Another post I’m very excited about. As a European automotive enthusiast, I cannot remain indifferent to the golden age of DTM. Today’s DTM is falling into disrepair, between retirements of manufacturers and disinterest, but in the nineties, it was a big deal.
It looked like this :
You feel the power ? How cars were pushed to the limit, and how aggressive it was ? This golden era will remain forever in many racing fans minds.
The DTM popularity brought Minichamps to replicate the cars, and even today, 1/18 brand new scale models are produced and available. In 1994, Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps holder) created the Microchamps brand, with a line of 1/64 mainly based on competition. BMW and Audi were strangely never released, but we had some Opel Calibra, Alfa Romeo 155 (see Graham article for those ones), and of course lots of Mercedes-Benz 190E EVO II. A very German car of a very German championship made by a very German brand.
The nineties were maybe the golden age for racing, but it was for sure more like the desert for diecast (and even more for 1:64).
I can’t say enough how cool it is to be a collector in the 21st century.
However, those Microchamps were pretty nice at the time. They are 26 years old. I know many minicars made way after that are not even close to look so nice. I think we can say that they were top of the game back then. I knew their existence very late, maybe around 2014, and started to collect them through eBay.de. They made me very happy, and filled a gap in my collection. I have 8 different versions of the 190E EVO II. Today’s game has changed a little, with the newcomer premium brands like Inno64.
I don’t own any Kyosho Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo, and I don’t need to. I have the UCC Coffee Japan though, and an Error404 street version, in resin.
Anyway, 26 years is rather long and the diecast industry has evolved so much. Technologies, computers, 3D printers, resin control, photo etched development, 3D scans, tampo process … you name it.
The point of today’s post is to highlight this. I don’t want to compare them in order to make a quality/defaults comparison. I want to be objective between a high level 1994 1/64 diecast Microchamps and a high level 2020 1/64 diecast Inno64. I say it again, Microchamps were very nice for its time.
In my opinion, the global aspect of the mold and the lines of the Inno64 car are better proportioned, the car is a bit less wider and a bit less longer. For once, it also should sit a little higher, and it is. Microchamps seems to rise off the ground, but the real car did not. As for the Error404, my model sits a little too high at the rear. But it’s ok.
According to the tampo work, Microchamps quality is unbelievable and my models don’t have any problems 26 years later. I note some more details on the Inno64 model, and a little more precision on the screens.
As for the interior, both are great, Inno64 being a little more detailed.
Concerning the aspects an exigent 2020 diecast collector is waiting for on a very premium diecast, that you will find in 2020 but not in 1994 : antennas if they exist, brake disks, calipers, tow hooks, realistic mirrors (you can note that driver’s mirror is wider than passenger’s one), photo etched Mercedes-Benz logo, separated pieces for headlights and taillights, detailed exhaust.
So yes, there are many differences, but each one stands for its time. And at the end, both are great models and very well executed.
I still don’t know if my Microchamps will stay in my collection. If they go, it’s for a matter of space, and collection control. I don’t feel the need of having many replicas of the same cars, and I’m used to keep the ones I love the best. For sure, my UCC version is about to go soon.
I can’t wait to see Inno64 street version of the Mercedes-Benz EVO II, particularly because they will propose an additional wheels set. Stay tuned for more reviews.