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Thursday, March 14, 2013

#259 TOMICA – VOLKS WAGEN, BLMC MINI COOPER S (MK-III) and VOLKS WAGEN PUTICA DISNEY (Nrs. F20, F8 and PD6) (1977, 1979 and ~1990)

These are the Tomica reproductions of the two most famous and iconic European cars of all times. The German VW 1200 or 1300 (1970s) and the English BLMC Mini Cooper S Mk-III (1969-76).

BLMC comes from British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd.

Some people say Tomica’s Volkswagen is the 1302, because this is the model that Majorette reproduced, and Tomica and Majorette models are very similar.

There is not much to say about these cars, everything has already been said. The toys are specially charming because, even compared with other tomicas, they’re very well detailed. The Mini Cooper because it is made at a slightly bigger scale (1:50) and the Volkswagen because it is the cabrio/convertible version, with a very nice interior, “textile”-roof and visors.

Tomica also released the VW 1200LSE, the “Superbug” and the VW Beetle (all F20), these models are all hardtops. The Superbug has special “custom” wheels.

There are also different colour variations of the Mini Cooper, including one orange version with the British flag on the roof, but they seem to have been released later.

The Cabrio version of the Volkswagen Beetle has also been further released through the years. There are at least two more versions made of this car. In 1983, Tomica released a series of four cars with Jim Henson’s “Muppets” on them: the released models were:

  • Kermit the Frog in orange Volks Wagen Convertible 
  • Miss Piggy in pink Morgan Super 8 Convertible 
  • Animal in red Jeep 
  • Fozzie Bear in blue Ford Model T

In that same year, a second series of vehicles with cartoon characters was released. The name of this series is “Disney Putica” and there were 10 different models with Disney characters on them made. I am showing here Minnie Mouse in a pink Volkswagen Convertible, although you can see the rest of the models in the next picture.

Picture taken from:

8 of these vehicles are driven by Mickey Mouse, 1 by Donald Duck, and the last one by Minnie Mouse.

It is interesting to note that there have been three versions of these Disney-Tomica models, which can be identified by looking at the chassis only:

  • 1st Release: “Made in Japan” 
  • 2nd Release: “Made in China”  
  • 3rd Release: “Made in China” and “Tomy” logo 

The car in my collection seems to belong to the third (newer) release.

There are more pictures and information (in Chinese) here.

Other die-cast manufacturers also had series with Disney characters riding on their car models, for example, Matchbox or Guisval.

  • Scale: 1:60, 1:50 and 1:60
  • Year: 1977, 1979 and 1990?
  • Company: Tomica (Japan)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

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