O F F - T H E - S H E L F

The following editorial reflects the personal thoughts of Doug Breithaupt relating to our common hobby of miniature cars. It is intended to generate discussion
relating to 'Tales of Toy Cars'. Your letters are welcome and may be submitted via e-mail.

Big Brother - Little Brother

Have you ever started to see toy cars makers and smaller versions of real automakers? I've always associated Siku with Mercedes-Benz and Mattel with General Motors. This month I decided to see how far I could take this name association game. I tried to match up nationalities but sometimes that did not work. The first list is companies/product lines currently in business. The second list is of companies/brands that are gone but not forgotten. If this makes you smile, I've succeeded.

Mattel - General Motors (big, tough and proud of it)
Hot Wheels - Chevrolet (all-American)
Matchbox - Mercury (been around for a long time but seem to have lost their way)
Racing Champions/Ertl - Ford (steady and a but conservative but quality is job one)
Johnny Lightning - Chrysler (like to shake things up with innovative products)
Siku - Mercedes-Benz (solid as a rock)
Herpa - Porsche (stick to their market, for the most part)
Schuco - BMW (a reputation for quality)
Majorette - Renault (Gallic style)
Norev - Peugeot/Citroen (same style, with a twist)
Corgi - M.G. (back from the dead)
Polistil - Fiat (the pride of Italy)
Guisval - Seat (stick to the local market)
Tomica - Toyota (quality and consistency)
Motor Max - Nissan (back in the mix with new products)
Hongwell - Honda (ready to compete at a new level)
Welly - Subaru (attention to detail with solid work)
Real Toy - Isuzu (more flash than substance at times)
Maisto - Hyundai (quality continues to be a question)
Golden Wheel - Kia (are they here for the long-run?)
Kyosho - Lamborghini (high-end market only, low production)

And here are some classic match-ups

Impy Lone Star - Humber (solid, unique and a bit stodgy)
Budgie - Morris (veddy British)
Corgi Junior - Rover (good middle-class products with occasional flash)
Hubley - Studebaker (went their own way but with style)
Zylmex - Datsun (only the names have changed)
Mini-Dinky - British Leland (pieces just keep falling off)
Safir/Champion - Matra-Simca (a focus on competition)
Mercury/Speedy - DeTomaso (moments of greatness)
Playart - American Motors (unique products, beginning to be appreciated)
Maxwell - Trabant (crude, with four wheels, usually)
Micro-Machines - Crosley (too darn small)

Is Maxwell the Trabant of Toy Cars?

Morris 1100 by Maxwell


Share your thoughts on this topic with me and you may see them in the next issue. Send to: doug@breithaupts.com.