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It's really a shame that GM chose to shut down Pontiac, because the brand has made some great cars. Forget about the Aztek or G6, the Firebird and GTO are the cars who represent the spirit of Pontiac. Sporty, butch and cocksure. The story of the Solstice started in 2002, when Pontiac revealed two concept cars under the same name; a coupe and a roadster. These concepts made a great impact, so GM chose to put it into production.
The stort doesen't end there though, because of cost-cutting there had to be multiple versions of the same car. That's where Saturn and Opel come in. Opel needed an image-builder and Saturn simply copies everything Opel does... But Pontiac kept their original design and created one of the (in my opinion) most beautifull production cars ever made; the Solstice roadster.

It's unique styling and impressive stands makes this car a great representative of a gone brand.

It took quite some time to get my hands on one of the Yat Ming die-cast versions of the Solstice (I actually had to go to Italy to find it), but here it is in it's full 1:18 form.



For a car that relies heavily on it's design, it is important for the die-cast version to have the same impact on the surroundings as the real car has. Yat Ming has pulled it off with this model. Panel gaps are tight and the shape has ben replicated brilliantly, although there are issues. There are no meshes on the grille and airgaps. Instead Jadi has fitted 3D-stickers, which feel like a 3D-mesh, but looks like, well, like a sticker...

The paint work is a bit on the rough side as well. In the first picture, the panel gap between the engine-cover and the bumper looks enormous, but it's actually the paint which is really thick around the edges. It's a shame because the metallic spot-effect looks absolutely amazing. It's diffuse, but at te reflection of the light source, it sparkles and shines. One of the greatest features of this model.

The tyres lack writing on the side, but overall, the level of detail is quite impressive. Fog lights have a nice mesh on them and although most of the logo's are stickers, the one on the front is a real seperate peice. There are two mayor letdowns; the first being the lack of real indicators. Yat Ming has referred to their tested method and placed orange stickers... Looks awful. The headlights also doesen't quite fit the bill as the plastic connector-pins are clearly visible in front of the light.



The interior is a risk. YM has chosen to put a light interior in this model, which makes that you see every little bump and fault within an instance. However, they did a decent job. The shape has been caught really well and every button has its own sticker, including the dials. The seats feel like rubber and scratch quickly, but they look quite ok and that's more then I can say about one of the other budget models in my collection. There are no carpets and the steering wheel appears to be a bit to big, but thats only concluded from pictures, hence I've never sat in the real car (unfortunately).

Everything opens, including the trunk, which contains a plastic representative of the canvas roof. They aren't not fooling anyone. It looks like recycled Playmobil and is one single part with the rest of the trunk. It is not detachable, so the Solstice is always to be admired in its fully opened glory.

When you open all of the panels you start to notice why this is a budget model. It squeeks, twists and just feels very fragile. The hood does not stay up and the doors are very loose when opened. It does it all, but you notice that it doesen't like doing it.



The engine is not really as detailed as you would expect. It seems that YM has integrated most of the tubes and hinges in the same Playmobil-part as the "canvas" top, which doesen't really work. The engine cover itself has a flat grey top with metalic-grey inlets. Maybe it's for the best the engine cover doesen't stay open because there's not much to see under it.

I've had this model for 6 years and the windscreen is beginning to show its age. It becomes less translucent by the day and the same goes for the headlights and taillights. Other Yat Ming models seem to suffer the same prediciment, so they don't seem to last very long.

Overall this model does exactly what you expect from a budget-model. It looks way better then expected, but when you start to fiddle with its features you notice why it's so cheap. Leave it in the showcase as long as the plastics let you and you'll sure get plenty of bang for you're buck.

Car - Pontiac Solstice roadster
By - Yat Ming Signature
Scale - 1:18
Price - $26

Score - 65 / 100

 

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Thanks for the review on the car. It was well written and sounds pretty fair to me. Although it may have a few shortcomings, it looks (and sounds) like YM hit one out of the park at that price point!



Sean
 

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I have this model as well...for what I paid ($6 shipped from Amazon...along with bunch of Christmas stuff), I'm very happy with it.

I just wish that they'd done the Saturn Sky as well (or Opel version for you non-US folk)...as I prefer the more angular styling.
 
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