Friday, February 12, 2016

#643 REAMSA - BABY TOILET SET (JUEGO DE ASEO PARA BEBÉS) (Around 1952)


This is not a toy, although it may actually look like one. It appears in this blog because it is made by Reamsa, the famous Spanish toy soldier manufacturer. If you are a toy soldier fan, you will surely have heard about them. REAMSA comes from REsinas Artificales Moldeadas, S.A. and was an important figure manufacturer from Barcelona. The company seems to have released it first figure, which was a Mounted Police from Canada, in 1952. It was actually a copy of a figure made by Beton Toys, and it would finally become the logo of the company.

During the first years, figures were 5 cm high, but then they changed the size to 7 cm. Some people argue that the first figures were actually derived from tin soldiers, which are usually this size.

Until 1955 figures were made of soft plastic, and from that year on, figures were made in polyethylene. The figures were hand painted and looked really great, but after many years, most figures have lost much paint.

This set I am showing today is from that same year 1952 or even a few years earlier. It was not intended as a toy, to play with baby dolls, but it was a real set for real babies.


The set comprises:
  • a washbowl
  • a bottle for talcum powder (3 pieces including cover and piece of cork)
  • a soap box
  • a comb
  • a brush
  • a piece of cloth (cannot assure it's original) 



It was made in a soft plastic, maybe some kind of butyrate (like the first Scalextric models) or bakelite, and it seems today to be really fragile. The soap box has a small crack at one side, but it is not broken. I think this set was never used, even the comb still has all its teeth. It is interesting that all pieces have similar drawings, but they are all different in size and details. They are hand painted, at the 50s, the handwork was still affordable for companies in Spain, today it would be unthinkable.



Several pieces are marked on the base REAMSA 653. I guess the set was also available in blue for baby boys and it was maybe decorated with other motives.

A very curious set I am pretty sure you have never seen before! I doubt there are any of these sets complete out there. This one must be the last remaining set in Spain and the rest ofthe world.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: BABY TOILET SET (JUEGO DE ASEO PARA BEBÉS)
  • Year: Around 1952
  • Company: Reamsa (Spain)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#642 DINKY - LAMBORGHINI MARZAL (Nr. 189) (1969)


It seems almost unforgivable that in 641 entries, not a single one dealt directly with Dinky Toys. The reason is that Dinky Toys in Spain, where I lived, and Austria, where I live now, these models are quite rare. I didn´t have many models of this brand until a few weeks/months ago.
 
Dinky is one of the traditional die-cast manufacturers from England, not for nothing is a brand of Meccano Ltd, at the time one of the most powerful toy companies in the world. Dinky was active between 1935 and 1979. The history of the company can be read in the Wikipedia or in any of the many books related to Dinky Toys.
 
 
Because this time I am showing a relatively new car made by Dinky, I will only add a few lines about the later years and what happened to Dinky's brand after 1979. One of the many revolutions in the die-cast world, to which Dinky somehow had to adapt, was the Hot Wheels appearance with low friction wheels. Dinky had to adapt some of its models starting in 1967 to allow a new type of wheels and axles. Meanwhile, Dinky was still competing with Corgi to offer new and interesting features, like 4 practicable doors in the same model, aerials, jewel headlights and so on. All this great details raised the price considerably, and this would later be a problem when trying to compete with cheap Asian manufacturers.
 
In the 70s, there was already a considerable level of competitors coming from Asia, so Dinky started lowering the quality of some of its models. Collectors argue that some cars in this period are really badly casted, while other models still have remarkable accuracy and quality.
 
Dinky Toys finally closed in 1979. As many other die-cast manufacturers in England, and then in other parts of Europe, the competition from the rest of the world lead many traditional brands to disappear in the early 80s. The trademark Dinky, however, was purchased by Matchbox International in the late 80s, and some editions of Matchbox's cars were released under this brand, most of them oriented to adult collectors. Since 2000, the brand has never been used again.
 
 
 
The Lamborghini was available for the first time in 1969, while the real car dates from 1967. It was made in several colours through the years, including yellow/white, green/white, gold/white and blue/white versions, all of them seem to have different wheels. The blue and gold models are clearly the newest ones, with plastic one-part wheels. The yellow version has the oldest type of wheels, and the green one, as you can see in the pictures, has an intermediate type of wheels.
 
The base is marked with the patent number, but there is no scale indication.
 
 
Althugh the real car was made only one time (one unit), it has been made into a toy by many manufacturers, see for example: Guisval #23, Matchbox #69 or Yatming and Zylmex #631. Also Nacoral made a very impressive version with practicable doors.
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LAMBORGHINI MARZAL (Nr. 189)
  • Scale: Around 1:43
  • Year: 1969 (available until 1974)
  • Company: Dinky Toys (England)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Saturday, February 6, 2016

#641 POLITOYS - ALFA ROMEO GIULIA PRONTO INTERVENTO (E14) and LANCIA BETA 1800 (E41) (1971)



Italian brands like Polistil, Mercury, Mebetoys or Grisoni reproduced many italian models that are quite rare in other international brands. I am of course not talking about Ferrari, Lamborghini and other great sport cars, but more common Fiats, Autobiancchis... or in this case I am presenting a Lancia and an Alfa-Romeo from the early 70s.
 


The first one is an Ambulance, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Pronto Intervento. This car was also available in dark green that looks like a military version, but it is actually a "Polizia Stradale" patrol, that is a patrol car for highways in Italy. This version is probably older, since the base is metallic and marked "Combinata Polizia" instead of "Pronto Intervento".



The second one is the Lancia Beta 1800, also available in blue, green, red, police decorations... some had siren, antenna or even a roof rack, so, this grey version seems to be the most boring one. All in all, a rare car with a great cast, beautifully done and with opening doors (the doors includes the whole window frame, something somehow rare in die-cast models.
 



More Politoys from the E-Series HERE.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: ALFA ROMEO GIULIA PRONTO INTERVENTO (E14) and LANCIA BETA 1800 (E41)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1971
  • Company: Politoys (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#640 STAR WARS - MTV-7 (1981)

 
At the time when the Kenner toyline was released, it was still uncommon to see film characters as action figures. Kenner did a big effort releasing a lot of characters, even though some of them were only visible during a few seconds on the screen.
 
 
 
Of course, Kenner also manufactured vehicles, many which can be seen on the movies, and which had a considerable size. Apparently, there was a lack of smaller size vehicles, so Kenner had to invent them. We have commented several times, how important is for an action figure line to have references in every price level, so people who want to spend a certain amount of money can find an appropriate figure/vehicle/playset for that price.
 
This vehicle is one of the invented vehicles. The MTV-7 (Multi Terrain Vehicle) has a small size and carries one figure. It was launched in 1981 as part of the Empire Strikes Back movie series and it is a light armoured exploration vehicle for icy planet Hoth.
 
 
I think it looks great, and it could be very practical in a ice planet, supposing that it does not sink in snow.
 
I do not collect vehicles from this row, maybe the only one I would like to have is the speedster bike, I got this one cheap only to see how they are built, observe it and write this entry.
 

 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MTV-7
  • Toy Line: Star Wars (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Year: 1981 (to 1983)
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 9,5 cm (3 3/4'')

Sunday, January 31, 2016

#639 AMIGO and ASS - TURTLES QUARTETT and POLICE ACADEMY POKER QUARTETT (1990)

 
This two sets have several things in common. Both are from 1990 and based in cartoon characters, licensed by Mirage Studios and Warner Brothers espectively. Both come in an oversized package that might have helped to sell better, or at least for a higher price.
 







 
 
 
 
In the case of the turtles deck, the box includes two round card holders, that may be good for children with small hands to hold a lot of cards and having all in sight. The Police Academy deck includes nothing but the deck.
 
 
A difference between them is that the turtles game is simply a quartett game, while the Police Academy is actually a trumpf game too. Each card shows a vehicle or a weapon with several technical characteristics: speed, distance, attack and defense... it is quite fun to play.
 
The Police Academy film series was always one of my favorites. I haven't seen any film as many times as Police Academy 3, closely followed by Police Academy 4, they were really funny. The cartoon series however was aired only rarely and in regional channels, and I think I have seen it a couple of times (a couple of chapters) and it was ok.
 
The Ninja Turtles cartoons were much popular and I have seen many chapters, but still I preffer the other quartett game. When I saw it, I knew I had to buy it.
 



 
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: TURTLES QUARTETT and POLICE ACADEMY POKER QUARTETT
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Amigo and ASS (Germany)
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