This nice, late 70s Playart Kubelwagen from my childhood was in the box of military toys that included my M*A*S*H playsets. At one time I had a fairly large WWII diorama in my bedroom and I’m pretty sure this Kubelwagen was part of it. When I was a kid, Playart cars were sold under the Peelers brand at Woolworth, which is where I would have bought this and the other Playart models I still have.
The Playart toy company, owned by Duncan Tong, produced diecast and plastic cars and trucks in Hong Kong from 1965 to 1983. In addition to the Woolworth Peelers, Playart cars were also sold under a variety of other brands including Road Mates (sold at Sears), Freewheelers (sold at McCrory), Charmerz Super Singles and Fastwheel. While the cars were fairly well-made, the castings were often based on those of other toymakers such as Tomica and Corgi.
The real-life Volkswagen Kubelwagen was designed in 1938 at the request of the German army by none other than Ferdinand Porsche. The lightweight, two-wheel drive, rear-engine vehicle performed admirably in tough conditions. It had a flat, smooth underside which allowed the oversized wheels and tires to propel it over sand, snow or mud rather well.