Pon'-ton-o-bil'-ia: n. 1. An object, most often a scaled representation of a Mercedes-Benz Ponton. Also includes any other Ponton minutia suitable for a collection.
Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder model – with electric motor and original packaging
Made by the Ideal Toy Corporation in Hollis, NY
Note: the original model inside the box is not a Ponton, but the earlier Type W187 220. Interesting that the illustration and contents are different!
Looking at the box illustration, it appears to represent a six cylinder Ponton sedan because the horizontal, chromed, high air-intake vents on each side of the radiator shell (as found on the four cylinder models) are absent. Now, focus on the treatment of the rear door windows to determine whether the model maker intended it to be a Type 219, 220a or 220S / 220SE. On good quality scale models of Mercedes-Benz Ponton sedans, this particular area includes a key design element, which aids in distinguishing the four different six cylinder Ponton sedans (219, 220a, 220S, 220SE). If it was meant to be a 219, then there should be no vertical strip indicating the reversed, fixed vent window found on the 220a, 220S and 220SE sedans. That detail is missing on this illustration, which indicates it is a Type W105 219 Ponton sedan. However, if the model maker neglected to capture that detail, it becomes much harder to know what was used as a prototype. At that point, read the box, the base plate or instructions, if possible!
On the Pontonobilia page, the model box depicted with the blue Ponton artistic rendering was conjectured to be a Type W105 219 Ponton sedan. However when the box is opened, as shown in the website photo, a black, unpainted, PRE-PONTON (Type W187 220) model is revealed. This is clearly seen by the appearance of the rear of the vehicle, the engine hood opening, and the doors.
I have this exact same box with the exact same motorized model that I purchased two years ago on eBay for $5.99. In some of these older kits, the illustration on the box does not resemble the contents, and that is the case with this model. One of the reasons these were so cheap is because one could not trust the contents matched the exterior depiction on the box.
Mardy von Harten
1958 Mercedes-Benz 180D Ponton sedan
February 9, 2017
From Larry Hansen's collection: Sun Star's 1:18 scale model of the 1958 Mercedes-Benz Type W128 220SE Ponton cabriolet and Revell № 08974 (light gray) 1:18 scale die-cast model of the Type W120 180 Ponton sedan. Over time, Larry has amassed a staggering collection of Mercedes-Benz scale models, and I was able to spend an enjoyable afternoon with him (Saturday, July 2, 2005) photographing a few of them. He keeps a detailed inventory of the collection, and displays the models according to scale throughout his home.
Wiking (Germany) 1:87 scale plastic model of the Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Ponton sedan. Wiking model number 104 "Streifenwagen" (police car) dates from about 1965, and is 52 mm long. The gray wheels distinguish it as an earlier Wiking offering. My friend Larry Hansen paid $10 for this little beauty on August 3, 1985, at the Toy Show in Macungie, Pennsylvania. The original box was hand-colored by Larry. Photo courtesy: Jeff Miller / October 6, 2007
This is a remote control, 1:18 scale, tinplate model of the Mercedes-Benz Type W180 220a Ponton sedan, made by Mignon. Mignon had its origins in French occupied Germany, hence the name. Condition of this example is poor.
February 9, 2005: Steffen Mueller (MuellerLage ]at[ aol.com / Berlin, Germany) writes,
"For years Mignon produced little railways. Later, in the early 1950s, they were taken over by R. und W. Link, Schwenningen. The new factory owners produced model cars like this nice 220a Ponton. I have seen a Mignon VW Beetle offered at 375 €! You can see all types of model cars and other toys at: www.mignonbahn.de On the left side, click on Autos."
Tinplate toys are typically more robust than their plastic counterparts. However, this model is showing obvious signs of cruelty and neglect. In most cases, the normal stress and strain of "civilized play" does not result in this much damage. There is not a lot here for the collector, except perhaps a few spare parts to be used for the restoration of another example.
Detail of the Mignon remote control box. Good condition!
For every well preserved Ponton model found on these pages, there were probably another hundred that looked like this before they were finally consigned to the dustbin of history. There is nothing remarkable about this toy other than it was proportioned well (quite a good likeness of the 220a Ponton sedan) and it survived far longer than its original life expectancy. January 30, 2005
This is another remote control 1:18 scale tinplate model of the Type W180 220a Ponton sedan made by Mignon. Condition of this example is "not too bad", compared to the one above.
Black variation of the Type 220a Ponton sedan by Mignon. This one appears to have had a reckless driver behind the wheel. The grill star somehow remained intact.
Red variation of the Mignon tinplate Type 220a Mercedes-Benz Ponton sedan.
The driver must have stepped away for a moment.
"Nimm Dir Zeit - und nicht das leben!" (Take time moving from one point to
the other instead of loosing life)
Translation courtesy: Hartwig Mueller / Dortmund, Germany
Part of the remote control cable system for the Mignon Type 220a tinplate Ponton
Today is the "Pinewood Derby" race for my two younger sons who are in Cub Scouts. For the uninitiated, the Pinewood Derby is a competition where the kids take a block of wood and four wheels, and with a parent's help, build a car to race down a sloped track. This year, my kids' scout pack has an "open class" race so that parents and siblings can make their own cars to race. So, while helping my kids with their car designs, I also tried my hand at carving a replica of my 1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S sedan. The rules limit the car to 7 inches by 2.75 inches, which is approximately the correct proportions for a Ponton at about 1:27 scale. Unfortunately, the required wheels are substantially bigger than that scale, so I had to enlarge the wheel wells accordingly. I also could not install a side mirror because it would make the car too wide.
The front and rear bumpers are genuine Ponton parts—both made from original 220S brake lines, which I replaced a couple of years ago. The paint is leftover from when the real car was repainted in the 1990s.
1959 220S sedan with transplanted Webasto roof
January 29, 2017
Tipp & Co. (a.k.a. Tippco) (Germany) № 112 – Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (W180 I) (produced: 3/54 - 4/56). 1:14 scale, tinplate. Two-tone dark grey upper with pale grey lower, plated parts, correct detailed hub caps, friction drive to rear wheels, steerable front wheels, bespectacled plastic driver figure and lithographed tinplate interior. Length 32 cm (12"). As of this writing (2017) value is difficult to determine, but since 2004, asking prices on eBay and other vendor websites have been around $2,000.
Photo on top left courtesy: Bernd D. Loosen (MBMC North-America) circa 2004.
See Community Page for MBMC website.
Photos uploaded December 4, 2004
Tipp & Co. (a.k.a. Tippco) (Germany) № 112 – Mercedes-Benz Type 220a (W180 I) (produced: 3/54 - 4/56). 1:14 scale, tinplate. Red and black variation with electric headlights. Battery compartment with swing out door under car. This is a particularly nice example with the windshield plastic, grille star and driver's figure (difficult to see in these photos) all intact. Tipp & Co. (TCO) was one of the largest manufacturers of tin toys in Nürnberg, Germany after 1922.
AHI (Japan) Type 220S sedan (medium blue variation) with original box. There are no windows or interior in this tinplate model, but it does feature a friction motor for zooming around the kitchen floor.
Azrak-Hamway International, Inc. (AHI), was a New York toy company founded in 1964 that initially offered inexpensive novelty-type toy items. Depending on the toy you have, it could have been made by several Japanese companies. There are books to identify just about everyone of them.
Blue variation of the AHI Type 220S along side the AHI Type 300SL roadster.
Both original boxes are shown in this photo.
Detail of the AHI (Japan) tinplate Type 220S sedan (black
variation) with friction motor.
Length is 100 mm, which makes it approximately 1:46 scale. Photo courtesy: Jeff Miller
Red variation of the AHI (Japan) Mercedes-Benz Type W180
220S tinplate sedan with friction motor
Photo courtesy: Jeff Miller / August 7, 2005
Metallic Blue variation of the AHI (Japan) Mercedes-Benz Type W180 220S tinplate sedan with friction motor and original box
Photo of Huki 220SE model and text courtesy: Bob Berman
Huki (Germany) Patent Electric 1:18 scale tinplate model of the Mercedes-Benz Type W128 220SE cabriolet with original packaging. Located in Germany, Huki made cars and motorcycles primarily in the 1950s and 1960s. There were several other German makers who also made a nice, high quality Mercedes-Benz model during this period. These would include Gama, Seidel, Kellermann, Neuhieri, Arnold, Distler, and Tipp & Co. They tended to feature the Type 190, 220 and 300SL models. An excellent reference is Tin Dream Machines by Gerhard G. Walter (ISBN 1-8727-2713-1). The book's focus is on German tin toy cars and motorcycles from 1950s and '60s.
Rose Valley Pennsylvania
July 31, 2007
Tipp & Co. (a.k.a. Tippco) Type 220S cabriolet
This model of the Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Ponton cabriolet was made by Tipp & Co. (Germany). The differences between this and the Huki Type 220SE model (above) are subtle. Note the windshields, and the chrome over the wheel wells. The Huki model does not have a back seat, and both models have similar, but different drivers. The Huki driver has his head pointed down as if he is RACING. Huki, Tipp, and Seidel models all had similar aspects.
August 1, 2007
Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Ponton sedan in 1:43 scale by Minichamps
Photos courtesy: Jay Joichi / San Francisco, California / April 20, 2005
In the 1990s, Faller made some accurate 1:43 scale plastic models of the Ponton sedans. The series was called "Memory Cars." This promotional photo features two Type 220S sedans.
Faller's 1:43 scale plastic model of a Type 220S rally car – also part of the "Memory Cars" series.
CIJ (France) № 3/12 – Mercedes-Benz Type 220a Ponton sedan
The French toy manufacturer CIJ released this 1:43 scale replica in 1959. CIJ is the acronym for "Compagnie Industrielle du Jouet" (Manufacturing Company of Toys). It was a classic French brand of diecast metal toy vehicles. Founded by Fernand Migault in Paris in 1920. Original colors of the 3/12 Mercedes-Benz 220 included red and gray. Tail lights could be either red or yellow. Unless noted, examples shown here are CIJ originals.Sources:
- Classic Miniature Vehicles Made in France (Dr. Edward Force / ISBN: 0-88740-316-6)
It is rare to find old toys with original packaging, but fortunately reproductions may be available.
Blue variation of the CIJ 3/12 Type 220a sedan
Black variation looks good. Reproduction tires have become more common over time.
Note upside down M-B logo on trunk. Was this an incredible oversight, or a subtle political statement?
Gray variation of the CIJ (France) 3/12 Type 220a Ponton sedan
No windows or interior, just the basic Ponton shape.
Tail lights could have been red or yellow (Force).
The trunk star is upside down.
Surprising that the grill star is still intact
Gray variation of the CIJ (France) Type 220a sedan
Norev (France) bought the CIJ brand in April 2007. These two reproductions were made in China for Norev.
Photo added August 19, 2017
The reproduction boxes state that the red model is № 3/12/00, and the gray example is № 3/12/01. This must be a new numbering scheme because original boxes only showed "3/12" on them. The book Classic Miniature Vehicles Made in France (Force) – only mentions model number 3/12. Another thing about the reproduction box is that the bottom states the model is a "Mercedes-Benz 220SE", not the same model shown on the rest of the box and baseplate. These are probably "artistic license oversights."
CLE (France) Type 220S sedan
Found this CLE model for 50 cents at a flea market. CLE was a French company specialising in plastic accessories. The company logo is a key. “Clé” means “key” in French. They also made toy cars for other companies as promotional items. "Pain Jacquet" (a brand of bread) is embossed on the boot of this Mercedes-Benz toy. I remember getting CLE promos in Bonux packets (a brand of washing powder) when I was a kid. Memories...
March 12, 2018
The Bandai toy company (Japan) № 732 in the "Automobiles of the World" series is a tinplate Mercedes-Benz Type 219 Ponton sedan. The model includes numerous variations, which can keep Pontonobilia collectors busy. This particular model is about 1:18 scale, and features a friction motor, and colorful plaid interior. It is highly unusual to find this model with the original box. The packaging for these inexpensive toys was probably designed to survive the trip home from the store. In most cases, the box was discarded immediately after being opened. In the realm of collecting these antiques, the original packaging can be worth as much, if not more than the item itself.
Notice the Bandai model number 732 in the top left corner of the original box. It is interesting to note that the box also clearly identifies the Mercedes-Benz model as a 219 sedan. The original tooling at the Bandai factory made the 219 look like a 2/9 (2 slash 9) on the base plate. This must surely lead to some confusion with neophytes. The box also shows "'62", but the Type 219 prototype was only produced from 3/56 to 7/59.
Mercedes-Benz Type 219 by Bandai (Japan)
Photo courtesy: Jean Luc Laubreton / France / November 18, 2010
Although not too authentic in appearance, Bandai did a nice job on the lithography. This interior view may be where the dream of owning and driving a Mercedes-Benz originated for many children of a particular era. Did Daimler-Benz ever consider offering a green steering wheel? Note the various colors of the steering wheel in the other photos.
The Mercedes-Benz model designation (219) of this Bandai toy is embossed on the base plate, but is somewhat misleading because it appears more like a "2/9" rather than a 219. It probably was embossed (stamped) with a 2-slash-9, so the error goes all the way back to the original tooling. When these models show up in online auctions, it is common to see the seller mistakenly refer to the model as a "2/9", however; Pontonobilia spotters know the truth.
This photo shows the base plate embossed with the misleading
In fact, this toy was modeled after the Type 219 sedan.
The interesting thing about tin toys is that when they get banged up from play, they begin to take on the appearance of a real car that has seen a lot of use, and occasional abuse. Some collectors try to get each color variation of the same model. Anyway, this photo shows the dark blue variation. Some of the known color variations of this Bandai Type 219 Mercedes-Benz sedan include green, dark blue, black and red. Many of them are missing the grille star up front.
This dark blue variation of the Bandai Type 219 sedan was added to the editor's personal collection on November 15, 1998.
This black variation of Bandai model number 732 has a few dings on the roof, but is one of the few that still has the grille star.
The tail lights are not completely accurate, but to the child with a vivid imagination, this model provided a sufficient amount of ingredients for an enjoyable play session on the living room floor.
Red variation of the Bandai Type 219 sedan
Missing the hood ornament, as usual. Photos courtesy: Jeff Miller / January 24, 2006
Two Bandai № 732 tinplate models of the Mercedes-Benz Type 219 Ponton sedan along side the International Ponton Owners Group (IPOG) "large" coffee mug. The radio in the background is a Grundig "2066 PX" (AM/FM/SW) from 1958-1959. Note: If you know a source for the reproduction plastic grille stars for these Bandai models, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo courtesy: Jeff Miller / February 16, 2005
Another variation of this Bandai model includes an unusual four door cabriolet. Daimler-Benz never produced a Type 219 four door cabriolet, but that did not stop the Bandai toy company from making one. We will refer to this as "full artistic control – run amok." This one still has the grille star. The editor got this example on Sunday November 16, 2008 for $45.
The gas tank filler door is located on both sides of this model. In actual fact, it is positioned on the right side of the vehicle. Photos courtesy: Jeff Miller / November 16, 2008
This original Bandai carton is marked with model number 733 of the "Automobiles of the World" series. This example is missing the grille star, but the box showing the cabriolet is rare.
Another color variation of the same four door cabriolet model by Bandai
Black variation of the Bandai Type 219. Green steering wheel intact, but missing the grille star.
Note that these Bandai models have a gas filler door on both the left and right rear fenders. On the full scale Pontons, the door is located on the right rear fender only. This is also true for right hand drive (RHD) Pontons.
Fresh air and sunshine is good for a model car collection once in a while. Here we see a Bandai (Japan) № 733 four-door cabriolet, several Bandai № 732 Type 219 Ponton sedans, factory high mileage awards, two AHI (Japan) Type 220S tinplate sedans, a set of license plate frames from a California dealership, a Dinky (France) № 541 Type 319 van, and Dinky (France) № 804 UNIMOG 404S troop carrier. Photo: August 27, 2011 / Jeff Miller / Nikon Coolpix 990
Bandai № 733. Yet another color variation of the dubious Type 219 four-door cabriolet (never existed outside the Bandai toy factory) with white paint and grille star intact. This particular example looks almost too good to be true. Perhaps it was restored.
Original packaging for Bandai № 733 - "Mercedes-Benz 219 Convertible." Daimler-Benz never made a Mercedes-Benz Type 219 four-door cabriolet but that did not stop the toy makers at Bandai. Time to move onto another model!
Sun Star № 3553 (black) 1:18 scale die-cast model of 1958 Type W128 220SE cabriolet – released in 2002
Nicely detailed, including the interior
Photos courtesy: Jeff Miller
Schuco Piccolo series (1:90) № 717. A solid die-cast Type 220S Ponton coupé. This particular model is a rare survivor from an original issue. Schuco has since reproduced many of the models in the original Piccolo range.
Photo uploaded March 13, 2018
Sun Star 1:18 scale die-cast model of 1958 Type W128 220SE cabriolet – released in 2002. Photo of Larry Hansen's collection courtesy: Jeff Miller / July 2, 2005.
Detail of the Sun Star 1:18 scale die-cast model of 1958 Type W128 220SE coupé with its distinguished "C-pillar" and wrap-around rear window. Since a coupé has only two window pillars – is it correct to refer to the rear one as the C-pillar? The reflection in the fender is from the Exoticar model of the 1955 Type 300c Adenauer. Photo of Larry Hansen's collection courtesy: Jeff Miller / July 2, 2005.
Type W180 220S Ponton coupé by Spark Models
1:43 scale Type W187 220 coupé and Type W180 220S Ponton coupé by Spark Models
Type 220S Ponton coupé. Manufactured by Wiking in Germany. 1:87 scale
This particular model is rare and valuable
220S cabriolet / Schuco № 5308 / "Elektro-Control-Car" remote control / tinplate
220S cabriolet / Schuco № 5308 / "Elektro-Control-Car" remote control / tinplate
220S cabriolet / Schuco № 5308 / "Elektro-Control-Car" remote control / tinplate
From the collection of Steffen Mueller / Berlin, Germany / December 4, 2004
Schuco № 5308 / "Elektro-Control-Car" remote control / tinplate
Schuco № 5720 "Elektro Hydro Car"
Interior view – nice attention to "authenticity"
This 1:18 scale model is a tinplate metal representation of the Mercedes-Benz Type 220S cabriolet. It features a clockwork wind-up motor, and a multi speed fluid transmission. The fluid reservoir can be seen from the bottom.
In 2000, I saw this Schuco Elektro Hydro Car model at an antique toy show and the asking price (excellent condition, including the original box) was $4,000 USD. As stated previously on this page, when the model is in excellent condition and includes the original packaging, the sky is the limit. Actual selling prices may be much less. In June 2007 another example of this Schuco model sold for $950. It was far less pristine, but it still went for a respectable price.
Light green variation of the Schuco № 5720 "Elektro Hydro Car"
Original packaging for the Schuco № 5720 "Elektro Hydro Car"
The area under the back seat reveals the secret workings of the fluid transmission!
Instead of "fitted luggage" (suitcases), the Schuco № 5720 Elektro Hydro Car stows two C size batteries in the trunk, presumably to power the headlights.
Interior of the Schuco № 5720 Elektro Hydro Car with red upholstery
Schuco № 5720 "Elektro Hydro Car" green variation, complete with original box
Red variation of the Schuco № 5720 "Elektro Hydro Car"
Schuco № 1085 "Rollfix"
Schuco № 1085 Rollfix. Modeled after the Type 220S Ponton coupé.
Produced by Schuco from 1959 until 1965.
The Rollfix series features a red "bulb" (handle) at the rear, which is attached to a 50 cm long steel drawstring. When pulled, it revs up the friction motor. The heavy flywheel provides the car with sufficient energy for extensive travel. Detailed lithographed interior, and base. Steering is adjustable by lever at front bumper.
The Schuco № 1085 Rollfix is the most valuable of the three similar models shown on this page, which include the Schuco № 5308 Control Car and Schuco № 5720 Hydro Car.
This example is in A-1 condition
A pair of Schuco № 1085 Rollfix tinplate toys in excellent condition with original packaging.
Schuco (Germany) № 1085 "Rollfix." Mercedes-Benz 220S coupé
Schuco (Germany) № 1085 "Rollfix." Mercedes-Benz 220S coupé
Created: June 20, 2001 / Jeff Miller
Last Update: January 10, 2022
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