It is June already and the sixth month of MAR Online being hosted at its new home, where we hope that you are finding that the new format with its email and Facebook integration is easier to keep up with, and to use. This is also the time of year when many people in the Northern hemisphere begin to look forward to their annual holiday with eager anticipation. Here in the UK events for model collectors usually thin out until the autumn, and model releases tend to slow down, as the first half-year programme peters out and the second half-year models are not yet ready for release. Despite continuing economic and political uncertainties, model sales seem to be relatively buoyant at present, with partworks and subscription series continuing to fund new castings. In the USA, Greenlight are developing sales to a wider collecting market with models based on popular Film and TV franchises, which helps to spread the hobby beyond its normal boundaries.
Here in the UK Corgi are celebrating their 60th Anniversary with a series of existing castings packed in yellow and blue packaging. Nothing new or exciting, however, and sadly their owners, Hornby, appear to be no closer to funding any new car castings. Fortunately for collectors Oxford Diecast has announced a large number of new castings, which are listed on a posting elsewhere on this site. Oxford, which is based in Swansea where the original Corgi Toys were made in their millions, has a strong connection to Corgi with many key staff and the owner all having worked for Corgi in the past. Perhaps Oxford is the true successor to the Corgi toys tradition?
The competition amongst resin producers remains as strong as ever, though issues with photo-etched components “popping” in storage are still being reported. Already BoS have reduced the complexity of their models to keep costs down and now we have news that Matrix will be using chrome decals in future to avoid the problem One wonders if Neo will soon follow suit. The continued growth in the number of firms making 1:18 scale resin models is a surprise to me since I have no idea how many collectors find space to display them! News continues to reach us of tyres sticking to bases, particularly those on expensive Minichamps resin models. In this day and age the chemical reaction must be well-understood, so is there any excuse for this?
In smaller scales, 1:64 still dominates the US market, with Johnny Lightning emerging as part of the AutoWorld stable. As collectors of 1:64 grow older, the more detailed models are appearing, and although Greenlight are now marketing some 1:43 scale models, this is still a minority interest in the USA. In the UK we are seeing a steady growth of interest in 1:76 scale models. Though many are bought by model railway collectors they are now keenly collected in their own right. Even the UK artisan kit makers are again beginning to introduce new models in this scale.
I would like to take the opportunity of thanking our contributors for their efforts for the new MAR Online and would encourage you to have a go at writing for MAR. You may not realise it, but you have accumulated experience and knowledge, which you should share with other readers.