So they appear to be a couple of shops, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai and their brand is called HYJL Wings. The below images are taken from their taobao shop. From their site they seem to sell other die-cast aircraft so this new branding looks like a specific line for them, made probably by someone else.
Putting two and two together to make five I suspect that that someone else is Panda models. Why? Well Panda have partnered with Skywings on 40 of their 110 releases so far. My understanding is Skywings are another shop - but based in Guangzhou. So the working model is similar, plus HYJL Wings have gone about things in a similar way to Skywings.
If you don't know who Panda Models are then you can find out here and here.
Other aspects that seem to align them to Panda are:
However there are some differences that suggest some autonomy too. I found a forum post from September by someone from HYJL talking about the models. In that there is the strong suggestion they are making an A321 mould (something Panda don't have). This is in fact backed up by some photos (which I imagine will make Aeroclassics' Andrew Klein's blood boil as they seem to suggest they are comparing at the very least to the AC A321 moulding). Here are the photos:
In that forum posting the guy whose handle is 'Beijing Public Transport 80' also suggests that they will be adding aerials to their models in October 2016 and lo and behold if the most recent offerings from December are A319s with aerials! So that's arguably an upgrade of the Aeroclassics A319 mould by this new company. No Panda releases as of yet have aerials on them. The airline is obscure (Air Guilin) but the model looks great:
The other thing that stands them out from Panda is the box artwork. All Panda and Skywings releases so far have come in fairly generic Aeroclassics style boxes, however these HYJL Wings releases all have boxes more similar to Phoenix in terms of size and personalised artwork. Having said that I have recently seen suggestions that maybe Panda is branching out into new boxes too.
As far as I can tell so far there have been 9 releases covering 3 airlines. By the time I found out about them they were almost sold out. In fact I have missed out on the first Capital release. I think I have secured one each of the other main types but the order hasn't been fulfilled yet.
One note of caution about these models is the price. Usually Panda releases can be got for about 189 Yuan but these new HYJL releases are selling for a lot more - 238 Yuan. That's in line with the price of Aeroclassics and Phoenix on taobao but doesn't translate well into USD or NZD. Below are some of the other models released without aerials:
So on balance despite the mods to the moulds, higher prices and new boxes I'm still thinking that HYJL Wings is a sub-brand of Panda. If anyone has any other information I'd like to find out more. In the meantime I'll see if they ever get delivered!
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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