Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Siku and Matchbox Karmann Ghia comparison

Matchbox Lesney Edition Type 14 Karmann Ghia (left) Siku Type 54 Karmann Ghia (right)

When you amass large quantities of tiny cars, you invariably compare them. This study is especially focussed when you can compare the same car made by two different diecast manufacturers. (I also looked at this in an earlier post on Matchbox and Hot Wheels VW Type 181's). Recently I was going through the Siku range at 'Grandmas Attic' in Gungahlin, and came away with a Siku 1:64 scale Karmann Ghia. Im not sure how long this car has been in Siku's range, but being a German company, I'd say many years. This year Matchbox issued a Karmann Ghia in its new 'Lesney Edition' range. This article is therefore a comparison of two cars, the same car, as made by two manufacturers in similar price brackets.

From Wikipedia comes the following:
"The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, internally designated the Type 14, was a 2+2 marketed from 1955 to 1974 by Volkswagen in coupe and convertible bodystyles — combining the chassis and mechanicals of the Type 1, evocative styling by the Italian carrozzeria Ghia, and hand-built bodywork by German coach-builder Karmann.
The combination proved instantly successful for VW; production doubled soon after its introduction, and the Type 14 became the most imported car in the U.S. 
Over 445,000 Karmann Ghias were produced in Germany over the car's production life. Karmann Brazil produced 41,600 cars locally for South America between 1962 and 1975."
Let us first look at the Matchbox Lesney Edition Karmann Ghia. These nicely packaged models retail for around 6 dollars - about three times that of a regular series Matchbox car. The paint is very good, and compared to the yellow paint on the Hot Wheels XB Falcon, much better. At around three times the cost of a Hot Wheels car, you would expect that. 
Although it is sold in a blister pack, it also comes with a 'Matchbox'
Very attractive angle. Nice detail.
Good interior detail, nice badge decal on rear deck.

The Siku diecast cars are more expensive than a lot of 1:64 cars, retailing at around the 7 dollar mark. They come in a blister pack. Paint is very good. The green suits a car of this era. 
Good stance on Siku version. 
Same angle as Matchbox. Wheels are good. Not as chromed as the Matchbox ones, but perhaps more accurate. 
Siku interior not as nice as Matchbox. 
Side by side. Both are very well made models.
Matchbox version is a little better, not so 'heavy' on the detail.
Siku looks better from the front. Headlights and air grilles better executed. 
Siku front windscreen is better, as is the folding roof. 
Siku interior is a little heavier than Matchbox. 

Both these models are very well made and very accurate. Although the Siku has a little heavier detail, it is still a nice car. I am happy to have both these cars in my collection. If I had the inclination, I could swap the Matchbox baseplate, bumpers and interior into the Siku, but I dont know if it would be a profitable exercise. I will leave them the way they are. 

To the rating:
Matchbox Lesney Edition Karmann Ghia Type 14

Quality  8
Design    7
Colours   7
X-factor  7

Rating: 29/40

Siku Karmann Ghia Type 14

Quality  7
Design    7
Colours   7
X-factor  7

Rating: 28/40

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