It’s tricky. Bburago may very well be the only toy brand in the world that makes accessible yet great palm-sized models of Ferraris, yet there’s a strange quality to them that makes their products at 1:6x/1:5x scale seem more inferior than they are. But what could it be?
To find out, I’ll take a look at their version of the 458 Speciale and see where it excels and where it stumbles, in a bid to see just why I can’t seem to like their models—and maybe, how blind I am.
For your consideration, I bring you Bburago’s Ferrari 458 Speciale.
Bburago has been the exclusive holder of the Ferrari license since 2015, and up until 2018, they were the only toymakers to turn to for Ferraris as small as a person’s hand. Two years ago, Takara-Tomy gained a limited license for Asian markets only, which was followed by jubilant cheering.
But seeing as they’ve only made a select few of the most recent models in the Basic line, you’ll still be struggling to find Ferraris at this scale.
Well, first off: what’s this scale? Judging by how big the Bburago is compared to Tomica’s Ford GT (1:64) and my old relic Hot Wheels 458, it’s decidedly not in line with most of my collection. By my estimation, this is 1:55—way too large compared to the rest of the cars I have.
This means that the 458 fits better with what little 1:5x cars is parked in my box, which includes Majorette’s WRC cars (in 1:58) and Tomica’s Suzuki Jimny (in 1:57). In this company, the 458 feels more at home—and more out of depth.
For shame, because there’s so much to love with this model. For one, it’s got screws rather than rivets, making disassembly a breeze. And when you take it apart, you get to see the fine level of detail Bburago packed into this casting.
It’s got a complete and well-modelled interior, for one, and the engine bay is just as intricate, featuring legible Ferrari tampings. Equally remarkable is the clear glass that’s bolted under the body, allowing enough light to come through.
As for the actual body...well, see for yourself. Between the photo-etched headlamps, clean stripes, and badges, this body may be one of the most accurately-made in my possession. One can see how much Bburago maximized the larger-than-usual scale for this casting: the body lines stay true to the real thing, and apart from some lumpy areas in front, ordinary people may mistake it for something more expensive.
Of course, there’s a reason why I call it a mistake. I got this Bburago for Php150, about the same as a Matchbox, yet it doesn’t feel as robust as a Matchbox. It’s much too light, giving an impression of fragility, and feels flimsy in the hand. Even the paint has a weird texture to it and makes the whole model less photogenic. Then we get to the wheels.
Something about it just feels wrong somehow. Part of the problem may lie with its construction: the spokes are raised like a button, but the other side is hollow. The size is equally suspect: if they’re still in scale, why do they seem smaller? Even fitment looks wrong; it doesn’t look like it’s mounted flush, there’s some janky tolerance when I shake the car, and at times rubs into the wheel arches when it rolls.
Together, these flaws snowball into a problem that keeps me from fawning over the car. I like the 458 Speciale—it’s the last of the V8 screamers from Ferrari, pretty much the ideal modern Berlinetta. And Bburago has the resources to create a truly world-beating casting, even at 1:55. But the pitfalls cancel out the beautiful aspects of the model, resulting in something that feels less than the sum of its parts.
So ends my first new review feature after Car Week 2020. I had to delay posting this because of scheduling conflicts (read: I was distracted and had to do another assignment) and non-existent bandwidth, which is why you’re seeing this article now instead of Friday. But it’s complete, just for you.
Thank you for reading!
+ true-to-life body-casting
+ detailed interior and badge print
- wheels are of questionable quality
- feels larger than it is
- not as robust vs 1:6x