Welcome to Soviet Saturday where I discuss greatest automotive legends from the Soviet era in diecast form.

Today’s relic is a world renown VAZ 2121 also known as Lada Niva, Lada Cossack, Lada Sport or Lada 4x4.

First introduced in 1977, Niva was the predecessor to current crossovers. It was the first mass produced offroader to feature unibody construction and front independent suspension with coil springs. If you haven’t guessed yet - it’s a 4x4 and a good one at that.

Carburated 4 cylinder engine and 4 speed manual transmission were borrowed from VAZ 2106. Most of the other components were developed specifically for Niva.

At one point Niva was the best selling export for VAZ. It was sold all over the world and is still in production today.

Enough about the real car, let’s look at the diecast. This is a Soviet built model made by Agat/Tantal and is considered to be one of the best models from that company. This one came with a pop up trailer. I bought both of these on Ebay from a seller in Latvia. Sadly, they didn’t come with original box.


This is a numbered model build before 1988 which is one of the earlier builds and is highly collectible. The model features opening doors, trunk lid and hood as well as working suspension and steering. Did I mention that it’s 1/43 scale? I believe the windshield wipers are suppose to slide up and down as well though I didn’t try. Door glass has an imitation of being partially down.