Mercedes-Benz SL Roadsters - Miniatures in Blue
By Doug Breithaupt
In the last 40 years, there have only been four models from Mercedes-Benz
that truly follow in the tradition of the original 300SL Roadster of the
1950's. As each new SL Roadster model has arrived, toy car makers have been
eager to offer a miniature version. This will certainly be the case with
the new 500SL model of 2003. In my collection of SL roadster models, I found
four, with tops in place, in dark blue that share different shades of this
color with the newest 500SL model from Real Toy. Both Real Toy and Siku
have been the earliest to offer the 2003 500SL but the Real Toy represents
the stock, showroom model while the Siku represents the AMG tuned version.
Real Toy seldom gets the respect it deserves today. Many remember the Real
Toy models of the 1990's where some castings looked too much like the competition
and the quality was sometimes on the low end. That has all changed. First
Real Toy decided to offer collector level paint on their models and now
they are offering superior castings to match the paint. Compare the Real
Toy SL Roadster to earlier models from Maisto, Yat Ming and Corgi and it
is clear that Real Toy is serious about doing great toy cars.
The Corgi 280SL of the 1960's is a delightful period piece. The speed-type
wheels look crude by today's standards and the yellow interior is not the
best choice for a dark blue car but the lines are nice and the addition
of opening doors increased play value. It can be challenging to find a this
Corgi Junior model in good condition and values have increased for the best
The Zylmex 450SL of the 1970's is also a decent model with opening doors
and good detail. The version shown here was bought at a store in Canada
just last year so it may still be in production. The wheels are a cheap
and unfortunate choice but the paint is quite good.
Maisto offered the blue 500SL of the late 1980's and 1990's. This long-running
model is still in production by Maisto and Edocar at last check. It pre-dates
Maisto's decision to abandon interiors, although the black one in this model
is hard to see. As with the Corgi and Yat Ming cars, the wheels are also
the weak point of this model.
Each of these models was created in the era of the real car it represents
and as such are also representative of the diecast techniques of the period.
All have sold for less than $1 and this amazing value continues with the
Real Toy model. All four have been and will continue to introduce and inspire
generations of children to someday own one of the great SL Roadsters from