All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Hot on the heels of the anniversary Superfast models Mattel has launched a Matchbox Moving Parts series. This article looks at the first three models in the series. Two are of vehicles that appeared in the original 1960s Matchbox range, and one is of a modern US SUV.
Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback 1965.
Known in the UK as the 1600TL this vehicle appeared in the original Matchbox 1-75 range in regular and superfast wheels. The red paint used is reminiscent of one of the finishes on the original car, though I think it is rather darker. The reproduction is generally similar to the original model but there are some disappointing differences. Firstly the glazing is very thick and the window openings are compromised by the thicker plastic at the top and sides. The steering wheel is just moulded into the dashboard and is not a separate part like the original had.
Underneath we get a plastic base with some moulded in detail and wheels that are very wide like those fitted to Johnny Lightning models and bearing no resemblance to those of the original model.
The opening front doors are the same moving parts as were fitted to the original model.
We do get a VW badge printed on the bonnet, printed headlight markings, rear amber and red painted lenses, and number plates. Mind you the plates just have a German flag and unrealistic letters and numbers and they are too wide and too shallow. So those wanting to buy a bit of Matchbox history are frankly better off buying a battered original model and repainting it.
Pontiac Grand Prix 1964
Another vehicle originally seen in the Matchbox 1-75 range with both regular and speedwheels. This was always a lovely casting and though this is a replica it still looks good. The purple shade is again reminiscent of one used on the superfast version of the original 1-75 model., though again it is not quite the same with its metal flake finish.
The underneath is similar to the VW as it has the same over wide wheels and a plastic base with some moulded detail.
The opening front doors are the same moving parts as were fitted to the original model.
Sadly the model is again treated to a clumsy very over thick glazing unit which is so thick it protrudes behind the A pillar so it fills part of the door area. Inside the steering wheel is again crudely moulded into the dashboard whereas the original has a separate wheel on a column.
Here we get no printing on headlights and no coloured rear lights either, nor are any number plates fitted.
Here we get what to me seems a strange choice. The version of the Xterra modelled was made between 1999 and 2004 so it neither formed part of the original 1-75 series nor is it an up to date choice for younger buyers. Presumably it will appeal to US model buyers?
European model collectors may not be familiar with the Xterra as it was never sold here. It was a basic ladder framed pick up truck chassis bodied with a utilitarian separate five door body and the obligatory large standard roof rack. It was sold as both two wheel and four wheel drive and It was made originally in the US and Brazil. Once replaced there by an updated model tooling passed on to Iran and to China where it was badged as a Dong Feng. Sold as a sports utility vehicle (SUV) it seems to me to fall lamentably short of the sports element of the name.
The only moving part is an opening tailgate which does not even fully open.
Again we get a plastic base, but one with little detail in this case. The wheels are again over wide even for a off road vehicle. Here the thickness of the window unit is not an issue and the interior is a simply moulded component though the steering wheel is moulded so it is separate from the dash board though it does then have a curious hole in the bottom of the tub underneath it.
I understand that this range is not being imported into the UK by Matchbox so it is not surprising that the next wave of releases features no more classic Matchbox models and includes US favourites like the Datsun 280ZX, Chevy C10 and Tesla X.
All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.
This article features models released by Norev in the first quarter of 2019. These are in a variey of scales but all are diecast in China for France. A more detailed review of a few of the more noteworthy releases can be found towards the end of the article.
Please note that some models are pre-production samples and may be marked as such, others may be final pre-production samples.
181626 Citroen GS “Basalte” 1978 – black and red features
Only 1,800 of these were allocated to French Dealers and they were the first special edition of the GS designed to encourage purchases at a time when the GS was beginning to get ‘long in the tooth’.
183568 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet 1969 – brown
Fitted with a two and a half litre straight six engine the 250E was a strong seller in the upper part of the Mercedes-Benz range. The convertible was much rarer and more expensive. Similar in some ways to its predecessor it was noted for the squared off rear wings. The age of the fin was over.
Doors, boot, and bonnet all open without spoiling the lines of the model when closed.
183459 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 1976 – Inca red metallic
Mercedes-Benz flagship car from 1975 to 1981 and made in small numbers. It featured hydro-pneumatic rear suspension based on the same principles as Citroen used all round.
It had a high specification interior and was powered by a 6.9 Litre V8 engine with a three speed automatic gearbox and limited slip differential.
Again lots of opening parts.
188053 Nissan GTR R-35 2008 – dark grey metallic
Launched on the Japanese market in 2007 it eventually reached Europe in 2009 as a Performance Centre had to be built in any country that it was sold in.
Built in aluminium, steel and carbon fibre it is assembled on a jig like a F1 car. Powered by a V6 engine of nearly 4 Litres which could produce nearly 400 BHP and had a top speed of nearly 200 MPH.
Again opening parts seem to have good shut lines and reveal the fairly detailed interior.
187412 Porsche 962 C Winner Supercup 1987 – H.-J. Stuck
The World Sportscar Championship was a world series run for sports car racing by the FIA from 1953 to 1992. It combined events in North America and Europe and was an important target for the major racing car outfits. The Norev model represents the winning car in the 1987 series a time when Porsche dominated this area of racing.
This diecast model has no opening parts but has a lot of detailed printing to a high standard.
185742 Simca 9 Aronde 1953 – Amarante red
Here we see the first generation of the SImca Aronde, two years after its launch in 1951. A clean modern shape for its time when many car makers models still had wings and vestigial running boards.
Powered by an engine of just over 1200cc it was capable of a top speed of just under 80MPH though it took over 30 seconds to get from 0 to 60 MPH. In 1953 production of the Aronde reached over 100,000 showing its popularity with buyers
1:43 Scale Models
270353 AC ACE 1957 – grey metallic
270357 AC ACECA 1957 -blue metallic
170020 DS 3 Crossback “La Premiere 2019” – black with red roof
170021 DS 3 Crossback 2019 – blue and black roof
170022 DS 3 Crossback E-Tense 2019 – pearl and black roof
170001 DS X E-Tense 2018
270575 Ford 12M saloon 1954 – blue metallic
474604 Peugeot 406 saloon 2003 – Banquise white
474653 Peugeot 406 Break 2003 – Banquise white
151413 Citroen 2CV AZU 1959 – “Wegenwacht”
156076 Citroen 2CV Pick-up with ladder 1963
474654 Peugeot 406 Break 2003 “SMUR”
1:18 Scale MAXI_JET
182056 Motobecane AV 65 1965 -blue
1:64 Scale MINIJET
310810 Citroen 2CV 4×4 – etna grey
181625 Citroen GS Club 1972 – Camargue blue
Another outing for the GS moulding. This time in an earlier GS version in a more basic trim level.
183478 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – dark blue metallic
An up to date top of the range Mercedes-Benz. Modelled in a considerable level of detail with all doors, boot, and bonnet opening. The interior looks to be modelled to a high level of detail.
183423 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2018 – bluegrey
This will be a large model. It has impressive opening parts, though no opening bonnet.
183471 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet 2018 – blue metallic
Here we have the latest top-end convertible from Mercedes-Benz. opening parts, lots of interior detail, and even fitted luggage in the boot makes this an excellent model in this larger scale.
188523 Volkswagen 1303 superbug 1972 – green metallic
517864 Box Alpine A110 Pure & Legende 2018 – Limited Edition of 500.
517865 Alpine A110 Legende 2018 – Alpine blue
270504 Aston Martin DB5 Coupe 1964 – night blue
830040 Audi Q8 SUV 2018 – white
479820 Peugeot 2008 2013 – white
479849 Peugeot 2008 GT Line 2016 – Perla Near Black
870067 Volvo V90 Cross Country 2017 – Savile grey
150091 Citroen 2CV Cogolin 1961 “Fire brigade”
479821 Peugeot 2008 2013 “City Police”
479822 Peugeot 2008 2016 “Gendarmerie”
Here I look at some remarkable models, issued by NOREV and worthy of a closer examination.
183701 Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 in 1:18 scale
Norev released this first real automobile in excellent detail in 1:18 scale. Initially only for the Daimler Benz Company, now it is available to collectors through retailers.
The first stationary gasoline engine developed by Carl Benz was a one-cylinder two-stroke unit which ran for the first time on New Year´s Eve 1879. Benz had so much commercial success with this engien that he was able to devote more time to his dream of creating a lightweight car powered by a petrol engine, in which the chassis and engine formed a single unit.
The major features of the two-seater vehicle, which was completed in 1885, were the compact high-speed single-cylinder four-stroke engine installed horizontally at the rear, the tubular steel frame, the differential and three wire-spoked wheels. The engine output was 0,75 hp (0,55 kW). Details included an automatic intake slide, a controlled exhaust valve, high-voltage electrical vibrator ignition with spark plug, and water/thermo siphon evaporation cooling.
On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” The patent – number 37435 – may be regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile. In July 1886 the newspapers reported on the first public outing of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, model No. 1.(23238)
Not too far from Benz, Gottlieb Daimler developed also a four-stroke gasoline engine, but he placed this unit into a former horse drawn coach, into a boat and into a railway engine.
Some years ago, Daimler built a number of replicas of this car shown above. One was shown at Techno Classica driven by a young woman to commemorate Bertha Benz, who made the first long distance trip in an automobile upgraded by her husband Carl.
151397 Citroen 2CV Citroneta 1963 – blue – scale 1:43
The Citroneta was a version of the 2CV manufactured in Chile and Argentina. It used a type AZ chassis with a 425 cc engine developing 12 bhp. Both chassis and and engine were made in France while the bodywork ( for both 2 and 4 door versions) was designed and produced in Chile. The last of the “boot design” cars was built in 1973. The Citroneta was produced by the Citroen factory in Arica and apart from the chassis and engine/transmission used mainly locally made components.
Production of the 2CV in Chile started in 1953 as a way of boosting local employment. Initially, they were laughed at as they seemed small, under powered and insubstantial compared to the US imports of the time.
Soon the Chilean designers created a body to suit the country´s specific needs. The car needed to be useful for both city dwellers and also for farmers who needed to carry fruit, vegetables, hens or even pigs. Thus an open boot was included to help this and the “decapotable” roof abandoned.
The sales success that this model enjoyed was so great that it can be said that almost every Chilean has driven a Citroneta. All the streets were filled with this “French Miracle” as they were nicknamed. They also gave many Chileans their first chance to own a car, since before the 2CV there wasn´t any car available at such a low price.
The model is well detailed, with a number of separate parts used to detail it. It is an interesting supplement to every 2CV collection.
The Continental GT is not only a fast and luxurious car, but it also secured Bentley’s survival. 66.000 GT coupes have been sold since 2003. The third generation was launched in 2018, and has been reworked extensively. A longer bonnet and a lower front profile make it look more modern. Whilst the front retains the Bentley grille, slightly enlarged, as well as the four headlight style the rear gets new ellipsoid rear lights and a general restyling.
The model is accurately shaped and well detailed. Norev provide the Bentley promotional models of this car, hence the high level of detail and quality of finish.
351341 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 – black –1:43 scale
The Mercedes G-Class is the oldest product in the Mercedes-Benz range. In the last 40 years the Swabians sold 300.000. But the time was ripe for a change. The appearance has only had a minor reworking.The body became 5 cm wider and 12 cm longer, but the boxy shape remained.
However, under the skin a revolution took place. The rigid front axle was replaced by independent suspension and a newly developed steering system give more comfort. Ground clearance, wading depth, angle of ascent and descent, are all improved.
But with the improvements comes a higher price tag, over a 100,000 Euros. Editor:rather higher than the much more luxurious Range Rover.
The miniature is accurately shaped, and well detailed, with many small separate components used to detail the model. The photographs above show the new and old versions of this model.
All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.
TSM (True Scale Models) are already well known in the UK and Europe for their 1:18 scale models, many made for manufacturers like JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) as dealer editions. But UK wholesalers are now distributing a 1:64 scale Mini GT TSM line which looks to be of high quality, and reasonably priced in the UK too, at a recommended retail price similar to the newly announced Hornby 1:76 models (made by Oxford in Hornby specific colours/liveries and boxed as Hornby).
Although here in the UK 1:64 scale has generally been left to Hot Wheels and Matchbox collectors it is a big seller in the US from Greenlight, M2, and Auto World, and in Japan and the far east there are 1:64 ranges like Tomy Vintage and Kyosho Minicar. In the last few years collectors of Oxford 1:76 scale models have grown greatly in number and I am informed that 1:76 outsells 1:43 scale models by a considerable factor. Maybe new collectors will take to 1:64 here in the UK if more high quality models arrive here at a reasonable price.
Looking at the models in the manufacturers images they appear to be very similar to Kyosho 1:64 models which are beautifully made and printed . Only three basic vehicles are currently available: Honda Civic, McLaren and Nissan GT-R. All these are made in various sporting versions with different liveries and in both RHD and LHD. So let’s look at the announced models which all seem to have excellent painting and printing along with very nice wheels.
TSM MGT00001-R Honda Civic Type R (Fk8)
TSM MGT00003-R LB Works Nissan GT-R R35 Type 1 Grey
TSM MGT00004-R LB Works Nissan GT-R R35 Type 1 Blue
TSM MGT00009-R LB Works Nissan GT-R R35 Type 1, Rear Wing Version 1 Matt
TSM MGT00010-R Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Championship White With Modulo Kit
TSM MGT00012-R Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Rallye Red (RHD)
TSM MGT00013-R McLaren Senna Victory Grey (RHD)
TSM MGT00015-R Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Crystal Black (RHD)
TSM MGT00017-R Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Aegean Blue with Modulo Kit RHD
TSM MGT00018-R McLaren Senna Mira Orange (RHD)
TSM MGT00023-L Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Customer Racing Study (LHD)
TSM MGT00024-L Honda Civic Type R (Fk8) Time Attack 2018 (LHD)
TSM MGT00025-L Honda NSX GT3 Presentation (LHD)
TSM MGT00026-L Honda NSX GT3 Los Angeles Auto Show 2017 (LHD)
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Translation from Japanese by Fumiaki Ishihama.
These Miniature Delivery Cars were introduced by Japan Coca-Cola Promotion in July 2016. They were available as a free promotional item with purchase of a bottle of Coke or Diet Coke at local convenience stores and lasted until all these promo cars were gone, usually within one or two weeks.
The promotional toy cars were, and still are, common within the Japanese beverage. The promotional campaigns start suddenly and are gone from the stores in a couple of weeks. One of the past Coca-Cola promo items was four delivery cars with a strap for mobile phones. In recent years there were some more promo items with Coca-Cola logo. One of them was a set of 6 types of pull-back model cars with removable key rings. In 2006 at their 120 anniversary, the Coca-Cola Japan company introduced 24 types of key rings with assorted objects, six of them were models of Coca Cola Delivery Cars.
The Japanese promo cars in small scales, as well as die-cast or plastic model cars in larger scales, are rare finds for collectors outside of Japan.
These miniature cars in Coca-Cola livery, as well as other promotional cars are not available on the open model car market in Japan, the USA, or rest of the world. They are extremely rare to find, especially in a complete sets, even on the eBay or at the swap meets.
The title of the promotion was “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” and consisted of 12 small, interesting model cars, vans, and trucks, from the year 1913 to the year 2003. The models are made in China to no particular scales, but with a more details than one would expected in the models of this size.
(See a few of them in comparison with the size of the US Quarter coin.)
All models, including the wheels and tires, are made from ABS resin with exceptional details. Each car has clear windows, simulated, simplified interiors, and some of the models have a rows of the simulated Coca-Cola bottles. The very fine, clean and sharp tampo prints and thin stickers of the Coca-Cola corporate, promotional logos and slogans are superior to most of larger die-cast or plastic model cars.
The model cars were: 1913 Ford Model T, 1920 Ford Model AA Truck, 1930 Ford Model A Sedan Delivery.
Second Picture:1938 Dodge Airflow Refrigerated Van, 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery Commercial Car, 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup.
Fourth Picture: 1990 Ford Econoline Van, 1996,
Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great, and 2003 Dodge Ram Quad Cab.
Twelve models of assorted delivery cars, vans, trucks in Coca-Cola liveries, were inserted into clear blisters (built to conform to the shape of each individual model) to be clearly seen when on display.
By folded tabs, the blisters were then attached to the front of the cards (identical for all 12 models). The card itself was then folded such that the ends formed a ring by which the card was attached to the neck of the Coke bottle to boost the promotional value of Coca-Cola Drinks.
The blister card effectively communicated the name of the promotion and the product’s use and features, while attracting the consumer with a visible model car, blue sky with white clouds background and colourful graphics.
Centered on top of the front side of the blister card is a line “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” with on each side of which is “Enjoy Coca-Cola” logo and the “Coke Please!“. line. Under this is the name of the promotion: “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“. At the bottom of the blister card is line in English “Delivery miniature car collection” printed white on black back ground.
On the top of the back side of the card, in the red box, is a warning: “Caution < to parents> please be sure to read“. This is followed by 10 suggestions on how to safely handle the product. Additional information, (black on the blue background), lists the material from which the model is made. The bottom of the back side of the card, in the white box, lists how to reach the Coca-Cola Promotion Office and the days and hours of business, following by the statement that this product was produced under license from featured car manufacturer and Coca-Cola. The line at the bottom of the card says “For Age Over 6” followed by MADE IN CHINA and in a very small box “Not For Sale“.
Folded and included into the card is a small catalog sheet. The front side (beside the “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” “Delivery miniature car collection” and “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“) the catalogue sheet lists all 12 cars in collection with year and marque description. On the left side of the front page is a detailed description and picture of the featured car.
In the sheet shown, it’s the “1958 Nissan Coball” and under the picture of the truck is brief description of the role the Nissan Coball played in Coca-Cola delivery cars: “Coball is the first domestic Coca-Cola delivery truck that played an active role when sales dramatically increased“.The initial colour of the car was Yellow, but since 1964 it has changed to the Coca-Cola’s Red. The miniature car can be displayed in a diorama setting by placing the catalogue sheet’s back side photo behind the car. The last line says ” This product is made under license by Nissan Motor“.
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