This past spring we had the pleasure of kicking off a series of Workbench Racing posts on Instagram. Coming up with a storyline, finding the proper setting for each scene, photographing it and most of all reading the comments from you made this one of our favorite little campaigns of the year.
We had such a good time with it in fact that we decided to track down and create our own figurines. The figures we found have been produced in a family owned foundry in France since the 1950's and were originally painted by women in the neighborhood. These figurines were most popular in the mid-1960's when several hundred thousand miniature cyclists were produced annually and sold, not surprisingly, in France, Italy and Belgium.
After a couple of decades of declining sales and production issues, mostly with getting the miniatures painted correctly, things picked up again in the late 1990's and today production is steady. We believe that home-based painting of the figures is happening again as well.
Our 1:32 scale cyclist figurines were hand painted, in-house by Jenn and Evan of The Vanilla Workshop. They feature the Speedvagen Family Racing team kit made for us by Castelli cycling here in the Pacific Northwest. While this "climbing" figure has opted to wear only his Rothera team cap for warm up, you can bet he's sporting the black Giro Code's worn by the team.
All kitted up, the figure sits atop a custom Fizik Antares on a solid gold Speedvagen Team issue cross machine. These machines feature many of the exclusives and innovations we have developed and refined over the years including our Paul-specific canti mounts that pierce both walls of the seat stays for a stiffer post and better braking. ENVE hoops on DT Swiss hubs and ENVE bars, cross fork, Speedvagen Integrated cross stem and SV post head to round out the team build.
In total we made 50 of these little racers and the bulk of them have gone to our wonderful sponsors as a thank you for all they do to keep us focused on winning hearts and races. A few more went to some of our VIP customers and friends that make what we do so rewarding. Their time, trust and loyalty is so valuable to us. The balance, a fitting 11 pieces, are being offered to you, our international family of friends. Each piece is numbered on the base and only available this time (they take a long time to paint!).