Japan Booster

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The fantastic R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R from Kyosho...

So what is your favorite Skyline?

That is like asking someone to name their favorite Mustang.  You will get a slew of different answers.

But it is a legit question, and it is a hard one to answer.  The fact is most of our readers are fairly new to the Skyline.  No one will admit it (I loved the Skyline when it was still playing the clubs!), but if they are honest, the Skyline is something new to them, at least compared to other American and European badges.

But no matter who you are, and you have even an ounce of appreciation for the Skyline, you have asked and answered that question.  And frankly, it has probably changed numerous times.  It has for us.  It's the Hako, of course, unless you count the Kenmeri, but when you really dig deep, it is clearly the DR30, but how can you top the R34, unless you go a couple of steps backward and pick the newly-minted nostalgic, the R32.

It's impossible, so for we diecast nuts, thankfully we have brands like Kyosho that have gone ahead and produced a whole Skyline set.  And they are all there.  Your Kenmeri, or your Hakosuka, or your DR30, and even your R34 and R32 (plus a GT-R for good measure).

But let's focus on that R32 GT-R.  We have showcased a few models from the Kyosho Skyline Neo set, and the main difference between this set and the previous Skyline set from several years ago is that these models sport replicas of after-market wheels.  And of all those models, none look better than the three colors of the R32 sitting on white rims:

Those are three sharp models, and outside of the DR30's these are clearly our favorite Skylines.  In the set.

And even outside of the rims, the colors chosen, along with the accuracy of the casting makes this a great homage to the Skyline everyone and their mother is trying to import over to the States now that it is legal.  Just ask Eric over at JDM Legends.  He fields calls about the R32 GT-R almost daily.

Considering all the demand, it might be easier to pick up a mini version for 8 bucks at Japan Booster. It seems like a logical option to hold you over...

Kyosho R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R (Skyline/GT-R Neo):

THIS is the proper Hot Wheels Mitsubishi Evo Super TH...

It is no secret some shenanigans happen at the Hot Wheels factory.

This is not a post about that.  This is a post about the upcoming Hot Wheels Mitsubishi Evo Super TH.

The only reason we bring up the shenanigans is because many times photos are sneaked with the incorrect wheels.  We have started calling them the "factory customs".  We don't like it, because when photos emerge, we have no idea if what we are seeing is the correct model or not.

That happened with the Evo.  Photos started spilling everywhere, but with the incorrect wheels.  We passed along the news that the Evo was coming, but we knew the photo was incorrect.

Well, finally we have the proper model with its proper shoes:

Ugh.  Maybe those "factory custom" wheels would have been the better choice.  Oh well, at least we now know what he Evo will look like...

Where have the Hot Wheels Zamacs gone?

A mystery is brewing...

We have been watching Instagram and other Hot Wheels find forums for the last few days, and have noticed quite a few collectors finding F case bins at their local Walmarts.  In fact, we came across a couple ourselves today.

And that seems about right.  It is March, and that is the time for F cases.  So there is nothing abnormal about that, except for the fact that we haven't seen very many E cases, and most notably, no Walmart E cases with the Zamac exclusives.

And we don't want that.  The Walmart Zamacs have been a treat for many collectors the last couple of years, including us.  We don't collect many complete lines, but we are up-to-date on the Zamacs:

Based on previous years, the first batch of Zamacs debuted about now, and we know they are slated to come because we have seen them:

There they are - #1 El Camino, #2 Lamborghini Veneno, and #3 Ford Shelby GT500, all clearly marked 2015 Zamac.  And what makes it even more clear is the code on the very top of the card:

The last letter of that codes denotes the batch, and the case of these Zamacs, the letter "E" means these are part of the E batch.

So with Batch E already out for a few weeks, and Batch F hitting some stores, where are the Zamac bins?

We have no idea.  It could be several reasons:
  1. They are part of large dump bins, and we haven't seen many released lately.  Walmart may have them and are holding them for whatever reason.
  2. There has been a problem with production, packing, or shipping.
  3. The Zamacs are not Walmart exclusives, and will show up as Kroger or Target exclusives.
We highly doubt the third option, but the other two could definitely be a legit reason.  Only time will tell.  We hope whatever happened gets resolved soon.  We need a Zamac fix, especially with the models coming (which includes a Civic EF in the third batch):

Monday, March 2, 2015

Super Finds 2015: I walked into a Walgreens...

Gotta love a good tip.

I guess a good tip could be "Walmart is getting shippers", but there are so many collectors tapped into Walmart a tip like that probably wouldn't help that much.  Or it could be "Target has new cars" but that would probably apply to one store.  Target seems to get them when they need them.

But a tip like "Walgreens is getting mini shippers" is definitely a good one.  Not everyone checks Walgreens everyday (nor should they), so that could be your chance to find an elusive shipper.  That happened to me, and now I have one of the Supers I have really wanted to find.

It started with a tip from an Instagram friend who noticed a fellow collector had found a Super Corolla at Walgreens.  That seemed a little unexpected since we are not that far removed from the Christmas season when Walgreens were inundated with Hot Wheels shipments and lucky folks were finding Gasser Supers left and right.  It seemed a little soon, but the Corolla find meant maybe other Walgreens were getting new models.

So, while in my normal travels for work, I tried a couple.  The first?  A small shipper, but no new stuff (Although I had a really good find.  More on that in a second).  The second?  A shipper!  And there were definitely C case cars in it, but no Super.  The third?  Nothing.  The fourth?  I walked right into this:

There was no drama with this find.  I saw it right when I turned the corner.  So obvious in fact I stopped to take that picture before I even got to the pegs.  A pretty prominent spot.

I would love to embellish the story and say that the Corolla was buried on the last peg, but no, it had the most prominent spot on the endcap.  I was very happy to grab it, check the rest of the pegs, and head on my way.

I am very happy to check the AE86 off my list.  An update:

A. Kool Kombi - found twice in Walmart dump bins two days in a row mid-morning.
B. Rrrroadster - found 2 at successive out-of-town Walmarts, mid-morning.
C. Toyota AE86 Corolla - found at Walgreens around noon.
D. Ferrari 599XX - no luck
E. '69 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - found on the pegs at a nearby Walmart, mid-morning.
F.  Custom Dodge Van - no luck

That puts me at 4 for 6, with the Van just starting to hit.  Hopefully I can find a Ferrari, but it may take a random grocery store find or something similar.  But 4 for 6 is pretty darn good for mid-day finds.

About that cool find at the first Walgreens?  It was this:

That is the second time I have found this rare Supra wheel variation, and both times were at Walgreens.  I was happy to find it, because it being the second, and on a mangled card means this one gets opened.  Maybe I will save pics for the release of the Supra Super TH in a few months.

All in all, a good run of Walgreens visits.  Now consider this a tip, and go hit your Walgreens, and let us know what you find...

February 27th Matchbox Ambassador Report, by Larry Scaduto...

Ambassador’s Report February 27th, 2015
By: Larry Scaduto

I would like to say…Happy Spring to everyone, but just a few days ago it was -7f and last time I checked, that temperature does not qualify as a sign that spring is coming any time soon. Darn Groundhog!! I can think of nothing better to keep warm than to sit in front of your computer and look at new and old Matchbox in my latest report. I know….not a very good segway was that!! Well, I’m starting out with another new Supreme Heroes model and then new models for 2015. I finally finish up my story on Sea Kings in which I’ve saved the best models for this report. And lastly I went to the Chicago Auto Show and took pictures of some amazing vehicles. Check that out as well. Thank you for reading. Everyone have a great day….. Larry



Here is the next Supreme Heroes release, the (MB771) Ford E-350 Ambulance. This model is fitted with a wheel design not found on the other 5 models I’ve pictured here so far. From the pictures you will see the rims are 6 spoke with an inner and outer chrome rig & rubber tires.

This ambulance still retains a metal cab and plastic box for the Supreme Heroes Series.

Pictured below is the real vehicle which is a slightly older version of the Matchbox offering.

  • What Lamborghini’s will be in the 2015 Line up? The LM002 & the Gallardo Police Car.
  • When do you anticipate the release of the 1-120 Model list for this year?  Cannot answer the question yet.
  • Did the BMW Motorcycle in yellow ever get made? If so where is it?  Yes, it did get made for the 2013 line.  Cannot confirm which retailers it was available at.
  • Will the BMW M1 be in this year’s line?  Yes, it will be red this time.
  • The Cropmaster was supposed to be in the 2014 Basic Line. Will it still be issued as a single or just appearing in the Farming 5 pack?  It will be available in this years (2015) 5 pack.  Regarding its inclusion last year, I will need to recheck this.
  • Does the modified `63 Cadillac Ambulance have a new Man#?  Yes it does.  It is MB994.
  • When can you release the list of the exclusive models from the Power Grabs Series? I have to give this to you for your next report. 
  • Has the strike of the west coast docks workers effected the distribution of product? Regarding the dock workers strike, we are unsure what the impact will be for our products. Time will tell.

New for 2015…

Here we have a fantastic new casting for 2015, the (MB956) Lamborghini LM002. Its debut color is yellow. If you know me, my motto is…………every car looks great in lemon yellow!!!! And of course this model does not disappoint. My hope is that every new color this vehicle comes in will be as simple as this one. You don’t need any fancy tampo printing. (Just head & tail lights) Picture this model in black or olive drab. Think of the possibilities!!!

Now the Express Delivery Van is in red with a Trinidad tampo print design. Nice work!!!!

The City Bus has been revised and it now features a plastic body with metal base. The tampo printing is smartly done with a design you would maybe see out on the streets. Looking at the rims, it would appear the sawblade wheels are not gone for good. 

SB87 Blaze Buster

Here are the 2 Sea Kings Lesney never released. K311 Tanker & K312 Container Ship

Both names are on the base since the hull was used with both ships. 

I’m missing the front container section. Any ex-Lesney employees have a one to spare me?

Here is an early Lesney PrePro of the K301 Frigate with a bright red metal Lesney / England hull, a green plastic deck and dark gray superstructure with black rotating gun turrets.

Next up I have a PrePro of the K302 Destroyer. This ship features a light metallic green metal Lesney / England hull, dark gray plastic deck and light gray superstructure with black rotating gun turrets.

Now I am featuring 3 possible SUTC PrePro’s! I have two ZJ-7 Helicopter Carriers pictured here, one with a metallic medium blue metal SUTC / China hull, a matching blue plastic deck, royal blue heliport label, and light gray superstructure with black gun turrets & choppers. Below I have the same ship with an aqua blue metal SUTC / China hull, a sand colored plastic deck, bright orange heliport label, and a white superstructure with black gun turrets and choppers. If you noticed, the front and rear guns are reversed on the two Carriers as well. 

Lastly, I have the ZJ-6 Anti-Aircraft Cruiser. This ship features a powder blue metal SUTC / China hull, a sand colored plastic deck, and a light gray superstructure with black rotating gun turrets. Below is the box this ship came in. The clear plastic insert is different from the normal blue velour form fitted version associated with the series.   

In closing, I’m not completely 100% positive these are SUTC Preproductions. This is the information I received when I purchased them. But to my knowledge these were not released. If someone can shed any light on this, I would appreciate it. I love my Sea Kings………….

Here in the final installment of the Sea Kings story in pictures. I am featuring the chromed versions issued by SUTC. I’ve saved the best for last. Once again there are 8 models featured all with silver chrome decks & gold chrome superstructures and gun turrets.

Above is the close up of the Battle Ship. All models featured silver gray hulls with dark red tampo printed ship number and Sea Kings logo. The boxes pictured below feature a blue velour form fitted insert. This packaging makes this series very rich looking. 

The Aircraft Carrier is the only model out of the eight that has no chromed parts. This ship features a gray flight deck that matches the hull. Quite a dull offering compared to the other models in the series. A chrome deck would have been outstanding!!! 

So this ends my Sea Kings pictorial. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favorite series as much as I’ve enjoyed showing you. There’s no doubt in my mind if Lesney had issued Sea Kings this nice right from the start, this series would still be available today. There are a lot of war ships around the world. Now there’s play value!!!! Thank you for reading. 


New Battle Mission & Construction Zone 5-Packs  /  Hummer & Willys Jeep

At my local Wal-Mart I welcome the return of Matchbox to the pegs. After a few days most of Batch B is gone. And Meijer’s is ready to receive the first shipment of Supreme Heroes Series
Here we have the 2015 Disney Bus & Plane sold exclusively at the Disney Theme Parks & are available by calling their toll free number. (Model pics compliments of Terry Ozima)


2014 Volkswagen Scirocco 
2013 Subaru Lavorg

2015 Volvo XC90

2009 Alfa Romeo Brera

How about some trailers to go along with that new Ford Cab?

Yellow Dump Trailer

Shipping Container Trailer

2015 Nissan March Nismo

2014 Lamborghini Asterion 


On the 18th of February my sons and I went to the Chicago Auto Show to see all the wonderful cars available for this year and beyond. Just about every one was out of my price range, but I can dream….can’t I. I’m starting out with what I believe to be the show stopper. The Ford GT was absolutley awesome. Pictures are no subsitute for seeing it in person. I do hope Matchbox makes this for the 1:64th Basic Core Line. This would be a big seller without question. I took plenty of pictures of other models that would have a chance at being a Matchbox model. Enjoy!

Ford F-750 Super Duty Fire Truck

Kia K900


Ford E-350 Super Duty Ambulance

Chevy Volt

Jeep Wrangler Police

Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck

Alfa Romeo 4C

Lexus RCF

Ford Transit

Ford F-550 Fire Truck

Above is the Ford Mustang and below is the McLaren 650S Spider

Custom Models 
I received some pictures from fellow collector Alex Boock and  I must say these are done really well!! Some great ideas the Matchbox Team should look into. The Chevy Pickup is an excellent choice for the National Parks Series. And the Toyota Pickup is awesome! Well done Sir!

The Ford Crown Vic is expertly done as well!

All images and articles are presented here with the consent and permission of Mattel and the Matchbox Team.

If you have a question or just need to reach me, send an e-mail to: