CATALOGO
POLITOYS-M
(The "cinquecento" series)
Made in Italy - 1:43 scale
Updated 2018/11/24
     

Like many of my peers, when I was a child I started collecting plastic models produced by Politoys, approximately 1:41 scale. I remember the first four, I received them as gift on Christmas Day in the the early sixties (the exact year escapes me, but I think it was in 1962): a pale gray FIAT 1800 with a black roof, a Lancia Flaminia sedan, this one also bicolor, a Giulietta SS and a 2300 Fiat Coupe Ghia, both red with open doors. The ones that open cost about 400 lire each, in this way the fleet grew significantly, together with my passion for cars.

A few years later, in 1965, on Mickey Mouse comic books you started to see the advertisement of the M series, namely metal, 1:43 scale, that is to say a bit smaller than the others. They cost twice price, 800 lire, but they were completely different: totally open, with folding seats and with a reproduction of the engine, fitted with suspensions and almost all painted with metal colors. And they did not lose the wheels when taking curves! In fact, losing the wheels was the biggest flaw of the plastic series: the rubber tires were assembled on a plastic rim, and they simply got pierced by the iron pin that easily slided and came out. What a nuisance! Everytime it was necessary to thicken the pin with bits of paper or tape. The M-series, however, had a thru-axle, riveted on the external rim: you could not take proper curves as with the much more expensive Dinky Toys ones or theTekno ones, but they were fine.

The first was the IM3. We travelled well on the light-blue IM3 that my uncle bought to replace an A40: it was a low, sporty, fast and very comfortable car. I rarely see one of these on the roads and every time it happens I stop for a long time to look it. Buying a model was like owning a real one. Then the others came: the "Pagodina", the Flavia Zagato coupe, the "600", the Giulia TZ (which almost immediately lost the right rear-view mirror), the Fulvietta, and so on.

The comparison with the plastic series did not stand anymore, and so a dull day in the summer of 1971, one of those days that it is better to stay in bed, I put my plastic models, most of them with their original boxes, inside an old cardboard suitcase, along with the original complete series of Gordon comics, and I gave it all to my cousin, the one that was travelling on the real IM3.
I had just graduated from high school and I was going to enroll in the faculty of engineering and these models "made for children" were not suitable for a university student. Only one model escaped the cleaning out: the white 1500 FIAT-SIATA coupe, which I still have: it survived because it was dissassembled and without the four front rhinestone headlights. I had torn them out to paste two of them, as front foglights, inside the grille of the beautiful Ferrari 275 GTB (Art. 540), which is the last new model that I purchased.

Competition from other brands became agressive: Corgi Toys, for example, tried to characterize each model with something new, with some more gadgets or a few more openings, as the agent 007's DB5. Solido was able to make the Mustang with working interior lights and open doors! I purchased it on the Internet on iBazar, before it merged with eBay.
The Politoys-M were already fully open and they cost less. What else would they lack? Then it was the turn of the interior characterised by a 'velvet' effect, such as the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III (Art. 518), the Maserati Quattroporte with four open doors (Art. 541), the Ferrari 250 Le Mans with seven openings (Art.525): 2 doors, 2 hoods, 2 fuel caps and one of the two wingspans on the roof. These were increasingly complex models with increasingly high costs of production.

Disassembling a Politoys-M has always been easy: the base is fixed with one or two screws. Reassembling them, however, requires a certain expertise. Not for the first models, which are composed of fewer than a dozen pieces, but some later models require uncommon skills.
It is difficult, for example, to perfectly assemple a 250 LM with seven openings: manifolds and exhaust pipes slide away quite easily, as well as the spring of the rear suspension and the headlights. Once you reassembled it you always have the feeling of having a model that seems older ("played with" as they say on eBay), which no longer works as well as before. Therefore, it is easier to find Corgi Toys and Dinky Toys in good conditions thanks to the riveted bases, which do not allow much disassembly.

Another model that discourages those fond of disassembling is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Gran Sport Quattroruote Zagato (art. 532 of 1967, in the photo below). This is the only 1:43 scale Politoys-M model with working steering wheel: the wheels are directly attached to the steering wheel. The complexity of the reassembly is apparent just by looking at the base and at the suspension with trailing arms and coil springs.

The assembly feasibility, however, also offers some advantages: it is easier to change them to your personal taste, and more importantly, it is possible to obtain a good model from two imperfect ones.
Corgi Toys, Dinky Toys, Spot On have also a spare parts service, also accessible via the Internet; Politoys-M has not. The replacement parts are taken from incomplete models, which should always be kept.
As evidence of the possibility of an easy elaboration I also included an image of my creation yet to be completed. I started it around 1970, but I left it incomplete. I recently rediscovered it in my parents’ basement and I felt a moral duty to recover it and finish it. It is a convertible version of the Maserati 3500 GT first version (Section 501).

Who wants to buy today a Politoys M-series should keep an eye on the series: of some models there is also a second series, with identical number, recognizable by the wheels, the boxes and colors. In the spoked wheels of the first series the spokes are only notched with the central lock nut, while the second series have real spokes (a few, but the light gets through them), much uglier. The picture below shows the two types of wheels. 

Speaking of boxes, in order to try to help collectors recognizing the right boxes to match the models I have setup a new web page dedicated solely to the boxes of Politoys-M.
It's worth giving it a look (and let me know, as always, if there are any errors or inaccuracies).


Art.512 - Fiat 500 Giardinetta

Art. 500
Art. 501
Art. 502
Art. 503
Art. 504
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AR Giulia Sprint GT
Maserati 3500 GT
Siata coupé 1500
Mercedes 230 SL
Ferrari 250 GT

Art. 505
Art. 506
Art. 507
Art. 508
Art. 509
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Bianchina panoram.
Giulia S.S.
Ford Cortina
Innocenti IM3
Lancia Flavia Sport

Art. 510
Art. 511
Art. 512
Art. 513
Art. 514
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Opel Kadett coupé
Fiat 600
Fiat 500 giardiniera
Fiat 850 berlina
A.R. 2600 sprint

Art. 515
Art. 516
Art. 517
Art. 518
Art. 519
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Iso Rivolta GT
A.R. Giulia TZ
Fiat 850 coupé
R.R. Silver Cloud
Ford Taunus 20M

Art. 520
Art. 521
Art. 522
Art. 523
Art. 524
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Lancia Fulvia coupé
Opel Diplomat 8V
Autobianchi Primula
A.R. Giulia TI
Simca 1500

Art. 525
Art. 526
Art. 527
Art. 528
Art. 529
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Ferrari 250 LeMans
Fiat 1100D
Porsche 912
Fiat 1500 Ghia
AR Giulia Canguro

Art. 530
Art. 531
Art. 532
Art. 533
Art. 534
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AR 2600 Zagato
Giulia TI Gazzella
Giulia GS 4R Zagato
OSI Fiat 1200 S
Ford Lola GT

Art. 535
Art. 536
Art. 537
Art. 538
Art. 539
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Porsche 904
Dino Pininfarina
AR 2600 Pantera
Volkswagen 1600TL
Lamborghini 350GT

Art. 540
Art. 541
Art. 546
Art. 549
Art. 552
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Ferrari 275 GTB
Maserati 4 porte
BMW 2000 CS
Mustang Bertone
Lamborghini Miura

Art. 554
Art. 558
Art. 559
Art. 587
Art. 593
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Auto Paperino
Lamborghini Islero
Auto Zio Paperone
Lamborghini Espada
Rolls R. Corniche

Art. 595
Art. 598
Art. 600
Art. 602
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Matra 630 Sport
Alpine Renault 3L
Auto Topolino
Dragster Drago


Art.552 - Lamborghini P400 Miura