Our May editorial said:
By now most of you have finally heard what our 2019 National Farm Toy Show tractors will be for this year. Matt gave you a hint way back in February, that “you will see some tractor colors…that you haven’t seen from us in quite some time.” Then we told you to visit our room at the Lafayette toy show for the announcement of the show tractors, but we were advised by Ertl/TOMY to hold off. We shared with those who came to our room that the tractors would be two different colors. Matt gave a further clue in the April issue “prepare yourself for some green and gold.” On March 29th we were given the go-ahead to make the announcement on Monday April 8th that our 1/16 scale tractor would be an Oliver 2255 and our 1/64 scale tractor would be a Minneapolis-Moline AT4-1600. You might ask where’s the gold? Read the rest of the story on our website about how this little MM gem went from gold to red in record time.
Here’s the rest of the story:
On Monday morning, March 18, we met with the gang at Ertl/TOMY. They had the painted prototype of the 1/16 scale Oliver 2255 without decals ready for me to see. The yellow/gold 1/64 scale Minneapolis-Moline AT4-1600 prototype had not arrived from China yet but was assured it was on its way. We were shown a picture of the decaled prototype taken in China. The plan was to decal the Oliver 2255, take pictures of them for order blanks and then send them to Design Photography in Dubuque for our May cover shot.
Tuesday March 19—we lacked pictures of the real tractors for Howard Bauer’s article, so we started looking for both. We couldn’t find many examples of the yellow version of the Minneapolis-Moline—actually one tractor kept coming up and it seemed to be the exact one Ertl was doing for us. It was identified as possibly being a tractor owned by Rod Jurgens. At any rate, on Wednesday we decided to call the editor of The MM Corresponder, Gaylen Mohr to see if he could help. His brother, Marty answered the phone and told us Gaylen was gone but would be back on Thursday morning. When we reach Gaylen and told him what we wanted he said he would try but, in his opinion, we had really messed up—that this tractor should be red. We had several conversations with Gaylen and Marty on that Thursday where we asked what we should do—their answer was always, “Paint them red.”
March 22-25 Friday to Monday A lively discussion between Toy Farmer and Bill Walters. Experts were consulted, videos were looked at and the consensus was, “Paint the tractor red.”
March 26—decision to make the tractor red was made: part of an email sent by Toy Farmer to Bill Walters:
“Since MM collectors of both models and real tractors really look forward to production of toy tractors that they know were also made in the 1/1 scale in the MM factory they will be happy to see this model in the original red color. Therefor as I told you this morning let’s do all we can to make this a red Minneapolis-Moline AT4-1600.”
Bill Walters let AGCO know we were proceeding with the red version.
We let Ken Smith know that he could not pick up the tractors yet. (Paint would have to dry)
March 27—pictures of red real MM AT4-1600s for our article were received from The MM Corresponder.
March 29—received pictures of MM AT4-1600 prototype from Ertl in red. We let Ken Smith know he could pick the prototypes up at Ertl and he shot the cover.
Thanks to all of these people who made this happen: Jay, Pat, Bill, Shirley, Ken, Marty, Gaylen, Brian, and Angela.