This one I've had my eye on since I first saw it. This is a Gran Turismo series -- not to be confused with the Retro Entertainment series of the same name -- that saw limited availability. The HotWheels wikia says:
In the United States the series was a "Hobby Exclusive", meaning none of the big box retail stores were able to order them.
...which pretty much guarantees that Canada will never see them. Oh well, off to the secondary market we go!

Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)
2016 Gran Turismo #1/8
Like the R34 from last week, this has the winner shade of red. It also has the rear detailing that we saw on the Night Burnerz car, and it shares the updated base identifying it as the R32 (as does the official packaging). It does not have a metal wing, though - so this might be some kind of transitional casting between the old Skyline and the new R32.

All around this car just looks so nice.


Not A Super

Today we have a rendering of the M version of BMW's Z4 coupe. Mattel did a Super Treasure Hunt of this car, but I don't have one. I've seen a grand total of one Treasure Hunt car in the wild -- ever -- and never seen a Super. And there have been Supers that I would have liked, lots of them, but when they get to the resale market the price just isn't something I can justify. But enough about cars I don't have.

2016 Mainline #188
Like the BMW Series car we looked at last time, this car is exceptionally well done. The blue paint is another winner, and the tampos and other details are well executed on this car.

The car even has an "interior" of sorts that is well detailed. If I had to quibble I'd say that I don't like the rear diffuser; its orientation isn't realistic, and combine that with the long front splitter and the casting is downright hostile to orange track. But this isn't really a play car, it is a display car, so like I said -- a quibble.


Red Skyline

Skylines are fun for the same reason that Buick Grand Nationals are fun -- they don't look like the stereotypical supercar. The aformentioned Grand National gets there by virtue of a huge amount of horsepower, enough so that it was faster 0-60 than the Corvettes of its day; the Skyline has always been a technology showcase, the combination of which puts it among the best in the world. AWD with a rear-bias -- so the car will slide if you ask it. Turbo engine. Later models came with all the traction control and other go-fast computers you could ask for.

Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
2015 Mainline #083
This particular shade of red always looks good to me. In fact I've considered maybe running a contest to try to find the ugliest Hot Wheels licensed car in this shade of red.

Nice detail on the rear of the car too. The all-metal spoiler part of the casting ends up looking too thick, but it is something we can live with.



I know lots of people don't like the slidey-in flipboard layout that Google provides -- ie this one -- but my computer can hack it and I like seeing all my photos in one go. So I'm sorry for those of you on pseudo-moble devices (ie devices with mobile computing power that think they are not mobile devices, for example iPads) -- but going to stick with it, at least for now. Yes, it's selfish, but it makes me happy. Let me know if you really disagree.


Duplicate For Opening

Well, back to the mailbag, and one of the things I ordered was a second KMart Exclusive BRAT so that I had one to open and one to keep in the package. This means that I now have two of all the Brats except the first one, the 2013 Boulevard series car, which I don't have at all.

Subaru Brat
2015 K-Mart Exclusive
One of the things that I only noticed with this car is how rough the casting looks, especially the nose of the car. This yellow really leaves nowhere for flaws to hide.

The side profile also looks bad, but when I look at it while holding it, I don't see the same kind of flaws. This might be because I have gone back to the LED lights instead of the so-called "white" incandescents, and the combination of that light and this yellow just isn't a good one.

Well worth having. I'll have to bring the other two loose Brats home from the office and we can do a family portrait.


Pretentions, Again

Custom '01 Acura Integra GSR OMG BBQ TURBO
2017 Mailine #31

I didn't like the first one of this casting I picked up, but here it works better; the "splattering" of green paint kind of makes the other flaws look acceptable. The name is still totally ridiculous, though.

Note though that the quasi-focus on the side panel up there is probably the fault of the monkey holding the camera rather than a flaw on the car.


Off-Road Truck Racing

Toyota Off-Road Truck
2016 Mainline #152
A 2016 snuck into my pile of 2017s, how about that. Off-road truck racing is one of those things I occasionally like to watch. I also like watching the circuit stadium truck races; even though the "racing" is pretty artificial, it can be pretty funny to watch. So as long as you treat it as "entertainment" rather than "sport", you'll do fine.

I have a couple of off-road truck models kicking around, I think this is the first Toyota, but usually I pass on them because they somehow seem to get damaged in transit more easilly -- probably because of the combination of wide tires and narrow axles. This one came out of the package like this.



Inventory and Wants

Just a note to the future that today I put the links on the right-side bar that point to my collection on CollectHW as well as a "list" that has my current "wanted".

The collection list has pretty much all my post-2013 cars, plus entries for those interesting cars I have which are older -- but I have several boxes of "inventory" -- stuff from the flea market inventory I got, plus a box of mid-'00s through 2012 things that I collected but didn't open -- that are currently not in the list. Updating the list on CollectHW is less tedious than it is on HobbyDB, but it is still tedious, especially when you come across cars that are unlisted.

Ideally I'd inventory all that and make a "for trade" list as well. It all takes time, though.

The wants list is usually more or less up to date. I doubt that I'll get any trade action on these, as you can see from my wants list I have champagne tastes but since I open most of my cars I don't have much in the way of valuable trade bait for going the other way. The most valuable un-opened cars I have are the two Speed Machine 599XX cars, which I am willing to trade since they don't really do much for me, but I don't know how to leverage them into something I would like.

Anyways if you have any ideas, let me know.


Simple and Clean

2017 Mainline #55
Now here's a properly executed model -- simple lines, faithfully recreated, and nice detailed tampos on the front (headlights) and back (tail lights and badging). This body/paint combinations has turned out much nicer than most of the other 2017 zamac bodies I've seen so far. I wasn't a fan of these wheels when I first saw them (I think here); but in this case they have grown on me. I may have been disappointed last time, but I like this model the more I look at it.


Another Misfire

'73 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car
2017 Mailine #57
Unfortunately, all three of the cars I have of this casting have similar flaws. I don't know why Mattel is having such a hard time executing on these.
Poor zamac finish under the wing; tampo mis-applications

Scratches and mis-tampos on the front sunshield
The 2016 cars were labelled as 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car.


The Odyssey Continues

Honda Odyssey
2017 Mainline #58

I have two of these, both of them have a mis-tampo on the driver's side by the front wheel arch. This one also has tampo damage on the hood, like it's been partially scraped off somehow. Overall this batch of 2017 cars has been very mixed, quality-wise -- you have nice details like the licence plates on K.I.T.T. and the Porsche 993 GT2; however most cars have mis-tampos, flaws in the plastic windows, and/or thin paint that reveals poor zamac finish.


Orange Peeler

Porsche 993 GT2
If I had to pick a color that would work generally well on castings, it probably would not be orange. However, this orange has worked well on all the casting's we've seen it on in the last few years; releasing the cars without garish tampoing as well also helps.

Hood details, front license plate


Knight Rider

2017 Mainline #3
License Plate Detail
Nice rendering of the ultimate computer car. I like the license plate details as well.


Happy New Year 2017

Porsche 934 Turbo RSR
2017 Mainline #68
I like this rendering of this casting, although the details could be cleaned up somewhat. I'm still waiting for the point of this Urban Outlaw licensing deal with Magnus Walker to yield fruit; so far I'm not impressed.


2016 Worthy Cars Of The Year

(This was retro-posted late in 2017 after I found a draft of it. I cleaned it up -- and, frankly, re-organized both lists, emphasizing the fickle nature of my opinions -- and have retro-posted it to January 1 2017.)

Yep, here is a quick list of the highlights -- as I see them right now -- of the cars I've purchased this year for the 2016 model year. Note that this is not a prestigious award of any sort, just what I think when I look at the list and handle the cars. And as such, the rankings and comments for each are 110% arbitrary and may totally contradict what I said when I initially posted the casting. Maybe I didn't like the car when it first came through my hands! These are my opinions, and since I'm mildly drunk right now I will fight you over them.

How do we know if a car is "worthy"? A car is worthy if it is displayed up on the wall over my desk for a long period of time. The more worthy it is, the longer it gets displayed. I'd say that around 50% of what I open is worthy of being displayed for at least a brief while. I have 96 slots in the display over my desk, so there's lots of room for variety. However most of what get displayed gets stored when the next round of fresh subject matter gets photographed for the blog. Since I've been collecting for more than 15 years I have a lot of cars to choose from for display. Many are fine cars; only a few remain worthy.

So I decided to limit my comments to two categories -- one for Mainlines and one for "everything that's not a Mainline". This set of comments reflects my collection as I have it now, and is limited to stuff I actually have. There's nothing that says I won't find some 2016 car in three weeks that'd knock something off these lists. However, in three weeks I may feel differently so some -- or all! -- of the list members might be different.

And I know I said top-3, but both categories hold a honorable mention this year because making decisions is hard.

Dave's Top 3 Mainlines for 2016

  1. Subaru WRX STI I love the red, I can live with the deco, the casting is a fantastic tribute to its subject matter.. The gold wheels are not the style I'd choose myself, but other than that -- pretty close to perfect.
  2. Honda Odyssey -- the van's first appearance in the mainline is amazing -- even the blotchy tampos on the white paint can't detract from this model
  3. '70 Ford Escort RS1600 -- this is easily the best of the RS1600 casting released so far, and it will be tough to top. 

Honorable mention: '16 Ford Focus RS -- I tried tried tried to put this car in the top 3, really I did. But the WRX and Escort are both locks, and even though the deco on the Odyssey isn't perfect, I can't in good consciousness exclude the van either. But it was close -- I have a second RS on my desk at work which should tell you something about my opinion about it.

Dave's Top 3 Non-Mainline Of The Year:

  1. Mazda RX-3 (Car Culture Japanese Historics) -- I said earlier that this car was better than any Ferrari in my collection, and most days I stand by that. (Other days it is less straightforward.) Is it perfect? No. But the deep purple sits on the casting wonderfully. One could complain that the car needs front and back tampos, but what's there are fantastic. This is probably the car of the year right here.
  2. Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) (Night Burnerz 5-Pack) With the details on the rear of the car, this is probably easily the best R32 in my collection. The bright yellow just screams "want want want".
  3. '71 Datsun 510 Wagon (Car Culture Japanese Historics) -- Japanese Historics knocks a second one out of the park here. This isn't the best best 510 Wagon in my collection -- the red one from last year gets that nod -- but this one is a worthy member of the top three.

Honorable Mention: Porsche 911 GT3 RS (HW Exotics 5-Pack) -- what is easily the best Porsche of 2016 is ultimately dropped from the list due to tiny tiny paint flaws.

Can't wait for 2017.