Gama is (or was) a German toymaker, founded as early as 1882 in Furth, a city near Nüremberg. It’s founder was Georg Adam MAngold, whose name gave name to the toy company.
During the first decades, the produced toys were mostly lithographed tinplate, as it happened with other contemporary toymakers, for example, Payá in Spain. This was the trend until the 50s. The company produced tanks in several scales, as well as trucks, motorcycles and other toys. The production was stopped during the 2nd World War, but restarted under the auspices of the Americans, who controlled this part of the country. Some of this old toys are marked “Made in the U.S. Zone Germany”.
In the 50s, the first plastic toys appear, although the mechanical tinplate toys were still a big part of the production. Tinplate toys were mostly wind-up or clockwork operated, like it’s contemporary Schuco toys. Also in common with this brand (or also to other brands like, again, Payá or Rico), Gama produced remote control (cabled) models in large scales. They even produced slot cars “Gama Rally” in the 60s and 70s that could spin 180º and drive in the opposite direction. These slot cars were produced in 1:24, 1:32 and 1:40 scales.
The Porsche in this article, belongs to the Gama Metal series, that was entirely built in 1:43 scale. This series was introduced in 1959, and to distinguish it from the slot or larger scale series, it was renamed “Minimods” (Mini Models). The toys are very similar to Corgis, and include features like practicable doors, bonnets, and so on, rubber tyres in aluminium wheels and decorated chassis. Rubber tyres were later replaced by one-piece “superfast-type” wheels. Some models included jewel-headlights.
Some chassis were made of plastic to spare manufacturing costs (what other brands would also do 20 years later), but it is not this case.
To compete with matchbox and the rest of brands in 1:64 scale, Gama also produced the “Minette” series, which didn’t last long. Other toy line, released also as “Minimods” was a series of cars from the 1920s and 1930s, similarly to the Models of Yesteryear by Matchbox. They also licensed their models to many other foreign companies, what makes the identification of Gama’s models very difficult.
The company seems to have survived until the mid-90s, although in the last years, their production was quite small.
Curious about the box, is that some models were released in box that do not belong to the actual model. In this case, the box belongs to an older model, but I have seen many of them in which a tag has been applied at the side with the right serial number. This could be the case of my box, although I cannot assure it.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: PORSCHE 911 (Nrs. 973)
- Scale: 1:43
- Year: Around 1966
- Company: Gama (Germany)
- Size: approx. 9 cm