Tuesday, February 10, 2015


TO WRAP UP THE LONDON TOY FAIR we returned to the Hornby stand, though not to Airfix this time, but to two other names in the Hornby stable, also involving a third.

Mat Irvine: The Hornby names are Corgi and Scalextric, and they are joined by 007, otherwise known as James Bond. To celebrate the next and 24th Bond film Spectre and the 50th anniversary of the franchise, the most famous Bond vehicles will be made available, not only as Corgi diecasts, but also in Scalextric slot-car racing sets.

The classic Aston Martin DB5 that first made its appearance in the third movie Goldfinger was originally modelled by Corgi in the non-standard 1:46 scale. It had about as many working features as you could cram into a model that was only 97 mm (3.8 in) long.

Unfortunately, it was painted gold, rather than the movie car’s silver, the reasoning seeming to be down to the fact that that silver was thought to be too close to the bare finish of the casting material, Zamac, known in the UK as Mazac. Also of course, gold matched the title of the movie.

A later retooled version, now slightly enlarged to the conventional 1:43 scale, was painted the correct shade, though the original gold one has always been the most sought-after. Corgi will be reissuing the 1:43 version in both silver and, as a nod to the very first, gold as a limited-edition.

Meanwhile, Scalextric is issuing two 007 sets featuring both the original DB5 and the new DB10, which features in Spectre. The sets will be made in standard 1:32 scale and smaller 1:64 scale for a Microscalextric version.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to complete the set for Hornby with a reissue of the Airfix DB5 kit can’t be achieved, as the tooling has long been missing. However, new 1:24 scale kits of both the DB5 and the DB10 would be great!

James Bond (Craig version) greeted visitors (below) to the Hornby stand.

James Bond (Connery version) was placed opposite, accompanied here by Paul Fitzmaurice (below). In case you can’t tell, Paul is the one on the right.

Corgi will be reissuing the 1:43 scale Aston Martin DB5, finished in the correct silver.

There will be a 1:43 scale limited version in gold, to match the colour of the first Corgi car. This was made to the slightly smaller 1:46 scale - the new model will be the first time that a gold version has been made to 1:43 scale.

This real Aston Martin DB5 (header, below) was display on a separate stand. It looked terrific, though there was no effort to make it a movie car match - the interior was the wrong colour and it lacked the correct licence plates.

Standard 1:32 scale Scalextric track (below) and DB10 image. The new-tool DB5 looks good in its neat presentation box.

The DB5 features a working ejector seat, tripped by the tab just visible under the bodywork.

Special 007 50th Anniversary packaging for Microscalextric (below left) and bigger Scalextric versions.

Scenes from James Bond movies (below) played on a TV display.