|Volume VII, Number 4|
Aguti of Argentina
Aguti Window Box
Aguti Picture Box
Guisval (top) and Aguti (bottom)
By the 1970s, the popularity of Matchbox size diecast toy cars was firmly established throughout the world. Buby, Argentina's most known diecast manufacturer already offered the South American country a decade of original toy cars that were familiar to the region. Jet, a subsidiary of Gillette, produced models with molds that were later bought by Buby. Other familiar names to collectors from that time included Galgo, MUKY and Aguti. Although lesser known, Aguti diecast were released in the late 1970s and during the 1980s.
Various models were issued with different brand names including Aguti Toys, Rapitoy and Loden. Aguti is typically stated on the baseplate of each casting. Both Rapitoy and Loden were different firms that kept the Aguti identification on the base molds to likely save costs. Rapitoy roughly translates to "Fast Toys". Loden may be a surname or a word composed from two names.
The quality is not in par with the more popular Buby. Look-alikes abound with sources of inspiration including clones of Corgi, Guisval and Matchbox. Paint schemes are run of the mill although subdued colors were employed and do give some sense of realism to the replicas. Speed type wheels were fit with either silver hub or plain black hubs. The silver component flakes easily off the wheels. Baseplates were produced in metal or plastic with the Aguti name expressed in a very stylized manner. This may suggest to the collector "Aquli".
Aguti Toys were provided with illustrative picture boxes or window boxes. The packaging also states "Alegria sobre Ruedas", translating to "Fun over Wheels". An international flavor is depicted with an array of nation flags. Loden were sold only in window boxes whereas Rapitoy repeated the picture box strategy.
The last Aguti models were produced with no authorization of the original owners. The production run was minimal. Due to these circumstances, the models are often the most sought after. These were probably produced over ten years ago.
I am grateful to collector Mariano Garcia who provided his diecast knowledge about these brands from Argentina.
The following Aguti models were offered in the following brands with some with repeat performances. Rapitoy is not listed since no lists were provided on the packaging.
Loden Window Box
Rapitoy Picture Box
Morris Mini Cooper
Fiat 124 (coupe sport and sedan)
The last Agutis:
Alfa Romeo 1600 Scarabbo
Corvair Monza GT
Prototipo Panther Bertone
A book about small-scale vehicles from Argentina is planned for next year. The prime author is Roberto Frassinetti. Dave Weber will edit the self-published effort. I will assist with images and formatting.