Saturday, December 27, 2014

The 2014 Lamley Award "As is the Custom" Edition: Our faves for 2014, including our Custom of the Year...

It is time to announce the 2014 Lamley Awards.

Over the next few days we will announce the Reader and Lamley choices in several categories, but we will start with the year in customs.

2014 saw a little change in our approach to our popular "As is the Custom" feature.  Time-wise it was near impossible to do a weekly post, so we stretched it out a bit.  Also, because of the massive amount of entries we receive, we just can't show everything, so it will take a bit more to get featured.

That does not mean you shouldn't try.  We look at everything submitted to us, and sometimes the most simple custom will catch our attention, as demonstrated by one of our finalists for Custom of the Year.  But if we don't show yours, don't be frustrated.  Submit another, and we may put it up.

We will say this though.  If you are a customizer, and have not joined Instagram, we suggest you do.  The custom community on IG is the place to be.  So much talent, so much support, and so many contributors.  We suggest you post your work there, and use the hashtag #lamleycustoms, #hotwheelscustoms, and #mrsenctvt (the mayor of the IG Custom community) to make sure your work is seen.  You will be surprised at the response.

But let's move on.

Below you will see the customs that grabbed our attention more than any others in 2014.  And they are here for many reasons.  Some for pure artistic talent, some for imagination, some for precise skill, and some for impressive simplicity.  While reviewing the customs we featured this year, it was hard not to be impressed, and we almost deleted this post entirely because it was hard to leave so many customs off.  The fact is, we love everything we posted.

It then became even harder to pick our 2014 Lamley Custom of the Year.  When the criteria is so generalized, we could go in several directions.  But ultimately it came down to three:

  • Blistercards' Nissan Silvia
  • 78toy4dr's Skyjacker Van
  • Ryansracecaremporium's two Porsche P-911's

@blistercards - Instagram

@78toy4dr - Instagram

@ryansracecaremporium - Instagram

These three stood out for several reasons.  Blistercards' Silvia for the precise fabrication.  His ability to turn a rather bland Johnny Lightning casting into what could easily be the best of any diecast company or designer is truly mind-boggling.

Chris Huntley's Skyjacker also gets points for the skill it took to transform the Hot Wheels Super Van into something entirely different.  It also is a testament to the brand Chris is creating.  You know a 78toy4dr custom when you see it.  And it also benefits from the fact that we were able to see it in person.  It is an amazing piece.  Some customs look great in photos, but flaws emerge in person.  Not this one.  It is as clean as clean gets.  Even folks at Mattel stood in awe when they saw it.  We also picked this as an example of all the amazing output to come from Chris this year, who along with @lukeshotwheels would be our Customizer of the Year if we had that award.  (Maybe we should.)

Lastly, you might be a little shocked that Ryan's Porsches are here.  Yes, all he did was add Hot Wheels Real Riders to a couple of old beat up Hot Wheels Porsches.  So why did we choose them?  We will let our response to an Anonymous post from the original post last April explain why:

meh sorry, but those P-911s are a joke, right?
original design in played with condition and nothing done except wheelswap?
or did I miss something?
  1. We all have our likes and dislikes. I have said since the beginning that sometimes the best customs are the simplest. This Porsche is genius in its concept, even if the execution was simple. I look at it as a tribute to folks like Magnus Walker, whose appreciation for the classic Porsche is contagious. He takes an old Porsche and makes it loved again, and that is what this customizer did with a discarded Hot Wheels that easily links to one of the hottest car scenes right now. It was an easy choice to put in here, and one of Lamley's favorites this year.

Customizing is about transforming.  Sometimes into something completely different, as the first two show as well as any.  Other times into a timeless piece that can inadvertently speak to the love of cars and our love of diecast.  We see barn finds transformed all the time, and Ryan's Porsches got new lives with just a new set of wheels.  The genius is that he kept the playworn look, because that is what Hot Wheels are supposed to look like.  It speaks to why we collect on many levels.

And for that reason, @ryansracecaremporium's two Porsche P-911's make up our choice for the 2014 Lamley Custom of the Year.  

It is just too hard to single out talent when it comes to customizing, as the examples we are featuring on this post clearly show.  It isn't fair to all the artists here, with all their selective styles to pick one, but we feel Chris and Blistercards needed to be singled out, as do the other amazing pieces below.  We just can't pick a favorite.  But we can single out the appreciation we have for maybe the simplest customs we featured all year.  It is our choice, we know it will be a bit controversial, and we will stand by it 100%.

We know many, if not most of you, will disagree, but hopefully you see our reasoning.  And more importantly, let us know your favorite.  

Congrats Ryan.  And Chris.  And Blistercards.  

And now, the other customs that stood out among the many in 2014, in no particular order.  Please share, and enjoy...

@nic_bali - Instagram

@bjorn_ready - Instagram

@78toy4dr - Instagram

@coecoet - Instagram

@alinhelga - Instagram

@ScaleTunedCustomz - Instagram

@smallcarspecialties - Instagram

Raees Amien

Tony Szuta

@minh427 - Instagram


@lukeshotwheels - Instagram

Balázs Kisgyörgy

@migkustomz - Instagram

@PapiChuloCustoms - Instagram

Shawn Sawyer

@87k8 - Instagram

@i_d_r - Instagram

Alfred Lam Hc

Abigail Wheels

@satwikanarendra - Instagram


@hotwheelsbymoe - Instagram

@bttfdmc1984 - Instagram

madworks Kustom

Leo's Trash Cars

@mrsenctvt - Instagram

@a_r_n_e_l - Instagram

2454_customhotwheels - Instagram


  1. The first two are brilliant.... BUT.....the Porsche's are an insult to all the hard work the other customize'rs have put in. A wheel swap is still just a wheel swap, no matter how much you like the original model.

    1. I 100% agree. Anyone can go and grab two cars and swap the wheels. I think what truly makes a good custom is the amount of time, detail and effort that has gone into the car

    2. I don't know, some of those insane customs are mostly hand-fabricated at the end. Pretty cool, but I'm not sure that's the idea of a HW custom. And, really, some wheel swaps are better than ones with a lot of work put into them, so you really can't base anything on that.

  2. Congrats on all 3 favorites, because that is what they are favorites of this blog. And I totally agree on the winner! Love em!
    "Just adding" wheels (and an excellent choice at that!) and thus creating a unique car is truly original I my opinion. The Magnus Walker reference says it all. I have a lot of beaters and I love how they show their history and fun kids had with them.
    But I guess this is the old fight between Patina and Showcarshine.

    Personally I have seen enough Kombi's and Datsuns with BRE, GULF or an other copied design. I think more customizers with great technical skills, should try to be more original and find they're own style (like @78toy4dr). I know you can do it :D

  3. What ever anyone else thinks, a winner is just that, a winner, now, as much as i loath Porsche and most germanic brands, for their blandness, and as the owners of the blog, they ahve every right to pick their favourtes, regardless of what me, you or anyone else thinks.

    But for me the winners are also the simplest, the ones with teh paint schemes that mimic the original cars, not stickers, not garish paint, just good honest replica's, they are my favourite, and will remain so, sometimes a new set of boots, can make a difference.

    my only issues are that for all these lovely new models (loath generics) I am finding it harder and harder to get hold of them, and i can not find ANYWHERE in the UK, where i can get the ones i want, I cant even locate somewhere that i can get the boxes, if i can buy each box, keep what i need and sell the rest i will be even happier, but alas.....

    Anyway i digress, I would like to than Lamly for another year of great posts and models, the weekend modders for all their dedicated and hard work, and wich you all the very best for 2015, and hope that you all get the models you want, and we continue to get the brilliant posts, and hopefully more frequent Ambassador posts ( I really miss the weekly ones)

  4. Honestly, I love the porsche, but it should be an honorable mention.... Anyone can do that to a car, just swap the wheels. It is Magnus Walker esqe, except no performence, or anything at all other than wheels.

  5. Superb selection, I'd find it difficult to pin point a winner, but when I first saw that green 510 wagon I was overcome with joy. As for the battered porsche, I totally get it. When I was kid I would often carefully dismantle my favourites and re-wheel them, thus re-invigorating it and actually giving the model a new lease of life. I think its a personal thing, in my case it was a Siku Peugeot 505 and a set of small scale slot car wheels!

  6. I personally agree with both arguments about the Porsche. Positives and negatives. But let me say this: while no one would ever dedicate time and effort to renew an old casting (wrong proportions, weird stance, awful detailing on the headlights, the list goes on and on), someone saw that it could have once more its glorious days back by simply adding real riders. That, my friends, is called "less is more".

  7. What's with all the turned wheels? Amazing display pieces, yes, but, man, if they can't roll, they're not Hot Wheels!

  8. I like the idea of something simple as taking a set of real rider rubbers and trick wheels and swapping them onto an original HW's Porsche casting with original paint. I see it as a car that was once enjoyed as a child (like you had when you were young), with all it's chips, scratches and character, and resurrected into a personalized custom with just a simple [custom] wheel replacement.

    Now.. would you put it in the same class as a blistercards custom or a nic_bali piece? Probably not. I think it's all about putting some into different categories.
    Easily, comparing blistercards Mitsubishi Starion (Badass!!!) against one of Ryansracecaremporium's Porsche P-911 is a no brainer, as far time and effort are concerned. The Starion wins because it's awesome, number one, it's a great idea for a new HW's casting (Please HW's?!?) and it's work of art. The P-911 is like an orange next to an apple. It's got a different concept going for it.

    But I'd like to say that these all deserve some praise. Great work, depending on your preference if it's a Porsche, Ferrari or a Datsun wagon!

  9. Just my opinion but I think this one is way off.. Like really? A Wheel swapped Porsche? I mean I know this site likes to be "out there" with the choices for best model and such, but c'mon. I would have surely guessed we would have seen a stanced Nissan up there in the top 3, seeing how biased the JDM's are in here.Just IMO though! :)

  10. Bias is a bit harsh, no, it is very harsh, i find this site like to showcase all models, from each matchbox to each Hotwheels and onto newer brands, the addition of new manufacturers this year will give us more food for thought, and hopefully we can get some more European diecast as well.

    I know some may class Majorette as, at the lower end of the market, but they have working suspension, opening parts and they have a range of new and modern cars, something Matchbox has lacked for a while, a long while, their Evoque is a stunning model, and although i paid rather too much for my hand full of Rangies, they are by far the best Land Rover products currently in my collection of 1/64 (ish) scale models.

    1. Hell, Majorette were some of my favorites as a kid of the early '90's. Many of my old cars still have working suspension and aren't broken.

      I have actually been looking to get near-mint or mint versions of a lot of the ones I had as a kid. It's a lot harder than many would think, because the brand just wasn't as collected as others.


  11. There should be a NSFW label because this is some serious custom PRON. What a great year this was. Lets keep it going into the '15 too. I can't wait to see all the new stuff and fresh ideas that come out.

  12. Ok as a customizer technically you can not call a wheel swap a custom period! Example you can not put a new set of tires on a real car and call it a custom car correct? Im not saying the Porsche is a bad design its just not a custom by definition. As for the reason you see so many Gulf logos is you can not find decals any longer. As for customs not rolling is not a custom. Well some real custom cars do not run but we don't say their not custom cars. I personally want mine to roll. If your going to call it custom it should actually be customized my opinion. This dose not mean wheel swaps do not count for something. Now as far as fabrication goes it's all fabrication just at different levels. The most fabricated models are truly some of the best work I ever seen and I only wish I could come close. So let's not dismiss this as refabricating this is really an art form. When I look at the customs on here I look at three things.
    1. First and foremost details
    2. Paint job
    Decals to me are only good sometimes cuase TO ME its all about the car. Racing stripes are good when called for like a lot of the BMWs that are shown. Logos in certian situations also good but to put a Coca-Cola decal on just to have decal I'm not crazy about it but it's preference. What is really getting old is the same things over and over. Some of these master customizers get so much praise but really their resources are so superior to most. Why should they get praise and a guy who fabricates a peice into a totally different peice be subject to scrutiny? Now there is one peice in this batch that truly should not be called a custom at all. That is the gasser themed work of art. It truly is a peice of art modeled after a HW. I love it's unique it's amazing just not a custom. It really comes down to preference but by definition the Porsche is not a custom....