“ Manufacturer: Corgi / Type: Buses „
My eldest son was bought this as a present from my Husband's cousin as a birthday present a few years back. The red London buses are significant in our family as my husband grew up in London, and we regularly visit to see the grandparents. We had been to a family wedding not long before this birthday where we were transported from the registry office to the party venue in a double decker red London bus, so it was a little reminder of that day as well as being a nice present. My husbands cousin picked it as he said his little boy already had it and it was a favourite of his.
For us, this is a well made model of a popular London icon, the red bus. There is good attention to detail with seats inside the bus, steering wheel, and even the pole in the rear door which you use to hold on to get onto the bus. It is a bit of a shame there is no driver sitting in the cab. The bus is a number 2 going to Crystal Palace. The vehicle is a die cast model which is made to 1:76 scale. The bottom of the vehicle is plastic and carries the corgi logo. This has been knocking about in the car toybox for at least two years, and in that time it has been knocked about, but apart from a couple of small scratches on the side where the routemaster logo is which has left red marks showing through the white, this is still looking really good and running as smoothly as it always has. I feel this is a well made toy, and as well as looking good, it is also fun for the kids to play with as you don't see many toy buses.
Apparently this is a collectors limited edition toy, which was released to celebrate 50 years of the Routemaster bus in London. There is nothing on the vehicle to show this, and there are still a few of these on amazon for £12.50 if anyone really wants one, so they are not hard to get hold of yet.
While this isn't a 'favourite' vehicle as my boys are not really into cars as much as some children are, it has a tactile appeal because its rounded shape fits nicely in your hand and it does come out when they play with the city road mat that they have. It is also nice to leave out on display in their bedroom as it has so many details on it.
I loved the Routemaster buses. There was something so unique about the conductor coming round with the ticket machine, being able to jump on and off wherever you liked and falling down the stairs when the bus pulled away before you got to the top (you only ever did that once before you wised up). Onwards and upwards and all that, but it was still a sad day when they were finally taken out of service. So I was very pleased when my two-year-old discovered that Father Christmas had sneaked a model version into his stocking.
This is a die-cast 1:76 scale model made by Corgi for the Routemaster's 50th anniversary (50? Is that all?). It claims to be limited edition, but they don't seem to be in short supply so I suspect that Corgi's definition of 'limited' differs somewhat from that of the wider population. For the benefit of anyone who is interested (not me!), this is a number 2 bus to Crystal Palace via Swiss Cottage, Baker St., Victoria, Vauxhall, Brixton, Herne Hill and Norwood. At least, that's what it says on the front, and I'm not going to argue with it.
It's about 12cm long and stands 6.5cm tall. It's red, as a proper Routemaster ought to be, with the word 'Routemaster' and the London Transport bisected circle logo on each side. It's not as heavy as I expected, but it still feels solid and well-made. The inside is authentic; it is complete with pole, stairs and even some of the seats facing inwards instead of forwards. The wording and logos are painted rather than being paper stick-ons; this is good as I have recently, and unfortunately, had cause to wash it (for reasons which I won't go into in case anyone is eating) and I'm pleased to say that it came up rather well.
It doesn't 'do' anything, it's just a model, but it's quite nice to have a vehicle toy that has no bonnet or doors or boot lid to be detached and lost over the years. The pole seems impossible to remove and the wheels are very firmly attached, so I would say it is fine for a two-year-old even though it says it is for ages three and up. It's better put together than some toys for the younger age group, that's for sure.
I'm not sure where Father Christmas got it from ;-), but I've seen it in John Lewis for £8. It's also available from several online shops including Amazon.
He, of course, just thinks it's a great toy bus (he takes it to bed with him on a regular basis), but it's a shame that he'll only see the real-life version in the London Transport Museum. This is one of the few toys that raises a little smile whenever I'm putting it back into the toy box for the tenth time in one day. Rather poignantly, underneath the 'Routemaster' name on the side are the words 'London's Bus of the Future'. If only that were still true.