It's Sunday again, time for another installment in a revolving set of Matchbox/Tomica reviews. Today we have Matchbox 25b, the VW Beetle, in the range from October 1960 to May 1964. This car is from the start of an era where Matchbox cars gained a lot of detail and accuracy, along with glazing and opening parts. This model is roughly 1:60, I would estimate - as Matchbox didn't really use a consistent scale. For a casting of this age and original price point, this is pretty nice:
Mine is lucky to have its original box:
Rounded designs like Beetles and Porsches can be hard to model and proportion correctly - even today some have problems. Matchbox did a pretty good job of this for the time:
For a casting that would have retailed for around 39 cents when new, the detail is more than acceptable:
A novel feature for the time is the opening rear lid:
Which reveals a surprisingly detailed and accurately shaped engine:
This is a popular model even today, as VW nuts and Matchbox collectors keep demand high. Prices are healthy even for loose models. Mine has a few small paint flakes - I believe from being dropped or ineffective paint application, as the wheel and axle wear suggest it has never been played with. I am happy to have it either way, and a silver wheels example is yet another relatively expensive variant on my wishlist.