I’m locked in with Auto-Japan from M2 Machines. LOCKED. IN.

I am sure the folks at M2 will really love the fact that I am starting a post about their stuff by mentioning a line from Hot Wheels.  But Sean & crew, stay with me.  You will like what I am going to write.

I am very excited about the upcoming Car Culture Japan Historics 2 set coming from Hot Wheels.  I got a close-up look at the 5 models at the Convention – video and photos coming – and they blew me away.  The C210 Skyline and Laurel especially stand out.  I mentioned to the HW folks there that those two don’t even look like Hot Wheels.  They look like something completely fresh and new.

And why do I bring that up on an M2 feature?  Because I am not just a Hot Wheels collector.  Or Matchbox.  Or TLV.  I am a 1/64 collector, and I think many of you Lamley Readers are the same.  I love putting the models from many brands together, and I love to see how they all fit together.  And I especially love that with my Japanese car replicas – #lamleyhype!!

Hot Wheels and Matchbox fit nicely, just look at the respective Hakosukas the brands have put out.  In the premium range, Tomica Limited Vintage as a direction, Kyosho and Tarmac Works another, and now, a major gap is filled by M2 Machines.

It only took me four paragraphs to get here, but my point is that M2’s new foray in nostalgic J-tin is truly a treat.  M2’s take to 1/64 is different than any other brands, and applying it to Skylines and Z’s is just way too cool.

And that approach is even more apparent with the release of the hobby-only set:

The first Auto-Japan set really did take the diecast world by storm.  A Walmart exclusive, it had the hunters out in hot pursuit of the chases, and everyone else gobbling up the sets.  It was, as M2 predicted, a massive success, and the justification of M2’s expansion into Japanese vehicles.

The hobby set is out now (especially on eBay), and it features the same castings in similar decos, only just that much different.  What makes M2’s Auto-Japan set different from other brands is the application of the M2 approach to JDM.  Authentic replicas, both stock and modified, using as many parts as needed to show the differences.  So, both sets feature two releases of three different castings.  One stock and one modified.


But, once again, M2 even goes further.  Sean Taylor, the head designer at M2, mentioned he wanted to go lower stance-wise on some, and by golly he did.  Opening M2 is the way to go, and when you do that, you see this:

(Hobby-only on the left, Walmart on the right)


I liked the first set, I love the second.  All of it is reflected in the Chase Models as well:


Sometimes I probably get more excited about the “photograph-ability” of a model, and these get me way excited.  The models truly fill a gap in my JDM collection.  These NEEDED to be done, and I am thrilled they are here.  I am looking forward to seeing what else comes in the future.  I have always dabbled in M2.  I’m all in on Auto-Japan.  Call me a completist.




15 Replies to “I’m locked in with Auto-Japan from M2 Machines. LOCKED. IN.”

  1. I’m happy to have the the whole first Walmart set, as well as a couple from the second set (just the ones I wanted). I don’t really see the need to get these hobby ones, but they are very nice, and it’s cool that they’ve lowered the stance on a few of them. I still think M2’s take on chase models is unspeakably awful…they’re one of the few instances of chase models where I don’t care if I ever find one in the wild.

  2. I wasn’t aware that the 2nd release of the Auto Japan which I pre-ordered from an online store was hobby exclusive and I’m glad I did. M2 did a good job on coming up with these models although still have some minor quality control issue like non rounded white walls on the 510 which spoiled the beauty of the car. Comparing the recently released 510 from TLV, even though M2 did not match the refine detail of their casting, M2 did a good job of giving us opening hood to give us a peak on the engine.

  3. Great post! Speaking of, has anybody used camco toys to buy something before it is released? I want to buy the new Japan Historics set but I was not sure if they were reliable. Thank you!

  4. The M2 cars are really nice, but they do not appear to be true 1/64th. They are bigger. This means they won’t look right sitting next to my TLVs.

    1. These are pretty close, Steve. I’ve got the red Walmart one sitting next to a Tomica in my display and it looks to be the same size. The Tomica has 1:60 stamped on the bottom.

  5. I do like the M2s and have gotten every edition of the 510 I could find because, frankly, I like the car. But I am still put off by the quality issues of their products. I’m still finding damaged and unfinished cars on the shelves, and the quality makes it hard to justify the price. Same for Greenlight as well.

  6. I know there’s a lot of attention going to the Car Culture line, especially the Japan Historics 2 set, but did you get a close up look at the premium Forza 2 set at the convention? If so, are you going to do a video? That Porche Speedster has caught my eye.

  7. These are a very nice departure from their usual ill-fitting junk. I think they are a wee bit smaller than 1/64. Unlike other comments here, I’ve always thought that most of their other stuff was right on the money scale-wise. Just sit one next to an Auto World. It fits right in. Now Siku on the other hand…..

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