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Small World - how were they distributed?
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harrymarlin
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

I'm interested in the Small World magazines I've seen some pictures of, and I'm wondering how they were originally distributed. Every year seems to start out with a short "Introductory Issues" followed by longer seasonal issues.

I would like to collect the one which was available when my car was available for sale (final inspection mid-October 1966, so I'm guessing it made it to it's dealership in NW in Mid-November - Mid-December).

I'm hoping someone here might be Small World informed enough to be able to answer some of these questions:

1) When were the introductory issues available - by Calendar year (January) or by Model year (August)?
2) Were they given out to new users to entice them to purchase a subscription, or did you have to purchase an introductory issue?
3) Were the seasonal ones available when the season started (end of December for Winter, for example), or a few weeks before (like many magazine subscriptions do now)?

Were these just handed out at dealerships, or did people have to get them other ways?

Thanks for the information! - and thanks, Everett, for posting the covers of so many of them - they look cool!

-Harry
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

From memory... (questionable):

They were available at dealers, but typically in the showroom, not near the parts counter... they wanted them to go to (potential) buyers.

Also, you could subscribe. My dad received a few after he bought his Fastback in late '70; maybe you got a year subscription when you purchased a new car? Or maybe that was peculiar to the dealer (Ogner, in Canoga Park)?

I do not know for sure, just how it went down back then for us.


Last edited by KTPhil on Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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hitest
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Norm Bishop VW sent my dad a couple years of Small World after he bought his new Scirocco. IIRC, the sub had to be renewed after that grace period and I don't believe my dad did.
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Blue Baron
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Volkswagen of America began publishing Small World in 1962. Each new VW owner received a free subscription, courtesy of his VW dealer. A subscription consisted of five issues: One Introductory, and four seasonal, or quarterly issues. The first issue would be the Introductory for that calendar year, regardless of time of year. Early issues of Small World mention a subscription of eight issues for $1.25 through the owner's dealer, or by writing to the editor, but this service appears to have been dropped after 1965, probably due to the growing numbers of owners.

There were actually two different Introductory issues: a short prospectus that was given away at dealerships, and a full-length version that was sent to owners. The short one was an abridged version, with the feature content removed. It's difficult to tell one from the other, as they shared the same cover.

Your Oct.-Nov. '66 would be either Fall or Winter, 1966.
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nshaddox wrote:
Pictures to follow because no one reads words anyways.
Wanted: Granville Volkswagen dealership items, Tonawanda, N.Y.
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harrymarlin
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Thanks for the information! I'm looking forward to reading a few of them. Thank you for the background.
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janerick3
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

The abridged version of the Introductory issue for that particular year was what was available on the showroom floor. I think these were only available for a few years of the magazine's run.

If you purchased a VW from the dealership, you received the full Introductory issue in the mail, with a mail-in subscription card and a tire pressure sticker that went on the inside of the glovebox door.

The Introductory issue only went to VW owners when they initially purchased the car; follow-on subscriptions only consisted of the four quarterly issues.
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Typ3nut
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Small World Covers are in theSamba Archives from 1962 - 1984
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/lit/smallworld.php
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BulliBill
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

I love these little magazines, one of my many weird VW collecting fetishes. I have almost every issue now in my collection, plus some duplicates in my Samba.com classified ads. Nice and informative articles from VW about current vehicle features, articles about how buyers use and love their old VWs. You occasionally find em in VW swap vendor booths, but are easier found in the classifieds here and sometimes on eBay. Not too expensive to purchase either. Carry on!

Bill Bowman
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Blue Baron
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Another interesting element is that because they were quarterly, an entire year passes in just four issues, so you can see the cultural shift during the 1960s, from a more formal button-down culture to one that's more informal and colorful. By the '70s, the youth culture begins to creep in, and VW is aware that this is part of their customer base.

Also, the journalism is top rate. Not a single typo or grammatical error to be found. The good old days!
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Pictures to follow because no one reads words anyways.
Wanted: Granville Volkswagen dealership items, Tonawanda, N.Y.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

Typ3nut wrote:
Small World Covers are in theSamba Archives from 1962 - 1984
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/lit/smallworld.php


Yes, I have most of them myself too.

If anyone has the ones that say "Need Issue" please send me a scan or photo of the cover. Obviously a scan is better if possible.
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Blue Baron
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

As long as we're talking about what we do and don't have,
here's my want list:

Intro '63
Intro '64
Summer '64
Fall '64
Intro '72
Intro '74

That's it!
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nshaddox wrote:
Pictures to follow because no one reads words anyways.
Wanted: Granville Volkswagen dealership items, Tonawanda, N.Y.
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René R. Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: Small World - how were they distributed? Reply with quote

The only issue I still have is Winter 1967. I kept it because they printed a letter I had written looking to find other owners of split window beetles. I got a lot of responses. It seems there were still quite a few around back then.
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