25 February 2022
Never lost for things to talk about, Rick Wilson shares another selection from his collection.
There has been a lot of chatter in recent years about the mainstream Corgi re-imaginings of the iconic No 261. Released in October 1965, the original James Bond Aston Martin was second only to the No 267 Batmobile as the all-time best-seller for Corgi Toys, and was also described by TV personality, James May, as “the most significant car ever” in his Sunday Times column, in January 2015.
The series of releases by Corgi over the last few years, commemorating the 50th anniversaries of the Goldfinger (CC04203) and Thunderball (CC04206) films, then more recently repackaged as RT26101 with an excellent recreation of the original No 261 box, have been well-received, but the inaccuracy of the front grille has definitely been a cause for concern amongst purists. I do include myself in that group.
Having been a member of the new Corgi Model Club from the beginning, I was so excited to hear of the club’s intention to retool the original No 261 as closely as possible. It finally arrived just after we went to press with the March issue, so I just had to pop it into these pages for this month. And what better way to take a more detailed look at it than sit it alongside the example of an original. Please excuse the slightly playworn look of this one, but my pocket money doesn’t stretch to minters these days – however, it certainly provides an interesting comparison to the club’s superb new release.
Very importantly, the gadgets all work very nicely indeed, and, most importantly, the baddie ejects in fine fashion. The model is an almost faithful recreation to that most famous of toys, and certainly serves to fill a gap in collections where an original is absent.
The scale is pretty much identical and the proportions/dimensions are almost spot on too. Close up viewing with the two alongside each other will, inevitably, show up some very subtle differences, such as the profile of the bumpers and the shutlines to the top front of the doors (best viewed in the top-down 'plan' view on the opposite page).
Eagle-eyed collectors have noticed that there are a couple of not-so-subtle differences that are fairly easy to spot. Firstly, the paintwork has a slightly different finish to it. It’s a convoluted story as to how this came about, but a second production run will feature a paint job with a more obvious metallic fleck to it, bringing it closer to the 1965 model. Apart from miniscule dimensional differences, the only other really noticeable difference is the lack of scallops either side of the bonnet to the top of the grille. It is still a big improvement on the angular appearance of the recent Corgi releases though.
This newest incarnation comes packaged in an exquisite recreation of the original box, complete with pull-out inner plinth. Tucked inside the base of the plinth are the Top Secret instructions, lapel sticker and a spare baddie – just like the original! What a fabulous piece of work this is. It is the result of many, many months of work by the dedicated, enthusiastic team at the Corgi Model Club – they are to be applauded for such a labour of love. I adore it!
For more information, visit the club’s website at www.corgimodelclub.com.