Ebbro (China for Japan)
Miniature Model Planning)
Efsi BMW scan of bottom
This is another plastic
model, but I was drawn to it (probably in the late 70s or early 80s) because, come on, when's the last time you
saw a model car made in Finland? And because it's Finland, you won't be
surprised that the models are things like neighbor Sweden's SAAB and
Volvo, and southern neighbor Germany's Mercedes. The company's Web
site shows that the company is concentrating on Volvo and Scania
trucks. I don't know if these are still made in Finland or not.
If you'd like to see other toys made in Finland, don't miss Fintoys.com.
Emek Mercedes wagon
Enco (England, Germany)
is one of those models I've been keeping my eye out for... but you have to be
careful. I bought one off eBay a few years ago, but was shocked when I got
the model in hand. It was a mess, with glue spots all over the windshield,
and loose parts. The cars were sold both built up and as models, so get a
built-up model if you can, or at least see the model in person before you
I can't find this anywhere in "black and white," but it appears that
Enco models are now made in Germany, since they are affiliated with Tin Wizard. You'll find
an article on Zeteo by Peter
Comben, who has been intimately involved with Enco. You'll also find
models for sale on Zeteo.
UPDATE: I was lucky enough to receive an email from Peter Comben on March 20, 2008:
"Hi, my name is Peter Comben and I own Enco Models, which is UK based. I noticed your comments on Diecast Oddities re an Enco car you bought a few years back. It's a shame that you came across one in that state. The model kits are often bought and built to a poor standard and then sold. Maybe yours was one of these. Very early ones, made prior to 1987, were by Ernie Knott and were numbered under the chassis. The quality of these was reasonable for the period. From 1987 to 1992 I took over and raised the standard dramatically. Now I have them built at Tin Wizard in Germany, with whom I work very closely. I still do all the tooling and casting. Best regards, Peter."
Thank you, Peter -- and let me stress once again that the model I bought (and returned, by the way) was probably a botched build by an individual -- or at least someone who tried to stick items back on thatt they broke off! I'll keep looking for an Enco to add to my collection...
diecast company extant in the late 50s to the early 60s. Does anybody have any other information?
Espewe (East Germany)
Information in English
is difficult to come by for this company, so I've had to depend on electronic
translations. From what I can gather, this may have been a cardboard
box company that branched out into other areas like plastic car, truck
and airplane models in the 60s. According to one of the Web sites, they
also engaged in making "coffin ornaments." Hmmmmm... wonder what THAT
The car/truck models are in 1:87 scale -- and actually the only car
model I've seen is the Barkas 1000 van. The model I have is in beige
with red crosses painted on it as an ambulance. On the boxes of models
made between 1969 and 1973 will be written "VEB Modell und
plastispielwaren Kombinat," which I THINK means "Model and plastic toy
company." VEB apparently marks it as a state owned enterprise. It may have
been known earlier as VEB Kombinat Plasticart.
Some sites (in German) to visit are www.arnes-modellbauseite.de/History/plast.htm, http://www.arnes-modellbauseite.de/History/plast.htm,
More information came from Eric Kersbergen at 87thScale.info:
actually short for VEB Spezial-Prägewerke (according to Google, this
translates as 'special embossing works' - Editor), the SPW
can be pronounced as Espewe in German.
"You are right about the cardboard by the way, before Espewe started
making plastic models they made coffin
ornaments (!) and other
embossing work from cardboard. The VEB stands for Volks Eigener Betrieb,
roughly translates into 'owned by the people', which was, of
course, completely in line with the socialist /
communist nature of
the former German Democratic Republic."
Espewe Barkas 1000 van
means aesthetics or beatury in Polish. According to Daniel Beck's Web
site (http://modelcars.mbeck.ch/), the company produced plastic
1:43 and 1:50 scale models in the 70s and 80s. He specifically mentions
two cars -- the Fiat 126p and the FSO Polonez, and oddly enough those
are the two models I own. They are very different cars, the Fiat being
by far the better detailed of the two, but they came in the same simple
packaging. Also, while the FSO is entirely of plastic, the Fiat has
a tinplate base. If you'd like to see the logo for Estetyka, check out
Daniel's Web site.
Daniel also mentions that the Warsaw-based Estetyka made copies of
Matchbox Models of Yesteryear and King size, as well as Politoys. Although
I've never personally seen these, I don't doubt, especially Politoys. The
USSR made many copies of Politoys plastic cars.
Estetyka Polonez box (I bought this separately as an empty
Christian Goetz of Germany provided the following information:
"This is a brand of the company Pego (Italy), their other is Progetto
K. They produce in die cast or resin, mostly Italian cars (and distribute
several other brands)."
I will give you a
warning about Exem... if you take one down from a friend's shelf, be careful.
It may look detailed and substantial, but it has the weight of a marsmallow.
You're likely to throw the car across the room trying to compensate
for the force you've used to pick it up.
The Exem I have is a Lancia beautifully made in resin, allbeit with
wheels which don't turn.
Christian sent their
Web site address, so you can check them out. Unfortunately, it's in
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