At the risk of starting a stampede towards thrift shops in Holland, I have to share the delight of a correspondent in that country. Yes, in a box of assorted toys in one of those shops where the proceeds go to good causes, charities etc. and nothing tends to cost more than a few pounds, Frans found this!
He paid the princely sum of 2 euros 50 and simply cannot believe his luck. From his quick snaps this looks to have survived extremely well.
Although I have not seen the base, he is smart enough to be able to recognise something that has been taken apart and put together again so it is highly unlikely to be a repainted 227 or 226 with added jewels and 'aged' decals! No, to me, this looks like the real thing and a good one at that.
With these fetching £1000 without a box and several thousand with one, it is, indeed, one lucky find.
We were wondering just what the chances were but I really don't know how many of these were, in fact, produced. I know that they were not featured in the yearly catalogue and were offered to members of the Collectors' Club by mail order only, not being sold across the counter in shops.
How scarce those orders were, however, in comparison to the known low production figures for various other items, remains a mystery. Sometimes I feel that the prices that this model fetches may be just a little too inflated with its rarity a little exaggerated which, in turn, has made it all the more desirable for some!
This will, I suspect, remain a missing item in my collection and stock for some considerable time! I have been using some images of immaculate models from QDT but I may ask Frans to take some for me to feature on the web site. I often think used examples can look more interesting than those oh so perfect models perched on immaculate boxes, striking the industry standard pose.
Late addition: I have just seen that Ebay has one for sale in rather poorer condition at around £520. Where is it? Holland!! Interesting.