Bunhill: Looking at success
Comparisons with the real thing are how he makes his money. Parents and children still buy Corgi cars as toys but the main business comes from collectors of his faithful period replicas. He has a Collectors' Club of 10,000, including the likes of Tim Rice, Richard Branson and Rod Stewart.
Nearly all his members are male. 'Women don't understand about men and cars. They don't understand that boys never grow up.'
To that end, his Auto City garage was a best-seller last Christmas. Complete with electronic gizmos that create squealing brake effects when the cars go down the ramps, it went into 70,000 homes. This year, he has high hopes for a convertible Jaguar XJS with an electrically operated roof. Is there anything he hasn't made? 'We've not done a Trabant or a Lada.'
His advice to anyone with a toy car is simple: never, ever throw it away.
'Remember the model of James Bond's Aston Martin, the one with the ejector seat and shield that came up at the back?' I do, it was my pride and joy. 'In mint condition it is worth over pounds 300 today.' I think my mother threw mine away. He's right. Women just don't understand . . .
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