Sunday, 27 November 2011


Which should otherwise be titled "apologies for the lateness of this reply".

I am so behind with my filming. The new job, and the work behind the scenes on the new The British Railway Stories website, book, and films have taken up all of my time. Diesel is next (nearly done), then either Henry or Gordon. I haven't decided yet!

Rest assured, Diesel WILL by hook or by crook, have his review out next week. Just been one of those months I am afraid!

Until next time.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

"Diesel Delay"

My current job has taken its toll somewhat on my film making, and unfortunately the Diesel VS Diesel review is not going to appear until next week at the earliest.

However it has allowed me time to reflect on this year, and the reviews made, and thoughts of the next video - a Christmas special, where I will be selecting some truly terrific Thomas merchandise to suggest as Christmas presents this year (and also selecting three truly terrible pieces of merchandise to keep away from under the Christmas tree).

Until next time, with apologies for lack of updates at the moment!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"Partial Retooling a Necessity for the Bachmann Range"

So, a positive post - the Bachmann Devious Diesel model has arrived. Strictly speaking, not true - the "devious" appears to have been permanently dropped for this character, long after Britt Allcroft introduced it in the mid 90s.

However the arrival of this model has made one thing abundantly clear: Bachmann need to do partial retools of their older models. The latest models are making the older models look very tired and poorly designed by comparison. Looking at Diesel, and then the first model in the range (Thomas) confirms this view further.

The first thing which springs to mind are the coupling hooks. No longer the strangely shaped and elongated hook at front and back in grey plastic, they are much closer in shape to an actual coupling hook on Donald & Douglas and Diesel, and this is one modification which should be able to be done with a minimal amount of fuss.

Then there's the question of the faces. Thomas, Percy and James are most guilty of this - none of them quite capture the characters. The Scottish Twins and Diesel match their counterparts perfectly. These three desperately need new face plates, and fast, if they are to stand the test of time.

Then there's Percy. Cab footsteps in the wrong place, coal bunker too big and moulded in grey plastic instead of black, and the missing coupling hook on the rear. A partial retool of this model would bring it up to the high standards of the latest HO offerings, and the stunningly designed G scale Percy too.

James only requires the new coupling hooks, a better proportioned face, and for the small red strip under his smokebox to be painted black (as per the character) along with all wheels and axleboxes on engine and tender to be painted black, not grey.

Henry and Gordon require minimal work to be brought up to standard (if we ignore Henry's rather too short tender), in terms of new coupling hooks and the axle boxes being moulded in black, not grey plastic.

Edward, Spencer, Salty, Mavis, Bill & Ben and Toby only really require the new coupling hooks to be able to be more than presentable and up with the best models in the range.

These partial retools will have two major benefits: firstly, it'll make Bachmann and therefore HiT/Mattel more money. Changing the models will make people go out and buy the new ones to replace the old ones. Creating demand by making the models "new" again. Secondly - it'll make the whole range look like its made by the same company.

Having a defined, and refined look to the range will keep it fresh, high quality, and desirable for Thomas fans throughout the world.

And it must be said - with Diesel, they've upped the ante even more.

Until next time!


So the competition for the Day of the Diesels toys has finished. Monumentally successful - 5000+ entries.

Within one hour - yes, ONE HOUR - of it finishing, I get a group of around twenty Youtubers asking "when are you announcing the winners?" by PM and on the video.

One hour. 5000+ entries to collate before drawing out of a hat.

5000+ entries to go through - what did you expect? Within the hour? One day? One week?


The winner of the competition will be drawn and announced on the 30th November 2011, exactly one month after the competition ended.

I had planned on a few bonus prizes for "best comment", "most posted entries" etc etc, but I'm not so sure I'll bother now.

5000+ entries to get through, by the way.

Thanks to everyone who was sensible and understanding throughout this contest.