Category Archives: Volkswagen

Matchbox Moving Parts

By Maz Woolley

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.


Nissan Xterra

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.

Schuco and Solido Q1 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

This article looks at the new models month by month in the first quarter of 2019 from Schuco and their subsidiary Solido. Both firms models are made in China for Europe and are mainly diecast. Both ranges have models in a variety of scales as shown below. The Schuco Pro ranges are made in resin.

Schuco

February 1/2019

EDITION Pro.R43
450897800 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Coupe – red

EDITION PRO.R18
450008400 Opel Blitz Porsche race car transporter

EDITION 1:87
452632700 Land Rover Mk.I with trailer, loaded with Mini race car

AVIATION 1:600
403551676 Asiana Airlines – Airbus A380-800

SOLIDO

1:18 SCALE
421284550/S1801202 Alpine A310 Pack GT – red

421184460/S1801201 Alpine A310 Pack GT – white

Schuco

February 2/2019

PICCOLO

450559700 “The little VW Split Window Mechanic” Piccolo Assembling Box

450559800 “The little Sportscar Mechanic” Porsche 356 Piccolo Assembling Box

450570900 Charger “Happy Birthday 2019”

450607400 Set Piccolo Collector Catalogue 1994-2018 with Mustang
450133700 Mini “Mr. B.”

A thinly disguised attempt to model the ‘Mr. Bean’ Mini from the television series of the same name, starring Rowan Atkinson, whilst presumably avoiding paying royalties to the programme’s producers. It lacks many of the special features added to the TV car and appears to be based on the earlier version of the Mini than the one used on TV.


450502700 Land Rover Mk.I with trailer and Aston Martin DB5 “British Car Service”

EDITION 1:43
450374200 Volkswagen Transporter T1b pick up with crew cab and trailer, loaded with “Ovali Beetle”, “53 Racing” – beige

This set shows once more that Schuco do not always pay attention to detals. The Beetle with oval rear window, launched in late 1953, has air intakes modelled, the so called rheumatism flaps, which were only used in the model year 1951/1952. The number “53” is intended to provoke reminiscences of the movie star Herbie.


EDITION PRO.R43
450879800 Porsche 356 Gmünd Coupe – silver

450879900 Porsche 356 Gmünd Coupe – black

23081/23082

450902300 Volkswagen Transporter T1a pick up “Schwäbisch Hall building society advertising vehicle

450900200 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 cabriolet – blue

EDITION 1:32
450775100 Tractor Progress ZT 303 – red

EDITION PRO.R32
450900300 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401 with wooden flat bed

450905700 Chain tracked tractor T100 M3
450907500 Belarus MTS-50 tractor -blue

450907400 Famulus RS 14/36 tractor – red

EDITION PRO.R18
450011400 Volkswagen Beetle Motorhome – blue

EDITION 1:87
452637500 Porsche 911R, gulfblue/orange

SOLIDO

1:18 SCALE
421184820/S1801503 BMW E30 DTM race car 1989

421184760/S1801801 Caterham Seven 275R

421184770/S1801802 Caterham Academy 2014

421184780/S1800704 Citroen DS Speciale – yellow

421184830/S1800105 Renault 4L “Jogging” 1981

Please note that Solido part numbers differ when shown on the Solido section of the Schuco web site to those on the dedicated Solido site.


SCHUCO

March 3/2019

PICCOLO
450559600 Piccolo Assembling Box Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401

EDITION PRO.R43
450900400 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet – blue

450900500 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet – white

EDITION 1:32
450760700 Mercedes-Benz Trac 1800

EDITION 1:64
452016500 BMW Isetta beige/orange

The headlights seem to be mounted to illuminate the sky rather than the road. I hope that production models have headlights properly fitted.


452016600 Citroen 2CV “007” – yellow

Another car with headlights mounted at a ridiculous angle which will hopefully be rectified on production models.


452016700 Mini Cooper “Union Jack” – red

452016800 Volkswagen Beetle – green/beige

452016900 Volkswagen Beetle “Lady-Bird”
452018000 Volkswagen Golf Mk.I GTI

EDITION 1:87
452633000 Porsche 911 Turbo (930) – red

452633100 Porsche 911 Turbo S (991) – silver

452635000 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Coupe – white

452635100 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa – silver

452635200 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Cabriolet – blue

452637600 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster – red
452638400 Airbus Helicopter H145 “DRF”

Wiking Models March 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here is the latest news on the releases from Wiking in various scales. All these models are moulded in plastic in Europe for Germany.

Toy Fair “Silver News”

1:32 Scale

JCB Fasttrac 8000

John Deere 4-track 9RX – first articulated caterpillar

John Deere 7310R with twin tyres

Manitou MLT 635 telehandler

Krampe hook lift THL 30 L

1:87 Scale

Here are pre-release prototypes in plain silver plastic as shown at the Nuremberg Toy Fair earlier this year.


DKW 3=6 transporters 1955-1962

Büssing 4500

This model has been made using new moulds.


Mercedes-Benz LP 333 “Millipede” [Tausendfuessler]

Mercedes-Benz long distance Pullman cab

Bonneted tractor units with flat bed for heavy loads

Older tractor units get new trailers.

IHC 1455 XL tractor

New hose reel accessories for Rosenbauer AT

Volvo L350H wheel loader

New Items April 2019

1:87 Scale

0652 03 Volvo L 350F wheel loader

0368 03 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401

0797 23 Volkswagen Transporter T1 Samba bus

0360 01 Mercedes-Benz Unimog S 404 globetrotter motor home

0224 47 Renault R4 fire brigade

0262 06 Citroen HY box van fire brigade
0623 03 Mercedes-Benz L 5000 fire brigade emergency vehicle

0430 20 Mercedes-Benz L 3500 makeshift wine tanker

0488 02 Henschel HS 165 T articulated flatbed truck ‘Haulier Schulze’, of Berlin.

0459 01 Mercedes-Benz 1638 drawbar for hauliers ‘Brothers Mönkemöller’

Model Upgrades April 2019

1:160 Scale


0982 42 Büssing 8000 articulated tanker ‘FINA’

1:87 Scale


0817 06 Jaguar E-Type roadster – yellow

0225 03 Renault R4 box van ‘Renault Service’

0290 02 Volkswagen Transporter T1 pick up ‘IKEA’

0092 38 T&B Caravan

0510 01 Magirus S3500 articulated flatbed truck

0388 16 Joskin tipper trailer

0631 02 Mercedes-Benz short bonnet breakdown truck

0460 01 Scania 111 flat bed drawbar

0990 95 Set “Porsche Tractor”

M4 Model Cars Italy March 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

M4 Group in Italy both design and manufacture in Italy. Models are diecast to 1:43 scale unless stated otherwise.

February 2019 Releases

We start with the releases made in February across their ranges.

ART Models

ART400 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

As run at the Grand Prix of Luxemburg, Findel in 1949 – driven by Luigi Villoresi – R.R. Winner


ART401 Ferrari 857 S

As run at the 1000 km Paris/Monthlery in 1956 – 5th position driven by De Portago and Hill


BEST Models

BEST9738 Lancia Beta Montecarlo

This is a Group 5 test car Varano 1979 this was driven by Riccardo Patrese and has been issued in a limited edition of 79 pieces with figurine.


BEST9739 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1200 HF

As driven in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally by Cella and Lombardini. It finished 5th over all and 1st in their class.


BEST9294/2 Ferrari 275 LM

A driven at the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1968 by M.Gregory and C.Kolb


RIO Models

RIO4588 Fiat 1500 – 1936

Here the existing Fiat 1500 Casting is fitted with a roof rack carrying skis and a container for their fittings.


RIO4589 Ford 999

As used in Baltimore in 1904 to set a world speed record by Henry Ford. This is one of the early speed record holders produced by Rio over the years.


RIO4590 Lamborghini Miura P400S 1969

Another release of the Muira 400S. Here painted gold.


RIO4591 Mercedes-Benz 20-35 Landaulet 1909

Here the model is based upon a car featured at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. However, the Rio product manager has had the name stated incorrectly. This car is a Daimler as it was produced before the company merger that formed Mercedes-Benz took place in 1926..


March 2019 Releases

ART Models

ART034/2 Ferrari Dino 246 SP

Here modelled as the winner of 1000 km Nurburgring 1962 driven by Hill and Gendebien.


ART402 Ferrari 212 Export

Here the car is finished as first in class winner and fourth in class and second overall at SCCA Pebble Beach in 1952 driven by A. Stubbs


BEST Models

BEST9740 Porsche Carrera Abarth

Finished as the car which finished 7th at the 12 hour race at Sebring in 1962 driven by Gurney and Holbert.


BEST 9741 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

A very unusual open Fulvia as entered in the 1000 km at Nurburgring in 1969. It finished 1st in the 1.6 class driven by Munari and Aaltonen.


BEST9742 Ferrari 308 GTS 1980

The Best 308 GTS finished in the colours used in the US TV series Magnum.


RIO Models

RIO4592 Fiat 128 Rally 1971

Another release of the 128 Saloon from Rio. Here in a pale blue and in Rally trim level. Looking at the photograph I hope that production models are not as heavily painted as this as the shut lines seem to lack crispness on the photograph. The front sidelight created by simply tampo printing a silver square also looks like a compromise that reduces the quality of the model.


RIO4593 KdF (Volkswagen) Cabriolet

Here is a KdF modelled after the car given as a gift to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday on 20.April 1939. And accompanied by a period publicity photograph.


RIO4594 Fiat Balilla Ambulance car Africa 1935

This must have been of limited use as a military ambulance as it is a very short van body. It would also have been limited use off road as it was a conventional two wheel drive chassis.


RIO4595 Mercedes-Benz SSK

The Rio SSK casting here finished as a car that ran at Le Mans in 1932 driven by Foucret and Foucret. This wire wheels on this model reflect the age of the casting and need upgrading to meet current standards.


Norev Q1 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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.

February Releases

1:18 Scale

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

March Releases

1:18 Scale

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

1:43 Scale

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”

Extended Reviews

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.

270320 Bentley Continental GT 2018 – Beluga black – 1:43 Scale

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.


Hachette Mercury Volkswagen Reproduction – a comparison

By Robin Godwin

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

I have just received the reproduction Mercury Volkswagen Beetle in Swiss Post (PTT) livery from an Italian dealer. The package includes model, box and a pamphlet (in Italian only) specific to the model, which retails in Italy for 14.99 Euros.

The Volkswagen is number 6 in a series of reproductions of early Mercury vehicles from the 50s, generally done to a scale of 1:48. [Editor – more about this range of reproductions may be found in articles written by Fabrizio Panico elsewhere on this website]. The Beetle itself was initially issued in 1955 (the PTT version came along in 1956), hence the casting is pretty much the same level of fidelity as contemporary Dinky Toys and the recent reproductions of that range. Interestingly, the Dinky reproductions were cast by Norev, and marketed by DeAgostini or Editions Atlas, with the Dinky trademark owned by Mattel. The included pamphlet indicates that Mercury is a registered trademark used under license, but doesn’t indicate who owns it, and nowhere does it say who casts it. The pamphlet also identifies Marco Batazzi as the reference for the historical background. Marco is an acknowledged Volkswagen expert/author, and has also written an excellent book on Volkswagen toys, which compliments both the Houchangnia and Schroeder VW Beetle books. The great Italian collector/author Paolo Rampini is credited with some of the photos of original Swiss PTT models. So it is clear that there has been some real collector input into this effort.

In this article, I’ll provide a photo comparison of an original Mercury Volkswagen, a Scottoy reproduction in white metal, and this Hachette model. Jonathan Scott did a series of reproductions of early Mercurys around the turn of the millennium. These were covered in print versions of MAR at the time. The Scottoy shown here was purchased in 2002. The original Mercury was purchased 30 years ago at a French toy show (and wasn’t inexpensive then).

Left, Hachette; centre, original Mercury; right, Scottoy, which came with windows and an interior. You can just discern that the windscreen opening is larger on the Hachette

Easy to see that the Hachette (left) is from a new master/mould in the engine vents, license plate fairing and the plate mounting itself. Close inspection of the Scottoy (right)strongly suggests that an original Mercury (centre)was the master for the white metal version

It’s impossible to mistake either reproduction for an original

Original box in the middle features stronger colours and a smaller font size for the “15”

Hachette box on bottom features cleaner printing and more of a maroon band than red

Hachette box, left, has the maroon/red band running continuously around one whole edge of the box. The original is offset. The original also has a hole in the middle of one side to view the colour of the enclosed model without having to remove it – missing on the repro box. There are no markings on the repro to indicate it is a Hachette reproduction, so future buyers of mint/boxed original Mercurys should be aware of the box differences. At least the Atlas/DeAgostini Dinky boxes have lots of additional legal information on one side of the box, which is a dead giveaway that they are a repro. I believe the PTT version was sold in the standard box, but the Mercury book by Bocco, Clemente, Coen, Perego and Pontoni illustrates a PTT version sitting atop an early #15 non-illustrated manilla toned box, featuring blue descriptive printing.

The pamphlet cover is a reproduction of the 1950 Mercury catalogue cover. Beautiful evocative artwork, but it predates the models that are being reproduced by Hachette

A trio of fairly recent PTT VolkswagensHachette, left, Editions Atlas Dinky Toy, middle, and a proper 1:43 Minialuxe, right. The original Mercury came with three different PTT logos with the differences conveniently illustrated by these three models. Original Mercury logo was a decal, but the Hachette is tampo. Yellow/black colour separation is better on the Hachette than the original (based on photos in the pamphlet and other sources).

All-in-all, it’s a good reproduction and well worth the 15 Euros.


Why does everybody criticise Corgi?

By Robin Godwin

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

The simple answer is that they ask for it, by way of compromise and cost cutting. As an example, take the latest issue of an old casting that originated with Lledo in the Vanguards lineup – the split window Volkswagen – model VA01209, Royal Military Police. Corgi went to great lengths to research the actual vehicle, print its provenance on a limited edition (1000) card, and then used an old unmodified casting for the model.

Here is the main problem – the real vehicle is shown below – a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen introduced the vent window late in the production year so that, for some applications, a 1952 split-window with vent windows can be correct. Unfortunately, the vehicle in question is an earlier 1952 product, so has no vent windows. The Lledo/Corgi split-window Volkswagen has always had vent windows cast in, and Corgi did not see fit to remove them for this issue. There are other niggly problems with this model as follows:

It’s an old casting, so taillights and door handles are cast in rather than being separately moulded insertions,

Headlights are chrome buttons and have no clear lenses, and the light surrounds on this model are chrome and should be body colour,

The windshield wipers are nicely detailed, but they are oversize – they would reach higher than the roof at the apex of their arc. They are not mounted to the front cowling below the windscreen as they should be, but Corgi has painted a strip at the bottom of the windscreen in body colour to give the impression of cowling mounted wipers. Almost convincing, but not. Interestingly, the original Lledo model had cast wipers mounted on the cowl, along with the blades, but the blades should rest on the windscreen to be correct,

The canvas roll back sunroof is just a tampo print,  

The model lacks the circular VW logo on the hood (bonnet), along with the small vents below the headlights.  (In fairness, this logo may be missing on the actual car, but more likely is just painted body colour. Also, the logo was never cast on the original Lledo, but was always represented by tampo printing, so a bit of a conundrum for this model).

So I believe that the criticism here is warranted. If Corgi sells these Vanguards as collectors’ models, then more effort is required to make them true collectors’ models. That said, it is still a reasonable model, all metal in this age of resin, and it displays nicely.

Here is the real vehicle upon which the model is based. No vent windows are present (photo from Internet site)

And here is the Corgi with vent windows. The colour appears to be too dark [Editor I don’t know if this car has had a respray at some point or the colour just looks different in different photos. But the photograph inserted below seems to show it darker but still not the shade used for the model.]

Copyright of Coventry Evening Telegraph recognised.

Tampo printing of canvas top is an inexpensive solution, but unsatisfactory on a “collectors’ model.” Tampo makes the roof fit too perfectly and fails to capture the texture of the fabric.

Does anybody even remember Lledo these days? Curiously, there is no Corgi logo on the model, and no Lledo logo on the box.

A painted simulated cowl is visible on the bottom of the windscreen. No VW logo is present on raised circle on hood (Bonnet). Enormous wipers could clean a ‘59 Chevy windshield. Quality control lapse allowed badly glued rear view mirror to leave.


Mercury La Collezionne Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we have the latest parts, #4 to #6, in the Mercury partwork collection being sold in Italy by Hachette.

No. 4 is the Lancia D24, a 1:43 scale model from 1957. A simple model, but very faithful to the real one. Proving this is the inclusion of the small air scoop over the right headlight.

Alas, they didn’t add the windscreen and the rear lights. But it is a worthy reproduction of a car that won so many races, from the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, to the 1954 Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.


No. 5 is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta saloon, in a rare two-colour livery, very likely available originally only on the Swiss market as it was produced at the special request by the Swiss importer, Count Giansanti Coluzzi.

The real car was never offered by Alfa Romeo with a two-tone finish, but some were painted like that by Italian coachbuilders. The Giulietta is a 1:48 scale model from 1956, and the Hachette reproduction is faithful to its first version, where the headlights are like small aluminium nails, inserted into the body.


No 6 is a Volkswagen Beetle in PTT livery. The Beetle was a ‘must’ for all toy car ranges from the early 1950s onwards. Models in the PTT livery have featured in many ranges right up to the current date.

The Volkswagen Beetle was introduced into the Mercury range as model #15. This was produced in several colours with three shades of blue alone! The model represents a 1954 oval rear window Volkswagen and #15A was the same casting finished in PTT livery. There were variations on this model with Paolo Rampini‘s Modelcars in the World showing models with different colour tyres: black and grey tyres. Hachette has chosen to use black tyres and has created a convincing replica.

The next model due in the collection with be the Lancia Appia.


News from the Continent February 2018 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

All the models shown below were due to be available in late December 2018 so should be available at suppliers now. Ranges entitled PRO.R are premium ranges made in resin with etchings. Most other ranges are diecast metal and plastic. Some Schuco models provide a nostalgic look back at the toys produced by Schuco in the past so include printed material in the period style as well as models. Schuco models are made in China for Germany.  

PICCOLO

450513600 Piccolo Pop Art “The Game”

Here small scale Piccolo models are packed as place markers to be used with the supplied games board and dice. It is all painted and printed in bright ‘pop art’ colours.


EDITION PRO.R43

450905600 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b. Articulated race car transporter

The photograph above shows the original ‘Continental Motors’ Volkswagen based transporter with a Porsche shield on the trailer. Above that we see the Schuco model which is impressive and unusual.


EDITION PRO.R32

450782800 Tractor Progress RS09-GT124

Here we find the Progress (Fortschriff) fitted with a flatbed. This tractor produced in the former DDR was unusual in allowing all sorts of fitments in front of the Driving cab. It was powered by a twin cylinder diesel mounted behind the driver and driving the rear wheels.


450782900 Tractor Progress RS09-GT124

Hree we have the same tractor unit with a different registration and fitted with a grass cutter fitted to the vestigial chassis forward of the cab.


EDITION 1:18

450034700 Setra S6 Coach

This 1:18 scale model of a smaller coach, often used for tourist trips, is incredibly detailed with superb panoramic windows and finely fitted opening components. Here it is finished in a blue and white livery


450037600 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b Samba bus

Here SChuco’s Samba is fitted with racks to carry skis and is called a “Wintersport” edition. Again there are many finely fitted opening parts. I might have expected snow chain or studded tyres though with German winter tyre laws.


450037700 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b bus

Here we have the lower specified Transporter bus fitted out with seating and fewer windows. The model is entitled ‘on the move with the family’ from the advertising strap line on the vehicle itself.


EDITION PRO.R18

450014800 FMR (Messerschmitt) TG 500 “Tiger”

Here we have the four wheeled version of the Messerschmidt with a 500cc engine replacing the normal 175cc to 200cc engine fitted to the three wheeler. Here it is finished in red.


450014900 FMR (Messerschmitt) TG 500 Roadster “Tiger”

Here we have the Tiger again, this time in white and with a convertible roof furled up open.


# 22771 – 22774

450006600 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Vision 6 cabriolet

Here we have a very expensive electric car from Mercedes-Benz in their premium Maybach range shown in blue the same colour it was premiered in in the US.


450006700 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Vision 6 Coupe

In red as shown at Pebble Beach the coupe is in red. Again this is an electric vehicle, but this time as a coupe with gull wing doors.


EDITION 1:87

452629400 Porsche 924S

Here is a tiny 924 finished in white which was a common colour when the 924 was in production.


MILITARY 1:87

452636000 M47G battle tank

Here liveried for the German Army


452636100 M113 Armoured Troup Carrier

Here the armoured vehicle is an Ambulance unit of the German Army.


452636200 M113 Armoured Troop carrier

Here is the standard unit in operation with the German Army.


1:600 Aircraft

22782 Airbus A330-300 “Delta Airlines”


22783 Boeing 787-8 “China Southern Airlines


Going on Vacation with Greenlight

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight have expanded very quickly. US headquartered with all production in China they span multiple scales from 1:18 to 1:64 with a number of themed ranges. Much of their output is licensed products to tie-in with TV or Films but others are more general themes like ‘Blue Collar‘, Club V-Dub, Hitch and Tow, and Holiday Homes. Greenlight are now pushing to sell more products around the world with a strong presence at the Nuremberg Toyfair, their stand at the Nuremberg Toyfair this year is shown below.

Provided by Greenlight on Facebook

This article takes a look at a couple more new castings in the Hitched Homes range, and a new Volkswagen and teardrop trailer in the Hitch and Tow range.

1959 Holiday House 1:64

Holiday House trailer production started in 1959 in Oregon and was based on the standard US practice of aluminium panels fitted to a wooden frame. But although the build was conventional the appearance was space-age and very different to the other US trailers. By February 1960 production was in full swing. Though stylish and well made Holiday Homes were more expensive than most competitors and by 1962 production ceased.

Today the Holiday House styling has many followers and they are often re-built to preserve them as there is a strong classic trailer following in the US.

The Greenlight model shown is from the Hitched Homes Series 4 and is in the usual format with no interior or opening parts. Given the very detailed modelling and tampo printing the lack of an interior is not a major issue.

The trailer is in aluminium and white with a red accent line. In series five it turns up in aluminium and pink , and in series six it is the same as in series four but with a blue accent. Greenlight make sure every casting gets many re-colours.

The wheels are good as is the rear bumper which is a separate plastic part. The usual hitch arrangement is on the front with same gas bottles as well as the screw fitting you fit yourself to hold up the caravan when it is not hitched. As is now the usual case the screw is in a slot in the bubble pack and you have to fit it yourself.

The casting has lots of good surface mouldings to represent lights, extractors, utility panels and other features. All of this is complemented with neat printing. The door looks like it should open, but it doesn’t.


1971 Airstream Land Yacht Safari

Airstream Caravans are an iconic US brand. The polished aluminium streamlined shape dates back to the 1930s when the first were based on designs created by Hawley Bowlus, who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh’s aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis. Construction again followed the aluminium panel on a wooden frame format common in the US. A few models have been specially made for Europe where they have to be made much smaller to fit our narrower roads.

There is another aircraft connection as Airstream travel trailers are apparently commonly used to transport American officials around the world. The trailers are strapped down inside military cargo planes. The trailers feature leather seats, air conditioning and climate control, wood panelling, porcelain toilet, LED televisions, surround sound, and Blu-ray players.

Airstream travel trailers have many followers and for those who cannot afford a new one there is a thriving business in renovating older trailers and putting them back into service. The Land Yacht Safari modelled was the development of a model which had been around from at least the late 1950s.

The model is lower, and wider, than the Holiday House but longer. The shape is classic Americana like the Zippo lighter. Greenlight have caught the shape well and the separately fitted detailed extractors, the moulded access panels, riveting and other features are neat. The printed on lighting is good too . Tiny Land Yacht scripts appear on the side and the larger Airstream on the front and rear.

The rear bumper is an extension of the metal base plate and the hitch unit at the front extends for the front of this plate. Again the customer is left to fit the screw in the hitch unit. The Airstream Land Yacht features again in Hitched Homes series five where it is finished as an unrestored trailer.

My only quibble, and one quite easily fixed with a tub of enamel paint, is that the gas tanks are white. On the examples I have seen they are polished metal like the trailer itself. Looking at the base the pressures of turning out the product are obvious as one of the spun over rivets is scarcely there and part of the base is cut away where the device doing the spinning over clearly slipped. But as this is not seen I am not too concerned by it.


1961 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback and Teardrop Trailer.

The Typ 3 Volkswagen saloon car arrived in 1961 with a 1500cc engine in the rear and was supposed to replace the Beetle. IN 1962 the Variant was launched. It later gained a 1600cc engine and a fast back TL version .

It seems that Greenlight may have mislabelled the model as a 1961 car as production in Europe only started in 1962 and Wikipedia suggests that the US did not start importing the Squareback until 1966. We know the model as the Variant in europe but in US it was called a Squareback and never used Variant Badging.

The car is well modelled with a large plastic roof rack with simulated wooden slats. Most glazing is flush with door windows open on bothe passnger and drivers sides. The interior is moulded black plastic with quite a bit of moulded in detail on the dashboard and door cards.

The wheels have neat domed caps with VW logo embedded but erratic silver finishing. Good fine plated bumpers are fitted and there are nicely printed rear lights with coloured paint over silver. An opening rear door is not too badly fitted and shows how much carrying space these cars had even with a rear mounted engine..

A ice number plate is printed on the rear with a lot of Volkswagen badging but the number plate is missing from the front where the clear plastic headlight lenses do not stand out and need some silver trim on side to look the part. The moulded and printed amber indicators are good as is the VW badge printed on the bonnet.sidelights

The teardrop trailer included in the set is new and has yet to appear in the Hitched Homes series perhaps because it is so small that it would seem poor value on its own. It first appeared in this set in Hitch and Tow series 14, and appears again towed by a Jeep CJ-5 in series 16 though with differently painted sides in green and white.

This type of trailer was often made by home builders and from kits in the past and there are many different types still available today. Basically it is a mix of plywood sides and aluminium panels on a steel chassis. The more deluxe models like this have a rear opening door which gives access to a storage space, or in this case storage a fitted ‘grille’. Inside the trailer is a flat floor with bedding entirely filling the space. Basically a tent you didn’t need to erect at each stop!

The Greenlight trailer has wood effect printed sides with an alloy effect roof and rear door panel. The lower section looks like painted wood panels and the wings and chassis are a single part metal unit.

Doors and windows are just printed on and the standard hitch screw fiiting seems huge on this model. The hub caps on the trailer have VW embossed on their centre.