A Special Note to All Replica Subscribers from Craig Purcell, Editor of The Replica

Since you're reading this, you will also be able to read the FREE Replica online magazine when it launches in May! The definitive source for information on the latest Ertl and Racing Champions products will be available in a FREE user-friendly format.

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Those of you with existing subscriptions to the print Replica will be refunded for any issues past the final March/April issue, which will have more detailed information.

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 History of the Replica

Below follow the history of "New" Ertl Farm Toys of the past and the OEMs reported in 114 issues of The Replica over the past 20 years.

The Ertl  magazine The Replica  was first released in the Spring of 1982. Issue #1 covered the history of he Ertl company and featured several die cast  1/64 Replica series cars. In issue #2  Ertl Turtle appeared and was a familiar character in each Replica until his retirement to a "sandy resort" in issue #35. 

  Tractors did not appear in The Replica until issue #5 in the Spring of 1983. The great models of the 1980's were introduced with the 1/64 MF 4880, MF 2775, Ford FW-60, Ford TW-20,  IH 5088,  JD "4450", AC 8070 and Case 2590. The collector of the month began and continued as a popular feature for another 95 issues.

Issue #14 April/May 1985 debuted  the first post merger tractors from the J.I. Case buyout  International Harvester. Collectors learned the new tractors from J.I. Case would be called Case International tractors and have the familiar IH red and black color scheme. Two Case International models appeared on the Replica cover. The Las Vegas Collector's Edition 2594 inscribed with "Case/International Feb 22 thru 28" and a 3294 collectors edition commemorating the begging of a new "big red" in farm fields across America. Issue #14 also introduced collectors to what would be the last new IH tractor and licensed toy. "The IH 7488- Intenational Harvester built 35 of these super 70 tractors IH's "red power days." Ertl made a 1/16th scale toy Replica of the 7488 as a Collector's Edition in the fall of 1984.  Issue #15 June/July 1985 reported; " All JI Case and IH tractors that were in our '84 line will continue through 1985.  We do not know what changes will be made in 1986. The IH 7488 Regular Version tractor, in 1/16th scale is now available in unlimited quantity to JI Case dealers exclusively.  This tractor generated great interest from the farming community and is one of the tractors the collectors wanted. We are pleased to produce it for you."

Issue #17 October/November brought the news of another farm equipment merger. The Replica stated; "Here we go again!  Questions abound with the recent merger of the Allis-Chalmers Corporation out of Milwaukee, and Klockner-Humbodlt-Duetz (KHD) of West Germany. The result of course, is the new Deutz-Allis Corporation.  The immediate question at this point is whether Ertl will be producing the new Deutz-Allis die-cast toys. We can fortunately answer that with a big yes."  The article goes on to report that it was unknown at the time when the first Deutz-Allis production tractors would roll off the line. "Much like the what we are seeing with the Case International line, the initial Deutz-Allis releases will involve some minor changes to current Allis-Chalmers models".  Those changes included a name change to Deutz-Allis using the same model numbers, a KHD logo on the front grille and the words "Deutz-Allis 1985" die-cast directly into the body of the toy tractors. The article concludes, "Beyond that we too, have to wait and see where Deutz-Allis goes from here."  The first Deutz-Allis tractors featured in issue #17 were a fwa 8010 and a dualed 8010. That same November the West Allis tractor plant was closed and so ended Allis-Chalmers tractors and the Persian Orange color. In issue #20 April/May 1986 The Replica reported a Deutz-Allis color change; "Begging this summer, all Deutz-Allis implements will produced featuring their new spring green color." In issue #23 October/November1986 the first light green Deutz-Allis tractors appeared. These models were the fwa 6260 and 6240.

The first 1/64 corn planter was introduced by Ertl in Replica issue #15 June/July 1985. The IH  4-Row Corn Planter was a long awaited item by collectors and rug farmers alike. The Replica stated, "plant your corn early with this new 4-row planter". The first shipment of IH planters came with a lighter white and red. In issue #21 June/July 1986 collectors learned they could increase their carpet acres with a die-cast metal replica of John Deere's Model 7200. Features of the miniature 12 row planter included moveable markers, liquid fertilizer tanks and MaxEmerge decals. The planter folded in the middle for road transport and storage.

Replica Issues #18 December/January 1985 and #19 February/March 1986 covered Ertl's acquisition of Mini Toys Inc. of Guttenberg, Iowa in the early part of 1985. Ertl's 1/64 implement line was greatly enhanced with the addition of Mini Toys. For the first year under Ertl's ownership Mini Toys products remained unchanged. Ertl gained a Dry Fertilizer Spreader, Manure spreader, Machine Trailer, Liquid Manure Spreader, Grain Cart, Grain Auger, and Hay Wagon. Ertl also added several licensed brand names from the Mini Toy purchase. Hesston and Mitsubishi tractors were added along side the 1/64 John Deere, Case International, Ford and Deutz-Allis tractors. The Hesston line included the Hesston 100 and 130 tractors in several different variations. The 100-90 came in row crop and front wheel assist variations and the 130-90 came in row crop, front wheel assist , dual wheels and front wheel assist with dual wheels. The Hesston line also included a 1/64 square baler.  The 4600 baler was made of die-cast and plastic. Mini Toys also offered several brand name manure spreader including a Badger box manure spreader, Blazer liquid spreader, and a Clay liquid spreader. In issue #21 June/July 1986 The Replica announced that all Mini Toys would be manufactured under the Ertl name and that all blister cards would carry the Ertl logo in place of the Mini Toys. All implements except the auger and the machine trailer were produced with die-cast chassis and plastic tires after the name change.

1986 brought some welcomed changes to Ertl 1/64 tractors. In issue #20 April/May 1986 readers saw the first variation to a 1/64 Ertl row crop tractor since the scales introduction since the late 1960's with  the announcement of  a John Deere row crop tractor w/ loader.  Issue #22 August/September 1986 unveiled several additional enhanced Ertl row crop tractors. Tractors released in issue #22 were the MF 699 with dual wheels, MF 699 with front wheel assist, John Deere tractor with front wheel assist, Deutz-Allis 8030 with dual wheels, Case International 2594 with dual wheels, Case International 2594 with loader and Case International 3294 with front wheel assist.  Collectors and Rug Farmers alike had waited over a decade for 1/64 row crop tractors from Ertl with options such as dual tires, loaders and front wheel assist. They would have to wait another nine years before tractors with front wheel assist and duals were available from Ertl.

In Issue # 23 October/November 1986 Ertl announced it would begin producing toys for New Holland for the first time since the early 1970's. The first model announced was a 1/16 skid-steer loader. The skid-steer loader was produced as a collectors edition with a die-cast stamp and chrome mylar decals as well as a regular shelf-edition. Inside Issue #23 a 1/16 New Holland 359 mixer-mill was introduced.  In issue #24 December/January 1986 a 1/16 New Holland Hayliner square baler with kicker was released and in Issue #29 October/November 1987 a 1/32 TR 96 shelf-edition with out a model # indication and a collectors-edition with a chrome mylar TR96 decals and a straw spreader were made available to Ford/New Holland dealers.

Pictured below is the first combine produced by Ertl in true 1/64 scale. The Deutz-Allis Gleaner R-50 appeared in Issue #28 August/September 1987. 1/64 combines marked the start of something new for Ertl as previous replica combines were produced in the 1/80 scale.  The Replica reported the current IH Axial-Flow combine and John Deere Titan II would not be converted to 1/64 scale and only future new releases would be sold in 1/64. Red fans did not have to wait long for a 1/64 combine. In issue #32  April/May 1988 subscribers learned that the 1/80 IH combine would not be on store shelves much longer. The Replica announced a new 1/64 Case International 1660 combine would be on dealers shelves in late June of that year. John Deere fans would have a long wait before they saw a 1/64 combine model from Ertl. In issue #43  February/March 1990, two Replica format changes and fifteen issues after the first 1/64 Ertl combine was introduced the 1/64 9500 was unveiled. Even though the John Deere combine did not have a model number on its side decals The Replica reported it was a 9500 series just like the 1/28 9500 released in Issue #39 June/July 1989. The 1/64 Maximizer replaced the 1/80 Titan II combine which had been in the Ertl line up since 1985.

In Replica Issues #27 June/July 1987 Ertl announced one of the most requested toy tractors of all time.  At the request of Deutz-Allis, Ertl produced a shelf edition 1/16 Allis-Chalmers D-21 styled after the series II Turbo charged model, with a white grille and no fender decals.   A special edition D-21 was also produced with metal wheel inserts, fender decals, silver front grille, black steering wheel and chrome mylar decals.  In issue #31 February/March 1988 the 1/43 Vintage Vehicle version of the D-21 was added to the ERTL  Allis-Chalmers toy line up.  In the 1960's Ertl produced series I, II and III Allis-Chalmers D-17 models.

For many years miniature scale farmers were missing heaving trucks for hauling and in Replica issue #28 August/September 1987 Ertl answered their call with 1/64  Navistar S1900 chassis including an implement hauling flatbed, milk tanker, grain truck with pup and fertilizer truck. Each of the trucks were produced in a different version for the four equipment manufacturers dealers including black cabs  for John Deere, red for Massey Ferguson, white Deutz-Allis and red for Case International.

The title says it all "John Deere Radio Control is Back" and that meant hours of fun for young and old collectors alike. In the late 1970's and early 1980's Ertl offered a multifunction 1/16 Radio Controlled John Deere Sound Guard tractor. In issue #32 April/May 1988 collectors were greeted with the good news that RC farming had returned to Ertl's John Deere line up. The 1/16 RC John Deere could pull any 1/16 Ertl implement by remote command from up to 60 feet away. The row crop tractor with cab came with the weighted style front end and a pistol grip transmitter. Today Ertl offers 1/16 John Deere 8210 and 8310 Radio Controlled row crop tractors continuing the RC John Deere toy tradition.  

It may be hard believe but it has been 14 years since Case International introduced its popular Magnum tractor line. Case International dealers attending the Case IH introductory show held during August 1987 in Denver, CO were introduced to entirely new tractor product line up. In Replica issues #28 August/September 1987 red fans were treated to pictures of the new shelf edition row crop 7120 and mfwd 7130 Magnum tractors. The Collector's Edition models came with dual rear tires, tinted plastic windows, chrome mylar decals and a die-cast collector's insert.  Additionally, the Collector's Edition of the mfwd model had 7140 decals rather than 7130. A fifth version of the new Magnum tractor line was produced and offered to dealers as an introductory special at the Denver Show.  This "Denver Special" had the same features as the other Collector's Edition tractors with the addition of a special decal on the hood. The Denver Magnum had 7130 decals and single rear wheels. The "Denver Special" was a very limited production model and today can bring over $400.

Replica issue #34 in August/September 1988 main story in Replica Farm Toys was titled "New 4wd Tractor Marks Denver Show In a 'Big' Way. A brand new 4wd was introduced to John Deere Dealers in Denver, Colorado in September 1988. To mark the all new 60 series each attending dealer was presented with a 1/16 John Deere 8960, Limited Edition September 1988 1 of 2000 model. Ertl offered a 1/16 Collector's Edition 8760 in December 1988 along with a Shelf Edition 8760. In the Spring of 1989 a 1/16 8560 followed with a 1/64 8560 replacing the 8850 in the Ertl 4wd line up.  The 1/16  John Deere 60 series 4wds were the largest toy tractors produced by Ertl to date outside of their pedal tractors in 1988. The hefty toys measured16 inches in length and weigh almost a full ten pound.

Issue number 35 October/November 1988 The Replica had a face lift from its familiar red and white to a cleaner gold and white look. Issue #35 was the issue that Ertl the Turtle was retired. Inside the issue collectors found an exciting new 1/64 tracked tractor from Caterpillar.  Ertl announced that it would once again produce toys for the Caterpillar, Inc., of  Peoria, Illinois. The Challenger 65 was the first Ertl/CAT toy since the 1/64 Caterpillar Road Grader. The massive rubber tracked tractor was reproduced in a 1/64 Shelf and Collector's Edition. The Challenger 65 was the first 1/64 Collector's Edition offered by Ertl. The Collector's Edition included an exclusive die-cast inscription and specially labeled blister card. Production of the Collector's Edition was limited to 5,000 units. The Challenger 65 was the latest innovation in farm tractors in the late 1980's that started the rubber tracked tractor revolution.

In issue #36 of the Replica December/January 1989 the Ertl Company released the Allis-Chalmers antique Rotor Baler in 1/16 scale. The first baler that produced round bales was Ertl's first vintage implement and the toy maker's first implement released as a Collector's Edition and a shelf model. The Collector's Edition included a gray bale belt, special decals and a die-cast inscription.  When Allis-Chalmers introduced their Rotor Baler in 1947 to farmers the concept of water resistant bales became popular. The unique baler remained in production through 1960 and a total of 74,500 balers were produced during those 12 years.   

In Replica issue #34 September/October 1988 Ertl introduced its first new John Deere historical set since the 8 piece historical set was introduced in 1972.  The new 4 piece historical set included the John Deere Waterloo Boy, Model "G", Model "M" and a Model "R".  In issue #37 February/March 1989 collectors learned that some of the early production 4 piece historical sets had a few packaging sleeve mistakes.  The first error was the dates of production the "G", "M", and "R" on the sleeve. The second error was the history copy of the "M" was switched with the copy of the model "R". You will find this mistake on both the sleeve and the individual boxes.  Finally, the photo of the model "G" tractor is the wrong model "G".  The sleeve picture shows a styled "G" while the Ertl replica is an un-styled "G". Two runs of the "wrong box" historical sets were sent to dealers. The corrected sets began shipping to dealers in July 1989.

In Replica issue #38 April/May 1989 Ertl announced that chrome decals would be dropped their from vintage toy tractors.  In the late 1980's Ertl's use of special, chrome mylar decals on Collector's Edition tractor was a practice that came under question by collector's around the country.  The Ertl Company began using  chrome mylar decals along with a die-cast inscription , as a method of giving  Collector Edition toys, a unique and easily distinguishable feature not found the  "shelf" version of the tractor.  Until the spring of 1989 Ertl used chrome mylar decals on current and vintage Collector Edition toys. Many collectors let Ertl know that the glittery decals looked out of place on replica's of antique tractors. The biggest concern was that the special decals detracted from models authenticity.  As a result Ertl dropped chrome mylar decals from its vintage Collectors Editions. The last classic tractors to to have chrome mylar decals were the John Deere BR and Massey-Harris 44 in July 1988. 

"We asked and you answered,"  Craig Purcell Editor of the Replica states in issue #111 July/ August 2001. In the spring of 2001 RC/Ertl sent out a survey to Replica readers asking what they would like to see in their magazine. Over 2,500 subscribers responded with some common themes. In issue #111 the results of the survey were released. The top issue was the desire of collectors wanting to see more coverage of their favorite product lines. Starting with the July/August issue AG toys are a main feature with nine pages of information on new products. In issues with fewer product previews the Replica will feature articles that are interesting and informative to the hobby.  Many collectors asked why are products that are already available in stores reported on in the Replica? Craig Purcell explains if the production sample arrives after the print deadline of an issue, it is still important to let collectors know the product exists. Many collectors wait to see what is available before making a trip to the store to purchase new toys for their collection. The Replica is going back to its roots that launched the popular publication in 1982.  The reason the Replica exists is because of collectors and to that end the Replica's new cover title is, "Your information source for Ertl & Racing Champions collectibles." 

The first grain drill in the Ertl line of replica farm toys in 1/64 scale was introduced as the John Deere 8300 in Replica issue #39 June/July 1989.  The 8300 was a long awaited toy by many collectors with authentic detailing in the 10 foot size with proper markings and decals taken from the real model.

In Replica issue #42 December/January 1990 Ertl unveiled 5 new 1/16  Case International Maxxums. With their December dealer meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, Case International introduced their new mid-sized utility tractor, known as the Maxxum.  The Maxxum series in 1990 included a 4 cylinder 5120 the 6 cylinder 5130 and 5140. Each model was available with ROPS or a two door cab. Row crop and front wheel assist with adjustable tread were the two wheel options. To commemorate the new Maxxum line Case IH made an ERTL 1/16 model available to each dealer at the meeting. The "Kansas City 5130 Maxxum" was the third in a series of CaseIH dealer meeting toys including the 1985 "Las Vegas 2594" and the 1987 "Denver Magnum." The first Maxxums released to collectors in 1990 were a 1/32 Collector's Edition 5140 with fwa and duals and a 1/32 shelf edition 5120 with fwa and single wheels. These two models were made available to dealers in February 1990. In April 1990 dealers received a 1/16 fwa 5140 Collector's Edition with chrome mylar decals and die-cast insert, a shelf model 5130, a row crop 5120 Collector's Edition with dual wheels with chrome mylar decals and die-cast insert and a row crop 5120 shelf model with out duals.

Issue #43 February/March 1990 of the Replica was a big step forward for the popular Ertl  publication. For the first time in its 8 year run the Replica was published in full color. The highlight of the issue was Ertl's all new 1/64 Farm Play sets. After 15 plus years of producing 1/64 tractors and implements Ertl released the full 1/64 farm stead.  Collectors could finish off their miniature farm scene with the new assortment of farm buildings, animals and accessories. A total of four different play sets were introduced in 1990. Each set contained common farm buildings, animals and at least one die-cast vehicle. The buildings were constructed of high-impact styrne plastic and snapped together with ease. The top of the line set was called the Deluxe Farm Set. It was packed with 225 parts including a Harvestore silo, 17 feet of fencing, hay bales, feeders, hog water, stanchions, milker buckets and of course, the scaled down barn, garage and machine shed. The Farm Country Playsets were a long awaited toy from Ertl and lead to a long line of farm sets continuing today. 

In the late 1980's and early 1990's "Micro-Machines" were a popular line of toy cars. The Ertl company announced in the Replica issue #44 April/May 1990 that farm toy maker would offer a line of 1/128 micro tractors.  Five different three-piece  sets with a micro tractor, disc and wagon were produced by Ertl. Each piece was produced of die-cast metal with durable plastic undercarriages. Micro sets were produced for John Deere, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz-Allis and Case-International. Although no model numbers appeared on the micro tractors, each was accurately model after the real thing.

Ertl announced the introduction of six new models from the International "66" Series in the Replica issue #45 June/July 1990. Ertl produced four of the "66" Series in the mod-70's - the 966 Hydro, the 1066 ROPS, the 1066 with Cab and the 1466 with duals and cab. In the summer of 1990 Ertl brought back the popular IH series with 6 new 1/16 models. Each tractor featured a collector's insert with the month and year manufactured.  All the models were made with die-cast rims. Several revisions to the original 1970's tooling were made to accurately resemble the real "66" Series tractors detail. The first tractor in the collector's set was a special edition 1066 which was an exacting replica of International's five millionth tractor. The next was the 1466 Turbo with cab. The third "66" Series model was the open station 966 followed by a 1066 with canopy ROPS.  Fifth in the series was a Hydro 100 with duals and canopy ROPS. Number six in the series was the top of the line 1566 with duals and cab. The "66" Series collector's set was  kicked of by the 5 millionth IH tractor in September 1990 and ran through July 1991 with the release of the 1566. 

The Ultimate Model A was introduced to collectors in the Replica issue  #46 August/September 1990. Ertl introduced the new 1/16 model for collectors only. It was no play toy. This model was the start of the Precision Classic line that has become a popular Ertl line. The Model A is comprised from 75 assembled parts that capture the intricate features that bring out the details over looked on regular models.  Many of the A's working parts include a pulley lever, swiveling rear hitch, radiator fan and rotating flywheel. Because the Precision A was developed purely for the collector market  only one version was produced and it was not stamped with a collectors insert. Ertl further enhanced the new Precision line by including a plated commemorative coin and historical manufacturer brochure. Today Ertl has produced 20 John Precision Classic models and several are worth $200-$500.

Ertl introduced the company's first White Equipment in the Replica issue  #48 December/January 1991.  For the first time collectors could purchase White tractors made by Ertl.  The White Equipment Company of Coldwater, Ohio contracted with Ertl to make three different 4 piece sets of its White American Heritage  Series tractors.  The American Heritage tractors were a series of White tractors in four different colors representing the four popular brands that formed White.  The colors included Oliver green, Minneapolis-Moline yellow, Cockshutt red and White Silver.  Ertl produced the White American series 60 and 80 tractors in 1/64.  There was a 60 series set with row crop tires, an 80 series with fwa and an 80 series boxed set for the 1991 Louisville Farm Show.

In the Replica issue number 53  October/November 1993 seven new 1/32  loader tractors were introduced.  Each front end loader had three additional attachments widely used on U.S. and European farms. In addition to the standard bucket option, the front end loader could be equipped with  bale spear, pallet fork and silage grapple. Each tractor also came with a working 3pt hitch.  The seven loader tractors included a Case International 2294, Case International  956XL, Case International  Maxxum 5140, John Deere 3350, John Deere 3140, Ford 8630 and Massey Ferguson 3050. Each of the seven tractors were equipped with FWA.



Today The Replica continues its long tradition of reporting on the newest farm toy product releases from Ertl. Over the past 19 years 112 issues of The Replica have been published and in the 111th July/August 2001 issue  ToyTractorShow.com was honored to have been featured in an article titled "Field of Screens". Craig Purcell  the Editor of The Replica is a participant on   ToyTractorShow's Toy Talk and is happy to answer questions about the magazine and take suggestions on how to better represent collectors interests in the bimonthly publication from RC/ERTL . 


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