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. Then it was
the turn of a blue Cadillac, the gray Anglia, the red Flavia sedan,
the gray Flaminia coupe, the aqua green Giulia, the Alfa Romeo 2°
van military version, the gray Fiat 600, the red caravan, the burgundy
the white FIAT- SIATA 1500, the pale blue FIAT 1500 station wagon,
the pale blue Ford Taunus 17M and many others.
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
The first was the IM3 of the
picture on the right (it is still the original model). 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.
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.
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 of
1968), the Ferrari 250 Le Mans with seven openings (Art.525, see the
photo with three models next to the title): 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.
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.
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