I’ve really had a hard time nailing this down. So much has been released and announced in 2020 it’s been hard to keep up, even being “in the loop”. When the year began I’d just been given the opportunity to contribute to Lamley. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my little hobby would get me here, and the year has been all the better for the indulgence this platform has offered me. My thanks go to John for opening the door, and to he and the other writers for supporting me and helping my confidence grow. 2020 in diecast has been special, but here are my highlights:
Majorette’s growing presence.
The French brand have been really fighting to get on the map recently, and I think they’re doing brilliantly so far. The Porsche Premium Deluxe and Mercedes Exclusive GT R and G500 are some of my favourite models of the last few years let alone 2020. The Nissan GTR GT3 is another that has to go on my 2020 list. The announcement of the Nissan Cefiro had my inner JDM nerd jumping for joy, and I hope 2021 brings more progress for Majorette. They really do deserve it.
The Euro brand perhaps closest to my heart. Perhaps because they were always the clockwork toys that looked so gorgeous in the pages of the hobby catalogues my Dad bought when I was younger. Perhaps because they’re doing a brilliant job of replicating cars I want in real life. My highlights have to be the Mercedes W110 and W120 releases, which tick all my boxes. The winter vacation Porsche 356 sneaks into my highlights too, with the little Polizei BMW Isetta puttering along behind it, blue light flashing. The Magnus Walker 930 has to go in; it proves Schuco can tap into modern car culture as well as anyone. The Audi Sport Volkswagen T3 in collaboration with Tarmac Works is here too for being a fine teaser of what the two brands are capable of. There’ll not be as many new releases as the Mattel brands, but there’s certainly more metal in your hands when they arrive. I look forward to the 2021 line up and the upcoming Volkswagen Beetle and T1 lowrider castings with keen eyes.
Matchbox’s classic cars
My favourite of the Mattel brands piqued my interest many times this year. I just wish they were more readily available in the UK, being limited as they are to Tesco stores only. The beautifully done Honda CVCC is one of my highlights of 2020, and the Divco Milk Truck and Porsche 550 Spyder from the moving parts range I think are particularly special models. Special mention must go to the Powell Sport Truck for proving that there’s some real car nerds at the brand and the Ewy Rosqvist Mercedes 220 SE for being cool in every way and carrying a very important message with it.
Hot Wheels’ continued expansion
The brand that started my collecting habits all those years ago as a small boy will always be close to my heart. While my interest has waned slightly as my tastes change, Hot Wheels still make some damn fine metal. My favourites of the year? Ryu Asada’s wonderful Honda Prelude and Dajiban in the basic line up and the gorgeous Mercedes 280SEL in the Car Culture Modern Classics line. The recent RLC Charger must get a mention too, It’s just so. Damn. Cool.
Tomica continue to attempt to coerce me into re-mortgaging my house by releasing tonnes of stupidly cool stuff. The highlight for me has to be the Ferrari F40, a car I have coveted highly since childhood and one that finally has a fitting 1/64 tribute.
Inno are doing a fine service in replicating some motorsport heroes that really should be more well known. Up until know cars like the Jackie Chan/HKS Skyline R32 from the 1991 Macau Guia race and the National Panasonic/Singha car from the 1992 SEATCC were relatively unknown by most. Now they make Group A geeks like me appreciate the research that goes into these models. Both have to be in my highlights of 2020. Honourable mention must go to Tarmac for the Castrol liveried R32. Now if only someone would do the 1992 JTCC Kenji Racing HKS R32…..
Adding to the hoard….
This is where I can really come into my own. Models that aren’t new at all (most are older than me…) but that have entered my collection and made 2020 a fine year for hoarding. Models that I truly geek out on. The Minsk Factory/Belvar VAZ 2101 was a real bucket list diecast crossed off. The Penny Alfa Romeo Romeo had me smiling from ear to ear when it arrived, as did the Mercury Fiat Campagnola. Another car that arrived, this time new, was the beautiful Citroen DS from Minialuxe. It made diecast ownership a proper event from opening the box to display. A beautiful diecast of a beautiful car, and a fitting place to end my look at 2020.
It’s been a brilliant year at Lamley, and I look forward to being part of the family again in 2021. My thanks must go out to my Lamley brothers Chen at Hot Kustoms, Sam at 64wheels and Mr. Graham Heeps and also to my good man Damian over at Majorette Australasia for a few of the shots used in this post.