Posted 3 years ago
MetOsul was Portugal's oldest diecast toy manufacturer. The original company was founded in the Atlantic coastal town of Espinho a few miles south of Oporto, in 1931. At its high point it was known for making quality second hand castings of Dinky Toys.
Originally called Luso-Celluloide, the company made toy jewelry, and other trinkets, focusing on celluloid (plastic) objects. Later, the name Osul was created for the production of plastics - this was an anagram of the Luso name. Zamac toys appeared in the 1960s, thus the name Metal Osul or MetOsul (with a capital 'O') was coined. Metosul made various metal objects besides cars including a large assortment of toy tools. The meat of the Metosul name were its line of 1:43 scale cars and trucks. Metosul lasted until about 1990. Other diecast manufacturers like Vitesse and Tropheo appeared during the European Union years, but, apparently, Metosul was not a company that benefited from EU funding, perhaps because it was not a start-up. Zamac metal and also plastic vehicles, usually in 1:43 scale, also appeared under the Luso Toys name during the 1970s and 1980s.
Several MetOsul vehicles were produced from tooling acquired from British or French Dinky Toys. For example, the Atlantean bus is an exact copy of the former Dinky model and produced in yellow, red, and green over cream or white (Force 1988, p. 135). Most of the cars were produced in 1/43 scale, while buses and trucks were made smaller.
Among the best known in about 1:43 scale are the Renault Floride, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder, Caravana Notin, Citroën DS 19, Leyland Atlantean Bus, Mercedes-Benz 1113 truck, Mercedes-Benz 190, Mercedes-Benz 200, Mini Morris Cooper, Peugeot 204, Peugeot 304, Renault R16, Volvo P1800, 1907 Rolls Royce, Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Combi, and a 1960s style camper trailer. There was also a smaller line in about 1:60 scale - one was a Volkswagen transporter panel van with a sliding side door.
Each car was available in four or five colors and the vehicles had hand painted details, especially the buses. Cars often had different liveries to boost sales. For example, the Mercedes 200 came in Policia, Policia "Comando" (command) car, Fire Chief car, Portuguese taxi, Portuguese 'rental' ("aluguer"), and an Amsterdam taxi. The Mercedes 1113 truck came in SONAP, FINA, Shell, Golp, BSB Porto, and SACOR tankers, box back postal delivery, and canvas covered policia, E.G.T. Community Service, GNR, and military troop carrier variations. The Volvo P1800, oddly, came in a police variant, but, in fact, almost every car came in a police variant, even the sporty Volvo and Renault Floride.