Friday, April 8, 2011

#5 POLITOYS – ALFA-ROMEO GIULIA, ALFA ROMEO GIULIA GT (1965) & MEBETOYS – FIAT 124 (1966)

Italian Automotive industries are between the most powerful in the world: Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari are well known worldwide. Toy companies like Politoys/Polistil, Bburago or Mebetoys are only popular among scale car collectors.
Today I wanted to present these three models, that I recently acquired. They are all built in 1:43 scale and they are made in Italy. That’s what they’ve in common.
 
Left to Right: A-R Giulia, A-R Giulia GT, Fiat 124 
 
Left to Right: Fiat 124, A-R Giulia, A-R Giulia GT

Two of these models are Alfa-Romeo Giulia, a “standard” version (nº523), and a GT version (nº 500) of the same automobile, and both are made by Politoys. This company was founded in 1960, and started producing plastic 1:41 cars, but in 1965 changed to die-cast 1:43 cars. In 1970, the company changed its name to Polistil, and continued producing quality products (cars, motobikes) in many different scales (1:16, 1:24, 1:32, 1:43, 1:66,…), including slot cars. By the late 80s, the company was absorbed by Tonka, and after a few years (1993), they stopped using this name forever.

Alfa Romeo Giulia
 
Alfa Romeo Giulia GT
 
The third model is a Fiat 124 (A-16), made by Mebetoys. This company was founded in 1959 but the car line was started in 1966. The company was only independent for a few years, because in 1969 it was acquired by Mattel, that already had its own brand for scale cars: HotWheels! Both brands were simultaneously in the market many years, until 1983. The moulds were shared with other toy companies, like the Spanish Joal. 

Fiat 124
 
Mebetoys’ old models are even rarer to find than Politoys and therefore relatively expensive.
Both Mebetoys and Politoys/Polistil are between the most renowned European brands of the 60s and 70s, along with Schucco (Germany), Solido (France), Corgi and Dinky (G. Britain). As you can see in the pictures, these models have many practicable parts (doors, trunk, bonnet), rubber tyres, and very high detail level. Some models even include reclining seats, and they all use “jewel-headlights”.

FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: Alfa Romeo Giulia / Alfa Romeo Giulia GT / Fiat 124
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1965 / 1965 / 1966
  • Company: Politoys- Polistil (Italy) / Mebetoys (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 10 cm

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