Category Archives: Readers Letters and Comments

Readers Letter – DeAgostini Dinky Collection

Readers may be interested to know that the DeAgostini Dinky Toys range is currently in limbo with delays to the issuing of models. The next issue is due on 26/03/19, then next is 24/04/19 and then 22/05/19 a month rather than a fortnight between each model. The reason is said to be shipping delays.

After that date the collection is supposed to revert to fortnightly issues starting 05/06/19. We will see!

Ray Young via Facebook

Editor: I have checked with Fabrizio who is covering the DeAgostini Dinky Collection in Italy for us, where it started earlier than the UK, and he says that there have been no noticeable delays there where the collection is nearly complete. One wonders if this is bad management or whether the number of subscribers is falling to a point where DeAgostini are considering when to bring the collection to a close and slowing the models ordered for now?

Reader’s Letter – 1955 Fords

As a model modifier myself, I found Luciano Pavloski’s write up on creating a 1955 Ford sedan very clever.   He might be surprised to know that there are some 1:43rd scale 1955 Ford sedans out there now.  These are of the mid-range Customline series made by Trax of Australia.  Except for the fact that they are right hand drive, they are clones of the US version. These can be seen on the Top Gear website here.  

And speaking of 1955 Ford’s,  I have recently acquired from eBay the CCC kit of a 1955 Sunliner convertible in kit form, (their number CCCUS 03).   I know little about CCC models except that they must come from France as the assembly instructions are in French.  The kit contains a resin body and white metal base,  seats, wheels, and various chrome pieces.  I’ll submit a story about assembly in a few months when I get to working on this item. 

My collection already has the Crown Victoria glass top version  (their number CCCUS 04) which I got in turquoise and white fully built many years ago.  In looking through the kit I note the decal sheet has badge decals for the Country Sedan (the non wood trim up scale wagon) and a Country Squire which is the faux wood version, plus  the Ranch Wagon (the two door wagon) and Customline and Town Sedan.  Now with all these extra badges, I am very curious if CCC ever intended to produce these versions as well?   I do find
in Jerry Rettig’s directory of models a 1947 Ford Sportsman CCCUS 01 and a CCCUS 02 1936 Ford Roadster top up or down. 

Were there others?

John P. Quilter

Oregon by Email

Editor – do any of our readers know more about CCC? I certainly remember them featuring in MAR magazine in the days when Provence Moulage , Starter and Record were all producing models in France. What 1955 Fords did they make?

Reader’s Comment – Fiat 1100

Apropos the Hachette copy of the Mercury FIAT 1100. My first car. Light blue and white. My first (and only) wife to be on the roof. A very nice car too..

Editor: Not sure which I admire most the little Fiat or your athletic wife! 

Gunnar Bernstrup via Facebook

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at

Reader’s Letter – Talking of Tractors

Just a thought that came into my head whilst reading your report on the GFCC Cadillac Eldorado.

The angle of the steering wheel, that you in a sophisticated way point out, looks like a tractor steering wheel. I tried driving a tractor as a kid when looking for a cheap car for my own interest in 1965, I tried a Ford Anglia. The ’driving a tractor’-feeling was one of the reasons why i decided not to buy it.

To get the same feeling while driving a Cadillac must be traumatic!

Gunnar Bernstrup by email

More Models by Barry Lester

By Barry Lloyd

Editor’s Note:  After publishing Patrick’s article about the Alfa P2 by Barry Lester, we received this email from another Barry, who knew Barry Lester personally.

In MAR number 90 (April 1995), Max Tomlinson wrote a comprehensive  article on Barry.  No mention of him working in resin, although (see  later) his early models were all in wood (balsa and thin plywood) and  acetate. I’ve re-read the article and had forgotten how involved Barry was with Adrian Swain, who according to Max, mastered the first Auto  Replicas kit, the ERA.  The resin ‘exception’ appears to be AR42, a kit of a Tatra 77A, a reworking of AR09, an earlier version in white metal.   Max’s listing shows AR42 as ‘resin’.

Barry was also involved with Pete Atkinson and Acorn Models…  They  parted company when Pete A decided to abandon the business and run a bar in Ibiza!  Barry L was eventually paid for all his pattern making work in SMEC kits. (Some of which no doubt ended up with me!) And I’ve missed a trick – apparently Barry did the masters for the  Franklin Mint Vanwall and Auto Union in a 1:43 range.  I’ve often seen the Vanwall, but have resisted it so far.  May be tempted now…

Here are my three Barry Lester models!

The 1:43 Brescia Bugatti was built ca. 1967 according to Max (from his  correspondence with BKL).  Barry built several in wood, and of course it became one of the Auto Replicas range of white metal kits.

The 1:32 SMEC Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix kit that I bought from Barry in early 1991 is shown below.  I don’t  know when he built it, but it didn’t look ‘old’ then.

The Bugatti T57SC Atlantic is to Barry’s odd 1:17 scale and is all metal (hand beaten brass body), apart from the interior trim, and is stamped  underneath BKL 98.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at

Readers Letter – On the one that got away

Gunnar Bernstrup wrote about ‘The One’s that Got Away’, regarding the disappointment of missing out on certain models which we wished we had bought when the opportunity arose, but we didn’t. We have all had that experience. Has Gunnar heard the expression “he who hesitates is lost”? It’s a saying I have come to live by. Two of a number of examples are as follows. Many years ago,Trofeu released Frank Gardner’s famous Alan Mann Escort, XOO 349F, with which he won the 1968 British Saloon Car Championship. I had seen Frank Gardner race this car, so when I started collecting model cars, one of these was a must have. Soon after its release, I went to a toy fair/swapmeet, where a trader had one. I was just £2 short of his asking price and he wouldn’t take my offer. I knew him well and should have asked him to put it to one side while I got some more money, but I didn’t because I was convinced I would get one quite easily. I didn’t. It was a long time before I finally got one.

At the other end of the spectrum, I’d had models of Craig Lowndes V8 Supercars ‘Green Eyed Monster’ Falcon from the 2001 season in 1:43rd scale and 1:18th scale for a number of years, and I wanted one in 1:64th scale to complete the set. Despite many years of searching, I had never seen one and was convinced that one didn’t exist. Then in May 2017, I found one on eBay offered by an Australian trader I had dealt with before. Although the asking price was a bit excessive for a 1:64th scale, I couldn’t let it go. I haven’t seen another one since.

The moral of the story is if you see something you want, unless the asking price is absolutely ridiculous, buy it, because if you don’t, “he who hesitates”!

Mick Haven
By eMail

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Atlas Dinky – Yet more Reader’s thoughts

Editor: We continue to have readers commenting. This topic has created considerable interest. The key theme seems to be to accept the Atlas Dinky models as what they are just copies. For those who had no access to Dinky France models in the past, and those who cannot afford them now, they are a way to connect to the originals.

Good as long as not passed off as Original

The ongoing debate about Atlas Dinky’s and their validity and collectability seems to be a bone of contention. Personally, I don’t see what the problem is. They provide buyers with a viable source of classic Dinky’s in the kind of condition that to find an original in the same condition would need a large lottery win. In another model collecting magazine last year, a collector of original Dinky’s wrote in to say he was annoyed that he had paid top money for an original model, when a virtually identical model was available by Atlas for peanuts. In his opinion, these cheap copies were wrong.

First of all, what’s it got to do with him, or anybody else, what collectors choose to spend their money on? If you can only afford a cheap imitation, and it looks good in your cabinet, surely, that’s where it ends. Many Atlas Dinky’s really are good, no matter how little they cost compared to an original. It can be likened to those who buy a replica Cobra or GT40. If it looks good to the buyer, and it’s all he can afford, then good luck to him. Just like Atlas, many replicas are very good, although I do draw the line at Cobras with anything other than a Ford V8 installed. If you like Atlas Dinky’s, and why not, then buy them.

Hej till Ragnar och Gunnar fran Mick I England

Mick Haven
Via eMail

Definitely in favour

Super to see all these French Atlas Dinky models
Hans Nuis
Via Facebook

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Atlas Dinky – More Readers Thoughts

Hi Gunnar, Karl and all others,

When I grew up in Sweden in the fifties the French Dinky Toys range was not imported into Sweden. When finally the import started only selected models were available –  hence big gaps in my French Dinky collection. The gaps are now slowly being filled with Atlas Dinky and I don’t mind they being copies.

I filled a Billy cabinet from Ikea with all these French toys and I love them all. But of course – the original ones are closer to my heart.


Ragnar Falck
Via eMail

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Readers Letters – Atlas Dinky Copies – Other views

Editor: The recently published email from Gunnar Bernstrop has certainly sparked some response. I include the comments which show that we all have slightly different views of reproduction models.

A sense of mischief?

I sense a little bit of mischief in Gunnar’s note.  But anything that
provokes discussion is fine by me. So here are MY thoughts and input to that discussion.

First, I recognise Gunnar’s points that these are simply copies of
someone else’s work. – But, as Maz remarks about all traditional types of art, – just because something is not an original does not mean we cannot desire and appreciate a copy.

Probably like most of us collectors, I had the original Dinky and Corgi toys as a child, but these were “toys” and treated accordingly (which is why I don’t still have those originals now, of course). At the time, absolute accuracy and detail were not a major concern to me – I was more interested in the “play value” of opening features etc.
Getting my hands on perfect condition copies brings back happy memories of childhood, but I could not justify to myself paying hundreds of pounds for an original Dinky Toy just to sit in a cabinet. – But equally I am now far better qualified to judge those “toys” in terms of their accuracy as scale replicas, whether from memory of the full size vehicles or from photos of original and preserved vehicles. On this front, I very much enjoy the Editor’s detailed analysis of the Atlas models, both against the real vehicle and against the original 1960’s “toy”.

So today’s reviews are not simply about “Is this a good copy of someone else’s work?”, but rather a review of “How good a model of the original vehicle was this model or toy when it was made 50 years ago?”, – which guides some of us into the decision about whether today’s model deserves shelf space in its own right. Arguably, he is just doing a 2018 review of a 1965 model, which just happens to be in perfect “ex-factory” condition, and that is fine by me.The surprising thing to me is just how accurate most of these “toys” are
as scale models, given the limits of the manufacturing technology, the materials, and the selling prices of the time. That accuracy of the scale model, and the fact the original full size vehicle is easily recognisable from the model is another dimension of my collecting interest. When the conversation turns to “Cars my Dad used to
have” and the like, to be able to show a good scale model of that car
can often stimulate further conversations and memories. Our hobby is not just about display cases, and having a “full set” of particular ranges or types. Its about the dialogue it provokes, including this one.

All the best to all MAR Readers and Contributors.

Brendan Leach
by email

Models at a price I can afford

I think the whole point of Atlas (and other) replica models is to give collectors the chance to buy ‘Dinky Toys’ at a reasonable price. Not everyone can afford auction prices for models/toys they loved as kids. I have a handful of Atlas / De Agostini Dinkies and enjoy owning them. If / when I tire of them they will go to Oxfam (or another charity shop) where another owner will be able to enjoy them at modest cost.

Jeffrey Stevenson
via MAR Online Facebook Page

A Chance to have what I missed

I think these models have given those not able to get them first time round (me included) the chance to own them, they will never replace the original thing. These are beautiful copies of originals and are, in most cases, superbly done.

Mick Mixxy Russell
via MAR Online Facebook Page

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about these copies. With their advertising budget and marketing through other channels, they should bring in more people to the collecting hobby; that is a good thing. Like Maz, I assume many experienced collectors buy them because the mint boxed originals are too expensive now. Being in the US, they are not so cheap for me (secondary market + high postage rates). On other side, they are just copies as Gunnar points out and not original.
Karl Schnelle
MAR Online US Editor
Via MAR Online Facebook page


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Readers Letter – On Atlas Copies

I certainly enjoy your esprit and ambitions for MAR Online.
But – reading the article about the Atlas copy of a Dinky Opel I react as I do to almost every one of the articles about the Atlas copies.

Is there anything easier than copying someone else’s work?

I can draw Tintin but Hergé invented him. With modern techniques you can – almost – fool anyone. It is of course more difficult to copy masterpieces of art since you need the right material; paper, colours, pencils and all the paraphernalia from days gone. But even skilled experts have been fooled. Though no one can be fooled with a ’true’ Mona Lisa by Da Vinci.

There are people who try to copy money, but their results are seldom mentioned as excellent. Or lovely. as reports about Atlas efforts often say.

An Atlas copy of a toy? It’s just a copy. If bad, you can point that out, but if well done it’s still just a copy made to look as the real thing. Why not write about the original toy and add: – Atlas have made a copy, but don’t get fooled. It’s just a copy.

And the box art? Oh how simple to reproduce. No specialists are needed doing that job. I think we can do it at home.

Just thinking …

Gunnar Bernstrop
by Email

Editors reply: Gunnar is a long time reader and contributor to MAR and it is good to know he reads and supports MAR Online.  His opinions on Atlas Dinky replicas are shared by many .

But how far do we take this line of thought? Diecast models are not individual works of art. If they are thought of as original creations then only the masters of the models are actually original all the production models are just replicas of the master in the same way copied paintings done by students in great masters studios were. Again, the Jean Massé art work was the original every printed box made by Dinky or Atlas is effectively a copy.

When I review Atlas models or Norev reproductions, or Dan Toys I cannot credit the reproducer with more than replicating the original well, and where they have not I say so. For me they are copies which allow me to hold and enjoy something I can’t afford just like the prints on the wall of my work room.

What do other readers think?

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