Saturday, December 3, 2016

#750 AMIGO - WWF QUARTETTS Nr. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 (1992 and 1993)



I am fascinated with these card sets by Amigo released in 1992 and 1993. Amigo is one of the greatest German card and board game makers. It is surely among the top 5, and because wrestling was hugely popular in that country by the early 90s, Amigo released 8 WWF quartetts with the corresponding license of the copyright owner.



I am not sure how this all started, by I think the first 4 came all at once into the toyshops in 1992, while the other 4 came one year later, a sign that the first four were selling very good. There are at least two editions of each of the 4 first sets, as you can see above, so, at least the first 4 were reissued at some point. Note that some boxes have a signature on the cover, other not (the ones without the signature are reissues), and some cards have in the back of each card a wrestler and text or only text. The example above even has a different cove picture (Papa Shango instead of the Ultimate Warrior).

The numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 are much more difficult to find. I have number 6 only. I´ll buy the other 3 as soon as I find them.



Each set contains 32 cards, plus two instruction cards and three promotional cards (wrestling publications, other Amigo games, and wrestling videogames). Those promotional cards, are very difficult to find, if you are a die-hard "completist". The 32 cards build 8 families, with 4 members each, but in this set, the "family members" are not related in any way... One card shows one wrestler or one tag team, and the next card another wrestler. You can play the classic game with the families or using the back of the card you can play a sort of paper-scissors-rock game with one action on the back of each card. Here “Press” wins “Pin”, “Pin” wins “Body Slam” and “Drop Kick”, an so on…

The game complexity or fun is, in my case at least, unimportant. I just like looking at the great pictures showing wrestlers in action. The pictures are amazing, official promo pictures taken by the WWF themselves. All 32 wrestlers or teams are really well known, and there are no repetitions. The problem is that in the next quartett, you find the same 32 characters, but, fortunately, different pictures. If you collect all four sets, you could have 128 pictures of very famous wrestlers, and 256 pictures with all 8 card sets. In the second set, however, there are a few new wrestlers that were not present in the first 4 sets.

SET 1:





SET 2:





SET 3:





SET 4:





SET 6:





FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: WWF QUARTETTS Nr. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
  • Year: 1992 and 1993
  • Company: Amigo Spiele (Germany)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#749 GUISVAL – FANAL/ DISPLAY COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN and SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS (Around 1990)

 
These are two displays from the very early 90s by Guisval, as the cars were still made in Spain. I have talked about these display items many times over the entries dedicated to Guisval, but these are the first I actually buy. I got them through a friend who saw them in a shop. For that year, the models included are quite old-fashioned, and include casts that were already used in the early 80s.
 
 
The first of the two is a "campeón" collection, that is the 3 inches, ordinary collection by Guisval. It contains 24 cars, in plastic blisters, many of them are double, triple or even cuadruple. Note that interestingly, the bottom three come in slightly bigger blisters, because they are bigger models (vans and pick-ups). The yellow display should have some cardboard decoration on both upper sides, but they are lost, or maybe removed if the cars were originally placed in another display and the picture did not fit the cars anymore.
 
The cars from these years suffer from metal-fatigue or zamak pest and sometimes are found broken, even if mint in box. This is the case of the pick up at the bottom, center column or the second car in the center column (a golden Seat Ronda).
 
All cars come with rally stickers, and with either 4 spoke wheels or 8 point wheels, which are two of the latest wheel models used by Guisval.
 
The models are (by row and column)
  • Opel Kadett (Vauxhall Astra) - Matra Simca Bagheera - Ford Sierra
  • Porsche 928 - Seat Ronda - Matra Simca Bagheera
  • Matra Simca Bagueera - Renault 11 - Peugeot 205
  • BMW 323i - Renault 21 Nevada - Citroën BX
  • Opel Corsa - Ford Sierra - Seat Ronda
  • Seat Ronda - Mercedes 190 - BMW 323i
  • Ford Sierra - Opel Kadett - Ford Sierra
  • Renault Espace - Toyota Hilux - Renault Espace


The second display has a bunch of trucks (either Volvo or Magirus Deutz) together with one Jeep Willis, one Land Rover, several pickups (Toyota Hilux and Datsun), two Renault Espace and a camper van. I love this set, because most of these vehicles came with plastic accesories like canopies, tow hooks, or construction items and these are usually lost in played toys. It is diffcult to get some of them complete.
 
 
 
Here, the wheel mixture is more complex, because we find the 4-spoke wheel and the typical “truck wheel” (small circle surrounded by 5 points and big circle), together with the classic wheel used in the Jeep Willis.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: 2 FANALES/ DISPLAYS COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN AND SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS
  • Scale: Cars around 1:64, trucks around 1:100
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm each

Monday, November 28, 2016

#748 HOT WHEELS!/ LIONEL TRAINS INC – 3 FLIPPERS/ REVOLVER MODELS (1990)


I was surprised to see that there is almost no information about these toys on the internet. I have seen a few message boards were people look for them, and, althouhg many people remember them, almost nobody seems to know what their name was. They are called “Flippers”.

Flippers because you can flip them and then you have a completely different model, kind of a car with two sides.


You can see several characteristics that made this cars very recognisable: they are quite flat, the have big wheels, and they are made of metal except the central part, which is made of plastic. This part moves up or down, depending on which side of the car is up. Another characteristics are the bright colours with appealing tampographies (very in the 90s fashion) and being fictitious cars, or at least, no accurate reproductions of any known car. I guess it is very difficult to make a car look like a real one when you have such “flat” constraints.

They were sold in reversible blister packs (a blister pack that could be hang either upside-down or downside-up, with two "hooks") and there were even some sub-series in which the car could also emit sounds "Flashmagic", like Majorette´s Sonic Flashers. There are different cardbacks. In one of them, there are 8 models/ references depicted (4 really, but with 2 ecorations each). I think there were only three "flashmagic" made, and they had references: 8862, 8870 and 8871.

There were even some speed tracks especially designed for the Flippers.

Interestingly enough, the card is written in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish, and the addresses are from Mattel in the U.K., France, Belgium, West-Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain… researching a little bit, I found out, that these cars were never available in the U.S., but they somehow made their way to South and Central America (at least some countries).

They are not marked at all with "Hot Wheels!", "Mattel", but with “© L.T.I.”, so they are quite difficult to identify if you did miss their release in the early 90s. The hint again is on the backcard, where we can read:
“Mattel, Inc. Manufactured and sold under license. © 1990 Lionel Trains, Inc.
Made in China. Produced by Chief Industrial, Co. All rights reserved”

That means, that the real designer and maker of these toys is Lionel Trains Inc. (Hong-Kong), not Mattel. Therefore L.T.I. Mattel probably and simply found the models very good and decided to get a license for them for Europe.

The original cars by Lionel trains were called “Revolvers”, and were available in the US (Note the address from Michigan in the card front). They were also licensed to another toy company named Irwin for (at least) the Canadian market. Since the product was already available in the U.S., we have a reason why they were not sold under the HotWheels! Brand.

The interesting thing is that Lionel Trains also had 8 models (actually 4 in two decorations each), the same ones that later released Hot Wheels. Still there are some cards which are not in any of the next cardbacks, so I guess Hot Wheels maybe made a second batch of cars with new decorations, or maybe was it Lionel Trains?

These are the 8 Hot Wheels models, carrying references: 6001 to 6004 and 6007 to 6010. I wonder if the two missing references 6005 and 6006 are the two I have…

Picture taken from ebay.co.uk

This is another picture of a Hot Wheels Flashmagic cardback.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

These are the 8 Lionel Trains models. The second starting from above is the one I am showing in the the pictures: The yellow side is called “Dirt Shifter” and the black/purple side is called “Turnin’ Burner”.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

I remember their commercial, and that they had a certain popularity back then. I have had these toys in my hands for many years, although I never owned any. It has been only recently, that I got my first three (or I should say six?)

They went as they came, and the line has been long forgotten. I just expect that this blog entry wakes up some memories in people who had them or collectors from the US who are looking information about them now on google.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: 3 HOT WHEELS! FLIPPERS/ LION'S TRAINS INC. REVOLVERS MODELS
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Mattel/ Lionel Trains Inc. (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Friday, November 25, 2016

#747 MIRA - PEGASO TRANSPORTE INTERNACIONAL (Ref. 69) (1976)





The most renowned series by Mira is probably the Pegaso truck series made in the late 70s and continued during the early 80s. This included one truck in long (first) and (then) short version, and with every possible trailers: cargoes, cranes, tankers, fire brigade with ladder, big wine casks, military...

For me, the great success, is that they decided to make them in 1:64 scale, and thus, compatible with most toy cars that are very common among children. Think that most toy trucks were made with the same size as cars, to be sold for the same price, so, even as a kid, I looked at trucks and thought they were too small compared with the rest of the collection. With the Pegasos by Mira you wouldn’t have such a problem, they had the same scale.


I think it was around 1976 that the first models were released, there were long (4 axles) or articulated trucks with long trailers. Some (like this one) also included an additional trailer to be towed by the first trailer. As said before, all truck were the same pegaso model and the colour varied from one model to the next. A Bus was also released within this series, but only a few references were made of it.

Most accurately, there were 36 references. 4 of them were buses, 8 were "double" (with additional trailer), 5 of them were chromed (including one "double" and one bus), and the rest were all long trucks (either 4 axles or 2 axles plus 2-axled trailer).



The next year 1978, and using as a base the articulated version of the Pegaso, several new loads were created and attached to the base truck, creating 26 "short versions" with, again, many different decorations. These were sold without trailers and they were surely much cheaper. There were other large model issues, including a modern not-articulated tanker, a cement mixer and others.

Several references were sold during many years, until the mid 80s, and are available with different types of wheels, among other minor details. Over the years, some trucks were designed with a peg on the roof to attach a plastic spoiler, and the decals were replaced by stickers. The cast, however, remained untouched.


They are very sough-for in Spain and they can be quite costly to buy, apart from difficult to find. There are people who collect only these Pegaso trucks, and they have amazing collections.

In this case I am presenting one of the largest models that could be bought at the time, a "mudanzas" (move away?) truck. I have other 2, that I will present some other time.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: PEGASO TRANSPORTE INTERNACIONAL (Ref. 69)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1977
  • Company: Mira (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 11 cm + 8 cm trailer
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