Friday, December 30, 2016

#760 CORGI – LOTUS-CLIMAX FORMULA 1 and COOPER MASERATI F/1 (Nr. 155 and 156) (1964 and 1967)


Despite having consecutive numbers and looking very similar, these two formula ones are 3 years from each other. The Lotus Climax was released in 1964, and sold pretty well, probably because it was the car in which Jim Clark won the championships in 1963 with a clear superiority above all other competitors. Almost one million pieces were sold.




The second model, a Cooper Maserati, was released in 1967, but I cannot identify it among the cars that run that year or the previous one. The colour and decoration may point to the Rob Walker Racing Team, but I do not know who drove this car with RN7.



Both models were discontinued in 1969: the Lotus maybe after the death of Jim Clark in 1968. The reason why the Cooper was also discontinued after only two years is also unknown to me... despite being so short for sale, it was sold 726,000 times.




FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LOTUS-CLIMAX FORMULA 1 RACING CAR and COOPER MASERATI F/1
  • Scale: Around 1:43
  • Year: 1964 and 1967
  • Company: Corgi Toys (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#759 REAL GHOSTBUSTERS - MONSTERS DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN (1989)


The real ghostbusters toyline probably needed more characters than the main four and a few ghosts. Most of the times, the ghosts in the cartoons, appeared only one, so the ghosts in the Real Ghostbusters toyline are invented or concepts made exclusively for the film.
 
In this wave, Kenner provided a series of 6 classic monsters:
  • Frankenstein
  • Dracula
  • The Hunchback from Notre-Dame
  • The Mummy
  • Werewolf
  • Zombie
I have two of them, and these are the ones I am showing today. They have similar features to the Fright Features versions of the main characters: when pushing one leg against the other each monster would move in a scary gesture. There are no transformation or hidden monsters. I like that the figures have different sizes.
 
 
The two figures I have are Frankenstein and Dracula. The first one is huge and adapts its classic pose with straight arms and open mouth. Unfortunately it is quite damaged by sunlight, so I will try to replace it soon.

 
Dracula is is good shape and includes its cloak, which is a difficult accesory to find. Dracula also performs a move that reminds of the classic pose from the Universal movies, in which Dracula opens his arms to approach his victims.
 
The two figures are really great, I am looking forward to get the other 4!
 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MONSTERS DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN
  • Toy Line: Real Ghostbusters (Wave 3)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 12 and 14 cm, respectively

Sunday, December 25, 2016

#758 SUMMER – FIAT 131 ABARTH (Around 1988)


Another Fiat 131 for my collection! I knew there was this car, because I had seen it in pictures several times before, and I finally got it a few weeks ago.


The car is made by Summer in the late 80s. It has a 1:43 scale and a motor inside similar to the one used by Matchbox in the "Trickshifters" series. The car has dark windshields to hide the inner mechanism.


I think the cast is good, but some poor details spoil the overall quality.

This is so far the only Summer car I have in this scale. I think there are many in this size.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: FIAT ABARTH 131 (No. S.704)
  • Scale: Around 1:43
  • Year: Around 1988
  • Company: Summer/ S.M. (Hong Kong)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Thursday, December 22, 2016

#757 FIGURAS EN ACCIÓN (F.E.A.) Nr. 15


In May 2014 we decided to make a special issue dealing with toys and horror. At the time, I had in mind a lot of ideas of special issues we could explore and publish in the future. One of them was an issue dealing exclusively with toy shops, that is, the space in which the toys are displayed for the customers to purchase them.

The usual group of collaborators have gathered a collection of articles and interviews about this topic. I have written an article about the history of toy stores and collaborated in an article that searchs for the main characteristics of each type of toy shop (together with my friend Pablo from Coleccionismo80-90).

There are two interviews with the owners of two toy shops that are/were over 100 years old and another article about F.A.O. Schwarz, which is the most famous toy shop there has ever been.
To finalise the issue, there is a nostalgic article about toy stores that each of us (the magazine staff) remember from our childhood.

Very unusual issue! Download it HERE. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

#756 POLISTIL – ALPINE A441 and ALFA ROMEO 33TT12 (RJ32 and RJ 34) (Around 1977)


I have published many entries dealing with Polistil F1s, but this time, I bring two sport prototypes. I am not very familiar with this kind of races, although I know that from the beginning to mid 80s, there was a lot of interest on them, or at least, much moer interest that nowadays. Many manufacturers did die-cast scale Sport Prototypes.

Especially famous in this era was the Renault Alpine A441.


From the mid 70s to late 80s, there were also some famous Sport Prototypes that had their scale version, and from the 90s on, it seems like they had disappeared from the face of the Earth. Of course they are still running (for example the 24 hours of Le Mans), but the cars are not so popular anymore, they are not in the media, and even most drivers are well known (many ex-F1 drivers), the competition fails to wake up the interest of common people.


Polistil always had a very exquisite selection of models, and those two here are no exception.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: ALPINE A441 and ALFA ROMEO 33TT12 (RJ32 and RJ 34)
  • Scale: Around 1:55
  • Year: Around 1977
  • Company: Polistil (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Sunday, December 18, 2016

#755 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE - MOSQUITOR and NINJOR (1987)


These two figures are quite expensive because belong to the last wave, which was sold in lower numbers than the rest of the figures. In addition to this, Ninjor had many accesories so it is difficult to find it complete.
  
I took some pictures in the dark, trying to get some strange night effect, but I couldn't. The pictures are quite bad, sorry.
 
 
Mosquitor was the "last" figure I got in the 80s, together with Scareglow, so it is one of my favorites and mayeb the one I worry most about. I can remember where my grandparents did buy it for me. While collecting the rest of the figures in the 2000s, I got a second Mosquitor in perfect shape, whitouth that scratch in the eye, however, I kept my old figure and traded the other one. The evil energy-draining insectoid came with one accesory only (a purple gun), but with one of the best action features in the whole toyline. Many collectors agree on this, at least, when I used to participate in message boards, we discussed this many times.
 
 
Ninjor came with a cloth jacket (including the head part and the belt), a sword, a bow and a nunchuck, and despite having the classic body cast, the jacket somehow hides it and makes the figure more attractive. The action feature is the same from Fisto and Jitsu, only with a "normal" arm, intended to be used with the sword or the nunchuck. The evil Ninja Warrior is one of the last figures I got. In 1987 there was still a great interest on ninjas, mostly in ninjaxplotation movies. This interest would last until the first 90s in Spain. 
 

 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MOSQUITOR (Ref. 1191) and NINJOR (Ref. 3069)
  • Toy Line: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (Wave 6)
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm

Thursday, December 15, 2016

#754 MAISTO – FORD MUSTANG MACH III and JAGUAR XJ220 (Around 1995)


MONTH OF THE BOOTLEG AND THE KNOCK-OFF AT TOYS FROM THE PAST!

I have these two cars since a long time. My father brought them to me sometime by the mid 90s. I was already a bit old to play with cars, but still loved to look at the miniatures and see the details. Recently I decided to sell them in my toy shop, but after some time I retired them and decided to keep them. I now think these are the first Maisto models that came to Spain with the name Maisto (not MC Toys), and that may make them rare collectables in the future.


Also interesting is that these two models are actually based on Matchbox casts from the early 90s, most accurately, they are based on the Superfast models from 1994 (MB15) and 1993 (MB31). That makes them even more interesting, because, like some MC Toys models, these two are bootlegs!



I keep the original packages, although these have been opened. The colour black and those golden details would be used during several years from the beginning on. And also quite exotic is the sticker from the importer that brought these scale cars to Spain.

 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: FORD MUSTANG MACH III and JAGUAR XJ220
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: Around 1995
  • Company: Maisto (China)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Monday, December 12, 2016

#753 COMPUTER FORCE/ COMPUTER WARRIORS – PC BOARD WITH ROMM (1989)


I am fascinated by this new discovery. I completely ignored the existence of this toyline of small figures (they are the size of a Dino Riders or a M.A.S.K. figure), until I found one unit carded for sale on eBay. I bidded and won this nice card for very little money.

The idea behind Computer Force is that there is an army of little hi-tech soldiers hidden in everyday objects like a can of Pepsi, an alarm clock or like in my case, a pc motherboard. Objects turn from their stealth form to assault form very easily, just like M.A.S.K. vehicles, an carry the figures which are included with each set.

I do not know much about the series. The pc motherboard comes with ROMM, who, according to the description, is the heroic leader of the Computer Force. So, if this guy is the heroic leader, there is surely another faction of bad guys to fight. The figure is great and is decorated in a very different way on its back. Note that the motherboard transforms into some kind of delta wing, or light plane, on top of which, the figure sits. In stealth form, the figure lies on top of the board, and like a chamaleon, it is hidden thanks to its camo pattern on the back, consisting of electronic parts over a golden circuit board.

I’d love to lean more about this series. On the backcard we read that in 1989 only a few toys were available, since the pencil sharpener and the Pepsi Cola can would be available „later“, in 1990. Interestingly, the first playsets seem to be all related to computers and electronic, while the pencil sharpener and the can... not much. At some point the toyline’s name was changed from „Computer Force“ to „Computer Warriors“, maybe due to legal issues.

The toy has been distributed with a single card for all European markets, and it comes in 6 languages. As you can see it is a Mattel toy... or not. Actually it was made in China by another company, named Young Kowng Plastic Factory in China FOR Mattel. Surely not the first case of a toyline made by a small company for a big one.


The line was not so short as I expected, there were a dozen of playsets made, each with one figure, except the Personal Computer superplayset that came with two figures. This motherboard is the smallest and cheapest toy you could buy from this toyline, together with other 3 more similar pc boards. The rest were bigger playsets, all of them were made more or less in 1:1 scale to reality, I mean, the flashlight is the size of a real flashlight, the Pepsi can is the size of an actual can, and so on.
Another thing I love about this series are the names of the figures: Romm, Chip, Cursor, Debug, Minus, Asynk, Null... all concepts taken from computer science.

If you want to see picture of all the other playsets and figures, please visit this interesting webpage: http://www.parrygamepreserve.com/toys/computerWarriors/
Wow! Note the four mini pc boards over the keyboard of the Computer playset!

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: PC BOARD WITH ROMM
  • Toy Line: COMPUTER FORCE / COMPUTER WARRIORS
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.) / Young Kowng Plastic Factory (China)
  • Size of the figures: Around 4 cm

Friday, December 9, 2016

#752 PUNTAX - SEAT 600 (Around 1970)


This nice Seat 600 has a plastic pencil sharpener inside.

As a kid, this was the only Seat 600 I had in this scale. No company made the die-cast model in 1:64 scale, what in my opinion, was a complete marketing error. It would have been the best selling model among all "Made in Spain" 3 inches die-cast. You could buy a 600 in 1:43 scale (see for example #293), but this bigger size sells much less. At least back then.


The car was available in several colours and I remember having had a red one and another blue one. Being made of plastic, they were (are) very fragile. Anytime they are stepped over, they break and could be directly dispossed of.


The blue car in the pictures was found much later, a few years ago. Despite its good overall shape is also broken in the base. The brand Puntax should be there, where the missing part is.
The cast has some limitations, but it has nice details: windshields, painted headlights and casted base.
I cannot give an exact year of manufacture, but I will try to make an approximation. I had a few in the mid 80s, but other people I know had the same model earlier… I would say the toy could have been made from 1970 on… maybe until the late 80s. The box in which they were sold has a style which is very much from the late 60s, but, since they were made in Spain, they could probably be from the early 70s.

The next two pictures are from todocoleccion.net. Note also the four colours available and the variations, body colour + interior colour (the interior is actually the pencil sharpener). The base colour could also vary, being the most common light blue, grey and dark grey.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SEAT 600 SACAPUNTAS/ PENCIL SHARPENER
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: Around 1970
  • Company: Puntax (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 4.5 cm

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#751 GI JOE vs COBRA - SEVERAL CARDED FIGURES (2002)


Here are some of the first G.I.Joes after the G.I.Joe: ARAH era. I remember when they came out around (to Spain) in 2002 or 2003. For some reason they were sold in 2 packs, although later there would be other packages available.

These are the first I ever saw, although then I bought none. I was not thinking about collecting them, and I haven´t bought any except these four blisters which I found at a flea market for maybe 1 or 2 Euros each. For that price I couldn´t let them go, but I have never bought any since them. Well I have a few more that I got in job lots or that friends gave to me, but I will just keep these blisters, and the others will be sold in my toy shop.



The Gi Joe vs Cobra series had a new (supposedly improved) body cast which was a little bit taller and slimmer than the ARAH body cast. The GvC had a cartoon-ish style, when the ARAH had a more realistic approach. The colour of the figures turns again to darker and we find many camo patterns, like during the first half of the 80s.

Hasbro reused many casts from weapons, backpacks and vehicles, although most figures were completely new. Interestingly, some old ARAH casts were reused to create new versions of old figures (but no new figures) and packaged in GvC series. The new weapons are sometimes very similar to the vintage ones, so many collectors buy them to complete old figures. The plastic is, according to experts a little bit shinier and more fragile, but I cannot confirm it, since I only have vintage weapons, and those that I have bought in the internet I do not know where they come from.



The first 6 sets, as depicted in the backcard are:
  • Agent Scarlett vs. Zartan
  • Sgt. Stalker vs. Neo Viper Commander
  • Flint vs. Baroness
  • Snake Eyes vs. Cobra Commander
  • Nunchuk vs. Firefly
  • Beach Head vs. Dr. Mindbender
I have the first four.


 
One of the most amazing things of these blisters are the positions in which the figures are presented, either jumping, or pointing with their guns… really original, would be later used in other toylines, but, as far as I can remember, these were the first.

Some of the new weapons (even when based on old casts) included a lid that could be inserted in some electronic vehicles and would make noise depending on the pattern coded in that lid/weapon. This can be seen very clearly in the staff of Cobra Commander on the left side, although every box has at least one of these weapons.

The first GvC releases were, of course, the most famous characters known from the previous series: Cobra Commander, Duke, Baroness, Snake Eyes... with almost no new characters.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: AGENT SCARLETT VS. ZARTAN, SGT. STALKER VS. NEO VIPER COMMANDER, FLINT VS. BARONESS AND SNAKE EYES VS. COBRA COMMANDER
  • Toy Line: G.I.Joe vs Cobra (Wave 1)
  • Year: 2002
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: slightly over 3.75’’ or 10 cm
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