About Diecast Legends
Diecast Legends, founded by Christopher Paul, is one of the world’s largest sellers of diecast models.Before getting into the diecast business, Christopher worked in advertising and marketing, having been a director of Saatchi and Saatchi, and later the head of advertising for Shell UK.He decided to set up his own advertising business and, as luck would have it, one of his first clients was a model car distributor called Amerang.
The first model he advertised on his own behalf was a 1:18 Kyosho replica of a Mini Cooper that Christopher had signed by John Cooper. It was a model he purchased from St. Martin’s Accessories in St. Martin’s Lane near Covent Garden in London (a business he later effectively took over). This was in early 1993. When the Ayrton Senna Racing Car Collection was launched by Minichamps in 1994, Christopher’s client, Amerang, asked him if he could market it exclusively in the UK by mail-order. He set up a company to do
But, before long, it had become clear that more space was required, and the growing business took a small office in a building on nearby Latimer Rd, and a unit in a storage facility for warehousing and despatch. By this time, the company was also selling Formula One T-shirts, caps, books, videos and so on.The business grew, albeit somewhat chaotically, but by the end of the decade it had become clear that a relocation out of central London was required.
In 2000, the company, and about half of its staff, moved to
In 2001, the decision was taken to create a new name for the diecast business: Diecast Legends.
Five years later, the company bought a 10 000 sq ft unit on the edges of Guildford, where it still resides today. Catalogues have, from the very earliest days, been the business’s central marketing platform.These days, we produce a
The database is actually considerably greater than this, but the commercial imperatives dictate that only the most active customers be sent a catalogue, as it costs about £2.00 to produce, print and despatch a catalogue to each customer. That’s £100,000 a month!
As it has been from the beginning, customer service sits at the heart of the Diecast Legends proposition. But the truth is that the business is better placed today to offer the desired level of service than it has ever been. This is partly down to the experience and learning from serving customers for over 20 years, but it also reflects the improvements in technology that allow us to communicate so easily, and in so much detail, to such a large number of collectors.
Today, we have the resources and facilities to offer a truly world-class service. Our diecast business is managed by Leigh Hobden. Leigh was originally a customer who, as a schoolboy, persuaded his mum to buy him the Senna collection. He wrote to us whilst at university and interned with us in his sandwich year. He joined us full-time after graduating.
Known as ‘Mr Diecast’, Leigh has a simply astounding knowledge of the diecast world. (He’s also a bit of a Smart-Alec on motorsports.) He works closely with many of the major manufacturers, who often seek his advice on new subjects. For those who like to be kept in the picture, Leigh writes a daily blog (Leigh’s Diary), where he releases any news the moment it comes to his attention. He also uses Facebook and Twitter to the same end.
Leigh does all our buying and oversees the website. He is ably assisted by our young
But whilst Leigh and Matt are the faces of Diecast Legends, it is what goes on behind the scenes that
Order an in-stock model from us by 2.00pm, and it will nearly always go out that day.And we do, by now, know how to properly pack a diecast model, and get it to our customers safely. In fact, we probably over-pack our models, but better safe than sorry, as we see it. We also have robust systems in place to ensure that we don’t make errors picking and packing, as we know how frustrating this can be for a customer. Of course, we can’t say we never make mistakes. But every parcel is triple checked, so we don’t often get it wrong.
We also have an excellent phone-room (what some call a customer service centre). We don’t outsource this function. Our phone-room is manned by our own full-time staff who Leigh briefs every morning on the latest announcements, news, arrivals and issues. We take calls six days a week (seven at Christmas), up until 7.00pm in the week, and 5.00pm at the weekend.
The other area in which we differ from our competitors is in the way that we can and do take pre-orders. It’s true to say that we usually know about new models well before other sellers, and that’s because we work so closely with the manufacturers on their product development programmes. But what we are able to do that many other companies cannot,
When you place an order with us for a replica that has been announced but not released, we take all your details, and although we authorise your credit card for security purposes, this
Contact usDiecast Legends, Unit 8 Quadrum Park, Old Portsmouth Road, Peasmarsh, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LU