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Old ‘Snake Hips’ flies in

Old ‘Snake Hips’ flies in

Welcome to this latest edition of Corgi Diecast Diaries and your regular look at all the news, updates and stories from the fascinating world of Corgi die-cast model collecting.

We are delighted to begin this latest blog with details of a new model announcement, one which is the latest ex-catalogue addition to our winter range. An absolutely stunning addition to our popular Aviation Archive range, the new model is a Limited Edition scale diecast representation of a famous USAAF bomber from the Second World War and one which has a fascinating story behind it - we will be bringing you full details in this blog. In order to better illustrate the announcement and to give you all the ordering information you might need, we will also be publishing several exclusive images which feature the pre-production sample model and show just why we are so excited by this new model - it’s time for a little ‘snake hips’ action.

Not content with just a single headline feature, we probably have more new model information to share with our readers this time, than we have ever featured in a single edition of the blog previously. You will most certainly not want to miss the latest update from our beautiful 1/48th scale Bristol F.2B Fighter tooling, as we showcase the latest selection of images featuring the pre-production sample model and we have to say that they are stunning - you will be seeing them before anyone else does. Moving away from Aviation Archive subject matter, we will also be including exclusive updates from no fewer than three new TV and Film related projects, each one presenting modes of transport used by some of the most famous stars of screens large and small. We will be featuring vehicles which were used at one time or another by the suave and sophisticated James Bond, the strangely incomparable Mr Bean and the totally magical Harry Potter, with each model being either a new or modified tooling project and completely new to the Corgi range. As you can see, we have an edition packed full of exclusives, as we mark the onset of winter with a spectacular selection of new diecast delights.

Bringing her boys home

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A late addition to the 2020 model range, AA33320 Boeing B-17G ‘Snake Hips’ has an incredible story behind it

There is nothing quite like opening a Diecast Diaries blog with news of a new model, one which has only been announced in the past few days and one which is in addition to the current model range - we are delighted to be in a position to do that right now. As has happened quite regularly over the years, the Corgi ‘Boss’ does like to reserve the right to introduce models throughout the year, over and above the ones announced with the launch of any new range at the start of each new year, which certainly allows the brand some flexibility and keeps things exciting for our loyal collectors. In the recent past, this ability has brought us popular model releases such as the Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Eurofighter Typhoon in 2015 and the first two Tornado retirement releases, which were announced at last year’s Royal International Air Tattoo. Continuing this successful diecast formula, we are pleased to bring you full details of a new model announced earlier this week, one which helps to tell a fascinating story from the air battles which raged in the skies above Europe during the Second World War.

The subject of American air operations from British bases during WWII is one which has captivated enthusiasts since the end of the war, not only because of the aircraft and equipment the men were using, but also how their arrival effectively turned numerous sleepy English villages into little American enclaves. With American personnel bringing their way of life, general demeanour and consumable home comforts with them, it is no wonder they were a source of fascination for the entire population of the UK, especially those who were fortunate to come into close contact with them. With their mighty Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators flying daylight missions, as opposed to the seemingly more secretive night operations mounted by Bomber Command, the general public became accustomed to seeing Americans out and about, or at least marvelling at the massed formations of bombers heading out on their latest raid.

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Quite an advanced project, we are pleased to be in a position to show our blog readers these exclusive images which feature the pre-production model in support of this new B-17G release and isn’t see a beauty!

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Another source of total fascination was the subject of the colourful and often quite elaborate nose artwork many American crews applied to their aircraft, something which to many British people seemed to underline their preconceptions of Americans being a little brash and over-confident. In truth, this could not have been further from the truth, with aircraft artwork usually helping to mask the terror of what these young airmen were being asked to do on a regular basis. Although some pilots may indeed have been extremely confident in their own abilities and decorated their aircraft accordingly, in the main, the application of artwork was something that bound ‘brothers in arms together’, unifying them for the great cause in which they were all engaged. Creating an indelible bond between aircraft and their assigned air and ground crews, the artwork gave these bombers an individual personality, with every crew trusting that theirs would be a ‘lucky ship’ - treat your bomber well and she will bring you home.

Unfortunately, especially during the early stages of the concerted US daylight bombing campaign, losses were high and bases in the south of England would often be left with empty dispersal areas and crews of men posted as missing in action. Soon, new aircraft would arrive to take their place and new crews of fresh faced young airmen would arrive to join the struggle, with new names and pictures appearing on the sides of their bombers. When returning from their latest mission, many crews would have a ritual of thanking their aircraft, often touching the nose artwork on exiting the bomber, a display of superstitious gratitude for bringing them home safely. On many occasions, these rugged aircraft brought their crews home despite the fact they had sustained quite horrendous damage during the latest mission - one such bomber was Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Snake Hips’, the subject of our latest Aviation Archive release announcement.

AA33320 – Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-31713 (UX-T) ‘Snake Hips’, 327th Bombardment Squadron, 92nd Bombardment Group, Podington, 24th August 1944

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

As American heavy bombers began their strategic bombing campaign against German targets in occupied Europe towards the end of 1942, they were hoping that the heavier calibre of guns they used on their aircraft would prove decisive against the threat of Luftwaffe fighter attack, particularly when their bombers were arranged in carefully planned defensive boxes, which allowed them to bring the firepower of hundreds of machine guns to bear. Assembling hundreds of bombers above the English countryside in all weather conditions as they climbed into the sky from their respective bases, would prove to be a huge challenge and collisions were relatively commonplace. Once they were formed up and heading for their targets, accurate navigation was essential if they were to remain in formation and avoid the murderous flak fields, which would take such a heavy toll of their number. With the constant threat of Luftwaffe fighter attack, if they did make it to the target aiming point, they knew that the flak and the fighters would be waiting for them as they embarked on the return journey.

During the early months of the campaign, the bombers would have to run the gauntlet of German defences alone, as Allied fighters lacked the range to escort the bombers all the way to their targets at that time and losses were horrendous as a consequence. Once longer range Lightning, Thunderbolt and Mustang fighters entered service and lightweight external fuel tanks had been developed, the bombers had the protection they needed and the Luftwaffe who had previously been the hunters had now become the hunted. As a result, US bombing accuracy percentages began to increase and Luftwaffe fighters began to fall to the guns of their ‘little friends’.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-31713 ‘Snake Hips’ arrived at the USAAF’s 92nd Bombardment Group base at Podington in February 1944 and quickly benefitted from the addition of a name and artwork on both sides of her nose, with her crew hoping that this would bring them good fortune in the air battles to come. The mighty bomber would see extensive action over the next few months, negotiating this period relatively unscathed, until she was assigned to take part in a mission against the heavily defended synthetic oil plant at Leuna on 24th August 1944. On that fateful day, during the run in to the target, ‘Snake Hips’ took a direct 88mm flak hit in her open bomb bay and whilst the explosion luckily failed to detonate the bombs, it did blow a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft’s fuselage and start a hydraulic fire which threatened to engulf the bomber.

Now badly damaged deep into enemy territory, ‘Snake Hips’ was forced to drop out of formation and head for home, with the crew not knowing if they would make it much further. On attempting to lighten the load and reduce the risk of explosion, the pilot tried to jettison the bombs, but unfortunately several ‘hung’ in their stations, forcing members of the crew to climb into the bomb bay and deactivate them, whilst all this airborne chaos was going on around them. Miraculously, the aircraft made it back across Europe, without crashing and significantly, without attracting the attentions of Luftwaffe fighters looking for an easy victory.

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Bearing in mind the incredible story behind this aircraft, this product picture was posed specifically to simulate the start of ‘Snake Hips’ bomb run, before she was struck by the German anti-aircraft shell on 24th August 1944

Corgi Aviation Archive Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 'Snake Hips' AA33320 diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

How this image was incorporated into the striking box presentation which will accompany this release

Finally, with the coast of East Anglia in sight, but now with two engines out of action, the pilot headed for the relief landing airfield at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk and ordered the rest of his crew to parachute to safety. Just one of many acts of bravery on that day, he knew that attempting to land the bomber in this state might result in it crashing and he didn’t want to risk injury to them. Thankfully, he managed to land the bomber without further incident, thanks to his flying skill and with the help of little luck. Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-31713 ‘Snake Hips’ was one of the most heavily damaged bombers to make it back to Britain during the Second World War and was the subject of great interest at Woodbridge. One of the base personnel used his cine camera to film the bomber and to this day, it is still possible to see the incredible amount of damage this aircraft sustained - how on earth did it manage to make it home?

This magnificent new Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress model is a fine representation of the WWII bomber which managed to make it back to RAF Woodbridge after sustaining horrendous battle damage and will help to tell the story of this mighty aerial struggle in scale model form. Admittedly, the model we have produced is a representation of the aircraft as it set out on the 24th August 1944 raid against the Leuna oil plant and when you see the state in which she returned, you will understand why. In any case, this is a stunning addition to the Aviation Archive range and it is yet another model which has a fascinating story behind it - we think she is a little beauty!

Immortalising a Great War aviation classic

New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

In the previous edition of our blog, we gave readers a tantalising glimpse of the first pre-production sample model from our new 1/48th scale Bristol F.2B Fighter tooling, but we have much more for you this time

We ended the previous edition of our blog with a breaking news feature which was so hot off the press, that the pages were positively smoking. With our Development Manager having just opened the latest parcel to arrive in the Corgi development office, our photographer David was handed a beautiful new model and asked to quickly take a shot of it, so we could add it as a late addition to the blog. The model in question was our new 1/48th scale Bristol F.2B Fighter and this latest sample arrival was the first fully painted pre-production sample model, the sight of which seems to have got everyone just a little excited. A real triumph for our design and development team, we are delighted to now be in a position to share a series of exclusive new images which mark the continuing development of this future classic.

Our range of 1/48th scale Great War fighters have always been popular with collectors, but over the past couple of years, the latest batch of releases have been receiving rave reviews and have not only managed to tempt lapsed collectors back to the hobby, but have also encouraged many new collectors to the Aviation Archive range for the first time. Amongst collectors of our 1/48th scale Great War aviation series, it is no secret that the Bristol F.2B fighter is the one model most have been hoping to see added to the range and whilst it has taken some time to come to fruition, everyone is delighted it is here now. Knowing that the Bristol was so keenly anticipated by so many people, our development team were determined that this new model would be an accurate representation of this famous aeroplane and we really do think they have excelled themselves - it’s a little cracker! Well, in actual fact, it’s not actually that little and compared to all the other model toolings in this series, it really is quite a big model.

The selection of images we have for you here are being shown for the very first time and not only confirm how spectacular this new model looks, but also that it is moving nicely towards its release date. We have also included a couple of images which show how David plans his shots for future use on the box artwork and indeed how it is going to look once all the Great War graphics have been added - this is the sight we will hopefully be seeing on model store shelves in the not too distant future.

New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

An impressive selection of Great War aviation delights. This stunning collection of images feature the first pre-production sample model from the new Bristol Fighter tooling and clearly show what a fine job our design team have done with this model. Showing several different views of a model which is surely destined to become an Aviation Archive classic, we end by showing you how our photographer David and our graphic designer Jules worked together to produce the distinctive box layout which will grace this release

New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
New Corgi Bristol F.2B Fighter Great War model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Although the Bristol F2B Fighter would go on to be regarded as one of the finest fighting aeroplanes of the Great War, its combat introduction on the Western Front was inauspicious to say the least. Intended as a replacement for the much maligned Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c, the Bristol Fighter was rushed into service so it could take part in the Second Battle of Arras in April 1917 and demonstrate the advancement in Allied aircraft design. During its first operational sortie on 5th April, six aircraft from No. 48 Squadron RFC, led by famous VC winner William Leefe Robinson, were bounced by Albatros fighters of Jasta 11, led by Manfred von Richthofen.

During the ensuing melee, four of the new fighters, including the one flown by Robinson, were shot down, with another suffering serious damage – VC hero Robinson was initially posted as killed in action, but later discovered to have been taken prisoner. Despite this, once the many qualities of the Bristol Fighter had been appreciated, pilots quickly learned that this large aeroplane could be flown extremely aggressively and was more than capable of taking on the German fighters. With a fixed forward firing Vickers gun for the pilot and Scarff ring mounted Lewis guns for the observer, the Bristol fighter would enable crews to score victory numbers equivalent to those claimed by single seat fighters.

One of the most distinctive aircraft of the First World War, it is fascinating to think that the Royal Air Force didn’t actually fully withdraw the Bristol F.2B Fighter from service until the early 1930s and with over 5,300 examples built, it underlines just how important this genuine multi role aircraft was to the nation. A stunning future addition to our range of 1/48th scale WWI fighter aircraft, our beautiful new Bristol F.2B Fighter is on track for a winter 2020/21 release.

How dare you shoot at my British motoring classic!

Corgi update their popular James Bond Aston Martin DB5 collectable model diecast model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

With the Aston Martin DB5 being one of the most stylish luxury British sports car of the 20th century, it would traumatise millions of people to see one mistreated like this, even if the driver is the world’s most famous secret agent

In life, some things are just meant to go together, like strawberries and cream, soap and water and of course gin and tonic. It is interesting to note that these pairing analogies also extend to the world of diecast model collecting and in this regard, could there possibly be a better suited pairing than Corgi and James Bond’s classic Aston Martin DB5? Diecast Diaries readers will no doubt recall that when we used our 60th Anniversary celebrations to ask, ‘What is the ultimate Corgi model?’, the answer you gave us was unequivocal - James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. The fact that this incredibly popular model emerged victorious probably didn’t come as a great surprise to many people, but what did raise the eyebrows a little was the margin by which it won. Despite constantly changing collector trends and new model toolings regularly joining the Corgi line-up over the years, Bond’s DB5 positively trounced the competition, displaying its true die-cast credentials and making this such an important model in our history.

We are delighted to say that this enduring association is as strong today as it has ever been and as Bond fans the world over have been keenly awaiting the release of 'No Time to Die', our product designers have been working hard to produce our latest tribute to Britain’s most famous secret agent and his gadget filled, luxury British sports car - they have really gone to town on this one. Corgi Bond collectors will be familiar with the range of model toolings we can access in order to make our latest Bond range tribute and indeed how these 1/36th scale models are limited edition collector’s items, as opposed to the original 1/43rd scale release, which whilst being a hugely popular model, was definitely regarded more as a toy item. For this latest movie and the fact that the current Bond will be hanging up his Walther PPK after filming ends, our team wanted to produce something a little bit special and challenged not only their own skills, but many aspects of the diecast model production process in their search for excellence. Let’s now take a closer look at why CC04314 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 ‘No Time to Die’ will be different to any Corgi DB5 that has gone before.

With trailer clips from the new film already highlighting a significant role for Bond’s iconic classic Aston Martin in ‘No Time to Die’, our development team thought that there was an opportunity to excel and allow them to recreate one of the most memorable scenes from the new film. This work would be completed in three distinct areas - tooling, finish and packaging, with significant advances in all areas.

Corgi update their popular James Bond Aston Martin DB5 collectable model diecast model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Two different views of the pre-production sample model of our modified Aston Martin DB5, showing some of the changes which have been made to the tooling

Corgi update their popular James Bond Aston Martin DB5 collectable model diecast model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

From a tooling perspective, the existing 1/36th scale Aston Martin DB5 is now very much a Corgi favourite, but the team wanted to see if they could alter it slightly to better support this latest release. The tooling was modified to give the new model fixed doors (for a very good reason, which will be explained later) and the open windows of the existing model are now fully closed on both sides, as a new clear part for all the windows has been designed. In addition to this, a completely new interior now allows the model to be a right hand drive example, which is correct for this film and the tooling modifications are completed by the addition of the two headlight mounted rotary machine guns, which ‘Q’ has installed in the real car for Bond’s use as and when he sees fit. In all these cases, these modifications will be appearing on a Corgi Bond DB5 model for the first time when this model is released.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the work the team has undertaken on this modified tooling project concerns the finish of the model and how they were determined to incorporate all the latest design and manufacturing advances the industry has to offer, to make this as authentic a representation as possible. Although we will all quickly see how more detail has been added to the new model, we will have no idea just how much of a challenge this posed and how determination and ingenuity (along with a little trial and error) eventually won the day. A distinctive feature of the DB5, the team have manged to tampo print the front grille to retain the chromed detail, but to add darker printing to give an accurate representation of the darker vents. Also, the latest technology has allowed additional detailing to be added around the rims of the headlights and around the windscreen frame, again adding to the overall aesthetic appearance of the model.

These finish improvements also extend to the front opening on the bonnet engine bulge and the shadow areas in the side vents on each wing of the car, as many aspects of this model’s finish have been assessed and improved.

Now we come on to the really interesting part. If you have watched any of the various ‘No Time to Die’ trailers which are available, you will have no doubt seen the section where this beautiful car is shot at and battered in such a manner as is almost makes tears come to our eyes, all before Bond finally decides he has had enough and lets the Aston Martin take out the big stick (or two massive mini guns to be more accurate) and mete out a little punishment of its own. The team were keen to replicate the scene where the DB5 was looking in less than pristine condition, but how could they achieve this effectively on a large production run of models? The initial thought was to scuff the side of each shell casting by hand, using a wire brush and whilst this was trialled for effectiveness, the results were unacceptable. Although it could look effective, some of the scratches were too deep, whilst others too light, both of which would have caused problems during the finishing process and effectively make each model produced handmade and unique. After much trial and error and some very clever use of existing technology, they settled on a development of the tampo printing process, but one which gives the scratch representation real depth and also makes it look realistic at whichever angle you view the model - what they have managed to achieve is really very effective.

The next challenge was to replicate the many bullet strikes which had hit the bullet-proof windows of the car, without penetrating and threatening the occupants. This proved to be another challenge, as anything which actually pierced the plastic would not have given the correct effect and would have spoilt the overall appearance of the model. Again having tried several alternatives at representing the radiating cracks caused by the bullet strikes and having had the opportunity to inspect the actual car used in the film, the solution proved to be a ‘digital’ one and another challenge for the tampo print setters in the manufacturing factory. We really do think the finish we have achieved is rather pleasing and that James Bond collectors will be delighted with this model.

Corgi update their popular James Bond Aston Martin DB5 collectable model diecast model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Two final images showing the pre-production sample of the ‘No Time to Die’ Aston Martin DB5 and the handsome packaging which will protect the new model. This fantastic future release is almost guaranteed to be one of our most popular models and will delight James Bond fans everywhere

Corgi update their popular James Bond Aston Martin DB5 collectable model diecast model release on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Having lavished so much time and attention on improving the finish and accuracy of this new James Bond DB5 model, there was no way the team were going to leave things there, as they were determined that the model’s presentation had to be as impressive as its finish. Befitting a release of this magnitude, the newly designed presentation box is something very new for the Corgi Bond range, but will now be rolled out across the range in future. Identifying this as a high quality collector product, the box is made of high quality materials, with a smart black and gold finish. The box itself hinges open to reveal the model inside, taking design inspiration from the individual Scalextric car boxes which are so popular with collectors. To keep the model secure, a soft acetate protector will be inside the lid, but this will be discarded once the collector has brought his model home from the shop. To project the outside finish of the glossy box from finger marks and carriage scuffs, it will be shipped with a cellophane protector, something which will again need to be discarded before you can inspect your model.

As you can see, a lot of thought and effort has gone into this model and we really do think you will be delighted with it. A high quality collector’s representation of this famous car and its starring role in the next Bond movie, CC04314 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 ‘No Time to Die’ is a real triumph for the Corgi team and we can’t wait for you all to see it. Please note that the images we have used to illustrate this feature are still in the development stage and show the first shots completed model both with and without combat damage. We very much look forward to showing you the next sample of this fantastic new model in a forthcoming edition of our blog.

Bird’s eye Bean

Corgi model Mr Bean sculpted figure on armchair Mini seat on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A first look at the pre-production sample model of our new CC82114 ‘Do it yourself Mr Bean’ Mini and the impressive new Mr Bean figure we have created

We are heading into some strange diecast territory here right now, something of a classic vehicle and famous driver juxtaposition. If James Bond and his Aston Martin DB5 are all about class, sophistication and intrigue, then both the car and the driver in this next section are a definite class apart, even if both can claim to be just as famous. If a DB5 is a fitting mode of transport for the world’s most famous secret agent, what sort of car would you expect a child in a grown man’s body to drive? That car would surely have to be a Citron Green British Leyland Mini with a matte black bonnet and its unusual driver would be a certain Mr Bean.

There can be few British comedic actors who are as instantly recognisable as Rowan Atkinson, with his seemingly endless repertoire of facial contortions and ability to switch from blundering buffoon to oppressed Captain in the British Army with consummate ease. The star of several spectacularly successful TV series, one of his best loved creations is the hapless, yet totally endearing and always hilarious Mr Bean, a man who seems to have remained in the blissful innocence of his childhood, despite living in our adult world. Rarely speaking and relying on a myriad of facial expressions to transport him from one hilariously cringe worthy situation to the next, Mr Bean had two steadfast companions throughout his many comedic adventures, his teddy and his trusty British Leyland Mini, which manages to get into just as many hilarious scrapes as its owner.

Corgi model Mr Bean sculpted figure on armchair Mini seat on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Development images showing the detail incorporated into our new Mr Bean figure and how this has translated to the pre-production sample model

Corgi model Mr Bean sculpted figure on armchair Mini seat on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

Building on the unbelievable popularity of Mr Bean, Corgi collectors have been able to boast a diecast representation of Mr Bean’s Mini in their displays for many years now, but just as we have done with the James Bond DB5 tooling described above, our designers also recently up-spec’d Mr Bean’s Mini, with the re-worked model benefitting from such features as better fitting doors, more accurate wheels and trims, as well as greater detail on the Bean inspired additional door lock. Well, as anyone who has inspected the current 2020 Corgi range will know, this popular Mr Bean Mini tooling is about to benefit from a significant new tooling addition, in the form of Mr Bean himself and a selection of his purchases from a fruitful visit to the New Year sales. Recreating one of the best loved scenes from the Mr Bean series, our next Bean model is something very special indeed and one which again has posed more than a few challenges for our designers.

With some rather obvious new additions to the classic Mr Bean Mini, there is quite a lot of extra detail which needed to be developed here, as this classic scene had to be faithfully replicated in scale form. In addition to figuring out how to attach the armchair to the roof of the car and how we were going to replicate the various ingenious methods Mr Bean created to control his car, by far and away the most challenging aspect of this project was Mr Bean himself and specifically his face. You would think that a man who has no end of strange facial expressions would provide our designers with quite an amount of poetic licence when it came to replicating his face, however, we knew what we wanted the finished figure to look like and it was proving a challenge to get there. Using the latest sculpting technology available to us and applying this finesse to the manufacturing processes we use, once again, we are really pleased with the finished results and we hope our collectors will be too.

Corgi model Mr Bean sculpted figure on armchair Mini seat on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A really appealing lifestyle image featuring the new Mr Bean Mini and his unusual driving position, created by our photographer David

A significant addition to our TV and Film collectables range, the CC82114 ‘Do it yourself Mr Bean’ Mini is scheduled to be available in time for Christmas and will make a fantastic gift for ….. well, absolutely anyone! With delivery networks looking like they are going to be stretched to breaking point this year and it currently being a little unclear as to whether model shops will be open for business other than using the on-line option, it may be wise to make sure you have your order in place, so that the collector in your life can add this appealing little model to their display cabinet this coming festive period.

Leaving Privet Drive in style

Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

News of a new tooling addition to our popular TV and Film model range is always of great interest to collectors, especially if it features a flying motorcycle

Staying with our TV and Film model range, our next project update is something we are proud to be adding to our range and something fans of the Harry Potter books and films will no doubt find very interesting. This time, as well as featuring a classic British mode of transport (although this one definitely possesses some special qualities), we also have TWO famous figures who partake of its services. Since the publication of the first Harry Potter book in 1997, the exploits of the boy wizard have captivated millions of people across the world and gone on to become something of a merchandising phenomenon. The Corgi range has included several Harry Potter related model offerings over the years and has just been enhanced by the addition of a future Potter classic!

Almost without exception, it appears as if few of the modes of transportation the young Mr Potter came across throughout his many adventures could be described as ‘normal’ but despite this, most of us would love to have enjoyed a magical ride in any one of them. As undoubtedly the best loved half-giant to have ever existed (well, in this fantasy world, at least), you might possibly have expected Hagrid to have been something of a boy racer in his youth, so when he turned up on Privet Drive on a blue Royal Enfield motorcycle, complete with Watsonian sidecar in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, should we really have been surprised. Certainly what shouldn’t have come as a shock is when this turned out to be no ordinary Motorcycle and sidecar!

Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

A fascinating selection of images showing both CAD screenshots generated from the design files from the new model tooling and the first pre-production sample models produced from the tooling. As usual, please be aware that this model is still in development and may be subject to further change

Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog
Corgi model Harry Potter and Hagrid motorcycle and sidecar diecast model on Corgi die-cast diaries blog

In an exciting development for collectors of Harry Potter memorabilia, our 2020 model range included confirmation that we were working on a newly tooled example of Hagrid’s stylish Royal Enfield motorcycle and Watsonian sidecar, a model which would also be including detailed figures of both Hagrid and Harry. This classic vehicle was used to help Harry escape the clutches of wizarding dark forces, with his friends trying to mask his escape by several of them taking on his form during the escape bid. His departure from Privet Drive was also a little unusual for a motorcycle and sidecar combination and there would certainly have been very little wear on the tyres at this point - this turned out to be a flying Royal Enfield motorcycle.

The images shown above feature both a series of screengrabs taken from the CAD development files for this new model tooling, followed by several further images of the first pre-production sample from the tooling, obviously at this stage minus our two wizarding heroes. Again, we do have to stress that these are still development images, with the model potentially still being subject to change, however, this really is a significant addition to the Corgi range and as such, we thought you might like an update on its progress. Hopefully, our next update will allow us to show you the model complete with figures and we hope that will be in a future edition not too far away, but for now, we hope you have enjoyed this first look at how this magical new tooling is advancing towards its ‘Wingard Leviosa’ release date. Our new CC99727 Harry Potter Hagrid Motorcycle and Sidecar is available to pre-order now.

We are afraid that’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Diecast Diaries, however, you can be sure we will be back with more updates and exclusive Corgi content in four weeks’ time. In the meantime, we are always interested to hear from our readers, especially if you would like to suggest a subject for future inclusion in our blog. Better still, if you would like to send us pictures of your own model collection, or details of a Corgi model release which is special to you, you may even find yourself featuring in a future edition of Diecast Diaries. As always, we would be grateful if you would address all correspondence to our usual diecastdiaries@corgi.co.uk email address. 

If you can’t wait for the next edition of our blog, there is always plenty of Corgi model related news, views and conversation taking place on our official Facebook  and Twitter  social media pages, which welcome your contributions. We look forward to reading about all the latest Corgi collecting discussions and pictures of your favourite models over the coming few weeks.

Finally, we would like to thank all our readers for their continued support. We look forward to bringing you much more Corgi related news, features and updates in future editions of our blog. The next edition of Diecast Diaries is scheduled to be published on Friday 4th December.

 

The Corgi Die-cast Diaries Team

 

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