- Don't worry about the two cars with open doors; the owners were just about to return from the shops. All photos shot and edited by author

This is no ordinary HAWL post; it’s one of my longer reports that cover a massive load of new cars, the first time that I’ve ever had more than three on my dock this week. Or rather, three weeks. It’s a bit of a complicated story.

Let’s begin!

{Originally published on Kinja 1 November 2019, 11:55 AM EST. As part of a massive, 2-week-long initiative to to bring my most significant LaLD posts to Drivetribe in the wake of Kinja's (now-apparently-delayed) demise, I present my greatest hits: every feature and review I've written that's worth reading about, revised for more discerning audiences.}

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The mainline stuff comes first. Arguably the best part of this shot is how well-aligned everything are.

The mainline stuff comes first. Arguably the best part of this shot is how well-aligned everything are.

STAGE 1: Last Stocks

These two easy purchases will start us off. During a random check to see if any recent cases have turned up in malls I found the blue RS6 Avant hanging right in front of the pegs. Flanking it left and right are the Tesla Model 3 and Gumball Corvette Racer, respectively. They’re surrounded by castings that are either fantasy-based or not my usual swing.

All I need, then, is the blue MBX 2002 RS6, then I’d be all set. The Corvette, meanwhile, is one less car to worry about, though in hindsight, it does seem like a purchase that could go to a different car.

All I need, then, is the blue MBX 2002 RS6, then I’d be all set. The Corvette, meanwhile, is one less car to worry about, though in hindsight, it does seem like a purchase that could go to a different car.

Meaning the choice was quite easy: take the spectacularly blue RS6 and either one of the other two licensed cars. It was tough, but finally I purchased the Corvette because I thought the Model 3 looked much too plain and, uh, generic. On the other hand, the Corvette had the livery I wanted. Soon, I was off to the cashier for payment.

Week 2: they're mine at last when I thought they'll never be.

Week 2: they're mine at last when I thought they'll never be.

STAGE 2: Finally Found

A massive problem I have as a Pinoy diecast collector is that all of the fine, good, licensed Matchbox seemed all but impossible to find anywhere in stores. Maybe I get a miracle, but like the classic movie Himala once said: there are no miracles, for they are all in our hearts. So imagine my surprise when I saw the Flatbed King and Porsche 911 Dakar listed online for about Php10-20 more than retail.

What a miracle! Both the Porsche and the flatbed towing lorry look great, though there are drawbacks as the next slides can attest.

What a miracle! Both the Porsche and the flatbed towing lorry look great, though there are drawbacks as the next slides can attest.

Dodgy, I know, and looking back I should have bought them much later to ease the load on my budget. They are there, though, and with scant stock I feared a snipe—that already happened with the glinting SLR I was eyeing. So buy it I did, and when it arrived I couldn’t be any happier. The flatbed is simply brilliant—Scania-esque real with a two-stage bed that works with a satisfying action, while the 911 is finely-made, if a bit plain. That should change. Who’s got decals for the poor, naked thing?

Week 3: I shall give you no hints. You should know what I want by now.

Week 3: I shall give you no hints. You should know what I want by now.

STAGE 3: Nothing Mysterious

So, then. Those two. What could they be? Hint: I’ve raved about them when the particular mix of Mystery Models came out as blurry snapshots on IG earlier in the year.

YES! An actually good livery on the Fiesta, and my first M3 GT2. I am so happy to finally get these two.

YES! An actually good livery on the Fiesta, and my first M3 GT2. I am so happy to finally get these two.

Well you’d be correct! They are in fact the Ford Fiesta WRC and BMW M3 GT2, in liveries that are pretty much exactly what I wanted. This rings true most especially for the former, a car that I’ve struggled finding a good dress for. Sure, it isn’t the fun TH version, but the Mystery livery works so well. Meanwhile the M3 is a bit plain but excellent either way—I’ve begged for this casting for a while, which makes this particular online store find a miracle.

Week 4: There's a parallel world where I got the Car Culture Audi in this package.

Week 4: There's a parallel world where I got the Car Culture Audi in this package.

STAGE 4: Special Stage Shipment X

Boy, was this difficult. Originally I was dead-set on getting a loose Car Culture Audi R8 LMS from the Open Track mix, mostly because it’s nothing less than a screaming deal. Php250 and loose? That’s right up my alley! But it wasn’t to be. School club payment had to come first, then buying medicine, which killed off any chance at meeting the seller for that R8, much less buying it. So I looked elsewhere once I got my salary.

These are two of the most iconic faces in JDM. Rather unbelievably, I got both for lower than they’re usually valued in the secondary market, even if it’s loose.

These are two of the most iconic faces in JDM. Rather unbelievably, I got both for lower than they’re usually valued in the secondary market, even if it’s loose.

The result? A week after that sitch I found a guy who was selling some old, loose Tomica for cheap. One of them is a Lancer EVO X. That was enough to seal the deal, but with shipping potentially turning up the price of the car I took the green wagon that was on the pile. Total: Php200 for the two cars and Php130 shipping. It took awhile and some pestering to send the package, but I got it: an EVO X to call my own, six years after losing the opportunity to get it in stores. And, as it turns out, a Nissan Stagea. Yup, that green wagon was a Stagea, a car my seller may have slept on but I swear would be worth about Php200 even if it’s play-worn.

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AFTERWORD

To your left, an old Nissan Stagea being hauled off by a lorry to a tuning shop. To the right and up, a blue RS6 and Lancer Evo X. They're four of the eight new arrivals to my growing collection.

To your left, an old Nissan Stagea being hauled off by a lorry to a tuning shop. To the right and up, a blue RS6 and Lancer Evo X. They're four of the eight new arrivals to my growing collection.

The Autoallee-Merlion team M3 was the last one to be lined up for this photo. It joins Carmen Williams's C3 club racer, Maurice Jones' Gymkhana Fiesta WRC car, and the Porsche 953, our guests for this one-of-a-kind motor racing affair

The Autoallee-Merlion team M3 was the last one to be lined up for this photo. It joins Carmen Williams's C3 club racer, Maurice Jones' Gymkhana Fiesta WRC car, and the Porsche 953, our guests for this one-of-a-kind motor racing affair

So there they are, eight new arrivals. Amazing, right? And they are truly impeccable little things. But maybe I shouldn’t have bought them all in such a short time?

I digress. Of these eight, one qualifies for a big list. The rest either become part of a growing cast, gain much-needed utility, or stay in my pocket for as long as I live. Die-cast shopping is often a frustrating challenge, but on that October, it became quite a fun, rewarding experience.

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