Saturday, September 20, 2014

#459 MATCHBOX – PEUGEOT 305 (K-84) (1986)

This is a rather unusual scale for a Matchbox… the car is made in 1:32 scale, similar to a contemporary Corgi line (see entry #99), to another one made by Guisval (see #125), or to older models from Dinky or Siku, but still a rarity in the Matchbox family.

The car is decorated as a rally car and it represents a quite rare model by Peugeot. It has practicable doors and trunk and a few nice details, like chromed parts, realistic hubcaps and even the windows are dirty with mud. The base is made of plastic, what makes the car rather light considering its size. Previous "Superkings" models had metallic base, but around 1980, the new models were already mounted on plastic bases, making the model cheaper to produce and also lighter.

I haven’t seen much models from this series, but according to the package there must be quite a few out there, note for example the Audi Quattro, a Ford Sierra or the Porsche 911 Turbo from the nice illustration at the back of the box.

The package is also interesting, because that dark blue design was typical from the early 80s to the mid 80s.

The Peugeot 305 was available in several colours and decorations. This one was the last available during 1986 and 1987. The first version of this model was released in 1981 or 1982, and it was made in metallic blue (without any kind of racing decorations). Later another decoration in white with racing stripes and RN14 would follow, than a blue version with RN5 (as in the box flap) and finally the toy you’re seeing in this entry.

The same Peugeot model was made by Solido in 1:43 scale, but to my knowledge, no other die-cast manufacturer made in before the 1990s.

  • Name: PEUGEOT 305 (K-84)
  • Scale: 1:32 (approx.)
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 13 cm

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I have no idea where did this idea come from… maybe from some American car show, maybe from some kind of movie or videogame in which the cars have to fight like gladiators against each other, but Galoob started a new line of miniatures that were car+armour.

These cars were sold as usual carded in a blister pack, and each pack included two “warriors”, that is, two cars with one armour each. The cars unfortunately were old designs from that same year or previous ones, but the armours were completely new, futuristic, impressive designs, and there were a lot of these collections made, some even had trucks, vans or machinery inside instead of a car. Each armour was used twice in the several collections that were offered that year. This subseries was started in 1989 with 6 collections and continued in 1990 with 12 collections. Unfortunately, the “Highway Warriors” sub-series was discontinued in 1991.

I knew they existed, although it wasn’t until last December that I completed one of these sets. I still have some loose armours waiting for their car to be added to this blog entry. I think it was a really good idea to include them in the 1989 and 1990 waves….

Collection #9 comprised Dent Driver and Auto Hammer. Dent Driver snaps onto ’87 T-Bird and Auto Hammer snaps onto MR2.

  • Scale of the cars: 1:150 aprox.
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Galoob (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 2 cm

Sunday, September 14, 2014

#457 MADELMAN 2050 – ALACTRO LAGARD (Ref. 1606) (1989)

This is the last Madelman 2050 figure I have bought, and with it I already have all figures that were officially released in a blister pack. I am still missing some vehicles, but I am not sure if I will ever go for them… I am running out of space. And of course, I am also missing the super-rare figure prototypes that I do not think they will be available again on ebay or wherever. If you want to read more about those prototypes, I suggest you visit this old entry #191.

Alactro-Lagard is the other new figure released in the second wave (the first was Deltox-Zan), and it is again a repaint of a figure from wave 1 with new accessories: in this case, some kind of delta-wing and a cannon, both in yellow. Under the delta-wing there is some kind of sticker or paper, but I don't know what it could be.

The character, as explained in #26, is the commander of the Zarkon armies, but as in the case of Deltox-Zan, the figure is a repaint of another character… actually, the Alactro-Lagard figure is based on Reptis. Deltox-Zan was based on Darman. Why Exin did that is unknown to me, maybe the condition of these figures’s casts were better than the other, or maybe it was just a random choice.

Both Deltox-Zan and Alactro Lagard are much rarer figures that the 8 ones from wave 1, and today cost (Mint On Card) between 150 and 200 Euro each. I have never seen them loose, so I don’t know which price they could have, but surely the half of a MOC figure or less.

  • Name: ALACTRO LAGARD (Ref. 1606)
  • Toy Line: Madelman 2050 (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Exin (Spain)
  • Size of the figures: 3¾’’ or 9,5 cm

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#456 CORGI vs. FEVA – LONDON TAXI (1985 and 1998)

I found not so long ago a London Taxi made by FEVA. I never saw any die-cast made by this brand, so I bought it. The car looked great, had practicable doors, windows, and other features that outweighed the “Made in China” on the base.
When I arrived home, I compared it to the model made by Corgi, and they are very similar. Let’s start maybe with this one first…
The model by Corgi (Corgi Juniors) was designed and launched in 1980. Probably somebody thought it would sell very well among tourists, since the taxis in London have become a symbol of the city, almost as famous as the red double-deck buses.
The taxi was also manufactured in the second “period” of Corgi Toys (now Corgi Toys Ltd.) from 1985 and 1994 (to which the car in the pictures belongs). This second “version” of the taxi is identical to the first one, but the wheels are cheaper and less attractive and the base is plain, just with the Corgi logo, “London Taxi” and “Made in China”.

The FEVA model, as said before, looks great, it is very similar to the Corgi cast, but it is clearly made out of another cast. The wheels look much better and the base plate is decorated with some exhaust pipes, transmission, suspension and so on. This toy is assembled with screws, which is something rare in toys made in the late 90s.
After some investigations, I found out that FEVA was a modern toy designer from the United Kingdom. They manufactured their toys in China, as almost all European toy manufacturers that still exist today. They were focused in toys with some technological component, like radio controlled helicopters or cars, but they also made board games, and other sort of traditional toys.
The company was founded 1998, and closed in 2007 (both dates approximately), and had their headquarters in the outskirts of London (Furlong Road, SL8 5AJ Bourne End, halfway between Maidenhead and High Wycombe). There you’ll find a medium-sized complex of offices that houses many different companies. Since the factories were in China, the facilities in London could have been rather small.

They had a webpage that is no longer active. Old security copies show the company’s vision and other information.
For example, the vision of FEVA was:
"To be acknowledged, profitable, supplier of children’s products"
The company was directed by three men: Kevin Jones, Graham Spark and Paul Thomas, and had a few investors, like the Bank of Scotland.
Also curious is that the name FEVA is actually an acronym for Future-Energy-Vision-Action:
"FUTURE - We are committed to developing the future of the toy and children's products market
ENERGY - We bring a new energy to the business developing products
VISION - We have a vision of the market that has a broad based retail community and products are developed for specific retail channels
ACTION - We make decisions and take the necessary action to develop new opportunities"

The company wanted to establish themselves in the British toy market, but this was a difficult mission. Even though they made and distributed good quality toys, none of them became especially popular or sold especially well. Some of their toys were awarded with differente prizes, like the “Air Hogs RC Sky Patrol Helicopter” or the “Girl Crush Air Brush Tattoo”, that won the Duracell European Toy Survey in 2003 and 2004 respectively, or the that same helicopter and “Crossfire” (an action game), that were among the 10 best toys of 2003 for the ITV’s Toy of the Year.

Among the board games, we find some games based on classic games like the Hangman, Who is Who, Ludo… or more elaborated board games like Robot Wars: the Game (that reminds a bit of Space Crusade), or two licensed board games with the Power Rangers.
  • Name: London Taxi (Ref. 71B and 61081)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1985 and 1998
  • Company: Corgi Toys (Great Britain) and FEVA (Great Britain / China)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Monday, September 8, 2014

#455 SIKU – PORSCHE 911 (V234 / 1010) and MERCEDES 280 SL (V302 / 1017) (1975)

These are two more German cars produced by Siku in the mid 70s, although they were available in a similar form from the mid to late 60s.

The original Porsche had the reference number V234 and was slightly different to the reedition from 1975, since it was the Porsche 901 model with opening trunk, jewel headlights, plastic taillights and different wheels. This model was available in several colours (blue, capri blue and green) with different interiors until 1969. Then it was discontinued, and over the same base, a few years later the Porsche 911 Targa was built. It was 1975 and the new car would carry the 1010 reference. It sold until 1987, but only in one version: metallic grey with black roof.

The Mercedes has a similar story, since the first version was available between 1969 and 1974 in cream white, and between 1975 until 1984 in metallic grey. The first version could have plastic headlights, or metallic ones, while the second version only had metallic ones. It is also interesting to mention that this mode (both models actually) have practicable doors and the front seats can be moved to the front for more realism.

The Porsche is not in its best shape, but it is still a nice car, and the Mercedes is better, but is missing the practicable part of one of the seats. Maybe I can complete it if I find another one. (I already found a second Mercedes and restored the seat).

To finish the article some pictures of the "Polizei" versión of the Porsche 911. This model is missing an antenna, similar to the antenna of this other Porsche model.

See more Siku models here:
  • Name: PORSCHE 911 (V234 / 1010) and MERCEDES 280 SL (V302 / 1017)
  • Scale: Approx 1:64
  • Year: 1975 (first issues 1964 and 1969)
  • Company: Siku (Germany)
  • Size: Approx. 7 cm.
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