Thursday, May 8, 2014

#411 POLITOYS – MATRA SPORT (Y 11), CARABO (Y 13), ALFA 33 (Y 16) and FERRARI 312 (Y 17) (1972)


The J series is a short, budget line made in 1:66 scale by the Italian manufacturer Polistil. This scale was not new, since they had produced around 50 different models between 1967 and 1970 under the “Penny” brand. Some of these models were later adapted and sold under the Politoys brand from 1970 on, and shortly afterwards, this J series would be released. My guess is it was around 1972.

There were a total of 10 models made. I will show only four of them, which are the ones I have so far.

The complete list is:
  • Art. J 10 Porsche (917) in white
  • Art. J 11 Matra Sport in blue or white
  • Art. J 12 Renault Alpine (A220) in blue
  • Art. J 13 Carabo (Alfa Romeo) in orange or red
  • Art. J 14 Ford GT in orange
  • Art. J 15 Lola Aston Martin in red
  • Art. J 16 Alfa 33 in red
  • Art. J 17 Ferrari 312 in red
  • Art. J 18 Abarth 2000 in orange
  • Art. J 19 Abarth 2000 Pininfarina in white

Art. J 11 Matra Sport

Art. J 13 Carabo

Art. J 16 Alfa 33

Art. J 17 Ferrari 312
Interesting that despite being the “J” series, the cars are marked with “Y” on the base. Most exactly, they are marked “N Y xx”.

The cars are roughly made, with very few details and very poor stickers. They have a metallic base and blue plastic windows. The interiors are casted in the chassis plate.

A further look at the box shows a nice logo, in the style of the late 60s with the words:
  • “Flash Wheels” (English)
  • “Route Zero” (Italian)
  • “Super Blitz” (German)
I think these words mean, that these cars are built after the HotWheels “principle” of fast cars. Mattel models have been released and are gaining popularity, so all die-cast manufacturers create their own line of fast cars, so they don’t get behind are able to keep the sales high. The axles are very thin, and really allow the car to roll far away without much effort. Probably Polistil created those three slogans to sell its products in all three markets: Italian, Germany and U.S.A./Great Britain.

The models chosen are nice sport cars and prototypes from the late 60s. Despite all those impressive models, the cars didn’t sell very well, because the line was never extended. Why? Probably because the models didn’t look as good as those from other brands, and people chose not to buy Politoys. However, the J series was just a first attempt to counteract HotWheels, after it, Politoys would launch the RJ series, which look much better, and was quite a success, but already under the “Polistil” name.

UPDATE Comparison of a model marked Penny with another one marked Polistil:

UPDATE 2: I foun a Renault Alpine made by Politoys.

 Art. J 12 Renault Alpine (A220)

  • Name: MATRA SPORT (Y 11), RENAULT ALPINE (Y 12), CARABO (Y 13), ALFA 33 (Y 16) and FERRARI 312 (Y 17)
  • Scale: 1:66
  • Year: 1972
  • Company: Penny / Politoys (Italy)
  • Size: 6 cm

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