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Nürnberg Toy Fair 2011

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 Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)

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