The iconic Volkswagen Beetle

by Peter
Categories: Cars, Corgi, Diecast models, Hotwheels, Matchbox, Mattel, Realtoy, Volkswagen, Welly
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Comments: 3 Comments

As soon as you mention the VW Beetle everyone knows what car you mean, nearly everyone has probably at some point in their life been in one or owned one, I did actually own one many years ago.

The first of our Volkswagen Beetles is from Matchbox, Number 25 and named the 1200 and was released in 1960 and had tinted glass and an opening bonnet at the rear showing a detailed engine, my one below has grey plastic wheels but also other examples have black plastic wheels and silver plastic wheels, this model was discontinued in 1964.

In 1968 Matchbox released a new version and re-numbered 15, the one below has early Superfast wheels, that is thinner than the later versions, this was available in metalic red or white and should have numbers on the sides, the front bumper now sports a rally plaque and a tow hook and seats have been added, again this should have the decal on the rally plaque but has long since gone.

As the Superfast range took a turn towards faster cars the Beetle also took on a custom theme with two very different Beetles added to the Matchbox range.

The first was number 31 Volks Dragon, released in 1971.

This was classed as a dragster and has been fitted with a chrome V8 engine at the rear and roof mounted air scoop, (wonders if it has ever been done).

The second Matchbox Volkswagen Beetle hot rod is Dragon wheels, number 43

This one was in fact a ‘funny car’ dragster such as the one’s you see at Santa Pod raceway where the whole body lifts to show the single seat and massive engine.

Matchbox released another in 1998 and now under the managment of Mattel and made in China the model numbers are no longer printed on the base, this could be MB21, but it did seem that everytime they changed the colour or manufacture year the numbers changed, I can’t actually find this one listed so can’t confirm the number, it ‘feels’ more like a Hotwheels car than a Matchbox but still a nice car, lots of detail and still has the tow hook.

This is the 2002 release by Matchbox/Mattel and is in fact a taxi, this one below is the 2004 release in metallic red and ‘Hero City’ tampo on the sides.

Another Beetle by Mattel/Matchbox is the Beetle 4×4, casting number MB582.

beetle12

Produced from 2000 the two above are, MB54 issued in 2004 in metallic green and from the Hero City series and made in China and MB64, issued in 2006  from the MBX Metal series and made in Thailand.

While we are talking about Mattel, I had better include the Hotwheels Beetle next, released in 1988 and made in Malaysia, this one has ‘Hotwheels road zoo’ on the tampo on the sides, and to add here , the only one so far with the older oval back window.

Corgi also released a Volkswagen beetle 1300 under the Corgi juniors name and numbered 17, this was release back in 1970 and discontinued in 1977.

Another late Corgi/Mattel offering released around 1992 and parts of the ‘classic motors’ series packaged and offered by Fina petrol service stations in the UK, these are nice little additions to my collection.

The one below is from the diecast maker Realtoy, most of their cars and trucks have fantastic detail, this one is of no exception.

Once you get up in scale the detail gets far better, this Welly diecast version is 1:32 scale and comes in many colours, including the blue below, white and black.

It has opening doors but the downside to this model is the pullback motor fitted in the back seats, great detail though and are subject to a future code 3 custom project with a difference.

For further articles on this blog relating to Volkswagens see the links below;

Corgi Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Matchbox Vokswagen Karmann

Volkswagen type 181

Volkswagen Type 2, vans & pickups

The real car

The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle and Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform anywhere in the world.

For more information on the Beetle and further links Click Here


3 Comments »

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