It’s time to evaluate the accuracy of the Playmobil VW engines
Playmobil, vaguely European parents, these toys that had the same kind of smart kid, have recently presented a whole range of Volkswagen toys, and they are quite charming and remarkably accurate in appearance. To really get a sense of justice How accurate, let’s take a close look at how much attention Plamobil has paid to the famous air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engines that power both the bus and the Beetle.
As you can see, the overall picture of the Beetle and the bus is excellent. They are detailed enough that I can pretty well estimate the years of construction of the cars represented here:
The Beetle looks like a 1962, the last year that the little Wolfsburg coat of arms would have appeared above the hood handle, even though these indicator glasses would have been clear. The amber lenses didn’t appear until 1964, but I know it’s not a 64 because of the hood crest and the fact that it has a ragtop sunroof, and 1964 was the first year of the smaller all-steel sunroof.
So, maybe it’s a ’62 whose indicators were upgraded there by its little noseless owner.
The bus is a 1963 in my opinion, and it would have had clear lenses (with yellow light bulbs) for its turn signals too, so using yellow front turn signals may just be a Playmobil company policy.
But to get really painfully geeky here, let’s take a look at these engines.
First the beetle:
Overall, it’s really excellent for a toy. The fun part here, however, is the obsessive review, so I’m going to complain hideously about the taillight lenses are not divided into three chambers first, then go into engine problems.
Well, some of these have to do with the plastic molding process used in my opinion; For one, the tailgate hinges are molded into the motor unit, so we’ll ignore these. The bigger problem, however, is that the molding does not appear to allow any undercut details.
What I mean is that it looks like the front view of the engine has all the details, and then everything just extrudes back, which turns things like the round oil filler cap into a U-shaped cover and details on the generator pulley, manifold, and turns the heater fresh air hoses (something that would only be found on a ’63 -later engine) into kind of weird arched things.
The general layout is very recognizable, of course, but remember, I’m here to do nitpicks.
So very good, but not great. Well, to Plamobil’s credit, not only did they use the same cast for the bus engine that they certainly could have. No, instead the bus has its own part:
You know what? The bus engine is much better! I’m not sure if any other type of cast or mold was used here, but the details are much better what you can really see on the alternator pulley and belt, manifold, oil filler neck, and carburetor.
Also impressive is that they took into account the bus engine’s different air filter setup, which used a hose to the top and middle carburetors that led to a large air filter that was mounted on the driver’s side of the small engine bay.
Also amazing: can you see the cylinder on the left with the radial ventilation openings? That is a Eberspächer gas-powered parking heater, which I had previously forgotten to point out, was kindly reminded via this tweet:
Really, this motor is for a children’s plastic toy extremely impressive. I can see the coil there, the fan shroud, part of the intake manifold, the heater hoses – fantastic.
Sure, these taillight lenses really should be split in half rather than thirds, but the way they made this filthy hippie look like you could almost feel the funk was coming from him makes that I think again bet.
So overall, I’m really impressed with the accuracy of the Playmobil toy engine. Both the Beetle and the Bus are impressive for toys, but if engine fidelity is your main focus, go for the bus.