Siku….standards slipping

I recently bought a Siku 5 pack of construction and refuse vehicles.

Siku 5 pack

Siku 5 pack

I previously had the cement mixer, so thought I’d compare, I was a little disappointed.

comparing Siku Cement Mixers

comparing Siku Cement Mixers

The cement mixer on the left is the one I had previously, you can see some differences just looking at them. The newer version is less detailed, especially at the back.

Cement Mixers rear view.

Cement Mixers rear view.

I thought at first maybe it was a fake Siku pack , but checking Siku‘s catalogue online, the cement mixer is now like the one on the right.

Siku Cement Mixer (Betonmischer)

The Mercedes cab is identical on all three trucks in the pack even having the same registration plate (the only difference being the colours and the Mercedes logo painted on one of the trucks).

almost identical cabs, all bearing the same registration "MK-E9111"

almost identical cabs, all bearing the same registration “MK-E9111”

The bases are now less detailed, too.

Cement mixer bases

Cement mixer bases

The top base is the older model with four rivet holes and more chassis detail. The lower base is plainer just bearing the Siku name and the CE (European Commission approved logo).

Siku were a premium brand, commanding a higher price than Matchbox, Hot Wheels or Majorette, but their standards seem to be slipping, which is unfortunate.

Matchbox, Majorette and Siku Cement Mixers

Matchbox, Majorette and Siku Cement Mixers

Majorette R8 and Siku R8 Spyder

Majorette R8 and Siku R8 Spyder

 

A link to my earlier post on  Siku

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Siku….standards slipping

  1. I think quality is dropping in just about every area of life. We can only blame ourselves really (as the buying public) because we’ve been wanting more and more for less and less so something has to give. We now have comparitevly cheap meat and veg that is tasteless, plastic kids toys that last weeks instead of years and chinese made Land Rover parts that are simply not fit for purpose etc, etc. The fine detail requires extra work in making the moulds or dies and that costs money so the manufacturers are skimping so they can keep costs down. Sadly very few of us are prepared to spend more on quality items which means the majority of the public that buy based simply on low cost dictate the quality of products that we all have to live with.

    I guess the other argument is that these are primarily designed for kids to play with and just how much detail is required on a construction vehicle to give it good play value? You’ll probably find that the less detailed truck is still perfectly adequate for its intended market?

    • Inflation in China is driving up wages, Chinese workers are wanting as muuch for an hour as they used to expect in a day ten years ago. The cost of products from China will go up and corners may be cut to further decrease the quality of the product. For the 1:18 models like Auto Art the prices are rising fast and as they go up less people can afford them making them even more expensive. Even Swiss watches have most of the parts made in China just assembled finally in Switzerland to authenticate he “Swiss Made” and command such exorbitant prices. Here in Georgia there is a common phrase ჩინური კარაჰური (chinuri kharahuri which means basically Chinese crap), most of the goods on sale in the markets are either from China or Turkey. Neither synonymous with quality. Turkish made Renaults are not renowned for their quality. Toyota with its reputation for reliability (despite recent recalls in USA) is the best selling new car here.

      • I’d heard about the siutation with Chinese wages. To be fair I have seen an improvement in quality of some Chinese made parts but I guess those are from the new manufacturing plants that have sprung up with CNC machine tools doing the work rather than manual labour.

        We use the same phrase here alot especially with certain after market Land Rover parts suppliers whose items may be cheap but are so awful there is no point in fitting them.

  2. Siku has seen a slight decline, especially if you compare with their die cast cars from the 90’s. But the one that has dropped the most is definitely Majorette. Quality has dropped substantially but the price remained the same (if not even higher). Still, they seem like the best toy cars, but unfortunately I will be buying them for my kid when he gets a bit older.

    Wrote an article about it: Matchbox vs Hot Wheels vs Majorette Toy Cars

    p.s.
    majorette used to make their cars in france when I was a kid and they were really good, now… its china

    • I have some Majorettes “Made in France”…all the diecast manufacturers have moved to the Far East now…Italian Bburago was the last to go (they went Bankrupt in 2005). Majorette is my third favourite brand after Matchbox and Corgi… the price here is too expensive new compared to similar Hot Wheels and Matchbox.

      • Keep in mind that not one of my son’s matchbox or hotwheel toy cars have fallen apart. Sure they may not have the most detail but they make them durable!

  3. Hey there Jim,

    Siku die casts in the 1:64 range might be a bit lower on quality. They changed the bottom and they no longer have the same wheels they had in the 90’s (the one’s with the white on the edge of the plastic tire) so yeah, their standards have slipped a bit.

    However I love them for their 1:50 scaled toy cars. They’re the top when it comes to that scale. Sure they’re expensive but worth every penny in my book. Check out the photos of a few of our 1:50 and 1:64 Siku specimens at Siku Toy Cars.

    p.s.

    I will only buy the 1:64 scaled models if my kid specifically asks for them because the tires can be taken off and that’s a choking hazard and also they get lost pretty easily and the toy gets ruined 😦

    Take care

  4. The reason for less detail is that Siku decided to split up his ranges of models, 800-series is low budget (like the cement mixer) and 1000+ series are more detailed and more important, these cars are detailed.
    The low budget versions are without any real details and car-brands on it to make the models cheaper, why? Because the licenses of the car brands are not raised.
    Siku made a Hummer and a Dodge pickup, but without any decals on it and some design “mistakes” so Dodge and Hummer cannot cash their licenses, and the model is much cheaper.
    The 1000+ series have almost all a sticker with a license number on the blister.

    See http://www.Sikumuseum.nl (English site) for all the models

    • Dankjewel for the information. Siku is outside the core of my collecting, although I have about 20 models. I mainly fosu on Matchbox and Hot Wheels. I just noticed of the two cement mixers I bought by Siku , the more recent one was less detailed. I like the Siku Porsches especially the Carrera GT.

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