The Night, It Burnerzez

So there's a new Night Burnerz 5-Pack out these days, and the highlight of it is obvious. We'll get to that, but first let's look at the rest of the pack.

First there is the Volkswagen New Beetle Cup:

...which is interesting for two reasons, firstly because it doesn't separate the body shell from the rest of the car the way previous incarnations of this casting did; and secondly because of the non-standard spelling of the car's country of origin:

Secondly is this Audacious, which seems to be a play on the word "Audi" -- even though the resulting car doesn't look anything like any Audi I've seen:

Then, the why-did-they-invent-this called the Pony-Up:

And last, but not least -- thanks to the Pony-Up being in the same set -- is the Chrysler 300C Hemi, a car which embodies "meh" to me but is interesting in that it is the only car in this set with a metal, rather than a plastic, base:

...but the highlight, the one that's got everyone talking, the one that will make this 5-Pack a hot seller (and a hot accidentally-returned-to-the-store) is this Nissan Skyline.

Unusually for a car in such a 5-Pack, this car has tampos on the side and rear, in three colors, including detail on the brake lights. With the metal spoiler and tinted windows, this is a must-have. And now I have it.

I referred to this car causing this 5-Pack to get returned to stores in greater numbers -- I've already seen discussion on the internet regarding 5-Packs on the pegs which had a car different from the Skyline. The speculation is that people are buying the 5-Packs, replacing the Skylines with something else, then returning the 5-Packs to the store of purchase for a refund. Presto, free Skyline! Seems like a dirty trick to me, and I can't really see it being worth while doing. If you can't eat $6 for a car you'll want to turn for $10 or $20, you are in the wrong business. On the other hand, since the numbers involved for each physical car are so low, maximising profit on any car you can sell like this helps the overall bottom line. It still seems like a low-down dirty trick to me.


Green Blob

Well since we're getting all BMW here -- this is, what, the fifth BMW post in a row? -- we might as well look at this one. It is the BMW 2002 from the 2016 BMW Anniversary series.

For some reason I'm always disappointed by this casting. The iconic headlights always get buried in the paint on the nose and it just ends up looking... meh. The rest of the car looks ok in the green and yellow, which is a color combination that I wouldn't have thought would work.



Another nice casting from 2016 was the appearance of the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL "Batmobile" Race Car. So-named because of the ridiculous wings sprouting from the back of the car, this was a classic race car built as a version of the classic 3.0 Coupe.

In this dress, the black car is the better looking one. I like that this model extends the windshield plastic to the front and rear of the car to better give the illusion of "lights".

The illusion is especially effective if you find the magic orientations of your lights and your camera.

The white model can also do the lights trick, however for whatever reason the tampo detail is not very good on this car. This makes me wonder if I've just been unlucky, or if there is something to the production of white cars that leads to less effective tampoing.

Unfortunately the tampo flaws are all-around on this car.



So since we've looked at the 1M, I think we should take a moment to look at the first M car, the BMW M1.

The M1 was built as a result of a collaboration between Lamborghini and BMW, although the partnership fell apart and BMW went on to produce the cars on their own. Produced in the heady days of homologation, this was a thinly-veiled race car that was sold to the public in sufficient numbers to make the car available for sportscar racing.

The Hot Wheels casting here is from the 2016 BMW series. The casting itself has been released in the past under the name Wind Splitter, presumably due to licensing reasons.

The toy here looks pretty simple, being without the mandatory fins, wings, splitters, and vents that modern supercars seem to have to have. But since this is from the dawn of the "supercar" era, when this car was released all that nonsense was in the future. This model is pretty true to the real car it is drawn from.



So just to prove we are not total Hot Wheels snobs, here is a selection of Matchbox BMW 1M cars. Matchbox is a weird brand for me -- I've looked at them for years when I've been looking at Hot Wheels but there have rarely been any cars that have ever even piqued my interest. It hasn't helped that Matchbox distribution was terrible here in Canada -- the WalMart pegs were usually barren, and Toys R Us appears to have abandoned even the pretence of carrying them. Over the last year or two, though, Matchbox seems to have been reducing the number of trucks and industrial equipment type vehicles and changing the density of fantasy cars to allow for more licensed models, and my interest has increased accordingly. A licensed car from Matchbox is more likely to be realistic and have fewer compromises made in terms of track-play. So a car with a deep spoiler will be modelled with a deep spoiler.

The 1M is a favourite of mine, because it is the type of car that is not entirely totally out of the question of me eventually driving or owning. It is a small commuter car with performance enhancements.

These are the 1M cars that I've accumulated in the last year. The red and blue ones both came from Dollarama, and are probably somewhat older; the black one is from Matchbox's Best Of The World series and came in a nice presentation box with a decorated faux "matchbox" sized box included, presumably to make one nostalgic for the times when this was how they actually were sold.

Of all of them, I think the black one is my favorite. It has been granted a little more attention to detail because of it's presence in a premium line. The wheels are a little weird to me, I'm not sure I like them -- I'm talking about the tread pattern here, not the sidewall, which is very nice. I guess this is what you get with a "realistic" car.

Not really sure what to say about the blue one here. I think that in any Hot Wheels assortment this would be better turned out than the average Hot Wheels car, but when lined up with the black and red cars here it is the weakest of the bunch. Blue is a fine color, but I prefer red and black more; and these are, to my eye, the weakest wheels of the options here.

The finish on the red car is very nice, and the wheel selection too makes it a nice toy.

Since I shot and wrote this I have aquired a fourth 1M, the gold one from the 2017 series. I'll make sure to open and shoot it soon.


Second Chances

So one weird thing that's been going on at WalMart is that they still have pegs labelled "BMW Anniversary", even though the set apparently came and went way back in February (at least, that's when I got mine). At the time, I passed on the motorcycle, and I couldn't find a Z4M.

Well it turns out that whomever runs the plans for WalMart knew that there would be more coming, because WalMart Bayshore had what looked like at least one case, maybe two, up on pegs when I was in there back on November 5th. And they did have a Z4M, so I picked it up.

The dark, flat color actually works here. Normally I don't like flat, but here it seems to work. It also has the benefit of nicely setting off the red rings on the wheels. I saw a car in real life that had wheels like this, reflective red material around the inner rim of the wheel, and it looked awesome in the dark when crossing traffic. Makes me want them.

The model has a busy rear diffuser which I could have done without, and a nicely detailed interior which I'd keep. The front chin spoiler isn't going to be very friendly to the orange track, but this car isn't likely to find itself on too many of those.

Overall this is a very nice car.


Track Day Part 3: Peer Pressure

So for all the Car Culture series, I have not been a completionist -- I only have been buying what I actually like and look forward to opening. I can't think of too many things that I've seriously wanted all members of, and it is even rare that a casting captures my eye enough for me to want to dig through eBay and collect previously released iterations.

All that to say, the internet groups I follow say that this Datsun Bluebird 510 is a popular, cool casting to have, and I bought it. Partly because of the Internet, but also partly because I have both a Cool Classics Series 2 iteration and a Heritage - Real Riders iteration. (At least, according to my CollectHW listings. I didn't think the Cool Classics car was a series 2 car, and I thought the Heritage - Real Riders was different. But the castings are currently buried in my unopened car pile and I can't immediately get at them.)

So, here it is. I can see why people like it, it is a faithful rendering of the type of basic automobile that people buy and make questionable decisions in. You buy it for nothing, and then learn how to live life while beating the hell out of it. (For me, that car is a '86 Honda Civic 4-door.) As such, it is exactly what shows up on track day -- the dedicated racer that almost anyone can afford because it still costs nothing and nobody cares about it, but you can still have fun without endangering either yourself or your wallet too much.

It still doesn't really do anything for me, and as I look at it I wonder if it will show up in the 'meh' pile down the road.