23 November 2012
Don Donaldson takes to the skies as he compares two model rockets ...
Some auction results, and indeed magazine articles, have highlighted the interest in copies or lookalike models of well-known diecasts. Some do, of course, come from the original moulds, later exported eastwards for a further brief spell of life. Others can be a very faithful copy, often in plastic, and sometimes to quite a large scale.
Here we have something that so far seems to have slipped the collector’s net. It is immediately recognisable as a Corgi rip-off. A copy? No, not really. It has been completely re-engineered (one uses the term lightly), even if it was once a Corgi Bloodhound.
What is absolutely certain is that whoever designed it had a Corgi original in the other hand at the time, and that they knew little, or cared to ignore, the Bloodhound’s mode of operation.
While the Corgi weighs the veritable (scale) ton, the imposter is featherweight in the extreme. It is all very much in the tradition of 1950s and 1960s cheap and nasty Hong Kong plastic, except that it is not really all that nasty.
Both have similarly operating launching ramps, but the Corgi missile is, of course, detachable. Strangely, that from H.K. is securely welded to its launcher, at least until the firing pin is pushed. Then just the top section of the main missile fuselage, complete with the two top fins, that’s all, is on its way. Quite amazingly, and one would imagine worryingly if you were in charge of a real one, the four yellow boosters and main fuselage engine, are still earthbound.
Nevertheless, this was quite a dangerous weapon from the family cat’s viewpoint, the main spring being of quite useful dimensions. The whole set up may not feel that robust, but appearances can be deceptive. Perhaps it was wise that no indication of the manufacturer appears anywhere.
The box is about as cheap as it gets – cardboard, print quality and size. It does, however, correctly show the seriously inaccurate operation, and is only just large enough to take the lowered launcher and main missile, plus separate ‘flying’ portion. The colours of yellow and blue could be considered also to owe something to Corgi, and the use of the Rocket Age title just clinches the association. Get one if you can, the subject matter and both miniatures are all now part of our history from half a century back. This H.K. product has become quite a talking point among an already impressive Bloodhound display.
THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM A FEATURE THAT APPEARED IN THE NOVEMBER 2011 ISSUE OF DIECAST COLLECTOR. YOU CAN STILL ORDER A DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS MAGAZINE FROM THE POCKETMAGS WEBSITE.