Over at Lamley Group they've been talking about the Car Culture line that Hot Wheels has release over the past year...the line that includes the Japan Historics and so on. These are premium cars - in that they cost more than $1 - and by all rights they're awesome. They look great, they're well made and have all the little extras you would expect for a higher price.
I'm not a big Collector of cars, per se. I like to find cars I don't have but I rarely chase variations and don't even worry about TH's or anything like that. I'm more looking for the "complete collection" kind of thing rather than colors and tampos (although when they look bad ass, I'll grab them).
The Car Culture line is $3+ per car. Collectors are going after them big time because they're great looking cars with nice little features.
My wonder is if as Mattel continues to release lines that are squarely targeted at collectors and not the "average" toy-buying consumer, will it ever be easier to find the same-model mainlines on the pegs?
I know that's very broad thought and frankly, I know sniping mainline cars will always be something that plagues us all, but even if it makes finding those mainliners a little easier, I'd be happy.
If I want a Bluebird Datsun for my collection, I just need one...and a mainline at that. I don't need the Real Riders or the metal chassis or any extras. For the most part, I'm looking to race these things (and maybe even bust em open). I'm not a premium buyer nor collector.
I'd like to think if Mattel can keep up their Car Culture line quality, it might make it easier for the rest of us to find cars we want on the pegs rather than having to hustle online and overpay. I think I've talked before about how I still like "the hunt" in the store rather than online scouring eBay...physical shopping is just more fun to me, but it's also been less and less exciting thanks to all the collectors clearing out shelves.
I'll certainly purchase a Car Culture model or two if I see them. They won't get raced but a lot of them just look amazing.