2016-05-30

Intellectual Property

Today we have one of my sentimental favorites from the '80s: a Buick Grand National. This one is from the semi-premium Fast & Furious set from 2015.
Buick Grand National
2015 Fast & Furious #6
If I ever decided I needed to own a living room on wheels, I'd probably choose this one because under some circumstances it is a living room that is faster than a similar vintage Corvette. This car exemplifies the "if you only do one thing, do it well" way of thinking. This car is a dragster, plain and simple, a blunt instrument for the street war.
 Aaand here's my gripe with this car: some intellectual properties just can't help themselves from littering their toys with their names. This is actually the third car we've seen so disfigured after the A-Team Van and the Ford RS1600. At least the Ford's marking is black on moderately-dark-blue, so that it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, but on this car, the stark white (c) message is just awful. Firstly because it detracts from the authenticity of the model -- I'm pretty sure none of the cars in the movie had this message stenciled on them -- and secondly because in this case it really doesn't fit.

In this case, what we have is a typical late-'80s black-on-black Regal Grand National. There's nothing special about it that make it unique to the Fast & Furious franchise. The only thing Fast & Furious-related would be the packaging that the car comes in. But the car itself? 110% GM intellectual property.

I would make the same argument for the Ford, since it is painted in stereotypical-Ford sport paint. The A-Team Van you might have an argument for, as that particular combinations of custom paint styles, aero pieces, bash bars etc just might be enough to be "unique". Let's face it -- if you showed up at a car fair with a van dressed like that, everyone is going to recognize the A-Team van. But if you showed up in one of these Grand Nationals, practically nobody will even remember that they were included in the Fast & Furious movies.

The other thing about these intellectual property markings is that for the A Team Van and this Grand National, the ugly intellectual property stencil is against the blister pack back -- meaning you don't realize your model has been so sullied until after you've purchased it. It turns the whole labeling thing into something that they are hiding the fact that they are being so blatant about it, if you follow me.


Also, for a pseudo-premium car, the paint on this one is pretty terrible. Now part of that is because it is black, the lights find and emphasize every flaw in the paint and the underlying zamac. But you can get around that by making the paint just a tiny bit thicker and you don't end up with a car that photographs like it's been riddled with bullets. Fortunately you don't see this when you have the car in your hand.

I don't know -- am I expecting too much for $2.65? When the major flaw of labeling can either be avoided or made much more subtle just by selecting a better paint color, I don't think so. I don't think I'd have even noticed the zamac paint flaws had the label not put me off right away.


If you can ignore those two glaring problems, then this is a nice model, especially with the driver's side hidden.



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