Luxury Mercedes Benz 770 Tipp & Co Führerwagen
Amongst the toys with significant historical value, the Führerwagen of Tipp & Co occupies a special place. This toy produced as a copy of the luxury Mercedes Benz 770 which was legendary for being used by high-ranking Reich officials from rise to fall of the dictatorship. Archives from World War II contain multiple pictures that captured Nazi leaders such as Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich within the “Grand Mercedes”. But the most prominent and odious figure that made this car truly iconic was undoubtedly Adolf Hitler.
This impressive exemplar includes a clockwork Führerwagen and four additional figures: Adolf Hitler saluting his followers from the back seat is accompanied by another three officers. Produced in 1937, this obscure object is in excellent condition.
But this tale can be even darker if we look upon the Tipp & Co ownership history. Founded in 1912 in Nuremberg, Germany under the ownership of the Ulman family, the company soon joined the list of the giants of German toy manufacturers as Carette, Bing, Hess, Lehmann and Märklin among the great German toymakers. Since the Ulman family was of Jewish origin, the company was seized by Nazis twenty years later. Throughout 1932 to 1942, Tipp & Co became an important tool of German military propaganda, educating the youngest generation: its production was changed from civilian motorcycles and London buses to the toys that glorified the Third Reich.
Therefore ironically, this Führerwagen, an object of Nazi propaganda, was produced on the factory pre-owned by Jews. But luckily, Philip Ullmann’s story had a happy ending - In 1933 he fled to England where he was actively raising funds to help other refugees from Germany and where he founded Mettoy, which later produced Corgi Toys - And another story had begun.