Paul's Model Art (For direct sale through BMW)
|Overall Panel Fit:||10/10|
Similar to a car from The Danbury Mint or The Franklin Mint, the car is packaged in a plain solid-walled box. In this case, the box is a textured matte black cardboard with a chrome silver "BMW" stamped on the box top opposite from the flap end. The underside of the box has a textured sticker (to more or less match the box texture) with "Collector's model, not a toy" written in German, English, and French along with the box content information. The car itself is held between two pieces of styrofoam with a sheet of tissue paper both over and under the car.
Limited run models like this are usually either very good or very bad. Fortunately, this is one of the former. The casting is exceptionally clean, with no seam lines, bits of flash, or miscast pieces to ruin the appearance. Smooth, consistent panel lines and delicate castings show a nice attention to detail. Nothing appears heavy or out of place, though this does suffer from the oversized hinges common to diecast cars. Details like the lights, grilles, and wheels show an equal attention to detail, though the wheels are marred somewhat by the unrealistic backers. These were most likely done in an attempt to add strength to the fragile 7-series wheels as well as look like brake rotors, but the final result falls a bit short. The paint is nice and smooth, with a consistent glossy finish that looks good without being ostentatious and cleanly painted details that show no slop or bleed. The BMW emblems in the hood and trunk appear to be separate pieces, and are printed cleanly with legible script. Most other trim pieces are painted or printed directly onto the body (including the "740i" on the trunk), though the grille surrounds are chrome plated plastic.
The doors, hood, and trunk open, and the front wheels are tied to the steering wheel and can be posed. The hinges are all smooth operating and the panels shut tightly. The trunk lid doesn't open as far as one might expect, but it goes far enough to get most scale accessories in and out (nothing separate is included with this replica).
The lines of the car look spot-on, and it captures the overall feel of the 740i perfectly. Little details like the twin openings at the front of the V-8 engine bay and the accurately-cast window frames that open with the front doors add to the overall package. The interior looks good as well, with appropriate texturing on everything from the slight wrinkles in the seats to the "wood" panelling. It would've been nice to see more detail under the hood or on the chassis, though they did throw in a separately-molded exhaust system. Scale is pretty good, if not exact - it measures out a little on the small side for 1/24, more like 1/24.5.
The 7er is BMW's top-of-the-line series, and this replica reflects that well. Though there are a few small disappointments such as the obvious wheel backers and rather flat chassis/engine detail, the fit & finish of the rest of the car more than makes up for them. This particular design is one of my all-time favorites from BMW, and I was glad to see it available as such a high-quality item. I only wish that I had picked up more than one when they were available from BMW, as their secondary market value has gone up substantially since they were discontinued. If you can find one, though, I highly recommend getting one.
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