Another year of hoarding fake cars is in the books. It’s time to round them up and figure out which ones are the real keepers. I’ve selected my eighteen favorite models released this year, nine from the 1:18 scale and nine from the 1:64 scale. These are the big cars that impressed me the most in 2018:
9.) Nissan Sports Fairlady Z (2+2), by Kyosho (Samurai)
Having both the Kyosho model from the 90’s and the more recent LS Collectibles version of the Nissan 300ZX, I questioned whether I needed another one of these Z-cars. As a shameless Nissan nut, I did. This Samurai model, unlike the others, is a true JDM-spec Z32 Fairlady, in Version R trim to boot. The angular front fascia, larger side skirts and spoiler, sporty BBS wheels, and racy Recaro seats distinguish this one from the rest. Simply put, it’s the best Z32 you’ll find at this scale.
8.) Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, by LS Collectibles
I have a soft spot for anything AMG - well, besides the A-Klasse, CLA-Klasse, and the current crop of “fake” (insert letter here)43 AMG models - and yes, that includes soccer mom SUV’s like the ML63.
7.) RWB Rotana, by GT Spirit
6.) Audi e-tron, by Norev
A classic example of seeing a car in person, loving it, and then buying a mini version of it for yourself - in the exact same color. That’s precisely why we collect. This Audi also gets bonus points for being the lone diecast model of the bunch, replete with play features such as opening doors, steerable wheels, and four-wheel independent suspension.
5) Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, by GT Spirit
The loser of the year award goes to GT Spirit, but this Demon is proof that they’re still capable of producing gems when they want to.
4.) Honda NSX Type R, by Onemodel
Onemodel is a little-known manufacturer of high-end resin models. The NSX, which already boasts the greatest taillight design in automotive history, looks even sweeter here in Imola Orange Pearl. Displaying it side-by-side with the AUTOart version of the same car, it’s crystal clear that this is the better-looking half with its sharper lines and stunning paintwork. Just pretend to ignore the fact that the scale (it’s slightly larger) is a little off.
3.) Lamborghini Diablo GT, by Kyosho/GT Spirit
One can never have too many Diablos.
2.) Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, by Ottomobile
The Giulia Quadrifoglio is equal parts beauty and equal parts beast, with an all-around performance to match its exotic styling. The Otto undercuts the BBR by a fraction of the price and looks just as good. Second only to Godzilla, the four-leaf clover is my favorite car in production today. Ironic, because on this list, it falls in second place behind…
1.) Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33) V-Spec, by Ignition Model
…Godzilla, of course.
An older version of it, at least. The bias is strong here, as the R33-generation GT-R is my favorite car of all-time. Ignition models are a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re not cheap, but each one is an absolute masterpiece, from the details to the craftsmanship to the tasteful modifications. In other words: a perfect tuner car. White-on-gold on a Skyline? It doesn’t get any better than that.