Jada JDM Tuners

By Robin Godwin

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

On sale at Walmart in Canada and the US is a Jada Toys (jadatoysinc.com) series called JDM Tuners in roughly 1:60ish scale. It is a series of Japanese high performance cars liveried in different tuner styles, which may or may not be fictitious (see photographs below). ‘JDM Tuners‘ is a registered trademark of Jada Toys Inc, but is remarkably close (not by accident, I’m guessing) to JDM Legends (jdmlegends.com) of Salt Lake City, Utah. JDM Legends specialises in restoration and importation of full size Japanese Domestic Market automobiles. They were founded in 2008, and currently have a popular reality television show (less the silly dramatics of most reality shows) which details projects in progress. Jada’s JDM series has been around for two years, and I have seen five separate releases, all numbered the same, just to confuse things. I have only picked up the Toyota Supra models which include silver, metallic grey, white, metallic blue, and this red one. Jada prints licensing details for Honda, Acura, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota on the back, but not for any of the Tuners names they use, hence my suspicion that they are fictitious. I have yet to see either a Mazda or a Subaru in the series. Aside from the vehicles shown on the back of the card in the photo, there are also different versions of a 1986 Toyota Trueno (AE86), 1973 Datsun 510 Widebody, 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R (KPGC10), and a 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR34).

The Supra has appeared in all five issues, with both wheel and rear spoiler variations, and similar variations appear with the other castings as well. Generally the models are well made, with diecast body and base, rubber tires on realistic wheels, superb paint and flush glazing which would put many 1:43 scale collector models to shame. The Supra features a well detailed interior including a roll cage, emphasising the sporting intentions. These retail for less than $6.00 Canadian (or about 4 pre-Brexit UK pounds) so are good value, but economies have to be exercised somewhere, and that means tampo printed head and taillights, black for all the Supras. The shape of the body is pretty good, but the roof is too flat when compared to really accurate 1:43 scale Supra models, and this definitely detracts from the beautiful lines of this 1990s supercar.

The cars come in a fully enclosed blister, so those so inclined can keep the card artwork once the packaging is open. The cards are specific to each model in each colour

The red Supra and others shown on the back of the card are the second issue of the series

Not so evident from this angle is the slightly flattened roofline. Headlights are black tampo

Fine tampo printing on rear, including taillights. Very fine flush glazing for what is sold as a cheap toy in Walmart

Oxford Diecast AC Aceca

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Oxford Diecast has now released the long awaited AC Aceca in 1:43 scale at the same time as Norev are also selling one which I believe is based upon a model that has already appeared in the Atlas Sports Cars Collection. The Oxford model is based upon the AC Aceca prototype which can be seen in mid metallic blue and in the black with a green sheen colour called vineyard green shown below.

Photo Credit: (C) Bonhams

AC created the Ace in 1954 based on a design by Cliff Davis for his Tojeiro sports-racer which owed much to the Ferrari 166 Barchetta. The hardback version ,the Aceca, arrived in 1955. and in 1956 the more-powerful Bristol six-cylinder engine became available. With this the Ace/Aceca could touch 120mph. ‘VPL 441‘, the Aceca prototype, appeared on the AC stand at the 1954 Earls Court Motor Show, and following that became the works demonstrator. The car appeared in several motoring magazines of the period, and was the subject of an Autocar roadtest published on 4th March 1955. It is said to have been sold to World Land Speed Record holder Sir Donald Campbell, who became one of the first AC owners to have his car factory-converted to Aceca Bristol specification soon after. 

I am very glad to be able to say that Oxford Diecast are back on form with this car. The only ‘fault’ I can find is that the tyres have a tendency to sit back from the rims which takes only moments to fix. The casting is fine and thin making the printed screen surrounds front and back an excellent fit. It is also a lovely replica of the Aceca shape which is similar to the contemporary Aston Martin DB2 Mark 3 also modelled by Oxford.

Although the rear lights are red paint applied to silver printing they actually look very convincing. And as can be seen above the Oxford ‘wire wheels’ fitted into a black wheel are rather more convincing than some printed on a clear disk background. The side windows are printed straight on the flush fitting glazing.

At the front the grille is neatly moulded and black washed. Nice head lights are complemented by printed sidelights which look more acceptable on the model seen at a normal distance. Oxford’s number plates are improving with the letter size and shape looking a good match to the plate size.

The AC badge when magnified shows that it has been neatly printed if lacking the blue colour it shows on photographs at Goodwood.

The side view of the model shows how well it has caught the profile and stance of the car. Inside is a mix of red ‘leather’ seats, door cards and other fittings and brown wood coloured glove box and wheel rims. The dashboard is body coloured with printed instruments. The gear stick is brown shafted with a silver end to represent the gear knob.

As can be seen above the lines if the rear are well captured. Though not easily seen here the oening lines round the rear door are inscribed well and catch the light nicely without being over scale.

One feature I particularly like are the ‘bullet’ shaped mirrors fitted to the car doors which are period correct. However VPL441 does not seem to have one on the passenger door in photographs on the web unlike the Oxford Model. Another difference to the web pictures is the fitting of a front bumper. All the web photographs of this car show it with only over riders. However the car has been around since 1954 so may have been fitted with bumpers at some point.

Another excellent model from Oxford at a reasonable price here in the UK and one that I look forward to seeing in 1:76 scale too at a later date.

Togi History – Part X

by Koen Beekmann and Karl Schnelle

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Authors unless otherwise stated.

We have now come to the tenth part in this long series about the 1:23 scale Togi models made in Italy. The very first part was published back in Aug 2017, and the previous part was about the 2000 Berlina in Sep 2018. Now we move on to the Alfasud and its variations.

To bring employment to the south of Italy, the Italian government decided to have Alfa Romeo open a plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, a suburb of Naples. The first Alfa from the South, the Alfasud, was produced in 1972. The last ‘Sud’ come off the production line there in 1984. Today, Fiat makes the Panda in the same plant!

Togi introduced their ‘Sud’ soon after in 1974. The first version had four opening doors, just like Giulia and the 2000 Berlina. This version is shown below on top of the box on the left in light blue. The beige-yellow one on the right is the Alfasud L, introduced by Togi in 1978.

Photo copyright Benjan Spiele

What is striking is the large number of small differences between the first Alfasud and the Alfasud L. The bodywork is different in many details: the bonnet mounting and the bonnet itself, the grill, headlights and Alfa shield, the Alfasud script on the back, the bumpers now with overriders, and the fastening of the hinged rear doors and thus also the bottom plate. In addition, the seats now have headrests. 

On the right the oldest Alfasud, on the left the later Alfasud L. See the different grills, headlights, bumpers and seats: 

Lots of small things were changed that you could easily overlook.  Why put so much energy into such small details? That is a question we would like to answer.

The different scripts on the back and the bumpers with over-riders are shown below. 

With the 4-door Alfasud, you see the same development work on the rear doors as with the Berlina. Here too, the second version of the Sud has a black bridge on which the doors are attached. The beige one shown below is the newer L version, the blue the oldest version.

The different bottom plates are shown below; the newer Alfasud L in beige on the top has 2 holes in the baseplate where the rear door posts attach.

Finally, the different bonnet hinges are shown below. The one in front is the oldest version; the rear one is the L. Both bonnets are fully open. The different headlights, bumpers and front seats are also clearly visible.

Photo copyright Benjan Spiele

The reason for all these changes could be that it is done on behalf of their largest customer: Alfa Romeo.  Togis were shown in the accessory catalog of this Italian brand for many years. On the other hand, the owner may have wanted to innovate which could have also played a role.

The four-door Sud has been out of production for many years.  Why did Togi switch to a two-door version, the second generation Sud TI? Perhaps the molds had been lost at the injection molding company (where the castings were outsourced to a nearby, small company). When the current owner took over Togi in 1995, he tried to get all the molds from the various local casting companies into his own hands. Unfortunately a few were missing, making these 4-door models more rare and expensive.

So at some point after 1995, the two-door Alfasud Ti was introduced, even though the last Alfasud rolled off the assembly line in 1983! In the first photo above, the dark blue model under the box is the Ti version. It seems all the revisions that went into the L version are still present. Even the baseplate has the 2 holes for the rear door posts, even though it no longer has those doors! The main difference in the front are the twin headlights, as shown below.

In the back, the difference is the script and the rear spoiler, which is a separate piece fit into a new groove in the casting. The photo shows the bonnet fully extended like the Alfasud L version. This version is currently available in multiple colors and decals on the Togi website.

A while ago, the first author was dreaming about non-existent or future Togi’s. He decided to see what they would look like. After a little Photoshop (more than 50 layers each), this is the result: two Sud variations.  It was just a nice exercise and is nothing more than a little practical joke. So please do not search for these non-existent Togi’s!!!

The Togi Sud that these were based on lacks a steering wheel and a driver’s seat, which made the Photoshop’s even more challenging.

Next up, we will look at two Togi “old-timers“!

The French Dinky Toys Peugeot 403 Pair

An unusual offering from Meccano

By Terry Hardgrave

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Producing two versions of the same basic automobile was not something that Dinky Toys normally did, but in the 1950’s, the French Meccano factory in Bobigny did just that. Part of the fabled 24 series of motorcars, the 24B Peugeot 403 Berline was introduced in June of 1956: the sixth new model to be released up to that point that year, followed by the 24F Peugeot 403 Familiale wagon in 1958.

The 403 Berline sedan was a very nicely done model of the real car that incorporated a feature not seen prior to 1956 on Dinky Toys: the appearance of a separate vent window, with a realistic thin vertical piece. This model of an early 403 also did not show the later front indicator lights, as the real car was first built with semaphore signals.

This model was first issued in black, followed by blue, then light grey, and yellow. Like other French produced Dinky automobiles in the mid-1950’s, this always came with white tires.

There were few changes made along the way, but the early versions did not have the towing eye at the rear of the baseplate, which was added later. Another change was adding clear plastic windows in 1960. Like all French made Dinky Toys, this one was also re-numbered in 1959, to 521. It was discontinued in 1961.

From the 1959 French Dinky Toys Catalog

The 24F Peugeot 403 Familiale was introduced by the French Meccano company in 1958, but along with several other new models, it was relegated to the back page of that catalog, and shown in a color never used, black.

As usual the French Dinky Toys factory did a masterful job of very faithfully creating an accurate model, and since this was issued a couple of years later then the Berline sedan, it showed the new front indicator lights. As opposed to the Berline, this was always furnished with black tires, and was never issued with plastic windows.

The polished wheels were originally convex, then later changed to the concave design. Colors were limited to two choices, a lavender blue or a later grey-blue. (A very rare, limited production all red version was issued for members of the French Dinky Toys Club.) Like the other French models, this was also re-numbered in 1959 to 525. There were no changes made during its run, which ended with it being discontinued in 1962.

From the 1959 French Dinky Toys Catalog

The Peugeot 403—a brief history

The Peugeot 403 made its debut in April, 1955 at a Paris auto show, and was offered for sale shortly after. It was styled by Pininfarina, and was designed with several interesting features: it came standard with a sunroof, the rear doors opened a full 90 degrees, and the rear door windows also fully retracted. The front seats were designed to fully recline, level with the rear seats.

The engine was an enlarged version used in the previous 203, and was a 4 cylinder displacing 1.5 liters, developing 65 hp. A short time later a diesel engine was offered as an option, one of the first French cars to do so. A four speed all synchromesh transmission was standard, with an optional automatic clutch offered later. There were three basic body styles offered: the Berline or sedan, the Familiale or station wagon, and a 2 door Cabriolet.

The Familiale had a 10” longer wheelbase and had a third row seat installed. The Cabriolet was intended to be a more luxurious, sporty vehicle, and featured an all-leather interior. Its sales price was much higher than the standard 403, so it was discontinued in 1961, and is now quite rare. Many people will remember the American TV series Columbo, where Peter Falk drove one of these, albeit a pretty shabby one. The 403 was produced until 1966, when it was superseded by the new Peugeot 404 model. Counting all models, including some small truck and van versions, a total of 1,214,121 were produced – the first Peugeot to exceed the million mark!

Mercury – la collezione Part Two

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Here a few pictures of the second and third model to be released in the Mercury partwork being sold in Italy by Hachette.

 Fiat 600 Multipla

The second part is again issued on a large card to attract the attention of the customer to the series and the model being sold at a discounted price. This card is huge and must cause news stands and shops in Italy a lot of issues finding space to display them. The model looks tiny in its cover mount.

On the rear of the card we again get a display showing us what is to come and a taster for the third model which will be at the standard price for the collection.

The red and black Fiat 600 model shown below is the replica from Hachette sitting on the replica box..

The green and grey model shown in comparison below is an original Mercury model from my collection.

There are no big differences between the two though the baseplate is engraved upside down on the new replica as shown below (NB the cars are positioned on the wrong boxes with the new Mercury on the right on the old Mercury box, and vice versa.) .

The Hachette box is also slightly altered from the original as it lacks the hole that Mercury had punched in to allow buyers to see the colour of the model inside. Even the weight is similar with the Hachette being a few grams lighter.

Fiat 1100 Taxi

Here the third model from the Hachette partwork. The Fiat nuova 1100 taxi in the livery of Berne (Berna in Italian) in Switzerland.

Hachette has chosen to model a very rare Mercury as they were only sold in Berne and consequently are very sought after by collectors. Unfortunately I do not have one to compare it with so I have shown it below with the standard 1100 that it is based on.

Again the Hachette box lacks the ‘spyhole’ which shows the colour of the model.

Brumm Automodelli – 100% made in Italy

By Jerry J. Broz with Rio Tattarletti

Text by and copyright of Authors.
Photographs provided by the Brumm Automodelli snc.

Located in one of the beautiful parts of Italy, near Lake Como, is one of the Italy’s oldest, family-owned manufacturer of 1:43 scale collectable die-cast metal model cars, Brumm Automodelli snc.

The name Brumm comes from the term Brumista a Lombard dialect term for a “cabbie” that was adopted by horse-drawn carriage cab drivers from Milan who named the carriages Brumm de Milan.

In 1952, after the end of the Second World War, Reno, one of the three sons of Giuseppe and Aide Tattarletti, founded the Fratelli Tattarletti company. Then in 1961, he founded Stampoplastica to produce dies for a well known electric model train manufacturer Rivarossi and the famous manufacturer of scale model cars Dugu Miniautotoys, as well as for a variety of products and equipment produced by other companies. This led to the founding of RIO Models in 1962 which produced its own line of 1:43 scale model cars.

In the following ten years, from 1962 to 1972, Reno Tattarletti and his  brothers Nilo and Diego operated Rio and Stampoplastica companies. In 1972, Reno left Rio to his brothers (who continued to produce 1:43 scale model cars) and left Stampoplastica to his best employees, Molteni and Bianchi.  From 1972 to 1975, Molteni & Bianchi produced tooling for other companies and were primary suppliers to Rio. At the same time they started to develop the coach collection for themselves.

During this time, Reno devoted his time to collecting real cars and constructing a museum-like building in which to showcase and store his collection of various cars. Some tooling machines were also moved into the building with the collection. Molteni & Bianchi eventually partnered with Reno Tattarletti and formed the Brumm Automodelli snc.

For Reno Tattarletti, and Brumm’s co-founders Virginio Bianchi and Emilio Molteni, the carriages were memories of their youth. Because of this, the Brumm and Historical series, dedicated to Carriages and Horse-drawn Carriages, were the first of Brumm’s series. These were soon followed by Old Fire series. All three initial series were produced in plastic. The subsequent Revival series, which came after the Carriages and Horse-drawn Carriages series was the first produced in metal.

Throughout the evolution of Brumm, additional products have been added, and are divided into seven major groups: Newsletters (listing the dates and numbers), News (listing all the news of the years – from 2012 to 2018), Series (grouping of the models), Brand (marques of the car modelled), Category (list of models’ functions), Street (list of model types), and Racing (list of racing types). Each group features historic, vintage,classic, production, sports and racing cars and car related items.

Special cars, collections, drivers and events are instantly accessible
through the following lists:  Ferrari, Porsche 917, GTO Collection,
Gilles Villeneuve, Fiat 500, Formula 1, World Champions, Le Mans,
Lupin, Transporters, Carousel, Monza, and Drivers.

Eventually the current owner of Brumm, Rio Tattarletti (son of the Brumm founder Reno), and co-owners, Emilio Molteni and Virginio Bianchi, mainly focused on producing 1:43 scale die-cast metal models of Italian racing, sports and street cars. Later on, the model library was expanded to include similar styles of 1:43 scale die-cast metal models from Germany, Britain, France, and other countries. Some of the cars were made in several different liveries.

Today, Brumm primarily produces new models and a few older die-cast models of 1:43 scale Formula One Ferrari and other F1 and Sports racing cars.  Additionally, they produce an assortment of out-of-production racing cars and other vintage, classic, sports and street models of collectable, die-cast metal model cars. One special type of model they make are “damaged replicas” of Formula One models which accurately recreate damaged bodywork and deflated

tires and which form part of the Autostory Collection. This also includes diorama sets and figures such as drivers with and without umbrellas, as well as spare tires and wheels, spare wings, mechanics, garage equipment and tools. There are even paddock girls and pit stop mechanics with and without umbrellas, various spectators. These all help us recreate “Great Moments of Motorsport” like:

  • Villeneuve’s spectacular accidents
  • The domination of Porsche at Le Mans
  • The 1955 Mille Miglia Mercedes 300SLR
  • The 1951 British Grand Prix Ferrari 375
  • The famous 1981 duel between the Ferrari 126CK Turbo and the F 104 Starfighter

Race Transporter Sets come with trucks and cars and are made with the cooperation of another small Italian company “Old Cars” improving and updating  some of their transporter products. For example, the set of Transporter 642RN includes three Ferrari
156 cars, 2 drivers, 2 mechanics, and 2 sets of tires.

A new product line, called the “Commercial Series” which included a “Carousel“, was added featuring models of Fiat 500, 600, 600 Multipla, and Fiat 1100 in different promotional liveries. This includes Campari Rum, Coca-Cola, Pasta Buitoni, Macchine Singer, Galbani, and others. The models were also presented in nationalist themed sets such as a Porsche Speedster with Eva Peron markings, a Fiat 500 for the Pope Habemus Papam Francesco, and others.

Production for the promotional market is growing and Brumm is becoming more and more involved in that market. Every promotional model made is unique and unrepeatable. The production of a promotional model, including development of the packaging, must be done quickly and meet the buyer’s specifications, timing and budget.

The “Anniversaries Series” as well as the 50th Anniversary Series
spanning 1968-2018 have been added to Brumm’s output. These editions were limited to 100 pieces each and presented in commemorative box sets. One of the first of these editions celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic
band, Pooh.Another to appear is a replica of the legendary “Fiat 600 Multipla” car which appeared in the 1981 video of Chi Fermera la Musica” (“Who will Stop the Music“).

Another release from Brumm celebrated Jim Clark 50th Anniversary 1968-2018. This featured the two time Formula One World Champion and his Lotus 25 race car. And let’s not forget the 50th Anniversary of Ed. Lupin, the famous Japanese gentleman thief.

Brumm recently introduced models of the “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” atomic bombs dropped by U.S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, at the end of the Second World War.  Each bomb was presented in a display inscribed with the date, time of detonation, and location. Although well accepted by collectors, Brumm was criticised for making the models of the atomic bombs, even though these are part of world history and the atomic age.

Occasionally, Brumm produce items unrelated to model cars like the Happy Easter 2016 Greeting Card with a picture of Chocolate model car, a true, full scale driving simulator, for visitors of the Brumm stand at Hobby Model Expo 2014, and the 2017 Fiat 500 Babbazza Merry Christmas diorama.

The “Fairs and Events Series” highlights Brumm’s participation in the Hobby Model Expo in Milano, the International Nuremberg Toy Fair in Nuremberg, the Model Expo in Verona, and the 35th and 45th anniversary of Brumm itself. In previous years Toy Fair models were also sold to customers in shops as well as used as promotional items at the Fairs themselves.

The beautiful Brumm exhibits at various Expos and Fairs attract Brumm model car enthusiasts and curious visitors. The series
also lists and highlights photographs of participation at the various events. Brumm exhibits at a wide range of shows and collectors meetings such as Miss Brumm 2007. Some displays have been very special such as the unforgettable Brumm exhibit/stand at the 2009
Nuremberg Toy Fair. The “Fairs and Events Series highlights many of the other Brumm activities besides their model cars.

Continuing the long family tradition, 100% of everything in Brumm’s factory is made in Italy, thus the promotion line “Brumm Automodelli -100% made in Italy” / “Brumm Automodelli – Prodotto Italiano Al 100%“. This makes the Brumm models different from all other Italian die-cast model car companies whose products are not entirely made in Italy. Brumm’s lines differ from other companies through their long life, the fact they are made entirely in Italy and the wide range of models offered. The company remains a private business and is still producing models today when many competitors have closed or have been swallowed up by international companies producing elsewhere.

During the last two years, the Brumm Factory has organised at least five tours each year dedicated to collectors and car enthusiasts.  This year the owners of Ferrari model cars were treated to a special event during which they had access to real Ferrari cars and their owners.

Brumm’s die-cast, metal model cars and accessories are made in 1:43 scale using state-of-the-art computerised equipment to digitise photographs and measure actual cars in order to produce the tooling and steel dies needed for plastic components and metal casting. The models and accessories are hand spray-painted, oven dried, tampo printed,and decaled (numbering, striping, national colours as needed for a driver or race). They are detailed with photo-etched parts.  After assembly, each model is inspected (road tested) before being packaged and sent to dealers around the world. The historically accurate models are available at an affordable price and are very popular with collectors world-wide. Note Brumm models are not toys and are recommended for ages 14 and up.

In 2018, Brumm manufactured and delivered 120 different items, (30 new, 2 promotionals, 62 re-runs, and 26 updated models). The complete catalogue has an assortment of 595 different model cars and accessories available exclusively in 1:43 scale. The current status of those 595 models is: one not available, 390 out of
production, and 102 available to pre-order).

The wide availability of Brumm models and accessories is a great reason to start an enviable 1:43 scale collection.  To see what is available view the Brumm website (www.brumm.it) and request the General Catalog, Year-book or the current Qui Brumm Catalog (announcing the new models). The Brumm Store newsletter can be subscribed to from the right hand bar on their website. Collectors may also follow Brumm on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube,
Google, Pinterest, Instagram as well.

Collectors are highly recommended Danilo Castellarian’s “Brumm Librumm 1972/2002 a story of models“. This is very well written and illustrated and consists of 64 pages of the Brumm Modelli Company evolution and 180 pictures of Brumm history, production facilities, catalogues and products. The book is available in English,Italian, French and German.

Also available are Brumm Newsletter #078 / November News 2018 and the Qui brumm 2018 News Catalogue featuring all news, updates and promotional materials of the current year. The Qui brumm 2018 (updated catalogue with all the 2018 news) is available in hard copy or digital format.

E N C O R E !

                          2019  PREVIEW:  Ferrari 312 T4 “snowplow”.

Brumm has chosen the Ferrari 313 T4 Grand Prix car to introduce the first Brumm 1:43 scale model with steering front wheels.
Currently, this is the only model car on the 1:43 scale die-cast model market with steerable front wheels. About 10 years ago, “Quartzo”, a brand name used by Sun Star company, made the 1:43 scale model of Renault F1 R330B N 15 with steerable front wheels.

London Toyfair 2019 Part Three

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

This the third in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Oxford Diecast. The previous article about the Hornby stand can be found here.

This article shows some of the models displayed on the Oxford Stand. With so many models in production the stand has an impressive display of hundreds of models in various scales.

Last year I tried to photograph models through glass in the crowded display cabinets and the pictures were not very good. This year the Oxford representatives on the stand were extremely helpful and got out a number of items for me to photograph. Although I photographed quite a few models I did not capture all the novelties on display. A few have been photographed in the cabinets as there wasn’t time to get out every model that I would have liked to photograph.

It should be remembered that many of the models pictured are made up of a special light alloy used for trial shots and 3D printed fittings. These can only suggest what the final product will look like. Even the fully painted models of unreleased items are hand finished production samples used to confirm that the model is ready to put into production and may not fully reflect the models when they go into production.

So starting with 1:43 scale. Here there was a display of all the expected re-coloured models. but also pre-production casting of the Bedford CF Ice Cream Van as shown below. Adrienne Fuller who is responsible for selecting cars and other vehicles for Oxford explained that although this is a quarter without many new 1:43 models they are still expecting to produce two to three entirely new castings in this scale this year in addition to recolours.

This mould by Oxford has really caught the look of the CF well. It should make an excellent model when it appears. It will be appearing in classic Mr. Whippy livery first, then Hockings but I am sure there will be more liveries over time especially as so many of this type of van were brought secondhand by small local firms across the UK.

The 1:43 scale Morris J2 minibus in Skyways livery from the final release of 2018 was shown and looks like an impressive model. Seen to the rear is another of the final release in 2018 the Fred Dibnah Lightweight Land Rover in 1:43 scale.

And now on to some very large 1:43 scale models. The new Weymann Fanfare South Wales – announced as an Oxford special to celebrate their 25 Years trading. The model shown below is a pre-production item and is fitted trial plastic components – the broken horn will not feature on the production model! The model features a plastic upper section with a diecast chassis. It is a striking model with the very high level of moulded and printed detail they can achieve when using plastic.

The South Wales version is not to be the only use of this moulding. Oxford were showing a Southdown version which has been announced as part of release one 2019. With a destination board for Bournemouth this model suits the Southdown livery well.

Moving on to 1:76 scale there were some interesting recolours shown. Below is another version of the J4 this time as an Austin J4 in BMC Parts livery due for later release. This is a nice livery and the Austin version of the grille seems to be very well printed.

The forthcoming Volkswagen Transporter T4 Camper looks very good and will be a popular model.

Oxford’s Transporter T1 Camper and Samba Bus in 1:76 scale both showed up looking ready to be put into production. Photographs are shown below.

Another re-use of a casting is the relatively new Leyland Sherpa now seen in Egyptian telephone livery, as seen in a well known Bond film. This model is sure to be popular even without film themed packaging. I hope that this casting soon gets used to produce models of vehicles used by the UK utilities firms.

We also saw test shots for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter which will be seen in various forms and also in a set which includes one of each generation of the Transporter from T1 to T5. Below we have test shots of the California camper

Shown below are test shots of the T5 van which will appear in several liveries starting with that of the RAC. I am sure that this will be seen in a wide range of liveries for current users.

Oxford often show models in a very early stage of development before they are announced. The Volkswagen T1 camper with surf boards shown below does not seem to exist in any current release but I am sure that we will see it in the future.

The Volkswagen T1 van casting get another release this year in Coca Cola livery. The test shot below shows the roof display with an advertising bottle on the roof.

One of the model sets which created a lot of interest when announced in the last release of 2018 was the RAF Bloodhound missile set. This was released by Corgi in the 1960s and by Airfix too. Here we have the new 1:76 scale from Oxford. The accompanying Land Rover has been well finished in RAF blue and markings.

This will make an impressive set re-creating the Jet Age long before Cruise missiles and Polaris carrying submarines.

The Oxford 1:87 scale range of US vehicles has been a strong seller. And the display showed some due for early release and others in early pre-production form.

The new Chrysler 300 Convertible can be seen in the photographs below. This casting looks good in red and the printed silver and badging looks like it could be very well done.

The forthcoming Dodge Charger Daytonas were also shown and are impressive in this scale.

The ‘standard’ Dodge Charger was shown too and looks good. It is interesting that it has been modelled with the headlights showing as many models of this car have the headlights in their concealed position.

Another model close to release is the De Soto Suburban with its roof rack. This is a rather earlier car than many in this range so it will be interesting to see if models from this period sell well. A taxi version is expected later.

Another model due soon is the Dodge D100 Sweptside which is due for release soon. The model looked very well finished and US pickups make for popular models so I expect it may sell out quickly. It is interesting that the rear seems to be a separate moulding so we may well see more variations on the D100.

Here we see very early test shots of the 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with a siren fitted to the roof. The model has been announced for release 1 2019 in two tone blue as a standard sedan so presumably police and possibly fire versions will follow later in the year.

Another very early casting shot is the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 1957 again announced in release 1 2019. Reminiscent of the contemporary Matchbox model this is slightly smaller but promises to be impressive even in this smaller scale.

Another announced recently as part of Release One 2019 is the Chevrolet Panel van. The model may be released as an Ambulance first but clearly a van will also be forthcoming and I expect this to appear in several classic american liveries.

The early shots below show that Oxford have captured this classic 1950s van very well.

The final test casting on display in this scale is the Chevrolet Corvair Coupe announced recently. Even though this is an early shot it shows the potential for this to be a really nice model. The coupe also came in some very nice paint finishes so hopefully Oxford will be able to release it in several different authentic versions.

Oxford’s 1:148 scale range is another with upper components made in plastic. On show were some pre-production trials. These are interesting as they are made in clear plastic with 3D printed parts as shown in the photographs below.

First we have the Land Rover Discovery 4.

Then the Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter which is to appear in British Railways Western livery in 2019.

Presumably the photographs below show the pre-production test for the recently announced Hants and Dorset Bristol MW6G.

And finally in this scale the Green Goddess fire appliance expected in National Fire Service livery.

Unfortunately although samples of the new Citroën H catering van were there I did not photograph them.

I would like to thank Oxford Diecast for sharing so many pre-production and test models with us, and for so patiently getting models in and out of cabinets to allow me to photograph them.

London ToyFair 2019 Part Two

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

This the second in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Corgi. The first article can be found here.

The article today looks at the Hornby stand and in particular the Corgi Toys area. The largest displays on the stand are from Airfix,Hornby and Scalextric. There were both a railway layout with a Hogwarts theme and a racing track provided to show off the products. The Hogwarts rail layout featured the Wamping Willow from the Harry Potter films with an Oxford Diecast Ford Anglia in its branches showing the revived use of Oxford OO scale models in Hornby packaging.

Some Vanguards pre-production models were shown, though not the planned new casting of series two Jaguar XJ and Daimler Double-Six models or the VW Camper. Photographs of the models are shown below. These are all pre-production samples and will not fully reflect the final version as they are hand finished and some parts are 3D printed rather than moulded.

Red Arrows Van
RAF Station Commander
RAF Police Mini
Triumph Herald 13/60
Herald comes with hood up or hood down display options
Audi Quattro and Grampian Police Rover SD1
Don Hayter’s MGB V8 Roadster and a Morris MInor Convertible
Graham Hill Lotus Cortina with Ford Cortina Mark III in very period purple paint.
A pair of Ford Sierra Cosworths. Left the RS500 and on the right Sussex Police RS 4×4
3.0 Litre Cortina Mark IV on left and Ford Granada Mark II 2.8i Ghia
Escort Mark II Mexico

Other Corgi products were on display showing the range now available.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2019 style

Corgi’s release of the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be notable for being the first for some time that features all the original features. Moulds have been located to allow them to make all the wings, figures and the full working mechanism. It is a shame that this could not have been released last year to tie-in with the 50th Anniversary but I am sure that it will sell well this year as will the James Bond model sets.

The photographs above show the models included in the RNLI Lifeboats release to supplement the models already available in this charity’s liveries. A donation to the charity will be made for the sale of each set.

The 50th Anniversary models for the Apollo 11 mission were on display in pre-production form. Although very simple models they will look very good in packaging when launched later this year.

The Paddington Bear TX4 taxi is a well made toy and is expected to remain one of the best sellers, particularly in London where the tourist market is substantial for such toys.

A substantial part of the stand was given over to the new Chunkies range, seen above in the dealer display packs Corgi hope to get into the shops. They are made to appeal to young buyers, and their parents. The models are very well made and finished and to my surprise cabs, chassis and some other parts are diecast and the plastic looks strongly moulded and well designed for play. Although the generic shapes may not appeal to collectors we hope that this range is a success, as if it is it will give the Corgi brand an injection of money for investment and get the Corgi brand made known to a new generation of potential model collectors.

Discussions on the Hornby stall last year suggested that that they were concerned that they needed more young collectors to build the collecting habit and brand loyalty. The Chunkies range is a sign that they are addressing this. Some more photographs of the individual models are below.

For older children Corgi have several tie-ins to the Harry Potter Films which will sell well at the Harry Potter Studio Tour store as well as in Hamleys and other large stores.

Over in the Hornby area the layout has Hogwarts Castle modelled in one corner but this appears not to be listed as an accessory on the Hornby site! But again it illustrates the intention to appeal to youngsters as do the basic layout sets featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and the budget priced Junior Express set.

Over on the Airfix stand they too are keen to bring in young modellers with a selection of the Quick Build models being expanded this year. A celebration of flower power! It will be interesting to see if any new vehicle types are produced in future years to expand the range.

Also seen on the Airfix stand was their nice 1:32 scale Jaguar E Type model, a perennial in the range but looking as well shaped as ever, as shown below. Much though many people would like many more of the 1:32 scale Airfix cars to be revived it would seem we will continue to be limited to just a few of them.

Airfix are not to be left out in celebrating the landing on the moon with a nice set which includes the lander, Astronauts in various positions, and moon buggy and other items landed on the moon.

On both Corgi and Airfix the 75th Anniversary of D Day was celebrated with both Corgi and Airfix showing D Day tie in aircraft. Some Corgi ones are shown below.

F-5E-2 Lightning 43-28619 ‘Rita/Ruth’, USAAF 27th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group, Eighth Air Force, Mount Farm Airfield, August 1944

Supermarine Spitfire XIV RM740, RAF No.322 (Dutch) Squadron, Deanland, August 1944

Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB MN625/MR-B, RAF No.245 (Northern Rhodesian) Squadron, Homesley South Airfield, Hampshire, June 1944

So what was missing? It would have been nice to see pre-production samples of the new Jaguar/Daimler Series II but as they are not scheduled for sale until Q4 of 2019 that is perhaps not surprising. Perhaps some first shots will appear at Nuremberg. I was very surprised though that having announced a significant number of military vehicles for 2019 in both 1:50 scale and in fit the box formats Corgi displayed none at London. But again perhaps we will see photographs from Nuremberg.

London Toyfair Part One

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Your Editor visited the 2019 London Toyfair yesterday. Model vehicles are only a small part of the displays which offer a huge range of toys and attract buyers from small shops to supermarket chains. It was good to see though that many general toy wholesalers carry lines of model cars designed to appeal to children with some stands having boxes of Kinsmart and other toy cars and vans sold out of trade packs.

Although overshadowed by the Nuremberg show it is a chance for me to see what Hornby, Oxford Diecast and some of the major model vehicle importers have on show. It is also a chance for me to catch up with the editors of Model Collector and Diecast Collector and to discuss trends. Sadly I can’t join them at Nuremberg as MAR Online’s limited income cannot fund such an expensive trip!

I will cover the London Show over the next few days with photographs taken on the stands. And to start us off I will look at Diecast Masters range of models which specialises in Caterpillar models to 1:87 and 1:50 scales. One of whose models featured in a recent article by John F. Quilter.

This is the first time that I have seen their models close up and am very impressed by the quality of manufacture and the amount of working parts. I was particularly impressed with the fully articulated metal tracks. The models I saw are all supplied with a driver figure which somehow makes them come alive, even if they could do with varying the painting of the figure from time to time.

The packaging was also interesting. The Highline series of models are supplied in a tin with a foam inner so they are secure during travel and can be stored quite easily. The tins all have a picture of the working vehicle and full Caterpillar branding. The Core Classics range which focuses on best selling Caterpillar models of the past is supplied in cardboard boxes.

The photographs below are just a selection of the models that are being imported into the UK in this range. In some cases the models are supplied with exchangeable parts where it suits the vehicles.

The level of detail can be seen on the 18M3 Motor Grader shown above where all the hydraulic lines and steel framework is clearly modelled as well as very realistic wheels and tyres. Working rams are fitted and the sections of the model articulate like the real vehicle. Although there is a high levelof working detail this is modelled without being overscale or obvious.

The importer explained that the Chinese factory producing these models also produces some very detailed and high quality slot cars and is a very modern and sophisticated manufacturing environment with a high degree of automation. The painting for example is all automated and is all done in an electrostatic environment which makes sure that the paint adheres to the metal correctly. Readers will know that yellow is a very difficult pain to get right on models and is often sprayed too thickly to stop paint thinning over shut lines and raised features. Here the authentic Caterpillar colour covers well without being too thick.

The models vary in price but here in the UK many of the 1:87 scale models sell for around the same price as a Corgi Vanguards model and the larger and very detailed models are cheaper than an Otto 1:18 scale car model. Given the level of detail and the working features this range seems to offer good value to collectors of construction vehicles.

Over the next few days I will be posting articles covering models from other stands at the Fair. From Hornby Hobbies we have photographs of some pre-production samples of some of the new Vanguards. From Oxford Diecast we also get to see some pre-production items. And from UK importers we get to look at Norev, MInichamps and others whose models were on display.