Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong.
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TOPIC: Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong.

Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #1

Platinum Boarder
Hello all in Toy Collector Cyberspace.  I came across this Hong Kong made plastic toy 1977 or there abouts Buick Skyhawk police car at the Sunday Flea Market recently. Actually I wasn\'t going to buy it, although the seller was only asking $5.00 Australian for it.  So what is 5 bucks these days.  The seller informed me, it was a Nova by Chev which were known for catching fire he assured me.  Interesting.  No I thought to myself, it looks like one of those Buick chisel-nose jobs of the 70\'s.  So I decided I had to find out a little more about the manufacturer of this toy and if I was right by assuming it was a Buick. Google won my devotion for the rest of the day.



This little 140 mm long or there abouts, name brand Playwheels, made by ARCO Industries Ltd Hong Kong toy car probably before Mattal 1986 take-over or they purchased that section from ARCO as they, ARCO Ind Ltd is still in business making O rings and pumps and other related manufacturing items today. Originally ARCO was registered in New York head office and later moved fully to Hong Kong. I came across a patent no 4598491 for a toy cap gun that was invented by Sid Noble of Hong Kong 1984.  In brief, the gun has a chamber and spindle which captures the gasses of the fired cap, thus illuminates the flash out of the barrel. Also this mechanism amplifies the sound of the bang to make it louder.



Buick had adopted or modeled the Skyhawk from the Free Spirit Indianapolis Pace Car 500 a one off aluminum body and built about 1500 Skyhawks in 1976 and continue to make the Skyhawk well into the late 1980\'s. Although the headlights don\'t have the divided shield between the lights and looks more like the 1976 model it has the same sort of grill and taillights as the 1977 model.  Another the Plawheels styling has included what looks like an air-scoop on the bonnet or engine hood.  Nothing is perfect, probably ARCO didn\'t have approval to copy Buick\'s design, so they worked around that by making small changes to the model designed toy.



So far my search for information is limited and the types of toys ARCO had made include toy cars and trucks, cap guns, dolls and accessories out of plastic.



Simple in construction, strong axles that slip into brackets and robust plastic wheels having hubcaps pressed into the wheel to hide the axle ends.  The body is made of unbreakable plastic and the sub frame chassis just clips into place and is held there by little tabs from the bumper bars. Actually the hole car is a clip together type assembly and it is a wonder that this toy has survived this long without losing most of its parts.

So enjoy life and keep on collecting it is healthy for the mind and will keep ones pockets empty. Gunner Jim


Edited: Oldtrucks56 referred to this plastic toy car as being a Chevy Monza a small fastback sports coupe 4 seater and I am happy to go along with that information.

Last Edit: 4 years, 4 months ago by GunnerJim. Reason: Added more information.

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #2

Platinum Boarder
Very nice find. I love weird 70\'s stuff like this!

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #3

Moderator
Chevrolet did have a model that looked like that, it was the Monza, from about 75 or so, a small two door car that seated 4, more if you were insane teenagers on the prowl. A girl I knew had one, the stories that car could have told...

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #4

Platinum Boarder
Looks like it might be a Chevy Monza which has nearly the same body lines and grill with the headlights being a good match of some sorts. Even the taillights look similar or are the same shape as the Buick. Looks like GM Chevy and Buick made look alikes as well. Thanks for that Oldtrucks56 as I doubt that any of those Monza\'s ever made it to Australia in those days.
Last Edit: 4 years, 4 months ago by GunnerJim. Reason: Added more information.

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #5

Platinum Boarder
Judging by the pics I could find, I think that actually is a Buick Skyhawk because it has vertical separators in the grille, wheras the Monza didn\'t. On the other hand, it might also be an Oldsmobile Starfire.


Hot Wheels and Zylmex both made Monzas.

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #6

Moderator
All three car models rolled down the same assembly line and shared major body components, like the Camaro/Firebird, Nova/Skylark and GMC/Chevrolet pick up and Suburban models. A few minor body details and name badges and GM had another \"new model\" to cater to the brand loyal buyers. Ford ddid the same thing with Mercury Bobcat/Ford Pinto cars And Chrysler\'s re-naming program ran across the entire product line of Dodge/Plymouth models over the years.

Re:Playwheels made by ARCO Ind Ltd Hong Kong. 4 years, 4 months ago #7

Platinum Boarder
Thanks Oldtrucks56 for the updated information regarding the simulation between the three name band model cars produced by General Motors USA. As it stands to reason they copied the body lines of the original Pace car and done some cosmetic styling changes.
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