The 'why I love Mamod' series focuses on the people and fans the company has been able to build up since it first started in the 1930s. In the first edition, lifelong avid fan Chris Instone discussed how his love affair with Mamod dated back to his first ever engine. This second installment sees Chris discuss his hopes for the future of Mamod.
Mamod is a company that Chris grew up with, purchasing his first model in 1985. It is a brand that he holds close to his heart and has spent a considerable amount of time building up a collection. He explains that one of most poignant aspects of Mamod is that it is a completely homegrown company, still operating out of its West Midlands base in Smethwick to this very day.
He enjoys the ease of communication between company and customer and believes that it has created some memorable models over the years. Chris considers himself as somewhat of a perfectionist and admits that even if a model is to a real high standard he "never gives ten out of ten". He believes that there is always room for improvement for any organisation, Mamod included.
One of, although there are not many, Chris' 'concerns' when it comes to Mamod products is the precision of the flywheels on a number of models. He explains that sometimes it is not set true and has previously nearly come into contact with the firebox. He believes that it should not have been able to pass inspection but is wary of the constraints that Mamod works under on a regular basis.
Visions of the future
As time moves on, trends change and Mamod, like any other organisation in the world, needs to keep track of changing customer needs. Chris has been impressed with the range of Mamod products that have been released in recent years. Embracing the older models is one area where he believes would be of great value.
Chris explains: "In some ways it would be nice to see some of the older models reintroduced, perhaps as limited edition adult collectors models, thus getting around the problems associated with the regulations where toy steam engines are concerned."
Marine engines is something that Mamod has been looking to reintroduce of late. Despite a somewhat lukewarm response when first launched many years ago, Mamod has been the installation of a marine engine onto a collector's own boat. Chris believes that a full-size boat product would be something that peak the interest of customers.
In the style of an African Queen boat complete with new marine engines or boilers he believes would be a "great" addition to Mamod's range. However, he concedes that the cost price could be significantly higher if sold as one unit, compared to if collectors decided to build the boat themselves.
Whatever rolls off the production line next at Mamod's Smethwick factory there is already one purchase that Chris is planning – another Showman's Special Traction Engine.