News from the Continent December 2019 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Two releases of models took place in November 2018. Each is described separately below. Schuco-Dickie are a long established German Group which also produces Solido models following their acquisition by the Group. Models are diecast in China for Germany unless stated otherwise. The ranges shown vary in scale and in detail with the Pro ranges being the most detailed and most expensive.

PICCOLO

450533600 Volkswagen T1 microbus “Surfer-Bus”



EDITION 1:43

450185600 Piccolo Gift-Set B


450292900 Hanomag L28 Delivery van “Kreidler” with Kreidler Florett motorcycle and driver figurine

450293900 Hanomag L28 Delivery van “Horex” with Horex motorcycle and driver figurine

450249600 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull-wing coupe, dark blue


450368900 Set “Volkswagen T1b Samba bus, box van; Pick up with crew cab and Pick up


450374300 Volkswagen Transporter T1b Samba bus, red and beige



EDITION 1:32

450769900 Lanz Bulldog tractor with roof and manure barrel trailer


450781300 Fendt Favorit 622 LS tractor


450781500 Fendt 211 Vario tractor, green


450781700 Fendt 211 V Vario tractor, green


450765900 Set “Legendary tractors” – 3 models in a wooden box



EDITION PRO.R32

450903600 Steyr 1300 System Dutra tractor



EDITION 1:18

450041000 BMW Isetta Export motorcoupe, red/beige


450041100 BMW Isetta Export motorcoupe, blue/grey


450033300 Porsche 550A Spyder”Edition 70 Years of Porsche”, white



EDITION PRO.R18


450008600 Porsche Master tractor, red



EDITION 1:64

452019300 Set ‘Volkswagen Transporter T1’ ( three models )



EDITION 1:87

452632800 Volkswagen Transporter T1c box van with trailer, loaded with Porsche tractor


452634100 Mercedes-Benz O 321 Bus “German Bundespost”



MILITARY 1:87

452636360 MAN 7t gl. KAT1 Rocket launcher Lars II, German Bundeswehr

452636400 MAN 5t gl KAT1 tank truck with spots-camouflage



AVIATION 1:250

403551694 Junkers Ju52/3m


403551682 Ju-Air, Junkers Ju52/3m



AVIATION 1:600

403551691 Boeing 777-300 Air France ‘Olympia 2024’

Second Release November 2018

PICCOLO

450559500 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Piccolo Assembling Box ‘The little Gullwing-Mechanic’



EDITION 1:43

450310300 Mercedes-Benz Lo 2750 Flatbed truck “German Reichspost”


450310400 Mercedes-Benz Lo 2750 Flatbed truck ‘Christmas 2018’


450367600 Porsche 911 S – sepia brown



EDITION PRO.R43

450904100 Magirus Deutz O 6500 ‘Soccer World Champion Germany 1954’



EDITION 1:32

450769300 Lanz Ackerluft Tractor with half track


450778600 Güldner G60A tractor with roof and front loader


450776000 John Deere Harvester 1270G 8W with log


450779900 Hanomag Robust 900 tractor with front loader



Edition 1:18

450011700 K.L. Bulldog tractor – red


450011900 Lanz Bulldog halftrack -blue


450014700 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401 with wild boar – green



EDITION PRO.R18

450006800 BMW 850i Cabriolet – red

450006900 BMW 850i Cabriolet – blue



AVIATION 1:600

403551690 Airbus A330-300 “KLM”


403551693 Boeing 777-300 “Japan Air Force 1”


Alfa Romeo Giulia Part Two

By Robin Godwin

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

As alluded to in Part 1, next up is the Politoys Giulia TI in 1:41 scale plastic. Most collectors know that Politoys started in plastic, and had a brief foray into “Fibre-glass” (actually resin and I’m pretty sure there were no “glass fibers” used) before settling on diecast metal. I’m not sure where the scale of 1:41 comes from; it could be as simple as a response to the use of the scale by INGAP. In any case, Politoys labelled many of their early plastic vehicles as 1:41, but issued many of the models in totally different scales. The early “Veicoli Militari” series is a prime example (covered in an early print MAR). That said, the Giulia seems to be correct in scale as it compares favourably to the INGAP, and is slightly larger than their 1:43 metal version issued a couple of years later. (I must emphasise that I am not a diehard scale checker).

Rampini lists 1964 as the year of issue for the plastic Giulia. I don’t think it captures the style of the original as well as the INGAP, nor do any of the subsequent metal issues from Politoys. To me, the roof is too tall, making the windows too big. It includes many of the features prevalent on contemporary models: glazing, a full interior, jewelled headlights, separate chrome pieces, and suspension. There are no opening features, likely due to strength considerations of the small plastic components that would have been involved. I have always been impressed with the stability of the plastic used by early Politoys. This one features no warping at all, but does suffer from some post-manufacture shrinkage evident in the slight deformation seen in the door panels.


Politoys, left, roof too high. INGAP, too low. A Goldilocks model (‘just right’) comes later

Roof appears too tall. Plastic shrinkage has led to deformation on door panels

It would seem that Politoys quickly discovered the wisdom of diecasting in metal, especially as the toy car market was now demanding a variety of operating features and manufacturers were competing with more and more opening parts. The plastic models had no opening panels; the ‘fibreglass’ models had some (and note, there was no ‘fibreglass’ Giulia), but the big change came with metal toys, and the Politoys M series of models in “proper” 1:43 scale, which first appeared in 1965. There was certainly some overlap between all three mediums (plastic, fibreglass, and metal), but metal was the future.

A completely remastered Giulia TI appeared in metal in 1966, as number 523, with opening front doors (half doors, with no window frames), hood and trunk. Typical of the diecasters art of the time, the opening features spoil the lines somewhat. In reality, the rear window is a beautiful wrap around affair, but Politoys managed to square it off at the corners, which really detracts from the rear view. The A pillars are sloped back a little too far; the real vehicle had a more upright windshield profile. Alfa Romeo and Giulia TI are cast into the back of the trunk lid, albeit, overscale. A Carabinieri version was issued in 1967 as number 531 in the M series, with antenna and roof light. The base casting was changed to reflect the new number.


Politoys 523, rear. A move to metal and 1:43 scale didn’t necessarily improve the overall representation of the Giulia. Exaggerated slope of front windscreen evident on the metal model

“Squaring” of rear window can be seen on the metal version at right

Politoys 523, left and Carabinieri version, 531 on the right. Same casting except for antenna and light holes, and model number on the base was changed

Polistoys introduced the Penny range in 1966, about the same time as the Impy Roadmasters Super Car range from Lone Star. These cars provided competition for Matchbox and were done to a constant scale of 1:66, unlike the other two whose scales varied. The Pennys had lots of opening features, but were not nearly as feature laden as the Impys. Shortly after their introduction, the range was rationalised, and simplified with the loss of opening features. An early catalogue illustrates (as in a diagram) model #0/41 Giulia with opening doors, along with #0/47, a Carabinieri version. However, it was caught up in the rationalisation process and was eventually released in 1968 (after Politoys had become Polistil) as #0/201-A. The Carabinieri version was never released. It is easy to tell that the model is a Guilia, but that is about as generous as one can get. The front windshield is even more sloped than the 1:43 versions, and the interior lacks a steering wheel. Oddly, bonnet and boot shut lines stand proud, while the door lines are indented, with bigger gaps for the front doors. It is possible that the dies had been cut for the original plan of opening front doors, but were reworked when the range was rationalised. Rear and front bumpers, along with grill and headlights are all one chromed casting, making the front end appear way too bright. Wheels are common across the range, a generic (and wrong for this model) set of simulated wire wheels.


Front windshield slope on the Penny Giulia is just plain bad modelling. Note more pronounced front door gaps. Front door side trim is misaligned with the rest of the trim on the 1:43 version

Politoys/Polistil produced other Giulias as well – a 1:20 scale plastic model, a slightly-smaller-than-1:43 estate (station wagon, or familiare), mostly in emergency/police versions (the estate was bodied by Carrozzeria Colli of Milan) in the AE series from the 70s (a nasty model all round, with bad whizzwheels), and a 1:55 Nuova Giulia 1300 from the RJ Series dating from the 80s, also with whizzwheels. It should be noted that many early Politoys dies travelled to Mexico, and were subsequently produced as McGregor Politoys. Plastic, resin and metal models were included, as well as Penny. I have no conclusive evidence to prove that any Giulia die travelled to Mexico, but a Dutch Alfa Romeo Forum shows photos of a McGregor Politoys 1:43 Giulia Carabinieri in its box, but not the base of the model. Another site, worthpoint.com (similar to eBay), shows a McGregor Politoys #523 sedan exactly the same as the one pictured above, but the description goes on to say that McGregor imported Made in Italy Politoys, and boxed and sold them as McGregors for awhile. This model was one of those.   

To be continued…


Reader’s Letter – Talking of Tractors

Just a thought that came into my head whilst reading your report on the GFCC Cadillac Eldorado.

The angle of the steering wheel, that you in a sophisticated way point out, looks like a tractor steering wheel. I tried driving a tractor as a kid when looking for a cheap car for my own interest in 1965, I tried a Ford Anglia. The ’driving a tractor’-feeling was one of the reasons why i decided not to buy it.

To get the same feeling while driving a Cadillac must be traumatic!

Gunnar Bernstrup by email

GFCC Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

My latest GFCC 1:43 scale diecast model from China has now arrived taking little more time than a model I ordered from Italy at the same time. The model is of a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. Again it comes in a box which has packing very similar to that used for all the Atlas Dinky models, yet those are said to come from a factory owned in part by Norev, and these come direct from China.

The model is painted in a rather nice red/brown metallic paint though how realistic that is as an original model is difficult to tell from the many shades of red shown on 1954 Cadillacs on the Internet. The model may be displayed without the hood but does not have a slip in component to represent the hood cover which is a shame.

The interior is relatively simple but has many accurate touches like the steering wheel outer rim being duo colour as is the original cars. The doors are well painted with the shiny upper parts well printed and the electric window winder controls and other features moulded in. The dash has silvering and some printing but is rather obscured by the steering wheel fitted almost horizontally which is a shame as it is difficult to correct as the model has spun over rivets rather than the screws earlier models in the range had.

The angle of the steering steering wheel is shown clearly in the photograph below.

What none of the photographs above show is the face of the seats which have the inset panels moulded in white which matches many of the cars shown on the internet.

Unfortunately the convertible hood needs considerable fiddling with to sit properly and when taking the photograph above I must have accidentally knocked it as it does fit better than that!

The El Dorado portrayed by this model was the second generation car new in the 1954 model year. It shared its basic body shell with standard Cadillacs, unlike the first generation car, but had unique trim items like the lower rear wing aluminium panel and the crests on the rear wing. Unique features missing on this model are: wire wheels, and Cadillac crests on the seat bolsters.

It was a rare car as only just over two thousand were made.

As the photograph above shows the rear quarters of the car are well modelled with gold badging and crests on the boot all present. Even the white wall width is reasonable for the early 1950s, though the Dinky style wheels rather detract from the overall model.

The front of the car has an impressive grille array which comes ready black washed which gives it a realistic edge. The front lights have been painted white over the silver of the light hood when a plastic lens would have been better. As these GFCC models are now considerably dearer then a 1:43 Oxford Rolls Royce, even though they are imported with no tax or wholesaler costs directly from China, I feel that separate light lenses are not an unreasonable expectation.

Chinese Contract Diecasting

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

Having given my MAR Online Editor business cards to several Chinese companies at the London Toy Fair earlier this year I have had emails from Chinese companies eager for me to buy their products or to use their services. These are usually dry business circulars but one recently sent to me is full of pictures and information. Given the veil of secrecy that covers the production of models in China I think a look at the story they tell will be of interest to many of us who wonder where, and how, our models are made in China.

The companies name is TongTong Renhe which was founded in 2003 as a precision model maker and which operates under the TT brand. They are based in Shenzen Dapeng New which is part of the attrractive coastal Longang District in Guandong. They offer all stages of model making from research and development, through 3D design and mould making, to final production, They seem to mainly focus upon cars, container lorries, and fire trucks but that is not all that they produce as shown later.


Based in a pretty typical medium size industrial unit.

The Factory

The pictures shown below were provided by the company and show carious aspects of the factory unit. The unit is clearly not in use when the photographs were taken and the operatives look like they have been included for effect, the person spraying is doing so with an empty spray gun for example!

The company goal which is about striving to reach the heights by working together
Rest and lecture areas as well as production facilities
Work benches for design area and boxes of finished models on view
Production line and work stations
Production machinery ready for work
More machinery
Another corner of the production area
Many machines are not automated
Spray booth being shown off

The products

Many of the products shown appear to be for the Chinese home market but others are clearly geared towards exports. Models are made to a variety of scales. First we will look at the 1:18 scale models

1:18 Scale Construction Vehicles
1:18 Scale Unnamed SUV
1:18 Scale Borgward Isabella
1:18 Scale Mazda MX5
1:18 Scale Mazda MX5 rear
1:18 Scale Sinotruck Tractor with Articulated Container carrier
1:18 Scale Sitrak Tractor with Articulated Container carrier
1:!8 scale La Ferrari

1:24 Scale

Sitrak (MAN and Sinotruck alliance) Fire Appliance
Ground to Air Missile System

1:43 Scale


1:43 Scale WTCC car surely produced for European brand.

1:48 Scale

Chinese Fighter aircraft. with a full cabinet of models behind

1:72 Scale

1:72 scale SInotruck tipper

Not to scale

How an earth do they not topple over? Fully laden display Container ship
A historic ship for display

The only product bearing a recognisable emblem is the Fighter Aircraft which has a box with the AF1 logo on it. Yet AF1 are a separate company also based in Donguan, perhaps they subcontract work to TT from time to time or there are other links.

Although many of the models are obviously aimed at the home market, and in particular the executive offices of those running trucks, ships and other vehicles, they are also clearly intent on selling models abroad with overseas partners.

It is interesting to see where our models are made and this type of contractor is the source of many of our models. The large number of new western brands of 1:18 scale metal models would not exist without such firms being able to develop and produce models to fit into a branded box sold by a Western firm..

News from the Continent December 2018 – Herpa

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs are supplied by the Manufacturer and the Author.

A look at recent 1:43 Scale releases

These models are diecast in metal for Herpa in China and are to 1:43 scale. They were sold initially in Porsche packaging as ‘exclusive models’ but are now available as standard Herpa issues.

071000 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 991 II – black

071017 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 991 II – white

070973 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe 991 II – achatgrey metallic

All three models are authentically shaped and lovingly finished. Visually, the differences are hardly noticeable between the Carrera and the Carrera S. But the individual derivatives of the cars can not only be distinguished by a single letter in the type designation but also by a number of small details which can be recognised when examined. A Porsche fan is able to tell exactly which engine is fitted by looking at the rim design or the shape of the exhaust system.

Whilst the Carrera Coupe comes standard with 370 hp, the “S” variant with 420 hp. Herpa model the detailed exhaust systems fitted to the two cars.


A look at Herpa’s recent releases in 1:87 scale

420297 Audi A6 saloon – brilliant black ( 430630 – carat beige metallic)

Shortly after the launch of the new Audi A6 Herpa launched the new car in saloon form in miniature. The all-new body is well captured and the beautifully replicated new rims make the model to a real piece of art.


308892 DAF XF SSC refrigerated artic. Box truck “Scheufler”

The haulier Scheufler, from Wohratal in Hessia, is known for their attractively liveried vehicles. This DAF XF tractor too, was designed by Walter Rosner. The elaborately printed model was produced as one-time-edition.


746335 military – Mercedes-Benz 3000 tank truck “fighting group wing 1”

From 1944 to 1945, during the war and for a short time after, Daimler produced the Opel Blitz 3 ton truck under licence. Due to the shortages of steel at the end of war the driver’s cab was made from chipboard.


Herpa H-Edition Models

In Germany vehicles over 30 years old are issued with a registration plate with a ‘H’ on it. This indicates that it is an ‘historic vehicle’ and is taxed accordingly. Here Herpa make use of some older moulds to create some historic cars bearing ‘H’ plates.

028950 Volkswagen Passat saloon 1988

The saloon was designed by the Frenchman Patrick Le Quement. The striking feature when launched was the missing radiator grille. Today few cars survive as many have rusted away. The miniature is painted in ‘Mars red’ with a black interior.


028967 Opel Vectra A – saloon 1988

The car was designed by the same designer who created the legendary Opel GT, the Manta A and the Calibra: Erhard Schnell, who is now 91 years of age.

The model is in “snow white” with red interior.


More Classic Vehicles

093972 Opel Rekord E1 Panel van 1977-1982 “Shell”

Classic vehicles are often produced by Herpa. The Opel Rekord E1 was produced as a panel van with closed side windows based on the the estate, which was known as the ‘Caravan‘. It printed with Shell logos but the alloy wheels should have been replaced by steel wheels on this workhorse


093859 Volkswagen T6 Bus “German Red Cross, City of Stuttgart – Kältebus”

The German Red Cross in Stuttgart operates the current VW T6 bus as a “Winter Bus” to care for homeless people. The white vehicle is released in an authentic livery of luminous red and silver.


Herpa Cars Club Model

932585 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been chosen as the CarsClub model for 2018. It is moulded in glossy black and fitted with a chrome-plated radiator grille and spare wheel cover. It will be sent out only to members of the Herpa Cars Club. More info about the club can be founds at www.herpa.de.

Matchbox Hudson Hornet Sheriff’s Auto

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

In the early 1950s Hudson‘s powerful six cylinder engines were powering them to many racing wins. So naturally their police special was a popular choice with police departments across the United States. Matchbox have made a superfast version of the Hudson Hornet of 1951 and liveried it for MBX Valley Sheriff Department.

It is built with a diecast top and a plastic baseplate. The baseplate forms the grille, bumpers, side chrome sills and the rear bumper. It has moulded in additional lights, siren, and some of the badging.

The model shown has had a few details added like the headlights and additional lights which are chromed and coloured.The siren has also been picked out. The rear lights have also been picked out in silver and red transparent paint added. Adding these few details is fun and certainly makes the model rather more real.

The white door panels, and livery are printed on. The white panels are slightly rough edged. Looking at the photographs of real cars on the web it would appear that most police cars would have also have had the roof painted.

All in all a very nice pocket model toy at roughly 1:64 scale though no scale seems to be stated on the model. Though if you are interested in a larger model with many more details Franklin Mint do a rather nice 1951 Hudson Police Cruiser in 1:24 scale.

News from the Continent December 2018 – Wiking

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs are supplied by the Manufacturer and the Author.

Wiking has announced new releases for December 2018. As usual these are a mixture of new or largely new models and a set of upgrades to existing models. Wiking models are moulded in plastic in Europe for Germany.

New Items in 1:87 Scale

0335 01 Tempo Matador high-side flatbed


0314 01 Volkswagen T2 pick up with crew cab


0861 45 Volkswagen 1600 saloon “Fire brigade”


0311 48 Volkswagen Amarok GP Comfortline


0293 07 Volkswagen T3 pick up with crew cab “THW”


0797 22 Volkswgen T1 Samba Bus


0570 02 Mercedes-Benz L 3500 beverages truck


0523 04 MAN articulated Container truck


0440 01 Hanomag Henschel refrigerated with draw bar trailer


0990 94 “ASG” Set

Upgraded Models

1:160 Scale

0949 05 Magirus box truck


1:87 Scale

0805 09 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Coupe


0184 03 Glas Goggomobil saloon


0070 01 Opel Rekord Caravan 1957


0656 07 Site trailer


0650 05 ABG Road roller


0832 04 Mercedes-Benz 260D saloon


0388 15 Beet trailer


0386 02 Deutz-Fahr DX 4.70 tractor


0730 02 Setra S8 tour bus


0389 14 Claas Lexion 760 combine harvester with V 1050 forager headers


1:32 Scale Range Additions

0778 45 Stertil Koni mobile column lift (contents two pieces)


0778 41 AGRIbumper Claas design


0778 42 AGRIbumper Fendt design


0778 43 AGRIbumper John Deere design


0778 44 AGRIbumper black

New and Original – Some thoughts

Amongst the upgrade releases in October 2018 were some interesting models first issued in the 1960s. As I have these models in my collection I took the opportunity to compare the original with the current release. In many cases there is an interesting background history to be told. All models shown below are made to 1:87 scale.

0183 05 BMW 2002 saloon “Bavarian Police

The BMW 2002 was manufactured beween 1966 and 1971. It was in widespread use with the city police of Munich. Under the bonnet was fitted a powerful 100 hp, 2.0 litre petrol engine, and its top speed was 170 km/h. The BMW 501 in the background, its predecessor, was also made by Wiking. These cars were typical sights in the daily traffic in Munich. The BMW 501 patrol cars got the code name “Isar” and a legendary TV serial, named Isar 12, told the life of two policemen, their families and their car.


0206 01 Alfa Romeo Spyder

This is the first Alfa Romeo miniature ever modelled by Wiking. The chosen subject is the version of the Spyder made from 1966 to 1969. The body is very authentically shaped, it is moulded in bright red plastic, and the bumpers and windscreen frame are silver painted, as is the radiator grille. Head and tail lights are made from clear plastic. The interior is moulded in black with considerable detail moulded in. The baseplate is well detailed for a small model.


0620 02 Magirus S 3500 Fire Brigade turntable ladder truck 1958-1967

The “round bonnet” Magirus is one of the great classics of German fire engines of the post war era. The impressive, rounded Alligator bonnet is impressive and full of character. The the radiator grill surround encircles the contours of the cathedral of Ulm, where the vehicles were assembled.

The Magirus ladder was introduced into the Wiking model program very soon after the launch of the original vehicle. The legendary modelmaking master Alfred Kedzierski designed the first version with closed windows. Later it emerged with pierced windows and now it has been re-issued from reworked original moulds with a new baseplate.


0071 49 Opel Rekord P2 Caravan 1961 – red

The P2 Caravan is a typical early 1960s Wiking model accurate and well detailed moulding fitted windows but still with generic wheels and simple printing. Now the model has been given a ‘makeover’. The body is moulded in read and a white roof section has been printed on. Silver printing of coachwork lines, grilles and emblems is to current standards. In addition white wall tyres and replica wheels are fitted. What a contrast to the original models shown besides it!


0521 02 Articulated Box truck with Chevrolet tractor unit “Mayflower” 1955-1956

This model set could have been chosen by the late Friedrich Pelzer the founder of Wiking. A Chevrolet tractor from the 1950s pulls a contemporary trailer, which embodies a piece of Wiking history, as it appeared as one of the earliest commercial models. To the pleasure of Wiking collectors, the truck load is the furniture for a well known bungalow model. The model may enlarge the international appeal of the Wiking model range and perhaps open new export chances to the US where 1:87 scale railways are popular.

Wiking Magazine for 2018

The photographs below show a few of the interesting articles printed in this magazine. No other producer of models in 1:87 scale has such an interesting background and can tell so much stories.

it is no wonder that the publisher always surprises the reader with new subjects. In this year, the highlights are the development of the new Tempo Matador, and the classic Henschel cab of the 1950s, All of this illustrating new models from these new moulds.

There are also articles on an impressive diorama at the Sieper museum at SIKU/WIKING world. More topics are the history of the Swiss food dealer Migros and the 50th anniversary of the German Furniture Forwarder “Deutsche Möbelspedition”.

Finally their is a feature on the model ranges of 25 and 50 years ago.

0006 25 WIKING Magazine 2018


Atlas Dinky Deluxe 1429 Peugeot 404 Police Break

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

By Maz Woolley

My latest arrival from the UK Atlas Dinky Deluxe series is the French Dinky #1429 Break Peugeot 404 Police. This was seen previously in the equivalent continental Atlas series. The original model was developed from the standard #525 Peugeot 404 estate model originally launched in 1964 and withdrawn in 1970. #1429 is one of the dearer mint and boxed Dinky models on the obsolete model market perhaps because it was only in production for a year from 1970 to 1971. The continental Atlas series also contained a replica of the rare and expensive Pompiers de Paris promotional model which was based upon based upon #525.

The 404 was in the Peugeot range from 1963 to 1975 and continued in production in Kenya until 1991. In its final years in France it was produced alongside the 505 which was introduced to replace it in 1968. The 404 was offered with a range of engines from a petrol 1.4 Litre petrol engine up to a 2.7 litre V6 petrol engine. The diesel engined versions were strong sellers especially when it was used for business or as a Taxi.

The replica reproduces the original faithfully right down to the plastic aerial squashed in the box, though all the extra Atlas packaging actually means the aerial gets even more squashed than it did when originally released!

The masking of the black overspray is poor. Pictures on the internet suggest that the original was also poorly masked with black paint feathering at edges and at roof line. The upper part of the opening tailgate and bonnet were rather erratically masked as well. The Atlas reproduces these flaws but I would have preferred crisp masking as these are replicas and technology has passed on, others might not agree thinking matching the original adds charm.

All the features are at the rear where the tailgate opens and the rear seat folds up and down using a plastic wheel beneath the car. However, the tailgate will not stay open without being held which means I was unable to take a photograph with all the opening parts open.

The box makes much of these features but in 1970 this was a pretty basic stuff and many other models had a lot more opening parts.

Perhaps as away of adding perceived value a Dinky ‘No Cycling’ street sign was include in the box. Atlas have replicated that too.

The front end features yellow jewelled headlights, silver printed sidelights, a nice number plate and painted grille. However, whilst the grille has the centre logo panel included no Peugeot Lion badging is printed on it. The 75 on the number plate indicates registration in central Paris.

The French Police service was formerly known as the Sûreté and is a civilian police force unlike the Gendarmerie which is part of their armed forces. Police units mainly cover major cities and urban areas.

My Atlas account records show that the next model to ship to me will be the French Dinky Citröen DS23.


Dinky Toys French Ford Trash Truck

By Terry Hardgrave

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

This is another favorite Dinky Toys model of mine, this time made by the French factory from 1952 to 1955. It is the French Ford Refuse Truck, or Trash Truck, number 25v, and features the tilting rear bed, with sliding covers and the opening rear compartment door. In French, it was called the Ford Benne à Ordures. This is another one that I bought directly from H. Hudson Dobson in the US.

One of my early Dinky Toy “jewels”… why do I call it a jewel? Because I bought this when I was only about 14, and I was immediately impressed with how solid and impressive it was. This refuse or trash truck is somewhat smaller than the English Bedford version, but, to me, it is just more impressive. It has a rack to raise the rear bed, the sliding covers are a much more precise, and tighter fit, and the dark green finish looks like it was poured on.

This was my very first Dinky Toys French commercial vehicle bought  in 1959, during a crazy two year stint where I bought dozens and dozens of new Dinky’s.  And, after almost 60 years, it is still one of my favorites.  As a young boy, I was immediately struck and impressed with this French Ford trash truck… first, and most noticeable, was the gleaming, mile-deep dark green paint. 

But I was also impressed with the snug, closely fit sliding doors on the top. Sliding them open, then closed, was amazing; they were so smooth… very different than its English cousin, the Bedford trash truck.  Then, there was the tilting mechanism, with a rack and gear operation, that was also so smooth and precise.  There was a lot going on, in a fairly small package!

Years later, I would aspire to slowly collect the other French Ford trucks, a rather unique set of about 8 different models, with two different wheelbases: a short and a long version.  Great little trucks from a bygone era, but this is the one that really caught my attention, so long ago… and it is still almost pristine!