In 1910, Hubert Kienberger founded HUKI, Kienberger & Co., Nürnberg, Germany. They mainly produced Penny Toys and animals on wheels. Before WWII, they used the brand name KiCo, which was later altered into HUKI. In 1943 the company was destroyed by a fire and only in 1951 production was restarted.
HUKI ceased to exist in the second half of the seventies. HUKI always produced tin toys and did not change to plastic cars like many other manufacturers. This caused their downfall. They had developed new toy models until the late sixties; in their last decade (or less) they only produced from their old molds.
One common problem for collectors is identifying the manufacture of VW toys produced in the 1940's and 1950's. Manufactures had the tendency of not putting their names or an identifying insignia on the toys they produced. HUKI was an exception in that their VW toy cars had the letters "HK" plus three or four numbers included in the license plate on the toy car. The HUKI KdF Wagen version is easily identified with the license plate "HK 403." The color of the HUKI HK 403 tin car was also a dark grey blue to go along with the original theme of the KdF Wagen. There is a white line going across the roof just above the split window area. This was to simulate where the sunroof ended on the sun roof version of the KdF Wagen. This tin plate toy had a lithographed design and was stamped with the basic design of the VW silhouette. This lithographed designed featured a rear split window, front windshield with wiper blades and rear view mirror. Also, included in the design were engine compartment air louvers, head lights and tail lights. A nice touch was people’s faces in the windows of the lithograph design. The size of the HUKI tin KdF Wagen toy was about 1/50 scale (3 inches) or 80mm in length.
When the body was stamped out of the tin plate metal, impressions of the front hood, "bumble bee wing" rear deck lid and even two indentations for the split windows are easily visible. The body did not have wheel wells as such but sported full fender skirts instead. The body was mounted on a tin stamped chassis, which had a key wound clockwerk motor. Two slightly different versions of the baseplate are known. Indestructible metal button wheels were used. Bending up the ends of the stamped tin chassis formed the bumpers. It is believed that HUKI produced this rare KdF Wagen tin toy in the early 1940's. Seldom found.
There is also a very rare version of the HUKI KdF Wagen with a license plate number of IK 463. The IK 463 is nearly identical to the HK 403 except for the different license plate number. Also, slightly different details such as the people’s faces in the lithograph design. Extremely rare.