Friday, October 31, 2014

#474 DINO RIDERS – PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS with TAGG (1989)


The Pachycephalosaurus is a medium-sized, second wave dinosaur from wave 2 of Dino-riders. The second wave dinosaurs are much rarer than those from the first wave, and usually reach high prices in auction.

The dinosaur was designed to be part of the Valorian team, and included very few pieces of armour: a harness, a seat, two cannons and some punching sticks.

The dinosaur was made with the usual quality of Tyco: its skin looked real, the paintwork is excellent, the eyes are crystal balls, and it has articulated arms and legs. It stands both in normal and attack positions, that is either with two legs and tail on the ground, or just with two legs balancing tail with head. This dinosaur could defend itself hitting other dinosaurs with its hard head, or it could fight against other from its same species the same way.




Tagg is the only Dino-Rider of black race, which is always something interesting to mention in toy collections. The figure came with a set of grey accessories from the second type.


In this diorama I prepared last winter, we can see the Pachycephalosaurus fighting against the Monoclonius. The position of the seat in the diorama pictures is not as I expected, you can see how the seat balances according to the position of the dinosaur in the next pictures.



And that’s all by now. Another dinosaur from wave 2 in my collection… little by little, the collection comes to an end.

As a bonus, I put here two pics of the German instructions to this toy.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS with TAGG
  • Toy Line: Dino-Riders (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Tyco (U.S.A.)
  • Scale of the dinosaur: 1:24
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#473 MATCHBOX - MICRO CONNECTABLES (1990)

 
As an example of one of the sub-lines explained in the previous entry, I have selected these "Mini Connectables". One of the best-selling toylines between 1987 and 1993 or 1994 were the Micro Machines, that are a reference for many other toy companies, that started producing similar toys in small scale, like Transformers with the Micromasters (some of which, by the way, could be splitted and combined too) or other types of toys, but also in a very small scale, like for example Mighty Max. 
 
  
In the Connectables case, those little vehicles were roughly half of the bigger ones, but nevertheless very similar, not only technically (the connecting pegs are the same, only smaller) but also in their designs.
 
Size comparison Connectable vs. Micro Connectable
 

There were a first release in 1990 consisting in 4 sets, each of them with 3 vehicles and 8 parts (also 3+3+2). The next year, the line was expanded with 6 new models, and repaints of all the previous ones. In 1992, the Micro Connectables disappeared from the catalogue, probably didn’t sell as expected, or at least worse than their bigger brothers.


You can see the catalogue images in the previous two entries.

FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: Micro Connectables
  • Scale of the cars: 1:120 aprox.
  • Year: 1990 - 1991
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm (2-part vehicles)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#472 MATCHBOX - CONNECTABLES (Part 2) (1991)


After the great success of the line during its 2 first years, Matchbox had to keep it running and invented new features. Since it was the nineties,one of the first tries was to release the same cars, only with more appealing colours, like in this example, or some “remixed” vehicles, which were combined forming similar but different vehicles.



The other new feature from 1991 were the “Light & Sound”.

And there was still another playset, called the “Power Bloc” which was some kind of tractor rig to push your connectable-build with some accessories, like a fork lift or a crane.

Comparison between first version and recoloured version

From here on, the Connectables line expanded even more, since the line splitted in two themes: the normal line (again with new features, like the Crazy Limos) and the Rescue Force line, with far more futuristic vehicles. These futuristic vehicle-parts included light, sound and also engines (I think pull-back engines), to make them even cooler. Take a look at the catalogue. As in the previous entry, I put here Matchbox catalogues from 1991 to 1993.

Matchbox Catalogue 1991

Matchbox Catalogue 1991

Matchbox Catalogue 1992

Matchbox Catalogue 1992

Matchbox Catalogue 1993

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)

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
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