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In the beginning, there was the idea: a new police car – exactly like those driving on the streets, just slightly smaller! With this idea in mind, the SIKU product manager introduces the new model to the company's product team. “Great idea!”, the team decides and so that was the starting shot for the development of a new SIKU model!

First, the constructor sketches the model on the PC – modern graphics programmes help here. Plenty of requirements have to be considered: how thick the body should be, so the model doesn't break apart during play? What functions can be applied like in the original? How is the model packaged, so it reaches the customer undamaged? If these and many other questions are answered, the tools used to cast the individual model parts are built and produced. They are the centrepiece of every model. Many hours go into completing the tool and production of the model vehicle can begin!



Almost 10 kg – that's how much a zinc bar weighs, before it's melted at about 450 degrees and cast into the tool is die-cast in liquid state. A few seconds later, the tool is opened and the body of a police model vehicle falls onto a conveyor belt to cool down.

Of course, a police car model doesn't only consist of metal: wheels, the alarm light or car windscreen are cast in plastic. Plastic granules are melted down and pressed into the right forms. The plastic has hardly cooled down when it's identifiable as a car windscreen! Then, a robot picks up the SIKU windscreens and transfers them to a conveyor belt.



The die-cast zinc bodies are suspended on numerous single hooks. A mobile, magnetically charged track in the ceiling guides them through the lacquering system. Here, they are sprayed with powder that sticks due to their magnetic charge. It's like a balloon that can be ‘charged’ by rubbing against a woollen jumper and that sticks to the wall! The powder on the body is melted at about 120 degrees when the hooks are automatically guided through the lacquer-spraying system. This coats the bodywork with an even paint layer. This special lacquering technique ensures the paint adheres well to each model, so there are no colour scratches even if play gets exciting! The bodies are carefully placed afterwards in a box.

Of course, as well as the police transporter, many other SIKU models are also based on the same original version (VW T5). After a colour change, multiple vehicle bodies arrive in the lacquer shop for a bright yellow new look! These bright-coloured vehicle bodies are the basis for the SIKU children's ambulance.


The painting process using the Poland production location as an example
The chassis cast from zinc are hung from many individual hooks on a frame. The parts are then thoroughly cleaned in an advance 3-step cleaning process and are dried in an oven in which the parts reach a temperature of up to 100°C.
After drying, the parts are cooled for the rare case that painting is performed once by hand. There is a hand cabinet provided specifically for this purpose. The painting process continues in the actual painting unit. This is an electrostatic unit with a high rotation atomiser. While the painting frames rotate within the cabinet, a coat of a water-based paint is applied very finely, using the disc atomiser.
The painted chassis parts now enter a drying oven which has a temperature of approx. 80° to 180°C, before they are again cooled in a cooling unit.
The parts are now unhooked from the frame and prepared for the next process step.



Now it's clear – these individual parts make up a SIKU police car. Most German police cars feature blue stripes and, of course, so does our SIKU police car! The authentic print design is computer-controlled. The bodies are picked up by a robotic arm and placed in a printing mount. After the body is securely fixed in the mount, colour is applied with a soft embossing stamp. First of all,  it's placed in a kind of stamping cushion to collect the colour, then it's imprinted on the body so the colour clings to the brand-new SIKU police car! Finally, the bodies are lined up in a box. The robotic arm has a laser as its “eye” to identify when to pick up and place down – genius!

Once the lacquer work is complete on the police vehicles, it's the turn of the children's ambulance. Alongside the fluorescent orange stripe, the body also features “AMBULANCE” on the engine bonnet. The lettering is mirrored, so the driver in the vehicle ahead can instantly see in the rear mirror that an emergency vehicle is behind and can let the ambulance pass in seconds – exactly like the original!



About 6,000 tyres and wheel rims are in these drums. They rotate and push the wheels from both sides onto the axles. We use a special material for the axle. This guarantees that – if you accidentally tread on a car during play! – it will not bend out of shape.

The axle is welded at both ends, so the wheels cannot be pulled off. That's very important to us, so even the youngest SIKU fans cannot swallow tyre parts that would otherwise come loose.



Our SIKU police car comprises a total of eleven individual parts. They are now ready for final assembly. SIKU team members fit the parts together in sequence. While most of the production is machine-guided or automated, here, genuine handcrafting is required – no machine can do this job!



SIKU toy models meet the highest quality and safety requirements and ensure long-lasting and safe playtime fun in the kids' playroom. To ensure these standards are also met by the police bus, it is fully tested before delivery. The police bus runs for more than 100 hours continuously on an auto-driven belt to guarantee that the wheels still roll after endless play hours, and that the rubber does not come off the tyres. The police model is also tested with a weight of 500 grams to check, for example, that the axle is not defective or even breaks.

The bigger SIKU toy models undergo further tests to guarantee their functionality. For instance, the mobility of the loading arm and shovel of an excavator is tested by raising and lowering it 20,000 times consecutively! A tractor's steering is also tested both right and left to guarantee that even after plenty of jobs the tractor can complete its rounds on the toy farm!



Fully assembled, our SIKU police car then parks in the famous SIKU sales packaging. This is made so that the toy model is not damaged even when transported long distances. 



Our SIKU police car still has the longest journey ahead of it. Stacked in boxes, we despatch our SIKU toy models to specialist retailers all over the world. Every day children from countries on all continents, e.g. Japan, New Zealand, South Africa or Mexico, are discovering the great miniature SIKU world again!