Minichamps

Minichamps: We’re Back in the Saddle Again, Hopefully

Minichamps 1:12 scale 1939 Triumph Speed-Twin Motorcycle – Red

So, we’re never quite clear where we stand with Minichamps, particularly when it comes to their classic 1:12 scale motorcycles. Their release dates are never accurate, the stories behind their delays seem to change on a daily basis, and yet, despite all of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies, their bikes are some of the most sought after collectibles on the market today.

As of late last week, here is where we stand with several of their most eagerly anticipated bikes — the latest release schedule calls for the re-release of their 1939 Triumph Speed Twin motorcycle some time in early 2018 and their 1932 Brough Superior SS 100 is supposedly coming back to the market within the fourth quarter of 2017.

Minichamps 1:12 scale 1932 Brough Superior SS 100 Motorcycle – T.E. Lawrence a.k.a. “Lawrence of Arabia”

And now their pair of Vincents, first announced eight years ago, and still two of the most eagerly expected bikes ever to make it onto the manufacturer’s drawing board. Although the German Minichamps site has taken down both listings — for whatever reason — the US distributor has not been informed otherwise, and has therefore kept both bikes on their release schedule. We don’t know what to tell you folks. We are not connected with Minichamps, we continue to wish that the bikes still materialize, and have watched the asking price for the replicas increase year over year, and yet collectors are still keeping their fingers crossed that the bikes will one day show up. I know its not much to go on, and other retailers will likely tell you the same thing based upon the information they too have been provided. So, we are still asking you to hang in there and will post any further news the moment we receive it.

 
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Product Spotlight: Ah, Benelli

After a long hiatus, it would appear as if Minichamps is once again cranking out some classic motorcycles. The first bike up for consideration and now in stock is a 1:12 scale 1975 Benelli 750 Sei Motorcycle that is finished in silver (MIN122123001).

Like the red version released way back in 2010, the silver bike features loads of detail and highly engineered parts, making it one of the most sought after collectibles in the motorcycle market. From working brake calipers to hoses and cables, no diecast motorcycle collectino would be complete without one of these handcrafted replicas.

The Benelli 750 Sei is a motorcycle that was produced by Italian manufacturer Benelli from 1972-1978. It was the first production motorcycle with a 6-cylinder engine. The engine was based on the four-cylinder Honda CB500, but with two extra cylinders. The cylinder head fins of the Sei were squared off to provide a cosmetic individuality; but otherwise the engine is in most respects obviously derived from the Honda.

Despite the extra cylinders, the Sei’s width was kept to a minimum by siting the alternator (which, on the Honda, is at the left-hand end of the crankshaft) behind the cylinders. Cooling was improved by having air passages between the cylinders. The Sei had three carburetters, compared to the Honda’s four. After four years of production, Benelli developed the 750 Sei into a 900cc motorcycle, with six-into-two exhausts.

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Minichamps Bikes Slowly Begin to Reappear

 

 

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We were beginning to give up hope that we would ever see another Minichamps motorcycle make it to market. The pair of 1:12 scale Vincent motorcycles announced by the Company some eight years are still, for all intents and purposes, “motorcycle ware”, with nary an image shown nor a release date specified. Happily, however, we learned that their 1975 Benelli in silver is still expected without delay, with a firm street date of around the end of November.

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We look forward to resuming shipments of Minichamps classic bikes and hope lots more items are in store in the near future.

 
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Minichamps Re-enlists in the Military, Sort Of

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At the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Minichamps announced two new military vehicles for release later this year. Before everyone gets excited, we just wanted to point out that both vehicles are being offered in 1:18 scale and secondly both are based upon post-World War II vehicles. The first is a Bundeswehr 1957 Jagdwagen while the second is an upscaled version of their previously released 1955-1968 DKW Munga.

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Thus far we don’t know their cost and given their history, it could be quite some time before they actually materialize. So, we’re on the fence about bringing in these soft-skinned vehicles, when we recognize our clientele would prefer 1:35 scale tanks from WWII. Anyway, we’d appreciate whatever feedback you could provide us concerning interest before we take the next step and consider adding them to our product portfolio..

 
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The Vincent Saga

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We believe that Minichamps first announced their plans to build a 1:12 scale replica of the Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle some six years ago. When it was first announced, the minimum advertised price was set at $109.99. Six years later, and with no sign of the bike showing up, that price has steadily crept up to its new price of $179.99. Likewise, the Rollie free version has inched up in price, and is now quoted at $229.99. Ordinarily, we would absorb these price hikes if they were within reason, however, we simply cannot do that in these particular cases.

So here is where we stand with these bikes. Anyone that has prepaid for either of these bikes via PayPal has two options. They can request a refund or accept the price hike and they will be billed the difference when the bike finally materializes. If you pre-ordered these bikes with a credit card, then the new prices you will be billed are $179.99 and $229.99 respectively. If this is unacceptable, please contact us and we will cancel your order. If we do not hear from you, then we will assume that the new prices are acceptable to you.

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Keep in mind that although the bikes have been marked up dramatically, we still do not have any idea when either bike will come out, much less post a picture of the hand sample. So, it is entirely possible that the bikes can be delayed further, in which case the price might rise again. We do not know why the bikes have still not been released and are just as frustrated as our valued customers. We apologize for this predicament and hope that you understand that this situation is beyond our control.

 
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Minichamps Gets Dreamy-Eyed

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We’ve all seen those amazing concept cars at the annual auto shows, reflecting space age design and cutting edge form that never seem to make the transition from the drawing board to the road. German model maker, Minichamps, is apparently an admirer of “form over functionality” and plans to honor these vehicles with a line of 1:18 scale concept cars. Several of the most iconic cars of years past encompass the range, including the 1954 Lincoln Futura seen here, which was used as the basis for the futuristic-looking Batmobile that took center stage in the hit 1966 TV series. Look for several of these incredible replicas to show up before year’s end.

 
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Minichamps 1955 Vincent: You Can Get it in any Color So Long as its Black

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First announced over five years ago, it appears as if Minichamps’ long-promised 1955 Vincent Black Lightning may soon be hitting the road (#MIN122134600). The manufacturer’s web site is currently showing an October release date, although no photo of the 1:12 scale replica has been posted as yet and no one at the Company will confirm or deny if this is a hard-and-fast roll out date.

So here’s where we stand with this hotly anticipated bike if it should show up. For anyone that has already pre-ordered the bike, be it five years ago or yesterday, we will be selling the ride for $144.99 less a 15% sales discount. Our dealer cost has gone up substantially since this bike was first announced half a decade ago, so this is going to be the best we can do in terms of pricing. We will not be offering free UPS ground shipping, since the revised price falls below our free shipping threshold of $140. You can, of course, add other merchandise to your order to clear the threshold, thereby getting free shipping to boot (so long as the ship to address is within the lower 48 States). Now, since many of the pre-orders have aged substantially, we will need anyone truly interested in taking delivery of this item to immediately contact us by phone with their current billing information.

Bear in mind that Minichamps still has not posted any updated release information for their 1948 Vincent Black Lightning with Rollie Free figure, so please do not ask us to hold the 1955 bike until the 1948 bike arrives. Frankly, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the 1955 bike isn’t a mirage given the hot summer we’ve had. So, that’s it in a nutshell and let’s hope it was all worth the wait.

 
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Honecker for Hannukah?

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First announced back in early 2011, Minichamps’ 1:43 scale 1975 Citroen CX Limousine used by East German President Erich Honecker looked like a shoe-in for political office by diecast collectors. Earlier this year, however, we were told that it was cancelled, perhaps due to weak pre=order sales or troubling subject matter. Fast forward to July 2013, and it looks like the latest installment in the Political Leader Series is back on the campaign trail and expected later this fall (#MIN436111400). Minichamps has confirmed this curious change, so we are once again accepting pre-orders for this sleek piece of automotive history.

 
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Minichamps Gets Classy

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With their second 1:18 scale Mullin Automotive Collection introduction expected at any moment, we’ve added a bevy of new 1:18 scale rides of yesteryear to our Minichamps Classic Cars section. While no definitive release dates have been provided by the manufacturer, we nevertheless thought it important to highlight these impeccable resin replicas, which have already become focal points for many a scale model car collector. Several new Delahaye, Talbot Lago and Delage vehicles have now been posted, all of which can be pre-ordered for 15% off their listed prices.

 
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Like Taigen, Minichamps Adds a Tiger to its Tank

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At long last, Minichamps 1939 Triumph Tiger 100 (#MIN122133800) is in stock and headed out to everyone that pre-ordered one. Replicated in 1:12 scale and bearing all of the minute detail and engineering skills Minichamps is known for, the Triumph Tiger is a true classic in every sense of the word, and noteworthy companion to their previously released 1939 Triumph Speed Twin. We anticipate brisk sales and, if past records are any indicator, will likely sell out fast once word spreads that it’s finally in stock.

 
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