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The basis of the Höfler Company was laid in 1923 when the 3 Höfler brothers, Johann, Georg and Leonhard, started a company for production of metal products in Fürth. In the 1930’s, Johan decided to build his own toy Company, named "Metallspielwarenfabrik Johann Höfler". He produced cheap penny toys, like cars, planes, figurines, trains, etc. In the early forties, the Company was forced to produce for warfare. In 1954, his son in law, Ernst Bettag, took over the Company. Ernst Bettag was one of the first to recognize the importance of plastic and –as one of the first- he started in 1957 with the production of plastic toys and in 1958 the Company was renamed into "Johann Höfler Metall- und Plastikspielwarenfabrik". In 1960 they changed the name again into "BIG Plastic, Johann Höfler" and in 1962 "BIG Spielwaren Fabrik Dipl.-Ing. Ernst A. Bettag". They also used the JEAN brand starting from the early 1960's  for cheap plastic toys.

This large tin plate VW Cabrio was produced by JOHANN HÖFLER, Fürth, Germany and has a colorful, cream/black lithographed VW Type 15A body design. Details of the design include the headlights, taillights, oval horn grilles, front hood VW emblem, hood strip, badge and handle. Door seams, handles, side molding along with front and rear bumpers. The rear bumble bee wing deck lid has the arched air louvers, handle, license plate light and license plate number H-X210. Hood also marked MADE IN WESTERN GERMANY. The interior has a 1955 VW design lithograph dashboard and white steering wheel. There is a red plastic insert with the front and rear seats. A red plastic windshield frame and rear folded down top insert attaches to the body. The tin chassis with a friction motor with rubber tires and hub caps attaches to the body with six bent over chassis tabs.

This very rare JOHANN HÖFLER VW Cabrio, as seen in the photos, may have been produced as a prototype or demo model for a toy fair or as an engineering sample, especially since the red plastic windshield frame, interior and folded down top definitely appears to be improvised and unfinished.

The production version of the HÖFLER VW Cabrio used a metal windshield frame that was lithographed yellow and silver. A folded down convertible top made of tan plastic was attached to the body.

Another strange version has recently shown up. It looks like the lower body and chassis was used to create a hard type version. The VW still has the H-X210  license plate. The top section is believed to have been lithographed but is shown with a heavy white paint that looks like it was hand painted with a brush. The original box cover graphics is a very nice scene of the hardtop VW cruising along the ocean-mountain side. The Box is noted that it is a KAKA-HOEFLER,  INDO-GERMAN  COLLABORATION with a KH insignia. The box is also labeled VOLKSWAGEN and TWO-TONE. Perhaps this version was only sold in India.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: HÖFLER - JOHANN
  • Scale: 1/15
  • Length: 275mm
  • Production Era: 1955
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials: Tin Plate Lithograph
  • Color: Cream/Black
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