This is my first post to LaLD. [Hello everyone!] So why not kick it off with a little bit to introduce myself, starting with the haul that got re-started in the hobby while also giving a brief glimpse of what I like to collect?

Back in September 2016, I took a little trip to Hong Kong. Because I was really interested in the Nissan Skyline at the time, I set out looking for models that would be cheaper to buy there than it would be for me to order online. But to be honest, I didn’t know where to look. Or better yet, what to even look for.

So this is what I started off with: a Tamiya 1/24 R34 V-Spec II kit (which came out to big mess once I tried to build it) plus two R34 Skylines from the Tomica Premium series. The Tamiya and the blue Tomica Skyline came from an area of Mong Kok with a lot of model and toy shops. I don’t recall where I got the Tomica Z-Tune but I think I picked it up from the department store AEON, which I at the time did not know was a store that released exclusive Tomica models.

From the same shop I picked up the V-Spec II Tomica, I also picked up a Kyosho. I was mostly shopping for Kyosho during this trip but I didn’t know those models weren’t easy to find and valued at more than the 600 Yen MSRP printed on their boxes. So I settled for this cheap Ferrari 458 Italia, which cost about $6 USD or 600 Yen. Not sure if you’ve noticed anything odd about the photo already but the base is turned around. And it’s missing the official Ferrari holographic sticker. Plus the color of the lettering is a bit different from other cars from the release (gold, not silver). It’s a counterfeit. Nonetheless, it’s still a nice 1/64 model that I have around for display.

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A couple days later, I came back around the area and picked up two more items. This one came from a clearance bin: a nicely detailed 1/87 BMW M3 Coupe dealer model by Herpa for about $8.

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The other piece was another Tamiya 1/24. The Nismo R34 Z-Tune (top). It was cheap. Including the cost of the metal-etched pieces, it cost less than just the model itself in the US. The final build didn’t come out perfect but it’s still nice enough that I still have it on display. It was a pain to build though so I don’t really touch model kits often.

And then for my last piece. I walked through a shopping center and there happened to be a Tomica event there. And they had just about every model at a great price. $4 HKD ($0.50 USD) less to be exact. So I wound up buying this basic Tomica #23 Nissan GT-R for $36 HKD instead of $40 and saved a total of 50 cents and got all excited over the savings. It wasn’t until months later I realize how I could have paid attention to and picked up some special Not For Sale or TEM Tomica Event Models at that event.

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Now there are a few more things I wish I had known on that trip. For one, I wish I knew $20 for these fancy-boxed Tomica Nissan GT-Rs weren’t a bad price. Turns out that series was called Tomica Limited Vintage Neo. I later caught up on some TLVN’s at a slight premium but one I definitely missed out on was the Abunai Deka R35 unmarked police car, which now I know is really nice with tiny disc brakes and calipers and is way out of my price range. I also was unwilling to pay more than $6 for a Kyosho so I missed out on the then-recently-released Kyosho Nismo lottery series at $12 a pop. Luckily I realized my mistake and caught up on those on eBay before prices shot up.

And looking back through some photos, I found a Yellow Submarine Hot Wheels that I took a picture of for a Beatles fan friend but didn’t buy because it cost more overseas. Apparently there was a red R34 Hot Wheels sitting right there. If I had known, I would have picked it up at $2.50 USD because I had no idea it would be near-impossible to find in the wild. I had not gotten back into Hot Wheels yet so I had no idea there was a JDM craze at home and there existed something called “scalpers”.

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This is how I found myself back into the hobby. Hopefully that’s enough of to introduce myself to LaLD and that my future posts can feature and more pictures than words.