Editorial September 2016

The gremlins got into our web host’s database systems recently, so that we were unable to post new articles for several days. Our apologies if you tried to browse the site and found that it was unusably slow. On the bright side, they now seem to have sorted things out, and the web site seems to be more responsive now. Hopefully this was a one-off issue.

We are now in the last quarter of 2016, and models announced earlier this year are now steadily shipping. One example is the latest 1:43 scale Rolls-Royce Phantom V from Oxford Diecast which was well worth waiting for, and which will feature in a posting on this site shortly. Corgi’s best sellers seem to be the re-released Thunderbird models. The 60th anniversary cars being sold at a lower price seem to be selling well now too. 1:24 scale has always had a following in the USA, but quite a few models in this scale seem to be making their way onto the market in the UK and Europe at the moment. The models are of cars already available in many scales like the ubiquitous VW Beetle, and most are finished with limited detailing, and feature opening parts. Perhaps their size gives them a greater appeal to the general market? I doubt that many collectors will start collecting in this scale, except for people who collect specific themes. Perhaps this scale will take the place of those “cheap” 1:18 scale models which seem to be less in evidence recently. 1:18 scale seems to be alive and well, but firms such as Minichamps, GT Spirit, OTTO, Paragon and others are making high-standard models which are being offered at premium prices. The small 1:43 resin and white metal specialists continue to produce many new models each month but in small runs, and with few opportunities to re-use masters for re-colours in many cases, so a lot of development work has to be spread over few models, hence the steadily rising prices.

I have speculated in the past about whether the sales of partworks and subscription series would decrease as all the obvious topics have been covered. But right now, as one collection closes another vehicle related collection seems to start. There are indications, however, that the UK Atlas Dinky series may not have sufficient subscribers remaining to fund the production of replicas of UK-produced Dinky toys. The latest models released have all been from Dinky France and based on castings already seen in the Continental Dinky Series, so one wonders whether we will see any more “Binns Road” castings. Over on the continent Atlas have launched a Mercedes-Benz series similar to the Jaguar series released in the UK, and they continue with their series of replicas of later Dinky Toys with opening features. The run up to Christmas is traditionally the time that collections aimed at the general public are launched, so we look forward to seeing what is launched this year.

I would like to thank our contributors for their articles and encourage you all to contribute to MAROnline and share your collecting interests with all our readers. Do not worry if you cannot produce a fully finished article, or if you find writing in English difficult; we will always edit your article before posting it. We would be particularly interested in hearing from those of you who collect models in one of the areas we do not regularly cover, such as agricultural equipment, fire appliances, construction equipment, or buses and coaches .

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