Retreads

Dissecting Diecast: Three Companies Take a Curtain Call for the Holidays


Minichamps’ 1:35 scale German Kampfpanzer Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank – Panzerbataillon 33, Luttmersen, Germany, 2007

2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year from a number of vantage points. While lots of new diecast models are waiting in the wings, three ranges are making an encore performance, if you will, retesting the waters at a time when they’re not sure who is responsible for filling up an empty pool.

Minichamps is reintroducing their 1:35 scale military vehicles, taking four of their most popular molds and trotting them out for a new road show. The problem is that none of them have been refurbished or repainted, so if you own them already then, apart from the new Leopard tank (which was cancelled before it hit the streets), then you may not be interested in these rehashes from the past. In terms of metal content, the Minichamps range can’t be beat, but, of course, a bulging waist line comes at a price. Each is now priced at $179.99, a far cry from their original asking price of $100 over a decade ago.

Corgi’s 1:50 scale Captured German Sd. Kfz. 171 PzKpfw V Panther Ausf. A Medium Tank – 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards “Cuckoo”, Netherlands, 1944-45

Next up is Corgi, who have finally decided to bring back their 1:50 scale collection of World War II era military vehicles. Although each has been repainted, thus giving them new life and new meaning, that’s about as much as we’re witnessing here, re-released largely to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and Battle of the Bulge offensive. Priced at $64.99 each, again quite a bit higher than their original asking prices of around $40 some fifteen years ago, they’ll undoubtedly do well at retail, simply because Corgi is a master at paying homage to battles of long ago.


Forces of Valor 1:32 scale German 88mm Flak 36/37 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Trailer – Deutsches Afrika Korps, El Alamein, North Africa, 1942 [Comes with Seven Crewmen and Rommel]

And finally we have the 1:32 scale range from Waltersons, the new caretakers of the Forces of Valor brand. The first entrant in the repurposed range is their 88mm FLaK gun, this time around painted in a desert sand scheme and bundled with an assortment of crew-served troops. Priced at $79.99, the new AT/AA gun features a milled aluminum gun barrel and even comes with the Desert Fox himself, Erwin Rommel. Its not clear when some of the other retread vehicles will make it to market, since they’ve been shunted back-and-forth onto the front burners like steaks needing to be reheated. No doubt some of the new additions hinted at are even further down the road, as Waltersons looks to re-engineer those vehicles already in the hopper before moving on to tackle new subjects.

As you can see three separate manufacturers honing in on three different scales taking three different approaches to the hobby. Whose strategy will prevail is anyone’s guess as collectors are just eager to own many of these battle hardened vehicles before the snow flies this holiday season.

 
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