Model: Hot Works Racing Factory Toyota Estima
Where to get it: mine was from eBay
Why I am featuring it: When I was about 15 there was a magazine on sale here in the UK called J-Tuner. For a kid who was obsessed with Japanese cars it was like Christmas each issue. I recall being sat on my PC scrolling through eBay trying to find models of AE86 Corollas and Pulsar N1s. Stuff I’d seen on Gran Turismo and was now reading about in J-Tuner. Somewhere along the line I found Hot Works models. It was like finding buried treasure. I ended up with a set of 4 of the early D1GP cars including Ken Nomura’s Blitz ER34 and the Garage Sift AE86. Somewhere along the line found this Estima, although truth be told I can’t recall when! It came in quite a neat showroom style round box, and in the style of Hot Works’ 1/24 cars there’s interchangeable parts. In this case it’s the wheels, meaning you can bin off the school run standard wheels for a set of VIP chrome alloys. Pretty trick huh? Oh and the steering is functional, which is something that Hot Works was pretty unique for when it made diecast in this size. I always feel they came along too early to take advantage of the global ‘JDM’ boom. They didn’t last long as a diecast manufacturer and the prices sellers ask these days means to those of us on a budget they’re unobtainable. And it’s a damn shame they’re gone considering how cool they are and how mad the Japanese diecast market has gone in the past few years.