Mercedes Benz Unimog 401 Fire Brigade 1:18


Run cursor over photo for a close up view

Click to change view:

January 1, 2010
By:  Larry Lorance, founder

Schuco, the legendary toy manufacturer, which was founded in 1912 by Heinrich Müller together with the salesman, Heinrich Schreyer, with the name Schreyer & Co, became famous on account of its toy cars manufactured in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, many of which were patented.

After an eventful time in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the brand became a member of the SIMBA DICKIE GROUP based in Fürth, Germany, in 1999. The Group’s main brands are SIMBA and DICKIE, and also included are EICHHORN, NORIS, DICKIE-TAMIYA, CARSON, BIG and since 2008, SMOBY. The SCHUCO brand is blossoming again as part of the SIMBA DICKIE GROUP, which is a major company in the toy industry. 

According to Wikipedia, the first model was designed shortly after World War II to be used in agriculture as a self-propelled machine providing a power take-off to operate saws in forests or harvesting machines on fields. It was designed with permanent 4WD with equal size wheels in order to be driven on roads at higher speeds than standard farm tractors. With their very high ground clearance and a flexible frame that is essentially a part of the suspension, Unimogs are not designed to carry as much load as regular trucks.

Due to their off-road capabilities, Unimogs can be found in jungles, mountains and deserts as military vehicles, fire fighters, expedition campers, and even in competitions like truck trials and Dakar Rally rally raids. In Western Europe, they are commonly used as snow ploughs, municipal equipment carriers, agricultural implements, construction equipment and road-rail vehicles.  Unimog designates a range of multi-purpose four wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog  is an acronym for the German "UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät", Gerät being the German word for machine or device. Daimler Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth am Rhein in Germany.

In the United States, Suhuco is represented by Silvergate Distributors, Inc. who offer a full line of Suhuco models including a large selection of model European fire appliances in 1:18, 1:43, and 1:87 scales.

The model featured here is a 1:18 scale 1950's Mercedes Benz Unimog 401 Fire Brigade.  The first Unimog for Suhuco was released in September 2001 and was a 1:43 scale model. 

Unimog Fire Brigade
Credit to photographer

Unimog Fire Brigade
Credit to photographer

Most of the 2009 fire models are no longer available,  However, according to Michael Stephens, Silvergate Distributors CEO, this model was for 2009 but has just arrived at their warehouse in San Diego, CA.   This is a limited edition but the total number made has not been released yet.  This model features:

  • Steerable wheels

  • Highly detailed interior

  • Authentic and highly detailed fire fighting skid

  • Detailed front water pumps and connections

  • Clear plastic front lights and plastic rear light

  • Detailed nozzles and connections

  • Simulated canvas cab canopy is removable and highly detailed

  • Operating rear appliance gate 

  • Accurate wheel and hub assembly 

  • Spare tire

  • Detailed engine compartment

  • Working front and rear trailer hitch with attached chain

  • Authentic colors

This model is available through Silvergate Distributors, Inc. directly or through one of their authorized retailers.  It retails for $215.99.

I am looking forward to the new 2010 releases.  We will know more after the 2010 Toy Fair in Germany this February.

Click on any photo to enlarge

A very special thank you to  Magic Tool Box for providing MagicZoom