This is the review that just didn't want to happen. I had been debating whether to do this battle or just review the Kyosoho when SN20 helped make my decision with his review of the Hot Wheels Ferrari F40. I pretty much agreed with his take on the Hot Wheels and decided I would just do the Kyosho by itself. I had already taken photos of the Kyosho, but since the HW was still out, I figured I'd take pictures of it anyway. It was during the photoshoot that I began to re-assess my thoughts of the HW. So the battle was back on.
I started writing the post, but decided to review the MB E320 Estate for Wagon Wednesday, so I saved the article. It was never to be seen again, lost in a maze of redirects (thanks Kinja) So I started over and that's when my PC took a crap while updating Java. For 2 days it wouldnt even let me get to the bios, let alone boot up. Then, just before I spent my next year's diecast budget on its replacement at Best Buy, it decided it was finally ready to boot up. Yay! Crisis averted.
So now, back to the subject of this review. The Ferrari F40. SN20 provided a brief history in his writeup, and is there anything I can
steal from Wikipedia say that you don't already know? No? Good. Then on to the review.
In terms of the casting itself, both cars look to be spot-on, and there is very little difference between the two. The main flaw of the HW are the missing latches for the hood and engine cover. Also missing are the openings for the 4 vertical vents along the rear side of the car. The Kyosho gives us painted on latches for the covers, but has a closed off vent of its on, in this case the upper NACA duct on the side of the car.
Moving under the hood, we find that HW has provided a spare, whereas Kyosho has not. HW lost a point here though for the positioning of the radiator, which is mounted to the hood due to its hinge system. They gain a point for providing the ductwork for the NACA and brake ducts and then lose it back for molding the shocks, master cylinder, washer(?) bottle, and spare tire strap out of the same piece of red! plastic. The Kyosho gives us a properly mounted and well detailed radiator, and the master clyinder and washer bottle aren't molded from the same piece of plastic. Add in the painted trim and metal mesh for the fender vents and it's clear which car will win this comparo.
Under the engine cover, the story out back is the same as up front. The HW actually does a "good-for-the-price" job of the engine compartment. Everything is pretty much there, but it's almost all molded in the same silver plastic. The Kyosho, well, it's a Kyosho. What else is there to say?
Sliding into the interior of the HW and we are greeted by a completely flat dash, and the instrument cluster and auxilary guages are represented by a single large sticker. The console is too wide and the shifter and gate are molded in 1 piece. This might be OK if the lever actually looked like it was in one of the gates. The seats and belts are molded in the same red plastic we saw under the hood, but at least they are molded separately. Kyosho gives us a proper looking dash with a deep seated IC, the shifter gate and lever are separate pieces, but it's the seats that are the star here, looking like the thinly padded carbon fiber shells of the 1:1.
The HW is only average here. The paint is evenly coated, and the orange peel isn't too bad. The car is well put together with the exception of the wheels, but the big letdown is the rear spoiler. HW chose to mold the spoiler as one piece, and there is a noticable line where it meets the body. Kyosho molded the side planes of the spoiler onto the body, with the wing as a separate element, and looks much better because of it. The other letdown of the HW is that lack of detail paint that's missing elsewhere. My car has benefited from a few minutes with a flat black paint pen and a sharpie. Once again, the Kyosho is everything the HW is but done to a much finer degree. The only knock against the Kysoho is some paint rash. I've been noticing this since I've reviewed a number of their models recently, and it appears to be a Kyosho thing. Hopefully it doesn't develop into something more serious. Despite that, it still looks much better than the HW.
In addition to the standard suite of opening features, the Kyosho has pop up headlamps and the suspension arms are articulated. Nothing fancy about the HW, but I'll give it a point for not having dogleg hinges on the doors since that was still common when this model was introduced.
This is always hard for me as I haven't really reviewed any models that are currently in production. Do I go on the original MSRP or what they're currently trading for on ebay? In this case I went with MSRP as the "street" version of either car is pretty much non-existent. The Lightweight versions are commonly available on ebay, with the Kyosho in the $150 range while the HW Elite version is around $60, though only in race livery. HW Elite street versions are available, but they cost as much as the Kyosho.
I've given both of these middle-ground scoring as the above mentioned lightweight versions of the F40 are commonly available.
So that does it, another battle with the expected results. The Kyosho is clearly the better car, but the Hot Wheels is not that bad, and if you're handy with a paint brush it could be so much better. If you can get one for under 50 you won't be disappointed unless you are hardcore for the F40. Otherwise the Kyosho is the way to go and well worth the additional cost.