Tag Archives: die cast toys

Fast Cars, Key Chains and Cop Show Guns

Courtesy of the 1976 Pilen catalogue from Spain 

Pilen S.A. was a Spanish company that produced die cast model cars, key chains and toy guns. TVTA is pleased to present the full scans from this terrific little catalogue printed in Spanish, French, English and German. Featuring international model cars, a Tiger tank, toy guns from top cop shows like Kojak, Columbo and The Untouchables, and somewhat randomly… a set of child’s kitchen scales. It’s all here. And how about those front and back covers… with what looks like a De Tomasa Mangusta launching itself through a set of tyres against a deep red background. Always good to see some art on the covers of a catalogue.  

The cars

While many of Pilen’s models are considered recasts of Dinky, Corgi, Solido and Polistil, see here and here, Pilen nevertheless stamped their own identity on them by producing superb vehicles made of quality materials, with attractive paint apps and working features.   









Tiger Tanks


Guns N’ Wrenches

Pilen produced some cool toy guns, managing to snag licenses for big name 60s and 70s TV shows like Kojak, Columbo, Matt Helm, U.S. Marshal, Cannon, Get Smart, and The Untouchables. Pilen key chains featured various mini tools like wrenches, saws, hammers, and even a pistol. I had one of the key chain tools as a kid and I’m almost certain it had working features. According to Wikipedia the key chains were already in production by Pilen long before the company began selling cars. Included with each car purchase was a mini catalogue with a slip which could be cut out and collected then used to send off for a free key chain. 






On balance …

I don’t know why the child’s kitchen scales are included on the last page… maybe it was an end of line sale, or just a space-filler, or the company testing the market for the launch of a line of die cast super kitchen accessories? Here at TVTA we never mind a little speculation, and are always happy to end a post with a kitchen unit or accessory 🙂


 

Retro toys in Coventry part one: the Coventry Transport Museum

abCov TM flyer

This is part one of my two-parter featuring retro toys exhibited at the Coventry Transport Museum and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in the city of Coventry, West Midlands, UK.

You can see part two Here

I’ve always enoyed visiting the transport museum and was pleased to see it once again following its recent refurbishment. If you get chance to visit do so – you’ll see a fascinating display of British Midlands’ transport heritage as well as a current exhibition of classic tin and die cast toy vehicles such as Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox.

Cov MM 02

Cov MM 03

Cov MM 04

Cov MM 05

Cov MM 06

Cov MM 11

Cov MM 12

Cov MM 13

Cov MM 14

Cov MM 15

Cov MM 16

I couldn’t end the post without at least showing some of the amazing examples of ‘real’ transport on display.

How many of these do you recognise?

Cov MM 07

Cov MM 08

Cov MM 09

Cov MM 10

1977 triumph bonneville

Mini

Jaguar

peugot 1985 205

1980 Sunbeam Lotus