Knight Rider's "KITT"
Apparently there were at least three releases of the kit, but only the first release is considered the accurate one. I currently own two original releases of the kit (one of them is pictured finished above, the other remains unassembled) as well as the most recent 2002 re-release. The information posted here about the second release was told to me by another collector. I post these details here to aid collectors in acquiring the desired kit.
The original release of the model by MPC, kit number 1-0675, was molded in black plastic and came in a box with the "Golden Opportunity" offers advertised. It had the correct vents behind the front fenders and also lacks the body side molding and various embossed emblems seen on the newest re-release which is molded in typical "Ertl Gray". The original release had only the MPC logo on the box, as the kit was produced before Ertl bought the company. The second release, kit number 6377, had the MPC/Ertl logo on the box cover and the words "Features Authentic Details" in place of "A Golden Opportunity Kit" on the box top. The newest re-release has the new box cover with the AMT/Ertl logo. The correctly styled fender vents are not on the second OR the newest release, only on the original first release.
Apparently what has happened is that a re-tooled or incorrect body mold was used on the re-release(s) of the kit which is incorrect, but note that on the NEW release box cover, the picture (claiming to be a photo of the actual assembled and painted kit) nevertheless shows these vents and other more accurate details in intact! Perhaps the tooling used for the Knight Rider kit was modified to do a newer model year of the Trans Am kit, as the manufacturers probably didn't think they'd do another run of the KITT kit.
Other differences between the two (original 1982 and current 2002 release) kits are:
* The new release comes with three (?) slightly rounded and detailed Pontiac taillight lenses, all of them incorrect, but identical. The original release had a flat, featureless (plain) taillight lens, which is correct for KITT. Two other small mystery red lenses are also included in the new release.
* The interior is also a re-tooling. There are differences mainly in the details in the centre console and the rear seats are different. The front seats are the same.
* The original release came with tinted winshield, rear window and rooftops. The new release windows are completely clear.
* Both kits came with two hoods, the one seen on KITT and an extra one. The extra one included in the original is featureless, but the extra one in the new release has scoops and vents added that match a newer model of a real Trans Am, probably an '84 or '85 model or thereabouts..
There are other very subtle changes too, but nothing major that I've noted except that the newer release of the kit appears to be from a slightly crisper, less sloppy tooling, but you have to look very hard to see the differences.
Beyond that I can tell you nothing further. If anyone out there has more helpful information to add I'd be happy to post it. Bottom line is that the new release is not as accurate as the original. I was also disappointed to find out that the re-release of the kit was incorrect as well. I guess this makes the originals more valuable. Hope this helps solve some of the puzzles that some of you may have had about these KITTs.
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