Miniatures news, April 1971

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A new venture into the field of scale miniatures has been launched in the Midlands, with a series of finely-detailed models of a heavy metal alloy, for assembly from kits, of which only 2,000 each will be made. The first of these is of Philip Mann’s well-known 1914 GP Mercedes, complete even to fuel lines on the tail, air-pump, racing number in correct script, etc. The kit consists of 36 parts and is said to need some six hours to assemble. Other kits cover the 1954 4.9-litre Ferrari 375, adaptable to other Ferrari models, and the 1938 Alfa Romeo 2900 Mille Miglia winner, Brabham BT19 and P2 Alfa Romeo. Further kits are in course of preparation and Brooklands single-seaters are promised. We have only seen much-travelled prototypes of somewhat rough finish but are assured that customers’ kits will be of good quality. All will be to 1/43 scale. The price of each kit is £1.50, including packing and postage.

Mattel Ltd., the toymakers who make miniatures incorporating Hot Wheels and Sizzlers, are to sponsor drag racing in Britain, starting with 1/4-mile events at Easter, intended to culminate in a “Race of Champions” at the end of the season. In conjunction with this sponsorship, Mattel have introduced a Hot Wheels Drag Racing set to simulate the excitement of the actual sport.

In the Corgi Juniors series comes a delightful tiny replica of J. W. Goodliff’s British Vita Vita-Min 1300 Mini Cooper S, wearing racing number 73 and its Castrol, Ferodo and other decals, on Whizzwheels ready for racing on Corgi Rockets tracks. It captures admirably the exposed engine and wide wheels of saloon-racing Minis. Incidentally, the Corgi Porsche 917, No. 385, referred to in February, has, of course, a replica flat-12 engine, not a flat-6 as stated. Finally, turning to bigger-scale models, Schuco in Germany have a fine 3-volt electrically-driven model of the Mercedes-Benz C111, with opening gull-wing doors, steering, forward and reverse gearbox, proper paintwork, retracting dual headlamps that really light-up and treaded Schuco-Continental tyres. The model is of plastic, 26 cm. long.—W. B