Malibu International LTD for Reel Rides
|Overall Panel Fit:||7/10|
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The Reel Rides box is a three-window design, with a large window on the front and top of the box and a smaller window on each end flap. The dominant color is a solid dark red, with the various logos scattered across its surface. The Reel Rides logo is at the bottom center of the front panel, top center of the top and inside back panels, and top center of each end flap. The Malibu International logo is in the top left corner of the front panel, bottom right corner of the top panel, top right corner of each end flap, and top left corner on the back and bottom panels. The movie logo ("Dazed and Confused") is just to the right of the Reel Rides logo on the top and front panels, and bottom center on each end flap. The scale and age warnings are on the top and front panels. The back panel has a large clapboard graphic with a brief write-up of the movie and the vehicle in it, and the GM logo in the lower left corner. The bottom panel has the remaining legal and contact information. The truck is held down by four screws to a plastic base, with the model info and Malibu International logo printed on a chrome silver sticker on the font of the base. The tailgate and hood are held closed with thin rubber bands, while the doors are held shut with a wide plastic band.
This is a really mixed bag. A lot of what you see here is very good: the overall casting is nice and sharp, and most of the paint looks downright amazing with a nice, smooth finish and clearly printed tampos. The panel lines are about half-perfect: the tailgate, trailing edges of the doors, and leading edge of the hood are perfect, while the leading edges of the doors and trailing edge of the hood stick out too far. Also on the "not so good" side, the mirrors and wipers are on crooked (the drivers' wiper isn't even close to the glass), and there are fingerprints in the paint on the hood and chrome. Most annoying of all, my truck was missing one of the rear side marker lights. I found out why it came off soon enough: the other one fell off as soon as I got it out of the box. Both the interior and engine are very simplified (and really obvious in their crudeness), though the gauges are printed very nicely.
The doors, hood, and tailgate open on stiff joints, though the hood joints are only stiff until about halfway up. Above that, the hood can't hold itself up and flops back down.
The overall lines of the truck are very close, with the only noticeable flaw being that the peak in the hood & grille is too sharp. When compared to the vehicle in the movie, however, a few more problems arise. Benny's truck only had the lower trim, which should have a black rubber strip between the two chrome ridges. The model has the full Cheyenne trim (with an extra strip below the door handles) and no black strip in the lower trim. Also, the movie truck had slotted mag wheels with blackwall tires, while the model has what looks like modified mid-eighties Blazer/S-10 wheels and BF Goodrich white letter tires. I'm guessing that the disc brakes at all four corners are wrong as well, since the '72 Chevys only had front disc brakes, and then only on the upper models. Scaling is good, though, looking to be a near-perfect 1/24 all the way around.
I was really looking forward to the release of Reel Rides' cars, as they are a perfect fit for my collection of TV & movie cars. Unfortunately, there are way too many problems here to ignore: the panel fit issues, missing and loose marker lights, poorly applied wipers/mirrors, simplified engine and chassis, and inattention to detail compared to the 1:1 prototype give the impression of a replica that was rushed out the door about a month before it was ready. Hopefully their next line(s) will address these issues, because they have the potential for some real knockouts. As it is, these are about twice the price they should be. Only recommended to diehard fans of the movie or anyone willing to put in the work to fix the flaws here.
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