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Sunday, April 19, 2015

#536 SOHBI – LANCIA STRATOS (D-E16) and VOLKSWAGEN GOLF MK1 (D-E17) (Around 1995)


SOHBI is a Hong Kongese die-cast toy manufacturer that I discovered only a few months ago. In a flea market I found an orange VW Golf that caught my attention… it was beautifully casted, but on the baseplate there was no information at all apart from a logo with the word SOHBI. I thought a VW Golf would always be a VW Golf and bought it. It represents the model from the mid 80s, the one now known as MK1 or first generation (1974-1983), the same that Majorette and Matchbox (among others) reproduced.

This model is actually a knock-off of the model made by MC Toy, or maybe, SOHBI purchased the casts from MC Toy, when they didn’t need it anymore, which is also possible.

The Lancia Stratos is a knock-off of a Zylmex model, but it could also be the same case as above. I would like to own either the MC Toy Golf or the Zylmex Stratos to compare the casts thoroughly, but right now, I don’t.

Both models include very nice and detailed interiors, as well as windshields and windows, which is something very rare nowadays in budget die-cast models.

The company SOHBI was founded in 1984, and is focused on die-cast toys and novelties products, like plastic playsets or keychains. They are exporting their products to every corner of the world. Despite being a Hong Kongese company, their factory is located in DongGuan, a Chinese city only 10 kilometers away from the border to Hong-Kong.

The wheels used are their own design, they are not similar to MC Toy, and look maybe similar to some Zylmex models. Suspension uses a similar mechanism to Majorette models, but it is slightly too soft for my standards. Cars are also tampographied, although in the VW Golf case, that tampography is worn and lost.

I’d like to mention that the tampographies of the Lancia Stratos are really funny: “Sosoline Gasoline Supplier”, “Can’t Catch My Tail” and “The Best Gasoline in the World”.

The date is a pure estimation, I am not really sure when were these two cars made.

UPDATE: Newly found VW Golf versin by Sohbi with nice decoration "Rettung 144", made expressely for the German market.

  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Approx. 1995
  • Company: Sohbi (Hong-Kong/ China)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

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