International Toy Fair - 2011

On my fourth visit to the International toy fair, I did not hold out much hope of seeing many new models, mainly due to the continuing uncertainty in the construction industry and the lack of money for promotional use. During the first day, my original thoughts were born out with many of the manufactureres only having a couple of new models, with the exception of Conrad who displayed a number of new castings although there were not many new construction models.

Star of the Conrad stand has to be the Terex AC1000-9 which had been rumoured to appear in 1:50th scale for a number of months. The sample on display shows plenty of detail with removable outriggers, a fully operable rear counterweight system and the main telescopic boom which can be broken down for transport display. The model is due for release over the Summer.

Terex AC100-4 in Wiesbauer livery

A number of company painted models were on display including the AC100-4 in Wiesbauer livery which looks striking, especially with the new high detail wheel hubs and the new Palfinger PK100002 mounted to the MAN TGS 4-axle chassis in Wiesbauer livery will make a great companion when released in July.

Another new coloured release is the MAN TGX 3-axle truck with Doll 5-axle trailer in the blue Hofmann decoration which is a great companion to the previously released Liebherr LTM1070-4.1 mobile crane.

First displayed at the toy fair last year, the colourful red and yellow goldhofer tube transporter is close to being released while Conrad are still displaying their truck models with the track frame assembly from the CC8800 which does make an interesting load. It is a pity they haven't considered producing a small run of these for use as authentic heavy haulage loads.

One surprise on the Conrad stand was the introduction of a 1:50th scale Mercedes Sprinter van, available in two configurations consisting of the standard van and a BF3 version. Both feature opening rear and side cargo doors with steering front axle while the BF3 version has a pivoting roof mounted sign board which will come with interchangable signs.

Sandvik TH550

First announced at Bauma, the Sandvik TH550 is the fifth release in the range and is available in two slightly different versions, one exclusive to Sandvik (Pictured) and one for the model dealer network.

One interesting new model is the Mitsubishi Canter van which has been produced exclusively for the VINCI group. Used in Paris, the vehicle houses roll up side doors revealing the internal equipment while on the rear of the model is a fold down vehicle recovery arm.

While companies produce limited edition painted versions of existing models, it is good to see them commission a complete model and I would not be surprised to see future models based on the Mitsubishi chassis. The model is available now from the VINCI Online Shop.

The MAN 3-axle truck with Nooteboom 4-axle teletrailer in Schmallenbach livery (pictured below) is very limited with only 100 pieces being produced. It is scheduled for release early April.

Casting updates have been made to several of the MAN truck cabs while more models have been painted in company colours, like the Felbermayr version of the Actros SLT with Goldhofer 6-axle STZ-H6 trailer.

The new Goldhofer low loader trailer features different deck sections which pin together to produce the required bed length. Also new is the 3-axle module and the tractor unit has a light duty pack mounted behind the cab, all finished in the yellow Bohnet company livery.

Conrad typically display a large crane as the centrepiece of their stand and this year was no exception with the Liebherr LG1750 with luffing jib and suspended counterweight tray in Nordic Crane Group colours prominently displayed. Reaching high into the air, it makes an impressive sight when walking past the stand and also gathered interest from other manufacturers, comparing the height to that of their own crane models. The model is scheduled for release during May.

Following the release of the Doll long timber transporter, there is now a new 3-axle Mercedes short wood transporter with 2-axle trailer and Epsilon wood loading crane, complete with authentic wooden load.

The Palfinger PK53002 knuckle boom crane has been added to a 3-axle MAN TGX chassis with fixed flat bed platform in Schmidbauer colours (The full sized truck which the model is based on was on display at Bauma). A full listing of all the new Conrad models has been uploaded to the Conrad News page.

Norscot displayed the recent 1:50th scale releases, including the 374D tracked excavator, 24M grader, 793F mining truck and 587T pipe layer along with the six military painted construction models which do look better in the flesh than in the pictures so far seen.

The colour match is close to the Sword HET model in desert tan so there are some good display possibilities.

While no new models were announced, Norscot will have two new models for the ConExpo show in late March with several more 1:50th scale construction models being released throughout the year. Interestingly, they also had several larger scale car models on display.

The biggest surprise from NZG were the high number of company liveried models on display with only a couple of brand new models like the Liebherr luffing jib to fit the LTM11200-9.1 mobile crane. The jib is nicely constructed and connects to the heavy lift boom wich allows the height of the model to remain somewhat reasonable, although extension kits are also available. Considering the number of limited edition company painted LTM11200-9.1 models over the last 12 months or so, there is currently no decision from NZG if the jib will be produced in different colours and what those colours are likely to be.

One new casting from NZG is the Hamm rubber wheeled compactor which is being produced in two versions, one with enclosed cab and one with ROPs bar. Both have opening engine compartments and detailed cab interiors and are scheduled to be available late March.

Numerous interesting company painted models were on display, most of them based on Liebherr construction and crane models with one or two of the models displayed exclusive to the company and not available through the normal dealer network.

TWH Collectibles had the first metal sample of the P&H 4100XPC on display and the model is looking good. Still scheduled for a release in the Spring, the model features working LED lighting which is an interesting addition.

Now available, the Frauenrath Liebherr R916 Advance and Vogele Super 1803-2 wheeled paver are great looking companions while the brightly coloured Karp-Kneip liveried Liebherr R313 will certainly stand out on the shelf.

I have already mentioned the Liebherr R916 excavator in Nagel livery in a previous editorial and the model is very nicely produced with a very intricate pattern embedded into the paint finish which you can just about see on the image below. While this is something a little different, it still does not justify the over inflated price that Nagel are asking in my opinion.

NZG also had a number of Grove GMK4100L/4115L, GMK5110/5115 and RT540E models on display, all produced by TWH Collectibles in a limited run of 150 pieces and exclusive to NZG. A full listing of all the new NZG models has been uploaded to the NZG News page.

One of the highlights of 2010 was the introduction of the Hitachi ZX870 tracked excavator from WSI. Following on from this exceptional model, they have added another construction model to their offering in the form of the Hamm HD110 tandem drum compactor which has an incredible level of detail throughout including opening cab doors, opening engine compartments and many small details giving the model a very realistic look.

WSI also displayed a new classic 3-axle brick truck along with a number of "Show Trucks" which feature amazing graphics throughout.

The Scheuerle modular trailer was displayed in several different configurations and the various components will allow WSI to release a number of interesting truck and trailer models in the coming 12 months.

Also displayed were the new 4 and 5 axle Ginaf tipper truck models which should be available very soon. Speaking with the staff on the WSI stand, I am left with the impression that they are hard at work on several more construction models for release later this year / early next year including more "larger" models which crane enthusiasts will be very happy about. A set of simulated concrete plates joins the range of accessories that can be used as loads for the various trailers.

Motorart have been quiet over the last 12 months with Volvo having models made from several sources including NZG and direct from a manufacturer in China.

On display on the stand are the three new 1:50th scale Concept models which were originally shown at Bauma last year and these models will soon be available from model dealers.

Also added to the range is a 1:50th scale Volvo EC700C high reach demolition excavator featuring extending undercarriage with linked metal tracks, a tilting cab, opening engine compartment and functional boom.

The only new model for JCB from Motorart is the new 1:50th scale 330 wheeled skid steer loader with moving power boom and opening cab door. While there are no new construction model announcements, Motorart will be busy during 2011 working on tooling for a number of new construction models which will debut in 2012.

Komatsu PC8000

While prices are slowly rising all the time, China is no longer an option for the production of low cost models and it is interesting to see that Bymo are continuing with the production of their range of models in Bosnia. Using two shifts, production at the factory is fully focussed on the Komatsu PC8000 shovel which will soon be available to collectors. The new Komatsu 355 pipe layer (Pictured below) has been finalised and is scheduled to go into production later this year with the model likely to start appearing over the summer. Casting changes are being made to the Bauer RTG RG21T piling model to reflect updates to the full sized machine and these are scheduled to be released late 2011.

The Universal Hobbies stand did not display any new construction models and they were very tight lipped when asked about new models during the year. The only models they would confirm are two new 1:12th scale hand tools for Wacker Neuson, consisting of the BS60 vibrating compactor plate and the EH25 electric breaker which is supplied with a transport frame and different drill attachments. It does look like there will be new models in the New Holland and Komatsu ranges released in the second half of the year while they are also working on their first construction model for a new OEM.

Joal have been quiet for several years and this year they only had two new models.

The JCB midi CX is now available in both side-shift and centremount versions while a Manitou MSI-30T K-series lift truck has been released in two versions, one with pallet forks and one with a tipping bucket.

The previously announced Mack Granite rigid truck with flatbed tipper and Mack Granite with Etnyre spreading body from Sword Precision Scale models are scheduled for release over the summer while new models will be announced later in the year.

The level of realism is very high on both replicas with fine detailing and functionality all engineered into the model. The flatbed truck has removable side panels and tailgate with storage racks mounted to the chassis on each side. The chromed fuel tanks have integrated access steps with chromed exhaust stacks rising up on both sides of the chassis just behind the cab. The doors open to reveal the fully modelled interior and the engine hood tilts forward revealing the replicated engine block.

The Etnyre spreading assembly mounted to the rear of the chassis is exceptionally well detailed with folding arms extending the coverage area. All the flexible pipes have been added with an access ladder leading up to the walkway on top of the tank, complete with opening door and a pivoting control lever with tiny printed guage. The image above is of the first metal sample and is subject to changes and enhancements before production.

Fans of the Bucyrus historic models will be happy to hear that the next release in the EMD line is scheduled for release mid year, based on the 22BE / 22RB with lattice boom, dragline bucket and clamshell.

After an absence at last years show, YCC were back this year and displayed their latest offerings. The Gottwald AMK1000 is expected to be released during the summer of 2011 although YCC have not yet finalised the price. The model is supplied with the specialist 9-axle boom carrier in Riga Mainz and Breuer decorations. The smaller 500 ton Gottwald AMK 500-93 prototype was also displayed and is expected to be released next year.

Not content with teasing everyone with the two Gottwalds, they also displayed a prototype of their next model, the Krupp 500GMK mobile crane in the Grayston White & Sparrow decoration (Pictured below) which is likely to appear sometime 2012.

One interesting model on display is a track mounted, three stage hydraulic lifting frame which looks highly detailed.

While models based on new castings were few and far between, I left the show with a feeling that this is only a small sampling of what is to come this year and I do believe that NZG, Conrad, WSI, Norscot, Motorart and Universal Hobbies are hard at work developing construction models for release throughout 2011. I guess only time will tell.

For collectors in the UK, I will be attending the Spalding Truck & Construction show on the 20th March where samples of a number of the new models from the toy fair will be on display. I will also be attending the new Heavy Equipment Models show in Fence, near Burnley on Sunday 3rd April where a selection of new models will be on display, including a sample of the 1:50th scale P&H 4100 XPC rope shovel.