Saturday, December 20, 2014

#492 GUILOY – IBERIA “SERVICIO AEROPUERTO” TRUCKS (Around 1982)


This is a curious series released by Guiloy in the 80s (I cannot give an exact year, but I guess it was in the first half of the 80s), and represent up to 10 white Mercedes trucks with airport services.

The trucks are die-cast made in 1:124 scale, which results a miniature of around 3 inches. All trucks are the same, including the same cabin and the same chassis, but they carry different plastic loads. Some of these loads were made of chromed plastic, although with the use, this might have disappeared.


They all carry stickers with the function of the truck and also some Iberia logos, what makes it a curious collectable, not only for die-cast car and truck collectors, but also for aviation enthusiasts.
My two models are “Correo Aereo” or “Airmail”, and “Antifuego” (lit. “Anti.Fire”)

The complete list of models is:
  • Camión de Gasolina
  • Servicio de Limpieza
  • Acumulador
  • Antifuego
  • Correo Aéreo / Carga Aérea (actually the same load only the first one in blue plastic, the second one in chromed plastic)
  • Queroseno
  • Mantenimiento de Pistas
  • Camión Escalera
 
 
Some models had some special feature or practicable part. In this case, the "Antifuego" has a extendable hose and the "Correo Aéreo" has a practicable compartment gate.
 

The were sold “loose” from a cardboard panel, as we can see in this picture. The item is for sale (or it was when I wrote this article) in todocoleccion.


Pic: todocoleccion.net, seller: Freedom67
 
Maybe these models were intended to be combined with Guiloy die-cast planes, as those made by Pilen, Play-Me or Mira.
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MERCEDES ANTIFUEGO and CORREO AÉREO “SERVICIO AEROPUERTO IBERIA"
  • Scale: 1:124
  • Year: Around 1982
  • Company: Guiloy (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#491 PLAYART – MINI SUPER SPEEDSTERS (Around 1978)


These are two very small cars made by Playart. Although there is no scale indication, I guess they are probably 1:87 (H0) scale, and they might be intended to use with Playart H0 train models, although they were sold apart. In ebay there is (or was) a collection of 12 models in a box, although in other sites like worthpoint, there are also smaller 4-packs. I don’t know if they were ever sold individually, or have any further details about Playart’s smallest scale models.



The two cars I own are a Jaguar E-Type 2+2 in yellow, plus another car which I cannot identify right now in gold (seems pretty much like an American model, maybe Pontiac). Note that both models have different wheels, the golden model has some kind of simulated hubcaps, so I guess it is slightly older than the second one, whose hubcaps are less elaborated. The Jaguar is marked in the interior "Playart", "Made in Hongkong", "7331" and "2", while the second car is marked only "Made in Hongkong" and "15". Maybe there is a list somewhere with the reference numbers and the models, I haven't found any.

 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MINI SUPER SPEEDSTERS: JAGUAR E-TYPE and UNKNOWN MODEL
  • Scale: 1:87
  • Year: Around 1978
  • Company: Playart (Hong Kong)
  • Size: approx. 4 cm

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#490 COSMIC COWBOYS – STAR MARSHALL COLT LAEZOR, CHIEF IRON LANCE and IRON JAW (1986)


The Cosmic Cowboys is a relatively unknown toyline made and distributed by Spearhead Industries Inc. by Acamas Toys Ltd. There is almost no information about those companies on the internet, and I cannot add anything, since they are also completely unknown to me.

The manufacturer seems to be Acamas Toys Ltd., settled in Dunham House, Westgate, Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0JH, although the toys were manufactured in Hong Kong.


The Distributor seems to be Spearhead Industries, Inc., settled in 9971 Valley View Road, Minneapolis, MN55344.


What we know about them is that they manufactured and marketed other action figure lines with a bigger success. The X-Changers were the most popular, but there were other, like the X-Troopers, X-Terminators, X-Force or the Battlehawks. All these figures were roughly the size of a Master of the Universe, only slightly taller, since their legs were straight and not bent. They had a muscled torso, and their legs were also attached to the waist with a gum strap, just like the Mattel figures.

Their head are similar to MOTU’s soft heads. The distinctive feature is that feet (or better said boots) and forearms are removable, and can be changed from those of other figures of the same line, or other X-Changers toylines. This snap on/snap off provides further articulation points to the figure.

In this entry I will talk about the Cosmic Cowboys. They are a nice short toyline of only 6 figures, from which I own these three Mint on Card and the figure of Buck Meteor loose.  The cards are slightly bent and the bubble is not perfect anymore, because it is made of relatively thin plastic.


The complete list of figures is...

For the good guys:
  • Star Marshall Colt Laezor
  • Sgt. Alpha Cody
  • Buck Meteor
  • Chief Iron Lance
For the evil guys:
  • Iron Jaw
  • Jake Sidewinder



I bought these three from a friend, and the figure of Buck Meteor (I will show it some other time) was bought in the late 1980s at a street market. At the time I didn’t know exactly what was it, but I chose it because it looked like a MOTU. I need to repair it first, since the gum that attaches its legs to the body is broken. The importer to Spain was HISINSA that was also specialized in plastic kits of cars, planes and so on.


The figures came each with a plastic accessory to its chest, a belt and two accessories either guns or rifles. The guns are common to several figures, but the belt and armor are unique designs, so the line is one step further than most knock-offs in quality.

Another quality mark is the short, but interesting background story of the Cosmic Cowboys that can be read in the next picture.


Further about these figures is that they are today relatively rare, and very difficult to find in good shape and complete. The plastic of the accessories becomes quite sticky and it’s better to keep it far from the figure. The gum of the legs is also a weak point, and cannot be repaired so easily as we repair the Masters of the Universe. Additionally, the removable parts are often missing, or have been changed with those of another figure, and you only have two “half” figures…

In any case, Cosmic Cowboys is one of the coolest MOTU knock-offs ever (If you consider them a knock-off… because they are qualitative toys).


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: STAR MARSHALL COLT LAEZOR, CHIEF IRON LANCE and IRON JAW
  • Toy Line: COSMIC COWBOYS
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Acama Toys Ltd. (Great Britain / Hong Kong), Spearhead Industries Inc. (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 5½’’ or 12 cm

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#489 RICO - HONDA SANSÓN / DIABLOS (Ref. 702) (Around 1975)


Rico was one of the most important toymakers in Spain at the time, had a history that spanned over decades, and made many different types of toys in Ibi, Alicante. We already talked about them in previous articles.


What you may not know, is that Rico had the license to manufacture and sell Tonka toys in Spain. Their first Tonka product was a line of sturdy tin trucks, that were called “Sansón” (Sansón is the Spanish name of Samson, the biblical character), from which I expected to write some other time.


These had very thick axles and plastic wheels, and very robust metal bodies. Most of them had some gimmick, like a crane, or a shovel, or some practicable part behind the cabin. They looked quite futuristic for its age, since they were made in the 60s, both in Japan and Spain (in Spain surely later, maybe the second half of the decade)


Since that line was very successful (both the normal line and the “Mini-Sansón” line), Rico decided to extend the name to other Tonka products, like this race car, which has very little in common with the trucks mentioned above: they’re also sturdy, made of some kidn of metal (maybe very thick tin), but they represent a different type of car and has a friction motor inside. Note that the package is labelled with “Serie Sansón” and then “ Diablos” (“Devils”).




There were three of these cars made, a Honda (in Orange, Ref 702), a Chaparral (in green, Ref. 706), a Porsche (in blue, Ref. 712) and a Lotus (in red, Ref, 716). These are also depicted in the box.
The car has dark windows, so the mechanism remains hidden, and it is decorated with some chromed parts in the front and in the back of the car. The base in black tin is marked “Rico” and “Made in Spain”.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: HONDA “DIABLOS” (Ref. 702)
  • Year: Around 1975
  • Company: RICO (Spain)
  • Size: Around 11 cm.
  • Scale: Unknown

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#488 REAL GHOSTBUSTERS – HIGHWAY HAUNTER (1987)

 

This is one of the Real Ghostbusters toys I keep since the early 90s. I received it a long time ago for Christmas together with the Ecto-2. A friend of mine at school already had it, and I thought it was fun, but I didn´t expect to receive it. The vehicle belongs to the second Real Ghostbusters wave, to which also the Fright Features characters and the Haunted Humans belong, so the "Highway Haunter" somehow fits in that "Ghosts in Disguise" line.




 
As you can notice, the vehicle is actually a Volkswagen Beetle in yellow, looks pretty well, except for the trunk being slightly up (the trunk in this car is in the front, so a little bit more weight there would have been great). The interior in black is very well detailed, and has place for two figures. The upper part or the seats is actually a button that activates the transformation when pressed. The car "stands" up in its rear wheels and reveals a green insect-ghost. Meanwhile the figures remain in their places. The Insect, as I just said, stands on all four wheels and can be pushed further.




As every other (or almost) Real Ghostbusters´ vehicles, an additional ghost figure is included, in this case the figure can be placed under the bonnet (rear compartment), and it has two faces, one being the ghost itself and the back (the back of the ghost) simulates a motor.
 


The box is the original one, as you could buy it in Spain. In this entry, I explained how do I think that these figures came to Spain, and why the packages of the toys are written in French and Dutch. Unfortunately, one of the flaps is broken and lost.
 


The cardboard inlay is also original, and there I found two nice things: a poster/catalogue (I had two of them, one from each vehicle, and one of them hang during several months on my bedroom´s wall). The poster depicts the Ecto-1 plus all 4 Ghostbusters hunting Slimer.


The second thing was the quality control sheet, which I reproduce here for completing purposes.

 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: HIGHWAY HAUNTER
  • Alternate Names: GEISTERKÄFER (German), DÉMON DES ROUTES (French), SNELWEGSPOOK (Dutch), L’Auto Fantasma (Italian)
  • Toy Line: The Real Ghostbusters
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 30 cm

Saturday, December 6, 2014

#487 S.M./ SUMMER – CHEVROLET CORVETTE (S8564F), FORD GT 40 (89-27) and MASERATI MERAK SS (88-05) (Around 1996)



This entry is a continuation for the previous entry: these are three samples of late Summer castings, I got them in a lot, and I decided to keep them, despite being so new, and so badly painted and finished. The casting however are nice, I immediately recognized the Chevrolet Corvette (S8564F), the Ford GT40 (89-27) and the Maserati Merak SS (88-05).


The numbering system was also appealing, since most Chinese manufacturers from the late 90s didn’t bother printing references on their toys.



If you want to see the complete listing of Summer models please go to Breithaups.com where you’ll be able to read more about the company, and their scale cars.

This article talks only about the “reissues” from the mid to late 90s: http://www.breithaupts.com/totc349.htm


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: CHEVROLET CORVETTE (S8564F), FORD GT 40 (89-27) and MASERATI MERAK SS (88-05)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: Around 1996
  • Company: Summer/ S.M. (Hong Kong)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm
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