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Review of 2020
Editorial January 2021

Well, thank you very much for that!  Perhaps the best that can be said for 2020 was that it was memorable, but not in a good way.  The Nuremberg Toy Fair in January showed the first signs of what was to come, with nervousness amongst the attendees, and some empty stands.   As usual IMC, Tekno and Conrad did not exhibit.  See the Toy Fair 2020 Report for more.   In March it was time for ConExpo in Las Vegas, and some exhibitors cancelled their attendance and the show was cut short by a day. We attended ConExpo but decided to only visit for a day, and outside the show panic buying was starting to occur in the US supermarkets.  In the end, we were lucky to be on the last flight out of Las Vegas back to Europe.  You can see more in the ConExpo 2020 Report.

The major new releases in the year included Conrad's Demag CC8800 with Boom Booster in Mammoet colours.  Although the base model was very old, with the Boom Booster it is a huge model.  Expect to see it released in Demag and possibly Sarens colours.  The Liebherr LTM 1750 mobile crane from WSI also appeared, and it did not take long for many colour variants to follow.  Another big crane model was Yagao's XCMG XCA1200, and this was an impressive addition.

In terms of OEMs, model activity was at a lower level, but this was not unexpected in a year following the 2019 Bauma Exhibition.  For the model makers, WSI continued the steady stream of truck models, and the complex Spierings City Boy finally appeared.  NZG released the big Komatsu PC4000 and PC1250 excavators, and the Scania in 1:18 scale emerged just before year end.  IMC Models rolled out more high quality truck models, and a number of colour variants of the Demag AC 700 crane.  Diecast Masters continued the roll out of its transport series of US trucks and trailers.

Looking forward, the Nuremberg Toy Fair for January 2021 has been cancelled, but a show in July has been pencilled in.  We will see if it happens.  The Intermat Show in Paris due to be held in April has been cancelled until 2024, if it survives at all.  As for scale models, it is unclear how the pandemic has affected the OEMs marketing budgets, and therefore how many new models are in development.  Conversely, some reports suggest the stay-at-home requirements have led to an increase in focus on hobbies like scale model collecting.

On to the Cranes Etc Awards, and once again they are based only on the models reviewed by Cranes Etc during the year.  This year some awards are sponsored by supporters of Cranes Etc on Patreon.

Innovation of the Year

The Innovation Award for 2020 goes to IMC Models for the introduction of uniquely numbered limited edition models.  Previously in this sector, if unique numbering was provided it was included on a separate collector card.  IMC has now introduced a unique number fixed to the model itself which is permanent, and avoids a numbered card being separated from the model.

Winner -  
IMC Models for Limited Edition Numbering Plates

Model Company of the Year,
sponsored by Brandon Styczinski

The company making most progress in 2020 was Diecast Masters.  In addition to the development of the Caterpillar Highline series, the Transport Series has evolved into a large selection of US truck models, all benefiting from high quality presentation.  The range of Cat models now includes 1:64 and RC models.  Another new introduction was mass-produced weathered models in a Weathered Series. 

Winner -
Diecast Masters

Model of the Year,
sponsored by an anonymous Patreon Supporter

This award goes to WSI Model's Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 Mobile Crane.  This is an excellent large crane model, and looks great in the many different colour schemes that are available.

Winner - Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 Mobile Crane by WSI Models

Cranes Etc
Innovation of the Year 2020:  IMC Models limited edition numbering plates.
Model Company of the Year 2020:  Diecast Masters.
Model of the Year 2020:  Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 by WSI Models.