Here’s a big surprise: Ferraris are wildly popular in China. If that last thought actually caught you off guard, here’s another: wealthy folks living there are willing to pay huge amounts of cash for special editions of the cars — which Ferrari is only too happy to supply. Thus the small run — 20 cars — of Ferrari’s “China Limited Edition” 458 Italia, replete with a dragon motif, special gold trim, gold-toned wheels, and even a golden start button, marked with the Chinese character for … um, “start.” Given Mattel’s strong ties to both the country and the car maker, this special edition of the Italia in scale was a no-brainer; done in a beautiful dark metallic “Marco Polo” red with equally well-applied gold accents and special “dragon-horse” artwork, the model rolls on gold-toned wheels, using the same high-grade body and trim molds as the regular release. That means tight, straight fitment on the opening doors, boot, and rear hatch, impressively clear butyrate glazing, and photo-etched markings all over. Inside, the dash, door panels, and center stack wear special paint treatments, and out under the rear glass, the 458’s 562-horsepower V8 holds court among metallized, textured, and photo-etched pieces. The real car tags for a $251,000 premium over a “standard” China market 458, totaling out at around $879,000 bucks. If you like your models niche-y, this is the year of the dragon. — Joe Kelly, Jr.
1:18 | $120