Like 2020, 2021 is not likely going to go down as anyone’s personal favorite year of all time. However, also like 2020, 2021 was a great year for new 1/64 scale castings from all sorts of brands.
This year us Lamley contributors were tasked to make some top ten lists. I decided to do one here which is my top ten releases for the year and one on my YouTube channel which consists of my top 10 acquisitions for the year (linked at the end of this article).
It is always difficult to take everything that came out in a year and narrow it down to a top 10. So, I had to come up with some criteria for what would qualify for my top 10 list.
An easy starting point for me is that I am limiting it to models that I actually own. I’d like to think that I own all the models that could show up in anyone’s top ten for the year. But, there were so many really nice premium models that came out this year that there is no way I could afford to put all of them in my collection. So inevitably I’ll be missing something that would have shown up on your list.
Another easy qualifier to help narrow the field is limiting the selections to brand new castings. All ten of my picks are new castings for the 2021 year.
Those two rules were helpful in paring down the year into a list. The resulting list was then finalized by making sure that multiple brands were represented.
…And here they are… in no particular order.
Para64 RUF “Yellowbird”
When thinking of a top ten this is literally the first model that I thought of. It is a fantastic model. Along with this release in yellow there was also one that came out at the same time in black. This tooling would look fantastic in any color but for obvious reasons yellow is the best color to get it in. Anyone that collects 1/64 scale Porsche’s needs one of these in their collection.
There have been countless Porsches that have been released in 1/64 scale over the years but it should be noted that this is the first RUF.
Hot Wheels RLC De Tomaso Mangusta
I had to include a Hot Wheels in this list. There were a ton of really nice new Hot Wheels models released this year. I decided to include this one because I thought it was a rather different and interesting choice for Hot Wheels to do in the RLC line. The De Tomaso Mangusta is a car that I would guess that a lot of Hot Wheels collectors did not even know existed before this model was announced. It’s up my alley because I totally dig the styling of sports cars from the late 60’s through the 70’s.
The Hako Skyline from this year is an honorable mention. Truth be told it might have made the cut if I actually had one.
Auto World Toyota Supra
Auto World released a few new toolings this year and with my undying love for the brand, any of them could have been contenders. I had to go with the Supra for this list though. The reason why I chose it over the others is because it shows a departure from what we would normally expect from Auto World. It is fantastic to see them do a Japanese car from the 90’s. With its success, I think we will be seeing Auto World do some more Japanese cars from this era.
I also had to choose the wingless version of the Supra for this list over its more popular winged version. I think it was a great decision on AW’s part to make this version the debut of the tooling as it sets them apart from the other brands that have released the Supra in 1/64.
Johnny Lightning Mazda RX-7
What’s that? Johnny Lightning is adding to their already massive tooling catalog? Yes indeed they are.
At first I was a bit skeptical as to why this car was coming out as a Johnny Lightning and not an Auto World (both brands are under the Round2 umbrella). Watching the Lamley interview with the guys at Round2 put my mind at ease. Johnny Lightning toolings have not been known in any way shape or form as “True 1:64” like Auto World. However, according to the guys at Round2, new toolings slated for the JL lineup will be designed as actual 1/64 scale. That is an exciting development and this little RX-7 is definitely something to get excited about.
Tomica Limited Vintage Lamborghini Miura
TLV Lambos! Is it as exciting as when they started doing Ferrari’s? Maybe, maybe not. But I will tell you that I was pumped when this Lamborghini Miura was announced. This announcement immediately meant to me that TLV was headed down a Lamborghini riddled road. I knew that a Countach would be sure to follow and sure enough, a Countach was announced for 2022.
A Miura is a good place to start for TLV and they did an amazing job with the opening features on this model. My only gripe is that, in typical TLV fashion, it comes with mirrors that you have to glue on yourself.
Mini GT Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo
Mini GT is one of my favorite brands to collect and of course they came out with a ton of cool stuff this year. I selected this Bugatti to represent the brand in the top 10 for a couple of reasons. One is that it is the first Mini GT Bugatti, of hopefully many, to come out. Another, is that this seems like a complicated car to pull off in 1/64 and still keep the price point in-line with their other models.
Mini GT did a great job replicating this insane looking car. It really showcases what the brand is able to accomplish in 1/64 scale.
Kaidohouse x Mini GT Datsun 510 Pro Street
Ok this only sort of counts as a Mini GT and to me really is a Kaido House brand product. There was definitely some disappointment around this model after its release. The complaint that was loud and clear was that this car is not even close to being a true 1/64 scale. I have to admit, I was at first bothered by this revelation as well, however once I had one in my hand I realized what a cool little piece of art this car is. Tons of detail in this one and a very unique tooling from Mini GT.
It also should be noted that this is the first Mini GT tooling sporting an opening hood.
Matchbox Henry J. Gasser
This release from Matchbox is just plain rad. The tooling and the overall design of this release is reeeeeally good. This is a Matchbox Moving parts model and the moving part is executed fantastically. The graphics are sharp. The color choice is good. I dig the white rims on the rear while there is chrome up front. Such a cool little model that feels more premium than its price point.
Tarmac Works Global64 Pagani Zonda R
This tooling really solidifies my love for the GLOBAL64 line from Tarmac Works. These are nicely detailed and solidly built little models. There are a few new GLOBAL64 toolings for this year and honestly any of them could have made it into my top 10. This Pagani just happens to be my favorite of the year. It is very intricate and well executed.
Inno64 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60
CLEAN. That is the word I think of when I see this casting. This is also a bit of a departure from what we normally see come out from Inno 64. The detail on this is pretty much as good as it gets. I know a lot of collectors that picked this one up and none were disappointed. Inno does a fantastic job with their race cars and it is nice to see them do a fantastic job with this Toyota. I definitely hope to see more stock looking models from them in the future.
And that is it. As I write this I am already thinking of models that I forgot to consider….. and that is ok. That just means that there was really a ton of great new models to collect in 2021. 2022 looks like it will also shape up to be a year of a lot of great stuff to choose from as well.
Check out the video below to see what I considered my top 10 additions to my collection for 2021.