Gilbow Holdings is the parent company for the EFE brand. This maker of Diecast Buses and Commercial vehicles, mainly to 1:76 scale, has been a regular feature of the UK modelling scene for many years pioneering the 1:76 scale Bus market. Gilbow Holdings is owned by Frank and Brenda Joyce who “rescued” EFE from the holding company of Beatties when that UK Toyshop chain collapsed in 2001 and have run the company ever since.
Although EFE started with 1:76 scale Commercial vehicles, many carrying nostalgic liveries suitable for use on model railway layouts, the company really took off when they released their Routemaster. This was the first detailed 1:76 model of this bus and was very popular with railway modellers and bus collectors alike. From then on buses and coaches formed the majority of their releases. The Routemaster has been a mainstay of the range with new versions and improved tooling appearing over the years.
We have been informed that Gilbow holdings has been placed in Liquidation and that the EFE Brand is being sold to another company. It is widely assumed that the brand will be sold to Bachmann who distributed EFE models and had exclusive models made for them by EFE. However this is speculation at this time. What will happen to the existing EFE moulds in China or the announced forward schedule of models is unclear.
This is another sign that the market place is consolidating and has less room for the independent specialist ranges which can now only survive as part of a larger group.
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