Photo: Delius Klasing Verlag
Even as a 1:18 scale model, the Mercedes O317 needs a little space in the living room cabinet.
The truck designed as a Porsche racing transporter with "Martini Racing" advertising on the white side walls is 60 centimeters long.
A parking space for the miniature from CMR may soon be cleared in some collectors' households, because the die-cast aluminum mini truck has just been chosen as the “super model” when it was voted “Model Vehicle of the Year 2021”.
More is practically impossible in the scene.
Whereby the preferences among collectors, hobbyists and slot racers are widely ramified. This also explains why the specialist magazine “Modell Fahrzeug” let its readers choose their favorites in a total of 28 individual categories. The actual award ceremony, which used to be a rendezvous for the model vehicle industry, took place again this year as an online event. However, that doesn't have to be a disadvantage, as numerous fans and interested parties followed the show. The pandemic has not only brought the usual hygiene requirements to the model vehicle sector, but also a significant influx.
"Recently, the interest in model vehicles in all variants has increased significantly," says Andreas A. Berse, editor-in-chief of "Modell Fahrzeug".
Sounds understandable: when staying at home becomes the maxim, collectors spend more time in front of the showcases with the vehicle miniatures and sometimes order new models.
Fathers dig out the model car racing track, buy new cars and race around with their children.
Hobbyists are rediscovering the comforting and satisfying effect that comes from a perfectly assembled model kit.
"At times, even glue, tweezers, paints and brushes were sold out in specialist shops," reports Berse.
Handicrafts instead of traveling
That's what many in the industry say.
"In the past year, many had to cancel their vacation, and this gave them time and money to pursue their hobby and expand their model car collection," explains Peter Brunner, head of the model car brand Schuco.
"The order situation was also good this year."
Schuco sells around half a million vehicle miniatures per year.
“What we also notice is a rejuvenation of the clientele.
Model car collectors are on average 52 years old.
But the customers for vehicle models on a scale of 1:64, which we have been offering for five years, are all younger than 40. «
Scale 1:64 means that a VW Golf model is about seven centimeters long.
In this size, ten car models can easily be accommodated in the space that the supermodel truck mentioned above takes up.
And ten cars, that is definitely the beginning of a collection that can quickly develop into a passion.
Some rediscover their old hobby
As does the handicrafts.
Car miniatures are not only sold as a whole, but also in individual parts.
And steadily more.
"About a year ago a real model building boom set in," reports Stefan Krings, Managing Director of the Carrera Revell Group.
"Our business with Revell model kits grew by around a third this year."
The top sellers in Revell's range, which includes more than 800 model kits, were lavishly designed tour buses from rock bands such as AC / DC and Rammstein on a scale of 1:32, kits for historic tractors from Porsche or Deutz and the cartoon car Lightning McQueen the "Cars" films.
The business with the car racing tracks of the traditional brand Carrera, for which Krings is responsible, also picked up speed during the corona pandemic.
"We have never produced as many racetracks as we did this year," says Krings.
The latest bestsellers are "Build and Race" racetracks, in which both the racing cars and the tracks can be transformed, rebuilt and constantly reconfigured almost indefinitely with the help of terminal blocks.
In addition, a number of former Carrera enthusiasts have apparently rediscovered their hobby.
At the award ceremony for "Model Vehicle of the Year", it was announced which small vehicles across all categories and sizes are the audience favorites this year.
Here is the full list of winners: