GTI club: the Schuco Mk1 and TLVN Mk2 Golf GTIs

A side by side with these two has been on the cards since I did a comparison with the two Mk1 Golfs from Schuco and Greenlight back in February. I’m bringing the Schuco car back this time for a head to head with the Mk2 GTI from Tomica’s Limited Vintage Neo line.

I’ve said the quality of Schuco’s cars is on par with that of the Tomica Limited lines, and these two gave me the perfect opporunity to put that to the test.

After my last post, the Mk1 Golf GTI needs no history lesson, leaving me more room to focus on the model. Schuco’s Mk1 GTI is a great example of how good the German brand can do things. It’s brilliantly finished and it’s one of those models you gauge the quality of just by picking it up.

The paint is decent and there is a depth to it you wouldn’t get from a quick blow over with a spray gun. The details are sharp; from the pin stripe along the waist line, the GTI badging, the faithfully replicated wheels to the iconic red outlined grille, it’s all present and correct. And I praise any model where the lights have been seperately modelled rather than painted on, and Schuco have done just that. You know there’s been no cost cutting. It’s fine testament to what the brand can do. There’s also a white version and a gorgeous red colourway that are worth looking out for.

(Schuco Mk1 on ebay)

The Tomica car is proof that the Japanese brand can tackle subjects from Europe just as well as anything from the land of the rising sun.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI continued with the formula perfected by the Mk1. Early versions used the 1.8 litre, inline-four from the late model Mk1s and developed 110bhp. In 1986 the ultimate Mk2 GTI appeared: the 16 valve version. The 16 valve got more power (137bhp) and more torque (124ft/Ib) and like the Mk1 before it, was widely praised for handling and spritely performance. The Mk2 was popular in Japan where sales were steady due to the Golf’s compliance with the Japanese Government’s vehicle dimension regulations.

Tomica have chose to model a late “big bumper” 16 Valve model in left hand drive. This is LV-N70a, and there’s an N70b variant in silver. But this is the best looking colour. And as you’d expect from a TLV, it’s fantastic. The quality control on the TLVs is second to none, and all the detail is there. The only thing the TLVs have that Schucos don’t is sprung suspension, which isn’t a deal breaking detail for me. It’s a brilliant model.

(Tomica Limited Vintage Golf on ebay)

This all brings us down to the big thing that separates these two: price. Tomica’s Limited lines are just that: limited. A casting appears once and that could be it. It might not reappear, and if so may not be in the same colour. It means there is high demand for older models and this is definitely reflected in the price of the Mk2s. The cheapest I could find when writing this article was £60 on Ebay.

Schuco’s releases aren’t as limited, and thus the prices are lower. £10 for the cheapest on Ebay at the time of writing. Average prices sit at about £15. It’s a world away from the Tomica in price, but not in quality.

It all boils down to personal choice. In my opinion you’re looking at the ultimate 1/64 versions of these iconic vehicles, so whether you want exclusivity and rarity, or a brilliant and attractive model (or both!) you really can’t go wrong here.

Alex Winson

Leave a Reply