I do it from time to time, and here is another monster article. It is a very nice way to close 2020 in term of diecast, and especially with the brand I prefer to collect in 1:64. I do hope that you love the articles I did over the year, particularly with Inno64. I can understand that some of you are not interested in JDM, or Macau oriented models, or don’t collect premium diecast aimed to be displayed (that might don’t roll – but for that part, we will come back to it later in the article). But my goal is to make you love them, or discover them, not for you to spend money, but for you not to miss something great to collect. To repeat an old slogan of mine, please take care of the execution of the car, and not the interest of the model itself. It’s a good advice for a collector of Tomica Limited Vintage for example. Lots of cars I couldn’t care less about, but whose execution makes it so desirable you cannot resist it. And I promise you will not regret it.
So this rule can be applied with some Inno64 models, or some liveries, very Macau oriented. Let’s understand that the brand itself is Macau based, and the Macau GP is THE event of the year for this tiny old colony.
John often says “I do know nothing about Fast and Furious movies, but I love that the line brings us new toolings and new models”. Same here! If Macau event is the pretext to have new toolings, then banco! The sales at the event of Macau GP are huge for the brand. Many molds are specially developed for Macau event, and then used into the monthly news of the year.
In 2019, the Inno64 Macau GP collection, including a display of 12 cars, had 2 new toolings in it if I’m not mistaking : the Mercedes-Benz 190 Evo II, and the BMW E36 (both in 318i and 320i). The Mercedes-Benz 190E had 2 others liveries later, and also an amazing black road version I absolutely adore. Even Pop Race did a collaboration model with a nice Zung Fu livery. The BMW E36 had also another livery later, but we wish to see more of it, specially in road versions. The other cars were special Macau liveries that you likely will not see in other brands, and that is something I truly love.
This year, the Macau GP event was undoubtedly kind of particular. With many restrictions to enter the city, few people were allowed to walk in, and sales had been difficult. The races were not that interesting, and only local drivers were allowed to drive through. That made an FIA World GT event no that interesting to follow. But, you know, what can we do ?
That did not stop the Inno brand to develop a new Macau GP collection set, including 12 models with 3 new toolings! 3! I am lucky enough to have one to present for you today, and I will do my best to describe this amazing piece. When I say amazing piece, I really mean it! I did not expect it to be so heavy, and so qualitative.
The set came in in a large bubble protection, protecting a quality box in cardboard. The box is in black with red and white inscriptions, and you really feel the quality. It’s like a gift box. Once you open it, the lower part has an easy opening too, that will help you to bring the display itself.
Well, what display ? Here is the surprise my friends, the Macau GP collection set is a display itself, made in transparent acrylic! The round is black, and the dividers are transparent. But the object is really crafted, because it gets nice inscriptions on it. Above all, the transparent back of the display has the race track in red printed. What a piece! Any Macau fan will love it for sure. The display is quite heavy itself, cars excluded, and is of course perfectly sized to display the cars with the boxes. This detail is important because the display doesn’t have a front cover (like my Sora Vitrinen displays), so you will be happy to let the car in their respective boxes to avoid dust on them. It gets 2 holes in the back for you to hang it on the wall, if you want to. You can also just display it on a desk.
I don’t mind to display the cars in their boxes, because they are made for the event, in a very nice black finish with red details. It’s very premium like. Though, I must admit that the design of 2019 boxes was more “Macau like”, with yellow details and Macau circuit photo in the background. But like I said, the object is interesting in its whole appreciation. It’s harmonious and very premium. I will certainly hang it on the top of my 2 Inno64 displays (I have a plan for a third one, in replacement of the CM’s displays, that will go elsewhere in the room). That’s a consuming job but I will come to the result I want anytime soon.
This set is limited 300 pieces worldwide, which is not very much. The retail price is between 200-230$, which may seems a lot, but making the car under 20$ a piece, according you have a very quality display piece in this price. It’s totally worth it, and it’s a good excuse to display and see your cars instead of store them in a box in your garage. Plus, you don’t need to hang it to the wall to appreciate it.
12 cars is a lot, and looking at the cars, the liveries and the number of new toolings, I cannot imagine how the 2021 set will be!! The team worked very hard and was able to offer 3 new toolings in the set. I know they had to rush production to catch the event in time, and they did. The challenge was hard. But the result is worth it.
The new castings are the Honda Accord Euro-R (CL7), already announced, the Mitsubishi Starion (!) and the Nissan Primera (P10). The later two were not announced until the event, and are great surprises! I cannot be more excited (well, I can, you will know why very soon … 🙂
So this set includes 12 models that are :
- Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Watsons #2 – 1991
- Honda Accord EURO-R (CL7) #25 – new casting – 2006
- Honda Integra Type-R (DC5) #32 – 2012
- Honda Civic (EF3) #26 – 1989
- Toyota Altezza (RS200) #7 – 2003
- Honda Accord EURO-R (CL7) #1 – new casting – 2012
- Mitsubishi Starion #9 – new casting – 1987
- Nissan Primera (P10) #7 – new casting – 1994
- Honda NSX-GT (NA2) #95 – 2009
- Honda Civic Si (E-AT) #9 – 1986
- Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) #3 – 1991
- Honda Accord EURO-R (CL7) #15 – new casting – 2008
That’s a lot! 12 new Inno cars in the collection at one time. You can see me more happy! The years of the cars, from late 1980’s to 2010’s, clearly indicate the brand’s affection for vintage racing cars. That’s really a good thing, because in my opinion, it’s quite a unique segment, and if you prefer more modern racing cars from Macau, you can still find your happiness in Spark models or Tarmac Works. To me, it’s perfect complementary. Oh, I almost forgot, that make my maybe 60th or more Civic in the collection, and surely my 28th Honda Civic Inno car ^^. Never too much! I’m catching up the later years.
Let’s now have a look at the models of this set in details. The boxes have all the same packaging, and the same baseplate in black, with the Macau GP 2020 special edition on it. The name of the model, the number, the year, the livery and the race is indicated on the front, with again a special Macau GP collection logo in red and white.
Let’s begin with the new casting Honda Accord Euro-R CL7, which is a sedan car from the mid 2000’s. I love sedan cars and I’m very satisfied with this choice of casting. I assume many liveries are possible with it, and of course a street version is coming very soon. According to our information, the mold of the street version is different. I don’t know very much about that car, but many versions are foreseeable, such as very street versions, Spoon versions, with spoiler or not, white rims or not … this will be fun for sure! At first sight, and looking at the resin prototype of some months ago, I just wish the front wheels to be more cambered.
The #25 car is in a very nice blue Honda racing livery, very identifiable, with white and touches of red. I think it’s my favorite of the 3, I just love the color combo on it. The large amounts of details that you are supposed to find on any Inno car are here, such as roll cage, detailed interior, separate piece exhaust. The detail I love the most is the little decal representing the carbon fiber on the top of the steering wheel! Where else do you see this on a $20 1:64 car ?!
This car run at the Macau World Touring Car Championship in 2006 (note the fiawtcc.com banner on the windshield), and the red #15 car in the 2008 race. My red version has a tiny little problem of adjustment on the rear wheels, making it a tad too high – which is rare on a Inno model . I’m not 100% sure, but it seems that the casting has a variation, specially in the front air intakes. Cool. The red version has also a chrome delete, which is interesting.
Finally, the #1 from Macau Grand Prix CTM Cup 2012 might be the deepest Macau looking car of the 3, with a contrast between the white front wheels and black rear ones. The decoration in gold/orange/ yellow is also very Asian like, and heavy on the car. This time, the interior is white, which makes the details better to catch.
All in all, this Honda Accord Euro-R CL7 makes a very nice entry in the Inno range, and will be a very nice companion to the already existing Honda Accord casting from the late 1990’s I absolutely adore too. I wish we will see more and more Touring car in the future with Inno64.
Still in the mid 2000’s, we can say a word about this unique Toyota Altezza RS200 from the Macau Giua Race of 2003 of the set. This car has already been seen a lot in the Inno64 range, but we know the team loves that casting. No complaints from me, the casting is really solid – and I did not have an Advan livery – and sports white rims. The details on the dashboard are really interesting, such as the 25th anniversary Advan logo on the roof. I think this car must not be considered as underrated. Plus, red and black are the colors of the set.
I propose to finish with the Touring Car cars with the second new casting of the set, the surprise discovered in the video from Inno64 on their Facebook page : the Nissan Primera P10, from 1994 Macau Guia Race. Man how cool is this, and how happy am I to have one in hand. The only other existing casting – I think I’m right – is an old Kyosho from the Calsonic collection, that had never been used elsewhere, and I’m not sure this was the same year.
Here, Inno64 proposes the P10 version, from 1994, which refers to be a little more clear to the first versions, with a boxy look. Man this is the opening of the Pandora’s box! Imagine the number of liveries we can see with this casting !! Black Castrol, red Castrol, blue Repsol, blue Calsonic … Insane. We know the brand has already unveiled the next one, which is the Primera test car in white with amazing wheels. I’ve said it many times on this blog, but I’m a 90’s kid, who played thousands of hours at Toca Touring Cars (BTCC), and this damn Primera (the later version) was in it. I’ve been raised at the BTCC sauce, and my love for Touring Cars is from there. I can’t be more happy. But I’m already talking about next releases, and we still haven’t even look at the casting itself yet …
The car looks good, very good I would say, in this dark green livery and white interior. The front of the car is very fine and you can easily see the fine details of the grille. The stance is good, but I assume it will look even better with other wheels (those damn OZ wheels in white!). The round rear window is pretty good, and must have been a very hard work to represent at this scale. This really can make or break a model, specially on those quite common cars from the 90’s. The rear is very neat too. I think it’s a success. This model is for sure one of the hit of the set. Can’t wait to see more of it! Some can already be found on eBay individually.
Let’s continue our tour with 2 models that are well known now in Inno64 catalogue, with the famous Nissan Skyline GT-R R32. Both are from Macau Guia race of 1991, and it must be said that one is most well known than the other! That is really for the pleasure of one of our writer @diecast13, fond of obscure R32 liveries. The #3 Team HKS sports an interesting livery you probably won’t see elsewhere. I’m not as qualified as my team writer to talk about this particular livery, but I can see the influences of the other HKS famous liveries. Note the Playboy logo on the hood.
The #2 car sports an iconic Watson’s livery, in this famous flash yellow and green. Such liveries had been seen on BMW M3 E30, and Ford Sierra of course. Honestly, I think it might be my favorite livery for the R32 so far. To me, it’s perfect. I just can’t wait to put a Ford Sierra Cosworth in that same livery alongside. But who knows … a surprise can happen.
In the series “single files” of the set, let’s talk about the Honda NSX-GT NA2 from Macau Grand Prix Road Sport Challenge 2009. You well noticed it’s called NSX-GT and not NSX R-GT, but the already issued NSX R-GT in Spoon livery looks pretty much the same, except the black wheels and the rear spoiler. At first sight, I thought this car was the less interesting of the set, but in the end, I love it, and I must say I prefer it with its black wheels.
Single file is also available for the Honda Integra Type-R DC5. It’s a very Asian car with a very Asian livery I don’t know much about, but I am pleased with it in a kind of Miami blue and dark blue details. I like the DC5, and Type-R in general. It’s always good to see any Integra come back in the range.
Maybe the most interesting single file of the 2020 Macau GP set is the #9 car, because it’s a …. STARION! -and a new tooling. Yes! At last! How cool is this ? New mold, freshly made for the event. And of course I hope to see more of this in the mainline soon, both racing and street. The mold is a coworking with Pop Race, who is also offering a racing livery of it. This one is from Macau Guia Race 1987, Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia team. This casting is very interesting for many reasons. First, It’s a Starion. Did I already say that ? Second, the mold is made in collaboration with Pop Race and Inno64, which means a lot of variations can be expected. Third, and that will please our deep loud diecast nerds, this is a metal chassis. Fourth, and even I couldn’t care less about, it perfectly rolls. Isn’t a casting made for every diecast nerd of the planet ? Oh yes it is.
Old Mitsubishi’s castings are too rare and it’s a very good news to have this late 2020 casting appearing on the market. The only other Starion I have in my collection is a model from CM’s, and it’s not the same year model. This 1987 Starion has large similarities in look with other JDM cars of that era, such as Mazda RX-7, or Nissan 180 SX. It still gets its own personality with this very inclined front. The details on this casting are very good, especially the wheels that are piece of art. I wonder if it’s photo etched ? The rear glass window is also super detailed, such as the roll cage. The black interior is not very suitable for detailed photos.
This new casting brings me several thoughts. First, the size. I don’t know why, I felt it big. So I measured it, and it PERFECTLY scaled, around 6,8 cm to be precise. Second, why it doesn’t have this bodybuilding look of the Starion ? The answer is simple, it’s not the Turbo GSX! Third : why a metal chassis, which is a first in the history of the manufacturer ? I don’t have the answer, except it’s a collaboration tooling with Pop race … But this is a good reason of why it rolls so well … This model is also available on eBay in solo.
So, all in all, I’m very impatient so see what the follow will be for this model. A hit to be sure.
Let’s finish this monster Inno64 article with a duo of Honda Civic, and what might be – might be … – my favorite car of the set : the Honda Civic Si E-AT #9 from Macau Guia race 1986 in Leyton House Livery.
Leyton House Racing was a formula one team racing with (mainly) Leyton House March cars (it was the beginnings of Adrian Newey by the way), and some other sport car prototypes, owned by businessman Akira Akagi. The group had dozens of businesses from real estate properties to golf clubs, to clothing with Hugo Boss in Japan, and racing team. It was an iconic livery back in the days in Japan, and it sadly disappeared with the fall of Akagi, indicted for fraud and various other bank scams. Those liveries remain, to me, the best looking racing cars of that era, and I cannot be more happy to add a Leyton House Honda Civic into my collection. As I said, this Miami blue is really perfect on racing cars. Plus, he Honda Civic SI E-AT casting is a must, as I already said on this blog.
Here are my Si E-AT (with a link to the article I already did a few months ago) :
The other Honda Civic is the EF3 #26 from Macau Guia Race 1989, which is in a nice light blue and white livery. The interior is in light blue too, and makes the model quite interesting.
The EF3 is a long story with Inno64, and here are some of mines :
Well, that’s quite an article, and I thank you a lot if you are still there! This set is a master piece from the Inno64 brand, and I cannot close in a better way 2020 than make a decent presentation of it. I hope it will motivate you to grab the models you like (that should be available in hobby shops by unit). I’m sure the 3 new toolings will be hits, but damn don’t forget the Leyton House Honda Civic!
I really want to thank again the whole Inno64 team for its great support, and trust in my articles on LamleyGroup.com. This is my favorite 1:64 brand to collect, and what they do really make me happy. Isn’t the best way to collect minicars ?