Corvair-95 Toys and Models
Although toys and models of corvair cars are relatively abundant, Corvair-95s are rarer. Manufacturers included Amway, Andy Gard, Asakusa Toy Co., Eldon, Irwin, Premier, Stahlberg (Finland), Structo, Tatsuya, and the Yonezawa Toys Co. Japanese and Chinese manufacturers produced traditional tin toys, while US manufacturers made toys of steel and plastic. No Corvair-95 die-cast toys were produced.
Thanks to Don Wagner, Jon Peters, Joe Darinsig, Dave Newell, and Gary Swiatowy for images, descriptions and information about different toys. Jon Peters has an web store: Jon's Toy Shop, so please pay a visit. You can find articles and pictures by Gary Swiatowy provided for CorvanAntics in 2003, vol 31(2) and 2011 vol 39(3). Articles by Joe Darinsig (an authority on corvair toys) were published in CorvanAntics 1996 vol 24(2) and 2006, vol 34(4). Joe also graciously provided pictures and information about some of the rarer toys shown below. Dave Newell provided a detailed description of toys by several manufacturers in CorvanAntics 1981 vol 9(4), which is reproduced here, and provided important information about some of the toys.
In this Index is an extensive list of Japanese tinplate Litho toy manufacturers and their trademarks. Other sources are also identified below.
The Monza Model Quarterly was published periodically in the past, and Vol 2 #4 (Winter 1986) is available here. A few pictures with a brief, very general description were published in the Model Car Journal, #94 (August 1992), and is available here.
|Toy Manuacturer Index (click on link to navigate to each section)|
||Asakusa (A1) |
|Hot Wheels||Brooklin Models Lmt.|
|Click on images to enlarge|
|Tin toys by Tatsuya|
|These are examples of friction toys. The movement of friction toys is driven by an inertia or friction wheel that can be wound by rolling the rear wheels backwards against a surface. KTS is the trademark of the Tatsuya manufacturer in Japan and imported by Franconia Products Inc (NY). The toys have a clear plastic windshield and lithographed exterior, interior and bed. The body is made from pressed steel, and the tires are rubber with metal hubcaps. They differed widely in the lithography of door handles, headlights, license plates, and other features; and some were made as custom toys for certain businesses. It appears that some of the van toys were produced with "1961" printed on the license plate, although the plates of most showed "1069". The Rampside toys were produced with ramps inaccurately drawn on both sides. There were no opening doors or ramp. Dimensions: 8 x 3.25 x 3.25 inches.|
|Green 8-door Greenbrier. Windows around, although "Corvair 95" emblem would indicate it's a Corvan (possibly confusion on the part of the manufacturer). There were two versions of this toy, one had 1069 on the license plates, the other had 1961. The rear of the '1961' version can be seen here, the front can be seen in the picture below with four toys.|
right side here
|The red Greenbrier is also an 8-door model and has '1961' on the license plate.|
|Red corvan. This Corvan panel van seems to be relatively rare. Images are of toy sold on ebay in 2013.|
|The Bell System Telephone Company van is well known.|
|The REA Express toy came in two styles (both with silver roofs). The model in the right-side image says "Air Express" (rather than "REA Express") and the additional 'Air Express Out Delivers Them All'; also, the rear of this toy has the words "Air Express" rather than "Truck Plane Ship Train". Here's a link to a youtube video showing the REA Express toy.|
|PanAm Air Service van
This toy had the newer Pan Am logo (globe with curved parabolic lines) unlike that of the Asakusa Pan Am van (see further down the page).
|School bus van. This toy has a rear license plate off-center reading "1069A" which is different than the more common "1069" printed on the front plate.|
|The Meyers Arnold department store toy is very rare, a few are known to exist. This one was offered for sale on eBay in 2013. Note the custom license plate (not 1069). Would seem to have been made for the Meyers Arnold Company of Greenville, SC.|
right side with box image
|The Standard Drug Company toy is also very rare. It is the only KTS Corvair 95 toy that lacks a license plate. All of the KTS Corvan toys have three vents embossed on the upper rear quarter panels which were not present in the actual vehicles; this is the only model in which these have been highlighted with black paint.|
|Coca-Cola "Sign of Good taste" delivery truck. Must be a loadside (no ramp); has paper insert with bottle shelves.|
|ABC Rescue rampside. Has an outline of ramp on both sides.|
|Blue Rampside and Light-blue Rampside. These toys have the KTS logo on the rear side of the vehicle. Note also the door-like handle on the side ramps. First shown is the blue model:|
|Light-blue Rampside. Interestingly, this model has "1069" on the license plate, whereas the plate of the blue model has "1961".|
|Tin toys by Asakusa Toy Co.|
|The Asakusa Toy Co. (Japan) marked these toys under the 'A1' trademark. They were similar in construction, though slightly larger (9" length) to those of Tatsuya and had a friction drive. Asakusa made the only Corvair95 tin-toys with rear doors that opened (the red Corvan and PAA style-2 Corvan), although the other toys lacked this feature. Missing images: a solid red corvan, which, like the light blue PAA toy, has windows and rear doors that open.|
| The three Commercial delivery Corvans lack rear doors that open.
Fruits delivery van
|Bakery delivery van|
|Milk delivery van|
| PAA Airline van - style 1
Asakusa also made two vans with PAA logos - good old Pan American (Pan Am) Airway. Interestingly, these vans used the older globe+half-wing logo that had been replaced in the mid 1950s with the one used in the KTS toys (see above).
| PAA Airline van - style 2, and Red Corvan
These two toys have actual windows and rear doors that opened.
|Large "fantasy' tin toys by Yonezawa|
|These are large tin toys manufactured by Yonezawa (Japan) of Corvair-95 vehicles never really produced. The body is made from pressed steel, and the tires are rubber with metal hubcaps. The images show the five different trucks marketed: Air Port Lift, container is spring loaded with friction/spring windup when pushing down on the container and locking in down position. Releasing lock the container slowly raises up and the front of it lowers on the top of the cab; Dump Truck with a bed that raises and bumps using same mechanism (available with a dump bed either green or red); Cement Mixer, mixer dumps the same way; and the Garbage Truck. The Fire truck is very hard to find - one reportedly sold on ebay for over $600. Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 5 inch (Cab height). Additional images from Gary Swiatowy of the dump truck here are from an article in the 2011 39(3) CorvanAntics and the air-lift truck here in the 2011 39(2) CorvanAntics.|
Dump Truck (red version)
Airport Lift truck
Garbage truck (rear view)
Cement mixer truck
|click here for image of firetruck elevated.||Tin toys made in China|
|Most tin toy manufacturing in China occurred in Shanghai, although there was at least one plant in Beijing. In the 1960s communist doctrine prohibited manufacturers from having self-aggrandizing names - toy factories were identified such as "Shanghai toy factory no-1", and so on. The toys they produced also lacked identifying logos or markings that would identify they had been produced. However, models had numbers, such as ME-240, MF-756, or MS-450, where the letters identified the type of toy: ME being military vehicles, MF mostly cars and trucks, and MS various figures and dolls. (Source:here.) Two MF Corvair-95 tin toys are known. MF-756 is essentially a replica of the Tatsuya light-blue rampside with even less attention to detail. As on the KTS toys, the ramp door is lithographed on both of the side panels, and these toys lack Corvair-95, Chevrolet or any other bourgeois commercial insignias. Differences also include having "MF-756" on the license plate, and the white rather than blue cab.|
|The MF-797 Tiger Van is vary rare, and these images were kindly provided by Dave Newell. A bottom view show that it has crinkle finish paint on the chasis like the regular MF truck. Dave notes that "The tiger's a sorry excuse for a big cat, skinny with legs that look like pipe cleaners. He's fastened down in the bed. The Asian livestock on the sides of the truck could represent typical tiger prey, resting comfortably because the cat's been caged. The cage is typical of many Chinese tin toys with thick blue paint instead of lithography." In this variant a side ramp is not lithographed (on either side), making this a Loadside.|
|Toys by Structo|
|Structo were USA manufactured with pressed steel with plastic windshield and bed liner. They roll on rubber tires with white walls and metal hubcaps. The ramp of rampsides can be lowered. Two versions were produced, the early model (1961-2) had the cab roof support pillars angled toward the rear and came with cab mounted horn, mirrors and movable wipers; the cab roof was possibly adopted from another toy. The later version (1963-9) had a cab design that more accurately reflected an actual Corvair-95; the final production model added mag wheels. A camper was offered with a plastic RV camper mounted in the bed with a camper door that could be opened. Fisherman toys featured either the rampside or camper towing a trailer and boat. Structo also produced a yellow Corvan school bus in 1962 and 63 that included horn, mirrors and windshield wipers (in package that comes with the original toy), and in 1966 a "Riding Academy" toy with a rampside pulling a horse trailer with two horses. Original selling prices were $1.88 for Rampside, $2.48 for School Bus or Camper, and $2.88 or $3.48 for the fisherman. Dimensions: 10.5l (21.5l for fisherman) x 5w x 5h (6.5h for camper) inches. Click here for a more complete detailing of Structo Rampside toys.|
|Early-style cab||Late style cab|
|Early style with cab plastic accessories||Last production model with mag wheels|
|Early-style with camper (other side)||Late-style with camper (rear view)|
|School bus model (rear view)||Rampside with boat tailer|
Camper with fishing boat
Riding Academy Rampside and trailer
The outboard motor in the Rampside bed may be from the Fisherman toy.
Click here for Structo color ad
and here for Structo newspaper ads
Air Terminal Service set
|Millitary by Irwin|
Irwin was Canada’s largest toy manufacturer until its demise in 2003. Although they found greater success later with the frisbee, slinky and hula hoop, earlier efforts included plastic Corvair 95 toys. These were assembled from a chassis (with integral seat, headlights and license plate), body exterior, and steering wheel insert. Rampsides were packaged individually or with trailers. Corvan side doors swing open.8.5L (without hitch) x 3.75W x 3.75H inches. In the late 1960’s, having acquired the competitor’s tooling, Irwin reissued Andy Gard’s Rampside and kennel truck under their logo.
|Although the Rampside could be purchased separately,these images from an original 1967 Irwin catalog show the Rampside trailering either a small pickup (smaller scale than the Rampside) or a boat. (Thanks to Dave Newell for these images.)|
|Andy Gard Rampsides|
|Andy Gard was a US manufacturer and made two Corvair-95 toys: the Rampside Pick-Up Truck and the Kennel Truck. The Rampside Pick-Up Truck included an outboard motor on a hand-truck that could be conveniently loaded up the ramp. The Kennel truck has a clear plastic covering that raises on each side so that twelve different plastic dogs could be added (or set free). The toys had semi-flexible rubber body and white wall tires with metal hub caps. They roll but without a friction drive, and the ramp lowers. Later production models have tires without white walls or hub caps. Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 5 inches. Gary Swiatowy says these toys, especially the Pickup with the outboard motor, is very rare.|
Click here for Andy Gard newspaper ads
|Eldon Industries, Inc. (USA) also owned facilities in other countries including Japan. These were made in at least two color patterns: the model shown has a body of darker blue plastic whereas the cab roof and headlights are light blue; however, some had the colors reversed. Additional images here are from Gary Swiatowy's 2011 CorvanAntics 39(3) article. Note difference in color of wheel covers. Thanks to Joe Darinsig for catalog page.|
from Eldon catalog, Fall 1963
|Premier Rampside model|
|Premier Products Co. was located in Brooklyn, NY. According to an article by Joe Darinsig in the 1996 CorvanAntics vol 24(2), the Premier #1261 was the only Corvair-95 plastic assembly model marketed. Joe also wrote about the kit in an article in the 1990 Corsa Communique, Vol 12(5). The dimensions are 6.5l x 2.5w x 2.5h (approx. 1/24 scale). Most commonly the color of the molded plastic parts varied in shades of red and pink, but also blue and brown versions occurred. The body and roof were assembled from separate pieces, and chrome parts included the bumpers, light bezels, grille and hubcaps. Also issued in a double kit (#190) with the 1907 Mack Dump truck. The original plastic was most often red or pink, although sometimes blue, or a swirly marble-like mixture. Here is a link to a youtube video of a Premier rampside. The unit number on the repop suggests that 1000 of these repros were produced (or at least intended).|
Corvair Models (Jacksonville Beach,FL) made an assortment of resin cast corvair model kits for a short while in the early 2000s. The Pickups were knockoffs of the Premier model, even marketed in the same box. It is not sure how many of these were actually made..
Dual ramp Rampside
kit in resin
|Stahlberg loadside and fantasy dump truck|
|Stahlberg was a Finnish company that specialized in making dealership promotional models for Saab, Scania and Volvo (but also for Mercedes and Toyota) during 1960s - 1980s; however, they also made some plastic toys in the 1960s and 70s. These included a Corvair-95 Loadside and fantasy dump truck. Lengths: Loadside - 10" , dump truck - 11". Both have a plastic multi-piece construction. Apparently the color schemes of the two models were sometimes reversed. Pictures were provided by Joe Darinsig.|
|Amway made promotional plastic bottles based upon a 1964 Corvan and were described in CorvanAntics 1981 vol 9(2). A white "Amvan" introduced in 1965 contained children's bubble bath, and a green "Super-van" introduced in 1977 contained children's shampoo. The green bottle could be customized with stickers as a "Drag-N-Van" or "Vacation Van" with stickers. Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.8 x 7.3 inches. Pictures from Gary Swiatowy were also published in 2012 CorvanAntics 40(2). Thanks to Joe Darinsig for some of the images.|
|History has it that this rare white Amway bottle was rescued from a flooded house near Grand Rapids in the 1970s by CORSA member Rob Van Sledright, who created a West Michigan Corvair Club sticker that is applied on back end, shown here.|
|Amway also distributed a die cut 3.5" x 2" Corvan business card. This one is dated 1966; another has a date of 1971.||Blow-mold van|
|This bank was produced for the Pennsylvania Elks by an unknown manufacturer. The sides also embossed with "Home Service Program" and the Elks Logo. Pictures were provided by Joe Darinsig.|
|M.E.V. Originals Slot Cars|
|M.E.V Originals has been casting classic vehicle slot car bodies with epoxy-resin since 1995. M.E.V.'s line-up includes Corvair coupes, Lakewood station wagon, and since 2013, a '61 Greenbrier and Rampside. These nicely detailed models mounted on a HO racer chassis are about 2½" long with well-defined body exterior features and are available in different colors. The production of these slot car bodies by Mike Vitale is described in more detail here. Additional information is available at the M.E.V. web site.|
|MSW stands for Metallspielwaren Weimar (“Metal Toys [in the city of] Weimer”). Originally the Metallwaren Galvanik Weimar company, in 1960 it was nationalized by the GDR (East Germany) as a "VEB" (National Controlled Enterprise). VEB-MSW Corvans have plastic bodies and metal undercarriages and friction drives, clear plastic windows, tinplate seat & bulkhead behind the seat, tinplate side moldings, headlight doors, grille, hub caps, bumpers & chassis. Head lights, tail lights, dash, steering wheel. The side contour carries a narrow colored stripe. The friction motor is in the front and the van measures 6" long, 2.5" tall & 2.5" wide. It's very well made and FC accurate in most details except the body is channeled below the stripe area, the rear styling, and the dash & steering wheel. Along with the three listed below, other versions of this toy may have been made. The bottom can be seen here.|
|Hot Wheels Greenbrier Sports Wagon|
|Fifty four years later, in May 2015 Hot Wheels finally released a Corvair-95 model, the Custom Chevy Greenbrier Sports Wagon. The toy is part of the 2015 Hot Wheels Heritage Series and is recognizable as R1206 only from the front end, front doors, and rear mounted powerplant -- which in this case is a huge Zamac (Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium, and Copper alloy) engine extruding from the back end. The interior has front seats and dash, and the rear space has a few rollcage bars; the roof is oufitted with a couple of surfboards. For the Hot Wheels 2016 Pop Culture Series our souped-up Greenbrier was rereleased as part of the Nestlé Edition bearing the Chunky candy bar logo. Later that year it was packed with the Peanuts Pop Culture Series. Maybe someday Hot Wheels will cast a real Greenbrier (or Rampside), which would look even cooler than this imaginary vehicle.|
|Brooklin Models Lmt. 1962 Greenbrier|
|Located in Bath England, Brooklin Models Lmt. makes hand-crafted models out of white metal (an alloy of tin and silver), unlike the more familiar mass produced steel diecast models. According to the company's web site "The manufacturing process includes the meticulous creation of brass masters, from which vulcanized rubber moulds are made. Body moulds are created by the careful layering of strips of virgin rubber onto the master, encasing it in a steel frame, and vulcanizing at over 300°F. Centrifugal casting machines are used for creating baseplates, headlights, wheels, dashboards, seats and other small parts. Each white metal body, as well as the numerous small parts, is then individually and fastidiously cleaned of flash and other imperfections. Bodies and sub-assemblies are then hand sprayed with automotive quality paints. Final assembly and packaging is also accomplished by hand, one model at a time. The manufacture of models occurs in three week runs, with several hundred pieces of one to three new models with the balance of the schedule used to replace "low stock" models. Overall, approximately 20,000 models are produced in a given year, with the average production run for an individual model over a five year period rarely exceeding 1000." The 1962 Greenbrier was one of the models released in 2015. A Greenbrier towing a Yenko stinger was released in 2016. Too bad the color scheme for the white Greenbrier is not factory stock. The ladder on the back is an interesting touch, but seems to block opening of left side door, and the roof rack is unattached and reportedly does not well match the roof contour.
|Neo produces 1:43 scale models of the Greenbrier (released in 2016), Rampside (2016) and Corvan (2017). To quote from one web site "Neo is a Dutch company that makes its replicas from resin. Neo's core product range consists of classic British and European road cars in 1:43 scale, but the company will replicate just about anything. Over the years we have also seen subjects from modern road cars to classic racing cars, lorry cabs, hearses and the like! Neo also occasionally releases the odd 1:18 classic car, but these are few and far between. As with most resin companies, Neo is able to produce replicas in small numbers, which enables it to offer more specialist subjects." The models are manufactured in China.