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.

(Maybach shown is just for show - after all, it’s a concept car!)

Last year I did a Top 17, so this year I’m going to continue that and do 18. The difference here is, since I collect two scales, I will split that between the two. That means nine big cars and nine small ones. We start today with my preferred scale, featuring only models that were released this year. That means no old AUTOart grail finds. I’ll put together another list with those in the coming days.

I wanted to wait until the last day of the year because I had (and still have) some models on the way from overseas and wanted as many of them to be eligible for this list as possible. Figuring out the nine finalists wasn’t difficult, but ranking them in order was certainly a challenge. I might flip-flop and switch up the spots when I look back on this post in the future, but this Top 9 is pretty much set in stone.

Let’s get started.

9.) Nissan Sports Fairlady Z 2+2, Kyosho Samurai

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Otherwise known as the Nissan 300ZX. It’s important to note that this model is the JDM-spec Version R variant which, for the obsessed Nissan fan, makes it a must-have for the collection. Many have grumbled about the price of Samurai models, but I think this is easily the best and most detailed representation of the Z yet.

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8.) Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, LS Collectibles

My other soft spot: AMG’s. With the exception of the atrocious A45 and CLA45 and all the watered-down, “fake”, “43" AMG’s, everything from the M-B tuner is fair game. That includes soccer mom SUV’s.

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7.) RWB Rotana, GT Spirit

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Because pink.

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6.) Audi e-Tron, Norev

I hadn’t known about this car until I saw one (or two) at the Auto Show last month, and it completely won me over right then and there. And, as a diecast collector, what do you do when you see a car you like? You go and buy a mini version of it. The only true diecast model on this list, it’s got all the bells and whistles for maximum play value - suspension included.

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5.) Dodge Challenger Demon, GT Spirit

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The loser of the year award goes to GT Spirit, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t produce a gem here and there.

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4.) Honda NSX Type R, Onemodel

In case you’ve never heard of them, Onemodel makes really overpriced resin models. But this NSX makes the list because it just looks so sweet, particularly in Imola Orange Pearl. Putting it side-by-side with the AUTOart, it’s clear that this one is the better-looking half. Sharper lines, sportier wheels, amazing paint. Just make sure to ignore the fact that the scale (slightly larger) is a little off.

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3.) Lamborghini Diablo GT, Kyosho/GT Spirit

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Back during Running of the Bulls, I said that I hope to have enough Diablos to cover an entire car week by the end of the year. This GT, which just landed a couple days ago, marks the seventh devil to fall into my hands.

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2.) Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Ottomobile

Second to Godzilla, the four-leaf clover is my favorite car in production today. The Otto holds its own against the BBR, and for a mere fraction of the price at that.

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1.) Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 V-spec, Ignition Model

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No explanation needed.