As a life-long diecast collector, I’m no stranger to bad quality. At one time or another, nearly every diecast brand has sold cars that wobble when they roll, have loose and missing parts, paint defects, ill-fitting moving parts, or casting defects — but I’ve never seen every one of those issues in a single car…...until I opened M2 Machines IROC Camaro 3-pack.
As a big third gen F-body fan, I was THRILLED to find the new M2 IROC set at a local Wal-Mart. The red, white, and blue Camaros looked so hella rad that I could physically feel my mullet growing by the minute. The packaging looked like it was straight out of an 80’s Chevy dealership and the cars were spectacular — so much so that I just HAD to open them. All was well until I cracked open that nice plastic display case and unscrewed the cars from the base…
At first glance everything might seem fine, but upon closer inspection the cars were riddled with issues…one model, the white car, was so bad I had to stop my unboxing video and address the problems before continuing with the review.
See my initial reaction around the 5:05 minute mark:
After 30 years of collecting 1/64th scale cars, I can confidently say it’s the worst quality 1/64th car I’ve ever opened. The casting design itself isn’t bad, but this particular car looks like it was put through a 80’s cocaine filled, Dirk Diggler Saturday night.
It’s wrecked. Like, really wrecked.
For starters, the body is completely warped. The car is angled up on the driver’s side and angles down on the passenger’s side, and the entire roof is smashed down and bent towards the passenger side of the car. This issue has caused the windshield to pop out of place, making the hood unable to be opened without manually smashing the window corner down until it clears the hood. The issue becomes even more apparent when the white car is lined up with the other two cars (that have issues of their own).
The bent body should have been more than enough to get the car kicked off the quality control line, but the missteps continued.
The ill-fitting front lower valence has a big gouge out of it, the hood stripes are off-center, the black trim that goes around the bottom of the car is crooked on nearly all sides, and there is a plastic remnant from the car’s assembly hanging from the headliner area.
The rearend is a mess. The spoiler on all three cars don’t fit correctly and overhang the sides of the body by a noticeable amount. The white car’s spoiler has a chunk of paint missing, the license plate outline looks like it was painted using Microsoft Paint ’95, the tail light accent paint is off and chipped, and the driver side taillight was overly smashed when assembled causing the pink plastic to ooze out from under the taillight onto the bumper. The rear “TUNED PORT INJECTION” and “Z28” tampos were applied at an angle, causing them to be stamped on different parts of the bumper trim.
The white car is a complete write-off. The other two both have issues, with the red Camaro being the best of the bunch. The blue car must have made it down the same QC line as the white car, but apparently earlier in the shift as it has far fewer issues. It leans like a boxer after 12 rounds and rolls with the suaveness of a toaster. The rear wheels were assembled at a bad angle causing them to only touch the ground on the outer edge.
While the blue car’s major issue was the lean, both it and the red car have strange issues with their roll cages. The a-pillar bars on both sides of the car have this odd pinched spot on them. Not only does this make them look bad, it cheapens the whole profile view of the car.
The red car is my favorite of the three and came out of the factory with a slight lean and the crimped roll cage issue. Still disappointing, but much better than the other two.
After opening these three and being very disappointed, I had to stop and really contemplate what I was looking at. These problems didn’t occur in transit, or by a single rogue employee, or by some wild accident after assembly. No, these cars were painted and assembled as-is — that’s the maddening part. There was a chance to stop these cars from going out into the retailsphere, but it didn’t happen — and therein lies the bigger issue at hand.
These aren’t no-name Dollar Tree cars, they are premium, adult collectibles that cost $6-7 per car. I hate to be this blunt, but it’s bullshit. While M2 has improved their QC over the years, it’s not enough. The white car specifically should have never, NEVER, made it out of the factory. The fact that M2 has the actual audacity to think it’s okay to package this trash and sell it, is insulting. I deserve better, you deserve better, collectors deserve better. Hell, Chevy deserves better. If I worked for Chevy’s branding department and received that white car, I’d pull the license. End of story.
Today’s diecast market is way to competitive to be making these types of mistakes and I’m almost done giving M2 chances to do better. I’ve bought M2s since they first appeared in retail stores around 2008/2009, but it’s getting tiring being disappointing by products I spend good money on. If this was the first time I had received a less than perfect product from M2 I’d be more forgiving, but unfortunately it’s not — and from the comments on competing diecast brand’s Facebook groups, I’m not alone in receiving subpar products from M2.
It’s truly a shame because these Camaros could be so good (I even chose the red IROC as one of my Lamley Top 10 Castings I added to my collection in 2020 because I thought it was so well done). M2 did a good job nailing the overall design of the car and the LS power-plants are such a welcomed addition. The cars also feature a cool rear axle design that allows the chassis to accommodate a stock sized tire, as well as a beefier rear tire, with the use of a thinner center diff area, almost “tubing” the car….but it doesn’t really make a difference what rear end is in a car if the entire body is warped and leaning to one side.
So what’s next? Do I give M2 another chance or just stop buying the brand all together? I want so badly for M2 to succeed as I am a fan of so many of their castings — including this IROC casting — but don’t know how much longer I can continue to deal with the often poor quality I receive.
I want to hear from you: what would you do if you received that white IROC? Does quality play a factor in your diecast purchases or are you okay with some shoddy construction if you collect the particular model? Let me know in the comments below.