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Is It Just Me? Britains Disappointment...


bigbear
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Is it just me, or is the new batch of Britains tractors a little shoddy in construction? I've been a Britains man for years, but this lot seems half finished, with stickers not stuck down and even some plastic parts so misaligned and mis-moulded that you can see the metal through them. I shall have to look to Siku for future buys if this isn't just a 'blip'. Perhaps the new owners will tighten up quality control?

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I have rose tinted glasses with old Britains models, I fondly remember the many classic models that were hard wearing and well put together. The thing is I'm not sure they are any better or worse today, what I do know is that as toys they do a job. I can imagine children loving them. I look at Britains now way behind the more realistic models such as UH, Weise, Schuco etc..... but that's because I've matured and won't be carpet farming much anymore but will be building dioramas and conversions. The build quality on a lot of recent models is questionable but this may be more down to Ertl perhaps?. Britains caters for a market, a child's market so I think it is important to remember this, although poor build quality is no excuse regardless of price and to this extent I think Siku do a much better job in building sturdy and well balanced models.

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The New Holland T8 definitely has quite a few black paint over spray mistakes. Myself and a local farm models dealer went thru two separate batches he had received and of the 5 or 6 we checked, each had black paint over spray around the front air intake area. I guess to keep at the lower price points, quality control isn't as robust as the model manufacturers. But they are still good models and a big step forward from where they were in the 90s

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The International 956XL is the one I've found most difficult to find in an acceptable condition. I went through our local toy shop's entire stock yesterday and didn't find one without the vertical black stickers misaligned or with finger nail marks in it. OK, it's a toy, but it's still £18 or so and it would be nice if the stickers were applied with a little more care.

On the other side of the coin, I really like the new farm buildings and have found they give a lot of scope for custom buiding.

Guess I can't have everything!

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The International 956XL is the one I've found most difficult to find in an acceptable condition. I went through our local toy shop's entire stock yesterday and didn't find one without the vertical black stickers misaligned or with finger nail marks in it. OK, it's a toy, but it's still £18 or so and it would be nice if the stickers were applied with a little more care.

On the other side of the coin, I really like the new farm buildings and have found they give a lot of scope for custom buiding.

Guess I can't have everything!

I had the same problem with the 956s,i bought one and the stickers were coming off it and the paint was a bit dodgy....

Disappointing to say the least

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I have just been through all my recent Britains acquisitions, and I can honestly say I can't find any issues with any of them. Certainly all the decals on my International 956XL and Case IH 1056XL are in place with no sign of coming unglued (indeed, just as they were when I bought them), neither are there any fingermarks or nail marks in the cab quarter decals.

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Whilst I appreciate I haven't bought all of Britains releases over the past year I can say with absolute certainty I haven't had any issues with those I have purchased. The Case IH and International 1056 / 956XL tractors I have look to be very well put together. The International "Snoopy" tractors i've ended up with too also have no build quality issues. Whereas two years previous I bought several of the self propelled foragers that I found were very poorly assembled, especially the New Holland FX and FR models.

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i sometime wonder if its just down to the shift thats on that day, or even 1 factory out of two running that give the problems ,i saw a stack of case 956's at the case dealer the other week, a look through was pretty surprising, i recon half were displaying the issues mentioned above ,decals especially, but the others looked imaculate , its a real shame , as the models looked good, and they have taken huge steps forward over the last 3 years ,they just need to nail this quallity control issue where ever the problem is

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Yes, I think you've got it! It's quality control that might well be the issue. Perhaps Tomy will improve things? I've still not found a good International, though! There aren't that many toy shops around here stocking a lot of farm stuff these days, so it could be a long search... It seems that farm toys just aren't 'cool' - unless you live in the country and are surrounded by farming families, as we are in Devon! (I regularly use Banbury's in Tiverton, the hardware shop in Crediton and the Honiton Toy Shop. Mole Valley Farmers in Cullompton also have a tiny range of toys. Any other Devonians know if there's anywhere else to get my farm fix in the area, please?).

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Yes, I think you've got it! It's quality control that might well be the issue. Perhaps Tomy will improve things? I've still not found a good International, though! There aren't that many toy shops around here stocking a lot of farm stuff these days, so it could be a long search... It seems that farm toys just aren't 'cool' - unless you live in the country and are surrounded by farming families, as we are in Devon! (I regularly use Banbury's in Tiverton, the hardware shop in Crediton and the Honiton Toy Shop. Mole Valley Farmers in Cullompton also have a tiny range of toys. Any other Devonians know if there's anywhere else to get my farm fix in the area, please?).

kaliedascope in tavistock stock a wide range of farm models,mainly siku and britains,antics and modelzone in plymouth carry the farm models as well
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i sometime wonder if its just down to the shift thats on that day, or even 1 factory out of two running that give the problems ,i saw a stack of case 956's at the case dealer the other week, a look through was pretty surprising, i recon half were displaying the issues mentioned above ,decals especially, but the others looked imaculate , its a real shame , as the models looked good, and they have taken huge steps forward over the last 3 years ,they just need to nail this quallity control issue where ever the problem is

You may not be far wrong there Sean. I was reading an interesting article recently suggesting that some companies contract out several factories.

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Thanks for the pointers to shops, guys and gals, I know the shop in Tavistock and sometimes go there when my daughter is working at Cotehele House. Plymouth used to be my main toy shopping venue when I was out on the road a lot for work, but now I work and live in the same place, I'm a bit limited as to where I can get to realistically. I'm going to wait a while beffore looking for the International again, just to see if the second batch are a lot better, as suggested here. Cheers for now, JP

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I was reading an interesting article recently suggesting that some companies contract out several factories.

That certainly seems very likely - when I look through my recent Britains I get a distinct feeling that some are made in a different place from others. In particular, the recent very good JD 7280R and 7260R give a very different impression from the one I get from the latest JCB 3CX (which even I, with my pro-Britains bias, have to admit is pretty badly put together :'( ).

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Is ANYTHING still made in the UK? :unsure:

I guess that if I want to keep my Britains loyalty - which after 50+ years, I'd like to! - then I might have to lower my standards... An awkward compromise.

Mind you, the Siku vintage tractor models do look nice. Now I wonder if I can convince Mrs. Bigbear that a new display cabinet would look nice on the landing...?

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I think Britains have come a long way in the last 20 years or so, i recently purchased a NH T8 and i am very pleased with it a fantastic model for the price though some may say not perfect, if you compare the price of a Britains product to say the likes of UH product then they are pretty good value for the much lower price tag, i have many Britains models in my collection from the 70s,80s,90s to the present so i can see first hand how much better the new models are compared to the older ones, i think the company is doing a good job in producing fairly good models at compared to there competion much cheaper prices. I still like Britains stuff as they are good no nonsence products that dosent cost an arm and a leg and you can let your 5yr old son play with them.

Edited by Steve P
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Hi i live in cornwall and find it very hard to find britains farm toys, not many toy shops around .I have to get my britains toys from e bay which sometimes cost a lot more .

try amazon or antics,all deliver and pretty reasonable,any toymaster shops in cornwall,im sure there are,hope this helps,or online,www. farmmodels.co.uk,www.g and m farmmodels Edited by paulali
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