It’s that time of year again, and time for me to share with you what have been my diecast highlights of 2021. And it’s been a real hard push this year as there has been so much cool stuff released. But I’ve managed to collect a stand out class of 2021 and a shortlist of some of my favourite additions to the hoard this year. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, 2021’s ten of the best:
Schuco x Tarmac BMW 2002, No.115 Monte Carlo Rally 1969
Schuco working with Tarmac was a pairing that was always going to be successful. The collaboration has produced some awesome metal, from the first inklings of cool back in 2020 with the Audi Sport Volkswagen T3 to the succession of well executed air cooled VWs appearing in 2021. This is the first time the two brands strayed away from the Wolfsburg manufacturer and the already awesome Schuco 2002 casting became a superb retro rally car with two competitors from the 1969 and 1973 Monte Carlo rallies. The pick of the two for me has to be the less complicated livery of the 1969 car of Rob Slotemaker and Ferry Van Der Geest as it just looks so neat with the scale Dutch plates and spotlights.
Schuco Mercedes-Benz O317 renntransporter Porsche Racing
Another win for Schuco here, with the heavy metal Mercedes O317 race transporters. The German brand made it clear to Tomica that they too can do 1/64 haulage vehicles but this time at a fraction of the cost and with a distinctly European twist. The two Porsche liveried trucks came in either Martini or Porsche rennsport colours and for me the wine red of the Rennsport truck edges it over the Martini livery. A real beauty, and hopefully the first of many bigger vehicles from Schuco.
Tomica Limited Vintage Neo Porsche 911
If I had deep pockets I’d be collecting TLV a hell of a lot more, and there might be a Ferrari F355, Lamborghini Miura or Hino truck here. But as it is, I haven’t managed to stretch to them, and even if I had, I think this 911 would have still got the top spot for me. I knew I had to save some funds set aside for this the moment I saw it announced. The colour, the details, it’s just perfection. Classic Porsches are always cool, and this is one of the best miniatures of a classic 911 I’ve ever set eyes on.
Majorette Porsche 911 Carrera S “Porsche Experience Center Le Mans” Le Mans Boutique exclusive
Majorette knocked it out of the park with their Premium Deluxe Porsche range last year. Their 911S casting is one of the most well executed non-premium Porsches available off the pegs, and this Le Mans exclusive proves it. Gone are the roof racks, removable soft tops and rubber tyres of the Premium Deluxe version, but pared right back this casting looks fantastic, and the gorgeous proportions are shown off in full. A brilliant colour and wheel choice added to a simple but very cool deco make this a must have.
EraCar Nissan GT-R Portuguese GNR organ transport car
A manufacturer that really caught my attention in 2021 was EraCar. Their Apio fettled Suzuki Jimnys were very cool, and when this Portuguese National Guard liveried Nissan GT-R arrived, it really blew me away. If there was any more proof needed that this brand do their research, look no further than here. The subject matter is so unique and with such a cool back story, it’s a worthy car of being replicated in 1/64 and EraCar did it proud.
Stance Hunters Koenig Competition Evolution
A new brand and already in a Lamley top 10, Stance Hunters are one to look out for in 2022. Their Koenig modified Testarossa is a work of art. A 1/64 Koenig car has been a long time coming and what a way to bring one to life. Being a non roller doesn’t even come into it, it’s just superb, and looks fantastic on display. I’m seriously impressed with Stance Hunters work, and there are a few of their cars in my collection yet to see the Lamley limelight, but rest assured their time will come.
Majorette Porsche 917
This was a real winner from the moment Majorette pulled the covers off this earlier this year. One of the most famous Porsches of all time slots wonderfully into the Majorette Porsche line ups and promises to stick around for a while. The engine detail could be better, but otherwise this is a fantastic little model. The choice of liveries is plenty, and mirror the finish seen on real 917s including a homage to the 1971 Le Mans 917/20 “Pink Pig”, but the 1970 Le Mans winning no.23 livery is the one for me.
Schuco Paperbox Mercedes W114/115 “Stroke 8”
A third appearance from Schuco but well deserved here not just for this stunning Mercedes, but also their Paperbox range on the whole. Collector boxes make the whole experience of opening and displaying diecast just that little bit more special. The art on the boxes and the sliding sleeve etc, it’s an event to open these things. And it helps even more when the cars inside are as cool as they are. The top ten appearance was on a knife edge between the Mercedes 300SL and this, which in the end won by a hair’s breadth. I adore it. The colour is gorgeous, the model itself a stunner.
Matchbox 2021 Ford Bronco
One of my favourite releases of 2021, the new Ford Bronco is no doubt one of the strongest mainlines of either Mattel brand this year. Super cool looks and cracking detail for a sub £2 car make this a real winner. The decals work incredibly well here (especially with that iconic grille) and the colour and wheel choice combine so perfectly. In my opinion it stands head and shoulders above its Hot Wheels brother and is a clear indication of just how good Matchbox are right now.
JackieKim FAW MV3
If you’ve followed me on Instagram or kept up with my Lamley articles, you’ll know I’m a fan of all things military. Replicating military vehicles in 1/64 scale is no mean feat but JackieKim and their compatriots XCartoys have managed to create some seriously heavyweight and interesting diecast, mostly replicating vehicles of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army but also recently with the Mercedes Unimog of XCartoys, the German Bundeswehr. The tie for a place in my top 10 went down to two releases: the Jiefang CA-30 of XCartoys and the FAW MV3 of JackieKim and the MV3 *just* took it for being such a cool and detailed bit of kit for such a decent price. The aforementioned Unimog is as we speak en route to hoarder HQ so watch this space for that one.
Honorable mentions: additions to the hoard.
Any other business? A bit. I shouldn’t let a best of list go without some mentions of stuff that arrived too late to get in or just didn’t make the cut. The Hot Wheels McLaren F1 is a jaw dropper, Majorette’s Bentley Coninental special edition was gorgeous. Schuco’s T1 Lowrider casting took the brand into the territory of custom cars. I could go on, but I wouldn’t stop! As well as new releases, it’s been a year of ticking off must have diecasts for me, and there’s been some real “YES!!!” moments. Managing to find rare diecast for a good price is something that is important to me, especially the price part. I have to be very cost and space conscious with my collecting, but I know bargains can still be had if you’re willing to be patient. It takes a lot of time and more often than not with me, a lot of Google Translate work thrown in for good measure. But managing to secure the Siku DKW F12 was a real coup, as was the SEAT 124 from Paya Internacional, the DAF 33 from Playart and Rozkvet’s diminutive Skoda Favorit. The Tula Cartridge Plant GAZ pair arrived and gelled perfectly with my interests, both militaria and diecast! Another golden addition was the Conrad Mercedes G-Wagen thanks to a great diecast buddy of mine Nick (@nms_collection).
It’s been a jam packed year again, and I hope each and every one of you has enjoyed the hobby and all of our hard work here at Lamley. Happy Christmas, and a happy 2022 to you all.