REVIEW: KK Scale Ferrari 288 GTO •

REVIEW: KK Scale Ferrari 288 GTO

Words and photos courtesy of Marcel Slooter


Today’s model we have under the magnifying glass is the KK Scale Ferrari 288 GTO. The Ferrari GTO is one of those iconic Ferrari’s, which every self-respecting collector should have in its collection. As part of the Ferrari supercar line-up and predecessor of the F40, the car itself doesn’t need a further introduction.

The model is made, as mentioned above, by KK Scale. I reviewed their Testarossa ‘Miami Vice’ as well and that model was rather disappointing. As it seems, KK Scale models are a bit ‘all over the place’ in terms of accuracy, Quality control and detailing. So let’s see how they pulled off the GTO. The GTO is a car that seems notoriously difficult the get correct in scale, as most manufacturers having trouble getting the size and shape correct.

For people unfamiliar with the brand a quick introduction. KK Scale makes sealed metal 1:18 scale models. As far as I know always with functional suspension and steering. Prices are friendly in today’s market, around 60-70 euro’s for a model. Some of their models come in a standard display box and some in a box containing a styrofoam shell. This model came in the latter.

We start, as always, with the exterior of the model. Being sealed, the exterior is of course also the most important part. The first impression is good, no obvious quality control problems and the paint looks pretty good. The red paint shines nice and is applied evenly. Also with this model no dust particles in the paint like on the Testarossa, however, there is a slight orange peel in the paint though. It is only slight, but it is present. KK Scale is in a market where their direct competitors are brands like GT Spirit and OttOmobile. If we compare the paint with those model makers, KK Scale falls behind.

On to the part, I have read a lot of discussion about, for instance, Facebook and other media, about the shape of the model. Has KK Scale pulled it off or not? If we start comparing with pictures of the real car it seems that KK Scale indeed seems to have pulled it off. Maybe the nose is a little bit too low and flat, but only after staring very long at pictures. One thing is sure, it comes close. But, as I tend to do with my reviews, you only know for sure when we start measuring the model. So here we go:>

Part 1:1 Size (cm) Model Size (mm) Model Size / 1:1 (cm) Difference (%)
Length 429,0 240,0 432,0 0,7%
Wheelbase 245,1 137,4 247,3 0,9%
Width 191,0 106,8 192,2 0,6%
Height 112,0 63,0 113,4 1,3%
Track witdh front 155,9 91,0 163,8 5,1%
Track width rear 156,2 91,0 163,8 4,9%
Tyre width front 22,5 12,1 21,8 -3,2%
Tyre diameter front 65,5 36,3 65,3 -0,2%
Tyre sidewall front 12,4 4,7 8,5 -31,8%
Wheel diameter front 40,7 26,9 48,4 19,0%
Tyre width rear 26,5 14,5 26,1 -1,5%
Tyre diameter rear 67,1 37,1 66,8 -0,5%
Tyre sidewall rear 13,2 5,1 9,2 -30,5%
Wheel diameter rear 40,7 26,9 48,4 19,0%


So can we draw a conclusion from these measurements? Yes, we can. The overall dimensions of the body are seriously good. Deviations of less than (or around) 1% are good. The differences between the model and the real car are in the track width and wheels. KK Scale seems to have given the GTO a slightly wider stance and also fitted the model with different wheels than Ferrari did. The original left the factory on 16-inch wheels, the model has bigger wheels, with lower-profile tyres. It basically comes down to around 18-inch wheels. It looks good, but any purist would want originals. So do I. I read quite a few comments from people that thought the wheels and tyres are too narrow. Well, they are a bit, but it comes down to less than 0,4mm in the front and just over 0,2mm in the rear, so good luck seeing that with the naked eye.

The panel gaps are normally not the strongest point of the KK Scale, being shallow and full of paint. But on the 288 GTO, they are good. Slightly deeper and sharper, giving the car a better look. When the gaps are too shallow, the model starts to look like one solid brick from a distance, but that is not the case here, so well done. The front compartment, engine cover and fuel filler cap are also separate pieces, which definitely helps with the gaps being more realistic. And no, they don’t open.

Wheels and tyres are next on the list. We already concluded they are bigger than supposed to be, but apart from that, they look convincing and true to the original, just bigger. I must add here, that I highlighted the tyre valves in black, which is not standard. Behind the wheels are brake discs and callipers visible. The wheels are not very open, like modern wheels are, so the brakes are not overly visible. What are visible looks okay. Also here I added some colour to the callipers, which are standard in the same colour as the discs. The tyres have no branding on the side walls. The thread looks true to the original Goodyear NCT Gatorback tyres the real GTO came with from the factory.

Next are the lights on the model. The front lights look a bit off. They are not ‘chrome’ enough and look too ‘flattened’, they should be more squared. Maybe this is why the front of the car looks a bit low when staring at it for a long time. Also, the lights on the outside should be slightly further back than the ones more to the middle. They are, but less pronounced than on the real car. The blinkers and lights above look okay, the same as the side blinkers. The rear lights look good, can’t see anything wrong with those.

The windows, window frames and wipers look good and solid. Yes, the wipers are a bit plastic, but one cannot expect photo-etched parts for this price. One thing that is missing is the tinted stripe on the top edge of the front windscreen. I can’t find pictures of a GTO that hasn’t got that stripe, so that is a miss on KK Scale’s part. I added the tinted part myself, so it is present on the pictures, but absent on new models.

The various grills on this model are, as expected for the price, sealed. The only one where you can peek through is the engine cover. Behind you can spot some engine parts. I opened this model to add some things to the interior (more on that later), but don’t expect a lot from what is behind. The decals on the exterior look sharp. The Ferrari logo on the front grill looks metal, nice. The rear logo has a silver prancing horse. Most GTO’s left the factory with the horse in black. KK Scale changed this on a later batch of GTO’s. Other bits as the mirrors and door handles look okay.

The last part of the exterior to evaluate is the exhaust and underside of the model. The underside shows us a rudimentary engine and gearbox. The gearbox is visible from the rear on a GTO. It would have been nice if KK Scale paid a little more attention to that part. It looks cheap and doesn’t represent the original very well. The exhaust tips look better, but comparing to the original a bit too shiny chrome. The inside is made matt black, which adds to the realism.

The interior was one of the elements the KK Scale Testarossa failed badly. Is the GTO better? Yes, it is. Of course, it is not hi-end, but at least the plastic looks better and there are no ridiculous mould lines visible everywhere.

There are 2 batches of GTO’s made by KK Scale. The first one had fully black seats and a dashboard. This model from the initial batch. I added the red on the seats and dashboard myself. The later batch from KK Scale has the red inserts on the seats as standard. One part that is missing from this interior is the seatbelts. Other KK Scale models provided cloth seatbelts, so why the miss here?  I don’t like this inconsistency.

So what is my conclusion? Is it worth buying? In my opinion, it is. It checks most of the things one should expect from a sealed model from this price range. The shape and size are good and it displays very well. It has some shortcomings, like the rather big wheels, cheap-looking gearbox and missing seatbelts. A lot of collectors will like the slightly more aggressive stance and bigger wheels, but I prefer my GTO more original.

What are the alternatives? Well, we have the old Hotwheels elite, which is full opening but isn’t the best in terms of shape and good luck finding it for a fair price! Then we have the more expensive resin models from BBR and Looksmart and the less expensive GT Spirit resin. I haven’t seen the latter in the flesh yet, but no doubt that model and the KK Scale will come very close in the end.  In the end, it will be all up to you. Happy collecting!

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29 Responses to "REVIEW: KK Scale Ferrari 288 GTO"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thanks for the review, sir! Love the detailed measurement guide, gite impressive! Also, the model for the price. And this one placed high on the DS 2020 Model of the Year, came in second place. KK Scale is slowly making a name, especially with those that want a budget Ferrari, as we all know Bburago isn’t doing much with it…

  2. Mason Bloom says:

    Wonderful review. The model looks very spot on, especially for the price. The only issue I could find that you haven’t mentioned is the camber in the rear wheels. Is that normal or is it just me? Anyway, this looks like it was a great purchase

    • Atalante says:

      This wasn’t mentioned in the review but wheels on this model are coming really loose so depending how the models sits you can get negative to positive camber. Obviously this give a bit of a cheap feeling to the model but it can be mostly fixed. I used small pieces of teflon tape to fill the loose in the hubs. The model is worth the low price I paid (but not much more) so I would say it’s still good purchase.

    • Marcel171281 says:

      I had that wheel off to do proper measurements on the size and found out after taking the pictures I didn’t put that rear wheel back properly. So it’s on me, not on KK-scale. They come of very easily as Atlanta said.

  3. Karsten says:

    Thanks for the meticulous review, Marcel. It was high time, someone looked at what all the hype was about and why this model achieved what it did in the awards: “The Ferrari GTO is one of those iconic Ferrari’s, which every self-respecting collector should have in his collection.” I bought the good old Hotwheels Elite back then, “which is full opening but isn’t the best in terms of shape and good luck finding it for a fair price!” So the latter out of the way, you probably wouldn´t suggest the KK deserves the HW Elite´s place in the Ferrari display? Oh yes, another (upcoming) alternative: Amalgam´s 1/18 288 GTO should better offer perfection, albeit in sealed resin and with a whopping 730€ price tag. Do you agree that faced with this alternatives, the Hotwheels Elite owners better stick with their model until BBR or CMC come up with a fully opening diecast?

    • Marcel171281 says:

      Yes, I agree. For collectors that already own the HWE, stick with it. If you missed that release, like myself when I left the hobby for a longer period, this KK scale is a good placeholder till a really good, full opening, model is released.

      The Amalgam is offcourse not even in consideration for people reading this and vice versa, people going for models like Amalgam, won’t considder a KK scale or HWE.

      • khazaei says:

        It’s not necessarily true. I have CMC and BBR Ferrari and elite and this KK Ferrari and if amalgam had or make full open diecast of 288 or F50 I don’t mind buying one.

    • Georg Hämel says:

      The HW Elite GTO is a slightly refined Bburago with a rather ok engine, a crude interior and a shape that only looks good as long as you do not compare it too closely to the real thing. The KK-Scale is miles better, even with the slightly oversized wheels. I prefer the HW Elite to the terrible GT Spirit, though, which is wrong in so many ways.

      The best GTO IMHO is still BBR’s model, which offers great detail and shape. I seriously doubt (and all pictures available so far confirm this) the Amalgam will be any better.

      • Karsten says:

        Welcome to DS, Georg. I used to write my first reviews in German for your site, but moved on to DS when your site turned more to 1/43 scale than my 1/18 focus. So, do you suggest, you´d replace a HWE with a KK?

        I´d say, the ideal 288 GTO is yet to be made in 360 access diecast, like BBR´s LaFerrari. When BBR do a full access 288 GTO in diecast, I´ll commit to buy.

        • DS Team says:

          The problem is the model may never arrive :(

          • Karsten says:

            …, which is hard to understand: Why didn´t Kyosho get round to making it, back in the day when they were doing their High End Testarossa, F40, 308, 328. With these they were so close, it´s hard to see why not the 288 GTO. All the sealed models now exploit the void that clearly gapes here, producing all sorts of stop gaps.
            I payed 100€ for the HWE, now you´ve got people who offer it on ebay for a starting bid of over 700 € … ridiculous.

          • DS Team says:

            Un-informed people will always do dumb things, case in point paying 700 Euros for a model that once retailed for less than $100 CND. And we all know the model is far from perfect.

            As for Kyosho, our recent conversations said they are reviewing the Ferrari marquee once again. Now, does this include NEW, OLD or will it ever happen we just can’t say… Fingers crossed they do as it would make many more than happy. Including us!

          • Karsten says:

            That´s very good news indeed, today´s best in fact. Thanks for sharing!

        • George K says:

          $700 for the HWE?? That’s crazy. That model barely gets past being a toy!

  4. Jean-Michel says:

    Interesting to see your measurements: conclusion is the wheels are too large and therefore the model sits also to high, something taht was bothering me from the beginning and now the calculation proves me right

    • Marcel171281 says:

      No, the outside diameter of the tyres is spot on, the wheels are bigger, but the tyres have a smaller sidewall. So it doesn’t influence the ride height.

  5. George K says:

    Where can I get one of these?

  6. Daniel says:

    I have the original release with the full black interior and it is the only budget model I own amongst a collection of BBR & CMC models and it holds it’s own well!

    I hand polished the body to smooth out the orange peel you speak off, plus the shine was a little inconsistent on mine. I also changed all the badges for photo etch or higher end decals as the originals looked a little small.

    Biggest fail for me was how poor the rear suspension and gearbox look from the rear, especially as it was such a focal point of the real car! I’d love to modify mine but just don’t have the parts I’d need! Overall a solid effort in my opinion and a good honest review! Many thanks!

  7. George K says:

    Thank you! Found the upgraded model at Five Diecast.

  8. Giorgio262 says:

    The shape of the model is very good, also they did a great job with the side air intakes. I just can’t buy a sealed model of a road car, which is why I won’t get it, but it looks the part regardless of its shortcomings. Very thorough review, and I agree with the positive comments about the inclusion of the measurements comparison. Good Job.

  9. Vincent Chen says:

    I like 288GTO very much. He is the most beautiful Ferrari I think, but there is no Diecast brand to produce an excellent 288GTO.

  10. MRM says:

    Just something to think about out there! Wheel measurements are kind of complicated. Long story short, a 17 inch wheel (as in the size both F40 and 288GTO use) does not actually measure 17 inches in diameter on the 1:1 car. Rim diameter is the diameter of the rim´s bead seat floor, not the diameter of the outer rim edge. The rim edge, or lip, extends beyond the bead seat area to capture the bead and prevent the bead from slipping off the rim. If we say that a wheel has a 19-inch diameter, we mean that the diameter of the bead seat floor measures 19 inches. The outer rim edge diameter may actually measure 22 inches or so, depending on the design.

  11. George K says:

    My upgraded version came today, and I have to say, I am pleased with it. Sure, it’s sealed, but the shelf presence is terrific. It is delicate in its details, not ham-handed like the HWE. A nice model for a nice price.
    And, Five Diecast was great to deal with!

  12. John Tacon says:

    The new KK-Scale models are now typically priced at 80€, not the 60-70 your review suggests – but cheaper if there is a promotional offer. I have an original Bburago 288 GTO which I bought new donkeys years ago and it still looks quite good. Shame they stopped producing Bburago models in Italy and sub-contracted everything to China.

  13. Dave says:

    The GTO badge and prancing horse at the rear should be black, as they are on real 288s.

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