All of us Lamley contributors were tasked with doing some sort of top ten list(s) to complement the Lamley Awards this year.
The idea was for all of us to do a “Top Ten New Castings of 2020” list as well as possibly another Top Ten list of our choice. A popular choice was “Top Ten Items Added To My Collection In 2020.” This is the one I chose to do and we will look at this list first.
It was tough. I’ve added a ton of stuff to my collection in 2020 and although I had some obvious candidates, it was hard to boil down to a Top 10 list. I tried to not base it on the monetary value of the items (although most that made the list are somewhat expensive to attain) but to base it on either the significance and/or difficulty of adding the items to my collection. Warning: 60% of what made it to the list are Auto World chases which should be no surprise to those that know me.
These are not ranked in any particular order. They were 10 (or so) pieces added to the collection that really opened the dopamine floodgates in my brain in 2020.
#1 – Auto World Barn Find SURPLUSgoodies/awcollector.com Ultra Red
This might be my favorite release of 2020. It is a fantastic Ultra Red that is very limited (only 52 exist). I thought it was going to be a stretch to be able to acquire this. But thankfully, I was hooked up with a good buddy price on one with damaged packaging from SURPLUSgoodies.
#2 – Johnny Lightning Street Freaks 2020 Release 2 Version A Chevy Van
This is an obvious Top 10 choice for me. Imagine the shock when I saw this release for the first time from someone showing it on Instagram. I thought it was some sort of custom when I noticed that my Youtube channel name was on the license plate. The van also has bumper sticker graphics that reference me and my channel. After scrambling to find more pictures of it I realized it was real.
The graphics were done by Mike Groothuis who is a Senior Art Director for Round2 and he gave me the ultimate nod on this Johnny Lightning release.
This was definitely a high point for me in 2020. I also got the White Lightning version thanks to my buddy @arsthegr8.
#3 – Auto World Ultra Raw 1 of 10 Dodge Polara
It is not every day that you can add the ultimate chase car to the collection. Ultra Raws are 1 of 10 which makes them the most limited chase cars from any current diecast manufacturer. My great friend @crazytodd_diecast hooked me up with an insane price on this for my birthday this year. I have a few Ultra Raws in the collection and they are all a cherished part of my massive Auto World collection.
#4 – Tomica Limited Vintage Ferrari 365 GT4 BB Berlinetta Boxer in Yellow
Tomica Limited Vintage Ferraris are special. TLV Ferraris in yellow are even more so. I have three in the collection and this is the one that I acquired this year. These are very expensive to snag off of eBay. I received this one as a token of appreciation from a friend that I act as a shipping hub for here in the US.
@diecastrum sends me a box a few times a year and every one of them is filled with amazing goodies but this I think was the best one this year.
#5 – Hot Wheels ’55 Bel Air Gasser Super Treasure Hunt
Finally checked this sucker off of the list. The right trade opportunity presented itself and I went for it. The car was already loose so I did not get to #freethepiece but I was glad to get this one for a fraction of what it would have cost me had I had to resort to eBay.
#6 – Auto World Weekend of Wheels and JCar Diecast Ultra Red Squarebodies
@crazytodd_diecast strikes again. He participates in the occasional raffle… and seems to win a lot (at least those are the ones he tells me about). Regardless of how you feel about raffles (I’m sure some are legit and some are not), I have added a couple of pieces that I would have struggled to acquire otherwise if it were not for my buddy Todd participating in them.
He won both of these in different raffles and then forwarded the savings to me. If it were not for him I can tell you I would not have these in my collection already and it would take me a long time to acquire them if I acquired them at all.
#7 – Auto World B&B Farm Toys Ultra Reds
Yeah, I’m stretching a top ten spot to include 2 cars again… and it is more Auto World Squarebody pickups.
This release is super cool. I had asked B&B if they could send me a pair of the regular release trucks to showcase in a Youtube video. I came home from a pretty rough day at work and the package was sitting at home waiting for me. I nearly jumped when I saw that they included not only one Ultra Red but both! I also wrote a brief feature here on Lamley linking to the #freethepiecefriday video on my channel.
#8 – ’84 Audi Sport Quattro Super Treasure Hunt
The best Super Treasure Hunt of the year in my opinion is this beautiful Audi. It is perfect. It does not have any crazy graphics. It has the details in the right places (i.e. headlights and taillights). The wheel choice is also great. However, what really does it for me is the color (haha)… it is absolutely gorgeous.
#9 – Ultra Red Firebird Completing My Collection of 2018 Release 4
Not just another Ultra Red checked off the list. This one is special because it was the last one that needed to complete Auto World 2018 Premium Release 4.
Yes, it took me almost two years to complete the series and that is because I am patient. I could have spent a lot more money and completed it a lot earlier but part of the fun in collecting for me is searching for that great deal. Finally, I made an offer to someone on Ebay and they accepted. This one was still more than I typically try to pay for Ultra Reds but it was less than what I usually see them for sell for.
#10 – Ultra Red Polara and Ford Wagon Completing My Collection of 2017 Release 1
Alright the last one on the list is a twofer again. These were purchased together and they were the last two I needed to find to complete Auto World 2017 Premium Release 1. Yes, this took even longer than the previously mentioned 2018 Release 4, and for good reason.
I talk a lot about what is special about this release in this Youtube video. So I won’t bore you with all the details here. I will just tell you that the Ultra Reds in this release are very limited and don’t come up on eBay very often. Also, since this release had A, B, C, and D versions as opposed to just A and B versions there were two Ultra Reds to collect for each casting in the release. Meaning I had to check off 12 Ultras to complete it.
Ok so that was my top ten (or so) collection additions for 2020. These were the first ten to come to mind but as I wrote this I realized there were many more additions that were worthy. If you want see literally everything I’ve added to the collection in 2020 you can check out my “Diecast Weekly” playlist on YouTube.
Now, my picks for the “Top Ten New Models of 2020.”
Ok, so this was an even more difficult list to put together because although 2020 was a bad year for many reasons, new 1/64 diecast was not one of them.
So much amazing stuff came out this year. My favorite brand, Auto World, released more new toolings in a single year than they have for a long time. Greenlight pumped out a ton of new cars as they normally do and this year they put out some great choices for new cars/trucks to add to their tooling catalog. Mini GT is another brand that put out hit after hit in 2020.M2 also came out with some cool stuff. In addition, we cannot forget Tomica who released some great new cars in all three of their lines (TLV(N), Premium, and Basic). And oh yeah, Inno64 and Tarmac Works also put out some fire. That is a lot to consider even if you exclude a ton of great stuff that came from both Hot Wheels and Matchbox in 2020.
Now really is the heyday of 1/64 diecast collecting… there is just so much cool stuff to choose from.
Here is my attempt at determining my favorite new toolings of the year. It should be noted that I tried to spread it around to a few different brands so there would be some variety. Also, I had to leave out the Mattel brands… why? Well because it just made this list quite a bit easier to create and as deserved as it may be, those brands get the most attention here on the blog and all over social media. Same as the previous list, these are in no particular order… just a top ten… picking them was one thing ranking is another.
#1 – Auto World Dodge Stealth
This makes the list riding the excitement of its announcement a year or so prior. It made it to my collection just in time for this top ten. This notes another major departure from the usual Auto World tooling choices (the first being when they ventured into making trucks), I hope it is a sign of things to come and with a Supra tooling coming in on its heels I think it is.
#2 – Auto World 2019 Dodge Challenger
Another from my favorite brand was this Challenger. I’m not a huge Challenger fan but this was executed very well and looks great. This and the Stealth beat out the new Cadillac tooling that came out this year because they are more atypical Auto World casting choices and they add more variety to the brand.
#3- Greenlight Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Oh man, this actually may be the casting of the year for me. What Greenlight has done at their price point with this tooling is amazing. The tooling has a look and feel akin to highly detailed 1/64 scale diecast replicas from premium import brands and they accomplish this at a fraction of the cost (at least here in the US.)
It really showcases the detail Greenlight can squeeze into 1/64 when they decide to go all out on a casting.
#4 – Mini GT Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Mini GT would get the “Stand-out Brand of 2020 Award” if there was one. In my eyes, they really blew up this year. Just amazing release after release kept coming throughout the year. It was hard to pick some favorites but we are starting with this Porsche 911. Like all Mini GT toolings, they are something to behold and they do not break the bank to collect. This silver one, in particular, is my favorite.
#5 – Mini GT Lamborghini Huracan GT
To me, this one is insanely cool. As a collector of Lambos in 1/64 from all brands, you could imagine my excitement when Mini GT announced they would be tooling a few. I really love all of the Lamborghini castings they have created but this one is my favorite of them.
#6 – Mini GT Landrover Defender 110
More insanity from Mini GT. This was definitely a surprise when announced. The amount of detail that was put into this casting is very impressive. This one really cements them as my pick for “Stand-out Brand of 2020”
#7 – Tomica Limited Vintage Neo Ferrari F355
All TLVs are amazing when it comes to quality and detail. However, this is the one that got me all tied in knots. I chose the Spyder to picture here over the Berlinetta for the simple reason that not having a top exposes more of the exquisite detail that Tomy puts into these little cars.
#8 – Inno64 Mercedes AMG 190E
Inno really wasn’t on my radar all that much until this year and it really started with this release. The detail is just jaw-dropping. I featured it in a brief post here on Lamley as soon as I got it from surplusGOODIES.
#9 – Inno64 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution
Inno impressed me again with this one. One thing that this casting does that has been non-existent up to this point for Inno64 is the fact it rolls. For some reason whether or not a casting rolls matters a lot to some collectors (and I guess to some degree it matters to me as well). I’m sure there is some interesting psychology there but that’s a topic to explore in a future article. Again with this one, same as the Merc, it is extremely detailed and just looks fantastic.
Inno64 is definitely a brand I’ll be paying attention to in 2021.
#10 – Tarmac Works Dallara Formula 3 Car
This one arrived just in time to make the list. I was intrigued when the tooling was announced and now that it is in hand I am completely wowed by it. This is definitely not business as usual for 1/64 scale. There really isn’t much for Formula style racers in 1/64. Kyosho is the only brand that immediately comes to mind that made some examples in the past. Thus, this feels fresh. It is something different that none of the other currently operating premium import brands have done… I like.
And that is it. Honestly, there were so many good toolings to come out this year and many of them are worthy of making someone’s top 10. This truly is the age of the detailed 1/64 scale replica collector.