Friday, July 29, 2016

Instagram User 'sungkangsta' Unviels 2017 Hot Wheels Fairlady Z Re-Color

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It looks like Instagram User 'sungkangsta' (Sung Kang) has showed us what the 2017 Hot Wheels Mainline Nissan Fairlady Z will look like. It is just the second color of the model and will look great next to the 2011 First Edition Kenmeri Skyline, also an all white release.

Keep an Eye out in Stores starting October 2016!!!

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1965 Chevrolet Truck from the 2005 Holiday Classics Line: Obscure Beauty!

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Johnny Lightning kind of faded into obscurity over the past 5 years or so until Round 2 resurrected the brand last year. That's a shame, because there are some incredible gems hidden in the brand's (somewhat) recent history. After opening up a 2005 Holiday Classics 1965 Chevrolet Truck, I have to say I hope Round 2 puts out releases of this quality. Since Auto World is the gold standard for quality, I don't have any doubt that the rejuvenated Johnny Lightning brand will continue to deliver gems like this 1965 Chevy.

The future looks rosy, but let's focus on 2005 for a second. The first thing I notice about this model is the incredible heft of it. It feels weighty in the hand. It honestly feels heavier than my Auto World 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate wagons, which themselves have a lot of mass for 1:64 scale releases. I don't know where the weight comes from, but it is noteworthy, even compared to other metal/metal releases.

Second, the paint. It's a 'spectraflame' green. The color is similar to that used on Greenlight's green machines, but without the metallic/sparkly hints to it. It's got a slick Hot Wheels redline-era sheen.

Third, I must belabor the quality of this model because it is so incredible. Everything on it just works. The rubber tires roll smoothly like they're plastic Hot Wheels wheels. The hood opens, and stays open, and then shuts tightly and crisply again. That's rarer than it sounds. The detailed bits are all cast into the model, so you don't risk them falling or breaking off like you might with other premium brands. The quality on this model is as good or better than modern Auto Worlds. It's that good.

Fourth, the details. I'm a sucker for good detailing, and this model has it all. The engine compartment looks incredibly real. The truck tailgate has cast-in locking handles that are painted. Chevrolet emblems, taillights, headlights, grille detail, and trim are all accurately painted on. So are the windshield wipers. I could go on.

To sum it up this is a release that is about as close to perfect as I've found in 1:64 scale. My only tiny complaint is that the wheels look a little small for the casting. At the end of the day, you've got a car with the heft and quality of Auto World, the clean, 'stock' Greenlight look, the M2 opening features and details and the Hot Wheels-Style spectraflame paint and roll-ability.

If I've sold you on this model, here's the JL lineup on Amazon. If I haven't, just enjoy the photos!

Johnny LIghtning: Yesterday & Today: Metal Die-Cast Minature Cars by Johnny Lightning

Happy Collecting!!

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The Pokemon Go/Hot Wheels Connection...

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Okay, I'll admit a bit of a click-baity title. I don't do it often, so forgive me. The biggest craze in the world right now seems to be the Pokemon Go app. For those that don't know (which I don't think is possible unless you live in an undiscovered Amazon tribe), Pokemon Go is a geo-caching app that allows users to track down and catch virtual Pokemon.

Full disclosure: I don't play it, and I haven't downloaded the app. But my Instagram news feed, which is normally 99% diecast, has numerous Poke-posts lately, which tells me diecast collectors are joining the fun just like everyone else. Personally, I don't get the craze. Or at least I didn't. Until I thought about it.

As Hot Wheels/Greenlight/Whatever collectors, we travel from store-to-store and eBay link to eBay link in hopes of finding the latest-greatest diecast, or that hard to find chase piece that you've only seen on eBay once. Ever. A huge part of this hobby is the 'thrill-of-the-hunt'. Sure, owning diecast is great, photographing it, customizing it, giving it away and displaying it even better, but we all love to hunt, even if we only do it once in awhile. I think even if I was a billionaire and could have every rare exclusive delivered to my private jet, I'd still go to the pegs once in awhile for that thrill of finding that one super.

So diecast collectors like to 'hunt'. I think it's human nature. Why do big game hunters track down that rare beast, why do kids love Easter egg hunting? We all love a good treasure hunt. Mattel's made a living capitalizing on that human desire.

The same thing applies to Pokemon-Go. Some Pokemon are rarer than others. Some you've never found before. Or you find it and your friends haven't. Plus you meet lots of great people along the way, just like you do in the diecast hobby. So, while I'm not going to go download the app, I have to say I do get it now. Sort of.

Happy Hunting!!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Maruti Suzuki Enters LCV Segment with 'Super Carry'

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Maruti Suzuki Super Carry India Launch

New Delhi, 27th July 2016: The country’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India Limited today announced that it will start sales of its first Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) - Super Carry towards the end of August. Initially the vehicle will be sold in three cities – Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana.

Outlining the attributes of the Super Carry, Mr R.S Kalsi, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki said, 
“Super Carry is designed and developed basis detailed research and understanding of customer requirements. It offers best of both the worlds –power and strength as well as carrying capacity. We are confident Super Carry will enhance the profitability of our customers. Super Carry will be initially available for sale in three cities: Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana. It will be retailed through a dedicated ‘Commercial’ sales channel.”
Maruti has invested about Rs. 300 crores towards the development of Super Carry. Super Carry is powered by the 793 cc light weight and compact, 2-cylinder diesel engine. With a peak power of 24 KW @ 3500 RPM and max torque of 75 NM @ 2000 RPM Super Carry offers better load carrying capacity and pick up. The compact engine mated with the 5-speed manual transmission offers a fuel efficiency of 22.07 kmpl and maximum speed of 80 Kmph. That means shorter turnaround time, more trips and more savings.

Super Carry offers a payload of 740 Kg in all terrains. It is equipped with a lighter steering wheel, contributing to effortless drive even at full load. This leads to comfortable driving with less fatigue. Super Carry has longer wheel base of 2110 mm for greater stability. The lower loading bay and wider deck offers ample loading space to carry higher loads in a single trip. Super Carry will be available in diesel fuel option and comes in two colours: Superior White and Silky Silver.

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Micra Becomes The Most Exported Car From India

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Nissan Micra Made In India

New Delhi, 28th July 2016: More units of the Nissan Micra than any other car were exported from India in June. The number one ranking was achieved with 6,807 Nissan Micras being exported from India. The milestone confirms Nissan’s position as a major contributor to Make in India. Since beginning operations in India in 2010, Nissan has exported over 620,000 cars from the country. The total contribution to the economy in foreign exchange is more than INR 30,000 Cr (USD 4.35 Billion).

The Nissan Micra, made at Renault-Nissan's Alliance plant in Oragadam near Chennai, is exported to more than a hundred countries. The European countries of the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Italy are the biggest customers of the car. This reinforces Micra’s success in Europe, as a result of the Japanese technology & high quality standards inherent in all Nissan cars. The Made in India Micra helped Nissan achieve record sales there in fiscal year 2015 making Nissan the top-selling Asian car brand in Europe.

Commenting on this, Mr. Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations said, 
“Nissan is proud our Made in India Nissan Micra was the most exported car in June, and proud of our contribution to the country’s economy. Our strategy has been to use exports to build a significant presence in India with our plant, the largest and most advanced in the Alliance, and our R&D centre which employs five thousand engineers.”

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