Your recent remarks in Miniature News concerning the present model policy of die-cast manufacturers are both interesting and provocative, as can he expected from the columns of Motor sport.
Much though I agree with the fundamental accuracy of your statements Concerning the dearth of die-cast models based on standard production cars, I would like to make the following points by was of explanation:
It should be appreciated that the major manufacturers of die-cast models are basic ally in the toy industry. It is toys that we produce, toys for children. We are very appreciative that the high standards we set in design and quality make Corgi models collector’s items, but we never lose sight of the fact that we are catering for what is basically a very young market.
Children express a marked preference for die-cast models which include “play-value” features. By this we mean such things as opening and closing -doors, bonnets, bootlick. They also like articulated trucks removable containers, lilting machinery, tanks with turrets that swivel and armament that fires toy shells. They like models of racing cars with aerofoils that adjust and wheels that are removable. They like fire engines with ladders, farm trailers with animals and anything else that the skill of our designers and tool makers can incorporate in a small die-cast toy, a toy which in most eases is no bigger than an average child’s hand. All this must he incorporated in models at a retail price which a child can afford. Children also like models of vehicles which have a strong individual identity. Can you honestly say that the average modern production car is all that distinguishable—. visually—specially when reduced down to a small-scale model. We naturally consider any original design which is being put into production by a car manufacturer—our model introduction programme for this year includes both the Lotus Elite and the Volkswagen Polo, both visually strong shapes which children all over the world will be able to relate to.
Furthermore, in order to keep our prices down to a level which a child can afford, it is vitally necessary that we produce models of interest to the largest number of people. This means exporting, and Mettoy is very proud of the contribution that Corgi models make to the United Kingdom’s economy— by far the major proportion of our production being destined for one or other of our 137 export markets.
Finally, although we are in the die-cast engineering business, we retain our deep-rooted interest in the art of model making and we welcome the current growth in specialist model-making activities. These smaller firms bring new life and vigour into the field. Working in much smaller volumes with very, very much lower overheads, they fill a very useful role in helping to provide a complete service to the serious model collector. But if you want bread you go to a baker and for cakes you go to a patisserie. The basic technique is the same, but the prices are totally different.
Northampton BILL BANTER
The Mettoy Co. Ltd.