Welly is a great go-to budget 1:18 diecast manufacturer for many, myself included. For good reason, of course. Reasonably priced models and solid price-quality have made Welly an undeniable success in the diecast world. My trust in Welly was cemented through the purchases of a Bentley Continental Supersports and Pagani Huayra from their higher-end subsidy, GTautos, so Welly was my first stop when I set out to find a reasonably priced Porsche 918 in 1:18 scale.
After some online looking around, my search came down to a $200 Minichamps or a $75 Welly. While $75 is a bit pricey for a regular Welly model, I figured I’d pull the trigger because the 880+ horsepower 918 is hard to come by in the world of model cars. I will admit that the initial purchase left me thinking will this Welly model be worth that price tag?
For the $75 (plus $15-ish for international shipping, as it came from France) spent, I set my expectations properly as this price point rides the fine line between a toy and a collectors’ model. I was pleased to find the 918’s packaging nicely done and actually what you’d find in the $100+ price range. I like to save the packaging so it was disappointing to have it arrive a little beat up. This was because of its multi-thousand-mile journey from France. Due to limited supply options, I had to purchase the 918 from Selection RS rather than a U.S.-based supplier.
The car itself is a nice, solid reproduction but nothing out of this world. While only the doors open, I don’t fault Welly for this limited design. Allowing the hood to open means having to reproduce engine detail and that drives up the production cost and the end price to us. For the $75 price, I also received Welly’s typical poorly recreated vents and a poorly formed rear panel that didn’t dry correctly in the mould portion of its manufacturing. I considered returning the 918 due to the misshaped real panel but didn’t want to wait another month for a replacement to arrive from France, so it is what it is.
If I forget about the rear bumper panel issue and consider the two-digit spend, I think Welly did a reasonable job on the exterior. Starting off on the nose, the carbon fiber trim that covers the front spoiler is well made with a visible weave pattern. The headlights are more realistic than many cars at this price, they don’t feel like inexpensive plastic and are tightly in place. Lower down are the wheels which are my favourite part of the exterior. This model wears the 918 Concept rims with center lock caps. It also has Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), a standard feature in every Porsche from the 911 Carrera GTS and up. My 918, however, has Acid Green PCCBs to match the colour theme found inside and out and further set it apart from other Porsches with yellow PCCBs.