Agat (Radon, Tantal) (USSR/Russia)
Russian 1:43 diecast models. According to Peresvet
Ltd., Agat is an offshoot of Radon/Tantal. An interesting fact cited
at this Web site is that in the early 1990s Radon manufactured 29% of
the USSR scale models. According to mdiecast.com
the cars were also manufactured under the Litan name.
You can see great collections of the cars at the Web sites of Daniel
Beck and Max
You'll notice that the logo on the box looks like it says "Arat."
Although I've found some "Arat" models on the Internet, I think
people are calling them "Arat" models because that's what it
looks like it says. Unfortunately, there is no name (at least not in something
besides Cyrillic) on the bottom of the model itself. Anyone know for sure
that "Arat" is really "Agat?"
of Loden Box
of Loden box
Back of Aguti box
AHI (AHI Brand Toys) (Japan)
cars from the late 50s and 60s from Japan, about 2 inches long. According
to (the sadly defunct) "Toy Cars and Models" (June, 2003), AHI stands for Azrak-Hamway International,
Inc. I actually found this article sited in the magazine "Diecast
Collectors" in another article by Andrew Ralston (“Japanese
Model Cars: Small is Beautiful,” October 2004. "Diecast Collectors"
is an incredibly good, though also incredibly expense for the U.S., magazine).
Mr. Ralston rightly pointed
out that the name didn’t have a Japanese ring to it, so it was probably
the name of the distributor (American?). He also points out that identical
models can be found in boxes marked “Ace Imp. Co.” According
to “87th Scale,”
(a GREAT resource!) the cars were sold in the US as Cragstan models (jut
like Sabra/Gamda Koor). “87th Scale” also notes that a set
of European models were sold under the “ACE” name. In fact,
all the models were apparently sold in sets of 12 (does anyone know of
any NOT sold as part of a set?). European and American cars (as well as
trucks, oldtimers and military vehicles) were represented. “87th
Scale” has a list of all the models manufactured, as well as some
great photos of the sets.
AHI also apparently made other toys as well. I found early tinplate toys,
as well as “Star Trek” and “Space 1999” toys on this
site, though these later 1970s toys were apparently made in Hong Kong.
I know… these are plastic cars – though they do have metal
bases. I offer no excuses in including these (or the other plastic cars),
however. It’s my site. I think they’re cool. So there.
Anguplas models were made in Spain in the 60s, and they are neat –
though unfortunately most of the cars you’ll run into now are hopelessly
warped. It’s just the nature of the beasts – like Sablon’s
Wicked Witch of the West (“I’m melting!) tires, and Mini-Dinkys
penchant for self-destruction.
A weight is included inside the approximately 2 ½ inch cars, giving
them some heft. I have in my collection an Edsel from Anguplas, and on
the bottom it says “Mini-Cars, Anguplas, Ford Edsel S, U.S.A., Made
in Spain.” It also has an imprint of what an Edsel hood ornament
looked like. Great cars to add to a collection.
has a listing of all the models, and mentions that several of them were
licensed from Norev.
You can see Anglias made by Anguplas at
Anguplas models were also made by Calidad in Mexico as Concentra models
Anguplas Studebaker bottom and box
Anguplas Studebaker box
(See Agat, above.)
Arpra Supermini (Brazil)
Arpra is another of those model companies who apparently
believe that kids only want to buy trucks... and apparently it's true,
because so many companies keep dropping their car lines. Arpra IS better
known for it's construction models -- and it has been speculated online
that they are copies of Tekno models.
I haven't been able to ascertain yet whether Apra still exists -- anybody
know for sure?
I have an Arpra Chevrolet SL/E... it is also known as a Cavalier in the
U.S. and an Ascona in Europe. My suspicion is that it was a mold from
a German company like Gama or Schuco... and once again, anyone know of
Arpra Chevrolet SL/E
Asahi (Asahi Model Pet, Asahi Toy Company, ATC)
I came across my Asahi, a Toyopet Crown Deluxe, at an estate sale, where
I paid $5.00 for it. The top is a bit rough, but up on the shelf it looks
The ATC symbol on the bottom is not the demented alien is first appears
to be. It’s actually Santa Claus carrying his bag with the letters
“ATC.” And yes, this is the same company that made tinplate
models. Production of these models only ran from the early sixties to
the early seventies, though apparently there was a later model (at least
in 1975 or after) of the Rolls Royce Camargue. It’s a pretty hideous
model of a pretty hideous car (oh, the letters I’m inviting!).
Toyopet Crown scan of bottom
Aurora - Cigarbox (US)
What do you
do if you’re a plastic model and slot car company and you want a
slice of the Matchbox/Hot Wheels pie? Well, if you’re Aurora you
slap your plastic bodied slot cars on a Hot Wheels-like base. And lose
your shirt. Well, maybe not, but Cigarbox cars are much more difficult
to find that Matchbox or Hot Wheels. Partly because of far lower sales,
but very likely also partly because the plastic bodies just couldn’t
stand up to the rigors of play. You will very often see even the best
Cigarbox cars with broken windshield pillars. Early Cigarbox cars come
in normal colors for the most part; later cars have “mirror”
finishes. Not surprisingly, the cars are packed in miniature cigar boxes.
Aurora box top
Aurora box reverse
Auto-Pilen (AHC, Oto, Holland OTO, Pilen)
got a Pilen which looks an awful lot like a Dinky in your collection,
you’re not dreaming. Castings such as the Chrysler/Simca 150 and
Olds Toronado can be found manufactured by Pilen. In fact, Pilen originally
received the French Dinky castings to manufacture the cars for Dinky to
be marketed under the Dinky name. By the late 70s they were made and marketed
by Pilen. The company has since been bought by a Dutch company, so you
may find cars stamped on the bottom with Pilen, but the boxes will say
“AHC” (AHCIMPO Enterprises), “Oto” or “Holland
Oto,” though the cars were still made in Spain. Some dies, such
as my 1:43 Seat 600, ended up at Guisval in Spain. AHC has become known
for its Volvo models.
When Pilen was through with the castings, at least 3 (Monteverdi, Javelin,
and the Fiat/Seat 124 Sport) apparently went to Venezuela, where they
were made by Juguinsa. The models (other than the Monteverdi – there
has been one on sale at Vectis.co.uk for what seems like an eternity)
are very difficult to find in the U.S., though they pop up fairly regularly
on South American auction Web sites. See Juguinsa for more information.
Although the 1:43 models are the ones seen most frequently, Pilen also
made Matchbox-sized cars. I’m unsure whether any of these castings
were purchased from another company -- anyone know? Guiloy, apparently,
also used some of the 1:66 cars (see Brian
Willoughby article on Doug Breithaupt's site).
I received the following
information from Jan Clevering:
"AHC is from Epe, Holland, but got its dies from Pilen, Spain.
They (Pilen) are also connected to Guiloy. AHC made 1:43 models of Volvo
passenger cars and DAF trucks and busses. The Volvo models were sold later
by Doorkey (also from Epe, I suspect it is the same company). AHC also
made a selection of 4 1:66 cars for the ANWB (Dutch RAC). They are VW
Golf (Rabbit) Mk1, Citroen 4CV (2CV with van compartment), Renault 4 and
"The DAF trucks made are only the 800 type or the Leyland/DAF or
DAF type 45. The busses are Den Oudsten bodied DAF busses.
"Volvo cars consist of 340, 480ES, 440 and 460. Pilen Seat also saw Nissan models
"... Holland-Oto is the same company as Compact Specials Europe
(CSE), which is the mother company of JOAL (according to the Dutch Chamber
of Commerce), which has ties to Pilen and AHC... Very complicated indeed!"
Pilen Seat 850 Spyder, green
Pilen Seat 850 Spyder, silver
Pilen Coche-Fantastico Kitt (an odd sort of rip-off of Batman and Knight Rider)
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