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Continuing their series of TV and Film related cars in 1:18th scale, ERTL's latest offering in this genre is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), from the 80s TV show Knight Rider.



PAINT

Lets begin the review with the paint. KITT had a gloss black finish in the show, and the finish on this model is superb. The paint is applied with no rough areas or faults, and if anything, is too good, as it attracts dust and finger prints like a magnet! When it's clean, it really looks very sharp indeed.



Under the bonnet, and in the boot, there are no areas left unpainted, and ERTL even went to the trouble of painting these areas in matt black, distinguishing them from the exterior.

8/8

EXTERIOR

Comparing the car to the show, there are some [minor] errors between the real cars from the show, and the model ERTL have produced. Firstly, the fog lights on the front bumper should be recessed into a hole in the nose, rather than separately mounted flush into the surface. The second fault with the fog lights are the two orange lights on the extreme right and left of the nose - these should be clear, as per the others on the car. Another niggling little error is the small air vent just aft of the front wheels is finished in a matt black paint, which should really be gloss, matching the rest of the car.



Looking to the rear of the car, the blacked out taillights have been replicated, but the shape of the black out is incorrect - ERTL have used a rounded, bulging blackout, rather than a flat one. There are some small discrepancies with the license plate too; many fans of the show feel the blue colour is slightly wrong, and the font of the letter 'I' is incorrect. Most disappointingly though, the license plate is a sticker (with a tendency to peel), rather than being painted on, as I'd have hoped. Most of these faults however are finicky, and only really matter to die hard fans of the show; to the untrained eye, they would otherwise go unnoticed.



On the positive side, ERTL have added many features to the model. A Grappling hook and winch underneath the car can be reeled out, and the T-tops are both removable, to reveal the interior detail and ejector seat. As you might expect, doors, bonnet and boot all open to expose detail, and as you might not expect, the front scanner light works! Activated by a switch on the bottom of the car, the scanner motion is very good; the LED's are very bright with good colour.



ERTL have done a superb job on the car - the bonnet and nose shapes are finely reproduced, and the whole car has the same slick appearance that won it so many fans when the show aired on TV.

6/8

INTERIOR

Looking to the interior, once again ERTL have done well. The steering wheel is nicely reproduced, with the Knight logo painted on, rather than being a sticker. The buttons all over the cockpit are painted, and the one area inside that could be considered a slight disappointment are the two main dash panels with the speedo etc, which are stickers. Looking with the naked eye though, these stickers are hardly noticeable and the whole interior is really nicely replicated in this scale. The TV screens are finished in silver paint, which looks ok, but it would have been nice to see an image on the screens though, as other manufacturers have done in 1/43 scale KITT models. Being pedantic, the interior here should only have one TV screen to be consistent with the exterior (Season 4 Exterior, Season 2 Dash), but again, this is a fault that will go unnoticed to the vast majority.



There are no carpets or fabrics of any kind on the interior of this model, which may disappoint some. The seats are nicely replicated in the tan colour, but they are made from a fairly hard plastic. On the functionality side, ERTL have provided a passenger side ejector seat, which is activated by pressing the black button just next to the seat. Access to the interior is good also; the removable T-Tops and the large doors meaning you can easily admire the work ERTL have put in.

5/8

WHEELS & BRAKES

The wheels are accurate to the show, with the gloss black "bowling ball" hubcaps surrounded by silver spokes. Due to the nature of the hubs, there is no brake detail visible. Tyres have a rubbery feel to them, but there is no branding present.



4/6

ENGINE & UNDERCARRIAGE DETAIL

Under the hood, engine detail is fairly good, with crisp mouldings and painted areas adding to the detail. It's quite hard to admire the detail though, because of all the black paint soaking up the light. Also, I can't comment on the accuracy of this area, as I'm unaware of an episode where you can see KITTs engine.



Underneath, the car is nicely detailed with exhausts and chassis detail nicely moulded and painted. In addition, there are two switches (20 second preview and on/off switch) and a battery compartment underneath the car, which are there for the red scanner light at the front of the car.

5/8

COMPETITION

The only competition to this model in this scale, is this model! ERTL have shared their mould with Japanese manufacturer Aoshima, who produce KITT and KARR (KITTs evil prototype) under their SkyNet brand. There are some differences between the two, and these are listed below:

- Aoshima have painted the air vent behind the front wheel in gloss black, as it should be.
- Aoshima have painted the voice modulator for both KITT and KARR, which ERTL have left black (I prefer ERTL's method, as the light was only on as and when KITT was speaking).
- Aoshima's model has the correct colour fog lights, but the actual plastics used, and the detail in them, is far worse than ERTL's, with the stems clearly visible as a black dot in the centre of the lamps. ERTL's look far superior, despite the slight inaccuracy on the two orange lamps.
- Aoshima have branding on the tyres, but have [incorrectly] painted the lettering white.



As you can see, neither model is without its errors, but on the whole, the ERTL is more accurate in my opinion. Add to that, the fact that aside from trimmings, the model is identical, and that the SkyNet version will set you back more than double the ERTL version to have it shipped into the US/Europe - there really is no competition to this model. ERTL have also said they are looking into the possibility of producing KARR at some stage in 2005, so that's another reason to disregard the SkyNet offerings.

5/6

DESIRABILITY

Despite the fact that this model has been out for less than two weeks, it's currently in high demand. Supplies in Asia have already been exhausted, and if the shop where I ordered mine is anything to go by, pre-orders have far outnumbered the examples retailers can get their hands on. For now at least, it's hard to come by, so if you want one, pick it up as and when you see it.



5/6

OVERALL

Overall, this is an excellent model, and by far the best replica of KITT I've ever come across. It's not without it's faults, but sitting on the shelf, with the lovely gloss paint shining and the scanner moving from side to side, you'll be hard pressed to find a more eye catching piece.



Total Score - 38/50

Review added DX Model Review Database - 12/10/04
 

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Daniel
That was a brilliant review (I'll give you 11/10). It's the review and the pictures you have posted that will make diecast collectors want to buy this model (I do indeed want this very badly)
Thank you very much for taking the time to do the above. :nicejob

I do think that posting comprehensive information like the above is going to be the best thing for DX, I congratulate you, Sir

To all members, information and pictures like this is the life-blood of DX, if any member has any further details and sensible comments that will expand this thread, please feel free to contribute, however small, Thank You

On second thoughts I'll give you 12/10
 

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GREAT review, Daniel! :nicejob I already added this car to my wish list.
Thank you for your contribuition! :cheers
 

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Great review Daniel! You sound like a seasoned pro! :cheers This model just skyrocketed to the top of my list because of your review. :nicejob :nicejob :nicejob
 

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What a fantastic review! :nicejob :nicejob
Many thanks for the review, Daniel. Judging by your review, this seems like ERTL's best ever model. :cheers I feel like a six-year-old again now. :giggle

DanielB said:
... Also, I can't comment on the accuracy of this area (the engine), as I'm unaware of an episode where you can see KITTs engine....
It is accurate and at the same time it isn't - obviously the car used for shooting episodes of Knight Rider was powered by the 305 V8 but if KITT were real, he'd be powered a compact jet engine with afterburners.
 
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Daniel,

Thanks for taking the time to write this review :nicejob

I knew of the led scanner, but had no idea about the grappling hook underneath.

BTW, how heavy is this model compared to other 1:18 models?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you like the review.

DiecastX - the model is fairly heavy, but no heavier than my 1/18 UT Boxster.
 

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Great Job Daniel, :nicejob :nicejob

This is a must have for me, & this review just got me even more excited, I do hope it lands here in Australia.

or I might just try find a good importer.

:cheers
 

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Great review Daniel :cheers :cheers

I have zero interest in this car and yet, your review was extremely interesting :nicejob

Thanks so much for the education :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the replies. I hope all those who want this model get one and enjoy it, it's my new favourite model in my collection.
 

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^^ recall reading on here that now ebay your best bet,very expensive like the ghostbuster ecto1 and flintstone flintmobile and also recall a vast number the bonnet lighting sequence craps out early on..

had a peak on ebay. coincidencly i was watching a re-run of knight rider this morning, the episode where forklift truck chucks kitt in a pool of toxic acid waste and is knackered, just the bodyshell and wheels left but is fully rebuilt
and gets the bad guy

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=1%2F18+ertl+kitt+knight+rider&_sacat=0&_odkw=1%2F18+ertl+kitt&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

http://www.ebay.com/csc/i.html?_nkw=1%2F18%20ertl%20kitt%20knight%20rider&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=2&LH_Complete=1&_dmpt=Diecast_Vehicles&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m283

NOT CHEAP
 

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Great review and pics - thanks for taking the time Daniel!


I've often wondered what this model was like, and youve covered it in depth! Very impressive overall!
 

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Still a great review tho' Al - and worth revisiting IMHO!


............not that I'd realised tho'....anyways nowt wrong with the occasional necro experience I say...
 

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I had originally purchased one of these when they were new for $20. A year later, my brother-in-law thought it would be a great gift for his best friend as a wedding present. I gave it to him, with the original box, for free and mentioned that I'd simply pick up another one. Checked ebay a few days later and I couldn't touch one for less than $100... I still have KARR though!

When the news came out about the new one, I immediately placed a preorder!
 
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