Category Archives: Greenlight

Hitch and Tow Series 8 Pop-Up Trailer

By Maz Woolley

 

The Greenlight 1:64 scale Hitch and Tow series made in China for the US is well established with Series Ten being launched this month. Most series have few new trailers now with the same trailer appearing in new colours and with a different tow car. Here we look at the pop-up camping trailer first seen in series eight with a Ford F-150 pickup towing it. This trailer appears again in series 10 pulled by a 1970 Ford F-100 pickup as the tow car.

The camper can be displayed in open form as seen at the top of this posting or closed as shown immediately above. Please note that it normally has a white gas cylinder mounted on the body just above the tow bar however this has broken off mine.

Inside the camper is a simplified interior which is superfluous as it cannot be seen when the camper is displayed either open or closed.

As the photograph above shows the folding fabric has been well modelled on the tent section. This section is made out of plastic and locates with a lugs into the base and the metal cover/roof locates into the top of the plastic section with the small lugs it also uses to locate into the metal base section when shown closed.

The Ford F-150 is well modelled with the complicated front lights neatly inserted as separate items. The interior with its second row of seats has been modelled in some detail though it has no printed details. The tyres even have the Goodyear details printed on them and the Ford logo is printed on the grille centre. The F-150 is a best selling vehicle in the US despite a combined cycle fuel usage of 18-20 miles to a US Gallon.

Given that it is being used to go camping a cover or top fitted on the truck bed to cover the luggage and camping gear might have been nice but one can hardly complain about its absence given Greenlight’s pricing of this range.

The US 1:64 scale marketplace seems to be thriving with new series planned for the near future.  Some early castings of M2s forthcoming Datsun range have been shown, the 240Z and Bluebird, and they look very good as shown with no opening doors. I am sure that a lot of collectors are looking forward to the models.


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Greenlight Indy Racers and Roadsters

by Karl Schnelle

 

Back in June, I wrote about looking for diecast cars at the Indianapolis 500 open wheeled race.  The race was on May 29, 2016, and was the 100TH RUNNING!  I found some modern Indy style race cars there,  in 1/64 and 1/18 which are popular scales in the US.  That was about all I saw, and I did not buy any.  Then, my Mother, being the ultimate model car collector,  gave me a 1/24 scale Indy Roadster for my birthday.  I did not see this car anywhere for sale at the track in May.    She found it in a magazine ad!

The gold race car is in the style of the late 1930’s and 40’s with a long hood for the engine.   Embossed printing on the hood says 100th Running Indianapolis 500″ in red; on the rails underneath it says “INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY”.  The packaging was definitely for the 2016 race, and the car was made by Enlighten in China,  a large well-known, local company that makes all sorts of model cars.

Because of the retro style of the Roadster, with was unlike any Greenlight I had ever seen, I searched around online and found out that they had also made a similar one ten years before!  For the 90TH RUNNING of the Indy 500, Greenlight made a silver one and called it an Indy Racer on the box.   Not sure why they changed names.  So I was on the search for its twin and found it that same day ending at an online auction site.  The owner turned out to be from Indianapolis and had bought it at the race in May 2006 at one of the track gift shops.  What a small world!  So I had to have it and won it easily.

The box was more generic with no mention of the 90th running or the 2016 race itself.  The copyright on the bottom was 2006 so that was a give-away.   However, the same printing is on the car except that 90th was in place of 100th, still in red. The seat is the same red color, as the newer 100th version!

Here are both out of the box:

Once they were out of the box, other differences became apparent, not just the color and the printing.   The silver one is marked stainless on the box and is much heavier than the newer gold model. The bases are different as well, even they they are the exact same dimensions.

The silver is one-piece with a seam inside running down the middle.   It’s nice to see the date of the 2006 race engraved on the bottom. From my untrained eyes, it looks to be cast, polished stainless steel.  The lighter-weight gold one has a separate baseplate attached with six recessed screws.  Is this diecast made from the typical zinc alloy, like zamak (mazac)?

I assume the cost of a new mold for the gold one was feasible versus the cost of stainless steel, or the 2006 mold was lost?

In any case, 2006 is NOT the beginning of the story.  The box for the silver one talks about the original 1946 version that Tony Hulman (the owner of the track) and Wilbur Shaw (driver and President of the track) gave to drivers and sponsors.

The steel car was typical of the race cars of the late 30’s and into the 40’s.  In fact, ni500cc.com shows many older versions:

  1. Original which looks like the silver Greenlight with a small hole in the baseplate near the front and no writing on the hood (cowl), but the same writing on the rails
  2.  Same but with Wilbur Shaw’s signature embossed on the cowl
  3.  With Clabber Girl Spl embossed on the cowl
  4.  With Clabber Girl Spl sticker on the cowl
  5.  Red with and with out Shaw’s signature
  6.  Yellow with and with out Shaw’s signature
  7.  White with and with out Shaw’s signature
  8.  1947 Nash Pace Car or the 1948 Chevrolet Pace Car with company details embossed on to of the hood
  9.  A plastic version was reported to be made

I have the two new reproductions now, so perhaps I need to start prowling around the antique markets in Indy and online places to dig up nine more! The hunt is on!


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Who’s Who in 1:64 Scale Volkswagen Beetles

By Robin Godwin

For pictures of these models please see the captioned photographs after the text.

I can understand the frustration of collectors when they see another new issue of a VW Beetle. Personally, I get very tired of seeing every possible iteration of Ferrari or racing Porsche, since I generally don’t collect those models. The Beetle has to rank up there in popularity with manufacturers and collectors alike. They will always sell. There has been lots of activity recently in the 1:64 scale world for VWs here in North America, but recently a couple of European manufacturers have jumped into the fray, and Kyosho of Japan adds a few new issues now and then. Perhaps the biggest difference between the US companies (M2, Greenlight, the reborn Johnny Lightning, and Hot Wheels) and those based in Europe and Japan is that the American companies are given to producing what editor Maz refers to as “artificial rarities” – deliberate, low-volume, special issues with some sort of difference(s) from the basic issue, not just a standard recolour. That is true, and some are low volume specials, but others are “event” specials like the auto show SEMA (Special Equipment Market Association https://www.semashow.com/the-sema-show ) or international market versions. The net effect is the same – hard to find and usually more expensive to purchase. I’ll touch on this phenomenon a bit, but leave the details for another article.

That said, Kyosho, Minialuxe (OK, so that one is 1:66), Schuco, M2, Greenlight, the “new” Johnny Lightning (OK, so these ones are slightly bigger than 1:64), and Hot Wheels (scale not usually a concern with the basic line, but around 1:64) are the current players that I’ll discuss. I have just discovered that the “new” Solido company, launched under the Otto umbrella will issue a 1:64 scale series which includes a Beetle 1303 sedan. Unfortunately, it is the Kyosho Beetle. I don’t know the business arrangement that has brought this to pass – whether the models are purchased directly from Kyosho or from the Chinese manufacturers, but it may be a slightly less expensive method of acquiring the Kyosho Beetle, which are generally only available from Asian dealers online. I’m reasonably confident that the base will read Solido rather than Kyosho, as Solido has done on other contracted models. I’ll update readers once I have one.

Other manufacturers are doing VWs as well. Norev is doing a “3 inch” model, usually described as 1:55ish, Maisto still does oval window Beetles, both for themselves and others (I’ve seen Burago VWs by Maisto) but these are a bit cartoonish “chopped” versions and also around 1:55 scale, maybe even a tad bigger, and there are others doing 1:72nd and 1:76th Beetles, but I’ll leave all those for another day.

Let’s start with the most prolific producers, Greenlight and M2. These two seem to be going head-to-head in the VW world. Greenlight (GL) started in 2010 with a VW30 Prototype and followed in 2011 with the “Classic VW” issue (big window), both of which were originally sourced from Chinese manufacturer High Speed. The VW30 has been phased out, but the Classic soldiers on. I’m not sure if these are still cast by High Speed, or if Greenlight now owns the mould, but this particular model has been issued by several other companies, including High Speed itself. Early issues had both Greenlight and High Speed cast into the plastic base, but more recent issues have just Greenlight. In 2015, GL issued a split window VW which they are selling as anything from a 1938 VW (they weren’t called Volkswagens back then, but were known as KdF) all the way up to a 1953 Beetle (later in 1953 the rear window was changed to oval). At this scale, minor detail differences, inaccuracies, or omissions are not such a big deal. There is lots of tampo printing for trim detail, but GL makes no effort to show the quarter light/vent window on either model. The GL split window has an opening bonnet and boot, with basic engine detail. Panel fit is actually pretty good, but one wonders if GL is only doing this because M2 Auto-thentics did opening panels first. GL special issues are called “Green Machines” (GM) and can feature a metallic green body colour or even a raw body casting (unpainted), or green wheels or even green tires or combinations thereof. GMs are usually 2% of regular production, and occasionally have low double digit production runs, so can be exceedingly rare. GL has also done VWs for California Toys of Brazil, to date only the big window “Classic”. Seven issues currently exist, four of which are police issues. Three of these have police roof lights, a first for GL. These issues are very difficult to find outside of Brazil. The Classic features painted headlights and taillights, with a plastic “riveted” base. The split window has clear plastic headlights, painted taillights and a metal base fixed by a single phillips screw (so I would never buy a “unique interior colour” online). The regular issues are sold on blister cards, but many of the variations of both Greenlight VWs are only sold in themed sets of up to five vehicles of which up to three could be Beetles. Some online dealers will split the sets and sell models as loose singles, but sometimes the models offered as singles appear to be quality control rejects. Look carefully at the photos before you buy. All you need to know about GL beetles (or any 1:64 GL casting) can be found at http://za3collectibles.com/index.htm about the best online collector resource I have seen.

M2 issued it’s first VWs in an Autothentics VW sub series in 2013, which included an oval window (so, good for 1953 to 1957 issues) and a big window version, good up until about 1967, after which the headlight housings became noticeably more vertical. Both castings feature opening bonnets and boots with engine detail. The oval uses a paint strip on the side windows to represent the quarter window, and it is badly placed, making the window too big. The big window model has cast quarter windows, a much better effort. I previously reviewed the first issues in a MAR online article, so won’t repeat the details or criticisms but, as forecast in the original article, M2 has played with the dies a bit so now we have sunroof (open and closed with canvas roof ripples cast in) versions, along with bumper variations to reflect different national vehicle standards. M2 also does special issues and “chase” issues (usually just gold wheels and gold tampo trim) and usually indicates the production numbers. Some of the special issues also have chase vehicles, for instance, the SEMA special for 2014 featured 492 regular issues, but there were another 108 chase issues as well, done in a different body colour. Wal Mart seems to be a driving factor, since they have had several Wal Mart exclusives, with accompanying chase vehicles (up to 1600 chase vehicles issued). There is a Wal Mart Mexico series as well, covering more than just VWs. These are unique colours, with Spanish packaging, and “MEX 01” (or whatever issue number it is) printed on the plastic plinth. Be careful if buying online, since many of the regular US issues/colours are also available in Mexico, with Spanish packaging, but without “MEX xx”. Except for the language, those ones are the same as you can find anywhere in the US. M2 also did a few VWs for a Puerto Rican toy store with 492 regulars and 108 chase Beetles. These are hard to find. Similarly, they did a special for a Canadian toy store with 492 regular issues, 108 chase models and 24 “Super Chase” models (and we’re talking really silly eBay prices for this one).

A couple of points to note if one is planning on buying any GL or M2 online. Both feature rubber tires on plastic rims. The regular issues are, of course, toys, generally sold for less than $6 US, so perhaps some quality control issues can be excused. Any GL or M2 that features white wall tires should be examined very closely in the photos. In both cases, the white is printed on the rubber tires. M2 tends to have less than perfect white coverage and also frequent off centre printing of the VW logo on the wheels. GL tends to have the whole white wall slightly off centre or oval in shape, but wheel logos are cast in. Both manufacturers frequently fail to get the tire properly seated on the plastic rim before putting the vehicles in the sealed blister packs (or boxes). Lots of folks like to keep their blister packs as originally issued (unopened), so an improperly fitted tire can be exasperating.

Johnny Lightning (JL) was reborn late last year and one of their first reissues was the 1975 Super Beetle Convertible. All of the original Playing Mantis issues but one had the top down, but the reissue is top up. This is clearly a toy, slightly bigger than 1:64, and appears to be unchanged from the original. It features slightly-too-wide rubber tires (mostly a good thing, as JL has done lots of plastic tires in the past) on incorrect generic wheels, or we could be nice and call them custom toy wheels. The first issue comes with an “A” series in red, and a “B” series in yellow, along with a White Lightning (WL) version. WLs represent 1 to 5% of regular production, but I have never seen a reference to real production volumes, so cannot even estimate the number of WLs. With painted headlights and taillights, there is nothing really special about the details, but the tampo highlights are well done. The base is cast in metal and riveted in place. These are respectable toys and retail for less than $6 in the US, but online sellers seem to want to try to get more than that. In its previous incarnation, JL also produced a 1964 – 1966 Beetle, and a 1951 split window Beetle but there is no indication yet if these dies will be resurrected. An outstanding JL reference website is Wyatt’s http://www.jlcollector.net/index2.html

As we all know, Hot Wheels (HW) is all over the die cast map these days, still going strong with the regular HW basic line that set the die cast toy world on its head in the late 60s. There have been multiple VW Beetle castings, mostly customs of some sort. The current 1:64ish Beetle is an oval window with fairly accurate body casting save for the excessively big real wheel arches, which enable the fitment of Hot Wheels usually huge wheels. Occasionally, HW will issue a model with “Real Riders” (RR) which translates into rubber tires. The photo shows a recent “Herbie” release with RRs that are too wide but otherwise realistically sized (which really highlights the oversize rear wheel arches). The Herbie markings are quite accurate, but of course the Love Bug was a square window VW and not an oval, so zero points for accuracy here. Basic HWs are still sold for $1.00, except when it is a special or a RR like the Love Bug, shown, then it is three or four times the price. It’s a bit of a shame that Hot Wheels does not revive their Chinese made 100% Hot Wheels Beetle casting from 2001, a square window model with excellent lines and an opening boot with a chrome engine. The wheels were always rubber, and accurately sized, at least in diameter, as were the rear wheel arches. It was always a custom of some sort, with a single exhaust (a separate plastic engine/exhaust piece on the base) and minus both bumpers. Adding bumpers and stock exhaust would have produced the most accurate Hot Wheels small scale Beetle, but unfortunately it appears this casting has been retired. They are worth tracking down on eBay.

The Minialuxe brand (France) was revived recently with lots of 1:43 vehicles, all in metal, and to a level of finish consistent with ’60s diecasts or the current Atlas Dinky Toys reissues. This is kind of a nostalgic range even though the original Minialuxe products were 1:43 plastic. Just within the past year, Minialuxe released a “Miniabox” line of 1:66 vehicles, again all metal, and included a square window Beetle. This is a very nice simple casting (except for the missing quarter light window) with windows and a well done interior (LHD). The headlights are Swarovski crystals. Wheels are spun aluminum and tires are very accurate thin 60s style. These come in four different colours, with unique “colour-matched” boxes. I would love to have all four versions, but they cost 20 Euros each, plus shipping from Minialuxe, who still seem to prefer direct marketing, although they do sell direct at some large French toy shows. Minialuxe have issued a couple of Beetles with roof lights in their 1:43 series (Polizei and Swiss PTT), so I would anticipate similar issues in the smaller range sometime in the future. The question remains – why 1:66?

An odd turn of events in light of the above, is Schuco issuing a line of vehicles called Edition 1:64, when they used to have an excellent 1:66 scale range many years ago (60s and 70s). I thought initially the Beetle 1500, issued in 2014, might be sourced from High Speed (Schuco did issue some High Speed 1:64 in their earlier Junior range, I have the E-Type Jag from 2005) similar to early Greenlight models, but they are unique castings that include the quarter lights. Base is metal with cast in bumpers and is fastened to the body with two small phillips screws. Headlights are clear plastic with tampo silver rims, and the taillights are separate red plastic bits – nice detail in this scale. No body panels open. The wheels are done the same as M2 and some Greenlight models. The rim is chromed then the outer portion of it is sprayed body colour to give the effect of a chrome hubcap on a body-coloured wheel. It is not always successful, with some off-centre painting and poor colour matching. To date, there have been five versions, including a “Herbie”, a Polizei with roof light and a Nurnberg 2016 Toy Fair model in red with white show graphics. The addition of the Polizei roof light is the only casting change to date. These are all regular edition models, except for the show special, and I have no idea how many of these were made. It appears that Schuco does not engage in “artificial rarities” as discussed above, nor are they issuing sets of models in unique colours (yet). These are priced at about Euro 11 in Germany, so a bit more expensive than M2 or Greenlight models, but perhaps Schuco does not have a Wal Mart or equivalent pressing for a lower price point.

Finally, Kyosho of Japan markets a huge range of 1:64 vehicles which seem to be only reliably available in Asia. The first VWs appeared in 2008 in a Minicar Collection Gashapon series (Gashapon = generic box, so that you don’t know which model you are getting until you open the box). There were two models, a 1303 Super Beetle sedan and the other a Super Beetle cabrio. It should be noted that the second issue of VW Minicar Collection (issued in 2015 and still current), has deleted the cabrio, and the Solido lineup as mentioned above does not feature the cabrio either. http://www.kyosho.com/jpn/products/diecast/brmc/volkswagen2/index.html My earlier comments about inaccuracies/omissions in this scale can be cast aside here. These are exceptional little models immediately noticeable in the wheel detail and the flush glazing with fine tampo window trim. Headlights are separate clear lenses inset into chrome trim bezels. Taillights are separate solid red plastic pieces. Unfortunately, there is no top orange (turn indicators) or bottom clear (backup lights) incorporated, but it is 1:64 scale after all. Tampo printing of rear engine vents is superb. The riveted base is plastic. There is one criticism, but it is only that the yellow paint has a hard time covering some of the cast ridges – other darker coloured versions do not have this problem. Although now obsolete, the cabrio is worth searching out on eBay, but also comes with a criticism. The windshield/frame is a separate mask-painted plastic piece, with a slight shade difference to the body paint. Still, these 1:64 models could embarrass some 1:43 scale manufacturers. Hopefully the Solido issue of these models will feature some new colours over time, but the first issue illustrated in their 2016 catalogue is the same colour as the recent Kyosho issue – how disappointing.

#1#1 An early “Classic Beetle” (large window) on bottom, with both High Speed and Greenlight cast logos. Top is a later version missing High Speed logo. It is from a GL Hollywood Film Reels set from the movie “Bullitt”, hence the Warner Bros. tampo


#2
#2 The Bullitt VW alongside a Greenlight split window from their “Pennzoil” five-car set. The split window was bought as a singleton from an online dealer, but it looks more like a quality control reject – bad wheel paint


#3
#3 14 diorama sets (bottom right is a “Camping” diorama with one VW Beetle), 68 vehicles, of which only 29 are Beetles


#4
#4 A typical Greenlight diorama set (Malibu Surf Shop). None of these models are sold as singletons


#5#5 A Greenlight “Green Machine” (from “North Shore Surf Shack” diorama – only 28 of these GMs made!!) flanked by oval window (left) and large window (right) M2 castings


#6#6 A Mexico only issue. Note MEX 03 issue number. This means colour is unique to Mexican market. Others may be sold in Mexico, with Spanish language packaging, but without a Mexico issue number – these are the same as available in the US (from internet)


#7#7 Rear view of same cars


#8#8 A Wal Mart special issue. This is a “Chase” version with gold rims and trim. 1600 issue size is a lot for a chase model, but there are over 4000 Wal Mart stores in the US alone


#9#9 The relaunched Johnny Lightning Super Beetle Convertible with collector card, also available in yellow with white convertible top (up, as well) and a White Lightning version. The WL version is based on the red car, since it has a black top and interior, and pearl silvery/white body and white tires


#10#10 Essentially the same came vehicle – Kyosho foreground is very accurate but you can see the colour difference between plastic and metal painted parts. The Kyosho highlights the toylike quality of the JL. Kyosho convertible is no longer available, but can be found on eBay


#11#11 A very recent Hot Wheels oval window issue with “Real Riders”. Rubber tires are nice, but highlight the enormous wheel arches. Very much a toy, but still a decent VW model


#12#12 A 100% Hot Wheels custom VW from an earlier era (right), and now obsolete, but it’s much more accurate casting than the current stuff. Left is the Kyosho, the current gold standard for 1:64 Beetles, although not everybody likes the “Super Beetle” with it’s curved windscreen


#13#13 Miniabox by Minialuxe. Note black box illustration for black model.


#14#14 Left to right: M2, Schuco, Kyosho, Miniabox. 1:66 size of Miniabox may not be evident with perhaps a bit of lens distortion near the edges. Kyosho puts other in the shade


#15#15 Rear view, same order


#16#16 An original 1:66 Schuco model from another era sitting on the 1:64 Toy Fair issue. The new Schuco is quite a nice casting. The old one was also nice but spoiled by opening “half” doors


#17#17 The early Kyosho issue came in three colours, the others being red and cream. beautiful details and execution, but paint a bit thin on edges


#18#18 The recent full VW release from Kyosho and still current. The blue Beetle version will also appear as a Solido model, as will most of this VW issue


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Greenlight Gremlins

By Robin Godwin

A while back I discussed the re-launch of Solido, with one of their first cars being a 1:43 Volkswagen Beetle. Regrettably, it was produced by PCT (Premium Collectibles & Trading, parent of Ixo and the source of models for numerous partworks) and was not an original Solido casting in any way. At the end of that article, I said that I thought the new Greenlight (GL) 1:43 “Gremlins” Beetle also looked like a partwork. Proof arrived in the mail today with a DeAgostini partwork model for Brazil. The series is called “Veiculos de Servico do Brasil,” no translation required. You can see from the pictures that there have been some minor modifications to change it from the 1967 Beetle used in the 1984 Gremlins movie, into a 1977 VW Fusco as used by the telephone service in Brazil (this info is printed on an included card). There are different tampo printed vents, wheels, mirror arrangement, and of course, the addition of a roof rack, but it is the same casting, with the same base. PCT is tampoed on the base of the Brazil issue, along with Volkswagen Fusco, so a slide was inserted into the die to accommodate this. Hard to see in the pictures, but the licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Entertainment appears in black tampo on the black plastic base of the Gremlins model, along with Greenlight in white.

Perhaps this goes some way to explain why GL chose to use an existing mould from PCT rather than create their own – money saved by not having to produce your own dies can be put towards the cost of licensing and, apparently, turn a profit at a price point of around $15 US. The GL lineup (1:64/1:43/1:24 and 1:18) is getting crowded with licensed vehicles from various films and TV series, which presumably all require fees of some sort, so models produced by someone else at a contract price may be a very smart business solution. But from this collector’s point of view, it is a real disappointment, in that it is a casting that has been used many times before. GL issued a military Willys Jeep recently in 1:43 which I found tempting, but I’m pretty sure it is from PCT as well. Since I already have the Ixo version, I won’t bother.

There is a large and growing group of “ex-partwork” companies that issue castings already used in partworks as their own lines – Whitebox, Edicola, and now Greenlight and Solido among others, although these latter two may have some originals in their lineup, particularly the current GL 1:64 scale issues (but, GL started with High Speed castings). It will be increasingly difficult for regular die cast manufacturers, i.e., those who make their own dies, to compete with the many old partworks floating around at what appear to be bargain prices. The number of partworks series is increasing all the time, so it could be that, even though Norev, Corgi and Oxford Diecast have supported that market, PCT is the future of die cast models, or at least the main player (perhaps excluding Mattel). If you doubt that statement, then have a look at the sheer volume of models in various partworks coming from PCT at their website http://premium-collectibles.com/partworks.html Tough to compete, given that virtually all these partworks have a second life in derivative ranges.

Editor’s note. Things have also happened the other way with Corgi supplying moulds for re-use by Atlas, Corgi and Solido providing castings for a partwork series, and of course Norev models are used for partworks and Atlas series as well. Robin’s point is taken that anyone funding a die for their sole use may struggle to compete when PCT, Universal Hobbies, Hongwell, High Speed  or Hongwell make a casting of the same model and make it available at  a contract rate to a number of others.

IMG_1548

Gremlins VW in orange, front; Vieculos de Servico partwork Telephone Service vehicle, rear

 

IMG_1549

Effective tampo printing can significantly change vehicle appearance

 

IMG_1545

Base differences. An insert to the die was used to cast specific vehicle data

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Greenlight in the Business News

By Maz Woolley

Greenlight Precision Collectibles 1 18 scale

Robin Godwin has drawn my attention to an article about Greenlight and its recent sales success, http://www.ibj.com/articles/57402-manufacturer-makes-tiny-cars-big-profits.

After the recent much publicised problems for Hornby Hobbies, it is good to hear good news about a mass market model maker. The article focuses on how quickly Greenlight has grown and how the Film and TV related products have become the companies top sellers. Greenlight have undoubtedly benefited from the withdrawal of the Mints from this sector of the market as well as Ertl and others moving away from making model cars for the collectors market.

The suggestion that the market for this type of models has declined by 50% or more over the last 10 years shows just how tough things are out there for manufacturers, but Greenlight  are doing something right with revenue tripling between 2013 and 2015. Expanding sales outlets through closer relationships with Target stores, Toys r Us, Universal Studios and others has also boosted sales.

The article also reveals that 1:64 scale is the top seller, 1:18 scale number two, and 1:43 scale the least popular. Which is perhaps only to be expected in the North American Market which dominates their sales, though sales elsewhere have been growing.  Unsurprisingly around 80% of their buyers are over 18 and over 80% are male.  The main sales groups are 25-34 year olds and the over 55s.

Like Oxford Diecast in the UK, Greenlight have invested heavily in new moulds to maintain collector interest and have identified product sectors which have proved to sell very well. Clever re-use of moulds in different ranges has helped get the best return from their investment in masters. Innovations like the “hitch and tow” series have caught collectors eyes but the top sellers for Greenlight are all Film or TV related. The Fast and Furious film franchise has been very popular as have vehicles from classics of the past like Bullet, Smokey and the Bandit and the Blues Brothers.

The moral of the story seems to be that those who rest on their laurels and do not understand how the market is changing and/or fail to  invest in developing their businesses will decline whilst those with their “fingers on the pulse” who invest in what collectors want can grow and thrive.


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Small Scale Review: Greenlight and John Day

First Published: May 2014

Greenlight

Anchorman Channel 4 News Team Van, 1:64 scale

Greenlight have re-released the Anchorman Channel 4 News Team van to coincide with the sequel just released. The new tooling includes a satellite dish, new wheels and stairs.

Airstream Travel Trailer, 1:43 and 1:64 scale

Greenlight has a new licensing agreement with Airstream, maker of the ‘silver bullet’ travel trailer, and will now produce a range of of vintage and modern American trailers in 1:64 and 1:43 scale.


 


John Day Vehicle Scenics

1:76 scale white metal kits made in UK

Casting Photographs by Daryle Toney.

Two new sets of castings have been produced recently for Daryle Toney who now owns the John Day Vehicle Scenics range.These kits are mainly aimed at railway modellers and are made in a simple set of parts: body; base plate with cast-in seats; separate wheels, a new feature under Daryle Toney; a steering wheel in most cases; and vacform.

Set One

This includes a re-issue of an old model and two adaptations of previous models to create entirely new models.

SRV 70 Riley RMA

The original casting was a popular one capturing the Riley very well. The new casting is rather cleaner and has the new-style wheels which are separate parts which have a small lug on the bag which fit into pre-cast holes in the baseplate.

SRV 110 Hillman Minx series I-III

This model has been adapted from the existing Sunbeam Rapier casting. A neat conversion, it even includes a dashboard with the characteristic central instrument cluster. Whilst called a series I to III no vehicle could cover all these generations since they had different grilles and the series III had rollover wings at the rear. Looking at the series Minx the model is closest to the series II Minx of 1957.   

SRV 111 Morris 1/2 ton Van

This is a new casting adapted from the Austin A55 Van that has been in the range for some time. The new casting is much cleaner than the old Austin casting, and the Morris grille has been very neatly done.

Set Two

These are all upgraded from previously released models and significant work has been undertaken to clean up the masters and to incorporate the new separate wheels featuring on all the new releases.

SRV 03 Riley 2.5 Litre DHC

This is a re-work of another Riley. These models have always been popular with buyers and the improved kit is the only way to get this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 65 Austin A70 Hereford

Another re-work. Again a popular seller and the only way to get a model of this vehicle in 1:76 scale.

SRV 79 Austin 16HP Saloon

A relative newcomer to the range re-worked. A nice model of a car which should be popular on railway layouts. Perhaps the Austin 8 in the range will be re-mastered in the future too.

Photographs of the new castings may be seen in the gallery below.


John Day Vehicle Scenics SRV70 Riley RMA 1:76


The gallery below shows the Editor’s photographs of two of the John Day Models shown as castings above. These models were made up by the Editor. The models shown are the Hillman Minx Convertible and the Morris Van. In both cases the castings were much cleaner than those supplied in the original range. Small criticisms can be made, the Hillman Minx steering wheel is generic and it would have been nicer if it had had the two spokes that the Minx featured rather than three, for example. Once again this range has made kits available of vehicles which we may not ever see modelled by anyone else.

As usual the models make up quite easily even for someone with little time and only average skills.


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Greenlight NYPD Ford Fusion 2013

By Maz Woolley

Greenlight Ford Fusion NYPD
Greenlight Ford Fusion NYPD

Greenlight has been popularising 1:43 scale models in the US. They are diecast in China for the US and sell for budget prices. For the most part the 1:43 models produced have been tie-ins with the  Fast and Furious film franchise.

Here we have a 2013 Ford Fusion with the custom bars on the front and very neatly printed NYPD details as well as a good light bar. The wheels are grille too are nicely produced. Even the lights are separate plastic components which have been reproduced well.

What did surprise me is the level of internal detail provided, a photograph below shows how much effort has gone into the central console.

I hope that Greenlight continue to expand this range since they are offering a good selection of US vehicles at very reasonable prices.

 


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Camping with Greenlight

By Maz Woolley

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Greenlight Fleetwood Bounder 1986

All the Greenlight models shown in his article are diecast to 1:64 scale in China for US based Greenlight.

Greenlight have focused on popular collecting themes often using the same casting in different series. The Fleetwood Bounder above is from their Route 66 series but it also appears identically finished as far as I can tell as a “Breaking Bad” TV tie-in model. The Red VW Type 2 Transporter shown below is a Hollywood tie-in showing the VW from “Field of Dreams”. The two Westfalia’s shown are a model from the Club VeeDub series (Orange) and a model only available as part of a set (Green).  Photographs of these models can be seen in the gallery below.

Fleetwood Bounder 1986

This is a classic large American Motorhome which was featured in the first episode of the TV series “Breaking Bad”. The model is an impressive size and well finished though it seems that there is no rear fitted interior which is such an impressive feature of the real vehicle. but this is hidden by the tinted windows.

VW Type 2 1973

This is modelled as featured in the film “Field of Dreams”. It has a roof rack and has been weathered to give the effect of being splattered by mud. The interior is pretty basic “mini bus” format with an oversize steering wheel. Although it hasa correct rear number plate it lacks a front one. All the US only side lights are printed on which suggests to me that the casting may also be used to make a European VW as well.  

VW Type 2 1973 Westfalia

Greenlight have already produced this camper in two colours with the roof slanting in different directions. A neat representation of the original it again features printed US format lights on the sides. The interior appears to be standard minibus layout and not the interior of a Westfalia camper which is a shame.


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