Most Popular Corgi models and a 2017 Exclusive

Most Popular Corgi models and a 2017 Exclusive


Welcome to the latest edition of Die-cast Diaries, where we give readers a regular insight into everything that is happening behind the scenes in the world of Corgi Die-cast.  Since we launched our search to find the ‘Ultimate Corgi Top Ten’ in the previous edition of our blog, it has been really fantastic to see so many of you helping to end our 60th Anniversary year in style.  We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time to send in their favourite Corgi model nominations and we will bring you an update on the current standings a little later – if you have yet to get involved, please do so, as the unrestricted model voting will only remain open for the next three weeks.


Amongst the latest Corgi goodies we have for you in edition 19 of Die-cast Diaries, we will be bringing you a Die-cast Diaries Exclusive in revealing one of the future models to be included in the January – June 2017 catalogue, as well as an exclusive first look at a pre-production sample model from a new Aviation Archive tooling. We hav an update on a future release which already seems destined for die-cast collecting greatness.  All this and an update our Ultimate Top Ten poll. We have a lot to get through, so we had better make a start.



Exclusive Corgi Announcement: The first January – June 2017 model range reveal!



Exclusive reveal.  The first model from the forthcoming January – June 2017 Corgi range; 1:72 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I P3576 (GN-A)! 


We are excited to be in a position to give our readers an exclusive first look at one of the models to be announced in the forthcoming January – June 2017 Corgi range – the first time this information has been shared outside Hornby Hobbies.  We have selected this particular model as it marks an aircraft that has been heavily requested by Aviation Archive collectors over the years and is associated with one of the most successful aviation releases of recent times.  AA27605 is the famous Hawker Hurricane Mk.I P3576 (GN-A), flown in combat by Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson on 16th August 1940.  Nicolson and the rest of RAF No.249 Squadron were sent to intercept a large raiding force of Luftwaffe aircraft in the Southampton area and became embroiled in a savage dogfight – during the melee, Nicolson would display exceptional bravery in the face of mortal danger and became the only Fighter Command pilot of WWII to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.  You can read more about Flt. Lt. Nicolson and his Victoria Cross by reading our special Corgi Aerodrome feature.




Classic WWII fighter on the horizon.


One of the main benefits of the Die-cast Diaries blog is the opportunity to chart the progress of new model projects from their original announcement, right through until release of the first model from the new tooling.  At the beginning of 2016, we carried the exclusive announcement that both the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (AA28101) and the Messerschmitt Bf 109E series (AA28001) would be joining the ranks of their fellow Aviation Archive models.  Regular collectors of this series will be fully aware that the Bf 109 Emil series has been represented in the range since the first 1/72nd scale models began to appear back in 2000 and has always been incredibly popular with collectors. Produced in greater numbers than any other fighter aircraft in history, the Messerschmitt Bf109 was in production throughout the Second World War and was the mount of many of the world’s most formidable air aces.


As the Aviation Archive range looked to update some of their older, more popular 1/72nd scale toolings, such as the Spitfire Mk.I, Hawker Hurricane and North American P-51D Mustang, it would not be long before calls for a newly tooled version of the Luftwaffe’s main fighter aircraft of WWII would follow.  Allowing the Corgi design engineers to incorporate all the latest technologies available to them in this newly tooled model, the first release from the new Messerschmitt Bf 109E tooling has experienced some production delays and is now due to arrive towards the end of December 2016.  With pre-order numbers already approaching allocation, it seems that the Aviation Archive enthusiast is still very much in awe of this diminutive WWII fighter – the mount of aces.


ImageBPre-production sample of the new 1/72nd scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E tooling.


In an exclusive ‘first look’ for Die-cast Diaries readers, we are pleased to be able to bring you pictures of the pre-production sample model from the new Messerschmitt Bf 109E tooling and we are grateful to the Hornby photographer for squeezing this in to his already hectic schedule.  As we always stress, we are showing these images to keep our readers informed on the progress of this much anticipated model, but you have to bear in mind that this is a pre-production model and could very well be subject to change.  Used to check every aspect of a model before it can proceed to production, these models are a fascinating insight into the work of the Corgi design team, but may well include errors and inaccuracies that have already been actioned.  Please do not be overly concerned if you spot issues with the model, as this is exactly why this stage in the production process exists.


ImageCAA28001 is finished as Pips Priller’s Battle of Britain Bf 109E-3.


The first release from the new Bf 109E tooling is a beauty and will be of huge interest to collectors with a display featuring aircraft from the Battle of Britain.  Already a Luftwaffe fighter ace by the start of the Battle, Josef ‘Pips’ Priller and the pilots of JG51 would be heavily involved in the fighting against the RAF during the summer and early autumn of 1940, with many of his comrades falling to the guns of Britain’s Fighter Command. Priller and his trusty Messerschmitt Bf 109 would score at least 14 victories during the Battle of Britain and eventually ended the war with an astonishing 101 victories from 307 combat missions flown.  Within this number, Priller claimed at least 68 Spitfires destroyed, which was the highest Luftwaffe ace tally against Britain’s most famous fighter.  He was also one of only a small number of Luftwaffe aces to fight solely in the skies above Western Europe, against the best aircraft available to the Allied air forces.  AA28001 will be a fine addition to the Aviation Archive range of WWII aircraft and is still available to pre-order on the Corgi website, or via your usual model supplier.



Duxford Blenheim on Corgi finals.


ImageDThe Corgi team had a unique opportunity on their visit to Duxford.


In the previous edition of Die-cast Diaries, we included a report on our recent research trip to IWM Duxford and how we were allowed access to the hallowed hangars of the Aircraft Restoration Company.  The focus of our visit was the world’s only flying Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF, which is a firm UK Airshow favourite and just about to be immortalised in die-cast metal as part of the Aviation Archive range.  Whist with the fantastic people at ARCo, we were given the unbelievable opportunity to photograph our pre-production sample model on the actual aircraft itself, which totally unexpected and produced some truly memorable images.  As these images went live in edition 18 of Die-cast Diaries, this already popular model received a surge of ordering activity and we are currently in the position that only a handful of models remain unallocated on the Corgi website.  As AA38408 is due to be released in early November, it would be a good idea to check the status of your order, to make sure you do not miss out on this latest Blenheim to join the Aviation Archive ranks.


ImageEBristol Blenheim Mk.IF AA38408 is already looking like being a sell out release.


Thanks once again to the help of our extremely busy Hornby photographer David and his allowing us to jump a very long photographic queue, we are able to show you this latest picture of the signed sample model, complete with its box and limited edition certificate.  Throughout the history of the Aviation Archive range, models of aircraft that can be seen at Airshows around the country tend to be amongst the most popular releases and this latest model in the series is set to carry on this trend.  By the time we publish the next edition of die-cast diaries, this beautiful model will be in model shops all over the country, waiting to take their place in our display cabinets – if you can’t own the real thing, then Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF AA38408 makes for a fine Corgi die-cast substitute and will help ease the pain.



Corgi to attend the Classic Motor Show 2016.




We are extremely pleased to announce that Corgi will be in attendance on each day of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show between 11th and 13th November this year.  Held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, the event is billed as the UK’s biggest and best Classic Motor Show, which attracts huge crowds of car and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world.  With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to squeeze everything into a single day visit, so a quick check of the event website will allow you to make a note of the things you definitely want to do and see.

One thing visitors will definitely want to do is visit the Corgi team on stand 4-817, where you will be assured of a warm welcome and some friendly die-cast chat.  Please do drop by and say hello, where you could even hand us your votes for the Ultimate Corgi Top Ten and suggest future articles for Die-cast Diaries.  We will be including a show report in a future edition, but it would be great to meet some of our readers over the NEC weekend.  Please keep checking our News pages, as we put the finishing touches to our itinerary for the weekend, but don’t forget that the place to be at the Classic Motor Show 2016 is Stand 4-817.



Corgi Ultimate Top Ten Update.




Since we launched our search for the ‘Ultimate Corgi Top Ten’ last month, we have been absolutely inundated with nominations and photographs from our readers, determined to help us mark this 60th Anniversary year in style.  With entries coming by e-mail, on our social media sites, or on the Corgi forum, Corgi collectors have been keen to register their votes and help to ensure that their favourite models appear in our top ten list at the end of the year.  If you have yet to place your vote, please do so as soon as you can, as the open voting will end on Sunday 13th November, when the top 20 model nominations will go forward to the final stage and the creation of our ‘Ultimate Corgi Top Ten’ list.


ImageHA close up shot of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sent in by D.R. MacGregor.


Many of the nominations received so far have also included some quite humbling descriptions of how much Corgi models have meant to people over the past 60 years and how model collecting continues to be enjoyed by many.  Some respondents describe how their favourite models were the ones they remembered playing with as youngsters and how the Corgi catalogue would be required reading throughout the years and especially in the weeks leading up to birthdays and Christmas.  Others describe how they attempted to build a collection of models when they became older and had more disposable income, but collecting the models they played with when younger, or buying the models they always wanted when young, but were never fortunate enough to get.  What has proved to be quite surprising is the fact that very few models from the past few years have been nominated so far, which is clearly suggesting that many of the classic, earlier Corgi models are held in great affection by model collectors.


Perhaps the least surprising aspect of the nominations received so far is the almost total domination of TV and Film related models in our list.  Some readers have voted for just a single model, whilst others have nominated a full list of ten, but in many of these cases, either the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, or the Batmobile feature prominently, with both of these classic models currently vying for the top spot in our list.  Some of the more unusual suggestions that are currently doing extremely well in the poll are the American La France Aerial Rescue Fire Engine and the Ford Holmes Wrecker, which tells another story about the Corgi models that youngsters enjoyed playing with in their formative years.  The top performing Aviation Archive model is currently the 1/72nd scale Avro Lancaster ‘S for Sugar’, although it is still some way behind the leading TV and Film nominations.


ImageJThe Ford H Series Holmes Wrecker, posted on our Facebook page by Mike Pantano. 


This is the last opportunity for all Corgi collectors to make sure that their favourite models have a chance of appearing in our ‘Ultimate Corgi Top Ten’ list – with open nominations closing on Sunday 13th November, there are just THREE WEEKS left to register your votes.  Registering your nominations could not be simpler – please send your voting e-mail list and any photographs to us at, using Ultimate Top Ten as your heading, or via our Facebook and Twitter accounts using #CorgiTop10.  This will allow us to quickly access your votes and make sure they are added to the totals already received.



Some Corgi ranges NEED YOU!


ImageKComing up on the rails, US36604 P-38J Lightning ‘California Cutie’ needs support.


Your collections need you - this is a final call to action for collectors who have yet to vote in our poll and have enjoyed collecting with us over the years.  With certain ranges currently lagging a little behind, we need Modern Truck, Vanguards, Military Vehicle and Aviation Archive collectors to send us their nominations, to see if any of these models can stand a chance of appearing in the ‘Ultimate Corgi Top Ten’ list and challenge the domination of the TV and Film models.  Whichever models you nominate, please help us to mark this 60th Anniversary year in style and find the Corgi models that deserve to be classed as the most popular in our history.  Ultimately, one model will be crowned the most popular Corgi model of all time and only our readers and collectors can influence this decision.  At the moment, any Corgi model is in with a chance of winning our poll - perhaps it could be a Blackpool Balloon Tram, or FAB 1 that takes this significant model collecting accolade, but if either of them do, they will have been voted for by the most important people in our 60 year history – our model collectors.

In the next edition of Die-cast Diaries, we will publish the final list of the 20 most popular models, from which readers will be invited to choose just one – your choice of the model that deserves the title of the ‘Ultimate Corgi Model’.  You have just three weeks left to make sure your favourite model appears in this definitive list.


Corgi Facebook and Twitter using #CorgiTop10

Make sure your favourite Corgi model is in the Ultimate Top Ten list!



60th Anniversary Battle of Britain pair released.




To mark the 60th anniversary of the first Corgi die-cast model being released, the current Corgi model range included a number of models produced specifically for this occasion.  The range Includes iconic aircraft and vehicles from our 60 year history and have been produced in distinctive anniversary packaging and are supplied with a limited edition certificate and a commemorative 60th Anniversary pin badge.  Representing exceptional value for money, most of these models have now been released and are selling out fast, but we wanted to focus on a pair of Battle of Britain fighters that will enhance any collection of Aviation Archive models.  Both of these new models are presented in liveries that have never appeared in the range previously and mark two of the fascinating aircraft and pilots from this famous WWII battle.


ImageMBoth these superb models mark aircraft that took part in the Battle of Britain.


The Corgi website contains all the specific release details for AA27603 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I V7357 Sgt. J.H ‘Ginger’ Lacey and AA39211 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I R6800 Sqn. Ldr. Rupert ‘Lucky’ Leigh, but we thought you might like to see this image of the two production models sitting side by side, ready to embark on their next Battle of Britain sortie.  Although these models appear in the 60th Anniversary section of the current Corgi catalogue, they are very much part of the Aviation Archive range will make a fine addition to any WWII model collection – both are available now, whilst current stocks last.


60th Anniversary round-up


ImagePThis superb picture is the work of Corgi Collector Alistair Sloan.


We would like to end this latest edition of Die-cast Diaries with a look at just two of the images we have been sent over the past few weeks that both help to mark our 60th Anniversary year and show the affection in which our little die-cast models are held.  This first image was posted on the Corgi Facebook page by collector Alistair Sloan and features some of his extensive collection arranged specifically in tribute to our anniversary year.  Featuring models from many of the ranges we have produced over the years, Alistair has shown his artistic side in arranging his models for this aerial shot that really does carry some modelling impact.  Amongst the models featured are a host of 1/144th scale Aviation Archive models, along with some of the TV and Film inspired releases, which are doing so well in our Ultimate Corgi Top Ten poll – you can clearly make out Chitty, James Bond’s DB5 and Lotus Esprit and a fine selection of Routemaster buses.  This really is a fantastic picture and we are grateful to Alistair for taking the time and effort to share it with fellow Corgi collectors.

Helping to illustrate how Corgi have always strived to Make the Great Small, we received a rather special e-mail from South Africa recently, which helped to show why our models have been so popular over the years and how we are not the only ones celebrating our 60th Anniversary this year.


ImageRPatrick Coyne of South Africa, with his beloved Rover P6 3500 VIP LE.


Mr Patrick Coyne of Durban kindly contacted us in relation to our 60th Anniversary and sent us the fantastic picture above – without wanting to alter the content of Patrick’s e-mail, this is what he wrote:


Dear Corgi, I have just bought a Corgi model – the Rover P6 3500 VIP limited edition. My limited edition number is 1002. I am delighted with the quality of the model, all the more so because it is an excellent copy of my full-size classic Rover P6 (I attach a picture) which I drive with great pleasure on high days and holidays…  I am a former Chairman of the Natal Rover Owners’ Association.

Another nice coincidence is that a few days ago my wife Helen and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. So it was entirely fitting that I happened to call in at the Hobby shop in Umhlanga’s Crescent, near Durban, and asked if they stocked a model of the P6 Rover – which of course they did…  Great that it is in Corgi’s 60th year!

Very best wishes to you all

Patrick Coyne   


This was such a nice message to receive and we are sure that you will allow us on behalf of Corgi and the entire readership of Die-cast Diaries, to wish Patrick and Helen a very happy and enjoyable 60th Anniversary year.  Perhaps a little drive to a local restaurant in that beautiful Rover could be on the cards.  Thanks again to Patrick for sending his message and congratulations to you both.

That’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Die-cast Diaries.  With just three weeks of open voting still left, please do support our Ultimate Corgi Top Ten feature and let us have your favourite model suggestions as soon as you can.  This is your opportunity to make sure your particular model favourites make it into our top ten list at the end of the year.  Help us to mark our 60th Anniversary year in fine die-cast style and have your say in proceedings – don’t forget, we would love to see your pictures too.

As always, we are keen to hear your views on Die-cast Diaries and any ideas you may have for future blog content.  There are a number of ways you can get a message to us - as well as our dedicated e-mail address, we also have our Die-Cast Diaries forum and our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter using #CorgiDiecastDiaries.  Please do join in the discussions, or why not start your own Corgi related thread?

Until the next edition of Die-cast Diaries, thank you very much for reading our latest blog, which we sincerely hope you enjoyed.

The Corgi Team

© Hornby Hobbies Ltd. All rights reserved.

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