REVIEW: Auto World Aston Martin DBS (Quantum of Solace) •

REVIEW: Auto World Aston Martin DBS (Quantum of Solace)

Words and photos courtesy of Karsten Weiss


The Aston Martin DBS was a slightly sportier version of the DB9, more in looks, less performance-wise, so that Jeremy Clarkson once suggested calling it the DB9 S. It is more widely known for being driven by Daniel Craig on her Majesty´s Secret Service, wrecking his company car as usual, first in “Casino Royal” and then again in a spectacular car chase in “Quantum of Solace”. Probably, like myself, many were waiting for AUTOart to add the DBS to its own range of Aston Martins. God knows why that never happened despite AA making practically every single other Aston Martin. So the Bond franchise DBS remains the only option. Now Auto World has thrown in the second DBS after Ertl´s Casino Royal light grey one. Let me tell you in advance: They´re the same, just different shades of grey, made for those who are willing to pay for pain.

A decent paint job is about the best thing you can say about it. In all other respects, even a half-the-price Welly DB9 is the better model: In contrast to 007, this at least has windows on its doors. Don´t worry about the door mirrors; you can thrash the car around an Italian puddle in your garden, they won´t break off, they´ll bend any direction, being made of rubber- just like the seats inside that have a racing harness moulded into its surface, with a cheap carbon imitation on its sides. The dash is cheap hard plastic and moulded plastic carbon imitation on the centre console with an open glove box displaying a pistol.

The hood has the Aston wing badge too far back, not on the front edge, where it belongs. All of the numerous air vents, grilles and air intakes around the car are solid plates, all the lights show unseemly mounting clips. The two lower reflectors on the rear end are merely part of the moulding painted in red. At least a DBS badge was added on the boot in which Mr. White won´t find the comfort of a carpet. The DBS´s distinctive chrome bar across the rear is completely absent, though. The rims are ok, but the brakes discs and calipers are toyishly simple. Under the hood, some more effort has been made by adding some cables to replicate the V12 engine.

The whole model looks as if it has been made by Q knowing exactly that it’s not worth the effort because it will get smashed up by Bond anyway or by a manufacturer who knows that Bond enthusiasts will buy it anyway – even later when prices treble. So if your theme is collecting every Bond car from every movie, go ahead. If you feel tempted to rip the door off and scratch the paint to modify it into the battered film car, why not, it only adds realism, where most enthusiasts would cringe about doing that to a (model) car. If you are looking for a good replica of one of the best looking Aston Martins ever, beware, this is not. The fact that this is sold for more than 100 Euros while the Norev 500 SL is 85 somewhat puts it into perspective. You´re buying into the Bond franchise, not true to the original model manufacturing. In every single aspect, the Welly DB9 is the better model.

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22 Responses to "REVIEW: Auto World Aston Martin DBS (Quantum of Solace)"

  1. DS Team says:

    We’re on a roll with Auto World. However, I wish the results were better. What is the price of this piece?

    • marcel171281 says:

      Hopefully I have time the next weeks for another Auto World review ;)

      This Aston looks shockingly bad… Reminds me of older Maisto’s where I starting with 25 years ago, with rubber seats and massive doglegs.

      • Aston says:

        There are two very old Aston in my collection: “Maisto” – DB7 and “Burago” – Vanquish. And despite ancient manufacturing techniques, both look much better than this DBS

  2. Karsten says:

    Usually it ought to be available from 100€, but I’ve seen 160. A Welly is around 50€.

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve seen this in the flesh, whilst I already have the Joyride/RC2 version. What put me off directly was the way the mirrors are pointing up. It’s completely ridiculous, it reminds me of the KK Scale BMW 740i which has similar issues. Also it looks more like a toy than a true to detail scalemodel and that for a price of €110 is ridiculous.

  4. ss19 says:

    One problem – Welly never did DB9, they did Virage 2012. And when Aston-Martin stopped it production in 2013, they had to release a model under the DB9 brand. Cars were very similar in design, sizes, but differed in the layout of the engine compartment (looking for a photo and compare).

  5. Aston says:

    Even the photo shows what a disgusting quality! For 100 euros there should be a bucket of these models.

  6. CL says:

    Yeah but to date no reputable manufacturer has created the DBS which has the ground effects. Not sure why no premium manufacturer has stepped up to make this. Even the ERTL version was bad bad bad

  7. jason says:

    I own the Casino Royale version. I paid $25 for it the day I saw the movie. The same goes for the Vanquish from Die Another Day, $25. I’ve said it before, but the prices for models are just getting stupid. Plus just for reference, I also own the Autoart Db5 from Goldeneye, The Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and the Esprit from For Your Eyes Only. Each of those cost a whopping $80. Now to get the updated version of an Autoart Db5 is over $200. Stupid!

    • Karsten says:

      Well, we have to keep in mind that some of these were bought more than ten y ears ago when prices were generally lower. Prices have increased significantly, not necessarily with an increase in quality, sometimes the opposite. I bless myself lucky to have bought most of my models at reasonable prices years ago. 2008 to 2015 were the heyday. Unfortunately, the hobby has developed the way it has and I don’t believe this can be reverted.

      • DS Team says:

        We were going to point out the same. We need to stop living in the past, it isn’t just scaled models that increased in price over the last 10-15 years. Yes, the hobby has changed, but that so is life.

  8. jason says:

    I agree, I’m happy I bought models when I did also. The problem I see with the price of models is this: I used to buy at least one model a month, sometimes several, now because of the price I can’t justify paying $200 to $300 for one model. I have bought real cars for less than that, so I rarely buy anymore. Secondly, how do these companies expect a new generation of kids to start collecting models? Does a teenager have that kind of money to spend on model cars? Third is, Why does everything in the world have to be limited edition? I buy models because I enjoy owning them, not for what they will be worth later. I don’t care how many are made, I just want to be able to afford one if I like it. And the last problem I have is with collectors who bought cars years ago cheap, that are no longer made, and now they want to sell them for hundreds of dollars. I understand making a little money, but when you want to sell a $30 dollar model for $200 dollars, it’s just insane.

    • DS Team says:

      Unfornatualy what you point out are some of the perils of the hobby. And I don’t think the young generation then and now weren’t buying higher-priced point models, we all started out with Bburago or something of similar value. As for “limited edition”, unless its less than 25 its just a marketing to stir up exceitement, we don’t put much weight on this or cerificates.

      • Karsten says:

        True. What’s more is that often there’s just not more demand to make production of higher numbers profitable. I was told, manufacturers often don’t start production before having secured enough orders by retailers and then decide on numbers that match the demand.
        As for teenage hobbies, I am a teacher and teenagers today don’t tend to collect or make models so much anymore. Boys now do more computerized things. It reflects in the models offered. They offer suit the fancies of our generation, our dream cars from back then, cars considered vintage by the young generation. This Aston Martin is a point in case, the Fall Guy truck another. This is what we watched, a 14-year-old won’t know Fall Guy. So collecting models always is somewhat living in the past, as most models are released four years or much longer after the real car, often long after the real thing went out of production.

  9. jason says:

    One more thought on this topic and then I’ll stop. I just read this on your site this morning.
    We haven’t heard much from the Fronti-Art brand in quite some time, are rumours of their demise true? Another scale model brand tumbles like the western weeds… We hope not.
    It couldn’t be because there models are so expensive, could it?
    Plus you point out that the next generation of kids aren’t going to want models and the generation that does want them is expected to pay outlandish prices. We bought models because we can’t afford the real cars, now we can’t afford the models.
    You mention Bburago. I have multiple Bburago models. Most bought in the $20 range. For the same model now (Ferrari F40 for example) $80. So, you mean to tell me it costs 4 times more now to build a model that they already have molds for and have been building for a long time? I still see hot wheels selling for less than a dollar. Close to what I paid as a kid and I’m 47 years old!
    All I’m saying is a hobby isn’t fun if it isn’t affordable. I understand models can’t be made for $25 anymore, but $300…
    And to close out, as was mentioned above, the quality is shameful. I can’t tell you how many cars I’ve returned or had to fix. And I mean expensive models. If we are going to pay big money, we should at least get a good product. END OF RANT!

    • DS Team says:

      Your view of FA is too simplistic. It is more than price here. They have many brands that cater to many price points. What their main issue is they want to be everything to everybody, you can’t. Lack of diversity isn’t helping them either.

  10. jason says:

    Your right, the problem with a lot of companies isn’t just price. How many Aventador models can we have for example. There are sooo many awesome cars that no one has ever built models of, but we keep getting the same things over and over. Other than price that is the other reason I don’t buy much now. I mean how many 911s can you have in your collection. I would love to see a really nice Vector W8 model. I have the Ricko version, but it isn’t great. And that is just one example.
    Another car is the Ferrari 288 GTO. I was excited about KK scale making one and then I saw the chunk of plastic in the air vent behind the door, so I didn’t buy it. I own the Hot Wheels version and the Bburago version, but we all know the problems with those. I know BBR and I think maybe another high end manufacturer made it, but now we are back to price. People want $400 dollars and up on ebay.
    I own over 150 models right now and a lot have been purchased since 2014 when I really got back into collecting. I would love to continue to expand my collection, but it is just becoming too expensive and again the selection is just getting mundane. It’s just a shame that eventually, no one will want models (young people) and even people who do want them won’t be able to afford them. There are at least 50 models I would buy if the price was more reasonable. How many models are for sale all over the world that are sitting in a warehouse and will never be purchased. Just put in 1/18 car on ebay and you will find thousands.

    • DS Team says:

      ” I would love to continue to expand my collection, but it is just becoming too expensive and again the selection is just getting mundane”

      Many have echoed the same words. It truly is a shame!

  11. Aston says:

    “AutoArt” system very clearly demonstrates money greed. They want to burst from money, but they probably get the opposite effect .. “Aston Martin” – 1985 Vantage V8, start = 249.95 €, now 129.95 € – (information-Modelissimo .di) -48% + loss of time to sell the product … Who benefits from this?

  12. Bart Kessels says:

    I have the model and I regognize the issues.
    When I opened it up, I was surprised to find carpet on the cabin floor. Als there is more detailing on the engine, like belts and pulleys, that cannot normally be seen.
    I’m trying to change the brake callipers on the front wheels, which are on the wrong side.
    Maybe with some detailing it ‘ll be acceptable.

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