Category Archives: Not to scale

News from the Continent August/September 2017 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Norev’s releases for the period July to September are shown below. As has been the case for some time now the 1:18 scale output is now a major part of their production. It is good to see many of the models focusing on the latest cars from French car makers.

Releases scheduled for July 2017

1:18 scale

187622 Porsche 911 Turbo 2010 – brown metallic

 

187411 Porsche 962 C – Winner ADAC Supersprint Nurburgring 1986 – driver Hans Joachim Stuck

 

187410 Porsche 962 C – 3rd place 24 hours of Le Mans 1988 – drivers Winter/Jelinski/Dickens
185241 Renault 4 1965 – Copenhague blue

 

185741 Simca Aronde saloon 1954 – light blue
183430 Smart For2 2015 – black and white

 

183435 Smart Forfour 2015 – black and blue

 

1:43 Scale

150940 Citroen Visa Club 1979 – Mimosa yellow
155458 DS 4 Performance Line 2016 – Artense grey

 

155576 DS 5 Performance Line 2016 – Platinium grey
351348 Mercedes-Benz/AMG GT S 2015 – blue metallic
472450 Peugeot 204 Break 1969 – Antique green
479848 Peugeot 2008 2016 – Platinium grey
517847 Alpine Vision Gran Tourismo 2015 – light blue

Releases August 2017

Scale 1:18

185138 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – black metallic
183419 Mercedes-Benz L319 Van 1957 – “Früba”
184871 Peugeot 402 Eclipse 1937 – dark green
184824 Peugeot 208 GTI 2013 – pearl white
187593 Porsche 911 Coupe 1994 – Iris blue metallic
187594 Porsche 911 GT2 2007 – silver with black wheels
185234 Renault Clio 16S 1991 – Tungsten grey
185230 Renault Clio Williams 1993 – blue
1:43 Scale
473893 Peugeot Instinct Concept – Geneve Motor Salon 2017
511504 Renault 15 TL Coupe 1976 – red
840073 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 1981 – silver
870053 Volvo XC90 2015 – electric silver
3 inch Minijet (Fit the box)
311000 Mercedes-Benz Renntransporter with Mercedes-Benz W196 1954
310801 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter “Fire Brigade”

310900 Mercedes-Benz Arocs tipper – grey
310502 Volkswagen Beetle 1303 “No. 53”

Releases September 2017

1:12 Scale
121560AP Citroen DS19 saloon Primtemps green and Champagne

This is a limited edition of 1000 pieces

1:18 Scale
181700 DS E-Tense – Geneva Motor Salon 2016
188052 Nissan GTR R-35 2008 – blue
184823 Peugeot 206 RC 2003 – Aden red
185143 Renault Alpine A310 1977 – yellow
188403 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet Classic Line 1992 – red metallic

1:43 Scale
153050 Citroen 11 Legere Coupe de Ville 1935 – dark red and black
155266 Citroen C3 2016 – Power orange and black
155474 Citroen C4 Cactus 2014 – Aden red
170010 DS 7 Crossback “La Premiere” 2017 – Artense grey
351350 Mercedes-AMG GT S Coupe 2015 – grey metallic
474511 Peugeot 405 Sri saloon 1991 – Alhambra red
474552 Peugeot 405 Break 1991 – Alhambra red
473815 Peugeot 308 GT 2017 – Ultimate red
473816 Peugeot 308 Gti Coupe Franche 2017 – magnetic blue and black
473818 Peugeot 308 SW GT Line 2017 – Pearl white
473817 Peugeot 308 SW GT 2017 – Ultimate red
870069 Volvo V90 Cross Country 2017 – Maple brown
474553 Peugeot 405 Break 1991 – Fire brigade
517647 Renault Megane Estate 2012 “Gendarmerie” yellow and blue striping
3 inches Minijet
310508 Citroen 2CV 1983 “France 3”
310510 Citroen 2CV Dolly 1986 – green and white

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News from the Continent – Norev June/July 2017

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by, and copyright held by Norev unless otherwise credited.

Norev’s models are made in China for France in various scales. Here are the expected midyear releases.

1:18 Scale models

 

183264 BMW M535i saloon 1980 – Black


 

187723 Fiat 500 Giardiniera 1962 – light green


 

183514 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1986 – Byzanzgold metallic”


 

Foto: Gruppe C
Foto: Gruppe C
Foto: Gruppe C

183493 Mercedes-AMG GT3 2016 – Team Black Falcon – NB real car shown and not pre-production sample.


 

184784 Peugeot 504 Cabriolet 1971 – black


 

184822 Peugeot 504 Coupe 1973 – brown metallic


 

187427 Porsche 911 RSR Turbo 3 hours of Mid-Ohio 1977 – Follmer/Holmes


 

187660 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa 1987 – white

1:43 Scale models

 

517821 Alpine Renault A108 Coupe 2+2 1961 – silver


 

750056 Porsche 911S 2.4 Coupe 1973 – Lemon yellow

MINIJET to fit pack

 

310601 Citroen 2CV 6 Special 1980 “Cycliste” red and white


 

310602 Citroen 2CV AZLP 1959 “Cycliste Berger” yellow, red and black


 

310603 Citroen DS19 1958 “Cycliste” blue, white and red


 

310604 Peugeot 404 1961 “Cycliste Director of the race”


 

310605 Renault R4 1964 “Cycliste Berger” – yellow, red and black


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Corgi July to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

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

Business Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corgi 2017 Second Half Catalogue

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

My observations on the models offered are:

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

Aviation Archive

English Electric Lightning F6 XR728/JS , RAF Binbrook

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Vanguards

 

Volkswagen Beetle, Type 1 Export Saloon Horizon Blue

 

Land Rover Series 1 80” RAC Road Service Vehicle

 

Ford Escort Mk3 XR3 Prairie Yellow

 

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

Morris Minor 1000 The Lothians and Peebles Constabulary

 

Ford Cortina Mk3 2000E Automatic Sahara Beige

 

Ford Cortina Mk2 Twin Cam (Lotus) Red II

 

Rover P6 3500S Scarab Blue, Export Specification, RHD

 

Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 Modena Green

 

Ford Sierra XR4i Strato Silver

 

Ford Capri 2300GT Mk1 1969 Tour de France Automobile

 

Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain

 

Sunbeam Alpine Series 2 Quartz Blue Metallic

 

Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Bermuda Blue

Original Omnibus

 

New Routemaster, Go-Ahead London, 88 Camden Town

 

New Routemaster, Go Ahead London, 88 Clapham Common

 

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

Others

 

Paddington Bear New Routemaster

 

Captain Scarlet Classic Spectrum Saloon Car

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Mini

 

70th Anniversary of The Royal Wedding – Classic Routemaster

Bloodhound SSC Super Hauler

 

Corgi Christmas Super Hauler

Closing thoughts

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

What do you the reader think?

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


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Playart APC

By Robin Godwin,

This picture is copyright of the taker and was found on the Internet with no attribution..

The APC was not included in the Playart Tanks article as I haven’t manage to buy one yet. M-113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) looks to be a good model with running gear similar to the tanks.  This seems to be a rare beast and although they do appear on eBay from time to time, they often bid to very high prices for what was a cheap toy.

So for completeness here is an example of the APC still in its blister pack.


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Playart Tanks

By Robin Godwin

Photographs of the models taken by the Author are shown captioned below the text.

When, or perhaps if, collectors think of Playart (Hong Kong) models, they usually think of “junk” models or, at best, simply inaccurate toys for kids designed to compete with Hot Wheels. While re-reading some old print Model Auto Reviews, I came across a two-part Playart article (MAR 99 and 100) by Don Elliott. In fact, Don referred to Playart as the “the uncrowned king of junk models” but I think this is a bit harsh – you could always determine what the subject was in the main 1:64(ish) range, so that implies some accuracy. He was a self-proclaimed “junk collector” but also wrote many articles on serious models like Ferraris. Don reviewed many of the cars in the various series, but did not cover in full detail the one Playart series that, in my opinion, easily lifted the manufacturer out of the junk category. Even though they were made and sold as toys in the 1970s and 1980s, the Playart tank series of six models was head and shoulders above some similar Asian competition at the time, such as Zylmex (Zee Toys, Hong Kong) and Mandarin (Singapore – Mandico tanks) and likely the equal of established small-scale contemporary Japanese military ranges from Tomy and Diapet. There were more than just the six tanks in the full range of Playart military models, including what looks like a reasonable M-113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) with running gear similar to the tanks, but that one seems to be a rare beast. There are some “soft-skinned” (unarmoured) vehicles, such as a Jeep, Schwimmwagen, Troop Truck and more, which appeared after the tanks, but these fall back into the junk category with their go-fast wheels.

So I will talk only about the six tanks (because I don’t have the APC), and start by listing the common features which include; all-metal construction except for wheels and most axles (more on this later), antennae and some ancillary bits in plastic; working endless tracks in vinyl (unique to each vehicle except the two German tanks, the Panther and Tiger 1, which use the same track, but didn’t in real life), with rolling wheels, rudimentary suspension, traversing turrets, and elevating gun barrels. See the photograph below for the list of the models as printed on the back of one of the boxes.

Regarding the axles, all except the Sherman have three metal axles with push on plastic rollers. The metal axles are used to add strength to the drive (sprocket) wheels and idler wheels (at the other end, but undriven) and a centre set. All the other axles are one piece axle/wheel mouldings entirely in plastic. The Sherman has no middle axle in metal due to its unique suspension layout. This arrangement ensures that heavy loading (as in child play) is borne by metal axles, ensuring a longer life for the toy.

A note here is that I will make no real effort at accurately discerning scale, since there is no manufacturer indication of scale and the models appear to be made to fit the box. There are, however, some comparison photos after the text showing the Playart tanks with other makers models with specified scales (and which I generally trust to be accurate) which will give a rough estimate.

I mentioned that these were a cut above both the regular Playart efforts and contemporary products from some competitors. Purists will take issue with the finer details, but as toys, the Playart models feature very accurate running gear and overall features. The right number of road wheels and return rollers is present. But, there are some distortions in my opinion: the M41 Walker Bulldog was wide, but Playart have it too wide; the Chieftain sits too low (this seems to be a common error with many manufacturers’ Chieftain models), and the Centurion is missing a very obvious gap between roadwheels number two and three. Again, all excusable in what were cheap toys for the time. The photographs below will show both accuracies and inaccuracies of the models.

A caution if looking to buy these online. The plastic used for the wheels is not as strong as it should be, and the tracks are tight fitting. Often the wheels/shafts that are press fit on to the metal axles at either end of the drive train will crack, and simply fall off the axles. Also, although not common, I have a model with some “wheel melt” (much more common on early Solido models with rubber tires on plastic wheels) although it seems to only manifest on the drive and idler wheels, which suffer the greatest tension from the vinyl tracks. Check with the vendor before you buy. The boxes are all the same size, and very flimsy. These are heavy models so boxes take a bit of a beating. The glued main box seam almost always comes unglued. That said, the tanks are securely held to a cardboard insert via a plastic “key” that fits and turns 90 degrees into a “keyhole” in the base of the model. The model can’t move fore or aft, but can move up and down on inside the box, which can deform the fitted antennae. Later issues of the models (well, at least one that I have) have a clear formed plastic insert piece that keeps the model in place so it doesn’t move at all. On these, the “keyhole” is missing on the base.

Model #7800 Walker Bulldog (M41)

All marking and numbers are nasty vinyl stick-ons and not nice neat transfers. Some manufacturing expediency – the road wheels on this model are common with those on both the Centurion and Chieftain, but not the drive/idlers

Each model has cast identity on base. Note the “keyhole” for fastening to cardboard box insert. Note three metal axles as described in the text. The rest are all plastic

Playart Walker Bulldog, right, with Combat Tomica M41 Bulldog left. These may be slightly different versions, but exaggerated width on Playart is very evident. The Tomica series was to 1:87 scale, as stated by the manufacturer, so Playart may be 1:72ish

Playart Bulldog, right, with Diapet Type 74 MBT (Main Battle Tank) listed by manufacturer as 1:75 scale.

Model #7801 Sherman Tank.

Accurate suspension and running gear

Sherman base. This model came in what I assume to be later packaging with formed plastic insert to hold the model, so no “keyhole”. Note only two metal axles on this model, fore and aft

Playart, left, and Dragon model right. I accept the Dragon as being close to exact 1:72nd scale, so Playart a bit larger. Both models are accurate, just slightly different versions.

Same two models from above.

Playart #7802 Centurion MK3.

You can just see a bit of the wheel melt on the drive and idler wheels

Playart Centurion, left, with what would have been a Hong Kong competitor, Zylmex. The Zylmex came with plastic gun, antenna and tow cable, but chassis has too few road wheels

Playart #7803 Panther Tank.

Hole at front of cupola should have a plastic machine gun, but mine is missing

Playart # 7803 in “Model Power” branded box. These Playart models were initially distributed/sold in Woolworth stores in the US (apparently after the deal with Husky models (by Corgi) ended). After Woolworths, Model Power, mostly a railroad hobby name, took over distribution. No mention of Playart or which tank was inside anywhere on the box, but the model still had Playart cast on the base

An earlier Woolworth box as indicated on back. Front of box was clearly marked Playart.

Playart #7804 Tiger 1 Tank

Perhaps the most modelled tank of all

Base of the Tiger 1 Tank. Clumsiness and positioning of the “keyhole” may contradict my earlier claim that the key/keyhole fastening mechanism came first with the shaped plastic insert coming later – hard to tell

Dragon Tiger 1, left. Playart, right, has survived the test of time reasonably well, given that the Dragon is a 1:72 scale collector’s model. Dragon wheel configuration represents most common arrangement on the real vehicle but I did see a photo online of the Playart configuration

Same models from above showing Playart pretty close to 1:72 scale.

Playart #7805 Chieftain Tank.

Sits a bit too low in my opinion

Playart Chieftain, left, shown beside a fairly recent Chinese copy of Matchbox Battle King #103 Chieftain (originally introduced in 1974).


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Ruby Toys London Bus

By Maz Woolley

 

Ruby Toys have recently announced a new London Bus model in the style of a Dinky Model. For those not familiar with this range the models are of vehicles Dinky “might have” made in the same way that Odgi toys did some time ago.  The difference with Odgi toys and other “Dinky-like” ranges is that these models are die-cast and not white metal castings.

John Hope, the Proprietor, is quoted on the web site www.rubytoys.co.uk as saying “I created Ruby Toys to make available to fellow collectors a range of die-cast models of some of those commercial vehicles that, in the nineteen forties and fifties, were a common sight on Britain’s roads, but which were never modelled by any of the die-cast toymakers of the period.”

#46 Leyland Bus

This model is of a Leyland Tiger with a wood framed Mann Egerton body. 100 of these were built for London Transport Central Area in 1949 fitted with 7.4 Litre Leyland engines with manual gearboxes.

The model is “Dinky style” with no windows or internal fittings. And it would have made a nice model in the 1950’s though I suspect the grille would have been less well detailed and that the black wheel arches would have been left in red. It is a limited edition of 100 and can be obtained direct from Ruby Toys.


#47 Jowett Van

 

Rather simpler and more obviously “Dinky like” is this Jowett Van based upon the Jowett Bradford. The Grille is heavily simplified in the way Dinky often did as the Bradford was rarely fitted with a chrome radiator shell and had a more prominent centre section. However it looks the part of an early 1950s model.

Again the model can be obtained directly from Ruby Toys.


Future Models

The next two models have already been announced. #48 will be a Scammell Rigid 8 flatbed to the same scale as the Dinky Foden flatbeds.  #49 will be another bus this time in green London Transport Country Area livery based upon an AEC Regal chassis.


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Find them on

DeAgostini Dinky Toys

By Maz Woolley

DeAgostini Dinky

Readers may have seen leaflets and adverts for a DeAgostini partwork in the UK based on Norev produced Dinky replicas also being sold by Atlas in their Atlas Dinky series. DeAgostini seem to have sold the first four parts and then stopped with a letter to subscribers saying  that this was due to “unforeseen circumstances”. This is not the case it appears that the circumstances were entirely predictable since this was clearly a test marketing exercise.   In fact comments on a French web site by Atlas’ Dinky expert suggests that the series will launch properly in September.

It seems very strange that DeAgostini should act in this way since Atlas Collectibles web site says that Atlas is part of DeAgostini. Some collectors cancelled the Atlas series as the DeAgostini one is several pounds a model cheaper. The DeAgostini Dinky models already seen have all been seen before in the Atlas Dinky range, albeit in different colours/liveries.

So what have Atlas sold so far in the series:

DeAgostini TR2

111 Triumph TR2A in racing livery #25 in pale blue

DeAgostini Ford Thunderbird

555 Ford Thunderbird in red

DeAgostini Bedford Kodak

480 Bedford CA Kodak

DeAgostini Mini Traveller

197 Mini Traveller white

DeAgostini Jaguar XK120

157 Jaguar XK120 Coupe

The models sent by DeAgostini are better packaged and have a part work magazine which is heavy on pictures and has only limited information. I have two of the models from this series and as shown below the baseplates and boxes have been modified to say DeAgostini and not Atlas.

DeAgostini Dinky 555 Ford Thunderbird

555  Ford Thunderbird

DeAgostini Dinky 555 Ford Thunderbird DeAgostini Dinky 555 Ford Thunderbird

The Atlas model was painted in blue a rare South African shade but the DeAgostini model is in a dark red as pictured on the box.

480 Bedford CA Kodak

DeAgostini Dinky Bedford CA Kodak

The Atlas model was produced in Dinky Toys livery. In this case it is in yellow with Kodak livery.

DeAgostini Dinky Bedford CA Kodak DeAgostini Dinky Bedford CA Kodak DeAgostini Dinky Bedford CA Kodak

Since DeAgostini allow single parts to be ordered as back orders online, or on the telephone, after general release to subscribers this series might appeal to the collector who just wants one or two of the models.


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Atlas Dinky Supertoys – Guy Warrior “Heinz”

By Maz Woolley

The Atlas Dinky Trucks series has finally been launched after the test launch some time ago. The Leyland Octopus Tanker also posted on MAR Online, after it was test launched, has been sent out to subscribers and has been followed by the second model.

#920 Dinky Guy Warrior Box Van – Heinz 57 Varieties.

The original Dinky model upon which this replica is based is extremely rare only being in production from 1959 to 1960 and is only affordable in original and mint condition by those able to spend thousands of pounds at auction.  It is an attractive Dinky toy with added play value from the opening doors to the rear of the vehicle.

The Atlas model is housed in a simple blue and white striped box, as was the original, replica box shown below:

Atlas Dinky 920 Box

The model itself is a nice replica of the original in the vibrant colours of the original.

Atlas Dinky 920 Guy Warrior Heinz Atlas Dinky 920 Guy Warrior Heinz Atlas Dinky 920 Guy Warrior Heinz Atlas Dinky 920 Guy Warrior Heinz

For those subscribing to the series a “free gift” was shipped with the Guy. It is the French Dinky Toys #592 Panneaux de Signalisation Routiere.

Atlas state that the next part is a Bedford TK Tipper which looks like a nice replica in the publicity material.


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The Very First Tekno Cars?

by Karl Schnelle

Miraco Gyro

Andreas Siegumfeldt, a former plumber, started making various tinplate toys in his basement on the outskirts of Copenhagen, DK, in 1928.  He switched to metal construction sets similar to Meccano from England or to Marklin from Germany in 1932 and called them Tekno! Finally, in 1937, he expanded his business and started to make tinplate fire engines, based on a Bedford with many sporting the famous  Danish Falck logo.  They lasted until after the war, until 1955.  During WWII, tinplate was hard to come by so they switched to wooden toys.   The first Tekno cars then were made sometime between ’37 and ’55, but probably not during the war.

The dark green metallic one pictured here is the MIRACO car, as identified on the front of the car is raised lettering.   On the opposite side is a hole for the key to windup the mechanism.  Underneath are five wheels: four metal ones on the outside and a very small rubber-tires on in the middle.  the small middle one is perpendicular to the other four and sits right in front of the rear wheel sin the middle.  As the car goes over the edge of the table, the front falls off and this little central wheel catches and drives the car to one side; hence, a miracle happens and the car does not fall off the table!

Miraco

I do not have a key to dare try it, but the mechanism seems to be still working . I have read that Siegumfeldt collaborated with Schuco of Germany to use this design for this car.  I am not sure if that is true nor not.  See this link for Schuco’s Mirakocar 1001 (Mirako with a k!) – I can not see any real differences except for the printing on the baseplate and Schuco in place of MIRACO on the front!  The Schuco does say Made in US Zone – Germany on the baseplate which was 1945 to up to perhaps 1955, so maybe these Teknos are post-war only.


The lighter green car pictured is the identical body but has GYRO printed on the front grill.  As with the MIRACO, the only ID on the baseplate is Tekno Denmark.  The tires are white rubber and there is not a fifth wheel underneath.  Not a windup either (no hole), so it must be a pull-back mechanism.  Mine is frozen up (two rear wheels), but I dare not open up the tinplate tabs underneath to investigate.

Gyro n

Perhaps Siegumfeldt  tried to improve on the key windup mechanism and brought out a second type?  He was known to have not liked the idea because the mechanisms were not sturdy enough (Teknosamleren, 2013).  Perhaps this issue drove him to start doing diecast cars, a great win-win for us collectors!!!

These two cars came in a few other colors and I am assuming these are the first Tekno cars.  Documentation on their origins is hard to come by.  A French collector/dealer did find another version of the MIRACO, made by Mecline in Norway.  Mecline assembled several Tekno cars and vans to avoid paying high import duties into Norway on foreign toys in the 1950s.


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Happy Easter

by Chris Sweetman

Matchbox O&K MH6 hydraulic excavator

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Matchbox issued this wonderful working model in 1970 in their King Size range. Originally with red wheel hubs and plastic tyres. However, in 1971 this range was renamed Super King and the models were gradually given superfast wheels as in the case of the version pictured here.

The cab swivels on the wheeled base and the excavator arm has a range of realistic movements. These replicate the hydraulic action of the real vehicle.

Based on the Orenstein and Koppel (O&K) MH6 hydraulic excavator which came out in 1970. This suggests that Matchbox must have been working directly with O & K as there is usually an 18 month period from designing a toy model to bringing it onto the market.


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