Some of you may have noticed this pair of MUKY cars
from Argentina having sold on the Toy Car Exchange
What you may not know is that they are both from the recently unleashed Strauss Collection
. TCE recently acquired Mike Strauss's entire collection of MUKY cars (well over 200 items) in April and intends to put them all up on for auction over the next few weeks. This collection includes mint, boxed examples of every car listed in the well known ’30 Modelos’ collector album and many more.
Many long standing Redlines collectors are aware of MUKY, but for those of you aren’t, here is a short history of the brand.
Argentinian die-cast history began in the early 1970s. Libio de Conti and his brother — entrepreneurs from South America living in California at the time — reputedly purchased several obsolete Hot Wheels molds from Mattel. They moved to Argentina and rented a warehouse in the small city of Gualeguay, Entre Rios, about 234 km NW of Buenos Aires.
There they started producing a line of tiny ‘Hot Wheels’ sized die-cast cars under the name MUKY. Production continued till the late 1970s when, due to difficult economic times, they closed shop and moved to Brazil.
Around 1984 or 1985, an Argentinian businessman, Mr. Dell Aricprete, also from Gualeguay, purchased the abandoned MUKY die-cast equipment from the de Contis along with rights to produce a new line of MUKY cars. That is why MUKY cars appear to have been produced by two companies: the de Conti’s brand was Super Veloz; Mr. Arciprete’s, Induguay.
The distinction between these two lines may be noted on the packaging and undercarriage of the cars. MUKY cars were originally made completely of Zamac, however Induguay introduced the idea of a plastic chassis with Zamac body. The idea was to improve durability for children and make the cars run faster. Window colors varied: some were amber; others transparent blue. Designs were inspired by well known American cars interspersed with vehicles from local Argentinian life. For example, there is a police car, some cargo and petrol trucks, one carrying water pipes and another carrying a small house trailer.
Mr. Aricprete’s main business was aerial fumigation; die-cast cars was just a hobby. Soon after he started production, however, sales of his die-cast cars boomed. Induguay sold cars all over South America and in Spain through the Camara Argentina del Juguete. Individual packages were sent to collectors around the world, including, Mike Strauss.
Induguay went on to produce race tracks and accessories with loops and turns as well as its popular ’30 Modelos’ collector album. Each car came in a box with a dotted line on the flap, meant to be cut off and placed in the album. Albums were distributed for free in resorts and shops and the company offered unique prizes for filled albums. For example, one prize was a ride in the company’s plane, others were college scholarships.
At its peak, Induguay employed 45 people, plus contracted around 100 families that worked in their homes hand painting the pieces, adding stickers and finishing touches. Hand craftsmanship is the reason Induguay cars have unique, old-world artistic qualities that are almost non-existent in the world of mass produced toys.
Click here to see the complete set of MUKY ’30 Modelos’ from the Mike Strauss collection.
Click here to see more MUKY cars from the Strauss collection.
There is more information about MUKY on the Internet, including this article
by Dave Weber and Kimmo Sahakangas.