Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#506 SCALEXTRIC – CHAPARRAL (Ref. C-40 or 4040) (1969)


This is one of the oldest Scalextric models designed and manufactured in Spain. It was sold from 1969 on, and represented a rather strange American model (Chaparral 2E is the “complete” name) which raced in 1966. Its pilot was Jim Hall, who also founded the Chaparral Racing team (together with Hap Sharp) and who also drove a Lotus in the F1 championships from 1960 to 1962.


The real car had a huge wing that could be controlled by the pilot, making it flat in straights and curving it when more grip is needed. This feature made the Chaparral 2x models revolutionary and also very interesting for the people to see its races. Unfortunately, this types of wings were later banned because of the accidents its malfunction caused.


The design team at Scalextric were probably attracted by that huge wing, and thought it would be a very attractive car to add to the line. The car was made in four colours: white, green, yellow and red, although there are two shades of red.


The car is fun to drive, since it has a very low gravity center, and it’s rather fast. On the other side, the wing is very fragile, and it’s very often broken or missing.


I was lucky to find one green sample of these still boxed, and bought it, although I also own a white one (unfortunately without the spoiler, yet) and the “Vintage” version from 1997, also in white and decorated with the RN 66, as the real Chaparral driven by Jim Hall.



FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: CHAPARRAL 2E (Ref. C-40 or 4040)
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Year: 1969
  • Company: Scalextric Exin (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 13 cm

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#505 HISTORIAS Y CURIOSIDADES ACERCA DE JUGUETES (XAVIER ARUMÍ)


The latest book by Xavier Arumi was released in November 2014, and it is a collection of short articles/chapters dealing with curious stories of toys.

The book contains 38 chapters with an extension of 3 to 5 pages, what makes it a nice book to read anytime, also if you do not have much time. These chapters have been divided in 4 bigger blocks: “Curious Origins”, “View of the Future”, “Dangerous Toys and Games” and “Other Curiosities”.

Many of these chapters deal with traditional or generic toys, although there are chapters dedicated to specific brands and toys. For example, in the first category, we find chapters devoted to kites, swings, baby rattlers or puppet theaters, while in the second category, we can mention Matchbox, Gilbert, Remco, Lego, Hello Kitty or Playmobil.

It is difficult to point out single chapters in such books, but some of my favorites deal with talking dolls, radioactive chemistry toys, the Slinky spring, Silly Putty or the Frisbee.

The book can be purchased at the webpage of the autor:
http://www.rosaspage.com/shop/historias_curiosidades_juguetes.html

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#504 HERACLIO FOURNIER - MOONRAKER (1979)

 
It surprises me that there are some many toys about James Bond. From a modern point of view, the films are quite violent, there are some more or less explicit sex scenes, and there´s a lot of drinking and (before the 90s) also a lot of smoking.

The films, however, are quite cool... specially the cars and the many gadgets that James Bond uses in the films. Most toys are either based on these gadgets or are plastic or die-cast guns and weapons, what we would heute call "role-play" accesories.



 
I already showed two cars made by Corgi (see #33 and #407), but this time, I am presenting a deck of cards. It is a quartet deck with scenes from the film and some texts. There are 8 families (32 cards) plus the instructions card which is also the cover card.

Heraclio Fournier used to make many decks for children based on tv series, cartoons and also movies, although movies were somehow rarer. I also presented the deck Superman HERE (curiously made in the same year as this one). In the 60s and 70s movie decks were somehow more popular.
 
FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: MOONRAKER
  • Year: 1979
  • Company: Heraclio-Fournier (Spain)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#503 TRANSFORMERS - FIRECONS CINDERSAUR, SPARKSTALKER and FLAMEFEATHER (1988)


These are probably the worst transformers ever released by Hasbro/Takara: in my opinion, their robot forms are ugly, their transformations are not elaborated at all, and their alternate (monster) forms are quite absurd.


They have the same "cold sparks" feature than the Sparkabots Sizzle and Fizzle. As a matter of fact, the Firecons are some kind of counterparts to the Sparkabots. The Firecons are Deceptions and the Sparkabots are Autobots. All of them have a small rubber wheel at the base and the sparks come out of the monster´s mouth, beak or whatever. Each figure have two articulated little arms, a tail and a movable head. The robot is hidden in the back of the monster.
Left to Right: CINDERSAUR, SPARKSTALKER and FLAMEFEATHER

The good thing at least, is that their are easy to find complete, since they came with no accesories. And also cheap to find, I bought mine for one euro each. A good point is that there are three Firecons in G1, so I have all of them. They were recoloured for G2, using transparent plastic.
 

To finish the article, here are the filecards of these three little beasts:

CINDERSAUR
  • Faction: Decepticon
  • Subgroup: Firecons
  • Function: Firestorm Trooper
  • Motto: “Crash and burn . . . and burn . . . and burn”
  • Bio: Incinerates everything in his path so he can find his way home. Leaves a trail of charred ground wherever he goes. Probably fried some of his brain circuits from excessive smoke inhalation. Enjoys taking flame baths to soothe his aching joints. Equipped with fusion-powered flame breath that can be focused in a narrow stream or sprayed in a wide angle. His hobbies include barbecuing Autobots and drinking volcanic lava.
  • Tech Specs for Cindersaur:
    • Strength: 7
    • Intelligence: 3
    • Speed: 2
    • Endurance: 4
    • Rank: 5
    • Courage: 9
    • Firepower: 7
    • Skill: 8

SPARKSTALKER
  • Faction: Decepticon
  • Subgroup: Firecons
  • Function: Cryptologist
  • Motto: “The smallest details reveal the largest secrets”
  • Bio: His greatest talents are revealed in the tiniest structures. An expert in robbing memory banks, counterfeiting printed circuits, decoding binary messages. Meticulous, cautious, obsessed with minute details. Decepticons appreciate his appearance more than his other talents because he terrifies Autobots. Shoots flame from mouth with limited accuracy. Better equipped to light campfires than melt Autobots.
  • Tech Specs for Sparkstalker:
    • Strength: 5
    • Intelligence: 9
    • Speed: 2
    • Endurance: 6
    • Rank: 6
    • Courage: 6
    • Firepower: 4
    • Skill: 9

FLAMEFEATHER
  • Faction: Decepticon
  • Subgroup: Firecons
  • Function: Warrior
  • Motto: “The only good Autobot is a deactivated Autobot”
  • Bio: The only Decepticon ever thrown out of the Decepticon Military Academy for being too violent. Trashes entire car lots when there's nothing better to do. Usually works alone because his fellow Decepticons refuse to work with him. Flamethrower inside his mouth can fry a football field. Maximum flight speed: 90mph. Greatest achievement: talking to someone for more than a minute before flying into a rage.
  • Tech Specs for Flamefeather:
    • Strength: 6
    • Intelligence: 4
    • Speed: 5
    • Endurance: 7
    • Rank: 5
    • Courage: 8
    • Firepower: 7
    • Skill: 5
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: CINDERSAUR, SPARKSTALKER and FLAMEFEATHER
  • Toy Line: Transformers – Firecons
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.) / Takara (Japan)
  • Size of the figures: Around 4 cms tall

Sunday, January 18, 2015

#502 GUISVAL - COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN AUTOPISTA (VARIOUS MODELS) (From 1983)


This series was originally released in 1983. It consisted of blister packs or jewel cases including two or three pieces (if we count the trailer part). This kind of sets were available in most foreign competitor brands (for example the series 300 by Majorette) since many years ago.

Such sets are far more attractive than single cars, and cover a higher price range, bringing at the same time a new posibility to play with cars towing trailers. Since the miniture models were three inches long, the series keeps its name from the Campeón series with the surname "Autopista" to be able to differentiate from other series in this scale.

The first and only 12 references can be seen here (see pages 10, 11 and 12). They were:
  • B/701 CARRERAS - Red Mercedes Benz Van + white trailer + Red Porsche 936
  • B/702 CAMPINGS - Grey Seat 131 + Yellow House Trailer
  • B/703 SERVICIOS - White + White House Trailer (Red Cross)
  • B/704 NAÚTICA - Renault 18 + trailer + Speedboat
  • B/705 FORMULA-1 - Jeep Willys + red trailer + white Brabham BT-46
  • B/706 AUXILIO CARRETERA - Orange Land Rover tow-away truck + green Porsche 928
  • B/707 SAFARI - White Datsun Patrol + Jail
  • B/708 HÍPICA - Talbot Horizon + Horse Trailer
  • B/709 SERVICIO HELIPUERTO - Yellow Datsun Patrol + trailer and Helicopter
  • B/710 BOMBEROS AEROPUERTO - Renault 12 + Volvo Fire truck
  • B/711 OBRAS PÚBLICAS - Volvo Cement Truck + Magirus Deutz with traffic signs
  • B/712 CONSTRUCCIÓN - Volvo Container + Magirus Deutz crane truck
These had fixed components: I mean, they always included the same, high-quality models from the "Campeón" series, those with suspension, light-coloured windshields, plastic interiors and some of them also included decals or stickers. Some had even practicable doors.

The collection was available until the early 90s, and during the whole time the blister card wasn´t changed. But the "contents" of each reference varied slightly. The next reference I have comes from a catalogue from 1987, in which all references have been changed to some extent. First observation is that the cars are still models belonging to the Campeon series, but the "Club" sub-series (see #263 for more information on this sub-series): note that some windshields are dark, the cars have no interiors, and the suspension has been removed. The base is in most cases made of plastic, and the wheels are based on a new design. Note also that most models do not have any decals or stickers. Some references can either come with one car model or the other (example: the horse carrier could either come with a Seat Ibiza or an Audi 100)

The last reference I want to show in this entry are the blister packs from the early 90s, that I recently bought thanks to my friend Pablo. In this case, there are already many versions of one same reference, what makes everything very difficult to catalogue, note for example that some reference are simply two models, like a Datsun Patrol plus a Buggy, the cars that go with certain trailer are chosen randomly.

Also interesting is that some cars are even simpler than a few years ago: the Datsun Patrols do not have the canopy, but (surprise!) some blister include again old Campeon models with suspension, clear windows or interiors. These are probably left-overs that Guisval wanted to give away, since they didn´t fit in the current series. That Renault 5 is probably one of the last "classic" Campeon´s ever sold by Guisval self. Another interesting model is the Seat 124 Sport in Orange, which is quite a relic. It still comes with suspension but no interiors and dark windows. Note the different type of wheels/hubcaps, that denote the presence of suspensión, as well as being an older model.

Later B/706 AUXILIO CARRETERA - Land Rover tow-away truck + Renault 5

Later B/707 SAFARI - Datsun Patrol + Jail

Later B/708 HÍPICA - Citroën BX + Horse Trailer

Later B/708 HÍPICA - Opel Corsa + Horse Trailer

Later B/709 SERVICIO HELIPUERTO - Datsun Patrol + trailer and Helicopter

Later B/711 OBRAS PÚBLICAS - Volvo Cement Truck + Road Roller

Some of these newer packs do not match any of the 12 original references, for example:
  • Jeep Willys + Buggy
  • Datsun Patrol + Buggy
  • Datsun Patrol + Seat 124 Sport
Datsun Patrol + Buggy Skoda

Datsun Patrol + Seat 124 Sport

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN AUTOPISTA (Various Models and references, see pics)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1972 and 1973
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#501 STREET FIGHTER (OFFICIAL MOVIE FIGHTERS) - KEN MASTERS (1994)


In 1993 Hasbro´s G.I.Joe was already a decaying toyline, although still had relatively good sales. The line was trying new designs, with neon colours, missile launchers and a different science-fiction approach. That year, the G.I.Joe toyline became a subseries with the Street Fighters characters. First, 6 figures were released and then the other 6.

But these are not the figures from which I want to talk today... only 1 year later, Hasbro was entitled to produce the action figures to the film "Street Fighter", starred by Jean-Claude Van Damme and directed by Steven E. de Souza. Since They had the Street Fighter 2 figures as part of the normal series, they simply reused some of these casts, as well as a few new casts (mostly heads), to create a bunch of new characters, including many versions of Guile (van Damme). These figures were slightly more realistic than the characters in the G.I.Joe series, mostly because of the head sculpts, cool accesories and the outfits´ likeness to those in the video games.

The figure has the same size of a G.I.Joe ARAH (3 1/2'') and some figures have an action feature like punches and kicks.

I have a couple of figures from this collection, although this is the only one MOC. The blister card has not much to comment, and neither has the back card. No catalogue, no information, just a illustration of the fighters. The most interesting thing is some kind of "secret tip" to improve your game technique and being able to perform some combos or whatever in the videogame. This was also included in the G.I.Joe/ Street Fighter figures.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: KEN MASTERS
  • Toy Line: STREET FIGHTER (OFFICIAL MOVIE FIGHTERS)
  • Year: 1994
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 9,5 cm (3 3/4'')

Sunday, January 11, 2015

#500 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE - LASER LIGHT SKELETOR (Ref. 7061) (1988)


Since this entry makes a round number, I have decided to choose one of the best and most valuable toys I have in my collection.

This figure is among the most expensive and hard to find figures in the whole Masters of the Universe toyline. It is the last figure ever released in the collection (together with Laser Power He-Man) in 1988. The toyline was already cancelled in most parts of the world after 6 waves, so the both "laser" figures are considered to belong to the 7th wave, or sometimes, they are let out of this numbering system.


The fact is that the figure was only released in Spain and Italy, with the name Skeletor Ojos de Fuego ("Eyes of Fire") in Spanish or "Occhi di Fuoco" in Italian. The Italian Card was written also in English "Laser Light Skeletor" and French "Éclat Funeste" (eng. Gruesome Glare), although it seems that the figures were never sold in France, Great Britain or any other countries. The Spanish blister was only labelled in Spanish, and is considered to be even rarer than the italian model.


He-Man Laser Power and Skeletor Laser Light are the first and only two Masters of the Universe figures (not vehicles) in the whole collection that were battery powered. Each figure had some kind of big backpack to carry a AA battery. In this case, the "backpack" is part of the figure, like a huge hump. That hump hosts a "battery-holder" made of black plastic. That battery is connected to some small lightbulbs (maybe LEDs) placed on Skeletors eyes and right forearm, and that emit red light. I cannot give further details since I wouldn´t open such a figure to see its interior.


Battery Holder

If the metal contacts are not bright and clean, it is no reproduction.

The figure is quite impressive, a little in the style of the end of the 80s: a lot of details and golden and bright colours, today it would have looked very differently. The figure is not very different from others, except for the "backpack" mentioned above. it doesn´t have any articulation on the neck, and the legs are not fixed to the body with a plastic strip, but with the type of articulation used in some later figures like Snout Spout, Which is a great thing, since it is much more durable. The right arm is made of two parts, since the hand is made of another transparent type of plastic.

The figure came with 2 accesories (outside of the black plastic battery holder). The first one is a purple cloak with a rather strange design (it has a hole for the backpack). It is important to note that the cloak has a black elastic strap that fits right below the figure´s chin, to somehow fix it in the right position. The second accesory is Skeletor´s classic ramhead staff, only in red transparent plastic, which is intended to be hold by the red transparent plastic hand, from where light comes out. The effect is quite impressive, although I think, when the figure was new, it was slightly brighter.


The figure is absolutely amazing, and nowadays, it has a price of around 300 Euros loose and much more carded (just to give a number, I would say it is starting with 900-1000 Euros). And because of these high prices, the figure has been reproduced recently and is being sold for around 500 Eur carded. But be careful! because these are not the original figures from 1988, but some reproduction made recently, maybe in 2012 or so...


In my opinion, the reproduction figure has no value at all, and 500 Eur is not even cheap... so you can decide for yourself if you want to buy a real figure or a reproduction. There are also reproduction cloaks and reproduction battery holders to be bought loose. Read the descriptions carefully before buying anything. If the figure is loose, it is preferable if the figure has been played and has some use marks (like for example some paint loss at the tip of the paws), or if it is not pristine clean.



Read More about MOTU here: http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/search/label/Masters%20of%20the%20Universe

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: LASER LIGHT SKELETOR (Ref. 7061)
  • Alternate Names: SKELETOR OJOS DE FUEGO (Spain), SKELETOR OCCHI DI FUOCO (Italy), SKELETOR ÉCLAT FUNESTE (France)
  • Toy Line: Masters of the Universe (Wave 7)
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 5½’’ or 14 cm

Friday, January 9, 2015

#499 BBURAGO – VARIOUS FERRARI MODELS (1982, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1996)

Bburago is a company that has been quite related to Ferrari throughout its history. Both are Italian companies, that´s clear, and Bburago was the leader manufacturer of miniatures in scales bigger than 1:43 during many years. The headquarters of Bburago was located in Burago di Molgora, very close to the racing circuit of Monza. The name of the company Bburago is actually the name of the village with an extra “B” from Besana, the family that founded the company.

Since the earliest years Bburago had a preference for Ferrari models, and reproduced much more cars from this Italian brand as from any other Brand.

REF: 4106 FERRARI BB 512 DAYTONA in red (1982)




-
 

REF. 4108 FERRARI F40 in red (1989)




REF. 4128 FERRARI F40 in gold/yellow (1996)





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REF. 4136 FERRARI 456 GT in red (1995)
REF. 4146 FERRARI 456 GT in dark blue (1995)








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REF: 4104 FERRARI TESTA ROSSA in red (1987)





REF. 4157 FERRARI TESTA ROSSA in yellow (1993)





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REF. 4117 FERRARI 308 GTB “SABA” in grey (1991)




NOTE: Another Ferrari 308 GTB Rally was shown in this entry.

REF. 4175 FERRARI GTO in yellow (1991)




FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: FERRARI BB 512 DAYTONA (4106), FERRARI F40 (4108 and 4128), FERRARI 456 GT  (4136 and 4146), FERRARI TESTA ROSSA (4104 and 4157) FERRARI 308 GTB “SABA” (4117) and FERRARI GTO (4175) 
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1982, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1996
  • Company: Bburago (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm
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