About the time I had decided I would stop buying diecasts because my office was beginning to look like a store, Danbury Mint released a beautiful recreation of The Judge. I found out about it through the Q & A, Kenny G. posted something about the upcoming Judge diecast which immediately caught my attention. After trying in vain to get an evaluation copy (demand was too high) I bit the bullet and put one on my credit card, $109 plus shipping and applicable tax.
I paid extra for priority mail thinking that I would hurry and write this article (I should've known better) and received my Judge just before Christmas. When I lifted the lid on the box I was immediately impressed with the life-like appearance of the car. Pardon the pun, but the pictures really don't do justice to this Judge. Practically every aspect of the original has been replicated with exacting detail. Doors, hood, and trunk open, suspension works, headlights open, all trim is present and tight, carpet is "fuzzy", floor mats can be removed, vinyl seats tilt forward, really the only thing missing is a scale lumpy idle.
On close examination, though, my Judge had a few flaws. Most obvious was the mismatch of the spoiler to the quarter panel on one side. In addition the front driver's side wheel was tilted slightly, and the piece that holds the steering column against the mechanism under the car was broken. Actually none of these things was that big a deal, but I finally decided to give Danbury Mint a call. True to their word they sent a replacement (not priority) that did not have those problems and I was back in business.
There are a couple of things about the model that are not quite right. Given that the attention to detail is so high otherwise I was surprised to see some oddities under the hood. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if you buy one email me if you see anything wrong with the RAIV engine. It certainly isn't as obvious as the ERTL Judge's backwards Ram Air pan. Also, the car itself sits fairly high in the back which I'm sure would've driven John DeLorean crazy, as I understand it he was a stickler for ride height.
Overall I would say it is definitely worth the money, while the ERTL 1:18 Judges are nice they do not have nearly the level of detail of the 1:24 Danbury Mint model. Before I received mine I always thought someday I'd build a Revell kit to match my car, now that I have this Judge I've shelved those plans.
Call the Danbury Mint at 1-800-332-6468 and tell them Classical Pontiac sent you!