gogotomica

gogotomica

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tomica vs Schuco vs Lesney - Käfer War

VW Beetle was first born in 1938 as Mr. Hitler wanted a people's car so he got Mr. Porsche's involvment to develope the Kdf-Wagen. Little did anyone will expect that this little car is so popular that production continues for 65 years before the last one roll out of the Mexican plant in 2003.

Today, we welcome our Beetles from different assembly plant from England, Germany and Japan. Almost all toy makers made the Beetle as it is a iconic car from the last century.

They are not only from different factory coming from different parts of the world. These Beetles are also of different engine capacity as what their maker suggested. Here they are:

Tomica 1/60 VW Beetle 1200LSE, Made in Japan
Schuco Modell 1/66 VW Beetle 1302S, Made in West Germany
Matchbox Lesney (approx. 1/60) VW Beetle 1500, Made in England
Charm:
Tomica has been always been good in making Japanese car and foreign cars. In fact, VW Beetle has one of the most variations in the Tomica range just like their Mini Copper. I like Beetles ever since I was young as they look really unique to me but I like them more when I watch the re-run of the "Herbie, The Love Bug" 1977 movie series in the 80s. I must get this variant no matter what. Somehow, something is lacking in the Tomica is they just couldn't capture the "feel" or "soul" of the real Beetle. I am not implying that it is not a beautiful car but it just lack some "x" factor. The Schuco on the other hand is a tad too small to be a 3 incher car but I couldn't blame Schuco for that since their Modell range are all based on the scale of 1/66 so naturally the Beetle is a compact car made even smaller. When the Schuco was viewed without the other 2 cars, it looked, well, it's unmistakenly a Beetle, just like the one you see on the road. It has sharp features capturing the outline of the Beetle. The Matchbox Lesney Beetle is nicer to hold because of its good size but it is the lightest car and the slowest one here due to its "o-ring" like wheels (Viton?). Lines are not as sharp as the Schuco but the toy like presence is excellent. Collector for the 3 inchers will definately like the toy like feel. Being a cult car and also classic car, the Matchbox gives you the classic feel too.
Score:
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 3 points

Wheels:
Which rims best fit the Beetle? First of all, it must look classic enough to suit the classic car feel. The Tomica 4 spokes button wheel identifies it as a Tomica but not as a classic car which is an slight disadvantage. It might look nicer if it is fitted with the smaller 5 spokes button wheels. The Schuco rims suit almost any cars in their range and it really look like the real Beetle's rims. The Matchbox rims is a hub cap type of the regular Matchbox wheels, the type which I think will look nice in almost any car including current day cars but it's not to everyone's liking.
Score:
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 3 points
Matchbox - 2 points

Suspension
The Tomica has the best suspension here which still lives up to its name at least. The Schuco seems to prefer to make its ride firmer. The Matchbox suspension is too soft that it seems like there isn't any.
Score:
Tomica - 3 points
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 1 point

Features:
Tomica has almost no features except for its well known suspension. Schuco has opening doors, it's a common feature but not so common for Beetles. Most companies do not make doors open for their Beetles. The feature I like most about the Matchbox is not the steerable wheels but the "Monte Carlo" plate, ok, it's not really a feature.
Score:
Tomica - 1 point
Schuco - 2 points
Matchbox - 3 points

Value:
The Tomica Herbie variation is one of the rarest. I used to have 2 units and I sold one in eBay. It fetch me around USD$150.00. I ever saw one that fetch USD$300.00. This is one of my favourite Tomica and I will keep it so please do not offer unless I found another one in Japan. The Schuco if mint in box will fetch around USD$30.00 and it's not so difficult to find it in eBay. The same goes for the Matchbox, price differs much depending if mint in box and loose mint condition. It is also not diffucult to find one in eBay.
Score:
Tomica - 3 points
Schuco - 1 point
Matchbox - 2 points

Verdict:
My favourite is the Tomica. The nicest to look at is the Matchbox. The most Beetle like is the Schuco. It depends on what you are looking out for in a Beetle. There should be one for everyone but if you are a Beetle lover, you will buy all you can find in the market.
Total Score:
Tomica - 9 points
Schuco - 8 points
Matchbox - 11 points




4 comments:

  1. Very good review on the Bettle. You r the classic man

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Melvin, thanks. Will come back with more when I return.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey.. was good reading the blog.. wud u please telme whr can i get these modles in mumbai... wud be grateful if u lemme knw... wanna get those.. :)

    ReplyDelete