People wonder why we love OTTOmobile models so much – if they’ve even heard of OTTO at all. Doesn’t ring a bell, huh? You’re not alone. OTTO – which is based in France – has been making hella-good scale models of cars most Americans have never seen, for the past several years. That’s not exactly a formula for high visibility, taken in the context of, say, AUTOart.
But don’t feel bad for OTTO; they’ve been kicking butt and growing steadily. The cars, like this Euro-spec, early ‘eighties hot shoe Fiesta XR2, a ripping 95-horse cousin to the tame econobox variant we actually did see here in the US, are uniformly excellent offerings. Like most of the OTTO cars, this Fiesta has a sealed shell, impeccable paint and finish, and a full interior with a complete dashboard and door panel detailing. Thanks to clear butyrate “glass”, taking stock of the interior is easy; the grey tone of the majority of the cabin is accented by a convincing upholstery design applied to the seats.
Thanks to high-resolution resin castings and high-quality styrene detail bits, the assembly and finish on these is gorgeous, with perfectly done headlight and taillight lensing, tamped-on stripes, convincing textures for the bumpers and black trim, and cast-in shut lines that combine to make the image look real. Added-on photoetched badges – of which OTTO thoughtfully includes spares in the box as insurance against handling blunders – take the car to a level of display few scale machines ever reach. They may not have a single operating feature, but the models always look great on the shelf. And, to be honest, they’re usually models of cars we’ll never, ever see in diecast – or any other medium – because they’re so off-the-beaten path.
These aren’t particularly expensive, either; at a price of 44 Euro (expect to pay around $100.00 US, shipped here to the states), these limited edition models are worth keeping an eye out for. But be diligent: popular releases of rally cars, race machines, and wild, beautifully styled Euro sedans can sell out almost immediately on the OTTO web site… and once they’re gone, the prices on the secondary market can get fairly high.
We’ll be putting more of OTTO’s machines here from time to time – but make it a point to visit their site for more info. It may be written in French, but the end result translates to fun.