Category Archives: minicars

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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Inside the world of Kimono My House, one of the oldest Japanese hobby shops in the US

Before anime and Japanese sci-fi became mainstream on US shores, a small hobby shop in Emeryville, California filled that niche for those in the know. Kimono My House is probably the oldest Japanese toy store in the United States, its … Continue reading

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Transformers to release an updated, more realistic Honda City robot

The character named Skids was not a very memorable one from the original Transformers lineup. We honestly can’t remember anything he did in the cartoon series. But, he was a Honda City hatchback in car mode, something we didn’t really … 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: There’s a very good reason why this Toyoda AA model from the Toyota Automobile Museum costs ¥3,350

If you’ve been to the Toyota Automobile Museum’s gift shop, perhaps you’ve seen a 1:43 scale model of the company’s first production car, the 1936 Toyoda AA. It’s available in two colors and you can buy it for ¥3,350 (approx. … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Help us identify this grotesque Datsun 240Z toy car

Recently we received a bizarre toy that has us puzzled. It looks like a Datsun 240Z or S30 Nissan Fairlady Z that, instead of rolling on four wheels (which it has), walks on human feet. There are a few markings … Continue reading

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This is the most detailed Seibu Keisatsu DR30 Skyline model ever released

The DR30 Skyline from the television series Seibu Keisatsu is the latest car to undergo transformation into a super-detailed 1:8-scale subscription model. When all is said and done, it’ll take almost two years and ¥200,000 (about $1,930) to complete the … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The Nissan R390 GT1 Road Car joins the 2021 Hot Wheels lineup

The Nissan R390 GT1 Road Car has been a dream machine for so many. Nissan made only one to homologate for Le Mans in 1997, and never put it up for sale. However, come 2021, you can buy it for … Continue reading

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MINICARS: This 1:150-scale Toyota Crown is one of the smallest R/C cars we’ve ever seen

There are minicars and then there are minicars. A Japanese radio controlled car builder has constructed one of the smallest R/C cars we’ve ever seen. It’s based off of a 1:150-scale Tomytec Toyota Crown, but all its guts have been … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The Hot Wheels FC Mazda RX-7 will be recolored in white

The Hot Wheels Mazda RX-7 FC3S was already one of our favorite new castings of the year, but the next recolor really cements it in our list of all-time greats. As revealed by the Hot Wheels Dream Team of Mattel’s … Continue reading

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MINICARS: How to turn a Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline into a kaido racer

There’s a whole subculture of customized Hot Wheels and, as it happens, an ever-growing list of Japanese castings. That gives ample opportunity to create something cool from Japan’s rich car culture, like this Kenmeri Skyline kaido racer. It’s hard to … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The classic Tomica Building playset updated and re-released for 50th anniversary

Originally released in 1971, the Tomica Building was one of the most popular and iconic playsets from the diecast company’s early years. The palm-sized diecast cars that had debuted in 1970 had turned out to be a big success, so … Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: Tomica

Fifty years ago today, car culture in Japan was forever changed with the introduction of Tomica, the country’s first authentic diecast miniature cars in the 3-inch range. Launched on August 18, 1970, they quickly became the most popular diecast toys … Continue reading

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MINICARS: 2021 Matchbox lineup includes MR2, BRAT, T360, and more

The annual Matchbox collector’s convention was supposed to be last weekend, but the coronavirus happened. Instead, it was held virtually, with a video presentation to show what’s coming down the line. There’s a lot of excellent new castings for fans … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Peep this incredible 1:64 scale Japanese parking garage

We’ve mentioned before that the Chinese website AliExpress is great for finding weird gems of miniature car greatness. Take this Japanese-style parking garage for 1:64-scale diecast cars, for example. The two-story playset looks like the type of scene where street … Continue reading

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A Honda-themed race track built entirely out of Legos

Honda Australia has created, out of Legos, an entire racetrack populated with Hondas old and new. Called “Mount Hondarama,” it’s a replica of Mount Panorama, also known as Bathurst. While Lego Civic Type Rs race around by radio control, other … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Diecast Racing League is the best sport to watch during quarantine

Actual motorsports might be on hiatus while the coronavirus quarantine is in effect, but that doesn’t mean all auto racing has to grind to a halt. Turns out, there’s a thriving community of drivers who compete in diecast cars. The … Continue reading

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Check out Isuzu City, the mind-blowing miniature town that is Japan’s largest diorama

Goodbye forever, readers. We at JNC have decided to move to a place in Japan where there are plenty of nostalgic cars, clean streets, and barely any traffic. It’s Isuzu City, population 3,300, located inside the Isuzu Plaza museum in … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The second color of the Hot Wheels Prelude is a tribute to Electron Blue Pearl

One of the most anticipated Hot Wheels castings of this year has been the fifth-generation Honda Prelude. We showed you the prototype last October, and Hot Wheels’ design team has revealed the first color, silver. Now, they’ve given us some … Continue reading

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Japan’s postal service celebrates 50 years of the Skyline GT-R with a commemorative stamp set

On Monday Japan’s postal service released a set of commemorative stamps honoring the Nissan Skyline GT-R’s 50th anniversary. Technically, the 50th anniversary took place almost exactly one year ago, but better late than never, no? Of course, with this being … Continue reading

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