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Monday, June 25, 2018


Wiking is a brand that is oriented mostly for adult collectors. They are not very popular among children and as a result, it is difficult to find them in the places where I usually buy these things (flea markets, die-cast lots...), and if they appear, the prices are mostly high. Wiking models are made of plastic, so they are also fragile and in H0 (or 1:87) scale, not very popular scale for toys.

I own exactly three Wiking models that I will present at the end of this entry.

In recent years, there was a book published with the history of the company Wiking-Modellbau GmbH & Co. KG.

Currently, Wiking is owned by the Sieper Group (also owners of Siku) since 1984, so the book was edited in the same style than this one. Glad that Sieper is putting so much care in the documentation and publication of information about their most renowned companies. Unfortunately, I do not own this Wiking book yet, but there are lots of information available in the Wikipedia and other dedicated websites.

Therefore, it doesn´t make much sense to repeat everything here, but still I would like to comment on the evolution of Wiking models in 1:87 scale, although Wiking also produced models in other scales.

The first models were hollow, with flaps were the axles were attached (similar to some Tootsietoys, but with non-rolling axles), but even less detailed: windows were just engraved. These were in around 1:100 scale.
Starting in 1952, models started carrying base plates and rolling axles with fixed wheels, and the size increased slightly up to 1:90 scale, while the casting quality increased and the plastic thickness decreased.

Windows came first in 1957, initially dark, then in 1966 transparent, as the models came with interior. Scale was corrected to 1:87, but they were still being sold as toys, not collector or hobby items, despite the increasing quality and the H0 scale correction, now compatible to train models (except trucks and busses, that would be adapted much later -1985- to the exact 1:87 scale).

In 1970 the trend changed and the new models saw some simplifications in their construction and their finishing (tampographies, simpler interiors...) and in 1978 they got their first serious competitor with Herpa, that made extremely detailed models at 1:87 scale.

In 1990, Wiking bought the already closed company Roskopf, that offered models from the early 20th century. Models from Roskopf were sold in Wiking packages and later the casts were adapted to be marked Wiking. Some of these models have been available ever since. Many other Wiking classic models have been in catalogue for decades, maybe because the railway and train modelling (that requires the vehicles to be from the same years than the trains, scenery and so on).

Far from losing importance, Wiking has since the 90s grown a lot, providing licensed models for many car brands. And classic cars for which they do not need a license. They also have a series of agricultural vehicles, and innovated in 2008 with series like Wiking Control 87, that were remotely controlled cars in 1:87 scale.

Wiking also produced many accesories, like buildings, figures, traffic signs and roads from the early years on.

Wiking models today are sought after collectables, and the name Wiking remains as one of the most notable classic German toy manufacturers.

And now here are my three Wikings, ordered chronologically after their release date.

There are two versions of this one. I recognise them easily because the rear door is open in this model with a metal pole in the middle, while the other version, that seems to be newer, has closed doors.


The truck was done in several versions. It was used as a promotional item by many companies. This one in blue is quite nice, and the casting is beautiful, including the body and the base.


ROLLS ROYCE 1951 (SILVER WRAITH) (Ref 14838) - 1978-1982
This one is a very nice model. It is small and cute, beautifully casted.

  • Scale: 1:87
  • Year: 1970, 1978 and 1984
  • Company: Wiking (Germany)
  • Size: approx. 6 to 8 cm

Monday, June 11, 2018

#903 TOOTSIETOY - SEVERAL MODELS IN 3 INCHES AND OTHER SIZES (1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1976)

Despite having collected thousands of die-cast models in over 30 years, I keep discovering new toys made by brands from which I have never heard of before, or by brands I know, but I never had in my hands before.
One of the brands in this second case is Tootsietoy. It is a great American toymaker I of course was aware of, but I never had any toys made by them until very recently. They were to my knowledge never sold in the countries I lived in, so I guess the ones I found were transported from Germany.

It is nice to have a couple of them, but I am not sure if I will buy more of them, given I can find more at reasonable prices.
The company has a very long history behind them, since it can be tracked back to the 1890s. The history starts in Chicago, where two companies merged in 1926. The first of them was a trade paper called the National Laundry, founded by the Dowst Brothers. They also had a linotype machine to make metal buttons, cuff links and other items related to their main bussiness. The second company was Cosmo company, owned by the Shure Brothers. They produced small cars also as cuff links, pins and so.

The Shure Borthers purchased the Dowst Brothers bussiness, but the name of the merged companies remained Dowst Manufacturing Co. The first die-cast cars were produced sometime between 1909 and 1911. The name Tootsietoy was registered in 1924 by the Dowst Brothers, supposedly after the name of a granddaughter of one of them, whose name was Toots. In the first years, the produced several promotional die-cast stuff or even figures for the Monopoly game and dollhouse furniture.

The 20s decade, the company produced many car toys, vehicles, hand guns and so on. Some of the first model were promotional, like a series of vehicles for the Graham Company in 1932 and for General Motors in 1935. During WW2, the production was reset for war effort, reducing the toy production to almost zero.
After WW2, the production continued offering mostly American models for the American market.
In 1961 Tootsietoy purchased Strombecker, who would became famous for their slot cars, and since then, some toys were marked Tootsietoy-Strombecker.
By the end of the decade, part of the production was reallocated to Hong-Kong, but henceforth the production plants in the U.S.A. (Chicago or Rockford, both Illionis) and Hong-Kong would close and new ones would open in China. The headquarters is still based in Chicago, but now the brand Tootsietoy is owned by J. Lloyd International, Inc.

Focusing on the toys now, the vehicles made by Tootsietoys were always quite simple in construction. The body of the car holds the axles from the inside and they rarely come with interiors, which were added already for the first time in the late 70s. A good example of this can be noticed in the next pictures of a buggy from the tough series.
1971 - 1249 - TOUGHS (Buggy, Trailer with Boat):

1974 - 2405 - MIDGET SPORT SETS (Jeep, Sport Proto, trailer with boat, missing car)

The selection of Tootsie references in this entry ranges from 1971 to 1976, and mixes cars in 3 inches (or slightly smaller, maybe 2.5 inches) and bigger models, and different types of vehicles. The nice part is that all of them are still in their original package, alhough not all cards are in great shape (some even cut or partially opened).

197? - 14127 - NO NAME (Car Transporter, Race Car)

This transporter, that has a considerable size, is built in metal with plastic base to give it a tougher construction. Unfortunately, the trailer is made of plastic, so I guess many ended up stepped-on and broken. It includes a nice unidentified race car.

1975 - 1250 - TINY TOUGHS (Pick-Up Truck)

What I like most from this reference is the Honda Civic from the 70s drawn in the card! Very cool hatchback!

1972 - 2400 - HOP'D RODS (Hot Rod)

The seller had several models from this series, but I bought only one, the one that had the card in best condition. I love that illustration of a custom dragster car. Unfortunately, the toy model is not very well detailed.

1974 - 2435 - FARM TRACTOR

I don't like this model especially, but again, the illustration is wonderful. They should have placed that sticker in the bubble or somwhere else! Interestingly, the toy is made in U.S.A., but the wheels were assemble in Hong-Kong.

1975 - 2552 - RESCUE (Helicopter)

Amazing packaging! I wonder who painted all that stuff.

1976 - ? - TOUGHS HITCH-UPS (Pick-Up Van and Buggy)

This is my only Tootsie in some kind of "jewel-case" with cardboard base and bubble on top. The buggy seems to be based in a Matchbox Super King model, or not?

1976 - 2200 - VANTASTIC California Sports Van

Another cool packaging. The seller had it in this colour and also in pink, a clear exploitation of Charlie's Angel's Van. I picked this one don't know why. Maybe it had a better card, because in pink it is also extremely cool. That mid-west country landscape (Monument Valley?) is not bad either. The Van comes without back door, because, after all, it was some kind of budget model.

All cards and boxes include some text referring to the safety regulations at the time of the release, and some also came with a nice promotional offer in which you could buy a Tootsietoys t-shirt. The offer has expired long ago, but I would love to have one of those t-shirts now. How cool would that be?

UPDATE1 (Nov/2019): Roadster in green, perfect to complete the blisterpack shown above that is missing one piece! Also interesting to have a piece out of the blister, so I am able to show the bottom part of the cast. No base, but still some markings. Note also the axles and the wheels that remind of Matchbox´s Regular Wheels.

  • Scale: Approx. 1:64 and 1:43
  • Year: 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1976
  • Company: Tootsietoy (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm to 10 cm

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