Mazda is well-known for making cars that are affordable, reliable and a pleasure to drive. But only a few people know about the partnership between the Japanese car manufacturer and the German sweets confectionary company Haribo – globally known for their gummy bears – resulting in the development of the Mazda 121 “Goldy”, in the early 90s.
Limited Edition: “Goldy”
The Mazda 121 “Goldy” limited edition, created in cooperation with Haribo, was a special run of just 1,000 units, exclusively designed for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. The cars’ theme was based on the famous Haribo Gold Bears candy and so, they were painted in a bright “golden yellow” colour. Created by Hofele Design – a company known for tuning luxury German cars, the “Goldy” came with special equipment including a Momo steering wheel featuring a Gold Haribo Bear on the hub, rear window shade with a colourful gummy bear design and a set of Haribo bear wheel covers. That was not all, however, as each “Goldy” came with a whopping 100 bags of Haribo Gold Bears candy, and a large, plush toy bear.
To promote the car, the Mazda 121 “Goldy” was featured as a prize in a lottery organised by Haribo as part of a contest, held under the theme “Win gold with Haribo: Mazda 121. The Haribo Gold Bear goes for the Mazda 121”.
Mazda 121: Bubble Car
The “Goldy” edition was a soft-top model, which allowed drivers to bask in the sun on warm days. The base edition Mazda 121 was also available with a hard top. The model was introduced in 1991, and in its home market of Japan, it was known as the Autozam Revue. With its small and quirky design, it quickly earned strongly positive reviews and became a hit. The model garnered affectionate nicknames, with one of the most prevalent monikers being the “bubble car”.
With its rounded and compact design, the Mazda 121 offered a unique sense of spaciousness thanks to its domed roof that enhanced an already airy ambiance inside the car. This experience was further elevated when coupled with the optional folding sunroof which provided an added dimension of openness for all 4 passengers. Notably, the canvas top – with or without the gummy bear print design – can be operated in multiple configurations, allowing for front-to-rear, rear-to-front, and simultaneous openings in both directions.
The “Goldy” and its standard trim siblings were equipped with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, generating 53 kW/72 PS, achieving a top speed of 155 km/h, and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.4 seconds.
Although the Mazda 121 “Goldy” may not be the first car that comes to mind when considering historical Mazdas, it is an important car in Mazda’s history. Today, Mazda keeps one of the “Goldy” cars at the Mazda Classic Automobile Museum Frey in Augsburg, Germany. In 2022, a German couple from North Rhine-Westphalia donated the car, which they had won through the special lottery hosted by Haribo. So, this sweet collaboration between Mazda and the gummy bear world will be remembered for generations to come.