A History of a Die-Cast Collector and one of Jada Toys Biggest Fans.
Roy Nakamura has been collecting die-cast for over 35. His vast experience in die-cast has made him an individual filled with credible information and wisdom worthy of a book deal.
Over pizza-pie and cold refreshing beverages the Jada team and Roy Nakamura take a trip down memory lane. The trip begins in the mid 1960’s when Roy started die-cast collecting.
JT: When did you start collecting die-cast vehicles?
Roy: I started collecting around 1966 but I tell every one that I officially started in 1968. When I was real young, like 9-10 years old, I always cherished my die-cast. I would wrap them up in toilette paper to preserve them. To my astonishment, 30 years later I found out that toilette paper actually retains moisture and quickens the decaying process, so a few of my first die-cast were ruined after about 30 years.
JT: What got you into collecting Jada Toys and what was your first Jada die-cast?
Roy: During early 1995 to about 2004 I continued to collect die-cast; however, I did not collect so heavily and passionately as before. Around ’04-’05 I was under immense stress, hurt and pressure due to my fathers illness. One day I saw a copper colored Big Time Muscle (BTM) 1970 Dodge Charger wave one at a store. I bought the 1/64 die-cast BTM and was amazed at the quality, and design of the product. It distracted me from my personal problems. The BTM gave me new passion and rush for collecting; a feeling that I hadn’t felt in many years.
JT: What scales do you own and what scales do you prefer?
Roy: I own all 1/64, all Road Rats and BTM 1/24 and all BTM 1/18 scaled die-cast vehicles Jada Has released; however, my preferred scale is obviously 1/64.
JT: What is your most prized Jada Toys item?
Roy: The Green Flamed Suburban, 1953 Belair wedding car, Glossy Red CTX, NYC Fair Escalade, Fleet Line, Black Rim first release wave one BTM sent to distributors as samples.
JT: What is your favorite Jada Toys line?
Roy: Road Rats is my favorite line, I love the look, design and graphics. Big Time Muscle is another big favorite of mine; just the Road Rats are so cool!
JT: How do you display them all?
Roy: I store them all in garages. The ones I do display are in cases I make myself and hang on a wall. I like to have my collection away from my home so that I can go and admire my collection. If I have them scattered about my house where I see them everyday it takes away the thrill of going to visit them. Also, I wouldn’t be able to walk through my house with so many vehicles.
JT: How do you support your collecting habit?
Roy: Well I also collect real estate, and do other investments. My day-to-day job is an engineer with the Boeing Company.
JT: What do your friends and family think about your collection?
Roy: Very few people know I collect die-cast cars. I have a few displayed at work, and just a few people at work know about my collection. My sweetie doesn’t care what I do as long as it makes me happy. Of coarse we are not in need. I would not buy die-cast over buying what is important for my family. My children think it’s neat, and are ok with it as long as it makes me happy. The only problem might be that I dedicate a lot of time to my die-cast collecting.
JT: Are you involved in any collecting clubs?
Roy: I am part of many online clubs; however, I do not participate in meetings and get togethers. I just love collecting, period! There are a few of us older collectors from across the country that get together once a year and have a nice dinner and talk about life as well as die-cast. We are older with large amounts of die-cast vehicles. We all enjoy each other’s company and perspectives on collecting.
JT: What car do you personally drive?
Roy: I drive my 2007 Nissan Frontier daily. I also own, a 2007 Saturn Sky, two 1969 Camaros, 1969 Corvair with only 5,000 miles, and a 1999 VW Camper (one of 500 made).
JT: Tell us one of your most outstanding Jada Toys memories?
Roy: Having the Jada Toys graphic artists at my house, and meeting the CEO was definitely great memories. Id rather meet Jada Toys CEO than a big time celebrity like Brad Pitt or Nicholas Cage.
JT: What other hobbies or collecting do you do?
Roy: Well I collect many things; one thing I love is my collection of real size cars, like my two 1969 Chevy Camaros.
JT: What would you like to see Jada Toys do in the future?
Roy: In the future I would like to see good replicas of American Muscle cars, like 1969 Corvair, Ramblers, Gremlin, 1970 AMX, Chevy Vega.
JT: Is there any future dreams you have involving Jada Toys?
Roy: I would like to write a book about Jada Toys and its history from the earliest beginnings. The book would help future collectors know what are the hot items and where the best stores are to buy as well as an intense look at the very beginnings of Jada Toys. A Jada Toys Bible if you will.