Hello all! Been a bit since I threw together an article. Honestly just been busy and hadn’t been able to try a new photo setup I put together real quick. Another “I can make it better eventually” sort of deal. Need new lights… But anyway, here’s my contribution to the Lamley Awards for this year, first my favorite 2021 releases, and then my favorite adds outside of 2021 releases for the year!
Top 2021 Releases, in no order:
Hot Wheels ‘Hot Wheels Collectors’ ’64 Impala Lowrider
While originally slated for 2020, it wasn’t sold until March 2021, so I’m including it. Those that collected the Cool Collectibles/100% line back in the early 2000s probably remember the lowrider castings they did at the time, with the articulating axles. This Impala saw a return of that mechanism, though a bit different than before. With a paint job reminiscent of the legendary Gypsy Rose Impala, this one was a no-brainer as a top release in 2021.
Hot Wheels Fast & Furious Premium Custom ’68 Charger
While yes, it was designed for a Fast and Furious movie, one has to admit this wouldn’t be surprising as a standalone Hot Wheels release. The brand is known for pushing the bar, and think about it, they designed a custom Honda CRX that was converted to rear engine and rear wheel drive. So this isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The casting is brilliantly designed, and honestly will be a shame if we can’t see it again outside of the F&F deco.
Hot Wheels ID Nissan Silvia S14
The ID line has been a great way to introduce new castings into the Hot Wheels line. While the S14 already existed for the premium line, it was introduced for the ID line slightly modified. And by slightly, I mean it was re-engineered as a pure drift machine. And it’s AWESOME. It had to be designed to work with curves in tracks, and real deal drift cars can at times be seen without front bumpers, so why not remove it here? Together with the cast wing, the brand now designed what is probably my favorite ID casting.
Hot Wheels Mainline New Model The Nash (“Nashole”)
The Hot Wheels Legends car show and contest has been an interesting way to get new car ideas for the mainline. While the first year winner was deserving, I didn’t feel it was a great fit (wanted that wild GEO Tracker… oh well). This modified Nash Metropolitan, though, was a perfect pick. They nailed this thing, it is DEFINITELY Hot Wheels. Too bad they couldn’t call it what the owner of the real deal calls his car, haha.
Johnny Lightning Street Freaks Zinger ’73 Chevy C10 Truck “C10 Eruption”
Since Round 2 obtained the Johnny Lightning license, they’ve brought back some interesting releases with the Street Freaks continuation. However for this, they’ve started doing some modified Auto World castings as Zingers, starting with this pickup. This C10 is a great tribute to Eddie Van Halen, with the deco done after his legendary guitar. It fits in perfectly for the Street Freaks line.
Johnny Lightning Street Freaks Zinger ’69 Chevy Kingswood Estate (“Driftwood” and “Grocery Sledder”)
I love wagons. I love the Johnny Lightning Zingers cars. I enjoy the Auto World castings. This was a no-brainer as a lead car for my end-of-year list. Probably the biggest casting used for the Zinger line, this was definitely a surprise to see it was coming out. I included both colors because I couldn’t pick just one, with both feeling right out of the era. I did find it odd the blue one didn’t get the “Grocery Sledder” name on the rear quarter panel, but meh. Hoping Round 2 opens up the possibility for some more surprising AW castings as Zingers (’67 Caddy Eldorado please?)
Matchbox ’62 Plymouth Savoy
I grew up loving MOPAR muscle. How could I NOT have this on my list?! I still find some of the newer MBX cars to have odd proportions compared to their wheels, but it’s not as distracting here as it is with some other cars. Plus it looks super sleek in straight gloss black!
Matchbox Premium Collector Henry J Gasser
Ever see a car that you know will be a big hit the second you hear about it? After it was revealed at the Matchbox Gathering, we all knew this was going to be a huge hit. And it’s fantastic. Love that they gave it a metal engine piece, sort of helps detract from the fact that the bases on these things are plastic (a main gripe of mine for that retail premium line, ESPECIALLY when it’s an older tool with no opening parts). Here’s hoping for a long, fruitful life for this tooling!
Greenlight Hollywood Ace Ventura When Nature Calls 1989 Chevy S10 Monster Truck
I love this movie. This scene was awesome. And this is definitely a fun way to get another use of a monster truck tool instead of the Kings of Crunch line. I know Greenlight has been getting a lot of flack of late by the collecting scene, due to quality issues (this one had a loose stack up front… thanks Loctite superglue) and their social media squabbles, but that doesn’t take away from how I feel about this release. I saw it was coming and my mind immediately went to the movie scene. It’s ridiculous and I love it.
M2 Coca-Cola Holiday ’57 Chevy 150 Handyman Station Wagon Gasser
I’m not the biggest fan of M2 due to quality issues, and never really bought into their items. However when I saw this Coca Cola Handyman gasser, I had to have it. And it got me to delve deeper into their past releases, of which I’ve bought a number over the past month. So if nothing else, when I see something from a brand I largely ignored and it makes me go check the back catalog, how could I not include it in this list? I’m not going to go gonzo and buy everything, but I will indeed pay a little more attention. Thinking I’ll hit up a craft store and see if I can find some small thing string to mimic a rope to hold down that tree to the roof.
Top Additions in 2021, in no order:
Greenlight Hollywood Ace Ventura ’72 Chevy Monte Carlo (from 2019)
Yes I know this one is being redone but this one is from a couple years ago. Anyway, I love how they did this with the smashed windshield and no rear window. I’d been wanting a replica of this one since I got into diecast collecting years ago and this was the first one I’ve seen of it. And I think they nailed it.
Racing Champions Hot Rod Magazine ’60 Chevy Impala
Started getting back into some of the Hot Rod Magazine releases from Racing Champions, released ~20 years ago. Most go for quite cheap and just been grabbing some left and right. The ’60 Impala is a great casting for this line, done up as pro-stock dragsters. The black one with the white and green flames is done up in one of my favorite paint styles and in turn makes this my favorite of the 6 of this casting I have.
Greenlight ’69 Dodge Charger Daytona Mod Top
The Mod Top option from Dodge and Plymouth was a very limited option in 1969 and 1970. Most were left to the Barracuda, Satellite, Dart, Coronet and Super Bee, but there is one Dodge Daytona that appears to have come with it. From what I understand it’s not know that it was done that way from the factory or dealership. Unfortunately my loose example suffers from poor QC as the tires on the left side have the white lines WAY off center… but still love this thing.
Majorette Ferrari 288 GTO
I actually had this one when I was growing up, but needed a mint one. Got this for a steal over the summer. I know these Turbo Wheels on the old Majorettes leave a lot to be desired among collectors but it’s all sentimental value to me.
Hot Wheels Holiday Rods ’67 Dodge Chargers
For a while, Hot Wheels did a line of these premium Holiday Rods. I want to say they were mostly hobby exclusives? I really don’t know, they stopped doing them not long after I got back into collecting. The fastback ’67 Charger is an interesting muscle car design, and featured here in these 4 colors makes them stand out. And being a casting I’m going to try to complete, this was a great set to obtain at once.
Matchbox ’33 Willys Hot Rod, “Bad to the Bone”
I got this very early in the year from a seller on Instagram. This is actually a quite rare release, only available in Australia. Been after it since I heard about it and, well, now that I have it it’s as awesome as I thought it would be. Very happy with this one!
Greenlight Hollywood Kill Bill Chevy Silverado “P*ssy Wagon” 1:43 scale
I enjoy Tarantino’s movies. The Kill Bill pair are classics to me. Always liked how The Bride stole this from the lowlife night nurse. I mean, he wasn’t going to need it anytime soon by the time she took it… Anyway, this was one I didn’t know was actually done until I saw it in a display case of a local diecast dealer at his mini-shop some time ago, and I finally bit the bullet and got it.
Greenlight 1967 Terlingua Continuation Mustang
The Terlingua Racing Team was, from what I understand, a side team ran by Shelby in the 1960s, and I believe actually won the Trans Am championship in 1967 with driver Jerry Titus. However, they actually raced a coupe as well. Over 10 years ago, Shelby had made some Mustangs with the V6 (supercharged, of course) in a Terlingua tribute, complete with the rabbit decals and all. I believe they built this ’67 coupe at that time for SEMA. I just love how quirky thing one looks. For info on the actual car, check out this link, and this link from a Mustang forum that has a lot more info about the actual team. If y’all have corrections to anything I said here, leave them in the comments!
Johnny Lightning Street Freaks Release 7 1977 Olds Cutlass “G’Olds Rush”
I’ve added a number of past Zingers to my collection in the last year. This wild Olds is probably my favorite of them. Nothing else to say, really, I just love these extreme cars and oddly I think the mid 70s GM cars fit the Zinger style the best.
(Find Johnny Lightning Zinger Oldsmobiles on eBay!)
Ertl NASCAR 1993 Chevy Lumina, Ernie Irvan Kodak #4 1:18 Scale
Bought this from a local shop. Autographed from back in the day. Ernie Irvan’s story is one of those “what if” ones. Based on the copyright year on the package, this one is from 1993, his last year with Morgan McClure Motorsports. While often a threat for wins, he didn’t feel he’d be able to contend for the championship and jumped to Rober Yates Racing’s 28 Texaco-Havoline #28 Ford Thunderbird for the last third of the 1993 season. In 1994, Ernie was in a dogfight for the championship with Dale Earnhardt until an unfortunate practice accident for the 21st race of the year that nearly ended Ernie’s life. He made a comeback a couple years later but wasn’t the same. I don’t collect a lot of NASCAR diecast but this is one I’m VERY happy to have.
So there you have it! My 10 and 10 of 2021! What are your thoughts?