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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Today, my first sample of the new Atlas Editions, Dinky range has arrived and what a model.
It comes with it’s own reproduction box and certificate of authenticity that this is an original replica of the much older Dinky Mini.
I have never seen an original Dinky mini in this condition , let alone owned one but Atlas have done a remarkable job even down to the tin plate base plate and wheels and tyres that echo the style and finish of the original car.
The painting and detail is superb and can’t be faulted and even the colour of the plastic yellow interior look right for the period this would of been available from Dinky toys.
I’ve restored original Dinky toys and owned quite a few over the years but even though these are not original as such is the nearest you may ever get to owning a series that faithfully reproduces all the finer detail you would of expected from the Dinky brand of the day and in brilliant mint condition.
The Dinky brand is owned by Mattel and this range is made for Atlas Editions by Norev.
I will certainly be looking at more of these models in the near future.
To get your own Dinky Mini Traveller and start your collection, visit the Atlas Editions website below.
I’ve seen these going for £20.00 upwards on Ebay, although I can’t fathom why when you can go directly to the Atlas website and get this wonderful model for just £1.99
The new shaped Mini has been around a while now and a common car to be seen on the streets on a daily basis, built and designed by their owners BMW, it’s probably almost as popular now as the older mini was in it’s day.
A little while back I received a few 1:18 scale diecast Mini’s from my other half’s office as they were looking for someone that wanted them or would of ended up in the rubbish , so I inherited them, two are metallic green with graphics and another is metallic blue, again with graphics, the boxes are a bit crushed and one completely missing, they have been sitting by my desk for a while and finally found time to open one and take some pictures.
I’m not a collector of 1:18 scale, mainly because I don’t have the space, but this one I will keep for now.
There is some nice detailing and fully opening doors, boot and bonnet but I expected more from such a large scale, no doubt these come from the lower end of the diecast market, but still nicely done, Bburago, Maisto and Kyosho have their own versions of the 1:18 scale mini and strangely enough they all have the same wheels!
This one has a really nice green metallic paint job and a very 70′s graphic overlay.
From close up you can see the lack of fine detail normally expected on this scale.
I do have yet another Mini, this one is a convertible and is unnamed and first glace they look the same but all the details are different and this one is plastic rather than diecast.
They will now both live together in my collection.
The other two will be sold.
Related Mini articles, Click Here
For more on the Jadi Modelcraft range Click Here
The real car
The hatchback/hardtop Mini was the first model of the new generation Mini, introduced in 2001, and was back then known as simply Mini. It was available in Cooper, Cooper S and One variations at launch. In many European markets, the Mini One was powered by a 1.4 litre version of the Tritec engine but all other petrol powered Minis used the 1.6 litre version.
Today I am looking at the popular Austin Mini in it’s various guises, well in my collection anyway, I’m starting with a late Matchbox model from 2008 as this one is what inspired this article, I actually bought this because I used to own one just like it, same colour too.
This is from the ‘Best of British’ series, 1965 Austin Mini van, scaled at 1:51, and made in Thailand, the number I have for it is BB09, this is still in production and has been produced in many colours and liveries and probably better known as MB713, MB7 or MB53.
Next is the Matchbox racing Mini, No29, this one was released about 1970.
Next is the stange looking Matchbox Mini Ha Ha, No14 and released about 1975, it has what looks like an aeroplane engine sticking out of the bonnet, large rear drag wheels and an overscaled driver sticking out of the roof.
Corgi Juniors answer to the ‘hot’ Mini was this BVRT Vita-Min 1300 Mini Cooper S, it would of had racing decals too, the number 73 and a Castrol logo.
Corgi Junior No21, only ever seen in metallic purple.
Lastly two late Corgi Mini’s, don’t have much Information on these but they were popular as give away cars in a ‘Fina’ petrol station box among other cars.
They do have a 1991 copyright on one of the boxes I have so that would make these a Mattel release.
The real cars
The Mini is a small car that was made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (which allowed 80% of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T. This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis.
Designed as project ADO15 (Austin Drawing Office project number 15), the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, the market for German bubble cars boomed. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, reportedly detested these cars so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them and design a ‘proper miniature car’. He laid down some basic design requirements: the car should be contained within a box that measured 10 × 4 × 4 ft (3 × 1.2 × 1.2 m); and the passenger accommodation should occupy 6 ft (1.8 m) of the 10 ft (3 m) length; and the engine, for reasons of cost, should be an existing unit. Issigonis, who had been working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 and, with his skills in designing small cars, was a natural for the task. The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small: as well as Issigonis, there was Jack Daniels (who had worked with him on the Morris Minor), Chris Kingham (who had been with him at Alvis), two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, by October 1957, they had designed and built the original prototype, which was affectionately named “The Orange Box” because of its colour
For a history of the Mini Click Here
This article was inspired by a 10 year old boy, who after asking me if I had any BMW’s was one of the first youngters, that wasn’t one of mine, allowed in the model room and we sorted out all the BMW’s I had so it only seems right that while they are all together that I should photograph them.
So a tour around my BMW collection starting with the smaller scales.
The oldest is this Matchbox 3.0 CSL, released in 1976 and an original British made Matchbox No45, would of likely once had a decal/sticker on the bonnet with the BMW logo.
Only ever released in orange but have seen a light blue and emerald green version, issued in Bulgaria and silver version on a Hungrian website and a police car, again I don’t believe this to be part of worldwide release.
Next from Matchbox, the BMW M1, made in 1981 and numbered 52 and marked on the base, Lesney England.
Next another Matchbox from 1985, the BMW 323i cabriolet, made in Macau, No39.
The red was the most popular issue but was also produced in metallic blue and dark blue, later it was produced in white with Laser wheels, scale marked on base as 1:58.
The next one is also Matchbox and a much later model issued in 1992, this one came with a job lot and only knew I had it last night while sorting out the BMW collection.
This one is the BMW 850i and released in 1992 and as far as my records go was still being produced in 2005, made in China and have found these in many colour variations.
The number is possibly MB54, has also been made in Thailand and no doubt numbered differently.
Realtoy and Welly have been a favourite of mine for about 4 years and are cheap to pick up, have great detail and produce many of the modern saloon cars most other makers neglect.
The first picture is of the Realtoy BMW X3 (green) and the Welly BMW X5 (silver).
Both are about the same scale, the Realtoy one is marked as 1:61.
Another X5, this time in 1:72 scale, this one is made by Joy City.
Next the BMW M3, again by Realtoy
BMW 5 series and 6 series, again by Realtoy, both marked as 1:59 scale.
BMW Z8 coupe, by Realtoy, scaled at 1:59
Matchbox also made bigger scale cars known as Superkings, this BMW 750iL is a later one released in 1988 and made in China, I have seen this listed as 1:43 scale.
Also released as a police car in white and green with ‘Polizei’ decals
The following picture shows two BMW 850i models, both of these were bootsale finds and cost me a £1 each
The smaller one has the scale on the base as 1:42 and marked MC Toys, the larger one has no markings except ‘Made in China’ is does have a flat area on the base that may of had a sticker, would say this is about 1:18 scale and has lots of detail, opening doors and boot and tilting seats.
Another less known maker, Saico, produced the one below, this is the BMW M3 GTR and is scaled at 1:32, and one of my favourites, again made in China.
This BMW M3 GTR came my way broken and have since repaired it (see article) it has now gone to a new home, the 10 year old boy who loves BMW’s now owns it, although it’s worth very little the look on his face when I gave it to him made it priceless to me.
The real cars