Monday, April 30, 2018

Wurst model evah?

Ask around the Interweb which is the "Wurst model evahh", and the chances are you'll find no agreement. Apart from whatever the latest thing produced by any particular manufacturer by those who prefer their boxes a different colour.

One contender that often comes up among the less partisan members of the community, is Hornby's Toy Story train set. Produced as a film tie-in, the things didn't appear to sell very well judging by the numbers appearing on eBay at £19.99.

At the time, I nearly bought one. It would fit in nicely with my collection of Triang odd-balls and seemed suitably silly. I didn't, but now I wonder if I really should have. You see, I managed to buy the coach from the set for a fiver and it's an interesting piece.

If I'd been asked to design this set, I'd have looked at existing mouldings. There were some perfect wild-west models in the Triang range. Presumably, the moulds weren't available, so they had to tool up from scratch, and on the cheap too.

On the plus side, the decoration isn't bad and it looks OK in a toy-like way. The windows are blind, but the colour is quite subtle so you don't immediately notice.

Woody and Buzz on the roof are well designed and look like the film characters. I don't recall a train chase scene in the film, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Underneath is where things get interesting. The apparently bogie stock is fixed after all. Massive side play for the axles and a short wheelbase ensure it will get around the oval of track supplied in the set. Kids won't be bothered and assuming it all works, then that's quite a cost saving over all those bits required for proper bogies.

Is this clever? I'd say so. You don't do a film tie-in set for rivet counters, you do it to make pots of cash. Keep the costs low and don't worry about the quality too much. Ir the kids do get hooked, at least the models are fitted with proper tension-lock couplings so the set can be expanded.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the set I think.


Anonymous said...

At ally pally a few years ago they had the loco and 3 wagons going for £5 a bundle

matt scrutton said...

Looking at it I can't help but think the Bachmann On30 combine was the inspiration

Andy from Workshopshed said...

The train chase sequence is at the start of ToyStory III but Buzz is flying not running on the train.

I was expecting a model of a German sausage train transporter!

Huw Griffiths said...

I was also thinking Bachmann On30 combine. (Collectors would be advised to look away now … .)

Hmmm … hardcore kitbashing alert … I wonder what the bodyshell height and width are on this thing … .

You might think I'm joking - but I'm not. There have been loads of "bashing" projects based on Bachmann On30 coaches and combines, especially on some of those scary US sites I'm a member of.

I've been wondering about some projects of my own, albeit in a different scale. You never know - some of them might even get built (time and cheap "bashing fodder" permitting, of course).