Hello everyone! So a quick little bit about myself; I’m currently an active duty Marine serving overseas. Been in about 8.5 years and getting ready to get out at the end of this year to pursue other career opportunities. I was a Combat Photographer (thats where the 4641 comes from) for most of my time and for the last 3 years I have been on Embassy Security Guard duty or MSG. I’ve pretty much always been a “car guy” and admired cars like they were art. My first car was a ‘95 3000GT VR4, followed by a ‘93 Stealth TT, ‘94 Miata M edition, and now my baby is my ‘07 Z4 M Roadster (hence the avatar).
I started collecting diecast cars when I was at my first post in Frankfurt, Germany in 2012. I started when I went to the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museums in Stuttgart. Both of these museum’s gift shops had a TON to offer, but I started off with one 1:43 at each. Then a few months later I went to BMW in Munich and bought a 3 more at the Welt. I ended up going back to Porsche on my way to BMW because this beautiful matte black 911 GT3RS had caught my eye, but it was bought up by a group of Japanese tourists that beat me to the punch on my first visit and I just had to have it. After that I knew I might have started an addiction.
My 2nd HAWL was from a trip I took to the Nurburgring. After paying a hefty price to rent a track prepped GT86 for 6 laps around the Green Hell (totally worth it!) I went looking around the tourist center. Again I found myself overwhelmed by the selection of diecast cars! I tried to limit myself to just a few in the first store because some of them were pricey. Then there was a giant set up of rows and rows of older, not so flashy, scratched up cars. So I bought more there. Then another at the Nissan info center. And a couple more in the gift shop.
My last Germany HAWL was at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. A bunch of the car companies had models for sale right there at their displays. I was a little let down that the best Lamborghini had to offer was an 8euro toy instead of a highly detailed diecast so I bought a bunch of cheaper older models at a diecast vendor set up in one of the hallways (again very overwhelmed with the selections!)
Unfortunately being on MSG means I am moving at least once a year and not everywhere I go will have big living space so I mailed these all home where they sit waiting to be put on display. After Germany I spent about a year and a half in Sudan and there wasn’t really a diecast market there lol.
Now I’m in Athens. I’ve seen a few places that sell diecasts here and there, but never really a big selection. On a hunch, a couple weeks ago, I went into a toy store just curious to what I might find. On the top floor was a pretty good Wal-mart type selection of Hot Wheels! They had a nice display case with a bunch of cars and I got excited when I saw a Lambo Sesto Elemento so I started looking for one. I couldn’t find it (there has to be a better way of displaying Hot Wheels for sale), but I did find a handful of other cars that I liked. As with all the 1:43 models I’ve bought, I’m pretty particular in what I get. I was happy to find a Simpons Homer. I saw these came out as a special ComicCon exclusive last year and didn’t want to pay $50 for one. These Hot Wheels were about 2 euro each and all were on these smaller cards than what I usually see back home in the states. The back of the cars even have Greek printed on them so I figure they are special for this market.
I’ve found a few of my old Hot Wheels back home too. Whenever I get home next I’ll be sure to post better photos of all that stuff.