It is quite ironic as I sit here and type this review the current DiecastSociety.com poll is asking the question, “SHOULD BBURAGO CONTINUE WITH THE FERRARI LICENCE?” With over 3000 votes the resounding majority, that is 95% of the vote is saying no. I don’t think this is totally based on their abilities to execute a decent model for the price, I believe most of the vote is targeting the fact the flow of models to market. We all know too well, a Ferrari license in essence is the ability to print money… The marque be it scale models or whatnot does apply to a greater market than just us. So, why the relaxed approached to releasing Signature Bburago pieces? If you know the answer, please let us know?
This is the first review of Bburago Signature pieces since November 2017 of their 1:18 Ferrari FXX-K (this helps put the above comments in perspective). A massive gap in the ultra-competitive low-budget or budget-friendly segment of the hobby. And we have seen massive gains from competitor Solido in the last few years with a wealth of assortment and an excellent stream of new releases to market…
Recently released is the 1:18, Signature Series Ferrari Monza SP1 in Red. This example promised additional detail to the excellent open price point of the same in Silver released a year or so ago under the Race & Play series which comes in around the $50 US mark. The latest Signature release will almost double that price, but will it double the detail?
First off, Bburago’s presentation with the Signature series is second to none. The exterior box is sharp and definitely delivers excitement and possibilities of what is inside the box! The mainly Red exterior is mated to an italicized image of the Monza SP1 with Ferrari and Signature Series of the same variety on top.
Once inside the foam inner-shell splits into two and reveals a gorgeous Red Ferrari Monza SP1. Paint and application on this example are excellent for the price, and definitely outshine many other competitors in this price bracket. The Italian flag-like decal stretches from front to rear, though this trend leans to a fantasy replica car, but does like great against the Red paint, and application is solid here too.
The exterior side is also loaded with a lot of carbon fibre parts. At first sight, Bburago is cleaver with their execution, it looks like layered decal work but under closer inspection, it is moulded plastic with a perfect mix of gloss to fool the naked eye. It truly looks good!
We reviewed the 1:18 Looksmart Monza SP1 back in 2019, so we used it as a marker for size and accuracy. And let me say Bburago did not disappoint. Each side by side is almost a mirror image. Good to see, as Bburago on occasion will deliver a replica that truly is not to advertised scale.
This is a full access model, well, everything is accessible with exception of the cover to the driver’s right side. The front motor area, single door and rear storage are accessible here, which is definitely a win over the available higher-end static examples that have come before.
The front nose of the Ferrari Monza SP1 is nicely delivered, it appears to capture the original car well. Unfortunately, there is no improvement over the cheaper Race & Play series. All the open bits or captured with solid plastic. Though the centre grille does include a photo-etched prancing horse and the upper sensor detailing this should have paired with a fully perforated metal grille. As noted this model is double the price.
The forward sweeping hood does provide a look at the V12 from Ferrari. And what is truly surprising, are the two struts supports aiding in the maintenance of the hood itself. But this isn’t new, as what is present here is found on the Race & Play version as well. A notable difference is the backside of the hood which is painted Black where the Race & Play is left to the same exterior side paint.
Also, the intakes on the front side of the motor are painted Silver to add to the overall realism. We must point out the same carbon fibre work from the exterior side does find its way here, as you can see wheel panel and motor bits feature the same cleaver carbon fibre work.
If there was anything the team didn’t like was the lacklustre Red paint around the upper section of the body, where the hood meets the panel. It is poor and somewhat unfinished, the Red paint does not mirror the exterior colour and no clear coat applied either, definitely not Signature-like!
Moving to the rear end, the quad exhaust tips are decent which also mirror the Race & Play version. One notable upgrade is the photo-etched decals for the prancing horse and Ferrari emblem up top. Bburago even captures the rear lighting with a strip that runs from side to side in a thin plastic trim.
Opening the hatch the first thing one would notice is the amount of carbon fibre detailing, and second the iconic dog-leg hinge work that is part and parcel with the Bburago brand forever. These aside the only noticeable win over Race & Play is the painted underside of the hatch in Black otherwise the overall craftsmanship remains the same. Being a Signature piece, it would have been nice to see the small storage compartment layered in flocking or mirror the original just that little bit more!
Wheels wise Bburago does an exceptional job. Size, fit and finish are remarkably well-executed! Even the supporting cast of rotors and brake calipers are well done – Yellow paint and Ferrari decals front and rear. And for those that value working suspension it is available here too with the front wheel able to steer and mechanism attached to the cockpit steering wheel.
The single-seater interior at full glance seems to mirror the Race & Play, but no, there is more… Access to the interior is possible through the single door, executed with the typical dog-leg style engineering. The operation is flawless and definitely can handle repeated use without incident.
In the open position, you will notice one advantage of the Signature brand, the door sill does feature a Ferrari decal, not included on the Race & Play. The front, middle and rear sections of the windscreens are executed with tinted and clear plastic. Is this an option or is carbon fibre supposed to be here?
Inside the interior is modestly appointed for a budget brand. Carbon fibre work surrounds most of the interior walls with the lower section completed in Black and Silver, the added texture/print to the Silver floor is cool and another difference from the Race & Play, where is left unpainted.
The dash itself is decent, and additional wins over the Race & Play include extra painted bits like the paddle-shifter handles and venting right side. In closing the Brown leather seat is poor, too plastic-like and the rubber seat-belt apparatus doesn’t help either. Bburago should have gone that extra bit and at least adding a fabric seat belt to up the finished look.
The Bburago Signature Ferrari Monza SP1 is definitely a must-have if you’re a Ferrari fan. For about $100 US the model packs a lot of detail and definitely keeps pace with higher-priced examples and then some. This Signature Ferrari Monza SP1 provides full access where the others do not. This is important for me and I’m sure others will agree.
Now the question remains, is the evidence here support doubling the price tag? Yes and no. If you’re handy with a project and have the tools, you can take the standard Race & Play to the same level as the Signature, or even surpass it. For those that don’t have the modification bug or the required tooling and do require their Ferraris in Red exterior (me included), this Signature piece is a win.
In closing, what was mentioned in the intro on the speed to market piece, Bburago needs to improve on extending their Signature assortment with a minimum of 2-3 releases per year. Most collectors don’t have the disposal income to obtain the high-end market of Ferrari replicas, but most can afford a Signature series release. Hey Bburago, where is the announcement of the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Ferrari 488 Pista, the Ferrari 812 Superfast and the Ferrari F8 Tributo. If they can execute this, I’m sure the DiecastSociety.com poll would be dramatically different. Enjoy the pics!