France’s Ottomobile recently released a 1/18-scale Mercedes-Benz 280CE (123-series). Like all of Ottomobile’s cars, the 280CE is a limited-edition model that is sold exclusively on the company’s website on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 280CE’s proportions are fairly accurate and most of the details are above average. For example, the Bundt alloy wheels, the cowls between the hood and the windshield and the ribbed tail lamps are all surprisingly realistic. However, the radiator grille looks like it’s a little more slanted than it is on the real car. Additionally, some of the paintwork (around the rear window, for example) leaves a little something to be desired. That was expected and acceptable when the company was just starting off, but it’s a little to justify six years later, especially considering that prices have been consistently going up.
Otto exclusively makes models out of resin and the 280CE is no exception, meaning that it has no opening parts. The interior remains very well detailed and anyone who has ever sat inside a w123 will immediately recognize the large four-spoke steering wheel, the center console and the easy-to-read analog instrument cluster. Even the shape and the stitching of – presumably – MBTex seats are accurate.
The 280CE feels a little fragile, a trait that it shares with many Otto models. Granted, it’s not a toy and it’s designed to sit inside a display case but even moving it around to take photos was a little never-racking. Overall we give Otto’s first 123 a seven out of ten; it’s a good effort but there is undeniably room for improvement.
The 123 is limited to 1,500 units and all of them are spoken for. That said, it could be re-released in a different color in the coming months.