‘VW Beetle Toys’, by Matt Meyer
A nice book about collecting Volkswagen toys… that sadly excludes the very best Volkswagen toys of all time. Why?
As someone who collects a few toys from their childhood, it’s great when you come across the odd book looking into the history of toys or compiling info about various popular ones.
Some time ago I spotted “VW Beetle Toys” by Matt Meyer, apparently a “Schiffer Book For Collectors” covering all kinds of Volkswagen model toys.
Awesome! As a fan of VW Beetles, this book sounded like a great idea.
In it you can see many, many colour pictures of VW toys, along with their basic details, and a rough price guide.
But while it’s nice that this book exists, there’s something I just don’t understand. The book covers die-cast cars, plastic cars, and even some battery operated cars. And yet it excludes all of the best VW beetle toys ever, namely: the R/C ones.
Where for instance, is the Tamiya Sand Scorcher? This is a VW Beetle toy so famous it has been reissued in a new form, some 30 years after its original release. It has even inspired enthusiasts to create a full-scale Beetle based on the toy, which was then featured in Auto magazines and on technology sites like Wired.com.
Ok, to be fair, the Sand Scorcher was not reissued at the time this book was published. But it was already renowned for being the most realistic, mass-market, working toy VW Beetle ever made. And as you’ll see once I’ve written more posts here, there were many more interesting and valuable VW Beetle toys from other R/C brands as well, than some of the cheap plastic cars given attention in Matt Meyer’s book.
I guess it’s just a shame. It would be cool to have a printed volume that gives a complete overview of the most interesting toy VW Beetles ever made. This just isn’t it.
I suspect the reason has something to do with the gaping divide between Die-cast collectors, and the more hobby-inclined people who know about R/C cars. . But to the average reader, it makes no sense that a book about “toy cars” wouldn’t touch on all areas of toy cars, lest it come up looking like a weakly researched effort, or one oddly constrained by particular nerdisms. To most people, toys are toys.
And with that said, I’d better get off my soapbox and write about another one of my own…