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32,651 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In 1955 (or'60(?), Politoys originated as APS Politoys M based in Milan, Italy. Their main production factory was originally located in Chiari, Italy but, some models were made in Milan. The first diecast products were 100 different plastic vehicles marketed as premiums in packages of candy and gum. They have become known as the "Sistema Dep 1/77" series from the information cast into their base plates. 'Sistema Dep' roughly translates to a patent (or trade mark) system and 1/77 as the scale used. But, models can be anywhere from 1:70 to 1:85 in scale - depending on the casting model. These were made up to the mid 1960s. In their later years of their production runs, they could also be found in multi-car packaged gift sets as well. They also made tanks for this series.

In 1960, the company name was shortened and they began using just Politoys as their marketing brand. Their first diecast with metal models were made in 1964-65. And were produced in 1: ( 41(?) 43 scale. The castings molds for many of these models were later obtained by (sent to) McGregor (Mexico) and were released as recastings under the McGregor brand name (?) in both plastic and metal models. Other molds were obtained by Donetsk (Russia) and re-casts made there for that market.

In the 1970s, the name Polistil was used to introduce the "Penny (J) Series" of 3" (1:64) scale sized castings in 1966-67. (? - double reference but different at same source). Possibly to avoid confusion with Palitoys (UK), though Palitoys did not make (?) vehicles. Polistil's range of castings were made up of cars, trucks and F1 race cars. Many castings were either German or Italian vehicle models. These early size of car castings have differing opinions from various collectors, as is noted by Sahakangas, et al. With some considering them crude castings and others noting them to be accurate and of a quality casting, but regardless of opinion he notes they did have windows and interiors! Kimmo's own assessment is that the Penny series are a very refined castings done with character. They also included opening parts, metal baseplates, and 'enhanced' (?) wheel designs.

In the 1970s, the Penny brand name was discontinued, but the same line up of vehicle production continued with no new brand name or series reference provided. The pimary distinction between the previous casting versions and the new series being the use of 'speed' type wheel sets. A new casting number system was also used. Other resource now referencing the subsequent series only by their base plate casting number letters.

As above the first series of Penny, can also be found referenced as the "J" series. They were introduced in the early 1970s, as a series of 1:66 scale Rally cars.

Next came the "RJ" series which was introduced in the late 1970s. Vehicles from this "RJ" series also had metal base plates and opening parts with most them being either Italian street cars or race cars. Other European models made up the rest of the castings offered. The "RJ" castings are noted to be hard to find. Particularily the later 1985 issues that were then being made in Hong Kong.

Another base casting letter change was noted for those castings to "RN" all having been made in Hong Kong. This series of 11 Rally car castings were done in a larger 1:55 scale and are considered to not be accurately tampoed to real Rally cars. This series is most noted for the inclusion of the Honda Panda in two color variations. These later 1:55 "RN" scale models were later called "Kees". This is suspected to be a contracted (?) company to Polistil who addeded their name to the base plates of re-issued "RN" rally cars series castings. Later on they were also found without the "Kees" on the base.

Near the end of the 1970s, Polistil branched out into electric slot car sets. (Do any of the slot cars carry over from previous series?)

In the late 1980s, Polistil was aquired by Tonka. Production under Tonka Polistil eventually ceased in 1993, when Hasbro had subsequently taken over Tonka.

In 2003, the Polistil name was obtained by May Cheong (Maisto), who produced a line of castings using the Polistil name that fit into the 'cheap Chinese diecast' product range.

In 2004(?) (06(?) (14(?), Polistil was noted to have been reborn with castings available in Italy again. These castings were made by Realtoy and described as well detailed models for the price point. Another reference source notes the key player in this rebirth as being Maisto. After they had acquired Bburago; in 2006. They were merged together as a sub-brand for Maisto. Using the Polistil brand name until around 2014. (?)

Another reference notes this as having occured again in 2014 by the same May Cheong Group. This time the Polistil brand covers different products such as slot cars, RC cars, and die cast models of construction equipment, tractors, caricature cars, Formula One cars and other vehicless. Their packaging carries either "Manufactured by Polistil International LTD, Hong Kong", or by "Most Success Trading LTD, Hong Kong". This new company (?) is noted to have been created in Hong Kong on August 27, 2013, according to the Hong Kong Business Dirctory.

Brand Names

APS "Sistema Dep 1/77"
Polistil Penny - (1:66)
Tonka Polistil
Maisto Polistil

Series Names

Politoy Series
Politoy E Series (1:43)
Politoy J-Series
Politoys Export -
Politoys Glass - 1965 to 1967, 10 fiberglass bodied models
Politoys M Series - 1965 to
Penny - 1965 to 1972, 3" (1:64) scale castings
Penny J Series - (1:66) followed Penny series and before the Polistil RJ series.

Polistil Series

Club 33
HE Series - (1:43)
Club HF
Polistil CE Series - (1:41) followup to Export and M Series with reduced quality

Polistil EL Series - (1:43) followup to Export and M Series with reduced quality
Polistil F1 Racers - 1970 to ???? (1:32) racing cars
Polistil FK Series - ???? to 1980 (1:32) racing cars
Polistil MC Series - motorcycles
Polistil MG Series -
Polistil RJ Series - 1977 to 1980, replaced Penny and Penny J Series
Polistil S Series - 1978 to ?, (1:22 and 1:24); castings package in clear display case (similiar to Guisval with key and also in windowboxes
Polistil RN Series - 1984 to 1992
Polistil TG Series - 1980, (1:16); racing cars
Polistil L Series - 1980, (1:16); racing cars
Polistil MS Series - 1980 to ?, (1:15); motorcycles
Polistil MT Series - 1980 to ?, (1:15); motorcycles
Polistil J Series - larger trucks
Polistil CA Series - military vehicles

Resource attibutions -

Membership @karl-e @ karls
APS | hobbyDB
Donetsk Toy Factory | hobbyDB
Polistil - Wikipedia
Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)

32,651 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I sorted through the Politoys/Polistil/Penny history lines again this evening and will merge these 3 sections together for continuity in the sub forums. The actual reference sources used so far are noticeable inconsistent as to event dates and even actual production details as Polistil. Hopefully; a better or more accurate source will be identified at a later date.

A short lived association between Bburago (under May Choeng) and Realtoy made castings issued as Polistil products could use a better reference source. It is also one of the events where the listed dates do not match up to each other - though the other related event details do.

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