Polistil: Brand Comparison – Crane Trucks (Matchbox v Polistil), Mercedes Police Cars (Siku v Polistil)

Polistil was an Italian diecast company from 1960 to 1993, when they went out of business. They were pioneers of larger scale models offering cars in 1:24 and even 1:16 in the early eighties. Recently May Cheong, who own Maisto and Bburago have relaunched the Polistil Name.

I notice they have a 3 inch (Matchbox sized) “Car City” range and also a “Truck Series” range. I bought one of each to compare them with other brands.

Brand Comparison Matchbox v Polistil Crane Trucks

In the Truck Series range I bought a crane to compare with my Matchbox 8 Wheel Crane. which is almost 50 years old.  I was surprised the Polistil crane had quite a few moving parts. The crane operator’s cab rotates, the boom goes up and down and is hinged to fold in half for driving along. The operator’s cab is plastic on a diecast truck body with plastic base.

Matchbox 8 Wheel Crane and Polistil Crane Truck

Matchbox 8 Wheel Crane and Polistil Crane Truck

The Matchbox model is from the 1960s both crane and truck body are diecast, as is the base. The hook is plastic. The crane rotates but doesn’t go up and down. The Matchbox model has 8 regular wheels, the Polistil has six superfast style wheels, the regular wheels look better on trucks, in my opinion, I’m not interested in racing trucks down tracks.

The Polistil models come in a Maisto style box, which I prefer to a blister pack. I wish I had the Matchbox packaging for the Eight Wheel Crane. Neither truck has a cab interior, nor are they of named truck brand, some sources list the Matchbox truck as a Faun. The Polistil model has tinted windows.

My choice, with a large helping of nostalgia, would be the Matchbox model, but the Polistil’s functionality is a pleasant surprise and compares favourably to recent Matchbox models.

Matchbox and Polistil Cranes

Matchbox and Polistil Cranes

Brand Comparison Siku v Polistil Mercedes Police Cars

Mercedes Police Cars : Siku (left) Polistil (right)

Mercedes Police Cars : Siku (left) Polistil (right)

There were very few Polistil Car City cars to choose between in the shop (Metro Mart), a couple of formula one racing cars and a couple of Mercedes “Polizia” cars (A Series and C Series). I am less impressed with the car than with the truck, the cars retail at 6.40 lari and seem poorer value than the trucks at 5.40 lari. The wheels stick out from the body in an unrealistic way, there is no indication on the model that it is a Mercedes on the base it just says “Made in China”, on the box there is a tiny Italian flag and “Italian Design” displayed like on the Bburago boxes.

The Siku model is much better, looking more like the Mercedes Benz C320, it is designed to be. The Siku model is slightly larger (1:55) but the price is not much higher at present (the last Siku model I bought, a white Mercedes Convertible, was 6.93 lari from Pepela). The Siku Mercedes “Polizei” also has opening front doors. Siku is a German company but the models are also Made in China.

Siku Mercedes C320

Siku Mercedes C320 “Polizei” and boxed Polistil Mercedes “Polizia”

I have three Chinese Polistil models now, the third being a Car Transporter I bought last Summer. I don’t have any of the original Italian Polistil models, but they had some gorgeous Lancias (Stratos and Fulvia), I doubt I’ll find those at Drybridge Market.

My Polistil models

My Polistil models

I didn’t find any Polistil Lancias at Drybridge Market but I did find a 1:43 VW Porsche 914 (Made in Italy).

VW Porsche 914

VW Porsche 914

Now I’d like to find a Dinky VW Porsche 914 to make a brand comparison….

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