A Surprise amongst the Chinese toys

UAZ 452

UAZ 452

Usually there are many stores selling ჩინური ხარახურა (Chinuri Kharakhura), basically “Chinese crap”, a Georgian expression for the mass of shoddy goods coming from China: many knock off cars from the Disney film “Cars“, big plastic Lamborghini police cars, fake Hot Wheel (sic) and other weird plastic vehicles.  Around Varketili metro there are many small shops selling such toys. Sometimes I might find a Kinsmart model I want, but usually there is nothing amongst the plastic vehicles, which interests me. Then, to my surprise, I found this, a model of a Soviet UAZ 452 Van (УАЗ-452) (nicknamed Буханка (Bukhanka or Bread loaf), Таблетка (Tabletka or Pill) or Golovastik (Tadpole).

Yes, it’s plastic not diecast and has an inertia motor, but it looks quite faithful to the original vehicle, it was only 5 lari and its big. I measured it at 15.5 cm long which works out at about 28:1 scale. No idea of the manufacturer, the base just states “Made in China”. Now I’m looking out to see if I can find any similar models.

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To give an idea of scale placed next to a Majorette Volvo (1:61 scale)

The UAZ 452 evolved from the UAZ-450, an unlicensed copy of the contemporary Jeep Forward Control produced by Willys. The van is a common sight around Tbilisi, produced from 1965 to date.

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