Mini63: The Street63 Diecast Collection
Let’s face facts: we love so many cars but can only get one or two of the real-life versions of them if we’re lucky. As car enthusiasts we are bound by various limitations that may not allow us to enjoy all of our dream cars – some of us being fortunate enough to experience owning one of them. Vehicles with history, pedigree, and outright astonishing credentials all appeal to us one way or another, and thankfully there is a way to at least feel like we’re owning a piece of history: through minature diecast models.
For years we’ve grown and played with diecasts as children; We’ve rolled, scratched, crashed and broken a few cars along the way until we’ve reached this point. As we grew up taking these toys for granted, somehow it’s all come full circle when even now as adults we still find ourselves buying models – except this time coming from a mature point of view. These days it’s all about appreciating these models from inside their boxes, opening them up only now and then to clean and pose for a few photos and then return them to their preserved state. This article is not for people who think we’re still children playing with toys; if anything this article is for scratching our itch for anything automotive amidst this quarantine – and finally our diecast models are here to save the day. Below we will document the collections of a few of our staff members and friends, join us as we take you through their specialties and choices for collecting diecast models.
There’s no surprise when I tell you that my collection revolves mainly around one vehicle: The Mazda RX-7. My love for the coke-bottle framed FD has been ingrained into my consciousness since the days of Initial D and Gran Turismo, and while it’s culminated into taking ownership of the real thing I still find myself needing to see an RX-7 in my immediate vicinity through my collection. Aside from the RX-7, I am mainly inclined towards Japanese tuning culture and thus have some other relevant vehicles from that genre. And in order to save space, I have tried to constrain myself by focusing on collecting only two specific lines of models: High-end 1:64 Tomicas (Premium, Event, TLVN), and 1:43 Ignition Models. Avid collectors will point out that both are fairly expensive lines to maintain, but both are equally rewarding in their own way.
For the most part the pride and joy of my collection are the (as of this date) complete Tomica Limited Vintage (TLVN) Rotary lineup. This includes all 8 releases of the Zenki/Chuuki RX-7 FD, 4 versions of the RX-7 FC, all five liveries of the Mazda 787B, and even the limited Tomica Shop Mazda Luce Patrol Car. Joining this collection are some rarer non-limited models like the Online Premium White RE Amemiya FD as well as the complete four-piece set of the Mazda Rotary History Sports Collection. Once Tomica comes out with the Kouki version of the TLVN FD, you know who’s ready to fork over his money.
Apart from the RX-7s I literally have a drawer’s worth of Tomicas stashed by my bedside. From there I have a fair selection of Premium, Tomica Shop, and Tomica Event models as well as limited run pieces from Tokyo Auto Salon 2017, 2018, and 2019.
I couldn’t resist having a few of my 1:64s customized to look identical to my 1:1s. That red MR2 is a special commission to copy the car of a departed friend. At least we can still shoot our cars together on a smaller scale.
Bumping up from 1:64s the other line I’ve been keen on collecting as of late are these 1:43 scale Ignition Models. Ignition Model, or IG Model for short, has been specializing on making models with aftermarket parts all the way down to the tiny details. The first model I’ve seen (and purchased) was the white Hakosuka Skyline GT-R back in 2013. At the time I was so fascinated by this model that had watanabe wheels and other key details, and ever since I’ve been following their releases and picking out what to get. Considering the cost of these models though I have one rule when buying these for my collection: I only buy them whenever I’m in Japan. They end up slightly cheaper there and always serve as mementos of my trips to the land of the rising sun.
These two are the prized pieces of my collection: the ‘Mame’ Keiichi Tsuchiya AE86 and the light blue RE Amemiya FD3S demo car built by Isami Amemiya – both signed by their respective real-life owners. The former I managed to find scouring the shops in Osaka, and the latter was signed by Ama-san during the 2019 Auto Salon.
With the scale of these 1:43 IG Models they make the perfect accent to my themed shelves around the room. Shelves like this Skyline GT-R portion are matched with their respective Ignition Models.
These days Hotwheels tends to be on point when it comes to making ‘car culture’-themed models, and somehow buying them one by one ended up with a part of my room being decorated with a fair number of them too. I’ve since stopped collecting them due to the limited amount of space, but the temptation can be irresistible sometimes.
My 1:18s are few and far between thanks to their large size, meaning the cars in my small collection all count for something. This RWB 993 was purchased in Osaka in 2016, then signed by Nakai-san during the RWB Noah build back in 2018.
My goal for collecting these models is to be able to express my automotive tastes while being constrained to the confines of what my current room can handle. While i’m sure more models will take my fancy down the line, there remains the question of where I will eventually put them.
Since I was a kid, my automotive taste has always been something along the lines of race cars, road homologated variants, and limited production units from brands such as Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche. That more or less sets the main theme that I go for with my model car collection. To put it simply, I just collect the things I like. Thankfully, the majority of my dream cars are re-created and sized down in 1/64 scale by the Japanese model car brand, Kyosho. With that being said, you can tell what my model car collection comprises of.
This was my first ever Kyosho 1/64 model, a Ferrari 458 Speciale A. When buying a brand new Ferrari model car from Kyosho, they’re often hidden in sealed boxes. Kyosho’s Ferrari model cars are divided into “Collections”. In each collection, there are a group of cars. The list of the cars in each collection are displayed behind each box but the box doesn’t state which specific car is inside. So I purchased my first Kyosho model without even knowing what it was.
When you put “Ferrari” and “90s” together, you know you can’t go wrong, especially with the F50 and that’s just one of the many things that makes it my favourite Ferrari not only in 1/1 scale, but also in 1/64 scale. Kyosho did a great job with this casting and I couldn’t help myself, I had to get four of them both in hard top and roadster configurations. I’m still on the lookout for more.
Exotic car collections have always amazed me, especially those ones with over a hundred cars. There are many big collectors out there but my favorite car collector so far goes by the name “@mwvmnw” on instagram. With approximately 400 cars in his collection, it’s no surprise that he has some of the most impressive and unique cars in the world. One of my favorites is his McLaren F1 GTR Longtail Chassis #021R which he’s done some modifications on such as white rims, tyre writing and my favorite modification of all, a license plate! I thought to myself, I had to have this model in 1/64 scale. So here’s my take on it.
I started out with Kyosho’s 1/64 model of the McLaren F1 GTR Chassis number 26R. I then proceeded to erase some of the decals that weren’t present on 21R, I painted the rims white, added some decals and did some modifications to the wing, to make it as close to 21R as I could.
I’m still missing a few details such as the tyre writing and some aero modifications in the lower bumper. Those are still to come. In the meantime, this has become one of my favourite models in my 1/64 scale Kyosho collection.
If you were to have me pick out my favourite model from my collection, it would have to be the Maserati MC12. Kyosho definitely executed this model with exact precision down to the nanometer. And for a car in this scale, the details are sublime.
This next collection comes from Norven Orbino, a good friend of the team who is much much deeper into the diecast rabbit hole. - Ed.
It all started when my father was collecting all kinds of diecast cars from different brands when I was young. I wasn’t allowed to touch his toys and I just always looked at it, which was beneficial for me because I learned how to value all of the toys that I got growing older. Watching and reading all of the Option magazines that my dad has really made me like Nissans (the Silvia platform to be exact).
What drew my attention to Silvias was this purple Nismo Zenki S14 that I saw lying around my Dad’s collection back when I was in high school. I was just fantasizing about owning a purple Silvia since that day. It was the toy that inspired me to build my S14 before, with the exact same color minus the livery and bodykits.
When the emerging trend of wide bodies and RWB Porsche came, I started researching and understanding the history of Porsche and made me start my line in collecting 1:64 911’s. While walking in a mall I saw a 1:12 RWB made by GT Spirit, the particular model was “Rotana” and is the dedicated track car of Nakai-san. I bought it and had a chance to meet Nakai and made him sign the replica of his car which was a very priceless moment for me.
I’ve really liked Tomicas since I was a kid. They have a diverse line of 1:64s from an old JTCC race car to a random Isuzu truck. I found my old sack of cars I threw a lot as a kid which includes a JGTC R34 and a R33 police car. And I also had a 787B I painted poorly with red spray paint.
My most valued Tomicas are the Gran Turismo Set and an old Tokyo Auto Salon set which I got from a guy for cheap.
Since selling my S14, I haven’t had the chance to work on 1:1 cars yet, which drew my attention to customizing 1:64s. Watching videos on how to unrivet the cars and seeing posts from groups on how to make their custom hot wheels made me want to do some of the cars that I have. Just doing simple wheel swaps is really fun for me and just doing simple modifications like lowering the car was a blast.
This custom was inspired by the Type X S13 of @camryonbronze.
This is my version of an Outlaw 964
So far these are the what we have from our humble diecast lineup. Would you like to see more articles like this in the future? Drop a comment on any of our pages on what you would like to see next!
Words and Photos by Aurick Go, Coby De Lara, and Norven Orbino