Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Bertie The Bus - Bandai TECS

I never was too happy with any of the ready made Bertie toys manufactured by the likes of Hornby, Bachmann and Ertl. All of them were flawed in major departments, and as such I really couldn't stand them. One I really did like was the "Bandai TECS" toy, which actually looked like the character in question. These were also sold into the US market* as the "Ertl Gold Rail" range of die-cast and plastic toys.

Now there are still a few issues I'm not happy with on the toy, although they aren't major. For a start, one of the windows is little more than a sticker, meaning it'll need opening up and filing to match the others. The opening to Bertie, with the steps leading into the body, is also solid, but cast in metal. A session with the hacksaw and bastard file should sort this issue out.

Bertie's body is moulded in two parts. Being made of plastic, the two simply clip together holding the face in position at the front of the body, where the radiator grill would normally sit. The chassis of the bust is cast metal, and holds the wheels in place. For a model with no given size, it matches up well with the Bachmann Thomas, so I'd stick his size to around 4mm scale or so.

For the price it cost me to buy it and then import, from Japan to the UK, I'd say it's a reasonable representation of Bertie himself. Not too bad, and certainly a lot better than the Hornby Bertie, something which seems to be closer to O gauge than the OO gauge it is marketed as.


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