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  1. Minichamps Jaguar XKR 1:18

    As fierce as the stare of Rick Yune himself portraying the role of Zao, is the Jaguar XKR. For most of us the 370 horsepower beast remains little more than a fantasy, we envy those lucky few (super villains included) who have the chance to take pleasure in the sheer outrageousness of the cabriolet version, especially Zao himself, who has his car fitted out with the latest state-of-the-art weaponry, which is set to give even Bond, a “run for his money”.

    Now, thanks to Minichamps (of the Beanstalk Group) we can all experience the thrill of owning a custom painted; green XKR, at 1:18th its size. The model produced in a series along with the Aston Martin Vanquish, and Ford Thunderbird, as seen in Die Another Day, comes complete with the gadgets seen on screen. These include, missiles concealed within the lining of the doors, these are accessible by an access panel on the lower exterior of the doors. However, unlike their on-screen counterparts, they sadly do not fire.

    Towards the back of the car are mortars, fitted within the boot/trunk area. In the movie these can be accessed by the door lifting upwards, and the very back of the car, the part where the license plate is mounted, flipping down at around forty-five degrees, to allow for clearance from the car upon deployment. Again, these do not mechanically fire, however they do look spectacular, and this makes up for it.

    There are yet more explosives located at the front side of the car. The engine-grill rises by use of two small levers on the underside of the model. When moved in the appropriate direction, either side of the grill very smoothly slides out of site to reveal replica rockets stored behind them. This section of the model is very nicely crafted, it has a fluid motion to its mechanics, and it looks superb, as does the miniaturized replica of the 370 horsepower engine, which has been accurately transferred from the actual vehicle.

    The topside of the car features a breakaway section, which reveals a gatling gun hidden beneath it, inside the soft-top storage unit. The replica-weapon rises from a resting arrangement, and folds out into a higher-sitting attack mode. Once fully in position, the gun can be manipulated into a pose, by swivelling it from its pivot point. A nice touch, to the cars most menacing feature.

    Finishing touches to the model include; tyre chains, which on-screen are used to help Zao manoeuvre his car across a frozen Icelandic lake. Stickers are applied to locations such as the engine, and interior of the car, including its imitation leather-upholstery. The paint job is also completed to a level of satisfaction, found on other cars located within this models suggested retail price.

    Overall, I believe it to be an accurate collectors piece, which portrays the car as menacingly as Zao drives it in the 20th instalment to the James Bond series of films. Both a great car, and also a great model.

    jason @ 2002-11-03
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