Inside the New Hot Wheels Japanese Car Culture Set of Six Cars

For my upcoming Hot Wheels story, I plan on unboxing 25 or more collectibles. I’m unsure if it will be painful, exciting, or both, as I’ve recently kept most of them intact.

I went to buy some donuts earlier today. And it “just so happens” that there’s a toy store next to it. I walked inside and saw over 100 Hot Wheels lined up, albeit high on the pegs. On my first assessment, I noticed 15 cool cars I’d like to add to my collection. Then, I remembered my pledge to focus on Premium releases rather than Mainline machines.

So, I walked away with only three items: a Porsche 911, a Gasser, and a fantasy Treasure Hunt. But that’s beside the point for now. My addiction to tiny diecast cars goes on, and with every new release, it keeps growing. I spotted the Japanese Car Culture Multipack a few months ago but haven’t seen an unboxing yet.

The diecast manufacturer has revealed similar sets in 2022 and 2023. My two favorite models from the first were a Metalflake Evergreen Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and a Wine Red ’95 Mazda RX-7. Last year’s Multipack was less exciting, but I still enjoyed the Dark Gold first-gen RX-7. Looking at the latest release, it’s obvious that only five out of six brands have enjoyed continuity here: Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda.

Mattel replaced Mitsubishi with Datsun last year, but that’s not the case for 2024. The best part about the story is that you can still find the previous sets for less than $30 each. And you should avoid paying more than that for the new one.

Pandem Subaru BRZ

Photo: Historic Diecast

The Pandem Subaru BRZ is the oldest casting in the set. This Mark Jones-designed machine debuted in the 2019 Car Culture: Street Tuners mix. It was perfect with a simple blue finish and black Real Riders wheels.

In 2021, Mattel made it even better using a Falken livery and a 10-spoke rim design. Then came the repeat model as part of a Premium 2-pack set. For 2024, you’re looking at a choice of two iterations: the one that showed up in the Greddy Collector Set and the Japanese Car Culture Multipack version.

Hot Pink is a great choice for a car like this, and the Themed Assortment Star 5-Spoke wheels are decent enough for the job. Remember, this series includes detailed headlights and taillights, and I already feel strongly tempted to start a Pandem BRZ collection.

Custom Acura Integra Sedan GSR

Photo: Historic Diecast

Conversely, the Custom Acura Integra Sedan GSR is the newest casting here. It started as a Premium model, part of a Fast & Furious mix in 2023. If you are younger than me, you might not remember Mia‘s car from the original Fast & Furious saga flick.

But this is a cool throwback to the start of the 21st century. Although we have seen one release for it in 2024, it’s identical to the 2023 model. So, the Japanese Car Culture Multipack is your go-to option if you need something different. It’s good to see the designers didn’t overcomplicate the livery.

Mixing black and yellow is a reasonable choice for this vehicle, and I can only complain about the car’s stance with those CPS5 wheels. Regardless, Honda fans will likely be all over it once it arrives in stores.

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

Photo: Historic Diecast

The 2022 Japanese Car Culture Multipack used a 2008 Lancer Evolution. It’s not the best Mitsubishi casting out there, although it did have a decent livery. But for 2024, Mattel opted for a more iconic machine: the 3000GT VR-4.

It debuted in the 2021 Car Culture: Modern Classics mix. And I loved it for its Real Riders Exotic wheels. I’ve previously considered a set of Work Autostrada Modena rims for my RX-7, hence my interest in this design. The Mountain Drifters iteration that followed in 2022 was just as good, and I’m starting to wonder why I haven’t added any of these to my collection yet.

This year, we saw the third Premium version, which was interesting to see in Emerald Green. By comparison, the collectible we’re looking at here isn’t quite on the same level. But the white-on-white look suits it well, and the black stripes add to the excitement. It’s starting to look like this release is a solid 5/5.

2021 Toyota GR Supra

Photo: Historic Diecast

We already had one Pandem car in the set (the Subaru), so maybe a second one would have been too much. That explains why Mattel chose the 2021 Toyota GR Supra casting over the ’20 GR Supra model.

This version debuted in the 2021 Fast & Furious: Fast Superstars and we had two more identical releases last year. Some of you will remember the Team Transport version that featured a Gazoo Racing livery. But there’s a more recent iteration to consider: a replica of Larry Chen‘s chase car. I’d say the latter is the best in the line-up.

And I wouldn’t mind having the yellow one in the Multipack, either. I’m not a fan of the Black Plus 4-Spoke wheels, but they would have been worse in Silver if you think about it.

2023 Nissan Z

Photo: Historic Diecast

The 2023 Nissan Z is the only casting in the set that Mark Jones didn’t design. It’s a Lindsey Lee-signed machine that debuted in the 2022 Mainline series. You’ll probably love it if you weren’t aware this collectible existed.

But if you have followed it since its release, it may as well be not very pleasant. Mattel has used this Seiran Blue finish twice, even though one was a Premium variation. I’d love to compare the new release to last year’s HW J-Imports model to see the differences, as they seem minimal.

If you ask me, you could think of the wheels, but it all feels like a rehash. The problem is that you can’t skip this model, which means avoiding the whole set. Talk about clever marketing.

Mazda RX7 FC Pandem

Photo: Historic Diecast

I almost lost my mind when I saw the RX7 FC Pandem casting coming out a few years ago. I’d never install this body kit on my car, but I won’t ignore it on a tiny Hot Wheels collectible.

The Car Culture: Ronin Run First Edition FC is the only one in the line-up that I have at home. I couldn’t justify paying $60+ on the Chase version. The latest 2-Pack version feels identical to the debut model, so my only option is to start looking for this red one here. Once again, the wheels are less than ideal.

But at least there’s no livery to ruin the design. And my wife keeps suggesting I paint my FC red as she saw it in a dream like that once. These Multipacks are rarely accessible in my area, and I’ll probably skip it if I can’t find a decent deal online. That’s perhaps best considering my plans to finish the project car within the next two years.

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