A couple weeks back I mentioned here I’d be in California for a work trip, and now I’m back with less money and a few more die casts. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions of places to visit - I didn’t get to them all, so I have an excuse to come back! Here’s a few pix from my excursions...

My first stop was the Automobile Driving Museum out in El Segundo, and while I missed their Hot Wheels day, I did make it along for their Corvette drive-in.

There’s a lot of great stuff at the ADM, well worth a visit if you’re nearby. Here’s some highlights:

But it was my beloved Vettes I came to drool over...

...of which there were plenty.

And nearby the ADM is a certain other location that no die cast collector’s pilgrimage could miss....

There were signs everywhere warning the unwary not to venture too near. But after coming all this way, did I dare to risk taking a closer look?

I dared.

And right by the front door, there’s this fun thing.

Start...
...And Finish

I didn’t stick around too long - I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to explain to the local cops why a sunburned Brit was loitering outside - so I pressed on to the next holy site.

To my disappointment, not only was the Mattel Outlet closed for refurbishment, but the temporary store set up on the basketball court was closed on weekends. Unbowed, I made sure to stop off in every supermarket and toy store that I passed - although I soon realized that the collector community in Los Angeles must be dedicated and omnipresent, because most of the pegs I encountered were stripped bare of all the cool stuff!

Still, I grabbed a Galaxy Express Dekotora truck and accompanying Mad Manga set in the original purple/silver livery that day. I love the artwork mimicking the Hokusai Kanagawa wave on this, I have a print of it on the wall in my house.

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Later I stopped off at Big Lou’s Toys & Collectibles where I found this pair of Corvettes from the Hot Wheels Classics series; but I didn’t spot the error until I got home...!

Elsewhere, I picked up a few more goodies...

(I had to get a Red Edition of something, just to commemorate shopping at a Target.)

As soon as I saw the orange ‘68 Mercury Cougar, I grabbed it. The tampos are very cool on this one.

The Lancia Stratos is another classic. I think the blue and orange livery really pops.

Of course, I see a weird casting, I buy it. This Matchbox Sub Seeker is going into the briny depths of my collection.

I was also very pleased to get my hands on the new Majorette Lamborghini Huracán Avio (pictured above with a few cousins from the HW Lambo series). Again, great paint scheme and tampos really make this one special.

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Of course, no trip to Sunny SoCal is complete without a visit to Disneyland, right? And that’s where I found these oddballs...

I guess the House of Mouse is producing its own take on HW’s whole “character cars” thing.

Finally, on my way home I stopped in at the Mattel Experience store at LAX, where I spent entirely too long peering into these cabinets - the contents of which were sadly not for sale.

I want that one, that one, that one and that one.
...And that one, that one, that one...

And it seemed my butt was a little too big to fit in here for a photo op...