We love the rotaries but a scale model would be much more easy to maintain. Let’s start with the easy ones. 150-300tk will get you a lovely Hotwheels or Matchbox versions of the FB and FD RX7. Hotwheels launched the SA22C (known more popularly as an FB, a code originating from the US market) in 2012 replete with wide fender flares and that delectable spoiler shaped like a small ramp. Designed for Mattel by the venerable Jun Imai, this is a must have for 1:64 collectors. More about Jun Imai here. It is so well done you can make out the individual fender rivets and couple of tiny cut-outs in the trailing edge of the roof for the rear hatch hinges.
And last year Hotwheels showed off a FD3S prototype similar to the old Matchbox casting but with way better stance and proper wheels. That and a late 70’s REPu pickup truck. Can’t wait for those.
While the RX7 dominates rotary Mazda discussions, the RX3 is a fantastic looking coupe made throughout the 70’s. It came with 1.0 to a 1.6 engine with half of them being Wankel rotaries. Hotwheels introduced one in 2016 as part of the Japan Historics series. We reviewed that here. It is available in purple with very wide fenders flares and four-spoke real rider wheels very similar to Work Equip 01 wheels.
The later FC RX7 became quite popular as budget alternative to the Porsche 944 Turbo. The performance was just a fraction of a second less for the Mazda but the price was about $15K less as well. For the late 80’s those were a lot of dollars. Yet, the FC seems to be less popular among model manufacturers. Kyosho offers a variety of these cars including a police variant in 1:64 scale. Jada also makes both the FD and the later FC but comes with typical odd proportions and massively oversized wheels. Jada does excellent tough durable toys for children to throw around but never to make proper detailed collectibles you can look at be proud of. Most of Jada realistic attempts are at best overly bulging female comic book characters that would look imbalanced in real life. If you’re a fan of Initial D, Tomica offers the white FC driven by Ryosuke Takahashi in the anime.
Below is an old TG test between the two cars, back when TG did actual tests.
If you go up a notch, EBBRO makes some beautiful 1:43 scale RX7s. They have the FB RX7 in every single color possible from factory including the fantastic green and white liveried 1979 Daytona version with super wide fenders and dished wheels. Prices are $30 starting on eBay. Why you should have one of these? Epic details and working pop-up headlights.
Both EBBRO and Kyosho make the 1:43 scale Cosmo. It’s a lovely car, the one that started the zoom-zoom mythos for Mazda. The EBRO has a better stance and much better detailed lights closer to the real thing. For instance, the headlights covers and windshield wipers on the EBBRO are thinner making it look more realistic.
In 1:18, Autoart and Biante make the best and also most reliable RX7 in 1:18 scale. What? Reliability issues in diecast models? The FD RX7 is available from Kyosho but I have read on many forums about minor paint rash appearing on them.
Both Biante and Autoart models are $70-150 on eBay. A brand new AA Savanna is $140 while the Initial D FD3S in yellow is $205 brand new from the current Autoart catalogue. The Cosmo is available for $140 but the Japanese police versions are always cheaper for any car. The Cosmo is about $115 and if you’re feeling brave, you can give it a makeover into a stock car. What you get are fully carpeted floors, actual scale seatbelt with photoetched metal buckles, struts for rear hatches and seats replicating a suede feel. Especially brilliant are the red seats on the Spirit R. And don’t forget switch activated working pop ups for the Autoart models.
If resin models are your thing then Ignition offers both 1:43 and 1:18 scales. THe larger scale FC3S are available in red, black, white and retail under $200 from here.
If you want to build your own kit the RX7 is a current issue from Tamiya. There are two versions available with one being a curbside (no engine). With engine it’ll cost about 1500tk if you have anyone traveling to a Tamiya store in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand or similar Asian countries. Tamiya stores keep a consistent pricing everywhere. If you have the skills, you can build you own version with aftermarket wheels and accessories. I currently have three RX7 projects on the workbench and one FC discontinued model complete with working pop up headlights and a sliding sunroof. 1:24 scale has the most variety of models as well as providing you the opportunity to build one in any want you like as long as your skill sets are up to it. Time consuming but rewarding to have a 1 of 1 piece.
You may have noticed the list is devoid of the RX8. While it is a very cool and interesting car, it simply can’t hold a candle to the FC or the original FB in terms of ‘coolt’. But if you are looking for models of that, Kyosho has a perfectly proportioned 1:64 and AA offers a 1:18 for under $150.
Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have queries, suggestions or simply want to feature your collection.