All posts by Karl Schnelle

1/43 diecast collector

The GMP Chevrolet Camaro

Their 1:18 Scale 1967-68 Camaro Casting: Brilliant Optimization of Resources

By Frank Koh

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

The ingenious utilization of carefully-designed body castings in order to create numerous variants of a certain type of model is what spells maximum profitability. This is the story of a 1:18 scale casting by GMP, which was used in diverse automotive genre, including vintage Trans Am and road race cars, Pro Touring and concepts and a host of other themes.

Take a 1:18 scale Camaro body, slightly modify the fender contours and valance panels, lose the front and rear bumpers, design a variety of hoods and trunklids for relevant automotive applications and create various interiors, powertrains and undercarriage componentry and related systems and accessories to suit a daunting diversity of automotive themes. Then, suddenly you have one of the most versatile lines in model vehicle history. Trans Am and road racing legends, Pro Touring, custom vehicle and styling concepts, and more, all based on one body casting. It worked for the original Georgia Marketing & Promotions under the stewardship of founder Tom Long.

The GMP 1:18 scale 1967-68 Camaro body shell served as the basis for fabulous replicas of the #6 and #36 Penske Racing Camaros which included the car of 1968 Trans Am overall champion Mark Donohue, the #13 Smokey Yunick “cheater special”, the awesome Pro Touring cars from the GMP Street Fighter series, special commemorative models such as the Lateral-g.net car and the #08 Biante Touring Car Masters (TCM) tribute racer commissioned by Biante Models Australia, and much more, including today’s GMP releases as a subsidiary of Acme Models. One basic “tweaked” body style, so many possibilities!

Penske and Yunick

The winningest Trans Am racer of 1968, the #6 Penske Racing Mark Donohue car that won the championship that year. Next to the Penske is the infamous #13 Smokey Yunick ’68 Camaro that came in first on a few occasions but never won a race due to numerous equipment violations and disqualifications. Definitely not a matched pair, but it’s always cool to display these two long-discontinued GMP Camaros together.

The #6 and #36 Penske Camaros featured removable air cleaners so the owners of these models could better appreciate the intricate details of the 302 cubic inch Z/28 V8 engine, including of course the Holley 4-barrel carburetor. GMP thought of everything!


George Follmer drove this 1967 Camaro for Team Penske.

Pro Touring

The classic, traditional Trans Am racers and the modern Pro Touring vehicles used the exact same basic body in all GMP variants of the ’67-’68 Camaro. Only the hoods, trunk lids, and of course the appropriate powertrains, suspension, wheels, grilles, lights, interior and other componentry differed from model to model. How ingenious of GMP to have designed the Camaro body to work perfectly on such diverse automotive themes!

Two of my favorite Pro Touring Camaros: the red 1967 Z/28-style coupe from the Street Fighter series, and the very exclusive green Lateral-g.net 1968 Camaro commemorative model, #995 of 996 units produced. Lateral-g.net, also known as the Protouring Network, is an online presence for Pro Touring modifications, culture and lifestyle.

All GMP had to do was design year-specific grilles for the 1967 and 1968 Camaros (plus the different taillights, of course), and instantly two different model years were created. The green Lateral-g ’68 Camaro was fitted with a “traditional” Small Block V8 with the Cross Ram intake and dual quads, whereas the red Street Fighter ’67 Camaro came with a more modern LS powerplant.

Everything opened on the GMP Camaros. Poseable steering, full diecast baseplates, complete engine wiring, plumbing, hoses and belts. Whether the theme was Pro Touring or Vintage Racing, all requisite componentry was finely and accurately replicated.

Biante

This one’s my favorite variant of this highly versatile GMP Camaro casting. It’s the Australian market-only Biante Touring Car Masters (TCM) series tribute car that celebrated the overall championship of Steve Mason, who piloted a first generation Camaro. This particular unit is #107 of 2008 pieces made. My uncle and aunt were so kind as to hunt down and procure this model for me when they went to Australia in 2008.

Dual quads and all the plumbing, tubing, braided and rubber hoses, belts, wiring and even the accurate hood hinges would serve as adequate motivation to display these lovely, exceptionally realistic GMP Camaros with their hoods in the open position.

The 1:18 scale miniature model of an American car (1968 Camaro), produced by an American company (GMP), commissioned by an Australian company (Biante Models) was only available in Australia! Two wonderful people from Texas went on vacation to Australia and bought it for me. What could be more special, and global, than that?

Since these Camaros were acquired, ACME Trading Company has purchased GMP, and several more variants of the casting have been issued


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New Book: Corgi Toys

Corgi Toys, by Mick Overton, Amberley Publishing, English text, Paperback, ISBN 9781445688084, 64 pages, 80 color illustrations. Available direct from Amberley, and from Amazon UK in paperback or Kindle formats.

Disclaimer: this reviewer and the author are friends. We have meet in-person only a few times, but we communicate frequently and virtually about toy cars.

MAR Online has reviewed one other Amberley book in the past. This new publication is similar in format but is released in their Britain’s Heritage Series. However, this book is not a history lesson on Britain’s industrial past nor a scholarly business review of the way things were, like Factory of Dreams: A History of Meccano, Ltd. from 2012. This book is one collector’s account of Mettoy and Corgi Toys from beginning to end with a slightly different slant.

Mr. Overton does cover the historical background of Mettoy (the parent company of Corgi) and many of the unusual Corgi variations, using color photos from Vectis Auctions Ltd. and from a few personal collections. Vectis was fortunate to handle the Ullman family’s and Marcel van Cleemput’s collections, and the author was fortunate to have access to the auction house’s photo archives.

The other important aspect of this book is that it covers the original 1:43 Corgi Toys (some with friction drive mechanism), the small 3-inch cars, and the larger 1:36 scale cars. These different scales are given equal weight in the book, which is not common in books or websites about Corgi Toys.

Because the author is also a collector, some guidance on fakes and where to learn about and obtain these old Corgi Toys is given. Therefore, this book can be a great supplement to the The Great Book of Corgi 1956-1983, by van Cleemput, published 30 years ago. This new work does not list every model like previous books, but it does give background and insight into many rare variations not published before. If you are a Corgi Toys fan, this will be well worth searching out and obtaining!

KDS


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Take-Off Wheels – Chevrolet Camaro

By Robert Brodowski

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

Several years ago, MAR Online published articles about two Corgi Toys with Golden Jacks and Take-off Wheels: the Rolls-Royce and the Chevrolet Corvette. Now, we present another Corgi with Take-off Wheels! One of their best toy cars was number 338, the Chevrolet Camaro, with Take-Off Wheels from 1968-71. The Camaro had a black plastic top that was removable and a red interior.

In the photo above you can see a mechanic removing a wheel – he is from another Corgi Toy from that period. The front end is jacked up with the built-in Golden Jack, and the Take-off Wheel has already been removed! What play value!

The back of the box shows how the Take-off wheel mechanism works. It also shows the front headlights have small plastic covers that can be slid sideways at night!

The picture above shows the covers slid back to reveal the jeweled headlights.


The front of the box shows that the original price in $US was not very cheap for the time but quite a bargain now. The front SS stripe can be easily seen as well.

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More Capri’s in the Print Edition of Model Auto Review

By Karl Schnelle, US Editor

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

Dave Turner wrote a series of articles on the Ford Capri over the years. His last article on the Capri III was published by MAR Online in 2017. Because of reader interest, we recently republished his Capri I article, part one, from our previous print edition, Model Auto Review 49, Feb/Mar 1991.

After publishing part one from MAR 49, Dave Turner published in the next two issues, MAR 50 and 51. Here are the covers and Table of Contents for these 2 issues.

MAR 50
MAR 51

The back cover of MAR 50 had this old Dinky Toys small poster for retailers reproduced!

Then Dave published his Capri II article in MAR 265, October 2012. Again here is the cover and TOC.

MAR 265

In addition to the yellow Capri II on the Cover, the following color page was included with the article.

Our Editor, Maz Woolley, has scanned these three articles as PDFs. Please contact us via email or Facebook for copies.


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The Ford in Miniature – Capri I (Part One)

By Karl Schnelle, US Editor

A MAR Online reader noticed that Dave Turner’s recent article on Ford Capri’s mentioned that he had written several previous parts. Our reader wanted to read those other installments so we aim to please!

Dave published Part I many years ago in Model Auto Review 49, Feb/Mar 1991. Here is the front cover and Table of Contents from that issue.

The Capri article had some B&W photos and the text spread across two pages. We hope you can read it; click on the images to see larger versions.

To be continued…


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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.


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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!


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The 40 Series: Early Post-War English Saloon Cars Made by Dinky Toys

By Terry Hardgrave

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

With all toy production halted during World War II, Meccano Ltd. was anxious to start up again, and in early 1946 production resumed, albeit at a fairly low level. At first, almost all of these Dinky Toys were re-issues of pre-war models that were easy to put into production or use up existing stocks of leftover parts. But very quickly, a decision was made to design and build a new series of models, which would feature the latest English production cars, as the automotive industry was also getting back on its feet. New, modern cars were going to be in demand, and young boys would want the latest Dinky Toys that modeled them.

So, starting in 1947, and ending in 1954, ten new models were introduced, which were to prove very popular, and along with new models of American cars, propelled Meccano into it’s best sales years ever by the mid-1950’s. These new models comprised the 40 Series, and along with two other cars labeled 140a and 140b, are the subject of this article. These models were very long lived in the Dinky Toys lineup… they were in production for 7 to 12 years and were arguably one of the most important series of models that Dinky Toys produced. Dinky did a masterful job in modeling each of these to very high standards for that era.


The first 40 series model Dinky Toys introduced, in 1947, was 40a, the Riley Saloon. The real car was a Riley RMA 4-door sedan, which was introduced in 1945 and in production until 1952. This car really retained pre-war styling, and the body was still framed with wood. Dinky Toys finished it in several shades of green, grey, or blue, and it was re-numbered in 1954 to 158. Like most of the 40 series of models, it was discontinued in 1960.


The next model, introduced in 1948, was 40b, the Triumph 1800 Saloon. The real car was also known as the Renown, and it was introduced in 1946 and was famous for its “razor edge styling”. Looking very much like a smaller Bentley, these were comfortable and well built cars, and Dinky was very quick to design and build a model of it. It was offered in grey, black (very rare), fawn, and two shades of blue, and was re-numbered in 1954 to 151. Also in production until 1960. This is my personal favorite of this series of models.


Next was 40e, the Standard Vanguard Saloon, also introduced in 1948. This was a model of a brand new car introduced in England in 1947, and it was made in several different versions until 1963. The early Dinky models had open rear wheel arches and a unique rear axle clip. In 1950, the model was changed to show covered spats or wheelcovers at the rear, and the rear axle clip was discontinued. Colors were several shades of tan, two shades of blue, cream, or maroon. In 1954 it was re-numbered to 153, and it remained in production until 1960.


Next in line for 1949 was 40d, the Austin Devon Saloon. The actual car was called the Austin A-40 Devon and was an all-new design introduced in late 1947. It continued until 1952 when it was replaced by the Somerset model. This Dinky model was also re-numbered in 1954 to 152. Available colors were red, maroon, green, tan, several shades of blue, or a later two tone scheme. Discontinued in 1960.


1950 saw the introduction of 40g, the Morris Oxford Saloon. The actual car was called an Oxford Series MO and was in production from 1948 through 1954, when it was replaced by the Oxford Series II. Another Dinky Toys re-numbered in 1954 to 159. Colors from Dinky were dark green, fawn, grey, light tan, or a later two tone scheme. Discontinued in 1960.


40h, the Austin Taxi, was introduced in 1951. The actual vehicle was named the Austin FX3 Metropolitan Taxi and was first shown in 1948, then produced starting in 1949. It was a very popular taxi in London and was made until 1958, when it was replaced by the FX4. Renumbered in 1954 to 254. Colors from Dinky were dark blue, black, yellow and a later two tone scheme. Discontinued in 1962.


The other model Dinky Toys released in 1951 was 40f, the Hillman Minx Saloon. The actual car, the Hillman Minx Mark IV, was introduced in 1949. Over the subsequent years, several newer versions were built. Renumbered in 1954 to 154. Dinky colors were light or dark tan, pale or dark green, and a later two tone scheme. Discontinued in 1958.


The last of the 40 series of saloon cars was 40j, the Austin Somerset Saloon, brought out in 1954. It was quickly re-numbered later in the year to 161. The real car was called the Austin A-40 Somerset and was produced from 1952-1954, when it was replaced by the then new Austin A-40 Cambridge. Colors available from Dinky included red, blue, or a later two tone scheme. Also discontinued in 1960.


I have included the next two models, even though they are not technically part of the 40 Series, as shown above. But they were issued at the same time and are also British automobiles of that period, so they rightly belong here.

140a, the Austin Atlantic Convertible, was introduced in 1951 and was the first Dinky Toys convertible to feature a fully detailed interior, including a dashboard. The actual car was labeled the Austin A90 Atlantic and was made in several versions. This was a nice, more sporting car, aimed largely at the US market, but the introduction of the all-new Jaguar XK120 at the same time basically doomed this car to very mediocre sales; it was only made from 1949-1952. Renumbered in 1954 to 106. Dinky Toys produced this in blue, pink, or black, and rare red or medium blue export versions. It was discontinued in 1958.


140b, the Rover 75 Saloon, was also introduced by Dinky Toys in 1951. It was based on the Rover P4 75 model, first shown in late 1949 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show and then available in 1950. It was an upscale automobile, with styling influenced by the early 1950’s Studebaker’s. This version was made until 1954 and was very highly regarded as a quality automobile. Renumbered in 1954 to 156. Dinky Toys colors were maroon, cream, or a later two tone scheme. Discontinued in 1958.

Footnote: The keen reader will observe that 40c was never issued but was planned to be a Jowett Javelin. 40i was skipped perhaps because it was too similar to the letter j.


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A Plastic Volvo 240 GL Estate by Emek, Finland

The 1:22 One-Year, One-Hit Volvo Dealer Promotional

By Frank Koh

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

Most avid collectors of Volvo model vehicles are familiar with the soft plastic (poly vinyl) 1:22 scale Volvo dealer promotional models by Stahlberg, produced from the sixties thru the very early nineties in Finland. There is, however, just ONE unique 1:22 scale Volvo promotional model, produced only in 1991. It was manufactured by Emek, and was different from the Stahlberg promos because it was done in hard polystyrene plastic.

And it was available in the following colors: Red (the most common), followed by White, then Blue, and reportedly there was even a Black variant which was so rare that I have never seen photos of one.

It came in an attractive window box too, and had special wheels plus chrome headlights, which made it look more “convincing” than the signature toy-like white headlights that the Stahlberg models were famous (read: notorious) for.

As these photos prove, the Emek Volvo 240 GL Estate looked a lot like the Stahlberg Volvo 240 Estates. That’s because Emek Muovi bought the Stahlberg company, including all its tooling, hence the Emek Volvo 240 Estate model actually used the Stahlberg tooling. Surprisingly, no other Stahlberg tools were used by Emek; hence, no other Volvo passenger cars from that era, including the other 240, 740 and 760 models, etc., were ever produced. EVER. And most likely because the Volvo 240 series was the about to be phased out (1993), Volvo did not commission Emek to make any subsequent Volvo passenger car promotional models.

Resplendent in its window box, the Emek exuded class and distinction. The old Stahlberg Volvo promotionals that were regularly packaged in plastic bags were characterized by a more plebeian appearance. Sadly, after this particular model, no more Volvo passenger car miniatures were produced by Emek, in any scale.


The wheels on the Emek model are unique and were never used on the earlier Stahlberg models. They were presumably original Emek castings.

Emek on the left below; Stahlberg on the right. Emek’s chrome headlights exude more realism than the white units on the Stahlberg. I have to admit, though, that it was those trademark white headlights that endeared Stahlberg models to a whole lot of collectors, including yours truly.

Here’s a slightly modded Emek unit with blacked-out door handles, panel shut lines, and cowl vent openings detailed with a wash of Tamiya black panel line accent paint. That looks much more realistic.

Today Emek continues to manufacture Volvo promotional models, but only of 1:25 scale styrene plastic Volvo TRUCKS. In ironic summation, the model that signaled the end of the grand era of 1:22 scale Stahlberg Volvo passenger car promotional models was made by Emek, the surviving entity that took over the old company. Such was the destiny of those cool, off-scale plastic wonders that graced the pegs of the parts departments of the better Volvo dealers worldwide.


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The Matchbox Adventure 2000 and Judge Dredd Comic Book Connection

By Bob Neumann

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

In the 1970’s, Matchbox was expanding their range to include larger scale die-cast models that had more working features and play value for children, while retaining the high Matchbox quality. Following up to the Superkings and SpeedKings series of large scale trucks and cars, they introduced the “Battle Kings” range of Military models that included tanks, transporters, missile launchers and ambulances.

Following that, Matchbox went on to produce the Adventure 2000 range which were Superking/Battle King scaled models with a Science Fiction theme. All of these models were made in England by Lesney. I recently found out through the “Miracle of the Internet” that the Judge Dredd comic book series adopted one of the Adventure 2000 models to serve as a critical vehicle in the plots of the comic books. The model that was chosen to feature in the comics was the K-2001 Raider Command, a model that featured a futuristic cab with treaded trailer that included a missile launcher. Here is a mint and boxed example.

Thanks to Wikipedia, here is a brief explanation of the Judge Dredd comic book character: “Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), a weekly anthology comic magazine. He is the magazine’s longest-running character.”

Adventure 2000 model joined together

Now back to the Matchbox connection! Lesney was already in production with the Adventure 2000 series which included three large scale models when the K-2001 was chosen to be used for the comic strips. In the comics the front vehicle was called the “Killdozer” and the rear treaded vehicle was called the “Land- Raider”. The Killdozer connected with the Land-Raider to form the “Land-Raider”, which is kind of redundant, but that is what is described in the comic book reprints below.

Back of Adventure 2000 K-2001 Box

After the model was featured in the comics, Lesney Matchbox sponsored a competition to win the three current Adventure 2000 models. So Lesney was quite aware of the use of their toys’ image in the comics. What I do not understand is why Matchbox did not do a separate marketing strategy and create new packaging for the models as “Judge Dredd” vehicles. A missed opportunity for Matchbox. And they needed that marketing kick.

Matchbox Competition Advertisement

In fact due to cost cutting, the fourth model in the Adventure 2000 series was a recolored Missile Launcher from the Battle Kings, and the fifth model, the Shuttle Launcher, is now one of the rarest Matchbox models out there. It was painted metallic blue, a change from the rest of the series which was painted light olive green, and was produced in low numbers due to Matchbox canceling the Adventure 2000 series.

The series was canceled due to poor sales and simultaneous feedback from some European markets to block the importing of “violent” themed toys. The entire series was to be recolored metallic blue, but alas only the Shuttle Launcher was released in the new color. Three Superfast models were also recolored metallic blue to be included in an Adventure 2000 gift set, but due to the canceling of the range these three Superfast models were “dumped” on the market and are now also quite rare. Below are further pictures from the comic books and a nice fan illustration.

Unattributed photo from the Web. Artist Mike McMahon. Copyright acknowledged.
Unattributed photo from the Web. Artist Mike McMahon. Copyright acknowledged.
Unattributed photo from the Web. Artist Mike McMahon. Copyright acknowledged.
Unattributed photo from the Web. Artist Mike McMahon. Copyright acknowledged.
Computer generated fan rendering of the Judge Dredd “Land-Raider”. Copyright acknowledged.

Editor’s Note: This article was published in December 2018 in the Illinois Collector’s Club Newsletter, Volume 22, Number 6. The club is open to new members around the world and can be contacted through their website at imccclub.com, or by contacting Bob Neumann at PO Box 1582, Bridgeview, Illinois 60455 USA; or neuelectro@email.com


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