Search Results for: jun+imai

MINICARS: The Kaido House Datsun 510 begins Jun Imai’s next chapter

Jun Imai is a pivotal figure in the diecast world, having transformed the most “hot rod” of diecast brands into a leader in Japanese minicars. For that he became a star in the collectible car world, and ever since he … Continue reading

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MINICARS: the Jun Imai Era comes to a close at Hot Wheels

There is just one more bit of Hot Wheels news left for today, and it’s a sad one. Our friend and star designer Jun Imai has left Mattel for new opportunities. We had known it was happening for a couple … Continue reading

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SEMA 2017: Jun Imai debuts his widebody Datsun Z

Five years ago, we watched as the pink slip of a dusty blue 1974 260Z was signed over to Jun Imai. It appeared as if attempts to turn it into something greater had been cut short, leaving a car that was neither stock nor carefully modified. If … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai details the Datsun Fairlady 2000

The Nissan Fairlady 2000 is one of the most anticipated cars of the 2017 Hot Wheels lineup, and it’s easy to see why. Dedicated collectors will easily spot the signature touches of designer Jun Imai, who has transformed it into … Continue reading

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JCCS Preview: Get Jun Imai’s autograph on this very limited edition hakosuka Skyline illustration

Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai will be at the JNC booth this Saturday at the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California. Jun will participate an autograph session from 10:30 to 11:00 am. Feel free to bring your cars, parts, posters … Continue reading

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PROFILES: Jun Imai’s 1971 Datsun 510 Wagon

We see a lot of cars here at JNC. A lot. Every so often, however, there’s that one singular car that comes along and truly blows our feeble minds. Jun Imai‘s 1971 Datsun 510 Wagon is exactly one of those cars, and … Continue reading

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JCCS Preview: Meet Hot Wheels’ Jun Imai at the JNC Booth

As regular JNCers know we’re huge, giddy fans of Jun Imai, Hot Wheels designer extraordinaire. This weekend at JCCS, we will be positively honored to have at our booth the man who created such diecast cars as the Datsun 510, Toyota AE86, hakosuka and kenmeri Skylines, Mazda RX-7, Mad Manga, … Continue reading

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Chat with Hot Wheels’ Jun Imai

Hey minicar fans! Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai will be taking part in a live online chat tomorrow, August 16 at 3:30 PDT. If you don’t know already, Imai-san is the one responsible for the recent surge in nostalgics in the … Continue reading

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Hot Wheels has a tsunami of Japanese cars coming

Our friends at Hot Wheels recently shared with us some previews of upcoming cars. For fans of Japanese diecast, there will be no shortage offerings infiltrating every series the company makes. Here’s a couple dozen peeks at what’s coming down … Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2021, Part 01

To close out 2021, a year where things were finally opening up again, we’re going back to the Japanese Classic Car Show. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, JCCS was back in full form. Perhaps trying to … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Ryu Asada Memorial Drive and Fundraiser

Ryu Asada was loved. By his family, by his friends, by his colleagues, and by the 200 people that showed up with a week’s notice to celebrate his life. The venerated Hot Wheels and Matchbox designer was taken from all … Continue reading

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RIP Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels designer, 1978—2021

Ryu Asada, beloved designer of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, has passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 42 years old. Ryu was immensely talented and instrumental in bringing a multitude of well-loved cars to the Hot … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Get humming with NISMO-tune Hot Wheels R33, R34 Skyline GT-Rs

Those of you who stopped by our booth at the 2019 JCCS may have caught a glimpse of some upcoming Hot Wheels. Here’s the deets on two of the most eye-catching models, an R33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs in NISMO … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels Nissan Hardbody D21 minitruck

Hot Wheels has definitely been on a roll these days, with lots of Skylines, Hondas, and assorted Japanese-market goodness. The latest release, however, covers a styling trend in which Japanese vehicles were extremely popular, but had uniquely American origins: the … Continue reading

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QotW: What made you start collecting Hot Wheels?

After hearing of Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary and Jun Imai’s departure from Mattel, I began thinking back to when I started collecting Hot Wheels. It was the “Toyota AE-86 Corolla” that set my heart afire. To see the beloved Hachiroku next … Continue reading

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Happy 50th Birthday to Hot Wheels from JNC

Today we mark 50 years of Hot Wheels, the brand that changed toy cars forever and stoked the flames of automotive passion in millions. Since 1968 was the debut year for Hot Wheels and the US-market Datsun 510, we wanted to commemorate … Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: Hot Wheels celebrates half a century of toy cars

Fifty years ago today, the world was introduced to what just might be the most influential cars ever made. The automotive world was forever changed on May 18, 1968 when Mattel introduced the Hot Wheels brand of toy cars to … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels Hakosuka Nissan Skyline Wagon

JNC stopped by Mattel’s design center yesterday and saw what promises to be one of the most coveted Hot Wheels for 2018 — the Nissan C10 Skyline Van. Designer Jun Imai was kind enough to share the final version with us, card art and … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Japan Historics 2

2018 isn’t even here yet, but we are very excited to show what we know already be the hottest series of the year. The five-car Japan Historics 2 features two new castings, retooled versions of popular existing castings, and some seriously epic card … Continue reading

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SEMA 2017: Datsun is the new “it” marque

Despite brief surges in sport compacts, drifting, VIP, and other trends from the land of the rising sun, SEMA is still mostly an American car show. If we had to put a number on the resto modded muscle cars pushing 1,000 horsepower, lifted … Continue reading

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