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Are Hot Wheels collectors ready for a Nissan Laurel? Or is the Nissan Laurel ready for them?

The Hot Wheels Design Team dropped this today:

A post shared by HW Auto & Diecast Design Team (@hotwheelsdreamteam) on Apr 27, 2017 at 12:45pm PDT

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That is one pretty Nissan C130 Laurel, affectionally known as the Butaketsu, or “Pig’s Butt” Laurel, due to its large rear and bumper-embedded tail lights.  And it is purely Japanese.

Hot Wheels has already replicated several Japan-only models, including several Skylines, but the Laurel definitely goes a little deeper.  It is not as well known in places like the US as much as the Skyline.  But JDM is JDM, and as the bosozoku-inspired Mad Manga has proven, unfamiliar can still become popular among the collector set.

But JDM is JDM, and my guess is this beauty will be immensely popular when it hits.  Then we can enjoy the “I’ve liked the Laurel much longer than you” arguments among the more insecure “car guys”, while the rest of us enjoy what looks to be a fantastic casting.

For me, kudos to the team for doing this one.  It is exciting to see.

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24 thoughts on “Are Hot Wheels collectors ready for a Nissan Laurel? Or is the Nissan Laurel ready for them? Leave a comment

  1. This will definitely be a test for HW. While I think a Laurel looks cool it's definitely not a car most US buyers are used to. HW did a great job on it judging by the prototype

  2. I'm sure it'll irritate the JDM fanboys for me to say this, but the front 3/4-view of the Laurel looks a HELL of a lot like the Kenmeri Skyline.

    Delving into obscure models is one of the things I like most about Hot Wheels' recent history, but I'd have liked to see something a little more differentiated from what's already been done. How about a late '60s Subaru Sambar van, or the wacky wedge-shaped Subaru XT? Or maybe a first-gen Civic? Or isn't it high time Mattel do a modern casting of the mid-90s Nissan 300ZX?

    Don't get me wrong, this looks great and I'm thankful for it, but it just seems a little familiar, even if the real car definitely is not.

  3. Hopefully, the obscurity of this car will make it a bit easier to find. I highly doubt it, though. That being said, it looks fantastic and will make a perfect companion to the Kenmeri Skyline.

  4. This is a pretty cool casting. Will need a wheel swap for sure. Really close to the Skyline but I'm sure some will correct me on that. Just an opinion though, not a true JDM guy but learning to respect them.

    Wish they would post more sneaks though. Really want to see what's on the horizon as far as muscle and hot rod releases. Hope there are going to be more licsened models from the past maybe some returns from the past. The Backwoods Bomb and Super Van were great to see back.

  5. I know some people will balk at the idea, but is this significantly different enough than the 2000GT-R to warrant its' own casting?

    But you're right, JDM is JDM, so people will snap it up regardless.

  6. This is like a Chevelle to the Kenmeri Skyline's Nova.

    Two cars of two different sizes getting different castings is no surprise to me. You wouldn't try to use the same casting for a Maverick and a Gran Torino.

  7. Well they have Subarus, but it's always the damn Impreza. A couple Imprezas are ok, but when Mattel clearly has a licensing agreement with Subaru, it seems like the door is open for other more interesting models from them.

  8. I don't know. I have 73 different Subaru castings in my collection so they are being made. But Subaru ratios to Nissan in diecast is like AMC to Chevy

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