“ Manufacturer: Motorart / Type: Car „
And now for something completely different!
Before I reached my teens I got into collecting model cars stemmed from charity shops, continually raiding the toy bins at shops. I still have some of my toy cars such as Matchbox and Corgis that I just cant bear to part with even though most of them are part worn. Through the various jobs and career choices I have made over the years, one of them also happened to be the Volvo firm and through that company was given many free merchandise such as pens, umbrellas and model cars. For a time companies like Volvo and other car firms have been slow to release little model representations of their products on the market and have only been available initially through dealers or head offices where the car firms are based. How times change and I'm so glad I've kept my original Volvo collection as the prices for the models I've seen on EBAY can rise all the way to £100 for a mint condition "out of production," model. These days you can find almost all kinds of model cars from most major car firms and Motorart, a Swedish company have been producing model cars since the 1980's for Volvo and the other great Swedish motor company, SAAB.
As with most things that have hit the economic crisis globally, in real life the Volvo firm were being managed previously by Ford and with the Americans at the helm, the Swedish company benefitted from some Ford money resulting in amongst a few vehicle floorpans and engines, a complete overhaul of Volvo's history which up until Ford ownership was stoic and conservatively slow to release info to the public. With the great strive to create a design identity other than being known for being safe, Volvo then began to create concept cars like most other brands, resulting in Motorart's production of the limited edition concept of Volvo's forthcoming small executive saloon, the new S60 which along with the real life concept given to the public in 2009, served as extra marketing merchandise to promote the new concept design. Therefore although this model car may well be available to buy online, it was produced with a limited run of just 1927 models (coincidentally, the year Volvo were born) and as such it is now rather difficult to find and rare.
Now for the most part Motorart have a long range of diecast models that are true representations of Volvo's motor cars but they also produce models of Volvo trucks, buses and incredibly life like "miniature" versions of Volvo's little known construction vehicles and all of their ranges are available in a myriad of different sizes and dimensions such as large 1/87, 1/50 to medium 1/43 and 1/18 sizes. Their products however are not toys with which you could simply hand to a child and expect the models to last a lifetime. Motorart have begun to produce a series of Volvo cars at the moment under their secondary brand label, "Motorkidz," for toy purposes.
When Volvo launched the real S60 Concept it gave owners and future buyers a glimpse into what Volvo could do, moving away from its block image into curvier designs with their next step of design focusing on Scandinavian design and couture. This resulted in the car receiving a tan interior for example with a crystal floating dashboard and a distinctive love or loathe metallic gold paint colour. Well, most of that has been translated to the Motorart 1/43 size model, even though sadly there is no glass dashboard, it has been replaced with a clear plastic to mimic the floating nature of the real dashboard and a well detailed cabin including metallic silver painted door handles outside to mirror the real thing. Motorart have wisely added a light grey cabin where the front and rear seats can be seen through the roof of the car and through the normal side windows but no other colours have been added such as metal door pulls from the real concept. The dashboard however receives a duo colour combination of light grey and black and in tiny centre of the dashboard panel, Motorart have coloured the centre speedo cowl in the body colour of the car like the original.
The design of the limited edition Volvo S60 Concept comes with its own Volvo licensed box complete with the Volvo brand sign and you'll receive the car bolted down by two tiny crosshead screws encased in a thick black base and clear rectangle boxed top. When the crossheads are moved the base of the car mirrors the real life floorpan where the suspension and various components can be seen. The alloy wheels do turn so you could in effect hand this car to a child who has to treat this kind of model with kid gloves!
One of the downsides to any Motorart model is pricing and this comes down to quite a few greedy sellers. I often buy from EBAY UK for example and have been known to be swayed by the actual purchasing option from Volvo themselves who import the models in from Motorart's head office base in Sweden. The result can be hugely expensive, up to £45-00 at cost for example for such a little model whilst EBAY UK sellers tend to sell this concept model for around £25 to £30. It does pay to shop around but it also pays to look at the model you have actually purchased. Whilst Motorart may be privy to where the actual plastic/metal car models are made, I've seen quite a few cheaper "Chinese" sold models at half the UK cost. Motorart however are the only company who have the license to produce the S60 Concept model car and it is only to the trained eye that you can find inaccuracies when it comes to model car Chinese copies. Motorart have been under threat for some time because of cheaper companies trying to rip off their existing customer base. This is a problem with many model companies who produce their products in China. This is also an issue with other model companies such as "Schucco," and "Hongwell/Cararama," who are in actual fact the same company but try to sway the buyer by adding more gloss and flashy wheels, thus doubling the price. Even the name of "Schucco," has an Italian sounding name that is different from its home company, "Hongwell/Cararama," whose models can often be found in Poundstretchers for example.
Whilst it can be a great advantage to rely on the quality of art or craftsmanship, companies like Motorart aren't alone in producing Chinese built models and then hiking up the price - the difference is Motorart really provide a difference of quality which is apparent in the metal uses, details, colours and plastic parts that don't tend to break off early. This is down to the fact that they have three distinguished product lines; "Hi-Tech," "Premium," and "Motorkidz," of which the "Hi-Tech," line where this model car fits into has been made to the highest standard and although Motorart claim that many of their "Hi-Tech," line models have moving parts, this model representation doesn't. Their workmanship however is apparent with this model car where even the most vulnerable parts like protruding wing mirrors feel as if they are made to last. Blemishes and imperfections are extremely difficult to find thanks to the intricate way the model has been painted and even if you lift off the top box you'll get to see more of the interior thanks to the fact that Motorart have managed to retain the same life like "glass house" thanks to a part metal part clear acrylic roof that gives any Volvo fan the delight of looking into the car's interior. Copy cat firms that have tried to copy Motorart usually use low grade Acrylic that is frosted or difficult to see into the car. Being a model means however, there are no opening doors or bonnet like a toy car such as Corgi toy cars of the 1980s or Matchbox Kings. Light clusters are finely made from plastic colour differentiated lenses front and rear with no outward or protruding seals and whilst Motorart have also copied the same design at the front where the real fog lights would be on the actual Volvo S60 Concept car, there is also an official number plate that's been added at the back. All in all, the tiny "fits the palm of a hand," 1/43 representation of Volvo's real time S60 Concept is an excellent representation of the real car, a fact that whilst it is a Concept in model form, it will never be sold on the market and Motorart have already started producing 1/43 model car sizes of the new S60 which IS about to be sold on the market.
So if you're a Volvo fan or anyone who likes the Swedish company and eager to get your hands on the limited edition S60 Concept VFL1789, it is well worth looking out for and EBay is one of the best places to start. The look and identity Motorart have achieved here is almost identical to the real life concept and marks history as being the car that was the last Ford sponsored design before they left the company to be snapped up by a Chinese company, which is pretty ironic given the origin of where Motorart's models are actually produced! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010