Ferrari V12 F1, #0/9, 1967
Alfa Romeo Giulia Cangaro #0/22, 1967

Porsche 912 #0/24, 1968

Maserati 3500GT #0/29,, 1967

Iso Rivolta #0/32, 1969

Mercedes-Benz 230SL #0/34, 1969

Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Bertone Police #0/35, 1967

Alfa Romeo Giulia TI #0201-A, 1970

Iso Rivolta and Motor Boat #0/53, 1969

Penny, Politoys or Polistil
Delightful Diecast Under Any Name
story by Doug Breithaup

Some collectors are confused by the variety of names used to identify the diecast cars best known as Polistil. The confusion stems from the fact that at different times for different scale cars, a variety of names have been used.

The original company began in 1960 in Italy and by 1965, followed the lead of Mercury and Dinky in offering a line of 1:43 scale diecast cars. Throughout the folowing 20 years, other scales were done including 1:24, 1:16 and the subject of this story, 1:66 scale.

The Original Politoys name proved a problem in that is was very close to a British company by the name of Palitoys. In order to end any confusion, the Italian company became Polistil, the name it retains to this day.

So where does the 'Penny' name come in? Like many 1:43 scale producers, Politsil observed the success of Matchbox sized cars in the 1960's. While 1:43 scale was the collector's scale, 1:64 scale diecast seemed to be the money-making scale. Mercury offered the 'Speedy' line, Dinky offfered 'Mini Dinky' models and Politoys introduced the 'Penny' line. As shown on the rare boxed Iso Rivolta and Motor-Boat above, the Penny name included a penny-like logo.

The Penny cars were produced until 1970 and then the Penny name was dropped. From then on, the Polistil name was used on the packaging of all the small-scale cars. Formula 1, CanAm and LeMans race cars were produced along with a wide variety of European production cars were produced into the 1980's.

Many collectors feel the early Penny cars were the best of Polistil's small-scale offerings. Unique castings were produced like the Iso Rivolta and Maserati 3500GT. These cars have a special charm but later Polistil models like the VW Sirocco are also very nice. Today Polistil produces slot-car sets and has abandoned the diecast market. The values of small-scale Polistil models has been rising rapidly and mint-boxed models may bring prices of $40-50. For American collectors, the challenge is just finding little Polistil models.

Ferrari 312 B3 #RJ2 and Ferrari 312 T2 # RJ55
Watch for a follow-up story on all Polistil F1 cars in 1:64 sale

Maserati Mistral Frua #0/201-B, 1970 
Ferrari Dino 206 GT #0/201-C, 1970
Aston-Martin Lola GT racer #J15, 1970Abarth 2000 GT racer #J18, 1970
Fiat 124 #RJ14

Ford Capri II #RJ18
Renault 12TL #RJ25

VW Scirocco #RJ52