Tag Archives: DeAgostini


Moskvitches (Made in USSR)

I have a selection of 1:43 scale Moskvitch models made in the USSR. The blue car in the picture is an Izh Combi, it was considered to be the first Soviet hatchback. The Izh Combi was based on the Moskvitch 412, the five door hatchback design was a novelty in 1973 when it was first produced, only the Renault 16 and Austin Maxi predated it. The only East European Car my father ever owned was a Moskvitch 427, during the brief window when they were imported to Britain in the mid seventies.  My father’s was Mustard Yellow with a black vinyl roof. He didn’t have it for very long as my sister almost fell out the back, when the door unexpectedly came open on a journey. He decided it was safer to get rid of it and get a more dependable Ford Escort (My Dad’s Cars) instead.

moskvitch ad

Moskvitch advertisement from the early seventies

Moskvitch cars were sturdy, reliable on substandard roads and were offered at low cost. Demand always exceeded production, so people in the Soviet Union had to wait a long time for a new car. The models cost me between 15 and 50 lari a piece (approx $5 to $16). The saloon/sedan is a 412, the estate/station wagon is a 427, the van is a 434 and there is also a pick up version.

Moskvitch 427
Moskvitch 427

In addition to the Soviet made models I have some DeAgostini models of Moskvitches, also in 1:43 scale, which were made in China. These include a police version of a Moskvitch 400-420 and a racing car, the Moskvitch г-5. These would have originally come with a magazine in Russian.

Moskvitch x 5 DeAgostini
DeAgostini Moskvitches

The DeAgostini models are not as robust as the Soviet-made models and are clearly aimed for adult collectors and not playful children. The Soviet models also have opening parts, whereas the DeAgostini models don’t.

Moskvitch x 11
Moskvitch and Izh Models (6 Made in USSR, 5 Made in China)

Counting the Collection, again: Part 2

The count is finished! I believe I have 1561 model cars scattered around 50 locations around the house. Most are in the bedroom, where I have the shelves, but some are in the living room and some are in the hall. I don’t have a loft, a cellar, a shed or a garage, if I did I’m sure they’d have some of the collection, too.

My shelves, most of the collection is in this area, some are hidden in boxes under the table.

By brand 38% of my collection is Hot Wheels, this hasn’t changed since November 2017, Matchbox accounts for 27% (up from 22%), Majorette accounts for 5% and Corgi 4%.

Totals by brand (November 2017’s totals in brackets)

  1. Hot Wheels        588 (407)
  2. Matchbox            406 (244)
  3. Majorette              70 (42)
  4. Corgi                      68 (44)
  5. Bburago                 48 (37)
  6. DeAgostini           47(47)
  7. Kinsmart               36 (38)
  8. Siku                         35 (?)
  9. Made in USSR      31 (29)
  10. Welly                     28 (27)
  11. Maisto                    22 (14)
  12. Norev                      10 (6)
  13. Tomica                    6 (5)
  14. Dinky                       6 (?)

Other *                            160 (144)


Total                           1561 (1083)

*other includes Johnny Lightning, ERTL, Schuco, RMZ etc…

pie charts of collection

I want to focus on collecting Matchbox, Majorette and Corgi. I’m sure I will continue adding more Hot Wheels because they are readily available and have a lot of attractive models. I don’t want any more Kinsmart or DeAgostini, I prefer to collect the Matchbox 3 inch size (approx 1:64 scale), not larger scales (with the exception of older Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox King Size models made in the late sixties and early seventies).

My favourite shelf is the shelf for older Matchbox models (location 8). Only 4 of the 63 models in the picture are not made in England, can you tell me which ones?

Count location 8 Matchbox older
Older Matchbox Models (mostly pre-1980)

Some locations had only a few models others had a lot. Location 15, a big plastic box held 128 cars.

I have been taking the contents of one shelf down at a time, counting them, dusting them, photographing them and adding the details to an Excel document. Checking through the photos, I realise I will have to retake photos of location 5 and 34 for my records, that can wait until tomorrow.

I have significantly increased my Majorette collection since the last count, currently I have a shelf for Majorette and Norev but it is overcapacity. I should separate the two brands.

Count Location 29 majorette and Norev
Location 29 Majorette and Norev

I didn’t take all the cars down to photograph on the table. Some I counted in situ, particularly those in the living room.

Count Location 44 Maserati lambo
Location 44: Maserati and Lamborghini shelf in the living room

I didn’t count any small plastic cars of the type that might have come from a Kinder Surprise egg, nor did I count the model cars in the children’s bedroom, I have relinquished those from my collection. I hope the next time I count the collection the number will be similar or even less, I can comfortably accommodate a thousand but I don’t really have the space for the number that I have. This COVID-19 lockdown has helped slow down my acquisitions, last month I only added a couple of  models, which I picked up on my grocery shop, this month I haven’t added any yet and I’ve even given a few away to my grandson.



Alpine is the sporting offshoot of Renault.

Alpine x 8 2

I have eight, a mix of A310s and A110s, made by Solido, Bburago, Majorette, Hot Wheels and Deagostini in France, Portugal, Italy, Malaysia, Thailand and China.The Bburago model of the Berlinetta is 1:24 scale, the Bburago model of the Alpine 110-50 is 1:64, the two A310 a red Solido and a blue “Gendarmerie” DeAgostini models are 1:43 scale. The Majorette A110 model in the front is a 1:53 scale model with opening doors, the other Majorette model is a red A110-50 next to a light blue A110 Cup by Hot Wheels

Monthly acquisitions March 2020 3
Alpine A110 (Majorette) and Volvo 850 Estate (Hot Wheels)

The original A110 was launched in 1963. Alpine was founded by a garage proprietor from Dieppe called Jean Rédélé, who started out racing and tuning rear-engined Renaults before starting to use the same mechanical components in his own lightweight sports cars. Competition versions of the first A110 stayed competitive throughout the car’s long life, dominating many of the mountainous rally races that inspired the brand’s name. It was still winning in 1973, taking the inaugural World Rally Championship for manufacturers and the first three places at the famous Rallye Monte-Carlo that year. In 2018 the Alpine brand was revived with a reborn mid-engined A110.


Anbulances x 14
14 Ambulances

I started blogging after reading a book called Blood, Sweat and Tea
about a London Ambulance Driver who kept a blog.

Now in the lockdown because of the medical emergency COVID-19, I thought I’d have a look at my own collection. I was able to find 14 ambulances quite quickly, I may have another two or three hidden away somewhere.

My favourites are the two Matchbox Speed Kings ambulances I have: a Mercedes “Binz” Ambulance and a Mercury Ambulance (which started life as a Mercury Police Car K-23).

Ambulances MBX Speed Kings
Mercedes and Mercury Ambulances (Matchbox Speed Kings)

I would like to find an ambulance of the type we see on the streets here, a Fiat Ducato, but haven’t come across a diecast version yet.

Fiat Ambulance
Fiat Ducato Ambulance, a common sight in Tbilisi

Stay Safe!

“The only way out is through, and the only way through is together” John Green

Soviet Cars

My father had a Moskvitch 427 back in the seventies, his was Mustard Yellow with a black vinyl roof, I would love to find a similar model. I wish I had a photo of the actual car. Moskvitch were only imported to the UK for a brief time in the seventies.

Moving to Tbilisi really kicked off my diecast collecting hobby. In the markets here I have picked up quite a few models of Soviet cars to add to my collection.

P1070978 (2)
Soviet cars from my collection

These models can be divided into three types:

  1. Models made in the USSR as toys
  2. Models made in China by DeAgostini for adult collectors
  3. Models made in China as toys

Models made in the USSR

These models are mostly in 1:43 scale and will have opening parts. I have picked up a few for around 20 lari ($6.90), but usually they are fetching higher prices in the markets. At Dry Bridge Market boxed models have an asking price of around 150 lari ($51.71), which for me is too much. The first model I got was from my Georgian brother-in-law, a GAZ Volga 24-02, a model he’d had since he was a child.

Soviet cars made in USSR
Made in USSR

Soviet cars ussr bases
bases “сделано в СССР”

Models made in China by DeAgostini for adult collectors

soviet cars deagostini
DeAgostini Soviet Cars

I have more Soviet Models made in China in my collection than those made in the Soviet Union. DeAgostini produces a package of a 1:43 scale car and a magazine. The sixteen page magazine Avto Legendi (Legends of Autos) is in Russian, one series of magazines is for everyday Soviet cars, a second series of magazines is for emergency vehicles.

deagostini magazines
DeAgostini Magazines and cars

I wrote more about this in an old blog: Soviet Cars made in China by DeAgostini

These models are for adult collectors, they are not designed to be played with. Small parts like windscreen wipers break off easily. My ZIL came with a crack in the roof. They also don’t have opening parts.

soviet cars deagostini zil crack
ZIL with a crack in the roof and a snapped off wiper

Soviet Models made in China as toys

Recently some Soviet Cars of Chinese origin have been appearing in toy shops and market stalls in various scales. These are intended as toys, some have opening parts and all seem to have pull back motors. They are more robust than the DeAgostini models and some look good representations of the actual vehicle, they are priced between 10 ($3.45) and 20 lari ($6.91).

Toy Soviet Cars (Made in China): UAZ 452, Lada Niva and Lada 2105

The Holy Grail for many Soviet car collectors is the French Dinky Moskvitch 408, these can fetch $100 or more. Although the prices may drop now Atlas Editions are making a reproduction of this model. I have only seen these on the Internet.



Counting the collection

“How many cars do you have?” this is a question I am often asked. I shrug my shoulders and say about 800, until today I didn’t know the exact figure. In September we moved to a new flat, along with most of the collection…most…25 models are still left in the old flat where my step daughter is living. They are mainly DeAgostini models which are quite fragile, I worry small pieces like aerials and side mirrors will snap off if moved too hastily.

I thought I would count the cars, this is not an easy matter, because there are a lot of them in many different boxes, a few (88) are on display in the living room (the previous flat had plenty of display cases), but these are the tip of  the iceberg.

those on display are the tip of the iceberg

The last time I counted the full collection, the total came to 501 that was back in August 2014… 2014 count

I have been telling people recently about 800, but I really had no idea, I’ve been adding around 15 or 20 a month. Also recently I have sold a few at Dry Bridge Market, here is the link:  Drybridge Market (Selling)

I made a spreadsheet and identified 37 different locations for my models. Some are in boxes.

some of the boxes

The most in any location are 154 cars in “box 7.”

Iyalto Hill Box 7
Box 7 contents

The living room display has one shelf devoted to the current month’s acquisitions. It is usually quite an eclectic mix.

new additions display 3
This month’s acquisitions

I only have one case actually intended for diecasts, which is currently holding 56 models, despite claims on the case that it can hold 72…

Iyalto Hill Matchbox carry case
one side of my Matchbox carry case (most of the cars are Hot Wheels)

I also have one box just for Chevrolet, this holds around half of the Chevrolets, I have.

Iyalto Hill Chevrolet selection
From the Chevrolet box

I won’t show all the cars, some are wrapped up to prevent chipping or scratching.

Breaking down the count into brands:

  1. Hot Wheels        407
  2. Matchbox            244
  3. DeAgostini           47
  4. Corgi                      44
  5. Majorette              42
  6. Kinsmart               38
  7. Bburago                37
  8. Made in USSR      29
  9. Welly                     27
  10. Maisto                    14
  11. Norev                      6
  12. Tomica                    5
  13. Other *                   144


Total                           1083

*other includes Dinky, Siku, RMZ etc…

The total surprised me: 1083. My collection has doubled in size over the past three years!

Monthly Acquistions September 2017

This was an unusual month for collecting as we moved from one part of Tbilisi to another and the collection thus moved, too. I also sold more than I bought like in August.

1st September Haul

I looked at my findings on the 1st September in an earlier post A Day’s Spoils 

After the first day, I would add another 21 models throughout the month.

Monthly haul minus Pontiac Fiero, Kenworth Transporter and Matchbox “Flash Force 2000” Corvette

My birthday saw the addition of the Porsche 911 and ’57 Corvette.

Older models this month included a Corgi BMC Mini Cooper S, French Dinky Jeep, Matchbox Mercedes 350SL, Husky Ford Transit Caravan and a Hot Wheels Mercedes C 111, all these models were playworn and most were missing parts. The Transit and Mercedes were found in the secondhand toy store, the others came from Dry Bridge Market.

Older models

The most expensive model was the DeAgostini DAF 33 “Politie” for which I paid 25 lari.

DAF 33 (Netherlands)

I sold 53 cars at Dry Bridge Market and gave away another two (Drybridge Market (Selling)) I also gave my grandson, Lazare, a few models when we moved.

lazare road tester
Lazare comparing VWs

Bizarrely, I also bought two submarines, a Matchbox Deep Sea Diver and a Hot Wheels Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.


So we sailed up to the sun
Till we found the sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine.


Totals: 26 Models: 4 Matchbox, 9 Hot Wheels , 1 Majorette, 1 Bburago, 1 Yatming. 1 Husky, 1 DeAgostini, 1 Mattel Disney, 1 Kinsmart, 1 Tonka, 1 Corgi, 1 French Dinky and 3 unbranded Made in China

5 bought new, 18 bought secondhand, 2 gifts, 1 swap

Outlets: 12 Secondhand toy store, 3 Clothing Market, 3 Pepela, 1 Varketili Market, 1 Isaak at Vagzlis Market, 1 Super and 3 Drybridge Market

Net expenditure: 84.76 lari

Police Cars of the World

Police Cars of the World

DeAgostini has put out a series of 1:43 models of police cars from around the world with accompanying magazines, unfortunately for me the magazine is in Russian (I don’t speak Russian), but they have some cool pictures. The series had 80 models and 4 special editions, they were on sale from 2013 to 2016. I am not looking to collect them all.

The models look good but they are quite fragile, the Mercedes was broken when I got it, small pieces like number plates, bumpers, aerials and wing mirrors easily snap off.

Mercedes-Benz W114 Qatar Police

One of my favourites is a Jaguar MkII Police Car, as a small child when our car broke down we were taken home in a police Jaguar.

Alpine A310 and Jaguar Mk II

Here is a link to an advertisement (in Russian) for the series: Police Cars of the World

Two Soviet Police cars: a Moskvitch and a GAZ Volga 21 (these are from a different series)

The full list of models in the series:

#1 Ford Fairlane Police Detroit USA
#2 Fiat 238 Italian Police
#3 Jaguar MK II UK Police 1959 
#4 Subaru Impreza Police France
#5 Nissan Fairlady Z Datsun 240 Z Japanese Police 
#6 Opel Kapitan German Police
#7 Ford Crown Victoria NYPD USA
#8 GAZ-21 Volga Police USSR
#9 Land Rover Defender 109 LWB Police Hong Kong
#10 Holden FE Police Australia
#11 Alpine Renault A310 French Gendarmerie
#12 Honda NSX Japanese Police
#13 Hindustan Ambassador Police India
#14 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Italian Police
#15 Dodge Dart Spanish Police
#16 Chrysler De Soto Police Canada
#17 VW Transporter T2 Police Netherlands
#18 Toyota Land Cruiser Police Greece
#19 Ford Consul II Police England
#20 Lamborghini Gallardo Police Italy
#21 Plymouth Savoy Traffic Police Oklahoma USA
#22 Mercedes 450 SEL W116 Police USSR
#23 Trabant People’s Police GDR
#24 Warszawa 223 Poland People’s Militia
#25 Chevrolet Bel Air Police of the city of Norwich USA
#26 Ford Transit MK1 City Police UK
#27 Citroen DS21 Police France
#28 Audi Q7 Police Luxembourg
#29 VAZ-2107 Lada Militsiya Ukraine
#30 Chevrolet Camaro SS Police Texas USA
#31 Ford Cortina Israel Police
#32 Buick Special Police California USA
#33 Suzuki Samurai Police Malaysia
#34 GAZ-22 Volga Police Hungary
#35 Checker Marathon Police Exeter USA
#36 Ford Crown Victoria Police Mexico
#37 GAZ-21 Volga Bulgaria People’s Militia
#38 Audi A6 Avant Police Sweden
#39 Jeep Wagoneer Police Pennsylvania USA
#40 Fiat Punto SX Gendarmerie of San Marino
#41 Ford Transit CRS National Police of France
#42 Chrysler Airflow CRS 1936 Police San Francisco USA
#43 Alfa Romeo 159 National Guard of Spain
#44 RAF-22038 Latvia Latvian Police
#45 Smart City Coupe Police Austria
#46 Ford Galaxie 500 1965 City Police Westwood USA
#47 Peugeot 404 British Police South Africa
#47 SAAB 9-5 Police Moscow Russia
#49 Alfa Romeo 156 Police Belgium
#50 Ford Fordor 1947 Police San Diego USA
#51 Nissan GTR Police Arab Emirates
#52 Dacia 1310 Police Romania
#53 Dodge Coronet 1973 Los Angeles Police USA
#54 Nissan Patrol 1985 National Guard Portugal
#55 VAZ-2104 Lada Police Belarus
#56 Volvo 240 Police Sweden
#57 Tatra 603 Police Czechoslovakia
#58 Subaru Legacy Police Switzerland
#59 Mercedes W123 GAI Police Moscow USSR
#60 Willys Rural Police Brazil
#61 Opel Omega Switzerland Police Switzerland
#62 Volvo 343 Holland Police
#63 Barkas West Germany Police
#64 Citroen 2CV Ertzaintza Spain Police
#65 Fiat 615 Carabinieri Italy Police
#66 Peugeot J7 Brussel Police Belgium
#67 Ford Galaxie 500 1964 NYPD
#68 Opel Kapitan 1951 East Germany Police
#69 Ford Econoline Colombia Police
#70 Mercedes-Benz W114 Qatar Police
#71 Daewoo Espero S South Korea Police
#72 Saab 900 Turbo Finland Police
#73 Volvo 244 Norway Police
#74 UAZ- 469 Estonia Police
#75 Pontiac Chieftain 1954 Cuba Police
#76 Renault 4L Garda Ireland Police
#77 Volvo 164 Sweden Police
#78 DAF 33 Dutch Police
#79 Mercedes-Benz W108 Kuwait Police
#80 VW Beetle 1970 Afghanistan Police
##Special edition 1 Fiat Campagnola 1959 Italian Carabinieri Police
##Special edition 2 Rayton Fissore Magnum 2,5 TDI Italian Police
##Special edition 3 Subaru Forester 2007 Italian Police
##Special edition 4 Mitsubishi Pajero SWB 1998

I have many other police cars in my collection which are of other diecast brands, which do you think is best for catching the criminals?

Police Cars
a selection of Police Cars from around the World

Dutch Cars

A few cars have been made in the Netherlands like Volvo S40, Smart Forfour and Mitsubishi Carisma. However, when I think of Dutch cars, I think of two brands DAF and Spyker.

DAF 33 “Politie” and OSI DAF City Car

The DAF 33 was in my cherished Ladybird Book of Motor Cars (1968). The OSI DAF City Car made by Corgi has numerous opening parts, a sliding door on one side and a conventional door on the other.

DAF City Car Corgi
OSI DAF City Car

Matchbox had a couple of DAF Trucks a Girder Truck in the 1-75 range and a Car Transporter in the King Size line.

DAF Girder truck
Matchbox DAF Girder Truck (Photo by Darth Ray)

Real life DAF girder truck

Matchbox also made a 1904 Spyker like in the film “Genevieve“in their Yesteryear range.


Update: the DAFs in my collection have gone to the Netherlands to an amazing Dutchman who generously sent me 12 Matchbox cars of my choosing from the late sixtes/early seventies (see Package from the Netherlands).