Volume VIII, Number 5

Portugal Presents Poliguri
by Doug Breithaupt

Toy cars made in Portugal are certainly not common, even in Portugal. At the same time, companies like Luso, Novacar and Poliguri have all produced small-scale diecast vehicles.

In the 1980's Poliguri of Lisbon began producing a selection of toy cars and trucks. Carlos Almeida is a collector from Portugal who provided the catalog images shown here and sent the individual models in a trade, indicates that Poliguri did not survive the 1980's, closing in 1989. Little more is known about the company but we do have their models as a reminder of Poliguri's efforts.

The first reaction to Poliguri models is that some seem to have been inspired by Siku or Majorette models. This is true in size and in the models Poliguri decided to produce. The Mercedes-Benz Unimog could easily be mistaken for a Siku as the quality is very high. Perhaps the most Siku-like feature is the wheels/tires. Poliguri re-created their own version of the well-known 'Siku' wheel with it's thin white-wall containing the company name. Substituting 'Guri' for 'Siku', the Poliguri version looks much the same but it is actually a bit different. Other models have wheels more like those used by Majorette.

Poliguri made the most of limited castings by producing a variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the same cab but different rear bodies. A tow truck, ambulance, gasoline truck, camper, mini-bus and mini-truck all originate from this casting. Another Mercedes-Benz model, a 200 sedan, also serves to allow police, taxi and stock production versions.

The Peugeot and Fiat Uno models are a bit larger in scale with the Fiat identified as 1:50 scale. The Fiat Uno also offers opening doors. A Lancia Integrale model was planned by according to Carlos, but did not go into production.

Poliguri Models (provided by Carlos Almeida)
  • Mercedes Unimog - in green and black
  • Mercedes 307 Oil Tanker - in various colors
  • Mercedes 207 Minibus - in various colors and versions
  • Mercedes 207 Camping Car
  • Mercedes 307 Mini Truck
  • Mercedes 307 Towing Truck
  • Mercedes 200 - in various colors and versions, like Portuguese taxi , police
  • Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 - in various colors
  • Fiat Uno 2 doors - in various colors

Poliguri also offered a variety of accessories and road signs to go with their models. These were called 'Guri Kit' and again beg comparison to similar items offered by Siku. Trailers were offered for several vehicles and these items clearly added to the play value.

It is a shame that Poliguri did not survive longer. Their models were of good quality and some are quite unique. Thanks to the assistance of collectors in Portugal, these models can still be found today.

Fiat Uno

Fiat Uno

Peugeot 405 Turbo 16

Mercedes-Benz 200

Mercedes-Benz 200 Taxi (Portugal)

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Mercedes-Benz 307 tow truck

Mercedes-Benz 307 gasoline truck