Ah yes, the Hakosuka… wait?!?!? …What did I just say? Let me backup a little… Chances are, if you’ve been involved in collecting modern Hot Wheels as of late you’ve noticed the influx of Japanese Domestic Market vehicles. These #JDM vehicles are especially popular on all the social media sites within the Hot Wheels collecting realm, because of their resale value. Beyond that though, somebody has to buy these, right? Of course. They are many JDM enthusiasts around the world and they have always loved Hot Wheels, it just took a little while for collectors in the United States to realize that. In fact, there are several JDM enthusiasts on the Hot Wheels design and marketing teams, with two of the main ones being Hot Wheels designers, Jun Imai and Ryu Asada. Both Jun and Ryu have designed some remarkable JDM pieces over the last several years. They have officially brought their passion to us Hot Wheels Collectors via these miniature cars and have hooked up with authentic JDM sponsors like #Japanese Nostalgic Car, Japan Classic Car Show and #Speedhunters, to share with the JDM world what Hot Wheels collecting is all about!
Six years ago, way back in 2011 — which seems like a lifetime ago — that link between the Hot Wheels collecting world and the JDM world was just being forged. Sure, the more modern R32 and R34 #Skylines had an existing popularity in the U.S. collecting world, but the market for the classic Skylines had yet to reach mass-market appeal.
I’m not sure if even Jun himself could have predicted that the classic Skylines, in the #Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-X (the Hakosuka) along with the #Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (the Kenmeri), would be as sought after by collectors as they are today. Both were #First Editions appearing in the #2011 New Models, and both were easy to find as they even sat as pegwarmers in some stores around the country.
The real 1:1 #Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-X is known as the Hakosuka in Japan — and now the Hot Wheels collecting world — as “hako” means “box” in Japanese and “suka” is short for “skyline”. This boxy #Skyline first appeared in 1971 in Japan and 40 years later we finally received it in Hot Wheels form.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know exactly where the #17 graphic scheme from the #2011 New Models release (also the #16 #Car Culture / Japan Historics release) comes from, but I do know that it mimics a real life #Race Car design.
Speaking of that 2016 Car Culture release, it does pair well with this release due to the similar racing schemes. Since that release was released in a premium line at the $3.50 price-point here in the U.S., it does have a metal base and #Real Riders wheels. What it lacks though, are the taillights and Hot Wheels logo on the rear license plate found on this mainline version that retailed for a buck. On a personal note, I kind of thought the details on this release were cool and slightly unique, so I bought several back in 2011. Then, when the #JDM Hot Wheels market heated up, I sold them all off for over $10 a piece. I was happy with that… at the time…
It would be remiss of me not to mention a man who I call a friend, in John Lambert. You’ve probably heard his name before as he is the “Lam” in the LamleyGroup.com — one of the best sites for diecast enthusiasts, and especially for #JDM collectors. Through his passion shown through his words & images on his blog, John had me regretting the decision I made to sell off these Skylines. I had determined that I was going to reacquire this release as it was one of my favorite #JDM pieces that I had sold off. Easy task, right? Errrr…. no so much.
I always have a hard time shelling out double-digit dollar amounts for fairly common mainline cars. Since this #2011 New Models release was just that, I decided to wait until I could find one for less than what I had sold the ones I had for. It was a huge challenge, as with the rising JDM prices, took a lot of patience — and luck!
Finally, last October, at the 2016 Hot Wheels Collectors Convention in Los Angeles, I was going room-to-room, looking for cool cars to feature here on the site and for my collection, and in a box on the floor were some mainlines. I spotted this very #Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-X in the package and asked the guy what he wanted for it, he said, “five bucks”. I couldn’t have handed him the $5 bill fast enough. Just as I did, guess comes walking in the room… John. I told him what I got it for and turned to me and said, “you know you got a smoking deal on that Skyline!” The funny thing was that it was the car that — he doesn’t even know — he helped me truly appreciate. That day I ended up walking away with a great car and an even more cool acquisition story. In this case the journey was truly the reward and, if you’ve made it this far, I thank you for listening to said journey!