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please select for delivery to either metropolitan France or for the other western european (EEC 12) countries.

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My interest in Hornby (or Tri-ang, as I still think of them) goes back to the 1960s. Corgi (started in 1956 and owned by Mettoy Playcraft) was a strong brand back then and as "the ones with windows" (and also with interiors, opening doors and suchlike) were generally introducing higher quality models than Dinky (owned by Hornby) and forcing that firm to change it's ideas. Strangely Spot-On (owned by Tri-ang) did produce similar quality "windowed" models but had a much smaller range and was less well known despite Tri-ang then being the largest overall toy producer in britain.

Now owned by Hornby Hobbies the Corgi brand brand lives on although the product range is a shadow of the 1960's 70's and 80's. In recent years it has produced a range of models, in the same sizes as some of the classic aviation and military Airfix kits (but as fully finished diecasts) plus intermittent re-releases of some of the more collectible original Corgi vehicles, often tv or film related such as the James Bond Aston Martin, the original version having once been declared british "toy of the year" back in 1965. Commercial vehicles now tend towards articulated trucks and buses rather than construction and agricultral equipment but the Vanguard range of cars is slowly building a range of classic cars.

In it's heyday Corgi had one of the widest ranges of quality toy vehicles, perhaps not as wide a range as Dinky which had a far deeper reach in it's back catalogue and a greater range of military, construction and other commercial types, but every model was designed with care and lead Dinky many having features such as windows, suspension, steering, jewelled headlights followed by trans-o-lite (plastic light pipes), rotating headlights where appropriate, opening doors, hood and trunk and folding seats. They also had a linked range of smaller (closer to oo/Ho) vehicles in the Husky brand to compete with Matchbox which were re-branded as Corgi Junior in 1970 with the introduction of the lower friction wheels. At he same time they launched Corgi Rockets which were specifically intended for downhill racing and which, in our family at least, had lower friction than Hotwheels. The original Corgi company collapsed in 1983 but was bought out by management and relaunched the year after as Corgi Toys Limited, selling the brand to Mattel in 1989. In 1995 Corgi was relinquished by Mattel, the models since then featuring aircraft vintage to modern, specific cars, and a new range of 1:76 private and commercial vehicles useful for model railways in the Corgi Trackside range. If you are interested in british diecast vehicles of this era then the Matchbox King Size range produced some good items and there were a few other minor british diecast brands such as Budgie. Of course I must not forget the french Dinky range which naturally had many french market prototypes and a particularly impressive range of military models which, particularly for the american prototypes such as the half-track, DUKW and the impressive bridge-layer, would have sold well outside france, much as Solido did later on.

I am trading under the Micro Entrepreneur regime, I pay the equivalent of TVA/VAT sales tax up-front when I buy goods and I can not exempt this for any purchasers who might be TVA/VAT registered.

Although Monsieur Vapeur was registered in 2018 the Hornby Hobbies dealer registration was only obtained in 2019. In comparison with other shops I would not expect to instantly hold large stocks but would hope to offer a simple ordering service at an attractive price. Therefore please understand that there will be some delay before you receive items. I order on a roughly fortnightly basis. If the items are in stock at the warehouse it will probably take a week to reach me and another week in the post before it is due to be delivered to you. It must therefore be understood that there could be a four week delay before delivery. In some instance it might be quicker but you should not rely on that. If this delay is not acceptable then please do not place an order.

Due to my location in the countryside of France's Massif Centrale I am not expecting passing trade but that is not to say that I do not like meeting other model and diecast enthusiasts or potential customers. If you would like to meet up then please do not set off in blind hope, contact me to arrange a rendez-vous first.

French is not my natural language, and for the limited range of words that I do understand my speed of translation is slow. If you are able to speak english I will be able to answer your queries more quickly. If you want to contact me please use email. If you speak french (or another language) then please either use a translation facility (such as or at least understand that I will be trying to use such a system on your text so please avoid abbreviations, slang or idioms that are likely to provide problems for a silicon based translation.

I am happy to post within metropolitan France and also the "western" EC countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Republic of Ireland) plus Switzerland and the Channel Isles. When using the site please select between the "France" or "other country" shipping option (if you should make a mistake on this then you can zero out the shopping basket and start again).This is not to say that I may not consider posting to other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore or Japan who generally have a reliable delivery system and if you happen to live in one of those and would like to buy anything then please contact me and I will see what can be arranged for shipping.

A further comment on postage costs: I am initially having to guess at the likely cost of posting single items. I would agree that adding in a duplicate item ought not to double the cost however I am having to make a choice within the options of the Paypal shopping cart and have defaulted to the method where there is no postage discount for multiple items (which worked for my previous web shops where multiple item purchases were not that common). If you are buying lots of compact and lightweight items then I can either offer to refund the excess postage or, if you prefer to pay the correct amount in the first instance, send me an email with your items and I can then make a specific invoice for that bundle.

Although, as a dealer, I have full access to the Hornby Hobbies image bank I have been surprised to see that some items in the catalogue do not have individual stock images to download although images may well exist within their printed and on-line or downloadable catalogues. If the web pages on this site do not show pictures of an item that you are interested and want to view an image then may I suggest that you search within the catalogues or alternatively see what your preferred internet search engine pulls up. Corgi has produced a just a handful of videos so far to show their aircraft. I hope to put links against the appropriate products in their category pages but since some will be of older items but potentially still of interest if you are hunting up old stock .

You should also understand that some of the older items in the catalogues will be out of production whilst newer ones may not yet have been produced. My individual product line pages are intended to show the items that are available in the warehouse now or slated for production and open for pre-order. Please understand that I use the predicted production dates as provided by the factory or importer and these may be subject to delay.


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