Prior to the modern Motor Homes the VW brand was the one most associated with camping vehicles. Those classic vans produced in the 1960s and 1970s were reliable and were used then and for many years thereafter by families, hippies and student travellers. Young people travelling around a country such as Australia could buy one cheaply second-hand and then sell it on at the end of their adventure. At the other end of the scale, in 2021 a lovingly restored and improved old vehicle was up for sale at £90,000. The camper van shown here is a model of one of the larger VW vans.

The images show that the toy model was made by Maisto, a firm that had its origins in Hong Kong in 1967, but now has headquarters in California. The company makes a huge range of models of different scales, made in die-cast metal or plastic. New toys are distributed in the UK by one wholesaler, but second-hand models are widely available online. The camper van shown is called a Samba and Maisto have made many Sambas with different specifications and liveries, but all at the scale 1:25 or 1:24. Some have opening doors and detailed interiors. The black and white toy here does not appear to have any such features and the windows are blacked out.

More information:

Date 1960s, 1970s
Material(s) MetalPlastic
Item number MBPO361

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you ever had a holiday in a camper van? If so, when and where?
  • Have you ever played with a toy camper van?
  • Have you played with a radio controlled toy? Was it easy?
  • Can you name any other vehicles made by Volkswagen?

User Stories

Spot the difference. The images below are of the toy under consideration here and a radio controlled model currently on sale

The model shown below is for sale new in July 2021 on a leading online site for £19.61. ‘VW Van Samba radio control in yellow and white in 1/24 scale Great details and finishes as a collector’s car. Requires 2 x AA batteries for car and 2 x AAA batteries for remote control, not included.’

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