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 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 Paransky.

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?"

Aguti/Rapitoy/Loden (Argentina)

Aguti Pininfarina
Aguti box
Rapitoy box
Bottom of Loden Box
Back of Loden box
Back of Aguti box

AHC (Spain)
See Auto-Pilen.

AHI (AHI Brand Toys) (Japan)
Simple diecast 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.

Anguplas (Spain)
Yes, yes, 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.

87th Scale” 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 this site.

Anguplas models were also made by Calidad in Mexico as Concentra models (see Concentra).

Anguplas Studebaker bottom and box
Anguplas Studebaker box
Anguplas Edsel

(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 sure?

Supermini Arpra Chevrolet SL/E

Asahi (Asahi Model Pet, Asahi Toy Company, ATC) (Japan)
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 great.

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!).

Asahi Toyopet Crown
Asahi Toyopet Crown scan of bottom

Aurora - Cigarbox (US)
Aurora logo 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.

twoAurora box top
oneAurora box reverse

Auto-Pilen (AHC, Oto, Holland OTO, Pilen)
If you’ve 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 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 a motorbike.

"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 from AHC/Doorkey.

"... 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 Ford Fiesta
Pilen Seat 850 Spyder, green
Pilen Seat 850 Spyder, silver
Pilen Renault
Pilen Toronado
Pilen Seat
Pilen Coche-Fantastico Kitt (an odd sort of rip-off of Batman and Knight Rider)

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