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Sunday, June 16, 2019

#928 FIGURAS EN ACCIÓN (F.E.A.) Nr. 20



With around one month delay, we bring this new issue of Figuras En Acción. We wanted to make a special issue dealing with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, but it was very difficult to achieve this because some colleagues are not familiar with this toyline, so we changed the topic to military/war toys.

The magazine more than 120 pages (more than ever!) and includes articles dealing with Madelman, Plastic Toy Soldiers, H.E/M.A.N., Termitors/ Army Ants, Food Fighters and, of course, G.I. Joe. We have a new collaborator and also an old friend returns for this issue.

This time we interview Jesús Cansino, initiator of a one of a kind, vintage toy museum in the historical town of Osuna. The city has a huge art heritage, being a very rich city in past centuries. In the last years it has become very popular because it was chosen as a filming location for the TV series Game of Thrones, for which there is also a museum there. Please read more about it in the magazine (in Spanish), or in the following links:


The download link can be found in our oficial blog to the magazine. Click HERE.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

#927 RUIZ - SEVERAL VEHICLES + UNKNOWN PARACHUTISTS (2017)


During my last holidays in Spain I visited one little village, and while strolling, I passed by this shop window:


Of course I had to go in and buy a few of these. I explained the shopkeeper, that I hadn´t seen these since maybe 20 years, and so he corresponded by saying that he also used to play with them. He confirmed that they are new, that is, that they are still being manufactured. As we mentioned in a previous entry (see #865), Baratijas Ruiz is using the old casts to keep producing toys. I would say that the plastic in the early 80s was a bit thicker and less shiny, and the wheels were always black. Now it seems that the new models all carry light blue wheels.

Inside the shop, there was a big box full with this kind of vehicles, and I searched all 6 different models available, one of each, trying not to repeat colours.

The cars are very interesting. Any die-cast aficionado will be able to recognise some of these models as Matchbox knock-offs from the 70s, especially those buggys with impossible motors.

Land Rover with cage and giraffe (5 pieces): a similar model was already analized in the entry mentioned above. That time, the Land Rovers were tow-away trucks. And had a very small sign on the roof. This time that sign is missing (I checked the whole box, they are not mounted in the cage model, and they all had giraffes in them).


(sorry, I forgot to picture this model)

Amphibious vehicle (4 pieces): This is maybe the one I like most, for its rarity. I cannot recognise it being made out of another toy.



Jeep (5 pieces):  I would say this model is based on a Superfast model from 1971: Nr.2 Jeep Hot Rod.



Buggy 1 (4 pieces): This one is clearly based on Baja Buggy, Nr. 13, also from 1971 in Matchbox's Superfast series.


Buggy 2 (4 pieces): This one is based on a Guisval model from the 70s and the 80s.



Buggy 3 (5 pieces): This one is also based on a Guisval model, this one has rounded forms and two bulges on the bonnet that are supposed to be the headlights. In this case, it comes with a roof. From the two models made by Guisval, this one came a few years earlier than the previous one.



Back to the initial story, the cars were being sold at 0,30 euro each. So, when I was about to leave, the shopkeeper (who was undoubtedly a good seller) offered me another vintage toy that was popular in the same days than the plastic cars: a plastic parachutist figure with a funtional parachute. I was delighted to see these too, so I bought again all three available models.




Note that one of the figures seems to be a general looking through a pair of binoculars. Rare choice for a parachutist! The other two are infantry soldiers, a bit more suitable for the action they perform. These are not produced by Ruiz, since they are available almost everwhere on the internet. There seems to be 6 models of these, and they come in random basic colours.

So, I left the shop with the six cars and these three parachutists. They are all new and they might not match the aim of the blog, but still the whole story has some connection with vintage toys.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LAND ROVER SANTANA, BAJA BUGGY, HOT ROD and OTHERS
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 2017
  • Company: Ruíz (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

  • Name: PARACHUTISTS
  • Scale: Approx. 1:32
  • Year: 2017
  • Company: Unknown Manufacturer (China)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Sunday, May 26, 2019

#926 PIATNIK – BLUMEN (Nr. 278) (Around 1973)


Unfortunately, all quartett and children decks that do not show cars or very specific licenses or themes are not very interesting for collectors these days.

Flowers and plants (or botanical) decks are maybe among the least-liked ones, and that´s is a pity.


I already showed a Flowers deck by Piatnik a very very long time ago. That first version showed drawings, while this newer version has already colour photographs. I personally like the one with the drawings better, but this pictures and card style is also quite charming, it exemplifies the design in the years in which it was made and sold. The pictures do not have a great resolution (or maybe it was the printing press that did not have the quality standards we are now familiar with, and the soap-box (pink plastic) today looks ugly. I guess at the time it was different.

Comparing the older version of the deck with the new one, I have to say, that a few flowers are different, although many are the same and also ordered in very similar families. The reference number is the same.






 The first deck is from 1955, this one could be made around 1973. It still has the same reference number than the original one.


FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: BLUMEN QUARTETT (Nr. 278)
  • Alternative Names: „FLOWERS QUARTET "
  • Year: Around 1973
  • Company: Piatnik Wien (Austria)

Friday, May 10, 2019

#925 CORGI JUNIORS and HOT WHEELS! - FORD MUSTANG, FORD SIERRA, RAYGO RASCAL 600 and JAGUAR XJR12 (1981, 1983, 1989 to 1995)

In the last years, I have found several Hot Wheels cars that I already had as Corgi Juniors. They are at first sight identical, so I was wondering how many of these are out there and what is the story behind them.

We already commented in previous entries that Mattel bought Corgi Toys in 1989, and sold it again to a management buyout in 1995. With this purchase, all casts from the Welsh company passed to Mattel.

During this period (89-95) Hot Wheels seems to have released 16 different models with their own marking on the base, some of them identical to the Corgi Juniors models, other with slight modifications and improvements in the casting. Some models were previously unissued, others were simply better casted. I cannot really see many improvements comparing one model with the other... But it is a curious thing havin the same cast with two different brands in their bases. There were other similar cases in the die-cast world.

The wheels were also changed in some models for another one more modern looking (like the Mustang below), some of these wheels models still look great, but other doesn´t. At the time, this change was a great thing.


For more info, the chapter devoted to Corgi models sold under Hot Wheels! brand can be read in Mac Ragan's book Hot Wheels Cars HERE.

The models presented in this entry are:

Ford Mustang Cobra – Orange version from 1981, white version with American flag is probably from the late 80s. Reference number 104A.







Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. Note the better looking wheels.






Ford Sierra 2.3 Ghia – Yellow version from 1983. Reference number 129A.
Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. In this case, with low quality wheels, shared with other brands and not very good looking. Maybe a later re-release?





Raygo Rascal 600 – practically identical to each other. Corgi Reference number 44A. Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. Sorry I could not take the pictures together, I am not sure if I have the Corgi version or not.




Jaguar XJR12 by Corgi, mid to end 90s. This final model is a Corgi Juniors model with Hot Wheels tampographies. Curious. I guess it is also available with Hot Wheels base. Again with the "less beautiful" wheel type.




FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: FORD MUSTANG COBRA (104A), FORD SIERRA 2.3 GHIA (129A), RAYGO RASCAL 600 (44A) and JAGUAR XJR12
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1981, 1983 and 1989 to 1995
  • Company: Corgi (Great Britain) and Hot Wheels! (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Friday, April 26, 2019

#924 UNKNOWN MANUFACTURER - DINOSAUCERS PVC FIGURES (Around 1990)


In a previous entry (#629) I presented this bootleg series, and I already mentioned that there were only two figures/casts available. I also mentioned the figures in "rarer" colours (not yellow/orange). I even put some pictures of the second figure, but that figure was missing its tail.

Now that I own a complete figure, I will do another entry to show it. This figure’s body seems to be based on Bonehead, one of the main characters of the Dinosaucers cartoon, although, the head I would say belongs to Rex, the leader of the Tyrannos. It is difficult to say, because the uniforms that the different characters wear are similar to each other.


Unfortunately, the design is not very good, and the tail does not fit very well. Many second hand figures of this kind come without the tail. This was somewhat different in the figure shown before, in which the tail fits much better, and it is almost always complete.

Note also that this figure has one of the heads I was missing in my collection. It is similar to another one shown before, but this one has an open mouth, so I would say this one is Rex and the one with the open mouth is Bonehead. Now I am only missing one head (Ankylo, the Ankylosaurus) of the 6 available originally. As mentioned in the first entry. Each "body" came in a blister pack with 6 different heads.

Pic: Todocoleccion.net

The second figure shown in this entry is also made out of the same cast, but it is painted in a rare purple colour, and there is another picture on the Internet with green skin. All figures whose skin is not the classic light orange, is rare. Why didn´t the manufacturer use different base colours? In the TV series, the dinosaurs have different skin colours. This way, children may have bought several dinosaurs of each kind to cover more characters.


Interestingly, the base colour of the head is green, and the base colour of the body is brown. They had to use more paint and more time in the process of painting the figure purple than in the more common figures. Maybe the purple figures were a first release, and later they decided to cut down the costs by not producing these anymore?


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: DINOSAUCERS PVC FIGURE
  • Alternate Names: ASTRO-DINOS (German)
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Company: Unknown Manufacturer (China)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm
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