REVIEW: Norev Ferrari 308 GTS QV "Magnum PI" • DiecastSociety.com

REVIEW: Norev Ferrari 308 GTS QV “Magnum PI”

Another famous theme playing on our mind with this model: The car (or one of the many Ferraris used) driven by Thomas Magnum, private investigator, in the original series “Magnum PI” from the 80s when Higgins was male. And again, it is a budget model, this time by Norev.

Now, it is not that the Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole had never been made in scale and this does not aim to come anywhere near the Kyosho from all those years ago. Like the “Bandit” vehicles and the “Miami Vice” Ferraris, this is aimed at nostalgic fans of 80s TV shows who would not want to spend Kyosho money. Choices are made more difficult with GT Spirit just having announced to release their version of the same car only a couple of months later. So you might be wondering, whether to buy this Norev now or wait.

The car is sealed and except for the detachable smooth-fitting targa-roof-panel nothing opens on this model. The more remarkable that deep furrows convey the impression that doors and engine cover could be opened more successfully than on most sealed models. This is all the more important as the smoothly applied red paint does not make covering up the missing function easy. As to be expected, the black vents on the front and the engine cover are not perforated.

The headlights don´t pop up either, yet appear as if they could. The visible indicator and side marker lenses are somewhat simple. The same with the US-spec rear side markers, while the rear lights are better in having the relevant pattern on the lenses, sufficient depth in the reflectors and even the lightbulb. Norev has given Robin Master´s Ferrari the recognizable ROBIN-1 Hawaii Aloha State registration with the King Kamehameha head, but the right top corner badge should probably be 81, not JLY. The Ferrari script, prancing horse and 308 Quattrovalvole badges are nice and shiny chrome photo-etched applications. The quadruple exhaust pipes are surprisingly good at this price point too. They haven´t missed out on a rather simple chromed plastic stub for the retractable antenna and rather nice Pininfarina badges behind the doors. The air intakes behind the doors are not penetrating the body into the engine bay, but are blackened and recessed far enough to create the effect.

The wheels clearly aren´t a strong point. There are no tire markings or air valves, unlike in the photos shared by GT Spirit. On the plus side, the front wheels are steerable, which is unlikely for the GT Spirit.

The doors have nicely chromed locks, but no (or lowered) side windows with triangular windows that would not disappear with the windows down. Unlike the GT Spirit, the Norev comes with a blue windscreen sun visor strip top. In the interior, the Norev shines with 3D switches and levers on the centre console, while GT Spirit´s photos look merely print-on or stickers in two dimensions. A pleasant surprise is the carpeting of the floor. The absence of safety belts is lamentable in both, with the Norev not having even locks near the seats.

When we announced its release, this model was instantly met with enthusiasm, demanding the Ferrari license for Norev. Aside from the fact that no model manufacturer needs a license (as I often pointed out before, e.g. in the context of CMC´s Ferraris), this was immediately contested by others who demanded the license for Kyosho. Indeed, the Norev is nowhere near Kyosho´s 308 GTS QV and it is not improbable that there might be a re-release after all the Lambos are being reissued again. There are other manufacturers who make Ferraris (BBR, CMC, MCG, Burago etc.) with the 308 having quite some competition in scale. Buying the Norev is probably not about buying the best 308 replicas out there, but you could do much worse, particularly in terms of bang for the buck. And it is in this category I can happily recommend it for our MOTY-Awards.

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17 Responses to "REVIEW: Norev Ferrari 308 GTS QV “Magnum PI”"

  1. DS Team says:

    Karsten, thank you for sharing this review! For the price, the model does show strong. Agreed, the interior is very strong, better than many sealed resin efforts. We can see why Norev leads the current DS Poll for brand to take over the Ferrari licence. Maybe one day!

    • Hector Gonzalez says:

      I would love to see Norev given the chance to produce a whole catalogue of past and present Ferrari classics.

  2. Amin says:

    Thanks for this review. budget friendy 308. better than resin models.
    but I would rather getting 360′ full access. especially if Kyosho reissue Ferrari models again. Hopefully.

    • Ollie says:

      The only issue with Kyosho Ferraris being the god awful paint rash issues that seem to affect the majority. Apart from that, I agree they are beautiful models and I’d also like to see them re-issued.

  3. John Tacon says:

    I’m not a big fan of Ferrari models linked to celebrities or TV shows, and I already have the MCG open version of the 308 GTS. My question is, would it be an upgrade if I bought this Norev offering in place of the MCG version.

    If Kyosho does a re-issue, that would be my preferred option, or to find an aftermarket example at a sensible price …. yeah, good luck with that!

    Advice appreciated.

    • Christopher says:

      Yes, the Norev IS an upgrade to the MCG, albeit vehicles from different times and regions (US/Europe)
      the norev has a much higher quality, only the tires are a bit too big.
      By the way, the Kyosho has completely wrong proportions, it’s much too wide. Even if it is a must as a full-open, its shape cannot compete with either the Norev or the MCG.

      • John Tacon says:

        Christopher says the Kyosho version of the 308 GTS is disproportionately wide.

        As all the Kyosho 308 & 328 Ferraris have a common baseplate (or floorpan?), does that mean they are ALL too wide?

  4. Nordschleife says:

    Where can I get the shown figure?

  5. Stevo says:

    I love Ferrari cars and I love Norev as a manufacturer of quality models at affordable prices…a recipe for success as far as I am concerned.

  6. Johnny says:

    I like Norev as a company. They make good model car for good price. Ferrari and Norev could make great model car for good money. I will be very happy for this.

  7. Peter Baldwin says:

    For Norev to be given the Ferrari licence would be the best news ever!

  8. Derek says:

    Norev is a good company which make decent quality models for a good price. Lets not forget that overall the price has gone up considerably over the years for decent model cars. What we as collectors need is a good manufacturer making good models for a good price, it is what we deserve…rather than the toys that Bburago produce!

  9. Turbo100 says:

    Norev is good models. Ferrari and Norev is good plan for models. I like.

  10. Eric Weston says:

    I’ve had mine on pre-order since March with many delays. I glad that it’s finally shipping. I already had several versions of the 308 GTS in my collection so I’ll need to post a comparison shot of all of them once this one arrives.
    I also have Simon Walker’s Tomas Magnum figurine to pose with my 308’s.

  11. Artur Borac says:

    I collect models and most model are Norev make. They are good model and they are good prices. I likes Ferrari car and Norev could makes best Ferrari car. Very happy if this happen.

  12. Giorgio262 says:

    looks like there’s some casting residues on those side air intakes to partially obstruct them. Plus seems like they went for a cheap and wrong solution for the rear lights. They should be 2 separate pieces protruding through the bodywork. Instead they made it into a single piece incorporating into the light cluster what should’ve been the part of the bodywork between them. That is very very bad in my opinion.
    And then there’s the lack of pop up headlights. I guess it could be a part of the silly elaborate Ferrari licensing thinghy, but, in my opinion, seeing that Solido can put pop up headlights and opening doors on the BMW 850, makes the lack of pop up headlights on this 308 an absolute no no.

    As for the paint rash Ollie mentioned, in my collection have a few kyosho models but I haven’t had the impression they were plagued with paint rash more than die cast models from other makes such as Minichamps, Autoart, Exoto, CMC, etc

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