If you haven’t heard of the brand DNA Collectibles, you have now. Back in 2017, this Switzerland based team of four decided it was time to manufacture scale cars their way. The promise of high-quality, rare vehicles and a worldwide reach is just a few ingredients that make up the team. Another unique bit about the team, they embrace your feedback on all models, to ensure all elements are near mirror image of the original; a basic fundamental lost in our hobby today.
The first model to reach production is the 1:18 scale Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible, and will be the focus of our review here today. It features a removable roof, clear base/stand, and an added extra surprise we’ve never seen from any manufacturer to date. Read below for more details on what that is. Suggested retail is roughly $179US. Future models include the Bond Bug and the just announced concept car, the Saab Aero-X.
A little bit about the Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible. The word Viggen translates into “thunderbolt” but refers to the Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet (we all the history of Saab and it’s aerospace connection). The car was sold from 1999 to 2002, the Saab 9-3 Viggen was a spiritual successor to the iconic 900 Turbo. This was a turbocharged, 2.3-liter four that produced, according to Saab, 230 horsepower (225 HP first year of production) and 252 lb-ft of torque. It was an all factory-tuned motor pushing 20 psi of boost. That is insane for OEM, and still extremely high by today’s standards. Wow!
It is customary here on DiecastSociety.com to include the packaging details for any new brand we review. So let’s start with the packaging. Exterior box is a typical cardboard and White in colour. What makes DNA Collectibles different is the box is encased in a fabric nap-sack of sorts. Talk about adding a little touch of class and unique signature. It is appropriately tagged too. We admire the forward-thinking note “This bag can be used to clean your beloved model”. However, we would recommend you cut the fabric down in size to minimize any damage to your beloved models.
One thing to note, and a message to the team, it seems the removable roof became loose in transportation. The roof itself is physically strapped to the model, though it seems the strength was of these straps gave way and the roof was found loose in the box. Thankfully there was no damage to the model.
The exterior Blue colour noted as 270 Lightning Blue Metallic by Saab is just gorgeous on this model. Paint application, for the most part, is consistent throughout with minimal orange peel effect. The Black incorporated door handles are quality and nicely executed into each door.
I’m no Saab authority by any stretch of the imagination. But I have to admit based on images I sourced online the lines of the 9-3 Viggen Convertible are pretty darn good! Resin models always supply a decent set of shut lines and panel gaps. The example we have here makes no exception.
The front of the 9-3 Viggen Convertible is where the details really shine. DNA uses a good assortment of quality material to complete the package. The lower grille is perforated, and display more detail behind. The upper centre grille is completed in chrome and Black secondary grille lives in behind. Nicely done! Headlights and lower lights are completed with quality materials, and execution here is solid.
The finer detail is represented here too. There is some great work on the textured upper side of the bumper with notches for wiper arm/blade left and right.
The rear mirrors the front on materials and fit and finish. Good quality and clearly defined decals for emblems are nice to see. Taillights are executed well and the chrome single tip exhaust completes the package.
We supplied some photos of the undercarriage of the model. There isn’t really much to see here. Note the chromed muffler and individually numbered badge.
Wheels are standard OEM trim. Paint and scale are on point, 17″ OEM runners. Lug nuts, value, and centre decals are in line too! Slotted rotors and gold calipers complete the package here front and rear.
Removing and installing the roof is quite easy to accomplish. By aligning the two notches in the upper rear trim takes all the guesswork out. Fit and finish here is very good, though we noticed a slight gap the passenger side rear.
We do like the two colour interior Black and Blue theme. Full marks for seat-belts front and rear, which are made of fabric too, great detail to the various dash elements with the use if etched detail, decals, and paint – just take a look at that dash close-up photo.
On the flip side, the lack of flocking for the carpeting and the basic outlining of front floor mats is poor. Something the DNA can look at for future releases.
For an introductory release, the team at DNA Collectives have done a terrific job. Their unique packaging and good exterior execution along with quality materials is the right DNA in most areas. If they address the simple fixes as noted and listen to the collectors, in general, they can continue to stake their share of the 1:18 scale market.
DNA Collectibles have an eye on unique specimens, which is very refreshing, and a total 180 departure of the latest “tuner cars” charge of late. Thank you DNA Collectibles for giving our team the opportunity to review the Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible. Enjoy the pics!