Friday 20 August 2021

The Corgi Model Club: 417 Land Rover Breakdown Truck

Here is the new 'old' 417 Land Rover Breakdown Truck, just over 60 years later in its Corgi Model Club re-issue form. The Club have chosen to make the very earliest edition with smooth wheels and this is another great effort. Only the slightly large end to the winding bar and slight lack of definition of the protrusions running along the sides of the rear section distinguish this from the original to my initial view today. 

My later edition with fixed shaped wheels, above, shows how well they've done. I am impressed with the transfer background, accuracy of the font and the rear tin canopy. Remarkably, in my opinion, they have also produced the more complicated window unit that fits flush with the rear of the cab, producing a sort of 'frame' when viewed in some ways.

The box is disappointing for me, feeling a little flimsy (but that may have been how the original felt - same weight card now covering a greater volume than the smaller models). It is definitely too bright and shiny but, as my recent dealings with a professional box producer in the States has taught me, the modern print process invariably does create this sheen which older types did not.

The packing piece this time is a black chunk of squishy foam plastic of some description with a hole for the roof lamp. The centre of the side 'winding' wheel, however, is slightly raised and that has made a dent appear in my box. This needs more protection. I will add a sheet of card but this model deserved more from the manufacturer.

I also do wish the small slits in the end flap were not cut. They surely are not necessary and will result in several boxes getting damaged.

As always, the paintwork can be a little too precise on these models, produced presumably by machine and not a hand with a small paintbrush. I did have to check my own models, though, to see whether the sidelamps really had been painted in the originals! (They had).

Another nice addition to this rapidly growing collection. a bargain at £24. It will be very interesting to have the 417S that Corgi themselves are reissuing any time now.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Jensen's Minis: Myth. No Mystery.

Martin Uden seems to know what he is talking about and has some good background on this:

Jensen's was and still is a food company in Denmark* known for its cheap pâté, it had a very limited run promotional 251 Imp made and as is usual with Corgi promos was issued in a non-standard colour. Always hard to find and our Danish friends constantly remind us that they have NEVER seen a playworn Mini. The really big question is that how could a small Danish food company commission a myriad of Minis over all the years of their manufacture, all of them in factory standard colours and all versions from red smooth wheel Austins to late lilac louvre wheel Morris … it just [does] not make sense . . .
In the mid 80s a trader named David Highnam had an A4 exercise book full of original Corgi transfers and stickers, I bought a fair few and swapped a few with friends (they know who they are) and amongst them was some original Jensen decals … Highnam told me he had approximately 250 of them and this must be where they all started their journey. . .
*It seems that the company is actually based in Germany! Whether it has always been there, pretty close to the border, or has moved is unknown but the logo is still very similar and ir really does look like we have settled who Jensen's are now.

Jensen's Fine Foods GmbH
Hans-Redlefsen-Straße 1
24986 Satrup

I have written to them too :) It would be so good to have a reply that throws more light on the promotion but that is probably expecting too much as a member of staff 40 in 1964 will be 98 now. Oh dear. Let's hope a young lad or lass in the office remembers something or that the Germans kept good records. 

It is clear to me now that none of the Minis I have seen advertised to date have been genuine. None referred to the correct type of shop and I really do now have to doubt just how much that chap Mike Battsford really did know about the promotion as he had Jensen's down as a Dutch car company.

We are left with the business of the white 'J' label that some have on the end of box. I am not swayed by this either, mainly because it is quite different to anything else that Corgi added to distinguish models and I have yet to see any difference on a 251 Hillman Imp box which, surely would have had the same treatment. I have to say that, just as sellers embellished their descriptions with 'Jensen's' leaflets and cards, or just referred to the [wrong] company in the text, one or two may well have added a label to the end of a box for good measure.

The lack of 'play-worn' Jensen's Minis is actually a good point. None that have been advertised have been much short of mint or, at least, in good to very good condition with minimal wear and only the occasional touch-in here or there. In contrast, a good proportion of the Hillman Imps I have seen in photos have been worn. Especially as we see far more Minis than Imps on the market, one would really expect more to be in less than great condition. As Martin says, no-one has yet seen any - not even in Denmark. It does rather defy logic to think that only the nice examples have surfaced.

QDT rather dismissed this as "I haven't seen it so it doesn't exist". I think that's a bit unfair. A lot of us are saying we haven't seen something in a particular condition as one would have expected.

I don't know whether I will hear from anyone else on this matter. I would very much like to have something from some more ex-Corgi people and Jensen's themselves as this matter does need some sort of firm conclusion and it would be nice to know if I'm right about the 1964 date.

For me, this matter is 99% decided now. There are no Jensen's Minis other than those 'created' by various people over the years. If someone wants to pay a grand or more for a normal 225 or 226 model with what may or may not be an original Jensen's transfer on the doors then I cannot stop them but I do appeal to the auction houses and any seller who actually cares for their customers not to try and say they're genuine promotional issues. If I do see any I will do my best to have them more accurately described, at the very least. There'll be little anyone can do about the price they ask or that someone may bid.

One idea I have is to create a lot of these myself and flood the market with them at whatever they cost me to produce - about £50 or £100, maybe, with a good box. The trouble is that this may simply mean more appear at a higher price as unscrupulous people buy mine and then continue to try and sell them at huge prices to people who'll never have read this and all I achieve is to add to their stock and profits. So, OK, forget that idea. But if you can help me spread the news that these Minis are simply all fake then that'll be a good start.

I have revised my Corgi Catalogue pages now so that only the Hillman Imp in pale blue is recognised as a promotional variation for Jensen's.

Monday 16 August 2021

Jensen's Mini: Myth or Mystery Pt II

The search for some evidence continues. I am afraid to say that nothing is getting that much clearer but let's see how it all adds up so far.

QDT have written to me again and say:

We have now received information which leads us to feel very confident regarding the early blue 226 model, and, to a slightly lesser degree, the 225 models (especially red) too.
This is based on an article in DieCast Collector magazine in 1999 by someone they regard as a 'well known Mini expert', Mike Battsford (although they then add 'apologies to him if the spelling is incorrect') which shows the red and blue Minis in his collection. 

This certainly shows that these were around a lot earlier than some people have maintained and ends the theory that some believed which maintained that these models only appeared when the reproduction transfers appeared in 2008.

Otherwise, all it does tell me is that this chap Mike had red and blue Minis with Jensen's transfers on and, because he writes for DieCast Collector and is known to be 'a careful collector', we could accept that they exist as genuine promotional items. If this chap Mike Battsford had genuine articles there then, as each in the illustrations feature the early smooth wheels, that tends to put paid to my view that the promotions were a short-lived affair sometime in 1964. 

My reasoning for the date was that the Hillman Imp only appeared in November 1963 and I had always been inclined to the view that a promotion would be relatively short-lived and, even if it had involved more than one model, these would have been produced at about the same time.

QDT add:

This does not necessarily prove anything but we know Mike to have been a very knowledgeable and cautious collector.

I have found no reference to him in a brief search of the name and, if he was that well-known, one might have expected both QDT to remember how to spell his name and some reference to appear online fairly readily. So I am not really very convinced. This chap Mike might merely have had a couple of fakes in the photo and we're none the wiser. I am prepared to accept their view as to his knowledge and caution, however, and keep an open mind.

What does intrigue me, though, is the article appears to refer to the Minis being "a promotion for a Dutch car dealer." Er, hang on, not a Danish Jewellery store then? As you'll see below some of the auction listings have been quite specific about the Danish Jewellery Store. But then they have also talked about a Dutch firm, another Danish store and, as you'll have seen from my previous post, the logo actually now belongs to a German meat company!!

QDT also tell me in some detail about someone who acquired a Mini with 'Jensen's' transfers from a house clearance in 1999. I accept that this proves that the '2008 appearance of reproduction transfers' is irrelevant but it doesn't mean that someone wasn't creating good copies back in the 1990s. After all, this is still a good 30 years or more after the originals. The models would have been considered scarce then, I'm sure, and there would have been plenty of incentive to make some transfers and stick them on something like a Mini that doesn't need to be repainted first.

QDT go on to say:
In summary we are now convinced, beyond reasonable doubt, that the early 226 is perfectly valid. It is, unfortunately, no doubt true that examples of 225 and 226 Jensen’s models have been made, post 2008, using original transfers. This does not mean though that there are not original examples too.

I do feel they're putting too much faith in Mike, whoever Mike is, as far as the Minis are concerned. There is no other evidence there that stands up and rather too many queries. So I have to continue, not a great deal wiser, and I thought I might next share some of the different examples that I have found. 

2004. A very pale blue example with what looks like a genuine transfer. The only example I've seen with fixed shaped wheels. 

A QDT item from a few years ago with what appears to be genuine transfers but, despite their comments about Mike the Mini man, this is referred to as a Danish jewellery firm promotion.

Toymart have this extraordinary primrose edition illustrated! amusingly, it has a 'value' far less than they quote for the blue one but, to be fair, their prices are way, way out of date for many models now and shouldn't be given much credence. I share this as an indication of just how silly things can get. Again, the transfer looks genuine but I very much doubt this is a genuine promotional item or even a sample, the primrose colour lasting only a short while in 1960. If the paint is original, though, this is a very scarce model in its own right with fixed shaped wheels.

This is from an Australian auction several years ago. This one looks familiar, with the 3/3d on the box and the reference to a 'Georg Jensen' leaflet which we now know is the Danish Jeweller and not, it seems, the subject of the promotion at all. This doesn't look good - at best someone has mistakenly tried to add provenance and a box to a genuine car. At worst, and more likely, a normal 226 with good transfers added.

This one appeared in Newbury in 2014 with some very poor quality transfers.

I really don't know what to make of this one from Vectis from April this year. The transfer is dreadful, much like, if not identical to the Newbury one above. However, they claim the box has a J sticker and even go so far as to assert that it is a 'correct' J sticker! Note, however, the more cautious 'believed to have been a Danish promotional issue. I am beginning to think the J sticker could be faked easily too, as the rest of this does not look right to me.

Lacy, Scott & Knight had this - again almost identical item - in 2015. One does wonder whether it might not have been the same one all along? Another poor transfer but another 'J' label on the box. Odd.

Vectis with a very pale blue edition in 2005. The transfer looks good but they refer to a 'Georg Jensen' card which rather ruins this one's provenance. No mention of a label on the box, either.

This is Vectis again in 2018 with a rather tatty Austin and another dodgy transfer but different to the previous one. The box has an odd mark at one end which is more likely to be where someone has rubbed off a price than where a J label night have been attached. This one does not look at all genuine.

And now, just to confuse us even more, another auction house I can't recall the name of had this blue Morris with old smooth wheels in a kind of mid-blue. 

Here, at last, is the mysterious 'J' label!! So I am inclined to go with this box, at least. I can't get a close-up on the transfer but it looks like I'd expect a genuine one to look, rather than the tatty efforts we've seen on so many on here. But then, just as we're beginning to think that everything in the garden may be lovely and here is something genuine, the firm declares, starting in capitals: PLEASE NOTE: The model has had applied ORIGINAL 'JENSON'S'  transfers at a later date. Hmmm. Jenson's. Even if we allow them one typo, it's all a bit weird.

So where does that get us?

A Morris box with a 'J' label is encouraging. There are also one or two genuine-looking transfers on a Morris but in all but this one respect, their provenance is seriously flawed by the reference to a Jeweller in Denmark. If the auction house genuinely believed that to be the case then we can excuse them where there's no additional stuff like cards or special leaflets added to the mix.

I am still inclined against anything but later shaped (and preferably free-spinning) wheels which tie in with the most likely production period. Perhaps samples of a Mini were produced earlier? That's my best shot at an explanation for good transfers on smooth fixed wheels.

I don't buy the red one, other than, again, as possible factory samples, but none I've seen are convincing, either because of poor transfers or boxes with prices on.

We still need to know (a) just who 'Jensen's' were (and, ideally, are now so we can ask some questions) and (b) when these would have been produced so we can try and exclude some base and wheel types. Finally, I'll try and get a good image of a genuine transfer too to provide another way to sort some of the good from the bad.

Anyone with any knowledge about this, please help! 

Friday 13 August 2021

Jensen's Minis: Myth or Mystery?

Update 14 August:
More new findings have meant I need to make changes to this article!! I have tried to keep the original text and show the updates as best I can in a combination of strikethrough and italic text.

There has been some correspondence recently on the Corgi Model Club's Facebook page about a number of items people have seen which they have branded as fake. What they don't tell us, however, is how they know, how we collectors can distinguish a fake from something genuine. Nor, it seems, do they make much of an effort to do something about it. So I decided I would make an effort and start in the matter of the 'Jensen's' promotions.

From what I could gather at first from talking with people who were either at the factory or who knew staff who were involved in these matters, there was only one promotional issue for Jensen's and that was a light blue Hillman Imp. I have one and it looks like this:

These are really scarce and sell for huge sums and it is easy to tell whether they're genuine - the colour being a good start! Corgi did have a practice of using different colours or shades when making special promotional models for firms. This one does have original transfers but, even if they had been replaced, it would still be valuable. Having excellent transfers available, however, has led to the red Austin Seven and pale blue Morris Mini-Minor also appearing over the years with them being paraded as 'rare promotional' issues too.

Now, when I first wrote this article I proceeded to conclude that all those Minis were fake or, at best, factory samples, agreeing largely with the apparently well-qualified people at the Club, and I wrote to one auction house with a blue Mini at £1600 for sale as shown below. I have, however, now done more elementary research and discovered examples of the blue models which have been auctioned some years ago. One had a Georg Jensen leaflet and another a Jensen card included in the box and one red model for which Vectis refer to a 'J' label on one end flap (but, frustratingly, don't show this!)

I must say that I have some doubts about this last one illustrated above. Although it is described as having the Georg Jensen card inside, the box has the British 3/3d price in pencil. Surely, a promotional item will not have landed up at a shop where a shopkeeper would add the price?! So the jury is out on this one. No, I've made up my mind. It's a fake. The 'Jensen's logo is not related in any way with the Georg Jensen jewellery firm! (see below) A Jensen's card could be relatively easy to acquire - there is no other description of this bit of provenance - and the car and card could have simply been popped into a spare box some guy had lying around. That is not to say the model isn't genuine but I wouldn't have felt comfortable buying it at £800 or whatever it sold for in 2007!

As for the other two, a leaflet, whilst not that difficult to print these days, may be good provenance. There is no 'J' on the other blue one's box which argues against this one but it does have an 'A' marked on the base apparently and perhaps that has some relevance. It is also a distinctly pale shade of pale blue and, perhaps, pale enough to be 'different' as most people have been saying it needs to be.

For the very pale blue one, the fact that someone appears to have put a Georg Jensen leaflet in the box smacks of an attempt to add provenance when there was known not to be any. So this one, which had been the one contender for the real thing so far, is now dismissed and whoever bought it should really have known better than to part company with over a grand without checking which Jensen was Jensen's!

That colour difference, however, does not help us with the red one which looks pretty much the same shade of deep red that is commonly seen elsewhere. the 'J' label that this one has is the sole bit of supporting evidence. Once again, a label is easy to make and I am inclined to have doubts as this is also the only one I've seen with any element of difference to a bog standard 225. 
The red one, we're told had a J label at one end. That would make some sense as Corgi would have wanted to identify those designated for the firm but it is not, unfortunately illustrated, nor have I found any reference to this anywhere else, which I would have expected by auction houses keen to attribute some degree of certainty for their prospective buyers. A couple of knowledgeable people in the Corgi Model Club have also referred to the transfers shown and reckon that they are not as well-defined or delineated as the originals were. So it looks like this one, too, is a fake.

Every QDT 225 example lacks anything by way of label, leaflet or even card and they have a variety of base and wheel types too.

The aforementioned colleagues at the Model Club also refer to some original Jensen's transfers making it on to some Minis. This complicates matters a bit. Whether this was done as a deliberate move to add some Minis to the 'Jensen's' range is unclear and it may just as easily have been someone who thought he'd create a few just for fun at the time. So, whilst none that I have seen illustrated to date seem real, it is conceivable that there will exist Minis with genuine Jensen's transfers. However, their value cannot possibly be more than a typical factory oddment - maybe £150-£300 - and certainly not of the £1500+ we've seen.

I have written to QDT and the text of my email is below. My voice, however, is but one in the distance and I cannot provide "Chapter & Verse" on the matter as definitively as I would like to. This needs a specific and final conclusion with someone coming along with evidence about the Jensen's discussions at the time, either from the firm or from Corgi. Or, dare I say it, someone may appear with hard and fast proof that there really was a 'Jensen's Mini' (other than a factory sample) and all the writings and conversations I have read and had so far have been wildly wrong and QDT and Vectis are in the clear, after all. Although not on this particular item as illustrated below - it is wrong on so many counts - but maybe for some others they've handled.

It does seem to be the case that if a Jensen's Mini exists then it needs to be a very pale blue, have free-spinning shaped wheels, a later base type and to come with a specific Georg Jensen leaflet (or possibly a card) in a box that has  might have a 'J' label that does not have 3/3d on an end flap. Then I might consider it.

I expect the auction house staff simply didn't know any better, although the fees charged by auction houses really ought to cover a bit more research. I expect the owner, on whose behalf they sell, may be oblivious to the fact that he paid a fortune for a fake years ago too and he or she will be rather disappointed by this news. But that's life. We all make mistakes.

To their great credit (and cost, as fees on £1600+ would have been substantial), I have just received a reply from QDT to say that they have decided to remove this item from sale this morning, erring, as they have said, on the side of caution for this model.


"You have an item described as above at this link.

After extensive research I have had to conclude that there was no such model made as a promotional item by Corgi. They did produce a Hillman Imp in pale blue with the firm's transfers but not the Mini in either red or blue form.

It was their practice, when producing such promotions, always to insist on a different colour or shade of colour from the original 'normal' issue.
The particular model that you have shown here is also a very early 226 model, with the first type of base (holes near the axles being the most obvious indication) and smooth fixed wheels whereas any promotional items for the firm would have been created at a later date when free-spinning wheels and later types of base and base text design would apply so this cannot even be regarded as a possible sample made for illustration at meetings with Jensen's.

It is generally well-known amongst informed collectors and those of us in contact with ex-Corgi staff that these 225 and 226 models are fake, being easy to make with excellent transfers available to buy. They have been produced over at least the last decade to my knowledge and have acquired an aura of being genuine purely because organisations like yourselves and Vectis, amongst others, have given them credence and collectors, assured by your and others' reputation in the field, have been willing to pay highly for these 'rare' items.

Now, even a fake, of course, can be valuable and it is not for me to say that these models should not be put up for sale, nor that a price is or is not reasonable. What is wrong, however, and which also must have legal and reputational problems for you, is the assertion and implication that these are genuine. Even the leaflet is a later type that would not have been included at the time of a genuine 'Jensen's' promotion.

I accept that your staff have acted in good faith and may well have been taken in by this model's history but, now that the matter has been brought to your attention, I would strongly suggest that this item is withdrawn from sale or, at the very least, has its description reworded. This will, no doubt, come as a surprise to its owner who may have bought it in good faith. It is also, however, conceivable that the owner is aware of its history and can provide some provenance as a sample or something other than a rather a sad and, to me, obvious fake.

Andrew Hill"

I should add that I would be extremely suspicious of any Ebay-advertised Jensen's Mini. You should be pretty safe with the Imp, though, but still watch out for resprayed editions.

I have also written to Jensen's. Whether anyone there will have any recollection of a promotional arrangement with Corgi from the earl 1960s I doubt. But someone has to try. My first letter was to the jeweller! I fell for the 'Georg Jensen' references in the Vectis and QDT listings of old until a colleague put me right on that! Researching the logo design, it appears that it is now owned by a German Meat firm.

Is this the same firm, or an earlier version of it) that the Hillman Imp (and maybe Minis) were promoting? I find it unlikely that a completely different organisation could have a near identical logo.

I am also aware that I would now have written to QDT in a slightly less definitive vein regarding the existence of a Jensen's Mini. That particular Jensen's Mini, however, was questionable enough in many ways and deserved to be withdrawn.

QDT have since replied to say that they are also conducting some research - and this is understandable as they have more reputation to lose than I do. So far, it is not looking good for the Mini but, as this is now the third update I have had to make to this article, a fourth may yet be required!

Wednesday 4 August 2021

More new old Corgis from the Corgi Model Club.


Now we can look even further ahead with this the latest plan from the Corgi Model Club. The Ford Thunderbird is, I think, a new entry, pushing the Aston Martin further back and, presumably, to an issue date after Christmas. This list will easily take them to May 2022.

I see we'll get the later edition with suspension. I found this a bit too high off the ground and the driver looks silly with his head poking up high above the windscreen! The 215 model was great and seemed to 'sit' better on the road. But, whatever the case, I am looking forward to all of these.

Will the Ambulance have a battery compartment that we can fit an AA battery into easily? The first or second edition? The second, I hope, with a more reliable system for light operation.

Blue or red Jaguar E Type? I vote for blue, the less common colour. Will this have a bubble pack like the original which few of us, as children, opened correctly!

Silver or white Mercedes? White is scarce and it would be good to see one with wire wheels too!

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Gift Set 25 Garage Layout


Just a quick preview of something a little special that has just arrived! Many more photos to come in a couple of weeks or so.

Gift Set 19 Land Rovers may be interesting after all

I really am not a great fan of the Whizzwheels Land Rovers and the final appearance of the Land Rover in '438' form was not my favourite issue by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have to admit that it is surprisingly interesting as I continue to realise that there are several variations.

I have just acquired this complete Gift Set 19 which I originally wanted because it had the spare mounted on the bonnet, a version I had initially thought to be the 'normal' one but now find to be the less common, with most models having no spare. It was the Gift Set 15 Pony Club model where all issues had the wheel on the bonnet. (At least, I believe that's the case and have yet to find one without!)

When this one arrived, however, I noticed the amber beacon and the distinctly amber-tinted windows. This is a first for me. All my other models have had a solid red piece of plastic. This one could well be a single unit with the beacon formed as part of the window unit.

This model also has the later style of interior and the later black hook and a silver base.

So now I have 6 different varieties:

Type 1 seats in red, grey hook, wheel on bonnet, grey base
Type 1 seats in yellow, grey hook, no wheel on bonnet, grey base
Type 1 seats in red, grey hook, no wheel on bonnet, grey base
Type 2 seats, black hook, wheel on bonnet, amber beacon, tinted windows, silver base
Type 2 seats, black hook, no wheel on bonnet, red beacon, grey base
Type 2 seats, black hook, no wheel on bonnet, later style wheels, grey base

I assume that the grey hook models preceded the black hook type, and this seems consistent with the change of interior. The tinted windows and amber beacon, though, and the wheel on the bonnet don't seem to follow any logical time frame. I am also sure there will be a Type 1 interior in yellow with a grey hook and a wheel on the bonnet! That makes at least 7 variations.

The amber-tinted edition really does seem odd with its distinctly different silver base too which I have yet to find on another type.

The plane also comes with white or yellow wings and a similar colour section on the trailer. So far, that seems to be the limit of its varieties!


There will be two Land Rover Breakdown Trucks!

There are, indeed, two Land Rover Breakdown Trucks coming out soon from Corgi! I have updated my last article on this and this is just to clarify matters for those of you who, like me, were confused.

Corgi's model is what appears to be the first in what may or may not be a series of 'retro' models. They are issuing the 417S model - the one with suspension and free-spinning wheels but still with a tin canopy - and it comes with a pretty good copy of the old style box, advertised at £19.99 but my pre-order has cost me over £25 when postage and VAT were added.

The Corgi Model Club are issuing a 417 reproduction - the first type with fixed smooth wheels, no interior or suspension and the first type of jib. Here is a sample of the box design they've published.

I expect this to cost the usual £23.98 including postage and this is due to arrive anytime in the next week or two when I shall be able to review the model and provide some photos.

I have no date for when the 417S will arrive and I am also intrigued to see whether Corgi will be issuing any more in their series. I am sure they must be tempted as there appears to be a huge market for these models but it still strikes me as slightly odd to have the two separate streams in operation. I am sure that the same production processes are being used in China and, maybe, here in the UK too.

It's an odd situation and it will be interesting to see how things progress from here. Hopefully a collector in the distant future will find these notes useful when trying to figure out which model came from where and when!

Sunday 1 August 2021

Corgi Model Club: 417 looking good but the Aston needs work.



Here is an image of what I thought would be be the next 'new old' Corgi from the Corgi Model Club. It's advertised on the Corgi main website and you will see it is a 417S with free spinning wheels and the later type of jib. I have now learned that the Corgi Model Club issue is actually still the 417 model and the two are separate and different indeed! That's going to confuse a lot of people!

Also shown on the Corgi website is what they tell us is the 261 re-issue. However, whilst the box looks like the type we will recall (and not the fancy concertina type of the other recent issues), the model seems to have rotating number places which were not on the 261.

I may be wrong but it is certainly rather different to the 261 I remember and the paint looks very much like the rather unpleasant creamy gold that we have seen on all the other recent gold-painted issues, of which there have been too many already in my opinion! The wheels also are filled in and not attractive. I am hoping the web people at Corgi have simply taken an old issue image and used that and the actual model when issued will be a better copy. So far the Club has done extremely well and I do hope their careful recreation continues and that, like the Land Rover, there are actually two similar models being marketed. Christmas must be a tempting time for them and to re-issue the classic model at that time, as I suspect is the plan, makes sense but, seriously, if it does look like this image, cancel it now and think again.

I show below my own old 261 model and there is definitely something amiss with the new shape too.

Look at the shape of the area around the headlamps, the width of front wing in front of the wheel, the height of the passenger window, the shape of the grille, the bumpers and the split between cast and base at the rear wing. This is not good. Even at £31.48 (including UK postage).

Corgi Toys @ 60: Fiat revised and a Fordson Set

The Fiat 1800 becomes a Fiat 2100 just a year or so after appearing in 1960, and is the second model to get jewelled headlamps and the second also to get a Venetian blind in the rear window. This model singularly lacks varieties. I know of none with other than fixed shaped wheels and they are all in similar shades of pale and deep lilac or pink and plum as some describe the colours. I really do need to get one in better condition.

The other issue this month in 1961 was Gift Set 18. containing the two items issued in May, the first Fordson Tractor (55) and the first plough (56). There would not have been a driver on the tractor at this time and this is the model with headlamps outside the front panel.