Welcome to the new MAR Online website. This new site will not be a progression of quarterly ‘magazine’ issues, as was the case with the previous website, We will now publish each new item as soon as it is ready. To help you identify new articles, you can sign up for email notifications, using the widget at the bottom of this page or you can follow the new MAR Online facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ModelAutoReviewOnline/. Other ways to find specific items are by using the running index on the Article List you see at the top of every page, or by referring to the recent posts and articles, listed by category, on the bar at the left of the page (or at the foot of the page on some tablets and smartphones).
As 2015 rushes towards its end model makers are trying to get models to market that they announced for 2015 release. As usual, some will never appear and others will be re-scheduled for 2016. In 2015 the traditional mass diecast market shrank again, with the honourable exceptions of Oxford Diecast in the UK and Greenlight in the USA. The number of partworks and subscription series has been reducing in the European market, though they are still very active in South America. In contrast the number of producers of low volume resin models in 1:43 and 1:18 has grown over the year and has become the main focus now for serious collectors in these scales. The 1:87 scale market place has been quite subdued. Releases continue, but the number of new issues is less than it has been in previous years, possibly explained by the slow recovery rate of the European economy.
Over the next few weeks we will see announcements of models for next year and we will cover some of those which are more interesting. A trend from the last year has been for firms to move away from announcing half-year or full yearly programmes. Firms like Matrix, Neo, and Autocult all seem to announce models on a monthly basis now, though I am sure Nuremberg will see a few hints on what is to come over the whole of 2016.
I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Karl Schnelle to our team. Karl has helped build the new website, and he will be helping me to manage the online content as well as writing for MAR Online. Here is a little about Karl:
Karl is a long-term toy and model car collector. He started out at eight years old when his mother bought him Models of Yesteryear – one to keep and one to play with! Thanks, Mom! He progressed onto other 1:43 diecast models, such as Corgi, Dinky, and Märklin. While living in Denmark for several summers, he got hooked on Tekno (cars, trucks, planes, catalogues, etc). Over the last several years, with Tekno being harder to find and more expensive, he picked up an Alfa Romeo bug – not only old toys but also some of the latest resin models. Karl loves the history behind the toys and the toy companies and reads all he can about them. He has written articles for Model Auto Review when it was a print magazine and for Model Collector and he wants to see the tradition continue with the new MAR online blog.
As ever we remind you that MAR Online exists because of the contributors who generously write articles and features for us, for no payment. I thank them all for their contributions in 2015. We welcome contributions from anyone who wants to be part of MAR Online in 2016.
Finally, from all of us at MAR Online we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.