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2017 Holiday Gift Guide


Well we just got our first snowfall here at the Scale Auto Magazine headquarters just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seeing fluffy white accumulate on the ground in front of my office windows stirred up daydreams of skiing, snowshoeing, hot cocoa, Christmas.....eek! Then I immediately realized I have yet to start any of my Christmas shopping for family and friends. Good thing there’s still a few weeks left to procrastinate, right? Right.

Are you stuck in the slow lane for gift ideas? Here are my seven favorite automotive, die-cast and model car related presents to put on your shopping list for 2017.

1.     1. Italeri’s Modelset Starter Kits | $20 to $40
Give the gift of introducing a friend of family member to the model car building hobby! The folks at Italeri have a great line of kits for beginning modelers and those looking to jump-in to this great hobby. These Modelset kits come with everything one needs to get started building model cars and include all the necessary parts. In each box there’s a sprue cutter, paintbrushes, liquid cement, bottle of acrylic paint and easy to read instructions. An added bonus? Each of the starter kits comes with a link to an online tutorial video on YouTube that one can follow and learn how to piece together their creation. It’s a very, very cool batch of new products and one will make the ideal gift for anyone who enjoys cars. I’m excited to build their Lamborghini Miura starter kit over the holidays. There’s a variety of subjects to choose from when shopping for Italeri’s easy, starter kits including an Apache attack helicopter, Willys Jeep, vintage Corsair fighter plane and a few tanks.

2. Abecedarium Automobilium an Enthusiast's Alphabet | $25.00
I love this book by Kevin O'Connell, and recently gave it to two friends of mine who just had a little boy. With a unique, clever caption and adorable hand-drawn art for each letter’s matching car, A through Z (think “I for BMW's Isetta”), it belongs in the workshop or on your kid’s bookshelf. O'Connell's book also makes for a wonderful addition to any coffee table.

3.    3. Die-casts from American Excellence
Looking for some deals? Head over to American Excellence’s website for a plethora of deals on more than 18,000 quality die-casts. These are easy, fun stocking stuffers or gifts to put under the tree, with models starting under $10. Chances are if there’s a 1:1 car you obsess over, there’s probably a die-cast available for it! There are models of even the most obscure, rare and highly-sought after vehicles. I’ve got my eye on a 1/43 scale 2002 Ford Thunderbird, this Ferrari 612 Scaglietti “China Tour” edition, and an epic Mercedes-Benz Unimog U411.

4.    4. Revell's SnapTite Kits | $8.95 to $15.95
I bought a bunch of these this year for Christmas presents. Revell has a ton of their SnapTite kits available in nearly every subject matter, from Mack semi trucks and F14 Tomcat fighter jets, to the NASA space shuttle, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, Audi’s R8 super car and even a pirate ship! These kits are inexpensive, fun and easy to build with your kids and other family members. Gift them out to friends as an encouragement to try out a new hobby. I especially like this SnapTite Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster, as it was a dream car of mine when I was younger. The only tool you might need? A standard screwdriver. That’s it. everything else just snaps together!  

5.    5. Season Pass or Tickets to Your Local Race Track
We’re lucky to have one of the greatest circuits in motorsports, Road America, here in Scale Auto Magazine’s own backyard. Get your fellow model car builder, die-cast collector or car nut out to the track this next year! From vintage motorcycle battling it out, American Le Mans series races, NASCAR events, to intense SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) timed heats, getting trackside at one of these events is guaranteed to raise both your appreciation for motorsports and your adrenaline level. Walk the pits, meet the drivers and maybe even get your own car out on the track for a few touring laps. Find your nearest track and purchase a season pass or tickets to an upcoming race! 

6. Subscription to Scale Auto Magazine | $19.95
This is an easy winner! Give the gift of a print (or digital) magazine to model car and die-cast enthusiasts of all ages and skill level. Go pick up our current issue at your nearest book store or hobby shop, grab the subscription mailer inside and send it in! Snag a holiday subscription deal now for $19.95. Doesn’t snuggling up next to the fireplace while the snow falls out side, with a mug of hot chocolate and Scale Auto, just sound perfect? 

7.  Autoart’s Porsche 918 Spyder | $180 to $220
If you read our August/September 2017 issue of Scale Auto DC, our free online eMagazine about all-things die-cast, I talked about (well…geeked out over) Autoart’s 1/18 model of the Porsche 918 Spyder. This is a legendary vehicle for Porsche on many fronts. It’s a hyper car due to its astronomical performance, made possible by the wizardly magic by combining a gas V8 engine with two electric motors at each axle. Total power is 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, which propels this plug-in hybrid hyper car to a clocked 211 mph. Insane performance however, commands insane money, but Autoart has made it possible for car lovers to own a gorgeous, full-detail die-cast of the 918 Spyder. The model comes with a removable roof and even a spoiler that deploys! Add this to your collection and proudly show it off. Scoop up one of these die-casts with the nostalgic “Martini” racing livery.

Don’t forget to treat yourself! Have you been dreaming about a certain kit to build or die-cast to hold in your hands? Just go and buy it! Ignore the price and celebrate the holidays by engaging in the hobby you really love. You deserve it.

Happy Holidays,

Robby DeGraff
Assistant Editor




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