for me personally as a collector. Out of the many highlights this year (starting the Lamley Group, being named Matchbox Ambassador), diving much deeper in JDM and the plethora of Japanese mini-cars sits way up there. I ended up meeting some great people who continue to educate me, and have found a car culture that I hope continues to grow, especially here in the US.
As I documented earlier this year, my love for Japanese cars started in 1982, when my father came home with a sky blue Honda Accord. Its 20-year life span was all I needed to put my trust in Japanese cars, and it was later that I found how rich a tradition these cars and brands have. And like many JDM enthusiasts, the doors to that deep portal were opened by the Skyline.
So when you start looking for Japanese diecast, many brands pop up, but it starts and ends with Tomica, especially their Limited Vintage line. It is really hard to beat TLV in terms of design, quality, and realism in 1:64, and there were many models I added to the collection this year. But there were none I liked better than these two Skyline Vans.
The first Skyline Van was released in 2011, but we here at Lamley don't take those details too seriously. We acquired them in 2012, didn't we? Nonetheless, four have been released. Two in civilian clothes (yellow and grey released in late 2011), and two in licensed liveries (Coca-Cola and NHK TV released in 2012). I decided to add the grey and NHK versions to the collection, and they are shown here as two of the Lamley Faves of 2012.
These two have it all. Take an iconic car (Skyline), produce a lesser known version (Wagon/Van), execute it flawlessly, enhance the nostalgia (white walls, hubcaps), and add a perfect livery (NHK). I am clearly fond of the word "cool". Is there any better word for the NHK TV model?
I have said many times that one purpose of this blog is introduce many collectors to Japanese diecast, and it starts with TLV and Kyosho. If Tomica Limited Vintage floats your boat (and I cannot see how it won't), you have to be selective. They are not cheap, so pick a handful you want and jump at them. With that in mind, there may be no better duo than these two to start a collection...
Tomica Limited Vintage Neo Nissan Skyline Wagon/Van: