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Case #7

Arnold 'Minimobil'

Although commonly known for their 1/160 (N-scale) model trains, Arnold from Germany actually had their own version of the Matchbox Motorway sets for sale from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The sets were sold under the Arnold 'minimobil' name and contained boxed Matchbox cars from the either the 'Regular Wheels' or the 'Superfast' series.

Copy of an advertisement in the Dutch 'Miniatuurbanen' magazine (January 1968)

The Arnold sets were first marketed in Germany in 1967 and were also sold in other European countries later on. The cooperation between Arnold and Matchbox finished around 1973, after Matchbox had decided to change the colour of the Motorway tracks since Lesney wanted to make the sets more appealing to children whereas Arnold wanted to keep the tracks in a more realistic colour. Most of the pictures in catalogues and instruction booklets show Matchbox cars but pictures showing Siku and even Wiking models are also known. 

Additional information, especially on the Wiking models used (were these ever sold in the sets ?) is welcome !
Information received from Kurt Richter: Car Online (German Slot-car racing magazine) had an article about Matchbox Motorways in one of their latest issues in which they say no Wiking models have ever been included in the Motorways sets.

Pictured above are accessory packs for the Matchbox Motorway, the little pins of greyish plastic that went into the slot in the track were fitted to the bottomplate of the model by means of the transparent selfadhesive pieces also pictured.

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