When we talk about larger model cars, images of high-end AutoArt, Kyosho, and Norev models usually come to mind.
If we talk about large budget models, Maisto and Bburago 1/18s are usually good go-to models in that range.
One specific type usually goes overlooked by many collectors, which is a damn shame. Maisto’s 1/24 lineup is probably the unsung hero of the diecast world.
Sure, the cars aren’t as detailed as those you’d find in 1/18s or higher end 1/43s, but they provide an excellent starting point to any younger collector looking to get into large diecasts with a limited budget and amount of space to keep them in. Much to everyone’s surprise, I didn’t have my first high end model until this year. Before then, I usually had Maisto 1/24s as a compromise between wanting more than a $1 Hot Wheels or Matchbox, but less than knowing I couldn’t swing for the $150+ models I loved looking at online.
Many look down upon these as glorified toys, but I genuinely believe they have much more to offer than play value in the hands of a young child.
After I came across some nice models at my local walgreens and CVS, I rekindled the flame I had with them long before Minichamps and Norev were the bread and butter of my collection. That plus a half off sale for an entire week and the funds from the cars I sold meant that I had money to restart the long forgotten 1/24 section of my collection.
I want to share two of these models as excellent examples of why I feel the way I do.
The first is a 1/24 SRT Viper GTS in Adrenaline Red over black.
I found this one at a Walgreens and fell in love with it on the spot. It proved to be an excellent addition to the collection.
It even has an FCA-esque scaled panel gap.
Jokes aside, it looks superb for a basic sub-$10 1/24 model. You would probably be fooled into thinking it’s a 1/18 just from the pictures themselves.
For the second entry, I got this lovely 1/24 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 E-Gear Polizia di Stato at a CVS while running errands near Miami.
This is by far the most impressive of the Maisto 1/24s I’ve found in the past few weeks.
Although I know they have a normal LP560-4 casting, I was surprised to find how much they changed it to accommodate the Polizia di Stato’s changes and additions to the car to make it suitable for use in their fleet.
Lightbar aside, we find that it has the police radio, screen, and camera used in normal driving. That’s remarkable, but there’s something else if you look closely.
They even modified the center console to fit all the equipment they use in real life scenarios.
I find that really neat for something so common and inexpensive.
In addition, they also don’t feel as fragile as most of my high-end models, so I don’t worry as much when moving them around and opening their features to see the detailing.
Are they as good as high-end models? No. They don’t pretend to be better, but they do try to bridge the gap between a toy and a highly detailed model.
If you don’t have the ability and/or room to go and start a collection of 1/18s, these provide an excellent taste of what the world of larger models has to offer.