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Scale Models Minneapolis Moline J Tractor

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  • Scale Models Minneapolis Moline J Tractor

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    I'll demonstrate my ignorance a wee bit and say I don't know what tractor this model represents, but it is a Christmas Issue, and since Scale Models has yet to be represented I think it is time.

    Scale Models is an offshoot of Ertl, formed by Joseph Ertl when the patriarchs of Ertl retired and sold the company. Known primarily for farm and agricultural related models, their initial offerings such as this one seem heavy on plastic and light on metal, though the detail at the scale is decent for the time. I am given to understand that Scale Models has moved on to larger scale and better quality offerings, slightly disappointing considering the few detailed farm models available at 1/64 outside of the Ertl name.

    Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for making and keeping this place a great place for the hobby! I hope the coming New Year is better for everyone!

    <Thank you Zach for identifying this model!>
    Last edited by jt3; 12-25-2020, 10:21 PM.
    The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • #2
    these tractors are why the "Tractors with lugs prohibited" signs were in place

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    • #3
      Early Farmall? I've got some metal ones coming soon (all Minneapolis Moline for the most part); but my only Scale Models at present is a plastic Deere 5020 pulling tractor.

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      • #4
        Early Scale Models offerings were indeed mostly plastic and not the most detailed. Even their early metal castings were on the lower end of detail and quality. While there are many stories about the creation of Scale Models part of it comes out of inner family disagreements and perhaps even a bit of a family feud. The ERTL family member who was begin the creation of Scale Models set up operations across town in Dyersville while ERTL was still on there own. The early offerings such as the one you share Wes were not licensed at the time - thus the reason for no markings on the tractor or the packages. If I recall - and this was back in the '80's into the early '90's some of their first licensed items were White Farm Equipment - a ag brand that ERTL had not offered any small scale models from at that time. Under the White umbrella would have been Oliver, Minneapolis Moline and Cockshutt.

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        • #5
          Click image for larger version

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          Wes, it's a Minneapolis Moline J similar to one I have of a vintage advertisement from approximately the mid 1930s. The replica shown lacks fenders and tires. Scale Models also issued it in 1/16 scale as well.

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          • #6
            The roots of Scale Models jump back to 1969 when Joe Ertl worked a year past the family selling the original toy company. His mother and father had retired after finding a buyer for the company but Joe and a few of his brothers stayed on. In 1970 he left to start Dyersville Diecast which didn't make toys. In 1978, as John alluded to, White Farm Equipment contacted Joe about a small production run of White 2-135 1/16 scale tractors. The original ERTL Toy Company, weren't interested in doing small runs, so they were not an option. Joe then started a second division to his corporation Joseph L. ERTL INC and Scale Models was born.

            Scale Models in 1/64 scale to my knowledge have only done agriculture based models. They've had a higher concentration of the current AGCO brands as well of those under their corporate history umbrella( Massey Harris, Allis-Chalmers, Oliver, Minneapolis-Moline, White, Cockshutt), Farmall/IH, Ford, New Holland, Case and some imports than that of John Deere. It would seem their main focus now is on 1/16, 1/8 and pedal tractors more so than 1/64. Over the years they acquired castings from Hubley, Nylint and others. They've also made replica snowmobiles, cars in larger scale and truck banks. Joseph ERTL is now well into his 80s and he has several of his children working and will take over in time.

            I have likely over a hundred of their 1/16 scale tractors if not more and dozens of small scale issues as well. The ERTL Toy Company still produced toys at their factory in Dyersville, IA up to about 1995 or 1996. SpecCast kept production in Iowa up to the mid 1990s as well. After that the ERTL factory was converted to a DC warehouse and production shipped to China. Likewise for SpecCast. Scale Models stands as the last real diecast toy tractor maker in the USA. They are not easy to find as they don't to my knowledge have national contracts with box stores such as Wal-Mart, Target or others. They're more aimed at implement dealers and agriculture focused hobby dealers. From what I've seen at farm toy shows, in person auctions and online sales their large four wheel drives in 1/16, cast iron toys from the early 1980s and 1/8 scale tractors command good money as some were quite limited in production. I'm lucky enough to have some and have shared them in Tractor of the Week. Circa 1998 or 2000 my dad and I toured their factory in Dyersville in the summer when they had open house.

            Scale Models is my favorite brand of diecast. The notion we even have a toy maker left making toy tractors in the USA going into 2021 is an amazing feat of itself.


            Thanks Wes for featuring this model Made in USA.
            Last edited by craftymore; 12-25-2020, 11:13 PM. Reason: Correction on Joe's age.

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            • #7
              Thank you for expanding on the history of Scale Models!

              I'm pretty sure Winross is still doing their thing, though they have moved a lot into printing and graphics and less on their model trucks, also still made in the US. Those would be the only two diecast companies left manufacturing in the US I am aware of.
              The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

              Thank you for your understanding.

              Comment

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