For certain gearheads, having a miniature car collection is better than having a stable of actual cars.
That’s because miniature cars themselves require less upkeep than true-to-life autos, there’s no need to constantly watch over them (since you can put them in your room without the risk of someone breaking in and stealing them) and you can take them out of their respective housings and play with them while never leaving the comfort of your own home.
That said, Hobbiestock Collectibles has a new range of 1/64 scale miniature cars from Tarmac to pique the interest of the diehard mini car collector or provide a post-holiday season gift for a loved one, friend or business associate. Ranging from P1,000 to P1,400, these small collectors’ items are based on true-to-life production cars and works teams cars from touring car racing series. “When I was a kid, I found it hard to purchase die cast collectibles like miniature cars. In fact, there were limited shops and limited collections catering to this segment. That was when I got the idea to bring these collectibles, such as these 1/64 scale Tarmac cars, into the country. I want to give convenience to fellow collectors to enjoy the hobby, to provide the market an extensive collection at a reasonable price. In our shop, rare or regular items are priced the same. In most cases, people jack up prices of rare items. That’s a practice Hobbeistock never does,” said Hobbiestock owner Franklin Lao during a shoot of seven of the much sought-after miniature four-wheelers at Hobbiestock’s flagship V-Mall, Greenhills, San Juan shop.
If you hang around Hobbiestock for a good hour or so, you’ll be able to observe the types of people that come and go inside the shop. Lao claims that most customers are enthusiasts, with a rather obssessive-compulsive eye for detail, even when it comes to the product housings. “It is much easier to deal with people that can understand. These collectibles are hand made, before it becomes a finished product, it passes through a hundred hands. There are times where models are not 100 percent perfect but this should be tolerable. Like real cars that cost millions, sometimes they have imperfections too. The same with the collectibles. And like real cars, these collectibles consist of (many) small parts,” added the Hobbiestock owner.
Given that the 2006-2014 Honda Civic Type R (chassis code: FD) was officially retired not too long ago, Lao claimed that there was increasing demand for 1/64 versions of both the Type R FD and its World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) FD version. Both Tarmac “production” Type R FD and WTCC collectibles are based on the European-spec FD Type R hatch, with the latter car sporting extremely accurate detailing of its Honda Racing Team JAS livery. Quick tidbit — JAS stands for Jasson, Ambrogetti and Schon, a combination of the last names of team founders Paolo Jasson, Maurizio Ambrogetti and Giorgio Schon. Founded in 1995, the Milan, Italy-based team has been an official touring car racing partner of Honda in Europe and expanded to include the WTCC race calendar since 2012.
The Hobbiestock owner, founder and general manager also claimed that there was also big demand for the 1/64 Blancpain GT3 endurance racing series works cars. Customers, Lao mentioned, frequently set their sights on the Motul GT Sport-Team RJN Nissan GT-R Nismo car (the one with the red front and rear ends, with the red oozing into the silver-colored middle area of the exterior), the Kornely Motorsport Blancpain GT3 Series Mercedes-AMG GT “Hello Kitty” (in white, pink and black) and the Mercedes Benz AMG GT production model.
Team RJN is Nissan’s official European touring car race partner and the RJN acronym takes its name from team principal Robert “Bob” Neville. Although the team has roots in rally raids, Dakar rally racing and international touring cars, the team has exclusively raced Nissan sports cars since the middle of last decade. The team is also heavily involved in the Nissan GT Academy racing program, a worldwide institution (with help from Nissan and Sony’s Playstation) meant to develop motor racing at the grassroots level.
The Mercedes Benz-AMG GT is just the second sportscar developed entirely in-house by Mercedes Benz official tuner AMG, with the first being the SLS AMG sportscar (the one with the gullwing doors). The AMG GT has conventional doors and was reportedly assisted in development by five-time Formula One driver’s champion Lewis Hamilton.