If you had to describe the ethos of Para64, it would be hard to overlook their willingness to recreate somewhat unconventional models in miniature scale. Paragon Models’ 1:64 line started off in 2019 with two castings, the Liberty Walk BMW i8 and the Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT. Tell me that isn’t a bold move.
From there, the fledgling diecast purveyors moved on to such models as the Mitsubishi Galant VR4 and an array of BMW and Mercedes SUVs that would otherwise may be overlooked by other mainstream companies. And, to put a cherry on top, they utilized factory colors. That’s a win for anyone looking for accuracy in their dioramas. Oh, and if licensing matters, yeah, they’ve got them as well.
Sure, their chassis are plastic and the wheel selection is mostly the same for each model (as in, it’s correct by manufacturer standards, but it’s a one and done). Adrian Poon, Para64’s voice and all-around nice guy, explained both of my complaints away. When the car is on display, no one’s looking at the base. And as for the wheels, a good portion of Para64’s fanbase has a tendency to wheel swap anyway. Just check out any of the shared images on their Instagram for confirmation. Ok, so those two gripes are mollified.
I wrote about another of Para64’s left field castings, Ruf’s CTR, in detail and heavily advocated for it to be included in Lamley’s 64-Car Royal Rumble at the end of this past year. It won, by the way, taking the victory from the Kaido House/Mini GT Pro-Street Datsun 510. I also have the CTR’s follow up, the aptly named CTR2, on preorder and am looking forward to receiving them.
But for the time being, let’s talk about the subject I have in front of me – the 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser 76. Para64 did an absolute stunning job with this release and there is little, if anything, to ding it in terms of design or execution. The taillights would benefit from the lower portion being clear to distinguish the reverse bulb placement, but I’m not sure how easy or cost effective it would be to do that. And honestly, at Para64’s price point, I’m sure they’ve ran the numbers for the cost analysis and determined that detail wasn’t worth it. A minor grievance, but I needed something to show that nothing in life is perfect.
Find the Land Cruiser 76 on eBay.
The first two releases are finished in Silver Pearl and French Vanilla, the latter showing off the crisp casting lines better than the former. For those unfamiliar, the civilian Land Cruiser has two different paths the consumer can take – off-road or comfort. The J76 featured here hails from the Off-Road family and the 2007 model is the first to be designed without the trademark flat fenders (think the ubiquitous FJ40). I find the design to be a mix between a 4Runner and an Isuzu Trooper, an SUV I hold dear to my heart as my father owned one for nearly ten years when I was a kid. The slab-sided flanks are slightly accentuated with a body line that harks back to the fenders of yore as it approaches the front wheel openings. Toyota did a great job firmly placing a freshened aging model in the Aughts. And Para64 captured that nostalgic, post-Y2K magic in 1:64 scale.
The addition of the factory snorkel and the beefy tires really lends a sense of off-road prowess, as both its record and the pictures suggest. The gray bumpers imbue the exterior with just enough poverty-spec appearance, balancing out the alloy wheels and full-size spare on the back. The follow-up release includes two more factory colors, Vintage Gold and Merlot Red, and this time around the fender flares are painted in silver for added contrast. As a matter of opinion, the red is remarkably sharp. They are available in both LHD and RHD, so make sure you check to see which one you’re buying if you have a preference.
I’m really excited with the direction Para64 is headed and the balance they’re striking between road, race and off-road models. If they’re not on your radar or in your collection yet, you’re missing out.
Stay tuned for next time – I’ve got a Milano Red FN2 Civic Type R in queue for photos, I’m just waiting for the Championship White version to arrive.
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