Nürnberg Toy Fair 2011

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Once again the whole plastic model kit industry was present at the Nürnberg Toy Fair. This year's edition was very interesting as it mixed news from established but also brand new manufacturers.

While the usual load of 1:72 and 1:48 scale kits was announced in Nürnberg this year, I was also impressed by the quantity of the smaller 1:144 and bigger 1:32 scale related news at the fair. It seems as if the manufacturers are currently exploring every possibilities and this results in some impressive products in every scale.

Another thing I've noticed is that some "classic" manufacturers like Airfix and Italeri have an incredibly full and ambitious program, while others like Tamiya and Hasegawa have been rather quite this year, especially on the aircraft model front. It's as if the plastic model industry works in cycles. Sometimes one manufacturer is at the top and sometimes it is the contrary. Overall, the news from the Asian brands was a bit disappointing this time, quite the contrary of their European counterparts.

It's funny that most European manufacturers rely on classic aircraft to expand their catalogue. Airfix is doing Spitfires, Eduard is doing MiG-21s, Italeri is doing Hurricanes, ICM is doing I-16s, Revell is doing Heinkels, and Wingscale is doing B-25s. And it still seems that every manufacturer wants to have his own Messerschmitt in his program - and you will be surprised how many are in preparation around the world!

I can already hear some of you moaning: "Oh, no! Not a new Messerschmitt again!". I can reassure you, if you are searching for the Holy Grail, the "never done before in that scale" kit you've waited for so long, you will probably find some news in this report which will bring a smile on your face. Usually these releases can not be seen on the brightest places, sometimes you even have to look in some obscure corner when not in a forgotten page of a catalogue, but they do exist! So if you want to have more of such kits in the future, buy and build them!

All in all the 2011 edition of the Nürnberg Toy Fair was very interesting. While most of the manufacturers will probably have some secret item left for release this year, with what was present at the Toy Fair, most modelers will be kept busy regardless in which scale they build and which era they are interested in.

On a more personal note, I want to express all my gratitude to Steffen Arndt and to Volker Helms and his wife Sindy. For Steffen it was an enjoyable but also very frustrating Toy Fair this year, since he forgot his laptop in his new apartment near Hannover. This is why IPMS Germany was a little late with the Nürnberg pictures this year. I wish Steffen all the best in his new job and I hope I won't have to wait until next year to meet him again. "Hals und Beinbruch" like they say in Germany...

For a list of what is scheduled for 2011, please take a look at the IPMS Deutschland news list which is probably the most up to date.

Note: IPMS Deutschland have kindly allowed us to use some of their images to fill the gaps of this report. Thanks a lot to them!

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About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.


Thanks for taking the considerable time to put this together Jean-Luc- I enjoyed reading the news from all the companies. As you say, not much coming from Japan at the moment, but there are a few interesting subjects being covered- the Sunderland for one. Did you find out for sure if the Italeri Sunderland Mk.I is based on the same moulds as the future MPM (I think they said theirs will be a Mk.III)?
FEB 22, 2011 - 03:01 AM
Hi Ben, Thank you for the kind words. And thanks to Rowan for making the article live. Uploading all the pictures wasn't a piece of cake for sure! The Italeri Sunderland won't be the MPM tool apparently. Jean-Luc
FEB 22, 2011 - 05:42 AM
Well done Jean-Luc, some great stuff there to look forward to. All the best. tim
FEB 22, 2011 - 06:30 AM
Hi there I'll be really interested to see ICM's takes on the Polikarpov I-153 and I-16 in 1:48, because their 1:72 I-15bis is a lovely little kit. For the same reason, I was really hoping they'd scale up their He-70, so I have rather mixed feelings that AZ Model have announced one. Like Jean-Luc, I'll definitely want to grab Mirage's PZL P.43 - perhaps they might be tempted to do the P.46 too? (I think I've still got an unbuilt Polish vacuform kit of that tucked away somewhere.) And as for the Roden Staggerwing... I want! All the best Rowan
FEB 22, 2011 - 08:26 AM
Hi all Great report Jean-Luc! my favorites are Zvezdas Su-2 and Haulers Ba-64 (though I also like Tamiyas Pz.IIc). I do expect more stuff from Hasegawa and/or Tamiya at Shizuoka in May ... though Hasegawas MaK stuff is very popular and the "Großer Hund" announcement the the most clicked picture in my galleries! so I think this is one of the major news from Nuremberg. I got to say many thanks to J-L for being such a nice guy ... I really hope our November trip will work out! all the best Steffen
FEB 23, 2011 - 02:52 AM