REVIEW: BBR Ferrari LaFerrari • DiecastSociety.com %

REVIEW: BBR Ferrari LaFerrari

When fellow DiecastSociety.com member Lucky13 reviewed the Hotwheels Elite LaFerrari, the verdict was: “if you want the best LaFerrari in 1:18, either have this one reworked or go resin.” Almost six years have gone by before the same manufacturer who back then was the resin benchmark has now released a diecast contender. 6 Years in which prices have soared raising expectations with it. So, does this 300 Euro LaFerrari translate all the good features of BBR´s resin LaFerraris into diecast and thus take the title of “Best 1:18 Laferrari”?

As you might expect, it does not fail on the basic requirements like general shape, proportions and stance, how could it? The Hotwheels Elite had issues with paint bleed on separation lines that are non-existent on the BBR, the Rosso Corsa is applied smoothly and consistently, the black sharply separated. On the doors, this is achieved by making the bottom sill a separate piece of black. While Mattel´s entire door shape was meticulously diagnosed to be ultimately wrong, BBR has faithfully replicated the complex door shapes. The doors´ hinge mechanism is superior, too: A mini dogleg disappears without an unseemly screw visible underneath the headliner, the other hinge is lifted on an extremely long, delicate, but functional strut.

While having the door wide open, you can´t help admiring the splendid interior. Cloth seatbelts with photo-etched buckles are obligatory and not worth mentioning. But BBR convincingly creates the illusion of the differently coloured materials: high gloss carbon, less shiny red leather, faux fluffiness of Alcantara, shiny alloy air vents. The full carbon tub floor has matte black leather-like floormats. The famously moving pedal box has nicely detailed silver pedals on them. This seamlessly assembled mix of materials is particularly remarkable on the steering, err, wheel, but while the engine start button is correctly red, the Manettino is strangely enough not and while the LED rev-counter is replicated on the top rim, the alloy plate that you can have individually engraved is completely absent. On the passenger side, you find the minute script “LaFerrari”, a tiny (wrongly) silver key stuck in the ignition, a red hazard button in the centre console, the three buttons encircled in red on this centre fin, an Italian flag badge dead centre between the air vents, but the “limited edition1/499” badge on the upright bulky carbon separation between the seats is absent – at least from mine. So two words of warning: #1 The attention of detail in BBRs is so great that these details famously fall off. #2 This review is based on my model, not the one in the pictures.

So we´ll climb back out of this impressive, but not perfect interior and turn to the engine. Like with Mattel the transparent engine display cover does not open, only the entire engine cover can be lifted and propped up by two metal rods supplied in a small bag. Here too a high gloss carbon dazzles you when the Hotwheels only offered moulded plastic to replicate it. A duller version covers the wheel arches while Mattel´s were just black. All the tiny lids are so much more refined and everything has illegibly tiny badges and scripts, including the KERS components. Simply great here while irredeemable with any amount of rework on the Elite.

The wheels are excellent too. Tires are branded Pirellis whose apparently separate valves protrude from the delicate alloy rims behind which the drilled carbon brake discs may appear a shade too black, while the giant calipers are entirely credible as far as I can tell from media coverage.

All the air intakes and outlets, wherever on the model, are photo-etched break-thru, no plates, no short-cuts. The prancing horse Scuderia shields and hood emblem are pleasantly bulging, with the hood emblem being a separate piece while the shields are decals stuck onto a bulge moulded into the doors themselves. And of course, you get the signature photo-etched Cavallino rampant and a Ferrari script on the back. The quadruple exhaust pipes are the matte black option, thin, deep, credible. The aerodynamic flaps are so delicate that I won´t try whether they are operational. The model´s operation manual leaflet does not mention it but informs us that the active air brake spoiler really is active, to be manually deployed and retracted with the utmost caution (and I strongly recommend to strictly adhere to BBR´s instruction with the delicacy of their models).

The lights are extremely detailed, front and rear, with tiny LED dots visible rear and a clean and clear colour separation between the white and red cover sections, plus a well-defined centre racing light cluster down the centre. On the front headlights, the projector assembly and LED clusters are equally well done, while the mounting of the clear cover is regrettably visible upfront. Pop the front hood and – you´ve guessed it – more carbon round the nice cooling fans and white liquid lids.

However, that´s about it with the carbon. I personally don´t mind them having taken the red option for the insect-like wing mirrors, but I sorely miss the carbon on the front splitter and wide rear section around the licence plate. There the BBR is no better than the Elite. They were so generous with their nice glossy carbon, you cannot help it but feel somewhat disappointed by the dull black they have chosen for this, especially as we all know how well they can do it from their resin LaFerraris. There is a sense of betrayal, that it was wantonly denied you. The samples in last year´s preview here on DS showed carbon on the front bits, the final product now does not. Even though it may not be incorrect at all, but merely optional, but somehow it makes you feel they have run out of carbon and dropped the ball unless they have deliberately reserved it as the last argument left to go resin – or for a future updated release, which would irritate early buyer birds.

It is more this than the other rather neglectable idiosyncrasies that keep me from unreservedly and unhesitatingly passing the crown of “best 1:18 LaFerrari” to this model. You´ll certainly agree that the Hotwheels, while remaining a good model, is dethroned, even if expertly reworked and modified. But would you crown this BBR diecast “LaFerrari ultima in scala”? Or would you still go resin?

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34 Responses to "REVIEW: BBR Ferrari LaFerrari"

  1. DS Team says:

    Our thoughts… This is an exceptional model, the layers of detail are all here. What we like most: Exterior paint, the tactical feel of the door operation, tire sidewall detail, exhaust texture, and we could go on! It’s all here folks!! What we don’t like is the missing the Black gap on the rear spoiler that should also mirror the side profile detail and the Ferrari decals used on the intake, too large.

    As per your final comments, we just don’t know who would choose a sealed resin example of this. It just doesn’t make sense. Good old diecast for the win!

  2. ATEOTD says:

    This model is on my wishlist. As for the question of resin, I’ve decided against dropping big bucks on anything that doesn’t open. It just takes away too much of the immersion for me.

  3. Rouli Sviros says:

    I am curious how some orders have been fulfilled while my order has been pending with BBR since January 2019 and with my local die-cast store since March 2017. BBR has been holding 3 deposits and my impatience has been growing since I have started to see (rather jealously) that some people are receiving theirs.

  4. Rouli Sviros says:

    I forgot to provide kudos for the great review and photography of my favourite car of all time. Excellent as always.

  5. flathead says:

    During the ‘golden era of diecast’, when very good models could be had in the $45 to $80 range and great ones were under $200, there were people in the US and Europe who complained that Chinese workers weren’t being paid enough, and were being exploited.

    Thanks for the great pics and review. Glad the 6-year wait was worth it.

  6. MIke D says:

    I had almost forgotten that I had ordered this, until an email from BBR was received three weeks ago. I almost decided to “eat” the £60 and not pay the balance, but went ahead – this, received, replica is stunning.
    Only my 3rd BBR so glad I went ahead – As for the negative comments, well I’m not knowledgeable enough to discern those minutia – So I’m a very happy – Always loved the 1:1 so all good. Per DS Team – yes the paint is stunning indeed.

  7. Atalante says:

    ThIs BBR LaFerrari is a really good model. I almost switched my pre-order to the Aperta but I am now glad I didn’t – will get the Aperta in another color. As for the resins I’d say if you are looking for the replica of Jay Kay’s signal green LaFerrari, resin is the way to go, otherwise just go for this one.

  8. George K says:

    Where can I order one? The BBR site only has the Aperta.

  9. WS says:

    I have this model. I have no complaints. A while back, I asked a friend to re-work my HWE laFerrari. While I was pretty happy with the result, I look at my BBR and think…hmmm.

    Having this alongside my BBR Enzo, I think how far we’ve come along–and how we chose to take a few steps back. Yes, it isn’t a Die Cast AutoART or better yet, CMC. Of course I think I paid a bit much knowing how AutoART could have, or CMC–if they changed time period could make better and probably command a higher price.

    On the whole, I enjoy both and I sense a retro-fit coming for on BBR LAF…or at least, until after I find a donor model.

    If you fancy the LaFerrari, seriously consider one. Die cast is hard to find…If you enjoy the tactile qualities of a decent full access die cast, why not?

  10. Bart Getty says:

    This product has been strongly criticized in China, with a lot of quality problems and poor design. If you don’t believe it, you can consult any Chinese collector!

    • DS Team says:

      Hi, please elaborate? We’ve seen two in the flesh and the author of this article has seen a third example. Noting that not all models aren’t perfect, the QC seems pretty good thus far… More on “poor design.”, TIA.

    • Karsten says:

      Honestly, you seem to be saying this about each and every model. Wasn´t there a comment like that about Almost Real? I believe I have asked in this context which models the Chinese actually like … no reply.

      It very much seems like a campaign.

  11. Vitaliy D says:

    I was hoping BBR to make a 1:18 die-cast LaFerrari since the moment Hot Wheels Elite released it. So I was more than happy when BBR confirmed this model at last, and surely I pre-ordered it (more than a year ago). So my expectations from this model were high. Now, having the BBR 1:18 die-cast LaFerrari in my hands, what can I say? I can say the model is amazing! Overall I’d say in terms of quality and details it is very similar to Signature 1:18 AutoArt in its die-cast times. OK, you might say this 1:18 LaFerrari does not feature so delicate hinges as AutoArt 1:18 McLaren F1 did. Well, yes, but the 1:18 McLaren’s doors could be opened just by 1/2 (or at most by 2/3) wide as one would expect, whereas the 1:18 LaFerrari’s doors are opened as wide as they should, and their hinges are accurate enough.

    Now, let’s continue the comparison with AutoArt 1:18. The seats of their McLaren F1 were absolutely plastic, the internal parts of the doors looked and felt absolutely plastic as well. 1:18 LaFerrari’s interior does use different materials that look and feel very good. The 1:18 LaFerrari’s engine is “wow” again. Perforated metal grilles are everywhere. Where AutoArt 1:18 Koenigsegg One:1 uses blind plastic imitation (ugh!), BBR 1:18 LaFerrari uses honest perforated grilles. Overall, by the number of perforated metal grilles used in this model, this 1:18 LaFerrari beats even AutoArt 1:18 Hennesey Venom GT, if you know what I mean.

    Overall, guys, when I first look at the interior and the engine of AutoArt 1:18 Koenigsegg One:1, I immediately wanted to sell it. When I first look at the interior and the engine of BBR 1:18 LaFerrari, I immediately wanted to buy another jewel-like this! But let’s continue our comparison. The wheels and calipers of this 1:18 LaFerrari are better than on AutoArt 1:18 McLaren F1 and basically are better than on most of today’s AutoArt 1:18 models. Given all the above, I really don’t understand how today’s composite (plastic) line by AutoArt 1:18 can ask the same price as this more detailed and die-cast jewel from BBR 1:18?

    • MIke D says:

      VITALIY D

      Well said!

    • ss19 says:

      Now let’s compare the years of production of McLaren with Autoart – 2010 and Laferrari – 2019. Do you think that something should change in a decade?

      And why is such a poor comparison list, not only Autoart have released many good models over the years? Apparently, you just have nothing to compare with…

      • Vitaliy D says:

        OK, let’s compare with today’s AutoArt 1:18 McLaren 720S. The engine is almost absent on this McLaren model. The number of elements and details is less than on the 1:18 LaFerrari. And the 1:18 McLaren has plastic body vs. die-cast 1:18 LaFerrari. And it is 260 euro vs. 300 euro.

        AutoArt promised us lower prices because of composite materials. Lower details level was not expected. But here I see an objectively less detailed model that should cost less than 260 euro only basing of its level of details, not even mentioning the fact it is not entirely die-cast.

      • Vitaliy D says:

        I’ve additionally compared the BBR 1:18 LaFerrari with AutoArt 1:18 Pagani Huayra (the die-cast one).

        Well, this is really interesting!

        To me, these are die-cast models of the same “weight category” in terms of quality, details and overall impression. While the 1:18 LaFerrari looks quite on par with the 1:18 Huayra, there are two points that must be highlighted. First, the detailed and working suspension of the 1:18 Huayra. It is just amazing (and, unfortunately, very uncommon to today’s models from AutoArt) and AutoArt definitely beats here. Second, the presence of “carbon texture” on the 1:18 Huayra and its absence on the 1:18 LaFerrari. Exactly as Karsten wrote, it’s kind of sense of betrayal. So, again, AutoArt beats here. And it is very sad that we are talking about “legacy” AutoArt, whereas today’s AutoArt seems to less and less care about engine & suspension details, as well as about the models’ interiors to be more realistic rather than plastic.

        Also I compared the 1:18 LaFerrari to Kyosho 1:18 High-End Ferrari F40. Overall, the BBR one looks more accurate and up-to-date. The Ferrari F40 has more interesting engine details and working suspensions, but overall BBR beats Kyosho here. And again, I have this feeling that today’s models produced by Almost Real (don’t forget that our 1:18 LaFerrari is BBR/AlmostReal) are very close to what we might expect from Kyosho Hi-End if today’s Kyosho continued to improve its die-cast models instead of making today’s weak sealed things.

  12. WS says:

    I have seen posts of what the BBR LaFerrari looks like once you have remove the screws. I think it is hard to avoid casting a judgmental eye where measures where taken to streamline the process, if I could say this in a kind way.

    The one thing that I enjoyed about my BBR Enzo, at least from what I recall is that it seems heavily engineered. It’s not quite CMC, but it does seem to approach that. It has wonderful features but the shut lines look so wide compared to what AR/BBR have given us. If I wanted to be merciless about it, why can’t the rear spoiler on the BBR Enzo stay up? We humans have found ways to deal with gravity.

    As much as I enjoy nearly OCD attempts at detail as in CMC, I also appreciate a little smartness on how stuff gets put together–that is if you don’t sacrifice what is important. This is quite subjective. I have a CMC California. Yes, the windscreen seems quite off. I don’t care as I bought a model of it and not the car!

    LaFerrari on the whole is one of those designs I appreciate Post-Pininfarina. As a subject matter I feel a refined LaFerrari model was long overdue.

    Making and engineering a opening diecast–especially one that is nicely rendered seems to take a bit more work than Resin. In the latter, I do recall there is a lack of molten metal involved. I don’t profess to know these processes, but I never do see that cup o’ melted metal in workshops where Resin models are cast or fabricated.

    If I had to be a little nitpicky about the BBR LaFerrari, I really wished the ga / electric filler caps could be opened or maybe a slightly thinner thinner metal wiper as opposed to the plastic.

    Those features would be nice, but it isn’t a going to kill the enjoyment that I have with something that I can open or close…or for that matter enjoy the heft of the model.

    When I saw the BBR TdF, I have to admit that the doglegs in the first release did not make a compelling argument to punish my wallet. From what I see on what’s coming down the pipeline or is already here seems compelling to have a revised TdF…which would be great if I cared for the TdF.

    On a parting note, I have a copy of AutoART’s DMC-12 before they pulled the plug for some QC issues. While the model does have its flaws, I still enjoy it. My AutoART Zonda R while a bit inaccurate is beautiful…I am bothered that the front wheels do not turn. Really? But the OCD detail makes it forgivable.

    Chasing perfection is something you may never attain, in life or as something as harmless as a piece of diecast with hinges, rubber and plastic.

    …and if you get there, perhaps your standards aren’t high enough.

    …and if you’re using plastic, you’re cheating.

    • DS Team says:

      “Chasing perfection is something you may never attain, in life or as something as harmless as a piece of diecast with hinges, rubber and plastic.”

      Well said sir! These are words to live by…

  13. Tammy Wang says:

    So the black exhaust pipes are special option? Most other pictures online show silver exhaust.

    • Karsten says:

      Yes, and so are the wheels (most with black exhausts have black rims, too) and the exterior carbon on front splitter, mirrors, rear.

      • Vitaliy D says:

        Hmm, so there are (or there will be) a modification with carbon-like exterior parts and/or black rims? If so, it might be a reason for me to have two 1:18 LaFerrari by BBR :)

  14. Jamie says:

    I also pre-ordered mine in September 2019 from my local shop, but still no word. Why is it taking so long?!

    Lovely pics, and great review.

    • DS Team says:

      Thank you. What version did you order? With or without the base?

      • Jamie says:

        Actually I just got notified today that mine has been shipped. I will be waiting in suspense! I ordered the ‘coupe’ in red, without the base. Very curious to see how this model will be in the flesh – it will be my first BBR model. I’ve always been hesitant to buy sealed resin models because I think they lack the realism of a full opening model. The dream would be if BBR (or AA…) made a full opening version of the F50. I’d be all over that!

        • DS Team says:

          Good to hear. You won’t be disappointed!

          • Jamie says:

            So I received mine today, and it’s wonderful! No quality control issues to speak of; it is just perfect and gorgeous. It has a very sturdy and well-built feel to it, with crisp lines and intricate attention to detail – I would compare it to that of the original-release diecast metal AA Pagani Huayra. As mentioned in the review, it would be nice to see cabon fibre on the rear and side bits, however the model still looks stunning and this doesn’t take anything away from the overall appearance. This model makes many of my other high-end pieces seem average.

  15. Stelian Nikolov says:

    Hallo to everybody!

    I wonder if the La Ferrari’s bottom is also diecast?

  16. Stelian Nikolov says:

    Today I received my La Ferrari and it is very, very nice model! One thing nobody seem to noticed is the front hood is suported by a very small strud from the right side ..

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