Cheap Temptations: A Closer Look at Maisto 1/24s

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fun fact: the Viper logo acts as the CHMSL
No step on snek
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The 8.4 OHV V10 heart of the Viper
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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.

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This is by far the most impressive of the Maisto 1/24s I’ve found in the past few weeks.

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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.

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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.

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They even modified the center console to fit all the equipment they use in real life scenarios.

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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.

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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.

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