Category Archives: Fit the Box

Tomica Honda S660

By Maz Woolley

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

Tomy continue to produce their Tomica range of toys for the far eastern market. These are pocket money toys aimed primarily at youngsters, though there are adult collectors too, and the range is constantly refreshed with models being dropped and others taking their place. They are sold in boxes of a standard style and each month there is something new to tempt their collectors. Sadly they are not marketed by Tomy here in the UK, and we have to depend on buying the models from eBay traders which makes them rather more expensive.

Here we look at the Honda S660 in the range which is an interesting car drawing on the heritage of the 1960s Honda S500-800 range. It replaced the Honda Beat and uses parts from the less sporty Honda N Box car. It is a mid engined Kei class car which has considerable tax and operational advantages. Although powered by a 660cc engine the turbocharged car produces 63hp and has a top speed of about 87mph. At one time it was hoped that Honda would export them to the UK but this has not happened.

The model by Tomy is a fairly basic casting with few separate inserted parts. The cars overall shape has been captured very well and the large windscreen and Targa style roll bar bar are well modelled. The car is modelled to 1:57 scale, although the models all vary in scale to fit the standard box, Tomy do state the scale of these models. The car is diecast in Vietnam for Japan.

The interior is pretty basic with limited moulded in dashboard details, no door card mouldings, and a fair central tunnel with handbrake and gear lever moulded in. The seats look fine too. Underneath a plastic baseplate has minimal suspension and chassis detail.

At the front the Honda badge is nicely printed and the grille is well applied but the front lights are just printed on which detracts slightly. The lower intakes are not printed black which is a shame.

At the rear the lights are again printed on and the edges are not as crisp as they could be. The black rear areas are well done and the Honda badge is well printed, though there is no rear fog light or reversing light painted on the lower black panel.

The sides have the rear air intake picked out in black and moulded in. Also moulded in are side indicators, door handles and petrol cap. The black line on the front wing of the real car is not printed on which is a shame as it would have lifted the look of the side a little. . The wheels are also a generic pattern and do not portray the real cars characteristic alloys but they do not look out of place on the toy.

An interesting car and a good, if not excellent, model. Judged as a pocket money toy I am sure the buyers in Japan will be happy with it.


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Majorette Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder

By Maz Woolley

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

Every now and again whilst doing the weekly shop I will stop and look at the toy cars on offer. UK Supermarkets tend to stock fewer toy cars now as Matchbox and Hot Wheels have both increased considerably in price over the last couple of years. So on a recent visit to the shops recently I was surprised to find that Morrisons stocked a few of the pocket money Majorette models which are not widely available in the UK even if they are stocked in most French Supermarkets!.

This article continues the Italian theme we seem to have developed this month and looks at the 1:57 scale Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder diecast in Thailand for Schuco-Dickie in Germany in their Majorette Street Cars range.

The Alfa Romeo 4C was launched in 2013 and is built at Maserati‘s Modena plant. Is a two seat, mid-engined car, with rear wheel drive. It is powered by a turbocharged 1750cc four cylinder engine giving 240 BHP fitted into a lightweight carbon fibre chassis and clad with composite outer panels giving a very low weight. It was available as a Coupe until 2018 and is now only available as a Spyder. It has a top speed of around 160 MPH. It was the first Alfa Romeo in many years to appear on the US market.

The styling of the 4C reflected the 8C launched several years earlier which influenced Alfa Romeo styling to this day from the baby MiTo, through the Guiletta and Guilia, to the Stelvio SUV.

The Majorette model is made in Thailand and in common with other toy brands from made there, like Hot Wheels and Matchbox, it is inexpensive, has generic wheels and features a simplified level of detail. Built with a metal body with plastic chassis and wheels it also features flat printed detail where more expensive models would have moulded areas. Unfortunately some of the printing has feathered edges when crisp ones would be more realistic.

The shape of the model is good capturing the flowing lines well. It reflects the earlier years of production before the car had a few detail changes. The wheels are generic plastic items but suit the car well enough as the original allow wheels are large with low profile tyres too, though certainly more accurate wheels would make this less of a toy.

The front end has separately inserted clear plastic headlights which is an improvement from the silver printed ones on many budget models and the front grilles are neatly sculpted into the model though they are flat and simply painted gloss black which again betrays the fact that they are toys. The Alfa Romeo logo on the central grille is nicely printed and clear even at this small scale. No front number plate holder is moulded in.

At the rear the cars lines are well caught with the carbon roll bar painted gloss black and the vents on the engine cover treated in the same way. Although simplistic and lacking in moulded detail this is an effective solution. The rear number plate is too low for its height but is actually a tab holding the base of the car into the body! Rear lights are printed and are oval and not the round shape that the moulding and the real car display, though the extra brake light on the engine cover is correctly printed. Again a nice clear Alfa Romeo badge is printed on.

From the side the car lacks the matt black finish in the air intake scoop that the real car has, and the door handle could be better defined. Other than that it is well profiled and sits well.

The large glazed window unit has the frame printed in black and a wiper moulded in, but not picked out. It seems to be a good size and angle to reflect the unit on the real car.

The base is simplistic and largely devoid of details other than a few lines for front suspension and exhausts erroneously running all the way to the front of the car. The interior moulding is spoilt by boxes moulded in to clear the trapped wire suspension on the base. It is a shame as the rest of the moulding has a bit of detail including some moulded dash detail and the signature squared off lower section of the steering wheel.

So lots of compromises made so that this model could be produced at a pocket money price and to sell to the age three and up general toy market, but there are few errors. All in all a nice effort for a pocket money toy.


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Matchbox Moving Parts

By Maz Woolley

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

Hot on the heels of the anniversary Superfast models Mattel has launched a Matchbox Moving Parts series. This article looks at the first three models in the series. Two are of vehicles that appeared in the original 1960s Matchbox range, and one is of a modern US SUV.

Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback 1965.

Known in the UK as the 1600TL this vehicle appeared in the original Matchbox 1-75 range in regular and superfast wheels. The red paint used is reminiscent of one of the finishes on the original car, though I think it is rather darker. The reproduction is generally similar to the original model but there are some disappointing differences. Firstly the glazing is very thick and the window openings are compromised by the thicker plastic at the top and sides. The steering wheel is just moulded into the dashboard and is not a separate part like the original had.

Underneath we get a plastic base with some moulded in detail and wheels that are very wide like those fitted to Johnny Lightning models and bearing no resemblance to those of the original model.

The opening front doors are the same moving parts as were fitted to the original model.

We do get a VW badge printed on the bonnet, printed headlight markings, rear amber and red painted lenses, and number plates. Mind you the plates just have a German flag and unrealistic letters and numbers and they are too wide and too shallow. So those wanting to buy a bit of Matchbox history are frankly better off buying a battered original model and repainting it.


Pontiac Grand Prix 1964

Another vehicle originally seen in the Matchbox 1-75 range with both regular and speedwheels. This was always a lovely casting and though this is a replica it still looks good. The purple shade is again reminiscent of one used on the superfast version of the original 1-75 model., though again it is not quite the same with its metal flake finish.

The underneath is similar to the VW as it has the same over wide wheels and a plastic base with some moulded detail.

The opening front doors are the same moving parts as were fitted to the original model.

Sadly the model is again treated to a clumsy very over thick glazing unit which is so thick it protrudes behind the A pillar so it fills part of the door area. Inside the steering wheel is again crudely moulded into the dashboard whereas the original has a separate wheel on a column.

Here we get no printing on headlights and no coloured rear lights either, nor are any number plates fitted.


Nissan Xterra

Here we get what to me seems a strange choice. The version of the Xterra modelled was made between 1999 and 2004 so it neither formed part of the original 1-75 series nor is it an up to date choice for younger buyers. Presumably it will appeal to US model buyers?

European model collectors may not be familiar with the Xterra as it was never sold here. It was a basic ladder framed pick up truck chassis bodied with a utilitarian separate five door body and the obligatory large standard roof rack. It was sold as both two wheel and four wheel drive and It was made originally in the US and Brazil. Once replaced there by an updated model tooling passed on to Iran and to China where it was badged as a Dong Feng. Sold as a sports utility vehicle (SUV) it seems to me to fall lamentably short of the sports element of the name.

The only moving part is an opening tailgate which does not even fully open.

Again we get a plastic base, but one with little detail in this case. The wheels are again over wide even for a off road vehicle. Here the thickness of the window unit is not an issue and the interior is a simply moulded component though the steering wheel is moulded so it is separate from the dash board though it does then have a curious hole in the bottom of the tub underneath it.


I understand that this range is not being imported into the UK by Matchbox so it is not surprising that the next wave of releases features no more classic Matchbox models and includes US favourites like the Datsun 280ZX, Chevy C10 and Tesla X.

Some more Small Promotionals For France

By Fabrizio Panico

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

It is anniversary time. 2019 is the year that Citroën celebrates its first centenary, and it is nice to see that among all the media presentations and public events that there is place for model collectors with an array of new models in the “three inches” (or “fit the box”) category, all under the “Origins” label, the official “1919-2019” theme. After the 2CV and the Traction already seen at the end of last year, which are re-issues of previous models, it is now time for a copious harvest of completely new ones.

The 2CV AZL 4×4 Sahara (code AMC 019 1026) is available in three different colours, like the 2CV Fourgonnette (AMC 019 1107), while the 1947 bus U23 (AMC 019 1099) is available in two different two-colour liveries, very nice, one of them sports the Citroen logo on the side. Another new issue is the 1933 “La Petite Rosalie”, a record car to promote the new 8CV, in blue with a white clad driver (AMC 019 1097). Also new is the CX (AMC 019 1191) which is a bit small, and is available in two colours.

Among further re-issues there are the DS23 Pallas (AMC 019 1192) in two colours, and the Mehari (AMC 019 1194) also in two colours. Very likely there will be other re-issues, perhaps the SM coupé and the HY van, which are already available in the “public” collection. A well deserved applause to Citroën.

Last year Renault celebrated its 120 years, but chose to release only two 1:55 scale models, the R4 and the R5, both by Welly and already seen, each in four different colours, with a special “120 years” box, similar to the type usually used by Norev for Renault.

Back to Norev “dealer” releases : Renault completed its “concept cars” series with the RS 2027 Vision (code 315381) and the 2017 Symbioz (code 315382) and released a set (code 315383) completed with the 2016 Trezor (code 315380), already seen. Previously there was the 2018 Megane RS, in orange (code 315148) or yellow (code 315149), while Citroën released a second issue of the 2018 C5 Aircross (code AMC 019 1183) in four different colours. Small, but very very nice.

Happy collecting !


London ToyFair 2019 Part Two

By Maz Woolley

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

This the second in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Corgi. The first article can be found here.

The article today looks at the Hornby stand and in particular the Corgi Toys area. The largest displays on the stand are from Airfix,Hornby and Scalextric. There were both a railway layout with a Hogwarts theme and a racing track provided to show off the products. The Hogwarts rail layout featured the Wamping Willow from the Harry Potter films with an Oxford Diecast Ford Anglia in its branches showing the revived use of Oxford OO scale models in Hornby packaging.

Some Vanguards pre-production models were shown, though not the planned new casting of series two Jaguar XJ and Daimler Double-Six models or the VW Camper. Photographs of the models are shown below. These are all pre-production samples and will not fully reflect the final version as they are hand finished and some parts are 3D printed rather than moulded.

Red Arrows Van
RAF Station Commander
RAF Police Mini
Triumph Herald 13/60
Herald comes with hood up or hood down display options
Audi Quattro and Grampian Police Rover SD1
Don Hayter’s MGB V8 Roadster and a Morris MInor Convertible
Graham Hill Lotus Cortina with Ford Cortina Mark III in very period purple paint.
A pair of Ford Sierra Cosworths. Left the RS500 and on the right Sussex Police RS 4×4
3.0 Litre Cortina Mark IV on left and Ford Granada Mark II 2.8i Ghia
Escort Mark II Mexico

Other Corgi products were on display showing the range now available.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2019 style

Corgi’s release of the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be notable for being the first for some time that features all the original features. Moulds have been located to allow them to make all the wings, figures and the full working mechanism. It is a shame that this could not have been released last year to tie-in with the 50th Anniversary but I am sure that it will sell well this year as will the James Bond model sets.

The photographs above show the models included in the RNLI Lifeboats release to supplement the models already available in this charity’s liveries. A donation to the charity will be made for the sale of each set.

The 50th Anniversary models for the Apollo 11 mission were on display in pre-production form. Although very simple models they will look very good in packaging when launched later this year.

The Paddington Bear TX4 taxi is a well made toy and is expected to remain one of the best sellers, particularly in London where the tourist market is substantial for such toys.

A substantial part of the stand was given over to the new Chunkies range, seen above in the dealer display packs Corgi hope to get into the shops. They are made to appeal to young buyers, and their parents. The models are very well made and finished and to my surprise cabs, chassis and some other parts are diecast and the plastic looks strongly moulded and well designed for play. Although the generic shapes may not appeal to collectors we hope that this range is a success, as if it is it will give the Corgi brand an injection of money for investment and get the Corgi brand made known to a new generation of potential model collectors.

Discussions on the Hornby stall last year suggested that that they were concerned that they needed more young collectors to build the collecting habit and brand loyalty. The Chunkies range is a sign that they are addressing this. Some more photographs of the individual models are below.

For older children Corgi have several tie-ins to the Harry Potter Films which will sell well at the Harry Potter Studio Tour store as well as in Hamleys and other large stores.

Over in the Hornby area the layout has Hogwarts Castle modelled in one corner but this appears not to be listed as an accessory on the Hornby site! But again it illustrates the intention to appeal to youngsters as do the basic layout sets featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and the budget priced Junior Express set.

Over on the Airfix stand they too are keen to bring in young modellers with a selection of the Quick Build models being expanded this year. A celebration of flower power! It will be interesting to see if any new vehicle types are produced in future years to expand the range.

Also seen on the Airfix stand was their nice 1:32 scale Jaguar E Type model, a perennial in the range but looking as well shaped as ever, as shown below. Much though many people would like many more of the 1:32 scale Airfix cars to be revived it would seem we will continue to be limited to just a few of them.

Airfix are not to be left out in celebrating the landing on the moon with a nice set which includes the lander, Astronauts in various positions, and moon buggy and other items landed on the moon.

On both Corgi and Airfix the 75th Anniversary of D Day was celebrated with both Corgi and Airfix showing D Day tie in aircraft. Some Corgi ones are shown below.


F-5E-2 Lightning 43-28619 ‘Rita/Ruth’, USAAF 27th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group, Eighth Air Force, Mount Farm Airfield, August 1944

Supermarine Spitfire XIV RM740, RAF No.322 (Dutch) Squadron, Deanland, August 1944

Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB MN625/MR-B, RAF No.245 (Northern Rhodesian) Squadron, Homesley South Airfield, Hampshire, June 1944

So what was missing? It would have been nice to see pre-production samples of the new Jaguar/Daimler Series II but as they are not scheduled for sale until Q4 of 2019 that is perhaps not surprising. Perhaps some first shots will appear at Nuremberg. I was very surprised though that having announced a significant number of military vehicles for 2019 in both 1:50 scale and in fit the box formats Corgi displayed none at London. But again perhaps we will see photographs from Nuremberg.


Robin’s new Models

By Robin Godwin

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

The photograph above shows a new colour for the second issue of the Matchbox 1959 Chevrolet Brookwood station wagon. All the details are the same as the original red version reviewed and posted 3 Jan 2017. The canoe load is the same, but in a slightly lighter shade of brown. I opened the original red version, but am tempted to keep this one in its blister on the card. That card artwork is superb, and obviously unique to this version of this model – almost like a colour spot on old Dinky boxes.

The second photograph shows a recent Norev release in its approximately 3 inch range of cars. It is a passable Volkswagen 1303 Beetle (Super Beetle with curved windscreen). It lacks quarter window frames, and the interior is basic, with a steering wheel nearly horizontal. Livery is accurate, at least for a much earlier VW, as shown in the third photograph below.

Source: Google Photographs

S.A.M.U stands for Service d’Aide Medicale Urgente, which shouldn’t require translation. Moissac is a French town. To the best of my knowledge, this is the third version of this casting from Norev, following a plain dark green version, a ‘near Herbie’ version (a number 53 car, but just short of copyright infringement). It is the first version with a roof light. The Norev is shown for comparison next to an M2 “chase model” (or a deliberate rarity as the editor calls it), in reasonably accurate 1:64 scale.


Matchbox Hudson Hornet Sheriff’s Auto

By Maz Woolley

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

In the early 1950s Hudson‘s powerful six cylinder engines were powering them to many racing wins. So naturally their police special was a popular choice with police departments across the United States. Matchbox have made a superfast version of the Hudson Hornet of 1951 and liveried it for MBX Valley Sheriff Department.

It is built with a diecast top and a plastic baseplate. The baseplate forms the grille, bumpers, side chrome sills and the rear bumper. It has moulded in additional lights, siren, and some of the badging.

The model shown has had a few details added like the headlights and additional lights which are chromed and coloured.The siren has also been picked out. The rear lights have also been picked out in silver and red transparent paint added. Adding these few details is fun and certainly makes the model rather more real.

The white door panels, and livery are printed on. The white panels are slightly rough edged. Looking at the photographs of real cars on the web it would appear that most police cars would have also have had the roof painted.

All in all a very nice pocket model toy at roughly 1:64 scale though no scale seems to be stated on the model. Though if you are interested in a larger model with many more details Franklin Mint do a rather nice 1951 Hudson Police Cruiser in 1:24 scale.

Some 2016 Racing Champions.

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by the Author unless otherwise stated.

I recently looked at three Racing Champion Mint models from 2017 but here we go back a year further into the past to the earlier releases by Round 2 after they were licensed to produce this range by Tomy. The same ‘3.25 inch’ fit the box sizing applies as it did with the 2017 models with all the models shown here being pretty much the same length. All were diecast in China for the US.

2016 #3 1949 Buick Riviera

The Riviera first entered the Buick line in 1949, as the designation for the new two-door pillarless hardtop, described in advertising as “stunningly smart”: the Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe. It was also in 1949 that Buick introduced “VentiPorts.” Four were displayed on each of the Roadmaster’s front fenders, with three on the fenders of models with smaller engines.  The Riviera joined the line up in the middle of the year selling 4,314 units.

Featuring power windows as standard equipment, the 2-door Buick Roadmaster Riviera was among the first hardtop coupes produced. The Riviera was also notable for its popular optional “Sweepspear” chrome body side moulding, which would soon become a Buick trademark. The “Riviera trim”, as it was initially called, was also made available on the Roadmaster convertible very late in the model year.

The model captures the rounded lines of the Buicks of the late forties well. Note the excellent flush fit of the windows into the diecast roof.

The interior has moulded dashboard with quite a bit of detail as well as seats but no door card mouldings.

At the front the huge ‘grinning’ grille has been well captured. Above it the printed badge is only visible in detail when the photo is enlarged but it is an impressive tiny multi-colour print. The huge bumper has been perhaps exaggerated a little in size and the small number plate looks very small. The chrome printed objects extend to the fittings in the top of the wing. The chrome printing is a little flat  and could do with being a little shinier.

Like other Racing Champions the front lights have been painted in white which works well here.

To the rear the window fits snugly and printing  represents the multi-part screen well. The boot handle is surrounded by a lovely printed Dynaflow badge and the Dynaflow script is also printed neatly on the rear wings. where the rear lights are moulded in the casting and accurately over-printed high on the wing.  Another slightly heavy and rather dull bumper with a tiny license plate. Two reversing lights are moulded in and highlighted by printing silver on them.

Finally the play components. Only the bonnet opens but this fits well and opens sideways in a realistic way. The engine detail is limited but it is clealry powered by the inline eight rather than the V8 that was to dominate in the 1950s.

2016 #6 1956 Chevy Nomad

The original Nomad was the shortest GM offering with a two door body and an estate car rear it was meant to combine sportiness with practicability and it had gathered much favourable comment when originally show as a styling exercise at Motorama in 1954.  Though it has been widely featured in films, and is certainly regarded as a ‘classic car,’ it did not sell well enough for GM and from 1958 onwards Nomad was just a badge on the larger Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon.

When the Nomad was introduced in 1955 it reflected the new styling across their ranges. Nomads, like Bel Airs, came fitted with interior carpet, chrome spears on the front wings, chrome window mouldings, and full wheel covers. A V8 engine option was offered using a new 4.3 Litre OHV engine. In 1956 Chevrolets received a face-lift. This gave Chevys a more conventional full-width grille as fitted to this model. In 1957 the Nomads was changed again and they were fitted with the same interior and rear-wheel pressings as Bel Airs, lacking the original Nomad’s unique trim.

The model captures the short length and the unique Nomad rear roof section, windows and painted rear section.  The wheels are a reasonable representation of the original wheels even if the tyres are slightly too square shouldered and wide. The Chevy badge and Nomad scripts are printed very finely on the rear wing.

The windows and their chrome fittings along the side, and the front door with its forward facing B pillar, are all well represented.

The interior again is a black plastic moulding with a moulded dash and steering wheel with some detail , seas and floor, and in this case the ribbing of the carrying compartment detailed but again it has no moulding on door cards.

From the front the 56 front end with its full width grille are captured well and there is even a black wash on the grille making it much more convincing. Headlights and sidelights are both painted white which contrasts well with the ‘chrome’ The Chevy badge is printed nicely on the bonnet and the bonnet ornament with its aircraft influences is reproduced neatly.

To the rear the small Nomad script in gold is printed above the chrome strips on the rear half of the rear tailgate. The rear lights are neatly cast in and overprinted chrome and red to give a good effect.

The rear bumper is rather dull and slightly heavy but follows the lines it should.

Again an opeining bonnet is the only play feature on this model. Under it lies an impression of a V8 engine.

2016 #4 1960 Chevy Impala

This is a model from the last year of the second generation Impala.

The Sport Coupe is modelled here which featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. Standard fittings included front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. The 1960 Impala models reinstated three round taillights on each side, and a white band running along the rear fenders.

The side view shows that the casting is quite good, though I feel that the rear window may be slightly oversized.  The side moulding with the rocket age embellisher also bears tiny printed Impala script and an  image of someone waving the chequered flag so small magnification is needed to see it.

The side ‘chrome’ is well printed though the front wing embellishment is  rather over large, the four vents seeming much too obvious perhaps because the black sections are printed a larger than needed.

The wheels and tyres are well done, in spite of the fact that the tyres are too wide, with the white walls matching some seen on real cars for sale in the US.

The front grille is very nicely moulded and in a much shinier finish. Again a black wash has been applied to the grille and the light lenses are printed in white. There is no front number plate fitted.

Along the leading edge of the bonnet Chevrolet has been finely printed where the full size car would have had the letters applied. And the centre of the grille has a badge fitted which has the figure with the chequered flag again.

Inside we get the black plastic moulded tub with some detail in the steering wheel, dashboard mouldings and seats, and in this case on the door cards as well.

To the rear the badging and lights are well done. A printed Chevy badge graces the boot though it is perhaps missing a printed dot below it for the boot lock. Again a nice shiny chrome effect rear panel is fitted and the moulded in lights are then accurately overprinted. The number plate to the rear simply says Impala.

Play features are again restricted to an opening bonnet. It looks like the car is fitted with a standard inline six rather than the popular V8 option.


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Some 2017 Racing Champions

By Maz Woolley

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

Racing Champions Mint is a brand licensed by Round 2 from Tomy who acquired the brand when it bought Ertl. Round 2 are now re-using old moulds from Racing Champions and Ertl to create a Racing Champions Mint line. So the brand is now produced by the same company that makes AutoWorld and Johnny Lightning being run by the same people who originally ran Playing Mantis and revived the Johnny Lightning name originally devised by Topper.

Products under this brand sit between the AutoWorld 1:64 models aimed at discerning collectors of 1:64 and Johnny Lightning which is the fun, play brand.  They are all ‘3.25 inch models’ with some scaling out at 1:64 but others varying from the quite markedly. Looking on the web site it looks like releases have slowed in 2018 with the first release being based on racing cars which again seem to vary in scale considerably.

Here we look at some of the cars released in 2017.

The photograph above shows the scale variation with the 1967 Plymouth smaller than a 1960 Corvair. Whilst nice models in many respects Racing Champion Mint certainly has a ‘fit the box’ approach.

1967 Plymouth Fury New York City Police 2017 Release 1 Version A

The model shown above is an attractive 1967 Plymouth Fury in the ‘America’s Finest‘ sub-range. The livery used is for New York City Police. Pictures usually show the dark green area extending all along the side but I am sure this variation has been researched by Round 2 as they also sell a variation with full length green paint. The Fury badge has even been printed on the wings which is a nice touch.

Under the bonnet is a simple engine  and as can be seen above the bonnet is a good fit and the front lights though painted on work well with the nicely moulded grille.

Police markings are neatly printed and the rear lights, bumper and panel are neat mouldings. The somewhat heavy and square late 1960s  shape has been well captured. Sadly the green painted areas were not masked well and there is a lot of feathering around the edges and they do not align completely with the door shut lines as they should.

The wheels have the correct small hub cap fitted to police cars and a representation of the all steel wheels though the plastic used makes the wheels look much too shiny.

 

1958 Ford Edsel Release 2 2017 Version B

Bigger in every dimension than the Fury this Edsel has no model stated though when you blow up the photographs the script on the front wing might read Pacer which was one of the smaller Edsels based upon the Ford chassis.

Sadly the bonnet is ill fitting and sits above an Edsel horseshoe grille that is fitted at crazy angle. which makes the front look even more like it has been damaged parking.

The two tone paint, chrome printing and badging are nicely done. With finely printed Edsel lettering on rear wings. To the rear the bumper is ok, if a little plastic in appearance and the rear lights are printed on with fine surrounds.

The side view shows that the shape is neatly captured and the hard top nicely modelled. The top is in plastic presumably so the lower casting can also be used to make a convertible.

A colourful engine sits under the bonnet but as usual with models this size lacking in detail.

 

1960 Chevy Corvair Release 2 2017 Version B

GMs attempt to get back sales from the imports from the likes of Volkswagen. A rear wheel drive car which was released after cost cutting measures had left it with a poor suspension solution leaving it suffering from tail heavy handling problems which lead to Ralph Nader’s ‘Unsafe at any speed’ statement. Though GM quite quickly resolved the issues the car was never the success they hoped for.

This model is consistent in size with the Edsel but rather larger than the Fury which in real like was nearly 10 inches wider.

As the photograph shows the front lights are fitted crookedly bu here they can be twisted into a better alignment.

This is a model of the two door coupe which leaves a rather odd long rear deck,  used for the hood on the convertible which looks more balanced. The model is nicely painted though the casting seems rather bland to me failing to capture some of the sharp lines the designers used to add variety to the cars surface.

Rear lights are just paint on moulded casting extensions and the printing is not aligned well.

The wheels are not really typical of the models I can see online but may be OK as many cars seem to be fitted with custom fake wires.

At the rear we see the low mounted suggestion of an engine under to rear cover.

The revival of Racing Champions makes available again some classic fit the box castings and few accurate 1:64 castings from Ertl days. Build and finish quality is only ‘so so’ even though these models attract a premium price in the US. I am not sure whether Round 2 will invest a lot of effort into this range as it already has Johnny Lightning addressing the lower part of the premium market and Autoworld addressing the top-end of the US 1:64 premium market.

For all their faults this series of models will please many who will otherwise have to seek out theses castings on the secondary market.


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News from the Continent April/May 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs all provided by the manufacturer.

This article covers two sets of news from NOREV. Unless otherwise stated all models are diecast in China for France.

April 2018

1:18 Scale

181622 Citroen Dyane 6 1977 “Caban”

 

181650 Citroen C4 Cactus 2014 – Hello Yellow & Black Airbump

 

181651 Citroen C4 Cactus 2014 – Pearl White & Chocolate Airbump

 

181660 Citroen C4 Cactus 2018 – Emeraude Blue & White deco

 

183455 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6,9 saloon 1976 – green metallic This model sold out on pre-orders before even being released to the shops.

 

184881 Peugeot 309 Gti16 1991 – Miami blue

 

185242 Renault 4 Parisienne 1964 – black & red

 

185225 Renault Megane R.S. 2017 – Tonic orange

1:43 Scale

 

820313 DKW 3=6 Coupe 1958 – black

1:18 Scale MAXIJET

 

182056A Motobecane AV 65 1965 – blue

 

Peugeot 103 L 1972 – Orange

Minijet “3 inches” – made to fit box

 

310611 Citroen C3 2016 – Red & Black

 

310901 Renault Megane RS 2017 – Sirius yellow

 

310903 Renault Megane RS 2017 – Orange

May 2018 Announcements ‘Norev stay in the Race !’

1:18 Scale

 

181630 Citroen C3 WRC 2017 – Official Presentation Version

 

182719 Ford Capri Mk. III 2,8 Injection 1982 – chrystal green metallic

 

183452 Mercedes-AMG GT R 2018 – red

 

183635 Opel Manta A 1970 – Lemon green metallic

 

185226 Renault Megane R.S. 2017 – Sirius yellow

 

Scale 1:43

 

830027 Audi 80 quattro saloon 1985 – blue metallic

 

820302 Dkw f89 Delivery van “German Post”

 

517961 Renault Trezor Salon de Paris 2010

 

840095 Volkswagen Scirocco GT 1981 – Anthracite grey metallic

1:18 Scale MAXIJET

 

182065A Solex 1966 – black


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