Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Lamley Awards Poll: What is the 2013 Hot Wheels Model of the Year?

We have done a lot of voting here on Lamley the last few weeks.  Many thanks to the thousands who have participated.  All is compiled and soon we will be presenting all the winners.

But now it is time for the granddaddy of all the polls, the Lamley Awards 2013 Hot Wheels Model of the Year.

We do this one just a little differently.  It is more like the Oscars.  Instead of listing everything, we nominate 15 models that we feel merit consideration, and let the readers vote for the winner.

How do we pick 15 models?  Well, let us tell you.

We have asked a few prominent collectors to help us come up with the list.  These are folks who are very tapped into what models are getting the collector's attention.  There are several ways to look at it.  Number of topics on forums like HWC, what is flying off the pegs, what is garnering a large response here at Lamley, what is selling on ebay, etc.  Basically we got together, reviewed all the 2013 lines, and from there selected the models that we think generated the most buzz.

There were some disagreements, and a lot of discussion, but ultimately we came up with a list of 15 that we can all agree on.  These are the 15 we feel stood out above all the others.

So take a look at the list below, and read up on why we think each model was nominated as Model of the Year.  Then pick the one you think is most deserving.  Remember, we are voting on the specific model, in the color and deco shown, not just the casting.

You can find the poll to your right in the sidebar, or you can follow this link:

The poll is open through the weekend, so be sure to vote soon.  So what will it be?

The 2013 Hot Wheels Model of the Year Nominees:

(Models listed in no particular order)

Boulevard Porsche 993 GT2
Hot Wheels continues to push into the 1990's, and they picked a car that has both nostalgic appeal and is very current.  The GT2, with its huge spoiler and low stance, looks to be right out of Rauh Welt's garage, and that is probably the way designer Jun Imai intended it to look.

Mainline Kool Kombi in green
This has to be one of the hardest standard mainlines to find in a long time.  Yes, there were models produced in low numbers, like the First Edition of the Chevy Panel, but for a model produced in normal numbers, this was harder to find than most Regular Hunts.  And for good reason.  The model is a perfect Hot Wheels.  A VW Bus, looking very Brazilian, and perfectly toon'd.  The green especially, with the chrome base, stood out.  And collectors loved it.

Retro Entertainment Ferrari 250 California
There are a lot of reasons this one was nominated.  For one, it is a beautiful rendition of a beautiful, and legendary, car.  It was already one of most sought-after Ferraris ever, but then was immortalized in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Hot Wheels knows their Ferraris, and it is a surprise this model wasn't already done.  But another big reason it was selected was because it was the first model to show collectors what the Retro Entertainment line could be.  Instead of a cartoon retread of another Mystery Machine or KITT, we get a real car that didn't have to be from a movie to excite collectors.  And for those of us who were depressed to see the Boulevard line cancelled, this Ferrari showed us that Retro Entertainment could be a valid replacement.

Fast & Furious exclusive Toyota Supra
While this model was already being considered for a nomination, recent events made it a no-brainer.  Following Paul Walker's tragic death, collectors and non-collectors alike have been looking for mementos to help remember the Fast & Furious icon.  And there is no better memento than a replica of hit F&F rides.  Of the models Hot Wheels released in 2013 to promote the release of Fast 6, the Supra and R34 Skyline represent Paul Walker the best.  We chose the Supra, because it appears to be a new model made squarely for the F&F line.

Boulevard Datsun 510 Wagon
Was there any doubt this one would be nominated?  Not only did it set the JDM crowd abuzz when it was unveiled at the 2012 JCCS, but it continued to grow in status as no one could find it.  People were paying through the nose to get one on ebay, until they started appearing in TJ Maxx's in the western US, as well as at Shopko.  Even if it was easier to find, this one would have made the list.  A very unique casting choice, but a near-perfect JDM Hot Wheels, especially since it was modeled after Jun Imai's own ride.

Mainline '70 Chevelle SS in Gulf livery
The best racing deco there is, on a very cool looking model.  Its release spurred a lot of discussion on what the model was based on.  The bolt-ons and low stance suggested Japanese styling, but there is not real equivalent.  Nonetheless, a model that looks like that in those colors will make the list.

Retro Entertainment '75 Kenworth W900
Collectors love big castings, and as expected this model flew off the pegs.  If it wasn't for Wheel Collectors I would have never seen this casting in person.  Of the big lug truck castings done by Mattel, this one is my favorite.

'67 Camaro Super Treasure Hunt
Keeping a '67 Camaro off the list is very hard to do, especially one that is a Super TH and looks like this.  A no-brainer.

Boulevard '58 Plymouth Belvedere
It could not be ignored based solely on looks.  There might have been more buzz around the release of the Chevy Astra Drag Van, but once collectors saw this one alongside, they knew what was clearly the gem of the batch.

Walmart exclusive Zamac Ferrari F12Berlinetta
The Zamacs were the best Walmart exclusive line Hot Wheels has ever done for the mainline.  There have been exclusive colors, wheels, and decos in the past, but nothing looked as good as the 15 Zamacs.  We would have nominated the whole line if we could, but we chose the Ferrari to represent. The F12 looked good in red, but was mind-blowing with nothing to hide.  The lack of paint really showcased the model's lines.  We are very happy to see the Zamac line back for 2014.

'62 Corvette Super Treasure Hunt
Easily the best-looking Super of 2013.  It represented the Corvette's 60th birthday very well.

Toyota 2000GT Super Treasure Hunt
The first model ever to debut as a Super Treasure Hunt.  That was not originally the plan, as the casting was set to debut in the 2012 Racing line.  The line was cancelled, but not before the 2000GT was completed, and it has already been set to make its mainline debut in 2013, doubling as a Super.  So while this is its first appearance as a Hot Wheels model, it is technically not a New Model.  On top of that, the 2000GT is easily the granddad of JDM, and its debut, as a Super or not, was bound to get the JDM crowd going.  And it did.

Mainline '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser
Another no-brainer.  Collectors have loved this model since the second it debuted.  There is faction of collectors that will always be excited about a Gasser, and there is another faction that will be excited about '55 Chevys.  We fall in neither.  Yet we absolutely love this model.  But whether we like it or not really doesn't matter.  Collector demand made it an automatic nominee.

Dodge Challenger Drift Car Regular Treasure Hunt
We first debated whether to put any Regular TH on the list, then we debated whether this one or the Mazda RX-7 deserved to be the nominee.  Ultimately we decided that the very well-exectuted Challenger had a more universal appeal.  Lamley may be JDM-biased, but at least we saw this one clearly.

Mainline '70 Toyota Celica in green
Another model we had to look at closely to make sure we weren't including it because of our love for JDM.  But when you look at the new models that debuted the 2013, the Gasser, Kombi and Celica clearly generated the most buzz.  Maybe the Celica was not as popular as the other two here in the US, but elsewhere it was easily the cat's meow.  Plus, you cannot ignore a model that Lamley readers voted Best New Model in 2013.

Alright, there is your list.  Now go vote...


  1. As much as I hated to do it, my vote was for the Kool Kombi. I am not a fan of this casting, however I totally get the appeal and can't deny that it is insanely popular not only for collectors, but for customizers as well. My personal favorite this year was easily the 70 Chevelle, but I don't feel it had nearly as much of an impact as that confounded VW... which I still purchased anyway.

  2. John, come on these people keep choosing old models like the Toyota Celica, Toyota 2000GT, or the Porsche 993 GT2. Of course those models are going to win again, so that those models can be really famous? How about that 75' Kenworth Truck? I'm voting for that later. Right now I voted for the Zamac exclusive Ferrari F12birlinetta. Also later on, in the afternoon, I'll also vote for some others including the Toyota Supra (which Paul Walker has been driving in Fast & Furious- I don't know.), the Kenworth Truck, and more.

    Well see y'all later in the afternoon and I'll comment later.

  3. The 75 Kenworth, But not listed and very well done the Alfa Romeo 8c Competizone would get my vote for style class and awfully nice looking car.

    1. The 8C is a 2014 model, so it might be on next year's list.


  4. I agree with the comments of the KoolKombi pure-Hot Wheels style. In an instant you say "Matchbox can't do it, neihter Tomica nor Kyosho, Maisto, etc. It's what Hot Wheels mean to be". However, there a two cars that represent very accurate what the premium line sholud be. The Porsche and the California. They are very different cars and each one have the accurate detail and stance the real cars have. The Datsun and Kenworth may have it, too, but I prefer trucks in its real size -instead this is a big one- and classics like the datsun in original specs -like TLV's-, so my vote is for the Porsche, that is bad-ass beauty.

  5. I find it silly to include THs that aren't new castings to 2013. I would've thought it was to cover 2013 new models...

    1. Andy we already did the New Models vote. This is for Model of the Year. I hope you were able to vote for Best New Model a few weeks ago...

  6. Vote on whatever yall want, but for me the 250 California is at the top of my list, easy.

    For me, it's the most beautiful car, ever.

  7. Grrrr!!! Soon steam comes out of my ears if those stinky nerdy vintages will win. DUH, that's stupid.

  8. I'm quite disappointed that you failed to include a single fantasy car among these candidates. Not all die-cast collectors want only realistic models. Many collectors like fantasy castings for their creativity, ingenuity and unique artistic style. The Lamley Group is a fantastic blog with superb information, but I feel this is certainly disheartening to a portion of your reader base. In my opinion, there's not a single vehicle amongst these fifteen that was the Hot Wheels Car of the Year.

    1. Jared I would love to hear what fantasy models you would have added. And before you criticize us for ignoring the non-licensed models, I would look back in the Lamley Archives to see what model we picked as our 2012 Model of the Year...

  9. I'm fully aware that the Mad Manga was the 2012 Model of the Year. It's a decision I happen to agree with. The Mad Manga was my favorite and I certainly voted for it. If anything, it speaks to how disappointing it was for me to not see any non-licensed vehicles in the running this year. As to my own non-licensed favorites for 2013, I would suggest the Fig Rig and Skull Crusher. Especially in the case of the Fig Rig, it was innovative and definitely outside the box. 2013 was the year Mattel finally got the Skull Crusher right, with its grotesquely aggressive chrome skull and coordinated purple design. It just oozed the cool factor.

    1. I agree that both were very creative, but neither generated the buzz among collectors that these 15 did, or the Mad Manga did last year. We would not classify these 15 as our top 15 by any means, but instead the 15 models that generated the most attention among collectors, as decided on by our panel. I am actually happy you disagree, because we like to hear everyone's opinion. But this year there was not a non-licensed model that we felt merited a nomination. The model that came closest was the Fast Fish TH in Gulf livery.

    2. I'm pleased as well that we could discuss the matter. I believe the difference in our judgment hinges upon the concept of collector attention. To me, it's a solely subjective notion and has little bearing upon the merits of a particular model. You obviously disagree and that's quite alright. A varied and diverse collector community is necessary for the survival of the hobby.

  10. Hands Down.... It's gotta be the '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser !!! Although it doesn't seem to be sporting a certain custom distributor hurumphh..., Still It was a definite must have in my collection. I bought 3 of them , 2 to store away & one 1 for the Desk at work for those slower "Conference call Monday's" .....

  11. Ferrari 250 California will be my choice, although the Peterbilt is also my favorite amongst big trucks castings.

  12. Retro Entertainment '75 Kenworth W900

  13. 18 Zamacs, not 15. Here is the list for anyone who is curious:

    001 - '69 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

    002 - Classic Nomad

    003 - '71 Hemi 'Cuda

    004 - '10 Camaro SS

    005 - '66 Chevy Nova

    006 - Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)

    007 - Custom '69 Chevy Pickup

    008 - '64 Corvette Sting Ray

    009 - '12 Camaro ZL1

    010 - '70 Monte Carlo

    011 - '68 Shelby GT500

    012 - Volkswagen Scirocco GT 24

    013 - Ferrari F12Berlinetta

    014 - Datsun 240z

    015 - Purple Passion

    016 - Custom '56 Ford F-100

    017 - Lamborghini Aventador J

    018 - '73 Pontiac Firebird

  14. i dont like of anyone of this list . Really my favorite was chicane for 2013 models