Volume VIII, Number 5

Miniature Wagons by Volvo
By Doug Breithaupt

Considering how few Volvo models have been done in small-scale, It is significant that the wagons from Volvo are so well represented. With examples from the last 30 years, these wagons provide a decent review of the various models offered.

One of the best is the first. Majorette did the 245DL wagon and it is one of their best. With a metal body and base, it is a solid model. The grill is a plastic inset and the interior is well done. For comparison, the Corgi version of the same car is a less impressive. The black bumpers are not as nice as the silver ones on the Majorette. The rear door does open but the design detracts from the overall look with large hinges in the roof. If the Corgi model were in better shape, the comparison would be more fair.

The 1990's brought the 850 wagon by Volvo and one of Hongwell's early models represents this car. Most Hongwell models are in 1/72 scale but this car seems larger. It is the same size as the dark green Yat Ming 850 wagon and perhaps is closer to 1/66 scale. The Hongwell model is an excellent casting with fine details. It has rubber tires and realistic wheels. The paint in excellent and it includes a correct interior. The Yat Ming is much more toy-like. The shape is good but the plastic base, cheap wheels, goofy graphics and huge tow hook are not much help. It is interesting that Yat MIng even did this car and it can be a bit hard to find.

Siku's model of the V40 2.0 16V is very good and has a much better designed opening rear hatch. While still a toy car, it has excellent detail on the body and interior. A bit more painted detail would help and the plastic wheels would look better in chrome or metal finish.

A second and more recent Hongwell model is of the V70 wagon. It is in 1/72 scale but once again, the detail is very impressive and the little touches like the roof rails make this model stand out. Head-lights and tail-lights are very realistic as are the wheels.

The last model is more an SUV than a wagon but the XC90 by Majorette represents the direction taken by many car-makers to offer 'crossover' vehicles that fit between the wagon and SUV. Comparing the XC90 to the older 245DL by Majorette, it is clear that the newer model is not of better quality than the older one. The plastic base of the XC90 and the budget wheels, detract from an otherwise well-done model. The painted lights and nice interior are signs that Majorette is still serious competition in the toy car industry.

It is a shame that none of the early Volvo wagons have been done in 1/64 scale. The Amazon or 1800ES would be excellent additions from any toy car maker. It is too bad that there has not been a toy car maker from Sweden that could have provided more Volvo and Saab models. I have long wondered why no Swedish small-scale diecast companies ever appeared, especially as other small countries like Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Greece have all contributed to the toy car hobby. Denmark had Techno but they focused on 1:43 scale. Perhaps we may still see Swedish cars by a Swedish company at some future date.

Volvo 245DL - Majorette

Volvo 245DL - Corgi

Volvo 850 - Hongwell

Volvo 850 - Yat Ming

Volvo V40 2.0 16V

Volvo V70 - Hongwell

Volvo XC90 - Majorette