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Review of 2023
Editorial January 2024

2023 saw the return of the Nuremberg Toy Fair after a couple of years absence due to the Covid pandemic.  However, it was not a return to business as normal with both exhibitor and visitor numbers down on previous Toy Fairs.  Hall 7, the location of model-related exhibitors, had unsold areas fenced off, and among the absentees was WSI Models, which added to the growing list of non-attendees in recent years. 

As the year after the 2022 Bauma exhibition, it might be expected that there would be relatively fewer new releases, and so it proved, with the second half of 2023 being particularly flat.  Announced models seemed to be on longer delivery times, with some moving to 2025 delivery.

In terms of the model makers, 2023 was a a steady year.  Conrad seemed to draw back from an active social media presence for much of the year, and most new releases were colour versions of existing models.  Exceptions were a Potain tower crane in 1:87 scale and the Sennebogen 830E Demolition Excavator.  NZG had a few more new releases including the latest version of the Liebherr 81K tower crane, and HS 8130 foundation machine with accessories.  The Konecranes Gottwald ESP.8 harbour crane was also largely a new casting.  WSI pumped out various colour versions of cranes, and a steady supply of truck models, as did Tekno. 

Drake Collectibles delivered their long awaited Box Loader models and they were worth the wait.  IMC delivered the Demag CC 2800-1 crawler crane and it was a highlight.  A new player was Heavy Haul Replicas and the first releases of Mack historic trucks set a high standard.  Diecast Masters continued with the usual steady stream of Caterpillar releases.

Looking forward to 2024, apart from the usual Toy Fair, probably the largest construction exhibition outside China will be the Intermat show in Paris in April.  However, in the past there have been very few new model releases at Intermat, and the show itself is lacking compared to Bauma or ConExpo.  So while there may be some new releases in 2024, the outlook is not exciting.

On to the Cranes Etc Awards, and once again they are based only on the models reviewed by Cranes Etc during the year.  There were no stand out candidates for the Innovation or Company of the Year awards for 2023.

Innovation of the Year

Winner: No award for 2023.

Model Company of the Year

Winner - No award for 2023.

Model of the Year

The highest rated model in 2023 as reviewed by Cranes Etc was the Mammoet Demag CC 2800-1 crawler crane by IMC Models.  At the time of writing, this is the best crawler crane model ever reviewed by Cranes Etc.  It is beautifully presented complete with a book about the real crane, and offers numerous configuration possibilities out of the box.  Both the detailing and functionality are excellent.

Winner - Mammoet Demag CC 2800-1 Crawler Crane by IMC Models

Cranes Etc
Model of the Year 2023: Mammoet Demag CC 2800-1 crawler crane by IMC Models