By Maz Woolley
All pictures used were produced by Corgi. Many are computer generated images and not pictures of prototype or finished models.
There is no way to disguise the disappointment many collectors will feel when looking at the Corgi Announcements for 2017. The only model shown that I believe to be a new casting is the 1:48 scale English Electric Lightning in the Aviation Archive range. All the others are re-colours or variations produced from existing castings.
There are few Original Omnibus releases and it is noticeable that Corgi’s catalogue includes no lorries at all even re-finished ones, nor as we are now used to any new Steam powered vehicles.
For a long time collectors have privately discussed the failure of Hornby to invest in new castings for Corgi ranges. They have waited patiently for Hornby to turn round and start developing the Corgi ranges again. Many had hoped that last years major re-finance would allow Corgi to invest in a few new castings and start to develop again. Collectors now feel let down as no investment has been forthcoming and critical comments have now started to appear in the press as patience has run out.
Without new castings interest in the Corgi brand will continue to decline. The large increases in prices continues which will again deter buyers as some competitors are trying to restrict the size of their price rises. Hornby needs to focus on investing in new product for the second half of 2017 and on re-building excitement for collectors or the Corgi brand will become irrelevant.
The English Electric LIghtning has been modelled by Corgi already in 1:76 scale but the 1:48 model announced appears to be a new casting. It will be a very impressive model in this scale but also an expensive one. The rest of the models would be a good supporting cast if there were more entirely new models to interest the collector.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I, P3576 (GN-A), Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson (VC)
North American P-51D Mustang, 44-14733/CS-L ‘Daddy’s Girl’, Capt. Ray Wetmore
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4, W.Nr. 3579 ‘White 14’, Fahnrich Hans Joachim Marseille
Curtiss Tomahawk IIB, AK402, P/O Neville Duke, RAF No.122 Squadron
Vickers Wellington 1C, R1162 / AA-Y ‘Y for Yorker’, No.75 (New Zealand) Squadron
North American B25 Mitchell, 40-2249, “Hari Kari-er”, Doolittle Raid, 1942 1:72
Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/U1, W.Nr 110635 ‘Red 10’, Oberleutnant Kurt Welter
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4, ZJ950/C ‘Charity’, RAF No.29 Squadron
Westland Wessex HC.2, XV721/H ‘Heart’, RAF No.72 Squadron
Douglas C-47 Dakota, ZA947, ‘KWICHERBICHEN’, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Panavia Tornado F.3, ZG797/D ‘Desperation’, RAF No.29 Squadron, 1435 Flight
Again there is nothing wrong with the re-colours here. It is nice to see the Durham Constabulary Mini made much more accurately than its original release in a set with a Jaguar Mark II many years ago. But why is the Escort Mexico twice the price that the similar anniversary edition car was last year?
As back up to a few new castings this would be fine on its own it lacks any “punch”.
Ford Anglia 105E DeLuxe, Pompadour Blue & Shark Blue
Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico, Electric Monza Blue
Leyland Princess 2200 HL, Sandglow
Little needs to be said here. Basically two models each with two blind variations, and neither a new casting. The “Boris Bus” is now an obsolete vehicle as Transport for London have announced that no more are to be ordered. Bus collectors interested in fleets away from the South East will find nothing of interest here.
At a time when EFE output is disrupted as Bachmann take over the company Corgi should be looking to fill the gap and not fading away themselves.
Wright Eclipse Gemini 2, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, Mile Oak 1
Wright Eclipse Gemini 2, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, White Hawk 1A
New Routemaster, Stagecoach, 8 Bow Church
New Routemaster, Stagecoach, 15 Trafalgar Square
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