I would assume these two items (the "semi-assembled" version and the kit) were conceived and engineered as part of the same process, but I find it odd that there are significant differences between the two. Actually I find it odd that the "semi assembled" version is being marketed at all, but whatever. I'm sure they had their reasons.
Interesting. Thanks, Chuck.
Harry, just to clarify it a bit. The two models share a lot of parts. Chassis, body panels and a lot more. The differance according to my sources it that they mastered a new set of dies for several sprues to give the builder a better quality kit for their money, so yes it is the same but it is upgraded. Just exactly what is upgraded I don't know.
The Semi Assembled is kind of a strange story of import duties. Semi Assembled means you had to put the wheels on and attach a nut. I don't recall the excact regulations, but it had to do with imports duties, having Semi Assembled vs. completed.
Now a bit of why Tamiya did it. Simple! The 1:24 scale Enzo is by a huge margin the best selling auto kit of all time by Tamiya. Frankly, as a model, it set a new highwater mark for the quaility and complexity of an injected molded kit that nothing else could touch. The absolute perfect fit of a multipart body and chassis has never been done by any other kit maker. The detail of the parts and the fit were high even for Tamiya. I am still amazed every time I look at one of the kits and I have a bunch of them stashed. When they sold as many of them as they did it only makes sense that they do a large scale one.
Now, to the cost. I bet the boys in Irvine are scratching their heads over this one. Here is how I compare them. The new Yamato(ship for the unelightened) is a tour de force for a ship kit. It also has a similar MSRP in Japan. The Yamato's MSRP is 27300 Yen. The Enzo has an MSRP of 29800 Yen. Stateside the Yamato's MSRP is $417. A little quick math would suggest that the Enzo should be about $455. Discount retailers are selling the Yamato for about $335 and the Enzo where I can find one is going for about $395. All this seems about right. How they came up with a MSRP of $600 has us all scratching our head but then MSRP mean no more on a model kit any more that the window sticker on a real car. Both are starting points and what really maters is how many real dollars leave my pocket to be replaced by a box of plastic parts. So ultimately it looks like an open market has resolved the problem and makes a MSRP of $600 irrelevant.