My colleague Alex (diecast13), already wrote a feature on this Greenlight Mk1 Golf tooling a couple of weeks ago. As it turned out both of us were working on a feature for this tooling at the same time. He did an excellent job with his take on the tooling so definitely check out his feature.
He went over a little about the real 1:1 car so I won’t rehash that here. In this feature, we are going to take another look at this tooling. We are also going to look at one of the tooling variations as well as compare it to some other brands. Alex did compare it to the Schuco Golf GTI and I also have that here. However, I have added some comparisons to other brands in my collection that did the Mk1 Golf.
First a little about the tooling itself. To my knowledge, it was first announced in April of 2019 on Greenlight’s Facebook page. The announcement stated that the tooling would have a lot of options allowing it to cover the Golf Mk1 from 1974-1983 and the Rabbit (basically the US version of the Golf) from 1974-1980. From the 3D images shared on their Facebook page, you can see that they went all out to be able to put out a lot of variations covering the various model years and trims of the car. These images show a lot of what is to come of this tooling. It also has come out already in the Hot Pursuit series as a police car with an added light bar which is not shown here (I don’t have it yet).
There is a lot coming but let’s take a look at what has come out so far. I don’t have all of them but I have most. So far we have seen two major versions of the tooling. The 1974-1977 Mk1 and the wide-body race version.
The first appearance of the new tooling was this yellow 1974 Golf from the Anniversary Collection. This is also the version that is featured and beautifully photographed by Alex (diecast13) in his article. It is a great introduction to the tooling as it highlights how this basic car can look so good in 1/64 when proportioned properly. Everything about it looks really nice and all of the details you would expect from a premium US brand are there.
This 1975 Rabbit from Club Vee-Dub Series 10 is basically different than the first appearance of the tooling in name and color only. As far as I can tell there are no differences in any part of the tooling. The green color looks great on it but I think I still prefer it in yellow.
Next here is this Champagne Edition 1977 Rabbit. This one differs slightly. Can you spot what is different on this one? ……. There are two things that I can see and it took a lot of staring at these photos as I write this to make sure that I am not missing anything. One is the addition of side markers. The other is a slight variation in the bumper. The front turn signals are located closer to the center of the front end. Can you spot anything else?
And then we have this 1976 Golf Mk1 from Black Bandit Series 22. This one looks a lot different than the other two but it really is just the wheels and the color that make it stand out. It is a cool version of the car. It has a mean look to it and if I had a choice in which one of the four we have looked at so far to drive around in real life this would likely be the winner.
Finally, before we get into some brand comparisons here is the wide-body race version of the tooling. This is completely different. It gets a different front and rear end and wider fender flares. I think it looks awesome and can not wait to see what other race liveries they give it in subsequent releases. So far we have a Gulf Oil version and a version that looks very Martini-esque.
Ok, so time to get a little (or a lot) nerdy. In order to really compare this Greenlight Golf to other brands, I think it is a good idea to establish how close it is to being truly 1/64 scale. So, yes I measured it (the Yellow 1974) with a digital caliper and compared it to the dimensions I found for the Mk1 Golf on Wikipedia.
Here is what I got:
We are going to call that pretty damn close to 1/64 scale. In fact, It is very close with the largest variance being the width at less than a millimeter. If we blow up that variance to 1:1 scale it would be about 2 inches narrower than the actual car. So yeah, I would call that close enough.
Alright so now that we some sort of baseline for scale lets check out some other Golf Mk1s that have come out over the years from different brands and see how they compare.
Here is the VW Golf GTI from Schuco. This is the car that my colleague diecast13 put in his feature to compare to the Greenlight tooling. As you will see from the pictures it is very close in size to the Greenlight model. Of course, the Schuco is a GTI and the Greenlight models that we have seen so far are not (GTI’s are coming soon), so there are some differences in trim.
The Schuco does have some features more often seen on premium diecast models such as inserted pieces for headlights and taillights and it should as it comes in at a higher price point than the Greenlight. However, the Greenlight model has an opening hood and the Schuco does not. To me, this really highlights how well Greenlight did with this tooling while still keeping to what seems to be an acceptable price tag for diecast sold on shelves in the US.
This next one is the GTI tooling that has been released under both the Kyosho (Green) and Solido (White) brands. These are more or less very similar to the Schuco model and how it compares with the Greenlight. There are a couple of differences. One difference is that this has a plastic base as all Kyosho Minicar toolings do (to my knowledge). Another is that it has a separate piece for the door-mounted side mirror. Other subtle differences are there when you look close which I am guessing may be due to it being representative of a different model year than the Schuco. (I’m sure some VW fanatic would be able to help me with that).
These Kyosho/Solido VWs are very nice and worth owning but again shows that Greenlight did a great job on their tooling.
Next, here is the 2020 Matchbox Mainline version. It looks huge compared to the “premium” 1/64 scale models. Although it is clearly larger than 1/64 scale, you can see by looking at it and comparing it to the Greenlight that it is properly proportioned. Let us also keep in mind that this car retails for $1 (at least here in the US). For a buck, it really is all that you can ask for. I hope we see a rubber tire version of this car come up in the Matchbox Superfast line but either way I’ll be picking it up every time it is released. This really can’t be considered as in the same category as the Greenlight but it is a great Matchbox mainline model.
Now we go back in time and look at the first VW Golf model from Matchbox. This casting debuted in the ’70s. Like the modern tooling from Matchbox, it looks to be much larger than 1/64 scale. It is not a bad looking model but you can really tell how improved technology has allowed for a more accurately proportioned and highly detailed replica. I have a couple of versions of this casting in my collection and they are some of my favorite older Matchbox.
Lastly, we have the Hot Wheels version. Like the previous Matchbox, this is an older tooling. The name for this tooling is “Hare Splitter.” With a name like that, I am not sure if it was licensed when it came out. It first came out in 1979 and was used for just a couple of years. It then got retooled and resurfaced for “The Hot Ones” series in 2012. The Green one shown here is from its most recent release in the Hot Wheels Heritage Real Riders series in 2015.
Like the two Matchbox cars from past and present, this one is definitely larger than 1/64. It is one of my favorite Hot Wheels from the “Black Wall Era.” It is unique in that it is the only one that has a rally race look to it with the roof rack piece. The old version of the tooling has a plastic hood (which I dare not open for fear of it never closing properly again) and the new one was updated with a metal hood. All in all, it is an interesting casting from Hot Wheels yesteryear.
Alright, so that is it for what I have for 1/64 scale (or close to) Volkswagen Golf Mk1’s.
In conclusion, I like all of them really. They all have their place in my collection. The Schuco is probably my favorite if I was forced to choose. But, as far as the Greenlight goes, I am a fan. We are going to see a lot more variations of the Mk1 Golf from Greenlight in 2020 and beyond. I am excited to see how the GTI version is going to look and if I am honest it is going to be an exercise in restraint not to buy them all.