Thursday, January 1, 2015
Let's celebrate 2015 with a look at the best of 2014...
Happy New Year everyone...
We hope each of you is looking forward to a great 2015. We certainly are. In our little diecast world, there should be a lot to be excited about in the coming year. And if it will look anything like 2014, it should be a great year for collectors.
There was a lot to love in 2014, from the JDM explosion at Hot Wheels, Auto World figuring out wagons were cool, Greenlight figuring out the same thing with trailers, Matchbox remembering that collectors love realism, and EVERY F*#%ING THING about Tomica Limited Vintage.
For us, these below were the best from each brand that we cover here at Lamley:
Tomica Limited Vintage Nissan IDx Nismo
Among the trajillion reasons we love Tomica Limited Vintage is this: A Nissan Cedric is just as important as Toyota Crown which is just as important as a Mazda Familia. Cars is cars, not Cars is Camaros and Mustangs. They obviously want folks to buy their product, but their focus is not on what is most popular, but on how good they can recreate the car in 1:64 scale. They want to entice you with quality.
And that is why the Lamley TLV collection grew 100-fold in 2014. We threw discretion to the wind and gobbled up all we could. We binge-buy with JCCS seller extraordinaire Jeff Koch anytime we see him (we may have paid his mortgage after what we took home from the Matchbox Gathering in July), and we were so happy to discover Japan Booster, who has made TLV new and old easier to buy for buyers in the US and elsewhere more than any other store. No matter what the TLV model, we want it.
But it was when TLV went non-vintage that many collectors noticed. The Nissan IDx is TLV's first foray into something current, concept or not. We don't know exactly how this came about, whether Nissan approached TLV or vice versa, but the result was extraordinary. The Freeflow and Nismo versions were as good 1:64 replicas as we have ever seen. From the interior to the red calipers that stay still while the wheel moves, the IDx was essentially perfect. And collectors noticed. Both versions, especially the Nismo, sold like crazy all over the world.
So it was this model that introduced many to TLV, and we have watched as many of you have shared your growing TLV collections. It has been fun to watch.
On one hand, we love to see TLV apply their approach to models that they would normally not consider, namely current cars. (The Nissan GT-R Nismo is the next current car to get the TLV touch.) On the other, we hope this does not mean that TLV's bread-and-butter, vintage Japanese cars, get pushed to the side. So far, it appears that is not the case, with many more classics set to be released in 2015. That makes us happy, especially as we ogle over the IDx and upcoming GT-R.
Auto World 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate:
Oh bless you Auto World, for figuring out that land yacht wagons are the bee's knees. So many of us grew up with these, so seeing them on the pegs in miniature form has been a treat. We love the Ford Country Squire, but nothing sings cool like the olive green version of the Kingswood.
We hope the passion so many have for these wagons will convince AW to do more classic American wagons.
Hot Wheels '71 Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon:
There exists no reason of us to rehash why this is the Hot Wheels model we chose for this post. None. We have covered it enough. But it has to be here. Moving on...
Matchbox 1993 Ford Mustang LX SSP Police:
And to think this model was a replacement for a new casting that had to be pulled.
Since it started hitting the pegs about a month ago, this Matchbox Mustang has been gobbled up by collectors like Treasure Hunts. And deservedly so. After the Land Rover LR4 was pulled from the mainline, the Foxbody Mustang was pushed in to replace it. And how lucky was that? If we remember correctly, the Mustang was slated for a 2015 release, so we still would have seen it, just not this early.
This is truly one of the best Matchbox models in years. A great choice, with excellent execution from designer Miguel Lopez, who has since moved to another division within Mattel. This model will surely be his legacy.
The Mustang also scores points for being realistic, and it seems Matchbox is moving back to that after a few years of pushing more extreme designs and decos. We hope the Mustang is a sign of things to come. Whether it is or not, this one in CHP livery is a gem.
Greenlight Airstream '16 Bambi:
Greenlight's foray into trailers is maybe the coolest thing they have done in years. And the Airstream Bambi 16 might be the coolest thing they have ever done.
It is surprising there hasn't been more 1:64 Airstreams. The Airstream is iconic, it is unique, it has a cool silhouette, and its shiny! We like shiny! But we can't complain anymore now that Greenlight has done one, and the most iconic to boot. The '16 Bambi is so iconic one sits at MoMA.
Just like it took the IDx to get many of you to TLV, it took Wagons for us to go to Auto World, and it took an Airstream to get us to Greenlight. We are glad it happened. So when you factor in these models, along with all the other joys of the minicar world in 2014, we bring to a close with very few complaints.
Here is to a great 2015...