Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015 Lamley Awards: What was the 2015 Hot Wheels Model of the Year?

The Lamley Awards voting continues with the vote for 2015 Hot Wheels Model of the Year.

What do we mean by Model of the Year?  Well, to be honest, it is the most subjective of any of the Lamley Awards categories.  It could mean Best, it could mean Most Popular, it could mean Most Hype, Most Buzz, Best Looking, whatever.  Maybe you could call the Model of the Year "The Most Significant".

This is also the only category where we at Lamley pick nominees.  With the help of some "in-the-know" collectors, we selected the 15 models that seemed to generate the most discussion.  It doesn't necessarily mean we liked them, but many collectors out there did. 

You would be surprised at the amount of discussion we had trying to pick these.  We tried not to be biased (that is impossible), and tried to stay relevant.  Supers and New Models will always dominate the list, because they are always the most talked-about models.  Hopefully you think this is a good, encompassing list.  Maybe your personal fave isn't there, but these hopefully cover a lot of the hobby.

Whatever you do, please vote, and tell your friends to do the same.  I think this is the most fun poll of all.  The poll is below, followed by photos and a short explanation of why each model was nominated.

The nominees, in no particular order, plus why they were nominated:

Mainline Volkswagen Caddy - A unique choice of model designed by outgoing Mattel Wheels VP Felix Holst.  Touches like the skateboard in the back were a hit with collectors.

'77 Dodge Custom Van Super TH - A casting that might not be on a lot of favorite lists.  But when a Super looks this good in Mooneyes livery, along with the appropriate Mooneyes disc wheels and a bonus set of eyes on the back, you have one of the best executed Supers ever.

Mainline '70 Ford Escort RS1600 (Fast & Furious) - Even without the F&F link, this unique selection would have grabbed collector's attention.  Plus, it looks really good.  A great classic choice.

Road Trippin' Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-X - Another model that wouldn't last an hour on the pegs. Deco isn't subtle, but that didn't stop the masses from searching high and low for this one.

HW Heritage Real Riders Ford Transit Supervan - A model that caught everyone by surprise.  A replica of a car a little off the beaten path, but with a rich history.  An instant education, especially for young or US-based collectors.  And executed flawlessly, front-lifted stance and all.

Mainline Cadillac Elmiraj - A few year from now it might be forgotten, but this year was one of the best examples of how good Hot Wheels can be.

DMC Delorean Super TH - Not the best-looking Super, but significant because it pays homage to a classic, the early 80's Turismo.  Same deco, updated model.  A clever choice.

Mainline BMW M4 - Like the Elmiraj, this model is here because of execution.  A great replica in two great colors.

Ferrari 599XX Super TH - The final Ferrari.

RLC/HWC '55 Chevy Bel Air "Candy Striper" Gasser - The most heavily debated model of the 15 nominees, only because of its limited release.  Collectors knew about this one over a year before its eventual release, and the treacherous wait finally ended last month.  Already a popular casting, and now in a color and livery that can seriously never be topped.  Limited release, but WAY too nice to be ignored.

Mainline '90 Acura NSX - I have gotten a lot of grief for not being a huge fan of this model, but that doesn't matter.  From the day the news broke that it was coming, it has been a fan favorite.  A no brainer for the list.

Mainline Nissan 180SX Type X - Easily the most buzzed-about model of 2015.  A unique, relevant casting choice, done perfectly, with thoughtful choices like the sleep eye headlights.

'69 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Super TH - To many collectors, the cleanest and best-looking Super of 2015.

Retro Entertainment Thunder Roller - A massive casting that never stayed on the pegs.  Collectors were clamoring for this one the day the Retro Entertainment series was announced.  It did not disappoint.

Toyota Off-Road Super TH - Like the Dodge Van, a Super with realistic, appropriate graphics.  Seeing this model with Toyota Racing colors is a total treat.  A model that went from ho-hum to buzz worthy as more collectors found it.

This is the last poll of the 2015 Lamley Awards.  We will announce Reader's Selection, along with the Lamley selections, later this month.  As always, thanks for participating...


  1. Oh yeah , lets put the Candy Striper ( $85 on Ebay ) up against the $1 specials . Why not throw the Convention Gold Porsche in while your at it . " In the know " collectors ! Discussion ! WTF , you guys have way to much time on your hands . GET A REAL JOB

    1. Hey man, you're missing the point completely. This poll doesn't have parameters for selecting the 15 contenders, even if they're not on the same monetary scale. It's about what was released in 2015 and what caught the eyes of collectors. If you have a problem with it, why not put your thoughts into that into words better instead of tossing around 2 cent phrases like "GET A REAL JOB" and "...have way to [sic] much time on your hands."

      I can appreciate what you're saying about the Candy Striper pulling in good money on eBay, but that fact doesn't take away that it's a great release of a great casting, and thus should be included in the poll.


    2. I'd have voted for the gold Porsche in a heartbeat had it been included on the poll.

    3. lol, "GET A REAL JOB". so what are you doung here? commenting? GET A REAL JOB

    4. John Lambert does not have too much time on his hands. He just has an awesome website. If you don't like it than don't look at it

  2. One qualm I have: I'd very much rather see the P1 than the M4. Sure, big rears and metal wing, but the P1 is a dazzler of a greater degree than the Bimmer. In fact, I think it looks so good and so convincing, a non-expert would think McLaren themselves made it as a collectors' item.

    Honorable Mentions: VolksCaddy (proves simple is magic), Escort (its alt color fits the model) $TH 'Yota Off-road (one of the better off-roaders HW has done), Elmiraj (what a classy, classy thing), and both Dodge Mooneyes Van and Ford Supervan.

    Unpopular opinion: the NSX isn't as bad a cast as one thinks it might be. Mine's white, and brings a sleeper look to the car.

    Official vote: 599XX. Would have voted for the P1 if it was there, but since it doesn't (please explain), I'll go where my tifoso heart takes me.

    ADDENDUM: I'd be positively surprised--and moist--if ALL of the most-awaited and most-worried-for models for next year--2017 Ford GT, 991 GT3 RS, Renault RS.01, BMW 3.0 CSL, GT350R 'Stang and Focus RS actually end up being really well-made--even perfect--models: no raised front, proportioned body, tasteful wheel choice, the good stuff. Of course, that's probably not gonna happen (because HW still thinks of the children), but still.

  3. Ferrari 599XX SuperTH. One simple reason: Ferrari-Mattel license is over. Which makes it significant enough model. We will see new versions of other models in the list but we certainly won't see another Ferrari soon.

    BTW, where is the McLaren P1? That car deserves a mention more than some of the models here.

  4. The method I vote with, is the same way that I buy/collect my castings. That is, if that car/casting looks the best to me. I never gave one thought about hype. Because in my experience, hype doesn't make anything stand the test of time.

    At the top of my list was the 180SX, Elmiraj, P1, Boss 302, NSX, M4, and quite naturally, the 599XX. Not only just because it was the last of the Ferrari mohicans, but because it is a fantastic model, and had great color/deco choices.

    I wish I had as much enthusiasm for the Gasser as everybody else, but gassers of any kind are just not my cup of tea. But that Spectraflame pink is one of my favorite colors, and it was hard for me to resist looking at it.

  5. Where's the Friday Night Lights Silverado?

  6. Based on the option provided. I better choose mooneyes for astonishing execution. But, IMO, mainline subaru brat in blue is well-deserved to be one of the best model in 2015

  7. I like anything drag racing so the Gasser gets my vote but all are very good.

  8. I don't think I even saw the "regular" of that Mooneyes van in Ottawa let alone the Super.

    I chose the Ford Supervan even though I've only ever been able to find the very first Heritage wave in local stores.

    One release that might be in my shortlist of Hot Wheels of the year might be another Road Trippin', the '56 Buick wagon, since that series is only a semi-premium release but, unlike the Skyline (which I indeed can't find), the Buick got a diecast chassis AND it has an opening hood. Plus I kind of like the vivid jungle-themed tampos with the toucan.

    Or maybe the Entertainment series 1974 Checker Cab from TAXI, which I was lucky enough to find at a local Toys R' Us in November and I'm glad I picked it up because I haven't seen it since. And sticking in Entertainment, I also liked the YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE Toyota 2000GT convertible and the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND Ford F-250 utility truck, a not-so-obvious choice for the Entertainment series done really well.

    1. For the Pop Culture series, limiting it to what I've seen in stores, I could easily go with the '64 Chevy Nova Delivery featuring SPIDER-MAN or the BATMAN Corvette Funny Car. My favourite Pop Culture car that I bought this year was actually the Kermit the Frog Volkswagen T2 delivery van, but I'm about 90% sure that counts as a 2014 release.

  9. I voted for the mooneyes $TH. I couldn't decide between the delorian and mooneyes so I did a coin toss and mooneyes won.

  10. I voted for the Thunder Roller. Although I never found one "in the wild", I managed to trade for two of them. What an incredible casting with beautiful execution and detail, not to mention heft. Before having this truck, I never really collected realistic work trucks. Now I do. That's why I voted for it; the truck simply opened my mind to a whole other realm of vehicles to collect.

  11. Great selections all. I voted of course. I think the Toyota Off Road Super TH is my favorite of the bunch. The thing is, the non-TH version is just as great looking as the TH.