REVIEW: Kyosho Rolls-Royce Phantom I •

REVIEW: Kyosho Rolls-Royce Phantom I

This has to be the first time we reviewed something of this era, the mid-1920s Rolls-Royce Phantom I 1927 from Kyosho.  The model isn’t new but the arrival of two new colours is.  The latest assortment includes Light Blue and Red both feature lower body panels in Black.  The Rolls-Royce Phantom I comes from Kyosho’s diecast metal series and features full access with a removable roof.

First off, let’s address a few items.  One, none of the immediate team members are avid collectors of this era of automobiles, so we’ll focus on what we like and don’t like.  And apologize in advance for any non-marginal details we possibly missed…  And second, if you’re expecting CMC quality this is not the model for you.  Though there is a considerable amount to experience here, and the price point is also easier to swallow than a typical CMC piece, about $349.

If you’re one that equates quality with weight and size this Kyosho has ample of both to offer you.  Which of the two colours do we prefer?  We’re leaning towards the Blue as is provides slightly more stimulus than the Red.  The traditional collector will possibly lean towards the darker Red if a more subtle and classic look something you prefer.

Speaking of exterior paint, each example is near perfect in execution.  This includes both the immediate Blue/Red examples – the Black lower segments of the fenders and areas of the running boards.  Kyosho does a great job of capturing the essence of the original design.  It may not be on par with CMC level, but the overall results are very good.

Shutlines and panel gaps are decent, more refined on the motor section/cover than passenger side four doors.  Door fitment with the chosen engineering is somewhat finicky and requires some patience to achieve the desired looked.  The end results are once again very good!

The driver’s side does feature a storage box that is accessible, however, no goodies are found inside.  Running boards are somewhat lacking in charm, too plastic-looking to the naked eye.

There is much to examine within the front section.  First, the traditional Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy that glistens proudly is shipped independently from the model and does require installation.  Fitting is a piece of cake and adequate marks for the Spirit of Ecstasy look overall.

Headlights and immediate secondary lighting are decent too.  The large grille is not perforated but is produced with well-tailored chrome and the Rolls-Royce badge is on par too.  Where the Royce Phantom I is declining technically is the pair of moulded leaf spring suspension bits directly below the primary headlights.  The same level of quality is found in the rear.

Our favourite detail of the model is absolutely the accessible motor.  The multi-hinge doors are functional on both sides, each provides a pair of metal/chromed handles.  The function of the doors within both examples was flawless, and each held its position open without concern.

Inside the motor bits are decent, each side providing a unique look at the internal components.  Solid marks on the use of colour to define various components.  Wires are a nice touch too, though we think Kyosho could have provided a little more effort on the upper section of the motor.

The rear for the most part is dominated with a large storage box, unfortunately, there is no access to the inside. Supporting lighting is good along with the single exhaust pipe.  As you mover underneath the supporting cast is better than we suspected, Kyosho provides a lot of detail.  The front wheels provide steering and are connected to the cabin wheel.

Various other components are defined, such as drive shaft, mid transaxle, exhaust and more, however, the only colour or added commentary is found on the exhaust system, here painted in Silver front to rear.  Admirable detail, but mostly plastic finishes left us wanting more.

Wheels are classic multi-spoke design, with a secondary set as spares mounted to each side of the vehicle.  Each rim is crafted in hard plastic, there is no supporting brake and or related apparatus in behind.  Overall, the look is quite effective.

As mentioned, the Royce Phantom I has the optional removable roof with or without the appearance is quite different.  We prefer the roof on, as it provides a more refined look.  As for installing the roof, the engineering is quite simple, Kyosho provides a small cut-out within the upper rear body section.  Simply place one side in the provided opening, on the opposite side push out the latch and insert into the hole, with that the rest basically falls into place.  With the roof off, there is an included trim piece that mimics the cover in the closed position.

Inside the faux wood trim and dash are just that faux.  The steering wheel and motion/trans apparatus to the right are crafted in metal/chrome.  The supporting pedals are somewhat crude and not up to the level as the rest of the interior.  Seats are crafted in hard plastic and as well as the supporting perimeter trim of the cabin.

Rear passengers have the option of a functional windscreen.  Simply lift upwards (best to open doors first) and open the two additional windows on either side.  Nice attention to detail Kyosho!

The Kyosho Royce Phantom I does provide a lot of bang for the buck.  Excellent paint and full access are some of the strong points.  The removable roof with secondary windscreen is easy to mount and a cool indulgence for those that appreciate the finer things in scale.

The model does suffer somewhat on the undercarriage when compared to higher-priced competitors.  On the motor and interior side, there is a slight decline in overall effectiveness – the hard-plastic materials found within the interior trim does take away from the uber-lush, coach luxury, VIP narrative of the era.  Again, those looking for CMC execution won’t find the same level of craftsmanship here. Don’t let that deter your purchase, the Royce Phantom I does provide more advantages than disadvantages.  And owning a very unique niche piece is refreshing too.  Enjoy the pics!

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13 Responses to "REVIEW: Kyosho Rolls-Royce Phantom I"

  1. spikyone says:

    They should lose marks for the silly license plate too. It stands out for all the wrong reasons, and does not look period-correct. It also wouldn’t have been “Phantom I” in period, it would’ve just said “Phantom”.
    I’m quite underwhelmed by it; I would happily buy something like this if it were done well (a reminder of the Matchbox Models of Yesteryear my grandfather bought me as a child) but I don’t feel like this hits the mark. Some of those details would be ugly at half the price.

    If a company could do high quality models from this era, I expect they would sell very well.

  2. Karsten says:

    “If a company could do high quality models from this era, I expect they would sell very well.” This manufacturer is already named in the review: CMC

    Fitting my theme, I was once considering buying this Phantom when it was released in black and green. But when comparing it to the Neo Silver Ghost and Minichamps Bentleys from this era, it just does not fit in quality-wise. Even an old Anson Maybach Zeppelin is only slightly worse – and bears a 100 € price tag.

    Pity as I have many other Rollers, where it would fill a gap, but I have to give this one a pass.

    • DS Team says:

      Yes, you beat us to it, CMC.

      • spikyone says:

        I hear you on CMC but they’re probably in single figures for the number of models from the 1920/30s if you exclude colour variations. And their recent stuff like the C Type and D50 has been a bit weak, IMO, when you consider the asking price.

        • Karsten says:

          Well, the era is not my theme, but from CMC alone I have the Bugatti Atlantic and T35. The normal Mercedes SSK already exists in many (more than colour) variations and will soon be joined by the “Black Prince”. Then they offer Bugatti T57 roadster, the Talbot Lago, the Mercedes truck, the Audi 225. That´s a lot ! And you can get the old Minichamps Bentleys from the era. The Baur Bugatti comes to mind and the Anson Maybach isn´t too bad either. So keeping in mind that cars were rare things to have back in the day, I think that´s quite a lot on offer.

  3. JEAN MICHEL says:

    Tires have quite 2 times the real size !

  4. JEAN MICHEL says:

    2 times was a bit exagerated but we can say 30 to 50 percent larger than original;just have a look at real cars,it’s obvious !

  5. Guillermo says:

    Hello. I’d like to know if you know if Kyosho is going to manufacture the Rolls Royce Wraith 1/18 scale. I think he’s a great model. Will they? Thank you

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