Siku Diecast Trains

Mike Pigott looks at the 1/120 scale diecast railway models made by the German company Siku.

gwOjWgoAIn 2010, the long-established German company Siku added a number of railway items to its popular ‘Super Series’. The Siku Super Series dates back to 1975, and is mostly a Hot Wheels sized range, but with cars to a constant scale of 1/55. Siku models are made to a much higher quality than Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, with realistic wheels, detailed interiors and opening parts. However, Siku vehicles are usually two or three times the price of other makes.

The train models were not made to the regular 1/55 scale, which would have been too large; they were instead produced to a size that fit the standard blister packs. Fortunately, that size was 1/120 scale, or TT gauge. While TT gauge was something of a fad in Britain and the USA during the 1960s, it was extremely popular in Eastern Europe and has recently enjoyed a huge revival in Germany. Other manufacturers, such as Corgi and Lionel, have also produced diecast locomotives in 1/120 scale. The Siku trains were not intended to be compatible with TT model railway layouts, they were much simpler than the more detailed electric trains, and were aimed at children rather than collectors. However, they were reasonably good replicas, and – unlike the ranges by Lionel and Corgi – there were carriages produced to accompany the locomotives. All the models had rolling wheels and working ball-and-socket couplings.

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Harry Potter by Corgi International

Mike Pigott looks at a small range of models from Corgi based on the adventures of the boy wizard, Harry Potter.Corgi Ford AngliaHarry Potter first appeared in the 1995 novel Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, and proved to be a massive success around the world. The book spawned five sequels and several spin-offs. In 2001, Harry made the transition to the big screen, with a series of seven big-budget, star-studded movies. Unsurprisingly, there was a great deal of Harry Potter merchandise produced, including a range of diecast models from Corgi, based on three very diverse vehicles seen in the films.

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Lionel Classic Series Locomotives

Mike Pigott looks at a high quality but little-known range of diecast locomotives from the 1990s, made by the long-established American company Lionel.The GeneralAlthough best known for large-scale electric trains, the venerable American company Lionel also ventured into diecast metal train models during the 1990s. This range of six famous locomotives was produced in the once-popular 1/120 scale, or TT gauge.

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