Mail call: Filling the distribution gaps with a box from Jcar

Not everyone will be interested in this bloke-gets-box-of-diecast-in-the-mail post, and that’s fair enough. But I was excited to get this stuff this week and wanted to share it with anyone who wants to read about it.

Still here? Good! I’m in Calgary, Canada, where Matchbox distribution is a little flaky and Hot Wheels can be hard to find if you’re not the most dedicated of hunters. With several things coming out at once that I wanted to add to my collection, I decided to take the plunge and order a box from the States – specifically, Houston-based Jcar Diecast (a Lamley partner) run by James Wilkins. I’ve known James since we met at the Matchbox Gathering in 2017. I’m far from his best customer but his service is always great. By filling a box and sharing some of the contents with a friend, I was able to justify the expense of the super-quick DHL international shipping.

As you can see, you can pack a lot in a box…

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Starting with Hot Wheels, I decided to pick up a case of the new Car Culture Thrill Climbers series on the basis that they’re unlikely to warm the pegs in Calgary. I don’t buy many Car Culture models but this set is right up my rally-loving alley. Lots to get excited about here but for me the Audi steals the show.

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(find Hot Wheels Thrill Climbers on eBay)

I also wanted the Castrol Ford GT and accompanying C-800 transporter from the new Team Transport mix because I saw it race at Daytona in 2019. That one has now come to Calgary but I haven’t seen it around yet so I bought a case and will find homes for the others, although to be honest, they’re all great – possibly the best TT mix yet?

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(find Hot Wheels Team Transport on eBay)

Next up, Greenlight. Rally again! At first glance, the new Escort RS Cosworth casting looks excellent but look out for a Cossie-fest soon when I’ll get my other versions out for comparison.

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(find Greenlight Hot Hatches on eBay)

And finally, Matchbox. I’m not going to reopen the debate on Matchbox distribution. We all know it’s not right, but they are working to make it better. That’s good enough for me. Here in Canada the Moving Parts and Power Grabs went MIA from Walmart about a year ago. Toys R Us doesn’t seem to be restocking, nor selling in every store. Meanwhile the reborn Convoys haven’t appeared anywhere. All three lines were therefore on my list for Jcar.

As a bit of an old fart I love that the Power Grab cars come in a box rather than a blister. This particular batch (Case S) is perhaps the strongest of the year so far, with Mr Bean’s Mini, the motorcycle trailers (I was fortunate to get one of each variation) and the DBR1 all on board. The new Jeep Renegade is perhaps the ‘sleeper’ of the case – it’s really well done.

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(find Matchbox Power Grabs on eBay)

The Skyjacker, Divco and Lambo were the ones I really wanted from Moving Parts. I’ve decided I won’t try to keep up with all the new Convoys but James had a Tesla so I got that one.

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(find Matchbox Moving Parts on eBay)

And there we have it. I won’t be doing a huge order like that every month but it’s good to have dealers like Jcar Diecast around to fill in the gaps when the stuff we want can’t be found in the store. And if you’re sitting on the fence about international shipping costs, it works well to join with a friend on some cases and split them down the middle. To cover the shipping, I ended up adding only a dollar to the cost of most of the models in the box and just 50 cents to each Power Grab. Not bad at all!

Graham Heeps

11 thoughts on “Mail call: Filling the distribution gaps with a box from Jcar

  1. I would like to know when MBX Case S will be in stores. If they’re in Canada, they should be in Michigan stores by now

  2. I’m glad that Aston Martin DBR1 is released as a single. I hate to purchase the Top Gun 5 pack for just one vehicle.

    There’s something about that ’56 with that British racing green adorned with those signature MBX 10 spokes… what a classic lookin’ ride!

    1. Slightly different deco on the single (no numbers) and different wheels. I don’t mind the rest of the 5-pack, I just wish I could find it!

  3. Hey there you bloke! LOL! Thanks for sharing your box of die cast. I’m one who enjoyed reading about it. For as bad as finding stuff is at times in the States, I don’t envy your situation.

    That’s a pretty nice haul you’ve got there. I haven’t seen Thrill Climbers in my area yet, though I’ve been hunting for them hard. This is one Car Culture wave that I will purchase in full without pause. I think my favorite has got to be the Lancia, just edging out the Ford. But that Audi might have taken my top spot were this casting to have made its debut here in premium rather than giving us an advance taste in mainline. Kudos on the Greenlight Cosworth. That will make a nice companion to the Thrill Climbers set.

    I actually found this set of Team Transport awhile back and was quick to add the Mercedes and Ford GT to my collection. The Mooneyes Bug is by far the most popular here, as I’ve only come across it once, but it’s not a livery I collect, so I left it for next fan to enjoy.

    I haven’t seen the latest wave of Matchbox on the pegs or as Power Grabs, but I’ve been looking. Is that the entire wave shown or just select models you ordered? Not much to spark my interest here, other than the Aston and blue recolor of the Mercedes W123 wagon. Maybe the Bean Cooper as well.

    MBX Convoy has been rolling in lately. Not a line I collect, but I took a long look at the Tesla truck. I passed, mainly because of the trailer. I think if they reissue it with a box trailer, I’d pounce.

    Now to MBX Moving Parts. This line has had some of the worst distribution since its debut, but it seems stores are finally beginning to stock these beginning with the E case a month or so ago. So you wouldn’t believe my surprise when doing a casual spot check of the toy aisle while on a grocery run, I spotted the Divco Milk Truck front and center on the pegs. Now this is not a model I was after, but it signaled that a new case had arrived. Xterra, Riviera, ’32 Ford, all there. Finally… to my utter amazement… Centenario!!! How could I possibly be so lucky? Of course the Lambo came home with me and I couldn’t be happier. A great model all around!

    Cheers.

    1. Glad you got the Lambo! The Divco is nice too. Whole wave of Power Grabs is shown in the pic up top that shows entire parcel contents. I just did a close-up on some of the best. Cheers!

  4. I am of that vintage that used to buy gray wheels at every small store there was in the 50s. Now with rhe plague going around it is easier to stay home and order from JCAR. I miss the thrill of the hunt but lets be practical .

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