NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Franklin Mint (www.franklinmint.com), the world’s leading private mint and most trusted name in collectibles, is unveiling new die-cast collectibles at Toy Fair 2008 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Franklin Mint Precision Models. Additionally, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of General Motors and 105 years since the founding of Harley-Davidson, Franklin Mint will showcase new product upgrades to The Franklin Mint’s popular Corvette and Harley-Davidson lines. They will include a solid sterling silver and extremely-limited-edition, made-to-order, 24-karat gold-plated Corvette.

The Franklin Mint’s Precision Models business began in 1983 when the only products collectors and fans could buy were matchbox cars with no lasting value or die-cast collectibles far outside of the average working-person’s price range. The first model produced by the Franklin Mint changed all of that when the enduring 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K was unveiled. With this popular auto re-creation, The Franklin Mint launched their loyal consumers (and excited new ones) into a world of difference: precisely and meticulously-detailed scale models, unmatched craftsmanship and a price that ensured die-cast models could find a place on most collectors’ favorite shelves. The Franklin Mint, having blazed a new road in the die-cast arena, handily revolutionized the die-cast industry Twenty-five years later, The Franklin Mint – returning to Toy Fair after a several year lay-off – continues to introduce products that range from antique, classic and modern-day automobiles, to motorcycles, military aircraft, muscle cars and everything in between.

Over the years, the vision and leadership of The Franklin Mint executives and craftsmen have left competitors in the dust with the production of over 500 die-cast models, and more planned. “We take pride in the fact that for the past 25 years, we have been creating precision models that not only feature unparalleled craftsmanship and are of the highest quality, but also have a long-lasting emotional connection to collectors around the world,” said Lewis Checchia, The Franklin Mint’s managing director of business development. “The Franklin Mint continues to be as determined as ever to provide collectors with die-cast re-creations of their first car or motorcycle, the luxury car they aspire to own, or the sports car they’ve always dreamed of driving, all while pushing the envelope and redefining industry standards in engineering, authentic detailing and innovations.”

New die-cast precision models being introduced at Toy Fair and featured in The Franklin Mint’s new spring catalogue include:
  • New Anniversary Edition Die-Cast Models – Taking its precision models business to the next level, The Franklin Mint is introducing its Anniversary Edition models, which add new working features unique to 1:24 scale cars. The first in this series is the iconic 1936 Hudson Eight Convertible, considered by many to be the most beautiful car of its era, if not of all time. Hand-painted in silver and black and hand-assembled from over 150 separate components, details include a retractable, real-cloth convertible top, a spare tire with removable shroud, compartment and rumble seats upholstered in real leather and more. Each Anniversary Edition model will be a limited edition of 2,500, and feature a commemorative 25th Anniversary medal mounted on its undercarriage.
  • A Silver Anniversary in Solid Sterling Silver – to commemorate both the 100th anniversary of GM and the 25th anniversary of Franklin Mint Precision Models, a limited edition of Corvette is being made available for the first time in solid sterling silver, as well as a rare, made-to-order 24-karat gold-plated edition.
  • 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster – a recreation of the first precision model ever produced by The Franklin Mint, this is a limited edition of 1,500.
  • Ford Model T – 100th Anniversary Edition – Also available this month, The Franklin Mint is offering a special limited edition of 2,500 Ford Model T 1:16 scale precision models. Commemorating the first, pre-assembly line years of the Tin Lizzy, the extraordinary red showpiece is hand assembled from more than 100 individual parts, with an authentically detailed engine, fully appointed interior, realistic working features and more.
  • New Colors for Classic Collectibles – Celebrating their 50th anniversary, these four die-casts will be made available in new colors and in limited editions of 2,500: the 1958 Belvedere Convertible, the 1958 Edsel, the 1958 Corvette and the 1958 Harley Davidson® Duo-Glide with Sidecar.
“The Franklin Mint invented the ‘Precision Model’ category, developing the first volume production 1:24 scale replicas and launching a hobby that has thrived with automotive enthusiasts, young and old,” said Raffi Minassian (www.raffim.com), who was design director for Franklin Mint Precision Models from 1995 to 1999 and has designed new limited edition die-casts for the Mint to be announced later in 2008. “Throughout its 25-year history, the company has brought about more innovations than anyone else in the industry, delivering new technical and design innovations to the discriminating collector, while continually raising the bar to higher levels of quality and precision detail.”

About The Franklin Mint
An American institution founded in 1964, The Franklin Mint (www.franklinmint.com) is known worldwide for its innovative design, meticulous attention to detail, and creating some of the highest-quality collectible products in the world. The Franklin Mint’s peerless archives include over 12,000 product lines, including “limited edition” fine art sculptures, heirloom collectible dolls, commemorative coins, designer jewelry, precision die-cast models and historic reproductions, as well as collections honoring some of the world’s most revered individuals and institutions. With product lines featuring the top American brands – from Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne to Monopoly and Harley-Davidson – The Franklin Mint has brought collectibles to tens of millions of people around the world for over four decades.