REVIEW: Bburago Signature Ferrari Monza SP1 •

REVIEW: Bburago Signature Ferrari Monza SP1

It is quite ironic as I sit here and type this review the current 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 poll would be dramatically different.  Enjoy the pics!

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29 Responses to "REVIEW: Bburago Signature Ferrari Monza SP1"

  1. Mike Wiseman says:

    Looks like another solid example from bburago proving why they should concede the Ferrari license to a more prideful brand. I won’t go in to all the disappointments about this model, as I’m sure most can point them out on their own. But I’m curious as to the front chin spoiler. My eyes aren’t the best, but it appears from the photos that the carbon fiber design does not mirror each other on both sides. The driver side appears to be vertical while the “non-passenger” side has a horizontal pattern. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s just sad for what is a molded carbon fiber piece to begin with.

    • DS Team says:

      Yes, it definitely is not perfect and truly not fitting for the Signature series. The results should in our opinion far exceed the Race & Play, unfortunately, they don’t… Bburago Signature still doesn’t offer the same value and level of finish the old Hot Wheels Elite did. There is still no solid middle ground for a decent, 360 access Ferrari today without spending a small fortune. Sad.

  2. Peter Dyrelund says:

    Yes, please Bburago, come with the 488 Pista, F8 Tributo and 812 Competizione for about 1/4 of the price of the resin BBR. We want the diecast.

  3. REINALDO says:

    Please Burago, the Ferrari 458 gt3 and 488 gt3 1/18.

  4. Lykan Hypersutra says:

    Thank You For This Review. Very Informative. As Expected No Bad Surprises Here, So I Think I’m Gonna Get One. But Boy Is It Expensive In The US. 100$, Really? Should Be 60$, 70$ Max IMO. That’s What We Pay In Germany.

    • DS Team says:

      You are welcome. This is a Canadian based website, $100 US included shipping.

      • Lykan Hypersutra says:

        Ah, Yes, Of Course. Haven’t Thought About That. I See People From All Over The World Posting Here, So For Me It’s More Of An International Forum And That’s Why It Didn’t Cross My Mind. I Automatically Assumed You’re From US…. Sorry.

        Now I’m Curious, Do You Guys Have To Import Like Most Of Your Models? Are The Distribution Channels In Canada Really That Bad?

        • DS Team says:

          Yes, if we want speed to market we make concessions internally to circumvent local retailers. We usually see models well after collectors from the other side of the pond.

  5. MRM says:

    I believe that a big portion of the way people on this forum feel about the Ferrari license is because we collectors, are for the better part selfish and ignorant. And what I mean by that is, that most collectors are selfish in a way that they don’t look beyond their own interests in subject. And I am using ignorant in the true sense of the word, which literally means uneducated on a given subject or simply lacking knowledge.

    I’ll start with the selfish part. I have noticed that most diecast forums, are sort of, more of “supercars-in-1:18scale-groups”. And realistically, that particular demographic makes up a small minority in the overall diecast hobby/industry. I am member in some European diecast forums, where to begin with, 1:18 is not the most popular scale. As a matter of fact it has never been and the true “collector scale” has always been 1:43. and it would probably always be this way. In the ’90s 1:18 scale started gaining popularity at a higher rate, but it has never surpassed the 1:43’s popularity.

    Then comes the subject matter. Supercars have always been a popular subject, but have never been the main or only subject of desire for majority of collectors. I know an endless list of collectors in many scales that couldn’t care less if there isn’t another Ferrari, Lamborghini or Pagani ever made in scale. Many of them collect muscl ecars, rally cars, f1 cars, french cars, Limos, endurance racing cars, Mercedes only, BMW only, Audi only or those three together. A lot of them collect regular cars they find cool. Do some of them have some Ferraris or Lambos in their collections? Of course they do. But the occasional model from Bburago, Maisto or whatever brand, more than meets their demand for exotics.

    So, perhaps , collectors should realize that the hobby does not start and end with exotics and enjoy the choices we have in the subject matter, which are greater than the number of models most of us can afford to add at a regular basis.

    Second part of the issue is that most collectors are either not well informed or simply refuse to accept the reality of the business side of the issue. Ferrari is not in the model car or toy business. They are in the business of selling real cars. And they do that more than successfully enough. Their focus is on taking care of their current customers and creating new generations of future customers so they can have a high enough demand, to outreach the supply. Ferrari as a business, couldn’t care less how 1:18 model collectors feel like about the available models on the market.

    And here comes the licensing issue. I don’t know how many people on here are familiar with how these licenses work and what they cover. Has anyone asked themselves, how come we have endless new releases of Ferrari models in 1:18 scale from companies like BBR, MR, CMR, CMF, Matrix, Otto, KK scale, AIQ, GT Spirit etc., etc.? But we can not get Kyosho, Autoart, Minichamps or Norev to make diecast Ferraris? Because when you make an opening diecast model, no matter the price point or the intricacy level, it is classified as a toy and goes under toy license. And all the other resin or even diecast models (in the case of KKscale) go under different license, which is basically the same as sculptures, glass ashtreys and belt buckles.

    Now ask yourselves, if you are Ferrari, who do you want to have your “toy license”. A company that will make collectible model cars of great quality and the corresponding higher prices, therefore reaching people who already are interested and familiar with the brand or…. A manufacturer like Maisto, who can make all sorts of toys at affordable prices, which can introduce the brand to every age group and potentially creating a new fan and future client of the marque? Because Ferrari will get the same money for their license, no matter who they chose. Meanwhile, fans of the brand, like myself, still have a considerable number of companies making collectible Ferrari models. I personally have hard time keeping up with the new releases.

    Last but not least, you have to look at the companies you are discussing. Back when Mattel had the license, similar comments were floating all over the place. How they should give their license to somebody else and how stupid it was on their behalf that they were not utilizing their exclusive license to the fullest. Well they did. Now we are crying that it happened. The reality is that they could pay for the license without ever making a single Ferrari model, just from their Barbie sales alone and still turn profit. Same goes for Maisto now (who own Bburago). Do you really think that Maisto became the giant corporation they are now and bought Bburago, because they didn’t know how to best utilize their investments?

    The people on here that believe that 3000 people on this forum PUT TOGETHER, know better than Ferrari and Maisto’s business development departments, how to run a successful business, please stand up! Or even better. Send them your resumé and explain what an asset you can be to their respective companies. I’m all for it and would wish you the very best of luck. After all I am a Ferrari collector (mostly, anyway) and would love to see Maisto/Bburago churn out every Ferrari model as the real car hits the market, plus whatever has not been released from the past. But then again, I would also like to be 20 years younger, 3 inches taller and the world to have more common sense.

    • Atalante says:

      Interesting write-up and I agree for the most part. But remember there is not just one way of successfully doing business. To make an analogy with the auto industry, Ferrari is successful but so is Toyota or VW with different business models and company cultures. It’s all good to use your licence to manufacture a high number of toys for your financial bottom line. Just like the big auto manufacturers do it is also smart to produce a small number of high end models, mostly reusing the part bins but with extra finish, additional bells and whistles or performance parts. They are the Lexus and Audi (just to name a few) sold at higher margin. I guess that’s what most collector here are asking, more releases of said toys and a bit more real high end versions of these toys sold at 3-4 times the price (probably 6-8 time the margin) with real differentiation.

      We also have to keep in mind that besides creating future generation of Ferrari fans (and potential customer) one of the goal of the product licence is to develop and protect the Ferrari brand that’s one of their greatest asset. BBR, MR and other are taking care of this aspect for sealed models mostly (and a few opening diecast models for BBR). It is clear there is a niche market for higher end opening Ferrari models.

      Even if I am mostly fine with what’s currently offered on the market with the ‘’sealed’’ player I am all for additional options. Sadly the current owner of the licence (Maisto) is not interested in chasing the last penny and go after the niche high-end diecast market.

    • Giorgio262 says:

      Since I’m under the impression we’re mostly collecting 1:18 models here I see nothing strange about the fact that we discuss about that scale for the most

      part. About 1:43 being the real collectors’ scale, well, I couldn’t care less. I always thought about 1:43 as too small to portray real cars in a satisfactory manner. While even 1:18 modelcars don’t replicate the original with the ideal level of fidelity, think about panel gaps to name the more obvious

      issue, in 1:43 the problem of scale fidelity is even bigger. So the real self appointed collectors actually collect the less accurate scale? Go figure. You know what, 1:12 would be the ideal scale for me in terms of scale fidelity. But they’re too

      expensive and take way too much space ror me to display.
      1:60-ish, 1:43, 1:32, 1:24 and 1:18 were the scales of the toy cars I had when I was a child, and as far as I’m concerned die cast itself was the material of choice for toy

      cars in my experience. I’ve been an amateur modeller in my teens and plastic was the material of choice there and the line that separated toys from models

      was not the general scale but the fidelity to the original, the level of detail. The Burago, Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Majorette of my childhood weren’t very

      accurate and didn’t have a lot of detail. They were toys regardless of the fact that they had opening\moveable parts or not. My old 1:43 Buragos with no

      opening parts are not statues, and my CMCs with some of their almost jewelry like details and posable parts, are definitely not toys.
      So about Hot Wheels Elite, they weren’t really great, I still have several of them myself because I wanted some Ferrari in my collection and as far as I’m concerned a sealed body is not acceptable in 1:18, but Burago is just worse, that’s it. As far as I’m concerned they tried to go

      down the same route as Hot Wheels did, with a cheap line up that qualifies as upper level toys (like Mattel Hot Wheels Foundation cars), and a line up of

      supposedly collector grade modelcars for their Signature series, that should’ve been something like Hot Wheels Elite. They just never delivered. They’re so

      bad they actually make you miss Hot Wheels Elite. That’s what is all about here. There’s quite a choice of quality models of Porsche, Pagani, Mercedes AMG,

      BMW, McLaren, Bugatti etc, but for Ferrari, which many of us like, we’re kind of limited to either extremely expensive models, be it with poseable parts, like

      the recent BBR models, or sealed resin, and the very low end consisting of some sparse Burago toyish things and some not very detailed or very well proportioned models by the likes of CMR and KK mainly. As far as I’m concerned I’d just like to have for Ferrari the same choice I have for other main brands. Maisto\Burago feels to me like they got hold of a licence but they’re not doing much with it. They look like they’re kind of in the way for someone else to get the licence and actually do something interesting with it for people like us.

  6. Mike Wiseman says:

    MRM: I’m not sure if your statement is directed at me but I’ve explained in other comments I’ve made on this forum exactly what types of replicas I collect as far as scale, quality, and price in relation to quality. So as to give transparency to my personal opinions and the fact that my statements are just that… opinions. A collectors personal perspective about a specific brand or execution of their products doesn’t necessarily fall under the realm of ignorance… especially just because it may not coincide with your “opinions”. I just feel as though bburago’s signature series doesn’t separate itself near enough from the their bottom tier models to exit toy status and enter display status. Nor do I believe they are even good enough for the asking price. Most collectors I’m sure would agree that they would pay a little more to have a better executed model. And collectors who are big Ferrari fans are probably frustrated that they mostly have to rely on a “low price point” focused company to supply them with full access 1:18 scale Ferrari replicas.

  7. Tom Tanner says:

    They fixed the directional wheels on this Monza model. The regular Monza’s are the same on both sides. Just goes to show they are not very good. Hachette is a much better company that BBurago.

  8. Lykan Hypersutra says:

    I Finally Got My Hands On One Of These. When I Look At This Model I Have The Same Feeling I Had With LaFerrari Back Then. I’m So Excited, I Just Can’t Hide It…. :D

    I Think bburago Did a Great Job Here. Sure, Dog Legs Look Really Stupid On a Model Like This, But If You Keep The Rear Hatch Closed, I Think You’ll Be Fine. There Isn’t Much To See Anyway. I Payed 58 Euro For This Model And I Think I’m Fine With That. There Is No Cheaper Red Monza Available Anyway, So….

    The Model Is Not For Everyone Though. The Car Itself Looks Weird And I Received Mixed Reactions From People Who Saw This Model. BTW: It’s Actually Bigger Than I Expected.

  9. David Thompsons says:

    As a continuation to your ‘Should Bburago continue with the Ferrari licence’ poll could you please update this poll to list a selection of manufacturers that people can vote for. It would be very interesting to see which manufacturer would win seeing that your poll has a landslide majority that have voted for Bburago to lose the licence.

    List of manufacturers could include:

    KK Scale
    GT Spirit
    OTTO Mobile
    CMR etc

  10. JJ says:

    They say that Bburago has an exclusive license with Ferrari, but what for just Ferrari Diecast Models with openings?

    As obviously brands like Amalgam, KK Scale, Norev, MCG, CMR etc.. are all producing Ferrari models still.

    • DS Team says:

      Something with the “age” of the car/specimen being used. In Europe, there is some sort of loophole to by-pass the licensing side.

      • MRM says:

        That is only partially true and international copyright laws are no different in Europe. They are very different in Asia. However, in the particular case with the aforementioned brands, it’s a matter of the qualification of the models. It is actually quite complicated. To oversimplify it, Amalgam is in a completely different non-competing category. In other words they are so expensive, that they are not competing against the product offered by Maisto. Sealed models like BBR, MR, KK Scale, GT Spirit etc., fall under different category. As stupid as this may sound they are “collectible sculptures” and their manufacturers are not registered as toy manufacturers. Tamiya for example can make Ferrari models, because they are model kits, which is a completely different category of models. They made some 1/12 models of Ferraris and they got away with it by offering them with the wheels and hoods off, therefore passing them as kits, when in fact they were perfectly finished models. Not much is known about the parameters of the Maisto license, but a lot is known about the Mattel license before them. They had for example a non compete clause in their contract, which did not allow any other manufacturer to directly compete with them in any price range. This is why Mattel produced models in three categories – the entry level, Elite and Special Edition (SE does not stand for super elite). They did not produce the three lines to give more choices of models, but simply to lock up pretty much the entire reasonable price range for models. Our days Maisto is learning from the genius strategies first implemented by Mattel. This is why we now have race and play and signature in both 1:43 and 1:18, which are basically the same thing with minor differences.

  11. peter adams says:

    I’m late to the party on this model but i like it! Hard to believe the Italian flag decal is just made up by Burago. Surely it was an option offered by Ferrari, that nobody opted for. Looks fabulous…..why would Burago just make it up? That’s taking a big risk with diecast car buyers whom are known to be finicky about such things.

    Anyway, very happy with the model. They don’t seem to be selling great as i got if for a pretty good price despite all this time passing.

    • DS Team says:

      Congrats! We still believe this is their best effort post HWE licence.

      • peter adams says:

        Thanks. I now see where Burago got the Italian flag stripe from. I’ve seen several pictures of SP2 Ferraris with it. Google ‘red ferrari sp2’.

        So Burago didn’t make it least not totally and maybe Ferrari did offer it as an option on the SP1. All i know is, if i owned a real SP1, i’d be having the stripe added to it. I think it looks striking.

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