By Robin Godwin
All photographs by, and copyright of the Author unless otherwise stated.
Who is JC-Jägerndorfer? As far as I can tell, it is a large Austrian toy retailer. They also have certain products manufactured for them to sell under the Jägerndorfer brand, and perhaps even act as the middleman/manufacturer contact for promotional products. Most of their “brand name“ products revolve around the Austrian skiing industry; ski lifts and Pisten Bullys, but they also produce trains in HO and N scales. But it is the Jägerndorfer 1:43 diecast Pisten Bully line that I’ll feature here (they also do 1:32 diecast Pisten Bullys as well as radio control ones). The Pisten Bully 600 shown is what appears to be a promotional model for Kässbohrer, judging by the packaging. Although the Jägerndorfer company detail is there, it is clearly designed to highlight the real machine.
It is a well-done diecast, perhaps not ROS (Italy) overall quality, but arguably better in one important aspect – the tracks. ROS tracks are like the old Solido tanks or modern tracked plant (construction) crawlers – all metal linked construction. Real Pisten Bullys feature a rubber track with aluminum (or aluminium for UK readers) or stainless steel cleats for traction, so an all-metal track is nice but incorrect. The Jägerndorfer model features more accurate vinyl/rubber tracks, improving the scale look significantly. The tracks feature a barely noticeable join, which means they are moulded flat. When looking at the pictures, it would seem that the manufacturer has painted the cleats greyish to look like metal. Closer inspection shows it is not paint at all but what looks like an advanced manufacturing process – the cleats would be the “deepest” part of the mould, and it appears those depressions have been filled with grey vinyl/rubber, and then the rest of the track mould has been filled with black vinyl/rubber. The two colours have bonded to each other to appear as a one-piece moulding, but with perfect colour separation. The net result is very impressive and, as mentioned, more realistic than all-metal tracks. My only criticism of the model is that, other than the cab and plow (plough) blade, almost everything else is made of plastic.
The photos show a comparison between a slightly earlier version of a PB 600 by ROS and a previous century PB 300 by German company Brami (now defunct). The Brami has “Made in EU” cast on the base, but the other two give no indication of where they were actually made. Retail price point vs model detail would imply Chinese manufacture, but I don’t know for certain. I also do not think the PB600 models were ultimately made by the same manufacturer (in China, I suspect), as there are virtually no common parts.
There is a new Jägerndorfer PB100 model available in 1:43 scale, but this is not yet indicated on the website (below). The full range of models from Jagerndorfer, from last year, is available as a catalogue download from the website, but there have been no updates for at least a year. See www.jaegerndorfer.at
JC Jägerndorfer Pisten Bully 600 Polar SCR featuring excellent detail. Note seamless colour separation between grey and black on tracks
JC Jägerngorfer on the left, with ROS older generation PB600 on right. The 600 Polar SCR features upgraded hydraulics and engine, among other smaller improvements. ROS has all metal tracks – nice but inaccurate
JC Jägerndorfer, left, and ROS, right. The Jägerndorfer retails for less than the ROS and can be ordered off the website listed in the article.
JC Jägerndorfer, left, Brami, right. Brami has rubber tracks, but nowhere near the quality of the JC Jägerndorfer. Brami also lacks many fine details evident in modern models. I bought my Brami in 1998
Brami base, indicating Made in EU
Packaging, which all appears to be promotional. Brami top. ROS middle, JC Jägerndorfer bottom
Same boxes, same order, but end view
Back of JC Jägerndorfer box with technical detail. Small print on right hand side is the only reference to the JC Jägerndorfer company
Back of ROS box. No Technical detail, but also only a small reference to the ROS company
Brami box states clearly “Made in EU… “
Superb detail on the 1:43 scale JC Ja1gerndorfer model. Note join on bottom of track. Neither cab nor bed are openable (but they are on the ROS model)
(Thanks to Hans Georg Schmitt for help on Jägerndorfer research).
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