Corgi Toys Land Rover Defender – not what I was expecting

I was very excited by the arrival of Corgi Toys back in the small scale arena.. You have the main protagonists – Hot Wheels, Siku, Welly, Realtoys (dare I say Matchbox??), but back in the 70s, Corgi produced some real classics – my favourite was The Saint’s XJ-S.

So enter 2012 and the new range. Now I am looking at this as a collector as well as a parent and the nipper has given me lots to think about with regards to playability.

The range premise is that it re-creates all the vehicles that are seen on the road today, and with licences from Daimler AG, Land Rover and Scania, this bodes well. It is not often that you get to see a Sprinter re-created – only Siku have that joy currently and to my knowledge.

The Packaging. 
This scores hightly in my book. a clear blister so that both profiles of the model can be seen. Colourful, which draws the attention of the eye and most importantly, the catalogue number and sneak peeks at the rest of the range.

So well done here Corgi – some serious thought has gone into this and I am impressed.

The Casting. 
I can’t find these for love nor money, so when I went to TRU the other day, I grabbed one at first sight. The model in question is the farmer’s Land Rover Defender – the type of thing that you might find David and Ruth Archer driving around on Home Farm.The first thing you do notice is how wee it is. Compare and contrast the size of the model next to a MB, Siku and HW. The latter three look like they hold more weight and have a bit more quality about them. The Corgi model looks like the hated nerd at school you just wanted to bog flush because you could. It does not feel sturdy at all nor does it look like it will live up to the tag line on the blister “built to last”.

Secondly, reading all the press gumpf and the price point (£1.99 if you don’t mind), Corgi stated that this was made diecast – and therefore metal. Well, at £1.99 I was expecting the whole thing to be metal and thus justify the tag line “built to last”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Base is plastic and so is the roof! Talk about feeling slightly jipped…..

Having held the model in my hands and given it to the nipper, it has been dropped a couple of times, not from a great height – and it is already chipped.

The Acid Test
To scientifically test the model for playability, I have devised a wee drag race. James May would be proud of this, as it tests the acceleration of the model – all important in the hands of a little person.

OK, it is not really a drag race, but a check to see how the model fares alongside the competition on a flat surface. The competition is a E30 BMW from HW, MB’s Quick Sander and Siku’s Golf MkVI.

The short clip below details the outcome.

Yes, exactly.

Verdict
I think that Corgi have really missed out here. The product is completely overpriced for what it is and there is no real solid durable feel to the model. So much to say I am actually quite gutted. I really wanted this range to succeed especially as this is a British company trying to make in-roads to the 1/64 diecast market, but they have somehow seemed to have failed. OK, I have only bought one model, and I need to see the others, but with a lack of availability of the entire range and dodgy wheel rolling, I think that this range might struggle to keep up with the competition.

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