I was on my way to a forgotten destination with my son when I decided to take a brief detour to the local Target. Any true diecast collector will sympathize with my inability to simply bypass a big box store without making some sort of effort to stop in. While I never made it to the toy aisle, I did happen upon a gathering of Hondas. It was mid-October and it was a pleasant surprise to see nearly six Electron Blue EM1 Civic Si’s and a handful of other enthusiast rides. There were also three Integra Type Rs, a heavily-modified EK hatch, a new Civic Type R, and a race-ready JDM-fronted Integra. Not only were the cars nice, but the owners I chatted with briefly were also cordial and inviting to this VW driver and his son.
After snapping a few pics for the ‘Gram and departing, I realized there weren’t many examples of the EM1 in premium diecast. Sure, Hot Wheels recently retooled their version. But a Wings West-kitted out coupe with a lairy wing was more befitting for their FnF line than the street version I was imagining.
As I’m always making suggestions to Adrian at PARA64 (I still have hope for a Mitsubishi FTO, nudge nudge), I immediately sent him a few pics of the gathering to plant the seed. A few weeks later he surprised me by saying they’ve applied for the license, which was soon approved.
That was back in December and here we are at the end of April with painted samples, appropriately finished in Electron Blue and Milano Red. You’ll notice the red version is RHD. Both cars are lacking ‘Si’ badging in the rear and DOHC VTEC on the lower panels in front of the rear wheels. Additionally, Adrian has mentioned the blue needs more electrons, which I would agree with. We talked about one having a spoiler and one going without, but it seems both are rocking the aerodynamic aesthetic. Again, these are not the final products.
It may just be my mental way of skewing things, but I think the wheels look a tad small. I’ll reserve judgment once I have them in hand. The outer vents on the front bumper will benefit from a dab of black paint, too, to add depth to them. Otherwise, this is a solid casting that I am very much looking forward to adding to my collection.
But regardless of the nits that need to be picked, this is a welcome addition to 1/64 that will no doubt spawn international variants, including VTi and VTi-R models. And to think I had a slight hand in its manifestation is pretty neat to think about, too.
As for the 2023 Prius, I had no part in its creation. And while the tired and worn-out hybrid jokes may be tossed in its general direction, the latest model is slick and sporty, if not shaped like an automotive suppository. The two introductory colors seem to be Reservoir Blue and Cutting Edge.
Again, they’ve created both a RHD and LHD interior, and the sunroof is an impressive piece. As Adrian noted in his own release, the taillights will be refined. I couldn’t find any evidence of them being mostly red, so I’m hoping that means they get blacked out save for a single LED strip through the middle. Additionally, from all pictures I’ve seen, and from seeing it in person at the NYIAS, the fender detailing they included should be painted black. Again, these photos are of samples and not the final product.
The inclusion of a Prius in their line-up just cements the idea that PARA64 is not looking to Gasser* their catalog – that is, they’re not interested in tooling up a new casting that’s been done already. They do their homework when it comes to licensing and they exploit them in such a way that doesn’t make the collector have to choose between brands. I mean, who else has a Cizeta in 1/64, right?
*yes, I’ve used this as a verb.
I will continue to support this brand as I believe they’re really in it for the right reasons – creating affordable collector pieces that people want to add to their collection. They have a lot of exciting releases coming up beyond the two shown here, and they’re only getting better with age.