The Porsche 959, by Minichamps.

Whether you like it or not, closed-body models are the recent trend in the diecast business, and Minichamps is the latest to join the bandwagon. This 959 is one of the more recent models to be affected by such change. Before the groans begin, let me point out that the sealed-body transition also comes with a significant price cut; these Minichamps models now slide in at the mid-level mark (~$75-80), which makes them very compelling for the collectors, like me, who can live without the opening features and just want something that looks pleasing on the shelf. Let’s face it: their older models were never worth the AUTOart prices they were asking for, so they were just fighting a lost battle the whole time. You think there’s a reason why clearance sections are dominated by Minichamps models?

There’s never a bad time to reinvent oneself, and I think they’ve found something here.

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Until they released this a few months ago, getting the AUTOart version of the 959 had always been on my itinerary. Currently on sale at CK for about 50 Euros (less than half the price of the AA), this became the new Plan A. From afar, it doesn’t lose to the AA. The essence, both positive and negative, of previous Minichamps models is still there. The proportions and stance are just right, it’s still made of metal, and the wheels still turn (although not linked to the steering wheel now). On the flip side, the grilles are solid as always, the brakes need more detail, and the side indicators are just paint. Despite the compromises, the value for the money makes this 959 seriously worth high consideration. So, no, you don’t get the satisfaction of playing with the doors or ogling over a mess of wires under the hood, but you also won’t have to dig deep into your pockets to fill voids in your collection.

As someone who has perhaps too many resin models, I’m already liking where Minichamps is going with this. I get the steering that I want for my photos, a model that looks just as good, and more solid materials (no flimsy plastic window inserts too), all at a price that’s cheaper than most resin offerings. Yes, please.

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