MINICARS: Get these 2014 Hot Wheels right now

Hot Wheels Then & Now Nissan Skyline hakosuka R34

Can’t find any J-tin on the pegs? You must live in California. However the consensus from other parts of the country seems that miniature Nihon steel is getting hard to find in those areas too. Much like 1968 was a banner year for traditional Hot Wheels collectors, 2014 is turning out to be the most Japanese year in Hot Wheels history. 

As Jun Imai told us in confidence back in 2012, 2014 will be a momentous year for Japanese Hot Wheels. He has surely kept his word and then some. He said that at least one or two Japanese cars will be included in almost every segment, from mainline to premium segments. “Heavy in the mainline,” are words I kept in my head to this day.

There have already been many great releases, including some JNC inkan stamped cars, but this article will focus on the 2014 releases.

Hot Wheels Then & Now Toyota AE86 Corolla Scion FRS

For decades now, whenever Mattel did anything retro it was always geared towards muscle cars and hot rods. Last year Hot Wheels introduced the Then & Now series, which painted a car from the seventies with the same livery as its modern counterpart. Not surprisingly, it was a smorgasbord of Mopars and Mustangs.

For 2014, however, there have been two pairs of Japanese cars added to the series. First up, the Toyota AE86 Corolla and its successor, the Scion FR-S, both finished in colors reminiscent of the TRD N2 race livery.

Hot Wheels Then & Now Toyota AE86 zamac

But wait, there’s more. Each car also has an extremely hard to find  zamac counterpart, available at Wal-Mart stores only. These offer the same graphic pattern, but are finished in bare metal. The zamac Scion is just hitting Wal-Mart shelves now.

The second duo of Then & Now cars consists of the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R paired with a 1970 hakosuka, an absolutely perfect choice as it bookends the history of the Skyline GT-R model.  The pair will likely serve as an education for many Hot Wheels collectors, who “didn’t even know they were making Nissans back then.”

Hot Wheels Then & Now Nissan Skyline hakosuka rollcage

What’s more, there are two variations of the hakosuka, one with a roll cage and one without. This is the casting’s first appearance in the main line since the original touring car liveried one with the JNC inkan.

Hot Wheels zamac Nissan Skyline hakosuka

To complicate things further, a zamac hakosuka will soon be out (again, all zamac cars are Wal-Mart exclusives), but whether an R34 will follow is unknown.

One of the most anticipated new castings for 2014 has been the EF Honda Civic hatchback, this one designed by Mattel’s Ryu Asada, formerly of Matchbox. The red version was released earlier this year, but now an absolutely stunning teal version has emerged to accompany it.

Hot Wheels Honda Civic EF

Not only is the teal color gorgeous and absolutely period correct for the era, it reveals a red stripe found on the JDM SiR. Also, note that the side marker lights on the teal version are amber, a la Vision aftermarket. The teal version is available everywhere right now, so go get ‘em!

Hot Wheels kenmeri Nissan Skyline

And finally, the Lamley Group has leaked the upcoming kenmeri Skyline GT-R, done in a stupendous gold-on-dark green livery reminiscent of the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show race car. Instead of the “73″ on the door, however, this one gets a “68,” the year Hot Wheels was born.

We know this a lot of these are incredibly difficult to find. Only you, dear reader, can help us fight the hype the speculators and resellers practice by beating them to the pegs. Snap them all up even if you only want one or two. Trade the extras with your fellow JNCers. If you absolutely have to sell them, sell them for cost to a fellow JNC enthusiast. Good Hot Wheels karma goes a long way.

To help, we’ve created this handy checklist for those of you collecting the Japanese cars. These are for the 2014 year thus far, and keep in mind we’re only in June. Happy hunting!

Datsun 620 / JNC inkan / orange
Datsun 620 / JNC inkan / K-Mart exclusive / blue
Datsun 620 / JNC inkan / red
Nissan Skyline hakosuka / Then & Now / black
Nissan Skyline hakosuka / Then & Now / zamac, green
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R / black
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R / blue
Nissan Skyline Kenmeri / teal, gold
Nissan 350Z / 4th of July Ralphs exclusive / yellow
Nissan 370Z / white (GReddy livery)
Datsun 510 / Red Line Club exclusive / BRE livery
Datsun 510 Wagon / red
Datsun 510 Wagon / Super Treasure Hunt / red
Toyota Celica TA22 / JNC inkan / red, black
Toyota 2000GT / black
Toyota 2000GT / yellow
Toyota 2000GT / Red Line Club exclusive / Shelby livery
Toyota AE86 Corolla / Then & Now / silver
Toyota AE86 Corolla / Then & Now / zamac
Scion FR-S  / Then & Now / silver
Scion FR-S  / Then & Now / zamac
Toyota Supra JZA80 / blue, green (Falken livery)
Toyota Truck / Cool Classics / spectrafrost orange
Toyota Truck / Back to the Future / black
Toyota Tundra / blue
Toyota Tundra / silver
Mazda RX-7 SA22 / maroon, white
24/7 (Mazda RX-7 FD3S) / dark blue
Honda Civic EF / red
Honda Civic EF / teal
Honda CRX / Cool Classics / spectrafrost blue
Subaru Impreza WRX / red
Subaru Impreza WRX / blue
Subaru Impreza WRX STI hatch / Treasure Hunt / gray, white
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X / X-Games 5-pack / black
Mad Manga / white, red

Some photos courtesy of The Lamley Group.

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22 Responses to MINICARS: Get these 2014 Hot Wheels right now

  1. Gene said:

    I want the black hako so much!

  2. Toyotageek said:

    Thanks Ricky! Now I’ll never find any of them here in California. LOL

    Didn’t know about the 24/seven … looks like I need to add that to my list. ;-)

    • Ricky Silverio said:

      Apologies Michael !!! However use the force.. Err… List to find cars you really need and don’t need ( for fellow JNC collectors!!
      There is also a police pursuit 5 pack with a yellow 24-7 with red flames. The newest 24-7 was retooled for 2 rivets on the chassis so the rear was reworked and the lower splitter restyled. This change occurred with the baby blue version last year.
      Good luck Michael!!

      Ricky

  3. Steve said:

    Interesting. I found the silver AE86 a few weeks ago (here in California) and was wondering why it was not mentioned here.

    I have a question: when a Mattel makes a run of any particular JNC, do they just make one batch and discontinue it? I also found a red racing Celica a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering if it was a “leftover” from the original run or if Mattel just produces each line periodically.

    • Ricky Silverio said:

      Hi Steve,

      Hot Wheels Include the cars in cases of assortments with a whole bunch of other car , unlike Tomica where one car can be ordered or purchased individually .

      In some cases some cars are released in one assortment and depending on the availability of said assortment, will ultimately decide the rarity of the model.
      Some Single Assortment Cars were:

      Hakosuka / white / New Model
      Ken Meri / white / New Model
      70 Celica / Green / New Model

      The 70 Celica in yellow came out in 2 assortments so it was more easily found. Back in the good old days some cars made 3 assortments! I hope J-Tin Hws will be produced in greater numbers in the future!

      Ricky

  4. J.A.C.K said:

    dammit, why didn’t i just grab the EF honda when i saw it the other day at Target? i’m not usually a honda guy but EF was a lotta my high school homies’ daily so i had fond memories of them. :kicking self:

    • Ricky Silverio said:

      Hi Jack!

      Yes, even if you don’t need it, some other JNC emthusiast will and you can make a trade for something you are looking for. But the EF Civic is really sharp!!!

      Ricky

  5. Steve said:

    Oh, and your list is missing the original BRE510 with rubber tires, yellow Celica TA22, green Celica TA22, and red R34. I know these exist because I have them.

    I didn’t realize how many JNC Mattel has made!

    • E-AT_me said:

      they are missing alot. i think this list is just what should be available on the pegs now/soon. missing the original hako, original kenmeri, 20 or so of the AE86′s and 510′s and the green 510 wagon among others.

    • Toyotageek said:

      I’m guessing this list is just cars released in 2014.

      • Ricky Silverio said:

        Thanks Michael!!

        Yes the list is indeed for the 2014 releases only which is a significant year for Hot Wheels History as well as JNC collectors!
        I added and revised some text in the article and if some of you have the time, can reread the article and take in the additional info.

        Thanks!!
        Ricky

  6. Dave said:

    Super excited about the kenmeri and the red 510 wagon!!! I’m in CA, and I’ve had some luck recently, found a bunch of yellow 2000GTs, the silver FR-S, and the Falken Supra. The yellow 2000GT, the maroon RX-7, and the silver AE86/FR-S are pretty abundant right now. If you’re missing those and you’re in CA, now seems the time. Haven’t seen any of the others yet…

  7. Okay. It wasn’t till reading the list at the end and realizing I had most of them that I started to think I might have a problem.

    Can’t wait till the RLC 2000GT is available!

  8. Nigel said:

    Hoping to find the black Hako soon.

  9. Steve said:

    Alert! Alert! ALERT!!!

    Get off of your dusty butts and head out to, of all places, VONS!!! I find JNC Hot Wheels in the weirdest places. My local VONS must have just gotten in a new shipment because tonight I found:

    1. Yellow 2000GT
    2. Red TA22
    3. Red RX-7
    4. Black R34 GTR
    5. Silver FR-S
    6. Red Mad Manga
    7. Falken Supra

    Ummm… Don’t bother looking at the VONS on Lyons in Valencia, CA…

  10. Jun said:

    I need to find that black Hako!

  11. Tim said:

    I’m glad to see the Hako and Kenmeri get a re-release. I was just looking at mine the other day and I was wondering if they were going to release a re-color of them since it’s been a few years since they first came out.

  12. angelo said:

    Well, I can’t find some of them(particularly the EF Civic, the silver Hachi-roku and I think the Hako still hasn’t been released here…)

    Darn it… too much hoarders here, I guess…

  13. ish parken said:

    The other day I managed to find both the silver 86 and FRS (which i knew about and was looking for) and ran across the ZAMAC 86 as well on total accident. Needless I bought them both. Walmart is good for something.

  14. Bird said:

    My girlfriend just found a Blue R34 Skyline GT-R in the Then and Now series at the Wal-Mart in Van Nuys CA. Also a teal Civic EF, it looks a lot more like classic 90′s teal than the photos show. Much greener.

    Still need to find the Hako’s…

    Also note, there were no extras, my girlfriend bought the only one of each…lol

    I can second checking at Vons here in the SoCal are. We get some decent finds at our local store.

  15. got-rice said:

    I was in Arizona the past week, and there was a fresh L case with a bunch of black Hakos in there (the WM in Bullhead City), as I was also lucky to find a bunch of El Camino TH and 2 Greenwood Corvette $TH. Previously, I found two Hakos (no THs) at the WM in Cottonwood. I figure I saw so many, I will see them again soon enough.

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