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 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.
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.
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.