Friday, October 24, 2014

#471 MATCHBOX - CONNECTABLES (Part 1) (1989)


I was never attracted to this plastic cars. I have seen them many times from the 90s on, but until a few months ago, I never bought any. They are a nice concept, quite revolutionary at its time. These cars and vehicles can be splitted in 2 or three parts, and later recombined forming strange hybrids. The line was quite successful in many European countries, and even today, they are easy to find for very
little money.







These cars are completely made of plastic, and the only thing in common with the die-cast Matchbox are the wheels. Since the concept is quite different, these cars were sold in blister packs and bigger boxes. Those blister packs included in most cases a three-part vehicle and a two-part vehicle, or the boxes included 5 vehicles or even 12, if you were lucky enough to get the “big” box.





The catalogue from 1989 shows fifteen vehicles: 6 of them are formed of 3 parts each, the other 9 of two parts each.

Matchbox Catalogue 1990

Matchbox Catalogue 1991

Matchbox Catalogue 1991

Some incomplete vehicles I have

The next year, the Connectables line was expanded notably, with the release of new boxes (although with the same contents), some extra features (like the 5-part long themed vehicles or the Motorized Connectables), new alternative lines (like the Micro Connectables and the Convoy Connectables), some extra bigger vehicle/playsets, like the Truck Transporter, the Connectables Copter, the Connectables Mini Playsets or the extender sets.


These “extenders” are some kind of bars that allowed to connect several vehicles in parallel, creating very strange forms. At some point they were included in the blister packs as a bonus. I was experimenting myself with two bars I own, and I created two vehicles. The bars have some pegs to which we could attach different plastic accessories, but unfortunately, I don’t have any of these.





FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: Connectables
  • Scale of the cars: 1:64 aprox. (cars), 1:100 (tucks)
  • Year: 1989 - 1993
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm (2-part vehicles)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#470 TRANSFORMERS – MICROMASTERS SPORTS CAR PATROL and RACE CAR PATROL (1989)

These two patrols are among the most common and therefore are not very expensive and not very difficult to find. I have already talked several times about Micromasters, so this entry will simply present the characters and that’s it.



RACE CAR PATROL
  • Faction: Autobots
  • Subgroup: Micromasters
  • Function: Reconnaissance
  • Motto: "In confusion to there is opportunity."
  • Bio: The self-described "tiny terrors of the turnpikes." This frantic foursome's primary role is to reconnaissance battle sites before the Autobots' big guns arrive. Fast and fearless. Don't mind mixing it up with any early arriving Decepticons. A vital component in the Autobot ranks. Adept at using their superior maneuverability to harass the enemy.
  • Tech Specs for the Race Car Patrol:
    • Strength: 5
    • Intelligence: 9
    • Speed: 5
    • Endurance: 7
    • Team Work: 8
    • Courage: 8
    • Firepower: 9
    • Skill: 5

FREE WHEELER (Yellow - Lamborghini Countach)
  • Motto: "Avoid the potholes on the road of life"
ROADHANDLER (Red - Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am)
  • Motto: "Unwary warriors soon become wrecks"
SWINDLER (Grey - DeLorean DMC-12)
  • Motto: "Burn rubber, not energon"
TAILSPIN (Blue – Porsche 962)
  • Motto: "Put the pedal to the metal"




RACE CAR PATROL



  • Faction: Decepticons
  • Subgroup: Micromasters
  • Function: Advance Assault
  • Motto: "It takes force to push back the enemy, but speed clears the way!"
  • Bio: Detour, Hyperdrive, Blackjack, and Road Hugger are four of the meanest machines ever to hit the streets! Their primary purpose is to clear a route for Decepticon ground troopers, and they don't care how many wrecks they leave by the roadside! Known for their menacing clean-up tactics, it is "speed" that is their true calling card, and it enables them to swiftly eliminate anything in their path!
  • Tech Specs for Air Strike Patrol:
    • Strength: 8
    • Intelligence: 7
    • Speed: 9
    • Endurance: 7
    • Team Work: 7
    • Courage: 8
    • Firepower: 6
    • Skill: 6

BLACKJACK (Black – Ford Probe)
  • Motto: "The road to victory is paved with Autobot wrecks!"
DETOUR (Yellow – Chevrolet Corvette Indy)
  • Motto: "To flee before overwhelming odds is no vice; to stay and be smashed is not virtue!"
HYPERDRIVE (Light Blue – Plymouth X2S)
  • Motto: "Whenever I drive, the highway becomes a demolition derby!"
ROAD HUGGER (Purple – Ferrari 408)
  • Motto: "Only cowards stop at red lights!"
 

 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MICROMASTERS RACE CAR PATROL and SPORTS CAR PATROL
  • Toy Line: TRANSFORMERS (G1)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.) / Takara (Japan)
  • Size of the figures: Around 5 cm

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#469 CEFA - NUEVO COLT 45 AUTOMÁTICO (Around 1965)


There is no indication at all of which company manufactured this plastic pistol. The toy is not marked, and neither is the box. There are two sellers in todocoleccion, who have this same toy boxed, and they argue, the pistol was made by Cefa (CElulosa FAbril from Zaragoza). They might be right, although I want to register my doubts towards this atribution. It was made in Spain in any case, and it has enough quality to be a product of Cefa, although it is somehow strange that Cefa didn´t marked the pistol.

No matter which company made it, the pistol is very nice, has many details in its cast that make it look almost real, and the handle is even made in a different colour. I think there are some toy firearm collectors out there who might be interested in such a model. The pistol actually "works" and can shoot plastic bullets. In the package there were many included, but none has survived until today.

The pistol was presumably made in the mid-60s, as I can deduce from the age of its owner and also the style of the box: simple, colorful, in Spanish only. The box should have a cardboard inlay, so the pistol is fixed inside the box, and do not move. The lower part of the box is plain white.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: NUEVO COLT 45 AUTOMÁTICO
  • Year: Around 1965
  • Company: Cefa (Spain)
  • Size: Approx. 17 cm

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#468 BBURAGO - DODGE VIPER RT/10 and GTS COUPÉ (1997 and 1998)


These are three models of Dodge Viper, one of them cabrio made by Bburago in 1:43 scale. These were manufactured in the mid 90s, and in my opinion, the casts are slightly better than those of older models from the 80s. They have many plastic parts, but these are especially well used, as the windshield on the cabrio version or the air intakes.
 


Another good point are the stripe stickers, that are identical to those that the original car had. This model was manufactured in several colours, and these are a nice example of it.




The Cabrio versión is the RT/10 from 1997 with reference number 4105
The red model is a GTS Coupé from 1998 with reference number 4140. The blue one is the same model (although with a different refernce number -4115-), but a later release (note that the wheels are different). 



 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: DODGE VIPER RT/10 (4105) and GTS COUPÉ (4140 red and 4115 blue)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1997 and 1998
  • Company: Bburago (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Sunday, October 12, 2014

#467 CHIQUIVAL – CHIQUI-MOTORISTA y CHIQUI-ESQUIADOR (Ref. 571 and 574) (1981)

 

Chiquival was a try to build a rather simple plastic figure in the Playmobil style. The figure by Guisval is approximately half of the size of the Geobra figure. In the Spanish market there were also other figures in this style, but all of them were in the Playmobil size of bigger, like Airgamboys, Cefa-Boys (the Spanish license of the German Play-BIG) or the Coman-boys by Comansi.



In the second picture, you can see the Price of the boxes: 95 pesetas (0,57 Eur). Each of these boxes included a figure with some headwear (in other references, also accessories), a vehicle and a Guisval Catalogue from 1981.



 The figure was patented in 1980, and the patent was granted in 1981. Here are two pictures taken from the original document. As in other “kubrick-style” figure series, what’s important is the concept of the toy, not the accuracy of the models.


The chiquival toyline had many sub-series, all of them with a name starting with “chiqui”, in this case, I am presenting the Chiquicerillas, which gives the idea of a "matchbox toy" (cerillas = matches). Each box includes some kind of vehicle (mostly die-cast) and an articulated plastic figure with some kind of accessory. Most cars are just imaginary models, or toonified real models. Many have big interiors to host the figure. "Chiquicerillas" was the first line to be developed and sold, later there would come many other subseries, like:
  • “Chiquis-Junior” (figure + 3’’ vehicle: train, truck, car, plane) – this line were colorful and less detailed vehicles, intended for younger children.
  • “Chiquis” (figure + 3’’ vehicle: plane, fire-truck, ambulance, formula 1, oldtimer, Jeep, Boat, Vespa… ) – The “classic” line, with new packages (blister pack, jewel case) instead of the matchbox.
  •  “Chiquis Super-Junior” (2 figures + 2 3’’ vehicles) from the “Chiquis” line
  • “Chiquival Senior” (figure + 5’’ vehicle: truck, Jeep, Ambulance, Van, Rally car) – Some vehicles are “recycled” from other lines like Escorpión.
  • “Chiqui-coches” (2 figures + big vehicle: truck or Jeep) – these vehicles were new designs for the Chiquival line. There were some references that included some plastic roads to form a little city and play with your figures.
  • “Chiquitren” was a electric train including train-station, several figures and tracks. There were at least two references, one including only train engine and one coach, and another one with train engine, two coaches and a more tracks. “Chiquitren” could be combined with the “Chiqui-coches”. Forming a larger city with both train tracks and roads.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: CHIQUI-MOTORISTA y CHIQUI-ESQUIADOR (Ref. 571 and 574)
  • Toy Line: Chiquival
  • Year: 1981
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size of the figures: Approx. 4,5 cm
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