REVIEW: Kyosho "Hi-End" Ferrari 250 GTO Red/Black •

REVIEW: Kyosho “Hi-End” Ferrari 250 GTO Red/Black

There is one car I’ve seen over the years created in scale by many brands, each proving their brush stroke in scale, and this model is the Ferrari 250 GTO.  The most recent being the beautiful but controversial 1:18 scale replica from Classic Model Cars (CMC). Their level of detail was off the charts, but the overall exterior design left some disappointed.  Many championed behind the classic version from Kyosho.  Some still say it’s the must-have rendition.

I’m happy to report that in the new year our friends at Kyosho will bring forward a new limited edition “Hi-End” model of the Ferrari 250 GTO.  Before you say we’ve seen it all before, no, this is not the same model released a few years ago.  What we have here is a new and improved version of a Kyosho classic, I call it 250 GTO v2.0.  Two colours, Red and Black, are scheduled for release in late January 2017 (North American release date: February/March), each limited to only 504 pieces.  Kyosho’s suggested retail is $245US or roughly just over $300CND a piece.

At first glance one would view the exterior packaging/box and guess what changed?  Well the proof is in the pudding, in this case the models themselves.  From the exterior view, the Red and Black are identical for the most part.  The only differences I see between the two are the frontal intakes; on the Red the three intakes are open and the Black features the same in the closed position.  There is no option to open or close each independently as found on the CMC model.

Exterior paint is beautiful on both specimens and the photos will highlight this in detail.  Shut-lines and panel gaps are very respectable; remember folks, we’re talking a full diecast metal model with opening parts, no resin here!

The exterior of the 250 GTO is timeless, and some consider her the best of the best in terms of all-time designs.  Kyosho’s rendition, in my opinion, has the mass sex appeal that is lacking in the CMC creation.  The body lines are fantastic, stance is perfect, the overall execution is clean throughout.

The front section of the 250 GTO is executed beautifully in both samples.  Some of the new features include 3D Ferrari emblem versus flat sticker from the past.  Also, Kyosho moved away from bulky PVC strap to a more traditional leather-like strap with an improved hook design.  Headlights, side indicators, running lights are all crafted using quality materials.

The rear end of the 250 GTO mirrors the front. Execution is excellent along with materials.  Opening gas-cap isn’t new but a nice feature to see.  What is improved in the latest version is the move to a more traditional leather-like strap for the spare tire.  If you compare the old strapping with the new, there is a noticeable difference, the newer is definitely more authentic to the period.

The engine of the 250 GTO is a work of art from Kyosho.  The detail is plentiful and the operation of the hood is flawless.  There are additional elements in the latest version, such as added piping detail, a water tank and more.  The entire package works well.  The combination of layered detail, textures, and colours will surely suffice for even the most distinguished collector (Wes that means you).  Again, the photos will speak volumes here.

The undercarriage detail is plentiful too.  Exhausts snake along the sides, culminating in straight pipes at the back, capturing the essence of Ferrari of that era.

The wheels are the standard Kyosho issue, no improvement over its predecessors.  Overall execution is lovely, the multi-spoke design is flawless.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m in agreement with Kyosho’s chosen ride height too.

Inside, the Ferrari 250 GTO covers all the basic elements.  Each area is crafted with care, and quality materials.  I especially like the rivet detail in the doors, beautiful textured blue seats and minimalist approach to the leather-like diamond weave in the rear section.  One area the interior improves on from its predecessor is the added detail to the lower dash workings.  Nice touch!

As of late, there has been much distaste by collectors, myself included.  Where have all the classic diecast models that built this great hobby gone?  We know the answer, resin and sealed replicas.  There is some light at the end of the tunnel, and what Kyosho presents is not entirely new but an excellent example of a timeless classic, an icon in automotive history, and one that is completely crafted in good old-fashioned diecast metal.  It may not be the most detailed model available when comparing it to the likes of CMC, BUT it costs a fraction of the price.  When you weigh all the positives found here, the conclusion is simple for me, Kyosho’s Ferrari 250 GTO without any hesitation is highly recommended!

Final thoughts…  Stop the whining that there aren’t any good diecast replicas available.  One is presented here for you.  The sex appeal and the iconic status alone are enough reason to stop procrastinating and shifting that energy into finding a way to pre-order your Red or Black Kyosho Ferrari 250 GTO.  I promise you they won’t last long.  Enjoy the pics!

Written by

36 Responses to "REVIEW: Kyosho “Hi-End” Ferrari 250 GTO Red/Black"

  1. Wes Shakirov says:

    Definitely a very nice model. BUT, they could have done more about the wheels. If Autoart could put proper wire laced wheels on the Bugatti Type 57 and the Jag E-type, so could Kyosho here. The wheels slightly bring the whole model down for me. And knowing that the CMC version exists (of which I have 2) and is made of probably 1500 more parts, I just don’t see this one as the king of the hill. Having stared at the CMC version for a good year , I’m so used to its shape, that now this is the one that looks weird to me and I actually prefer the shape of the CMC! Plus the jewel like construction of the CMC, I don’t know… I don’t wanna take anything away from the Kyosho with my comments, cause it does look great. But I simply see no reason to have one if I already have the CMC.

    • DS Team says:

      Unfortunately for most the exterior shelf presence is what sells, the Kyosho 250 GTO has much, many think more than the CMC. I tend to agree… Peel the layers and CMC is definitely the winner. I think there is room for both, especially in this resin landscape of late!

  2. Atalante says:

    Nice picture and thanks for the review! However I need to mention that you compared this new High-End #2 version with the pre-High End version that had bulky straps, no PE hooks and less details in the engine compartment. Kyosho already released in 2014/2015 a High-End version #1 that I actually own. Upon comparing the pictures High-End #1 and #2 are strictly identical in term of details. Mine has side exhaust but I think they made both. So except the new black one this seems just to be a plain re-release. Still a great model that I keep as a plain 250 GTO version next to my CMC LeMans ’62 in red. Contrary to Wes I can’t stomach the shape of the CMC plain version but I am fine with the race version since the stripes seem to trick the eye. So even if the Kyosho is noticeably less detailed I have no isssue to recommend it as a great representation of the mythical GTO.

    • DS Team says:

      Thanks for the feedback. The information is regards to difference was provided by Kyosho. I did not have the standards and high-end version #1 to compare live. I’ve reached out to Kyosho to clarify.

      • DS Team says:

        As per Kyosho:

        “For the red it’s the updated version against 08436R that we released in 2015.
        For the black it’s the updated version against 08431BK that we released in 2008.”

  3. Branako says:

    I bought the old “High End” version of the GTO a couple of years ago. So is the new one worth the extra money (I paid around $150 for the old one at the time)? The only differences I read are better leather straps and the added detail to the lover dash workings.

    Did you consider that you might not make the right comparison, as the old “High End” model has 3 side louvres and not the 2 of these models? These new “High End” models seem to be more based on the normal Kyosho 250 GTO model, as that model also only has 2 side louvres.

    To make my case, on my old “High End” GTO I have very realistic leather straps as well, although the holes in the straps holding the hood don’t have these unrealistic large holes in them, as they appear to be on the new “High End” GTO.

    Also I am not sure about the lover dash workings. Having compared the pictures with my model, I can’t find any differences, so maybe you can be more specific.

    Nevertheless it is nice to finally find a review about the “High End” GTO version from Kyosho. I agree that this model is a very good diecast version of an all-time great, for a reasonable price (considering the new price, the old price was a bargain). Then again I can’t compare it yet to the CMC, which has the advantage of more and better materials, but at a different price level.

    • Branako says:

      A small addition to my earlier reply. Comparing the new “High End” versions with my older one, there seems to be an opening (or at least painted) in the side holes after the rear wheels. The old “High End” GTO doesn’t have these. This in itself is a great improvement, but the question remains if it is worth the extra price.

    • DS Team says:

      Thanks for the feedback. The information is regards to difference was provided by Kyosho. I did not have the standard and high-end version #1 to compare live. I’ve reached out to Kyosho to clarify.

  4. Matt says:

    Can you clarify if they are actually openings in the rear side vents (after the wheels) or just shaded, will be great if it is now open as I always thought this to be a let down on the kyosho version

  5. slartibartfast229 says:

    I have posted this point on numerous occasions in various forums over the years, and I suppose it needs to be repeated again. The bodies of the GTO were hand formed by the factory. according to the sources I have seen and read (see Wikipedia for an easy confirmation) the bodies tended to show external and internal differences. Add to that any body repairs over the years. For me the most obvious sign of this can be seen in the two or three cooling slats behind the front wheels, and the differences in the nose treatment. So unless Kyosho or CMC had access to an original – undamaged body, all bets are off for shape accuracy. It’s not too difficult to imagine all of today’s replica manufacturers are using modern measurements of cars as they are today. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you think it looks good, then is that not enough? I have two Kyosho Le Mans racers which have subtle differences between them, and they look more than accurate enough for me. Even better, they cost me €79 each plus postage…… If any of the high end replicas are worth the vast difference in price, then so be it.

    • Atalante says:

      Yes the bodies were hand formed in aluminum on a wooden buck and there are differences between S/N but they are not that huge. Kyosho has modeled their GTO based on several 1:1 so it not a specific one but it is very representative of the various S/N. CMC has based his GTO on a specific one that was badly accidented early in his life and repaired by an incompetent body shop in England. They butchered the nose and the roof so it it is not a very representative GTO. This is very well documented in various forums you can search the internet to find it. So there is not question about the fact the Kyosho is the model with the most accurate shape. The CMC wins on all others fronts though. I like both and have both.

      • Bob Johnson says:

        I was fortunate to do the initial research for Kyosho using Jim Jäeger’s chassis number 3765 as a reference.. 12 pages of hand-drawn dimensional data and about 400 photos.. The body was drawn and modeled larger than 1X and that data was reviewed by noted Ferrari enthusiast Chuck Jordan.. There were body changes made by the current owner to remove a horizontal slot in the nose between 1994 and 2002..other than that, the body was never damaged heavily in competition.

  6. MLB says:

    I wish they had done this all the FIRST time around. For those of us who purchased the first series, now we have to choose to either buy another model of the same that we already have, or try to sell it and upgrade, or just stay with the first basic detail model (with its flaws) from Kyosho.

    • Bob Johnson says:

      FLAWS?? The primray additions in the latest Kyosho rendition are finishing techniques.. the overall shape has NOT changed.. and that is the “magic” of the Kyosho replica.. the top fender line is interpreted perfectly.. and missed on CMC, Amalgam, and BBR..

  7. George K says:

    I have the first series, but have just put an order in with my friend at The Motorsport Collector here in Illinois.
    Sometimes the simplicity of a simpler model is just fine. I have most of the CMC cars, but not the GTO. I have been waiting for a great GTO model most of my adult life, and was thrilled when the news of CMC’s GTO came. But, seeing it just turned me off. Sometimes CMC is too heavy-handed on the details- they rarely do a steering wheel to scale, and the interior in the GTOs (those with the quilted interior) looks like my grandmother’s sofa. For that kind of money, I decided to take a pass. This new Kyosho will look just fine on a bookshelf.

  8. Wes, I’m baffled at your discontent especially with the wire wheels on Kyosho ! Look , I adore almost all things CMC , but I’ve always had a bit of a bugaboo with the sparsity of spokes on CMC wire’s……They’re gems except there’s too much open space. The centrifugal forces and momentum at speed would crumple them up and you’d ride on side walls , authenticity at stake as well as the aesthetic. I don’t know what material the Kyosho’s wheels are made of, but to my eye it sure looks like aluminium and steel and the spoke count is fine and tight …..Looks good to me! 1 other thing about the Kyosho hi- end , how many hi-end version’s are there ?? I believe I’ve heard at least 3 different versions called Hi-end .. ,mine has the 3 cooling vents ,black interior and no spare ! Please clear this up for me. THANKS

  9. Davey Boy, thanks for clearing that up for me ,Mine is with the black seats and sadly no spare !! I was wondering about a Hi-end sans spare I thought maybe I’d been shorted (not really) certainly would have been happier with one. Wes , all I have to go on are my impressions I’m certainly not doubting yours or CMC’s research , so insofar as my final position in this comparo goes……… I’ll have to say this,.. there is no doubt having a preference is always acceptable, but there is no way that I can agree that the Kyosho wire wheels used on this Ferrari are bad !! As I said earlier I don’t know what they’re made of , but they far exceed the plastic wires on most everything else out there in 1/18th opening panel diecast ! I don’t spend a lot of time examining Resin’s features. jmo (just my opinion)

    • Davey Boy says:

      No worries Michael. I have the standard version and the 3 vent with black interior like yours which my son bought me for Fathers Day last year. Both are great but the added details of the hi end do it for me!

    • Wes Shakirov says:

      Oh for sure they’re not bad, but once you see the hand laced wire wheels on CMC models with individual nipples (really wish they didn’t call them that lol), nothing else really does it for you anymore.

  10. ryser says:

    La reussite d une miniature , est l interprétation , qui en est faite , est la plus belle ferrari 250 gto , est pour moi celle ci .

  11. Peter says:

    Well, guys, I have 2 of the original Kyosho GTOs: the closed nose red ‘stradale’ and the #19. I blog about models, buy and sell them but I don’t feel tickle to sell my models and buy the Hi-End ones. The old ones are so fine for my eyes and I think those little differences doesn’t worth the money they ask for the upgraded models.

  12. Bob Johnson says:

    I was fortunate to do the initial research for Kyosho using Jim Jäeger’s chassis number 3765 as a reference.. 12 pages of hand-drawn dimensional data and about 400 photos.. The body was drawn and modeled larger than 1X and that data was reviewed by noted Ferrari enthusiast Chuck Jordan.. When I first saw 3765 in 1976′ it was owned by Fred Leydorf and was a rare 4-liter that raced at LeMans. The seats were black leather.. The Kyosho replica has the most accurate body shape on any model to date.. Better than BBR or CMC.. Why seats in most restored GTO’s are blue fabric is beyond me.. I have photos of 9 GTO’s from 1964 – 1978 and all had black leather or black leather bolsters with black corduroy seat cushions.. Funny how the lye seats are derigeur for restored GTO’s!

  13. JM says:

    I hope that the quality after years of the painting(a more typical issues by Kyosho) will be finish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Gareth Andersen says:

    This is it! Just received my model and this is the definitive edition! For its perfect shape and it’s above average execution in all other areas, I place this above the CMC and BBR iterations (I’ve owned all 3).

    Of course it’s not perfect (no model is). Only two minor issues with mine: 1) The trunk is misaligned, so it cannot close down all the way. There is a noticeable gap as a result. Not sure if it can be easily fixed. 2) There’s some quite obvious orange peel throughout the body reminiscent of a cheaper Bburago or Welly model. I understand this is pretty unavoidable these days, as almost all my models have some peel more or less, but it’s quite noticeable here especially in the tail section.

    Overall, highly recommended!

  15. Alex says:

    I own the models 250 gto #19 from cmc, amalgam (weathered) and kyosho.
    My most beloved one is from cmc because the details are much nicer then kyosho, the second one is Amalgam only because this one is the special weathered one, then the kyosho.
    But if you compare the price then kyosho is the winner with all the opening parts, BBR and others are resin so Kyosho is in my opinion the best one.

  16. Dennis says:

    My retailer of choice recently got the #22 and #19 in stock so I’m wondering again, CMC or Kyosho?

    • DS Team says:

      That a matter of choice and available funds. CMC goes into layers of details, while the Kyosho is stellar it doesn’t hit CMC level. There there is the debate on wheels and overall accuracy.

Leave a reply