- For other uses of Siku, please refer to Siku disambiguation page.
SIKU is the range of toy vehicles and related products produced by the German company Sieper Lüdenscheid GmbH & Co. KG. There is quite a variety within the range, but the Super Series 1:55 die-cast vehicles is the core product and is the highlight among collectors.
The Sieper company was founded in 1921. It was originally a manufacturer of metal tools and, later on, badges, medals, buckles for belts, buttons, and etc. It was not until 1950
that the company started producing toys
and registered the trademark SIKU
for its toy products. The name SIKU
originates from abbreviating
the name of the founder of the company, Richard Si
eper, and the German
word for plastic
nststoffe. Originally, SIKU toys were of great variety and consisted of plastic vehicles among all else, such as plastic figures and animals. Starting in 1955, a dedicated line of car models were produced, and subsequently in 1958, SIKU became an exclusive range of plastic vehicles.
The Originally Few
SIKU plastic vehicles were the first to come out. They were produced since the early 1950s. Originally, the models were of larger scales and were generic.
Starting in 1955, the V series replicas of licensed vehicles were produced, so called because the numbering system started with the letter V. These models were in about 1/64th scale. They first came out in 1955. Then in 1963, new models produced in zinc alloy
began to appear. These models were spray painted by hand. In between 1963 and 1969, new releases were made in both plastic and metal, but there was a gradual shift to more metal models and fewer plastic models. The last plastic model was issued in 1969. Since then, all new models were made die-cast. In 1973, the letter V was removed from the numbering of the new models. These models came packaged in coloured cardboard boxes with names and pictures of the vehicles contained within. The V Series came to an end in 1975.
The Super Series came out in 1975 and replaced the V series. Although some V series models were transferred to the Super Series and were re-numbered, there were two differences between this newer series and the older V series. First, the models were no longer spray painted by hand. Second, the new models were made in a slightly bigger scale, roughly 1:55. Models are numbered by a four digit system. The first two digits designate the price range. Small cars traditionally have numbers that start in 10 or 13, but later on 08 and 14 were added. Larger vehicles including helicopters have various price range designation from 16 and on. The second two digits are the model numbers within each price range. This unifying numbering system has since been used for all new product ranges as well as gift sets. Small cars were at first packaged in both picture boxes and blister packages but were only in blister packages of various styles since the 1980s. Large models are almost always packaged in window boxes although some came in blister package in the past. This series is still produced today, and since the incorporation of the Club Series (see below) in the early 1990s, large trucks as well as military tanks and a few aircraft have been made in the small car size and put in blister packages. Of course, their scale varied greatly too. Hence, a unified scale of 1:55 (or 1:64 for cars from the V series) is no longer true. The Super Series is the major model range.
Club Series was introduced in 1990. It consisted of die-cast trucks and farm vehicles made in smaller scale (usually 1:87). They were very similar to the Super Series in that the blister packages were the same size and shape as those of small cars. The only difference was that the original package had a different printing design and read "Siku Club." However, after the first few years of production, this series was fully incorporated into the Super Series and used the same packaging design. Interestingly, a few 1:55 models from the Super Series in the 08 price range were also packaged in the "Siku Club" package for a short period of time in 1992, when production switched from Germany to China. (The Club Series vehicles have always been produced in China since their beginning in 1990.)
This range of classic old-timer fire engines in 1:50 was added in 2005 to complement the contemporary models in the Super Series. This was done following the success of the Farmer Classic line (see below).
With scale of the models becoming variable in the Super Series, Siku released the M87 series in 2003. All of the models are faithfully reproduced in 1:87. The range of models is limited but consists of semi-trailers, cranes, farm tractors, and cars. The trucks, cranes, and farm tractors are very similar to those made in smaller size in the Super Series (i.e., those that have their roots in the Club Series). The difference is that the M87 series vehicles are more detailed and are packaged in small window boxes versus blister card. They are in the price range 18.
Farmer, Farmer Classic, Farmer +, and Farmer Classic + Series
These are all 1:32 farm equipments, although there is also a Land Rover in the Farmer Series (It was used as a farm vehicle!). The Farmer Series was introduced in 1983. Farmer Classic line was added in 2002, to include old-timer tractors. Subsequently, Farmer + and Farmer Classic + consisted of farm vehicles that are more refined in details.
In 2004, radio-controlled tractor was introduced in the all new SIKU Control line. It has added play value compared to the similar SIKU Farmer Series vehicles. Newer models have since been added to this series. They have working acceleration, steering, headlights and indicators.
This lineup launched in 1998. It consist of large, quality plastic truck and farm vehicles. They are aimed primarily to attract smaller children playing outdoors, and feature durability.
Siku first built 20 plane models in scale 1:250 in 1959. Despite good sales the company was forced to stop producing this range in 1964 due to the lack of a sufficient work-force. In the early 1990s, aeroplane models of this size reappeared. They were boxed and were in the price range 19.
Collection and Vintage Value
The V series and the Super Series have always been the highlights among collectors. Old Siku models are very sought after by the collectors
. The manufacturing quality of the models is significantly higher than average. However, the price
of individual model is higher as well. Today, the new models still retain the quality of older matchbox, dinky and corgi of decades past.
- SIKU homepage
- The Siku Super Site