Maxwell Mini Auto Toys from India
by Kimmo Sahakangas

Lincoln Fire Chief

Lincoln Ambulance

Hot Rod Jeep




Volvo P1800

Diecast manufacturers of India include Leo, Maxwell, Milton and Nicky. Of the four, three are known to have offered miniature diecast models: Leo (partially or fully owned by Mattel) produced a series of Hot Wheels models, Maxwell had a few mixed with various scaled models, and Milton was known to have one model as well. Miniature diecast refers to the popular size of Matchbox models.

The most interesting to me are Maxwell's models. No other diecast manufacturer (except for Nicky) had a series of models as unique in appearance. In other words, there are no equals! Maxwell identifies with their products as "precision diecast". It happens to go with the toy model cars and trucks awkward but charming simplicity.

Maxwell Co. was based in Calcutta, the largest city of India located near the eastern border shared with Bangladesh.

It is safe to say the models were made in the 1970's. Examples of real vehicles were from the 1960's. The catalog of "Mini Auto Toys" depicts models that were offered in a variety of scales. I suspect the images shown here include almost all the miniature scaled models offered by Maxwell. An exception is a helicopter.

The models lack any reasonable standard of quality as opposed to the source of inspiration from original counterparts such as Matchbox and Corgi. The mass production of diecasting at Maxwell provided consumers and collectors sharp metal edges and other imperfections in the bodies. Paint schemes are simple and bright but also low quality.

Maxwell made the most of their models. The Setra Bus was coming down the conveyor belt and every second and third one was modified as a delivery truck or pipe truck. Note the posts that hold the pipes in place. It appears the roof was removed afterwards.

Models were offered in small boxes with a general picture of what might be inside with name and number (as shown in the catalog) of the model, printed in the English language. Color variations were represented with a small printed circle on the end of the box.

It is not known if Maxwell is currently in business, perhaps manufacturing products other than diecast toys.

Although Tales of Toy Cars does not emphasize commercial vehicles, Doug Breithaupt suggested including them to this article since the models have not received too much attention in the world of diecast miniatures.

Delivery Truck

Pipe Truck

Pipe Truck detail


Double-Decker Bus

Vauxhall concept