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Magneto Spielwaren KG was founded in 1952 in Seesen, Germany by mr. Gerhard Biewan as a manufacturer of educational toys. They produced many different toys with magnets, like VW's, tractors. race cars, boxers, etc. Until recently, the company still existed, but rumours are that it closed business. 

Plastic body with solid windows and details of the front and rear hood, doors, headlights, taillights and a rear split window. No chassis and plastic wheels on metal axles attached to the body and inside was molded “GERMANY”. Some versions had no "GERMANY" lettering. There is a center 5th plastic wheel and magnet attached inside the body and with a magnetic wand held behind the VW made it move forward. This magnetic set was sold under the name ATOM-AUTO and was available in 4 different size sets with accessories. The body was inside stamped with the letters A, B, C or D. In the middle-sized box, an instruction leaflet ("Führerschein"="driver’s license") was included. It came in two different variations, but the middle pages were identical. The plastic VW body came in five different colors of red, blue, green, black and the seldom found yellow color.

Enclosed is also a picture of a very early MAGNETO in a PERMA or PERMA-like box. Makes you wonder whether there was a connection between the two Companies?

In the 1960s, MAGNETO produced another traffic set that was enclosed in a clear plastic box, 18cm x 13cm. The set featured a small VW (no split window), that was driven around a street graphics, with a magnetic wand. The graphics depicted the typical street scene of Germany.

Also in the 1960s, MAGNETO seemed to have a DDR counterpart in the town of Wernigerode, Eastern Germany, which was only a few kilometers from Seesen, where the original MAGNETO was located. In Eastern Germany, the "Blitz"-Auto was manufactured (product number 240), a racing car. This toy is regularly for sale. They also manufactured in Eastern Germany, the "Kleine Verkehrsspiel", Nr. 247 (the little traffic game).

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: MAGNETO
  • Scale: 1/83
  • Length: 49mm
  • Production Era: 1952- early 1960's
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Color: Red, Blue, Black, Green, Yellow
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