Category Archives: Corgi Toys

Corgi July to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

All pictures used to illustrate this article are from Corgi’s web site. Most are mock ups or 3D renderings rather than examples of the final models. 

Business Background

I make no apologies for starting this article with news about the Hornby Hobbies business as June is not only when they announce the second half models but it is also their financial year end.

Already this year we have seen the company drop its plans to build a visitor centre to replace the one lost when they sold their headquarters site. This was followed in April by a major shareholder,  New Pistoia Income Limited, calling for the removal of Roger Canham the Executive Chairman. Before the Annual Results New Pistoia decided to cut their losses and sold the 20% they held in Hornby hobbies for 32 pence a share to Phoenix Asset Management Partners the biggest shareholder who now have 55% and have now to offer to buy any other shareholders shares at 32 pence.

Whilst all this upheaval took place the annual results were announced and the CEO/Chairman Roger Canham’s resignation as well. A growing underlying pre-tax loss of over six million pounds was widely reported in the Financial columns. Whilst their cash situation has significantly improved this will still leave them little capital to invest in new products so only the fast selling products with the highest level of margin will get any investment. The shareholders have not had a dividend for several years now and the shares values have flat lined over the last year so they are all losing money on the shares which cannot go on for ever.

Why does this matter to collectors of model vehicles? Well Corgi is hardly mentioned in any discussions of Hornby at all and apart from the 1:48 Lightning model investments in new mouldings are non-existent apart from a single 1:50 truck not even listed in the second half release section of their web pages.  The company states that its turnround is well under way with a belief that all UK brands have been maintained despite all the cost cutting measures taken, lower sales, and restrictions in the sales channels they are servicing. I am not sure that that does not count as what are now known as “alternate facts”. Collectors are right to be uneasy when they see that the  Corgi brand is not mentioned once in the plans for the next stage of the turnround.

It is against this background that Corgi announced their July to December catalogue. Almost everything in it is a new version of a casting already used several times in the past. Some castings  like the Vanguards Morris Minors and Mini are now several generations old and simply not up to the standards of Oxford Diecast, or PCT made models for part works or ranges like Whitebox. Looking at the Corgi Forum the posts about the new releases are mostly negative which I know reflects several MAR Online readers views as well. Corgi have not even listed some models on their web site that Hattons has listed like the re-released Basil Fawlty Austin  or yet another Mr Bean Mini.

I believe that the situation is clear: Hornby has no intention of investing in any significant level of new tooling for the Corgi ranges. Their sole idea of keeping Corgi alive is to produce re-paints of old castings and hope that they sell enough to milk some contribution from the brand to their financial recovery. In my opinion Corgi is now a spent force and Hornby is deluding itself if they expect collectors to pay nearly thirty pounds for Vanguards models made from  ageing moulds when DeAgostini/Atlas and others offer more for less money.

Corgi 2017 Second Half Catalogue

The models listed below are those listed by Corgi on their web site for the second half of 2017. Their January 2017 announcement was already reported here.  When checking a supplier website there are models available to order that are not in the catalogue such as five re-released James Bond vehicles, Mr Bean’s Mini, and Basil Fawlty’s 1100. There is also a single 1:50 scale lorry, Scania R (Face Lift) Flatbed Trailer & Brick Load “Ian Craig Haulage Ltd, Falkirk, Scotland”,  claimed to be new tooling. If these are new it seems strange that Corgi did not include them on their website listing.

My observations on the models offered are:

  1. The Royal Wedding Anniversary models are crude and horrid and quite expensive for the type of souvenir shop likely to want to stock them. I can’t see collectors wanting them at all.
  2. I hope the metallic models are not made with reflective flakes the size showing in pictures
  3. How many times are they going to release that Mini casting – it was not good when first released and looks even worse now compared to modern models?
  4. Who lined up all that awful thick silver detailing on the Minor Police Car windows?
  5. Why are they using the same moulds used already for re-paints recently so soon like the Sunbeam Alpine?
  6. Why is an “export” Rover 3500 fitted with UK number plates?
  7. Why keep on flogging the “New London Bus” to death when the new Mayor has cancelled buying any more of them?
  8. Why keep on releasing Land Rovers when Oxford will be doing them and charging significantly less?
  9. Why bother with the Captain Scarlett car? It has now slipped out of fashion again.
  10.   Many earlier releases of the re-used castings are available on eBay and at Toy Fairs for much less money why buy a new one?
  11. How can anybody at Corgi say they are “proud to introduce the July to December 2017 Corgi range, featuring a host of new introductions

Aviation Archive

English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook

 

Albatros D.Va D.7327/17, Lt. Lothar Weiland, Jasta 5, Seefrontstaffel 1

 

Fokker DR.1 Triplane 213/17 ‘K’, Lt. Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Kempf, Jasta 2

 

Sopwith Camel F.1 B6313, Major William George ‘Billy’ Barker RAF

 

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-97880/DF-F ‘Little Miss Mischief’ USAAF

 

Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZA461, RAF No.15 Squadron, Special Scheme

 

Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Operation Marita

 

Junkers Ju-88C-6 F8+BX, 13./KG40, Battle over the Biscay

 

Short Sunderland Mk.III W3999/ RB-Y No.10 Squadron RAAF, Early 1942

 

Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XW538/S, RAF No.16 Squadron, RAF Gutersloh

 

Hawker Typhoon lB RB389/I8-P ‘Pulverizer IV’, No.440 Sqn RCAF

 

Messerschmitt Bf 110E-2 G9+LN, Oblt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer

 

Westland Puma HC.1 XW220/AC, RAF No.72 Squadron, Aldergrove, 1997

 

Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 N2359/YB-J, ‘Winged Popeye’, RAF No.17 Sqn

 

Gloster Sea Gladiator N5519/G6A, No,802 NAS, HMS Glorious, 1939

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 ‘Yellow 1’ Oblt. Gerhard Schopfel, Battle of Britain

 

Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 P8127 ‘White 47’, Robert ‘R.T’ Smith, 3rd Sqn AVG

 

North American P-51D Mustang 44-13586/C5-T ‘Hurry Home Honey’, USAAF

Vanguards

 

Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1 Export Saloon Horizon Blue

 

Land Rover Series 1 80” RAC Road Service Vehicle

 

Ford Escort Mk3 XR3 Prairie Yellow

 

Austin Se7en Deluxe, Vanden Plas ‘Mini’ Lord Austin’s Daughter Irene Austin, Princess Blue-Grey Metallic

Morris Minor 1000 The Lothians and Peebles Constabulary

 

Ford Cortina Mk3 2000E Automatic Sahara Beige

 

Ford Cortina Mk2 Twin Cam (Lotus) Red II

 

Rover P6 3500S Scarab Blue, Export Specification, RHD

 

Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 Modena Green

 

Ford Sierra XR4i Strato Silver

 

Ford Capri 2300GT Mk1 1969 Tour de France Automobile

 

Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain

 

Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Quartz Blue Metallic

 

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Bermuda Blue

Original Omnibus

 

New Routemaster, Go-Ahead London, 88 Camden Town

 

New Routemaster, Go Ahead London, 88 Clapham Common

 

Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Shuttle Bus

Others

 

Paddington Bear New Routemaster

 

Captain Scarlet Classic Spectrum Saloon Car

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Mini

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Routemaster

Bloodhound SSC Super Hauler

 

Corgi Christmas Super Hauler

Closing thoughts

Long time MAR readers will know that I have been a collector of Corgi models in the past and have been getting more and more restive with each underwhelming release announcement. I know many of you feel the same. I think that the thing I find most insulting to collectors is the pretence that the Corgi range is active and vibrant. Some honesty and openness about the role Hornby think Corgi has going forward would be welcome. Some of us have been Corgi Collectors since our childhood.

What do you the reader think?

Last thought. If  Hornby can’t make anything of the range, it would surely be better to sell it to someone else who can?


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Britain’s Toy Car Wars: A Book Review

By Karl Schnelle

Giles Chapman has written a book on his childhood toy cars combined with a fascinating history of ‘the big three’ in the Golden Era of British Toy Cars. The three British toy car companies are the obvious ones listed on the cover (below), and the Golden Age was the 1960’s, as the author calls it. Mr. Chapman is a well-published author, so he brings a good perspective.

This new book is the same format as his previous books like 100 cars that Britain can be proud of and  My Dad had one of those.  His books are known for a sound coverage of the subjects and some well chosen and presented pictures. Chapman has written over 40 books and is a well known motoring journalist and author in the UK; he has now turned his attention from real cars to model cars.

Britain’s Toy Car Wars might be the first book that tries to tie the big three together in a historical and toy collector context. Many books have been written about the copious output of each company, so do not expect a review of their entire toy car production. I was expecting some side-by-side comparisons and timelines of who did what when, or who came out first with a certain feature and how did the others react. There is some of that, but mostly it is the author’s reminiscing about his childhood toys and then explaining the background of the company that produced them. In fact, many of the nice photos are of play-worn cars, which reinforces the readers’ nostalgia for their childhood.

If you are a specialist collector of Dinky, or Matchbox, or Corgi, then you will get a better understanding of the other two companies.  As a kid, I collected all three and have read a lot about their history since then.  So I did not learn a lot of new information about them, but several interesting facts did pop out from Chapman’s research.

I had realized that Meccano was much older and more conservative in their approach to selling Dinky Toys, but I did not know that Dinkys were sold in only 6000 approved stores while Matchbox and Corgi were everywhere, in more than 20,000 shops.  Chapman portrays Smith and Odell as the ‘young guns’: they disrupted Meccano’s domination with Dinkys by selling pocket toys at a much cheaper price, available all over Britain at the time.

There has been a lot written about Hornby, Smith, and Odell, but this book also includes some history of the people at Mettoy.    Van Cleemput is already well-known and is covered here.  However, I learned a lot about the Ullmann and the Katz families and their involvement with the success of Corgi Toys.  In fact, Giles Chapman wrote Arthur Katz’ obituary for the Independent (1999).

If you would like the read about all three companies and their high-level rivalries, please read this book.  The author writes in a very engaging style and brings both the history and nostalgia into the story.


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Corgi 2017 – Reader’s Response

From Andrew Davies

From his Facebook post

My response to the Editor’s posting on Corgi’s 2017 Announcement

 

Correct, the 1:48 scale English Electric Lightning is the only new tooling announced in the Corgi ranges and by rights it shouldn’t even be in this catalogue as it has a due date of Q4 2017, i.e. within the scope of the next catalogue. The last new tooling in the Vanguards range was VA13800 released in June 2015, (Ed as shown above) , so it will be a gap of at least two years between new tooling in the range assuming that we see some in the announcements for the second half of 2017. Sad.

Unfortunately, according to Hornby PLC’s beancounter turned CEO, new tooling spend across the group is being cut to a third of previous levels (and Hornby Trains & Airfix will be first in the queue for what there is). Only model lines that meet a defined level of profit contribution will continue to be produced in the foreseeable future (see Hornby PLC 2016 annual report) hence the discontinuation of the Haulier range and the older buses. Ed – of course recoloured models from existing moulds give a higher contribution to profits as there is no tooling cost but only as long as anyone wants to buy them.

Just to show how out of touch they are, they will produce Vanguards models using Lledo 1990s tooling (Anglia, Mini, Beetle, Imp) with its moulded-in detail like tail lights, door handles, etc., and expect collectors to pay £28 to £30 for them! It is sad to think about the money Corgi wasted in recent years by investing in tooling for the Formula One cars, the Lotus cars, the Bentley cars, and the oddly-scaled static trains, all of which were remaindered and discontinued. That money could have been spent on new tooling in the core ranges for a far greater return.

Maz. I just hope the last line of your introduction does not turn out to be prophetic …


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A look at the Corgi models for 2017

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.

Aviation Archive

 

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)
AA27605


 

North American P-51D Mustang, 44-14733/CS-L ‘Daddy’s Girl’, Capt. Ray Wetmore
AA27704


 

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4, W.Nr. 3579 ‘White 14’, Fahnrich Hans Joachim Marseille
AA28003


 

Curtiss Tomahawk IIB, AK402, P/O Neville Duke, RAF No.122 Squadron
AA28103


 


English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook
AA28401



Westland Sea King HC.4, ZA290/VC, No.846 Naval Air Squadron
AA33421


 


 

Vickers Wellington 1C, R1162 / AA-Y ‘Y for Yorker’, No.75 (New Zealand) Squadron

AA34811


 

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
AA35709


 

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4, ZJ950/C ‘Charity’, RAF No.29 Squadron
AA36408



 

Westland Wessex HC.2, XV721/H ‘Heart’, RAF No.72 Squadron
AA37610


 


SPAD XIII, S2445, Major Francesco Baracca, 91st Squadriglia, Italian Air Force, April 1918
AA37907


 

Douglas C-47 Dakota, ZA947, ‘KWICHERBICHEN’, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
AA38208


 

Panavia Tornado F.3, ZG797/D ‘Desperation’, RAF No.29 Squadron, 1435 Flight
AA39807


Vanguards

 

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
VA00132



VW Beetle, Coral Oval Rear Window Saloon
VA01207



Mini Cooper S Mk1, Tartan Red & Black
VA02539



Austin Mini Cooper S Durham Constabulary
VA02540



Hillman Imp Mk2 Super, Grasshopper Metallic
VA02624



Suneam Alpine, Seacrest Green, Pre-Production Prototype, XRW302
VA07006



Wolseley Six, Rheingold Metallic
VA08506



Vauxhall Viva GT (H), Elkhart Yellow
VA08713


Ford Escort Mk1 Mexico, Electric Monza Blue
VA09521


Leyland Princess 2200 HL, Sandglow
VA10208



Ford Capri Mk3 1.6 Calypso Cardinal Red & Strato Silver
VA10817



Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, Black
VA11705



Ford Fiesta Mk1 Supersport, Sunburst Red
VA12510



Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 (Forest Arches), Diamond White
VA12609



Austin Morris Mini Clubman 1100, Reynard Metallic
VA13506


Original Omnibus

 

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
OM46512A


Wright Eclipse Gemini 2, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, White Hawk 1A
OM46512B


New Routemaster, Stagecoach, 8 Bow Church
OM46618A


New Routemaster, Stagecoach, 15 Trafalgar Square
OM46618B


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Corgi 2017 – Police Mini Cooper

By Maz Woolley

 

va02540_mini-cooper-s-police_hps_1

VA02540 Austin Mini Cooper S, Durham Constabulary

Corgi have announced another “new model” for May 2017 to follow the ‘recycled’ Sunbeam Alpine. Yet again it is a re-used casting, this time of the Mini Cooper S .

Far from being a new model the Durham Mini Cooper was made by Corgi Classics some time ago in a box set with the Jaguar Mark II used by Durham’s Motorway Patrol. However, the sample picture of this new issue does seem to have more realistic speaker and bell fitments rather than the rally style spotlights of the original and it has ordinary wheels rather than alloys too. Looking at the sample there are few other updates to bring the model up to date. The interior has no door cards just a painted metal shell and the front indicator and rear lights are just painted on.  In fact this model is no better than the average part work issue, and poorer than many. All of which might not matter if the Corgi pre-order price was not so high, it will cost substantially more than a more detailed Oxford Diecast Rolls Royce Model for example.

Whilst we wish Corgi well at MAROnline but we don’t think that the way to succeed is to re-use old castings that are already long in the tooth and then claim that they are “new”. If these are being trailed as their exciting releases for 2017 then in our view Corgi will fall even further behind the competition.


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Corgi 2017 First News

By Maz Woolley

 

Corgi  has announced a 2017 release at the 2016 Classic Motor Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. It is scheduled to be released in March 2017 so the picture shown is of a pre-production sample.

corgi-va07006-sunbeam-alpine

This model is based upon the Sunbeam Alpine pre-production prototype XRW 302. This is painted in seacrest green and bears the registration numbers on the real car as shown at the Classic Car Show.

The “series” Sunbeam Alpine was a two-seater sports drophead coupé. It was built by the Rootes Group from 1959 to 1968 and early cars were assembled at Armstrong Siddeley factory as Rootes had no room in their own factories.   The name Alpine was used following the earlier Sunbeam-Talbot’s success in the Alpine Rally during the early 1950s.

The car modelled  by Corgi is the third and only surviving prototype, making it the oldest Alpine in existence. It survived because, rather than being thrashed to breaking point in testing, it was allocated to the company’s design department to be used in the development of new styles and trim.

The car was sold in 1961 to Rootes’ development engineer Bernard Unett, who’d worked on the Alpine programme and wanted to go racing. He debuted the car at Silverstone in September 1961.  After its racing career the car passed through several owners before finally being acquired by its current owner, John Willshire, who has shown the car at events such as the Silverstone Classic meeting, the Goodwood Revival and the Classic Motor Show where the car was awarded runner-up in ‘Classic Car of the Year’.

Looking at the photograph of the pre-production sample of this car Corgi has not taken steps to uprate this now long in the tooth casting yet. I do hope that before they launch the production model next March they invest some time  to make sure that it has the correct colour interior trim, correct colour tonneau cover and better wire wheels.


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Triumph over Adversity

By John Quilter

 

In my never ending quest to replicate all the British Leyland products of the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond here is one more to fill in a gap. It’s a chop of a Vanguards Triumph 2.5 saloon into an estate. This one fooled me, as I did not do my detail research carefully enough and built the wagon with the same overall length as the saloon. Then, later when it was all done and painted, found out they are in fact 5 inches shorter than the saloons! This can be determined by the rear bumper which on the wagon extends to the rear wheel well but on the saloon it is 5 inches short of the wheel well. Can’t understand why they did this as the wheelbase is identical on the two cars. Well, after it was all done I had to tear it apart and saw a scale 5 inches off the rear quarter, reassemble, and repaint. Not to mention shortening the rear of the diecast baseplate to match. The roof on this one differs from my usual technique of using a shaped aluminium extrusion but on this I shaped a piece of sheet aluminium into the rear part of the roof and upper tailgate. The rear panel needed some changes to the tail lamps and a black insert. The load floor was a piece of grooved styrene plastic out of my stock. I abandoned the dark blue donor model’s wing mirrors as I never liked these, and mounted them on the doors.

Triumph 2000 cars were launched in 1963 as the Mark 1 and these ran until 1969 at which point the Mark 2 was launched with a new front styling that matched the soon to be launched Stag. Design work was with Triumph’s usual stylist, Giovani Michelotti. There were more versions of the Mark 2, a 2500 TC and a 2.5PI with petrol injection from the TR5 and TR6 European specification. The Triumph 2000 had a short run as a saloon in the USA from about 1965 to 1967 but was never popular in comparison to their range of sports cars: Spitfires, GT6s and TR4s. But the 2000s are still seen from time to time at big British car shows.

1972-74 Triumph 2.5 X2 1972-74 Triumph 2.5 1972 Triumph 2.5 MK 2 wagon 1972 Triumph 2.5 MK 2 wagon rear

Just for comparison I’ve included a picture of the long running Abbey Classics kit of a Mark 1 estate I built many years ago.

1967 Triumph 2000 estate #2


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Trip Report to Sandown Park, England, Toy Fair

By Marcel Colijn

I visited Sandown Park on Saturday, May 28th.  It had been 18 months since I had been there, and I very much enjoyed it.  The journey from the Netherlands on Friday evening through Belgium, France and the ferry from Calais to Dover went well although customs took ages.
At Victoria station another 45 minutes was lost because of customs and a small parcel I had with me with a Rolls Royce model with a radio inside for a fellow collector had to be opened.  We finally arrived at Sandown at 8.00 in the morning.  So many vintage toys all together.
I met many old friends including Garry, Bob, Paul (who had a stand there for many years), John, Reg, Philipe and 2 friends from Belgium, Holger from Germany, Graham and more.  These are some photos taken at John Moore’s stall (who had his 71st birthday that day!)

HPIM7202_zpsvapfvtux

HPIM7205_zpsfppr1jgd

Next to him was the stand of Bob may who had these Yesteryear sets among many other Matchbox items.

HPIM7207_zpshmbmcoo6

Andrew had very nice items including a boxed MOKO Excavator.

HPIM7161_zpsyc6fjetg

Opposite of him was a very nice stand full of vintage models.

HPIM7155_zpsf4nezjef

Vectis had many nice items on display including rare Spot On models.

HPIM7178_zpszxw4nwqr

Another auction house had these superb tinplate toys including the GBP 16.000 (US$ 23,000) Carette model.

HPIM7190_zps4ybunh8p

HPIM7192_zpsshnfeux1

But of course there was more tinplate…

HPIM7213_zpszpuq5q43

 

Some nice Matchbox giftsets from the 1964 period were on another table.

HPIM7207_zpshmbmcoo6

Later early 70’s Matchbox sets on another table

HPIM7210_zpssz3imn3l

Paul Carr was there with a stand at Sandown for 4 years he told me. Graham Hamilton from Rockerton Toys shortly came along and had a nice box full of models which were never released, including a handmade white metal model for the Models of Yesteryear range made by a craftsman outside the Lesney Factory.

HPIM7193_zpsd4wjazd8

HPIM7196_zpsoecpy2o6

HPIM7197_zpswxvwczlu

Of course there were many nice Corgi and Dinky models, this is just one of the stands with Corgi and Dinky models on sale:

HPIM7184_zpslhyuslqk

This is always one of the better tables at Sandown.

HPIM7170_zpsobsxg3n4

Philipe Sergeant from Belgium had several Corgi items like this one.

HPIM7235_zpshqyfcyag

Bob and I left for the south around 12.30 and what a lovely tour it was via Seaford and the famous chalk cliffs to Eastbourne.
It was the 2nd time to visit Bob’s collection and what an amazing collection it is. Far more models were added since my last visit and the cabinets now all have glass. Superb preproduction models, a very nice plated section and many many models most of us can only dream off…

HPIM7255_zpsu95yyv9i

After a lovely dinner I took the 19.00 train from Eastbourne (see photo) to Victoria for my 21.30 night coach back to the Netherlands. At 9.30 Sunday morning I was home again.  Many, many more photos from Sandown can be seen here.

HPIM7289_zpsuonw6xp5

Thunderbirds are 50!

By Robin Godwin

Thunderbirds offical Anniversary Poster

The first episode of Thunderbirds was shown on British Television on 30th September 1965. Given the number of times it appears on television even today it is amazing that only 32 episodes were made. Three classic style episodes are being developed for the anniversary year, though sadly Gerry Anderson is no longer with us to share this anniversary.

To celebrate the anniversary various models are planned. Perhaps the most interesting are from DeAgostini Japan which has launched a partwork which looks like it will feature vehicles to a constant 1:144 scale including quite a few of the special vehicles like the “Mole”. Promotional artwork for this series is shown below. It will be interesting to see what these models are like when the series gets under way and we start seeing them on the secondary market. (Editor: If any reader is collecting these models we would love to see pictures of them)

DeAgostini Thunderbirds Japan

First thoughts were that Tomica might be making this series for DeAgostini but this is probably not the case since Tomica has launched its own Thunderbirds models all in “fit to box” format so they are not to a constant scale. Promotional artwork for these models is shown below with FAB1 presumably being the version in the recent animated series:

 

Tomica THunderbirds Range

Finally Corgi are re-issuing their Thunderbirds models for the Anniversary too as shown in the Corgi artwork below:

Corgi Thunderbirds 1 and 3 Corgi Thunderbirds 2 and 4 Corgi FAB1

So on their 50th Aniversary Thunderbirds are definitely GO!


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Graeme Catches the Last Bus

BY GRAEME WATT                                  January 2014

A note from the Editors:

Graeme Watt of Aberdeen has been one of the most faithful contributors to Model Auto Review down the years. Many of his articles featured scratch-built models or conversions of military vehicles he came across in a diverse life as a driver in the army. Latterly Graeme depicted buses from his locality in model form, and he produced many elaborate dioramas down the years for local events and charities. It is with great regret, therefore,  that we now publish Graeme’s last article.
We hope that one of his many friends in the local Grampian Club will show Graeme this article on a computer or other digital device, as he does not have computer access.


 

Corgi Volvo Wright Gemini double decker in the new livery of First Bus Code 3

This is my LAST model bus (by Corgi), bought in the LAST model shop (Modelzone) in Aberdeen, for the LAST strip and repaint exercise to bring the local bus exhibition up to date, with a Volvo Wright Gemini double decker, in the new livery of FIRST Bus. It will also be my LAST article, too late for the LAST print edition of Model Auto Review, but in time for the FIRST MAR Online edition.

Corgi Volvo Wright Gemini double decker in the new livery of First Bus Code 3

Now that I am in my tenth decade (i.e. over 90) I have contracted age-related macular degeneration in both eyes and all my straight lines, horizontal or vertical, now have kinks in them, so hacksaws, tin snips,craft knives, paintbrushes and the like are beyond my scope. Even completed models acquire rather unusual shapes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all ‘MARtians’ for allowing me to make a vast number of very great friends, far too many to name individually. The model fraternity is world wide, even reaching the sunny beaches of Bal Ham*.

As I am 100% computer illiterate, I will just sign off with best regards from Graeme.

* Note: this is a reference to our other MAR contributor called Graeme (Ogg), the ‘Balham Chopper’. We hope that someone is able to keep Graeme Watt up to date on MAR happenings, by showing him MAR Online.

Corgi Volvo Wright Gemini double decker in the new livery of First Bus Code 3


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