Friends, I’m out. It is time to move away from unauthorized sneaks on Lamley…

The Nissan Fairlady Z appropriately debuted on Japanese Nostalgic Car by Jun Imai

There is a growing problem in our hobby, and I want to make sure that what is done here at Lamley doesn’t perpetuate it.

After much thought, from here on out Lamley will no longer show unauthorized sneaks peeks.  And by unauthorized that means photos of models stolen from the factory and leaked online through sources not authorized by Mattel.

And the problem isn’t necessarily these sneaks, the problem is stolen goods.  More and more stolen models are appearing on eBay, but we already know that.  The growing problem is on Facebook and, even more so, on Instagram.  An increasing number of stolen models are appearing for sale or trade on Instagram, and many of those stolen items are here in the US.  If you see a Super that isn’t out yet, it is almost certainly stolen.  If you see a mainline model on eBay or Instagram that has real riders, it is the body of a model stolen and fitted with wheels it is not supposed to have.  If you see something that isn’t out yet called a “prepro”, it is most likely a stolen body with real riders added.

If someone is touting multiple 2016 Supers for sale right now, they most likely, and maybe unknowingly, have stolen goods.  They might have come from someone who is a legitimate seller, but if the models are traced all the way back, they will come up stolen.  If it seems to early to see these models for sale, it probably is.

The exception would be models in the hands of licensors who have an exclusive deal with Mattel, like Falken Tire, Greddy, and Japanese Nostalgic Car.  Licensors will get a batch of their model early to use for promotions or other purposes.

And that is one of the reasons Lamley will no longer show sneaks.  It should be the privilege of the licensor to show the model they worked with Mattel to make, not this blog.  Moving forward I don’t want to take that away from them.  If they contact me and want to use the blog to get the word out, I would love to show the model, and even photograph it.  And once the model has been unveiled through proper sources, I will most certainly pass the info along.

It is also not fair to Mattel.  These models are the product of much effort by many people, starting with the designer and expanding out to all kinds of folks.  It should be unveiled the way they plan on unveiling it.  If that involves Lamley, like with some of the RLC models the last few months, I am thrilled to be a part.

Lastly, I don’t want to be, or even perceived to be, a part of the stolen model problem.  The sneaks I have shown in the past have always been photos that I have found, or that were passed on to me, but even then the models are most likely stolen.  If my sneaks persuade someone to steal to get their photograph out, I don’t want to be a part.  And if my sneaks motivate people to pursue models illegally, I don’t want to be a part of that either.

Ultimately, Lamley was formed to be a place to celebrate our hobby, and not just from the perspective of the collector, but from the car enthusiast.  Collecting little cars can be such a joy, and that is why I continue to do what I do.  I love little cars, I love talking about them, and I love photographing them. I love breaking news, but only if it is appropriate.

This is a decision that I have come to on my own.  This is a Lamley decision, and no one else’s.  This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, and that is fine, but with the confines of what I do, I need to let the world know.

Sneaks will still come to Lamley.  I have some RLC models to show off when the time comes, and I am incredibly excited with some of the Matchbox previews that will come in the future, including another 2016 model to be previewed tomorrow.  I also will continue to publish the Mattel-approved Ambassador Reports, and pass along any news that breaks appropriately (Maybe at JCCS this weekend?).  And when the model is in store or listed by a legit seller, you know I will get the word out.

But Lamley will continue to be about the models.  I just recently upgraded my photo setup to try make my photos look better, and look for more developments with Lamley in the future.  I hope you continue to come back to read about all kinds of cool stuff, whether it be Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Tomica Limited Vintage, Kyosho, and on and on.

I will also support those legit sellers in the business, like my partners Wheel Collectors and Japan Booster, as well as anyone trying to raise money appropriately in the ebay marketplace.

Yes, this is a rant, but this is something I have thought about a lot, and feel good about.  If anything, I have more space and time for features.

I welcome your comments and concerns.

33 Replies to “Friends, I’m out. It is time to move away from unauthorized sneaks on Lamley…”

  1. Thank you for this. Some may not be pleased, but maybe their not in it for the right reasons to begin with. Keep up the good work, it is all about the tiny cars we love.

  2. I ended up getting attacked by an Admin in the facebook group im in after reporting these sales. He says “Don't believe what you read.” Heres what he sent (This isn't me).

    (Anonymous guy.) You didn't cause trouble and lamely don't have proof they are stolen. Don't believe everything you read on there. 16 hunts have started to hit in stores already.

    I responded civily and he says this.

    (Him.) Some have hit here in TN as well as other states

    He then got hostile when i asked proof for where these hit.

  3. I don't condone what the lunchbox crew does. But it would be nice if Mattel could advertise their products in a timely matter. Why does it take so long for them to publish pictures of exclusive color models for the mail-ins? They usually don't come out until the week before the event. Why does it take so long for the HWC website to post an article about a store exclusive set [Star Wars, Easter, Mustang 50th, Porsche, Christmas etc] that by the time the website has it up, the series has already hit the stores and are gone. You would think they would build anticipation for a model/series by previewing it so that people can saves their pennies to buy it. Imagine if a new movie didn't air previews until the week before it debuted in theaters. Imagine not knowing about a major sports match until the day before. Mattel could certainly do a better job advertising their own products.

  4. I applaud the decision but two years ago Mattel asked the collecting community for help in curbing the problem and we don't appear any closer to solving the problem now. I seriously question how much effort Mattel has put into this. I'd be embarrassed at the scale with which the problem exists if I was a member of management at Mattel. It now includes upcoming RLC items like the Gulf Camaro. What a joke!

  5. I understand completely. You have to do what you have to do, to protect the hobby,as well as yourself, to not promote any possible affiliation with unauthorized material.
    Does Mattel have surveillance in their factories or is the problem that hard to detect and monitor? Seems like they need to get rid of a few bad apples before it gets out of hand.
    When I saw an what looked like an RLC Gulf Camaro on Ebay, I thought “ILLEGAL”, because it is yet to be released. Just type in “Hot Wheels RLC Gulf 67 Camaro” on Ebay and you'll see what I mean.
    Saw one go off for $252.35 American dollars!

  6. Why be fair to Mattel when they are not fair to us? They make these non-mainline editions and sell them in such low quantities that it has become difficult for non scalping collectors to get them. This hobby is no longer fun and it is only fun for Lamley because you have connections and have better opportunities to get these cars. We either have to pay ransom prices on ebay, quit our jobs to hunt stores at all hours of the day, or be extremely lucky to get most of these non-mainline cars.

  7. I have similar impression on the issue. It's amazing(to me) how little control they seem to have over security.

    As for this article, I've always thought Lamley is classy to fault. It sure adds to the quality of this blog, and face it; if there was one blog who didn't need stolen pics, it's Lamley. I support the decision fully.

  8. With all due respect, this is your site and you do what you want with it, however, the comment biting your nose of to spite your face comes to mind, with everywhere else showing them, and due to incompetence at Mattel, in A) not giving out decent info, B) failing to distribute a poster with pictures on until half way through the year C) The failure of Mattel (in both brands) to adhere to their own release schedules.

    If Mattel can not be bothered to deal with this at the source, then surely they get everything they deserve, Hornby does the same with the Vanguards range, I sent a very curt letter to them with regards to the very limited edition range of Chrome models, in the 1/43 range, asking how many they produce, they said it was the run plus ten percent to allow for any damages, i them queried if you are making a further 50 (on a 500 run) how can you give them a certificate, as the original 500 would have those, and i also asked that if they are receiving 550 of a particular model, how is that someone is selling multiple numbers of that model on eBay, thus extending the range to 700 from an original run of 500, thus making their description of a limited edition with a specific run, inaccurate and in breach of the 1994 sale and supply of goods act, and trades description (i checked both fully to make sure).

    They responded saying that they have NO control over the factory, which i find very hard to believe as at that time it was their own facility, they then stated they could not do anything about the sales on eBay, which is wrong, as has been put above, if models appear for sale before they even reached the UK shores, they are stolen items, therefore they can call eBay and have them removed, but they refused to.

    SO, if Mattel cant be bothered to stop these sales, which they can very very easily do, then surely they then can not complain about pictures appearing online of these models.

    I can also say that if pictures of the said models are on the posters, then a picture of the real thing is no different, there is nothing illegal about reproducing a picture (unless under copyright), and even then you can get around it by using the term, reproduced for educational and information purposes.

    I know a few friends that visit here just to see the “upcoming” products, and that's it, i hope the decision to stop this does not have a too detrimental effect on visitor numbers, my own personal point is, until Mattel plays fair, then why should the rest of us, but again, its your decision, and we have to accept it.

  9. Totally agreed! I bought up the issue at the Q&A session at the Chicago Nationals and the Mattel publicists seemed to have no clue what I was talking about. The problem is rampant on eBay, FB, Instagram and most every other social media network. As was stated by another comment-er, the FB group admins are a part of the problem not only by allowing the problem to exist on the groups, but partaking in the buying and selling of them. Someone posted a picture just this morning of the 3rd 2016 Super, the Acura NSZ, and they had20+ of them available for sale stateside. The information is out there is Mattel gave it enough effort to look.

  10. Two wrongs do not make a right…I think Lamley has stepped up and done what every other source should do. We need to hold ourselves accountable, and not just when others are playing by the rules…

  11. I assume then that you feel the same about car spy shots, which are now, not caught out, but carefully planned by the manufacturer to get info out an about, to get people talking about it, generating interest, and this sales will come, i have not said that the site should produce, quite the opposite, but to make it clear there was an alternative view point which should be discussed also – and not just derision, and at the end of the day, these are toy cars, nothing more nothing less, so for you to say hold yourself accountable, is a comment i will ignore, as there are far more important things in life that require accountability, not posting a picture of a toy car, that, at the end of the day, is not the be all and end all, there are far more important things in life.

  12. I disagree with your statement. These are completely different than actual car spy shots. Those have to be driven on the road, diecast cars do not.

    Mattel can choose their way of releasing product info on their schedule, not by some dude who got a hold of stolen product.

    These may be only toy cars, but if we can do something about something that is detrimental to our hobby, what's the harm in that?

  13. I applaud your decision as well. These models are stolen from the factory by dishonest employees and sold for a large sum on Ebay. This is theft, which is both morally and legally wrong by all means.

  14. Jon Mower, the comment about being accountable was referring to stolen product, not simply posting a picture of a toy car. Lamleys article went into that issue in depth and we as collectors should hold each other accountable. We shouldn't being buying these items, we shouldn't be selling them and we shouldn't tolerate the same all over social media.

  15. That is interesting! George's Diecast had a similar conversation today when someone posted a picture of the 2016 Acura NSX Super. The admins got all defense when this came up and I think a couple of people either got removed or left the group. Not sure which. It happened EXACTLY like you said Shannon, with the very same statements by the admin. I think the admins are buying/selling them on that page that is why they get defensive

  16. BRAVO! This is again a reason why your blog is more interesting than others. I love the personal approach to a blog anyday over a corporate blog.
    Half or even fake news is everywhere, I appreciate a site where I can read news at the moment it's a fact.

  17. same here in Vietnam. i can already get the first three supers of 2016 if i want to. they are always lose, never carded. and of course the prices are ridiculous. it makes me angry every time.

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