Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Hasegawa’s take on WRC machines series started about 30 years ago with the Mitsubishi Galant VR4, Lancia HF integrale and Subaru Legacy RS, etc. The first direct intense rivalry between their products and Tamiya’s counterparts came in 1993 with the release of the Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD ST185 from both parties. The clean and crisp details given by traditional Tamiya’s kits always seems to have won the support of most rally kit fans which always in turn left Hasegawa’s in the shades. But for real die-hard fans like myself I tend to side with Hasegawa’s higher fidelity on visualizing the details such as actual sizes of rims and fender bulges, let alone most kits come with a PE sheet depicting belt buckles, bonnet pins, bumper grilles and even down to Peltor headsets’ hardware. The nuke-proof Cartograf decal comes as standard on some selected releases which often saves the day because most kits are meant to be piled up until the day that we really have time to build them!
The Corolla WRC 1998 Monte Carlo Rally Winner (kit #25024) we have here featured today was released back in 1998. As mentioned above, the desirability has not been on par with Tamiya’s 24209 (released in 2009) since new. Unlike Tamiya, Hasegawa always tend to produce numerous versions out of the same tooling with slight differences on liveries and guises, which definitely breaks the bank if one would love to collect them all! Nowadays both kits from the two brands have long been out of prints. People come to Plasmojo are mostly after the Tamiya’s but to be very honest this Hasegawa’s take deserves a fair share of respect and attention. The kit comprises of 6 main trees which packs all the essential stuffs such as roll cages and sump guard to visualize the rally cockpit and under-chassis details to the fullest, which is essential to any modern rally car kit. Together with a clean sheet of PE, metal antenna, sheets of vinyl mud flaps, a set of tarmac slicks and the aforementioned Cartograf which looks as if it was freshly off the factory printer yesterday, making it overall a very attractive package in its own right! It holds up nicely even when compared against any contemporary releases from Beemax or Belkits alike. So don’t miss it while our stock still lasts!!