Benbros Zebra Toys
106 (34) Heinkel Bubble Car
In the late 1950's in Britain, German-made 'Bubble Cars' were quite popular. Benbros chose the three-wheeled Heinkel 150 Cabin Car as the next addition to the Zebra Toys range and incorporated several features including the large front-opening door, plastic interior and windows.
The main body of the Heinkel was a single casting onto which the seperately cast door fitted with simple hinges at the front. Both were painted the same colour, usually bright red but there was also a blue variation. Silver trim was added to the number-plates (XUW 528), rear lights and little back bumper. At the front were the Zebra Toys trade-mark jewelled headlights. Inside plastic seating (which could be yellow or blue) was added with clear windows giving a distinctive 'bubble' look to the model.
One interesting feature of the design of the Bubble Car was the base. This appears bland on the outside but the upper side included the steering column and foot pedals which were painted silver. A white plastic steering wheel was fixed to the top of the column.
Underneath, the base included the model number '106' and gave more description of the model than appeared on the box with 'Heinkel 150 Cabin Car', 'Zebra Toys' and 'Made in England' being cast. The base was painted matt-black and was secured in place by two front tabs and two rear rivets.
The Heinkel had the standard Zebra Toys unpainted metal wheels with black tyres to start with including the central rear one. Later plastic wheels were used and these could be yellow or blue.
Benbros called the Heinkel a 'Bubble Car' on the black & white box and included a picture of a yellow vehicle. The orange end-flaps carried the number '34' but what it related to is unknown.
The Heinkel Cabin Car was not robust as a toy so few have survived in mint condition making them rare in the Zebra Toys collection.
Benbros Zebra Toys Heinkel Bubble Car
1) RED body & door YELLOW interior clear windows UNPAINTED metal wheels
2) RED body & door YELLOW or BLUE interior clear windows YELLOW or BLUE plastic wheels
3) BLUE body & door BLUE interior clear windows YELLOW plastic wheels