It seems to me that a few major points are being overlooked in this review issue.
The first being that why do people wishing to do reviews tend to think someone should provide the material for them for free?
MUCH better IMHO to buy the car and review it if you want to but ONLY if it is a car you would like to own.
In my opinion if you ask for and receive a car from a shop then you can't be honest if the car is not good and have to put it in at least a reasonable light. If you do not you are not doing the shop any favours and are unlikely to get more.
If you ask for and get one from a Distributor or Manufacturer then all well and good, just ensure you are Neutral (a more accurate word than 'fair' in this instance) and constructive in criticism. An intelligent and well thought out approach will always get listened to over a bland / personally negative and 'nothing new to say' one.
But think on it from their point of view, is it really on for them to send one of everything they produce just to get a review from someone they don't know and have no idea of the quality and style they produce?
Reviews help people decide and help the Manufacturers develop product lines, but in the long run they do not really affect sales too much, that is the domain of advertising and hype; something which Forums ARE very good at producing.
The second issue is scale, I can see where some points of view come from. Yes it would be absolutely wonderful if every car was scale perfect in every detail but this, in reality, is impossible in a market aimed at mass production (more within the realms of possibility if the items produced are aimed at a specific and smaller target audience). Remember also that with true scale some elements simply do not look correct when scaled down so adjustments have to be made alongside and in addition to the 'fit' issues with chassis / motor.
I will take the GT40 as an example simply because most that read here have seen or handled them.
Two Manufacturers make them currently, both versions are off scale to some extent in one area or another AND have historical inconsistencies. This is down to acceptable perception by each development team within their given parameters I am sure. But visually, the personal take comes into play with buyers and one is always slated as better than the other. A view which changes from opinion to opinion.
Simply saying "I have seen the real version of this car and compared it to the model (and so has this or that authority) so I am right" means little or nothing, lets see some pictorial proof for those that really are bothered about it. For those that accept the car for what it ultimately is, regardless of how the word 'Toy' is used or validated, well they can buy or not and enjoy or not.
Lastly I disagree that reviews should be done by one person. BUT, there SHOULD be conformity for at least part of each review.
Specifications, performance and dimensions should always be laid out accurately and preferably in a way that, over time, a useful and meanigful database can be built up. After that should come the full on review in whatever style the writer prefers. Ideally a test track shape and size would be agreed, one that can be replicated in any track system, but that is a 'Holy Grail' to be sure.
SlotForum are actively working on this format issue and as soon as we have something to put forward you can be assured we will do so and allow a comments and suggestions period before putting it in place.
My take on 'Bashing' and 'Criticising' :
Bashing - constant, ill thought out and inane negative comments that add little or nothing to the Forum or Post: "This is crap because it is made by so and so and too long"
Criticising - Well thought out, intelligent and constructive (possible whether negative OR positive) comment aimed at furthering the Thread: "The first version of the GT40 MKI had a different chassis to the next livery, why is that? was it because the initial chassis layout seemd to strip gears more often when magnet racing?"
Those are just examples and maybe extreme but you hopefully get the drift. It is also possible to overdo it with praise that is unwarranted or pointless, the reaction to this tends to be many more people responding with the opposite argument because they feel it balances the issue - think first - post later
Same goes for Manufacturers publically criticising each other, I don't think it is really on. If you want to make comment then use another ID as your writings might be taken as being overly unjust due to a conflict of interest.
I will add here also, as it seems pertinant, that it has come to our (Nuro and Myself) attention that people are quoting SlotForums name when approaching Shops, Distributors and Manufacturers for freebies to review.
This is not something the Admin like or agree with. We have NO fulltime Official Reviewers (not even Myself and Nuro) nor do we automatically accept any review sent to us, so telling someone you are doing a review for SlotForum and making it sound Official is misrepresentation - please desist.
We are actively telling the suppliers, in whatever capacity, that we do not condone this and they should refuse.