Last week was a fun one here on the blog, as readers spent the week voting on some of their favorite Hot Wheels and Matchbox models for 2016. With the polls now closed , I encourage you to check out who the contenders were if you haven't yet. Today, I'm going to compare your choices with my choices in each category we voted on. Then, I'll declare some winners in a few more categories for the heck of it. To see full poll results, click here. Enjoy...
Best Hot Wheels Premium Release
Winner: Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint
Runner(s) Up: (Tie) Mazda RX-3, Ford GT LM (Entertainment Gran Turismo)
Winner: Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint
- Explanation: The Alfa takes the cake for me this year in terms of premium models. It's a new casting, perfectly executed and rather unique in a 1/64 world where JDM and Porsche reign supreme. It's downright beautiful with authentic racing sponsor logos and a great pair of shoes.
Runner Up: Mazda RX-3
Best Hot Wheels New Model, Mainline Debut
Winner: '73 BMW CSL 3.0 Race Car
Runner(s) Up: Porsche 356A Outlaw, Custom '01 Acura Integra GSR
Winner: Porsche 356A Outlaw
- Explanation: The Porsche 356A Outlaw is a must win new model in my books. In terms of overall presentation, the runner-up CSL Race Car is prettier, but the 356 is a landmark casting and one of the most iconic automobiles ever. It's been a long time coming, and to deny it the victory would be improper.
Runner Up: BMW CSL 3.0 Race Car
Hot Wheels Multipack Exclusive of the Year
Winner: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)
Runner(s) Up: 1941 Ford F1, Kool Kombi
Winner: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
- Explanation: This may come as a surprise to some, but the 8C is a sorely underrated casting and is a great modern counterpart to this year's other Alfa winner, the Guilia Sprint. I'm partial to green paint schemes and the white/black contrasting details and front end nuances make this Alfa a winner in my books.
Runner Up: 1941 Ford F1
Best 2016 Hot Wheels, Value for the $$
Winner: Wal-Mart Exclusive Gran Turismo Ford GT-LM
- Explanation: At only $1 in the US and $2.46 in Canada, this Ford GT feels like it should cost more. It's quite similar to the $5 Entertainment release, minus the metal base and rubber tires. However, this basic version has a cleaner paint scheme and the matte black feel beats the gloss finish on the more expensive Gran Turismo GT LM from this year.
Best 2016 Hot Wheels Mainline (Non-New Model)
Winner: '73 Pontiac Firebird Trio
- Explanation: In a 1/64 era where muscle cars are no longer in vogue this is a bit of a contrarian choice. However, the '73 is a perfectly executed casting and the deco blows me away on all 3 colorways the 'bird has seen this year.
Runner Up: '69 Dodge Charger 500, Lime Green
Best Hot Wheels ZAMAC
Winner: Ford GT LM
- Explanation: Of course the TV Batmobile got all the attention, but this ZAMAC Ford GT look right raw. The Gulf tampos give it a racy, minimalist look. This thing is a stunner.
Runner Up: Ford Fiesta
Best Matchbox New Model for 2016
Winner: Volvo V-60
Runner(s) Up: '71 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X
Winner: VW Transporter Cab
- Explanation: Like the Hot Wheels BMW CSL/Porsche 356A conundrum, this one is tough too. The '71 Skyline looks better than the VW in terms of overall presentation as the VW's pale blue leaves a little to be desired. However, this casting is incredibly unique and well executed. As nice as the Skyline is, the casting is too narrow and Skylines are becoming slightly old-hat these days.
Runner Up: '71 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X
Best Basic Range Matchbox Model (Non-New Model)
Winner: Infiniti G37 Coupe
- Explanation: It's a clean, clean release with details in the right places. And it marks the return of a 'golden-age' collector favorite.
Runner Up: Cadillac CTS Coupe
Best Premium Matchbox (Retail)
Winner: Best of Matchbox, '93 Ford Mustang LX SSP
- Explanation: There isn't much Matchbox retail premium outside the Best Of line. The Mustang takes the cake from that series with its intricate detailing and rich, blue Spectraflame-esque paint.
Winner: Matchbox Gathering Dealer Model Dodge A100 Pickup
- Explanation: None needed.
Best Greenlight Model (Retail)
Winner: 1985 Chevrolet G20 Van (The Big Lebowski)
- Explanation: Greenlight gets a lot of mileage out of their castings, but the front-end re-tool on this one was a welcome bonus. The intricate paint details and muddy windows demonstrate Greenlight's commitment to detail, while the 'Big Lebowski' licensing proves they don't take collecting toy cars too seriously.
Best M2 Model (Retail)
Winner: 1965 Ford Falcon Club Wagon
- Explanation: This is my favorite M2 casting, and the only one I collect. The Mexican/rally themed paint scheme works to create a well executed and presented piece.
Best Majorette Model (Retail)
Winner: Nissan GT-R
- Explanation: A well-done GT-R from Majorette with opening doors to boot!
Best Auto World Model (Retail)
Winner: 1958 Plymouth Fury
- Explanation: Classic '50's beauty, intricate styling and Auto World quality make this new-for-2016 casting a winner!