Friday, 16 September 2016

You wait ages for a bus, then two come along together!

I really have no idea why Corgi felt it necessary to put Whizzwheels on a double decker London bus! Of the the vehicles in the range, apart possibly from tractors and some farm equipment, at the time a London bus is the least likely that any child would have chosen to zoom down the track.

Cost was probably the reason and sometime in 1971 the sturdy old 468 loses its jewelled lights and plastic stairway and gets chrome lights, a perspex stairway and Whizzwheels. The conductor also gets moved slightly but that's about all the changes.

With this one a slightly earlier 468 arrived with cast wheels but otherwise very similar indeed.

I already have one of these with cast wheels but bought it for a friend in Germany.

I am still looking for a nice example of the first 468 issued - the one with normal wheels and the Corgi Naturally / Corgi Classics banners.They seem to hold their prices and few have survived without chips or lost stickers.

In April 1975 468 gets replaced by 469 which is actually slightly smaller (when by rights it ought to have been bigger) and loses the driver, conductor and the louvre windows. It is altogether a far cheaper, more plastic model by then but sells in hundreds of thousands, probably millions as it is used as an effective marketing product for a whole host of brands. My guess is that they funded best part of Corgi's production costs and, for all I know, the same cast is still being used today!
I haven't yet got a 469 but will look for the first type that had Welcome to Britain or maybe Evening Standard banners.They really shouldn't be expensive.

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