It is so nice to have Ken & Mary (Meri) back in my life.
As I continue to work my way through my recent descent into all things classic Japanese automotive, looking like Alice falling through the rabbit hole, breezing by Mazdas painted orange and green, Toyotas called Crown, presidential Nissans, tiny Subarus, and Mitsubishis not called Evo, I have finally landed at the place I started. The Kenmeri.
There is a lot to appreciate about nostalgic Japanese cars, and what I like best is standing back and taking in the design. And Japanese cars design-wise are to the automotive world what Tropicalia is to Brazilian music. A little of this from there, a little of that from over there, and the result is pure unadulterated Japanese. The fastback Celica might have borrowed from the fastback Mustang, or the Toyota 2000GT from the Jag E-Type, but the results scream Japan. And the Kenmeri, like the Hakosuka before it, may be the most Japanese of all.
So that is why 2011 was such a great Hot Wheels year for the JDM lot. Two new Skyline models, both iconic, looking like the racers and cruisers so many ogle over today. 2012? Nothing (at least from those two models). But both made a return in 2013, both adorning metal bases and the Hot Wheels premium treatment. The Hakosuka jumped right in at the beginning of the year as part of the Boulevard line, but the Kenmeri took its sweet time. So much time in fact that we started wondering if we would ever see it, especially since the line it is in, the Flying Customs, is a legendary pegwarmer, and one that I am sure the Mattel number-crunchers are happy to ditch.
And ditched it was. This last batch won’t see the inside of big box stores, but at least hobby dealers and some smaller retailers have it. It means I get my Kenmeri. This specific model came from Hong Kong, thanks to good Lamley friends Leon T, Ha Mo, Andy, and his son Bryan, who scoured local Toys R Us stores to find me one. That may have been a little too much trouble, but better safe than sorry when pursuing one of my favorite Hot Wheels castings…
(While I got mine in Hong Kong, it will be much easier for you. Just head over to ebay…)
Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (2013 Flying Customs):