Back in April of this year, which feels like a decade ago, I wrote a Lamley Daily on a little known 1:64 brand, PARA64, which at the time only had two models*. The Mitsubishi 3000GT was a welcome addition to my collection, but it came at a time when I was starting to be picky about which acrylic-cased models to add. So I held off on buying the red version, skipped the Liberty Walk i8 and held steadfast to my newfound parameters until something really tasty came along.
No, I’m not calling the BMW X7 tasty.
However, it was a unique model that no other manufacturer offered. I willingly lifted my own embargo and ordered myself a white one from Jimmy at SURPLUSgoodies. Since it’s more prudent to order in bulk to save on shipping costs, I decided the green Mitsubishi GTO was going to partner on the journey. Being a replica of a race car remembered from my Gran Turismo days made it hard to pass up.
At the same time, I was speaking with Adrian from PARA64 to get a better understanding of the brand in the event I wanted to do a more in-depth review of their product.
One thing lead to another and before I knew it, Jimmy was sending along a few other PARA64 pieces he had in inventory for me to review, or maybe rather showcase. I’m not sure which moniker I want to subscribe to yet.
Perhaps it’s best to describe them as sent along for ‘photographic enjoyment.’ However you want to define the terms in which the following pieces came to be in my possession is up to you. So let’s take a look at what PARA64 is all about and brings to the table.
First, despite being new to the 1:64 game, Paragon Models has been supplying larger scale (1/18 and 1/43) to auto manufacturers for a while. Once that little nugget of information is known, it’s easier to understand how certain models came to existence, such as the BMW X7 and the upcoming G05 X5. It’s also comforting to hear that every model is officially licensed, so there isn’t any worry that you’re supporting the stealing of intellectual property. It seems silly to ‘reward’ them for putting in the effort, but there are a lot of pop-up boutique brands that push products without even a thought of licensing them.
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of choices when it comes to the price playground PARA64 is playing in. So I asked Adrian what he thought set them apart from the competition. According to him, the company believes “for the detail and presentation case we offer, our pricing is very competitive.”
Additionally, he’s made it clear they’re marketing towards a global audience. As such, they’re trying to produce models that appeal to everyone. They’re also trying to avoid duplicating ideas that have already been done. I can’t tell you know much I appreciate that mindset. I think I speak for a faction of collectors when I say “do we really need another [insert the flavor of the month model].”
The BMW X7 is the Bavarian’s first foray into the seven-seater SUV arena. The miniature one does a great job in capturing the luxury sport utility’s details without missing key features due to scale. For instance, the gigantic grille that takes over the 1:1’s front end is certainly replicated well. The massive sunroofs give a great vantage to the detailed interior. And as with most of the models, front and rear lights are plastic inserts.
The Liberty Walk BMW i8 is a unique combination of a trendsetting tuner company and an unconventionally-powered sports car. It’s not the first time that LBWK has been tapped for a diecast replica, nor is it the first time BMW’s butterfly door’d hybrid has been made to fit in the palm of your hand. But together, it demonstrates PARA64’s goal of filling a void in the lineup.
The two pictured here represent different approaches to the same idea. The green car, the i8 Zero, appears to be a SEMA special with its military-themed wrap and the ubiquitous John Lennon quote adorning the doors. The stance is spot on, without being hindered by the show car’s airride tire tucking. The orange car is, well, orange. It’s the same casting as the first two releases in peppermint green and black and therefore they’re sporting the same wheels.
Keeping with the LB Performance theme brings a big ol’ Benz into the mix. The G63 AMG was the first SUV to be ‘enhanced’ by the Japanese tuning company, with the red version you see here as the absolute first according to the Liberty Walk LB Performance Facebook page. For less than a twenty spot shipped, you can complement your G-Wagen collection with scale accuracy. Heck, even the wheels are correct. It’s missing smaller details, such as the LED strips below the headlights and in the front bumper, and it’s a bit rough to roll, but overall, it’s a satisfying piece.
Finally, and without rehashing previously stated comments about the casting, the green #3 Puma GTO. While not exactly a success story in N1 and Japanese endurance racing, seeing a smaller 1:64 company focus on a model with limited scope is exciting. To me it solidifies the fact that they’re not only going to tool up the unexpected, but they’re also going to exploit multiple avenues with the casting to make it as profitable as possible. I dig it. Now if they just went with white wheels…
The Glacier White Pearl 3000GT is another great #TBT to the mid-90s and Mitsubishi’s take on the luxury sport coupe ideal. The badging between the taillights is color camouflaged, but the LHD layout indicates it hails from a different region than its racing counterpart. Again, the same wheels are used, and I couldn’t find any stock photos of similar 1:1 rollers. Overall, it’s a nice contrast to both the racing green and the Panama green models currently residing in my collection.
So, since this is a quasi-review, I imagine I should point out some flaws, of which in my opinion there are only a few. First, I yearn for the heft of a metal chassis. I understand it’s more a display model than a child’s plaything and therefore a metal chassis isn’t a priority, but still. Also, the tires lack any tread, which is fine for the race cars, but awkward looking for everything else. They would also benefit to tool up different wheels for the models. I think that would make the repaints easier to justify adding to your collection. Otherwise, anything else would be nitpicking (although I’d love to hear your complaints in the comments – but balance it with some praise you heathens).
It’s worth noting that newer releases have gone away from the twist lock attachment to the base to avoid transport damage issues. They’re now conventionally screwed down.
While I’m going to stick to my plan of being specific in my collecting (ha – that’s a good one), I will be keeping a close eye on upcoming releases from PARA64. There is currently an Audi RS Q8 in Java green I’m keen on, as well as a few upcoming releases (Galant VR-4 anyone?). And I’m sure just like the X7, that aforementioned X5 will find its way to my house somehow. Oh, and maybe a Marina blue M8 Competition, too.
Goodness. So much for specifics.
*The Audi R8LMS may or may not have been released at this time.