Just recently I have begun to collect die cast cars in the 1:18 scale. Most of these cars are pop culture gems from TV and movies, however I really fell in love with the Smart Roadster while I was in France. Yes, they have the traditional Smart car all over the place, but this car utilizes all the green benefits of that car, but looking like a sweet ride, not a tape dispensor on wheels. So the real Smart Roadster gets around 48 miles per gallon in the city, and about 65 mpg on the highway. Now it's looking a little sweeter eh? It's top speed is 109 mph. Now don't be down on it, but it takes about 10 seconds to go from 0 to 62mph. What are you going to do?
I am not really a car guy, but I really fell in love with this car when I first spotted it. Then, the more research I did, the more I really wanted one. Not only are they impossible to buy in the US, but they're getting harder to get in Europe. The last official Smart Roadster rolled off the line in November 2005. There are talks going on about a revitalization if Smart successfully comes to the US. But don't hold your breath. So I got the 1:18 model instead.
This is a thing of beauty. The steering wheel turns the front tires, the hood (trunk) opens, the trunk (engine) opens, but you have to lift a second flap to actually see the engine. (This took me a day to figure out, guess I'm not smart enough for this car -yikes, that was awful).
The top pops off with ease (but if I'm not careful, the plastic gray trim has popped off too), and both doors open. Bonus? Playmobil figures fit perfectly behind the wheel. You don't know happy I was when I figured that out. The only sporty cars I have for my playmobil are the robbers' getaway car, and the specially licensed, German exclusive BMW Z4. Now my single playmobil guys can definately score with the playmochicks I have. I mean, if I were to play matchmaker to those guys. They're German, they don't need any help.
Well besides cramming playmobil guys behind the wheel, you don't really play with 1:18 scale cars. You display em. But I love that at this size you can handle them without worrying about them breaking. The hood/trunk/doors all open with ease, and the interior (and engine) detail is worth checking out.
I found this model to get kind of expensive on eBay. Since we don't have any type of (real-life) Smart car in the US, most people aren't familiar with them, and retailers don't sell them as much, well that's been my experience... so they climbed pretty high whenever they popped up on eBay. It was my number one goal while in France and Spain this year to find one of these guys. Sure enough, the first toy store I popped into in Barcelona had this little beauty for a great price. You should have seen me talking to the guy behind the counter, but luckily he understood what I wanted. (The guy in France did not). But have you tried miming Do you have the Smart Roadster in the 1:18 scale, no, do you have red? Yeah, it's really funny.
Check out our other die cast cars in the 1:18 scale, including the 1989 Batmobile, the General Lee, and the BTTF III DeLorean.