Thursday, July 9, 2020

#953 CIBA CHINA - MERCEDES UNIMOG CIRCUS WITH SEAL (Around 1992)


I sometimes bring toys to this blog about which there is no information at all on the internet, basically because nobody cares about them. This is one of these cases, an early 90s plastic Unimog from China, produced by the unknown company CIBA Industrial Company, Ltd. This company was founded in Hong-Kong around 1985 and produced toys in Hong-Kong first, and then in China.



I have seen some toys from this company on auction sites, but nothing more: this friction motored Unimog in two decorations, a futuristic ATV operated by batteries and with exchangeable wheels and also a cable-controlled dinosaur.






All pictures: todocoleccion.net

These kind of toys were sold in bazaars during the 80s together with radios, TVs, watches and other stuff from Japan, China and Eastern Asia. At the time they were very well received, since the electronic toys were still very expensive in Europe back then. Anything with sound, lights or cable/remote controlled was the top.



In Spain they were imported by Cosas Internacionales, S.A. located in Ibi (Alicante), the village where lots of other companies were also manufacturing toys of all kinds.

Anybody out there who knows more about CIBA? Maybe the company continued under another name?



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MERCEDES UNIMOG "CIRCUS" WITH SEAL
  • Scale: Around 1:55
  • Year: Around  1992
  • Company: CIBA Industrial Company Limited (Hong Kong/China)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Friday, June 19, 2020

#952 MATCHBOX SECURITY TRUCK (Nr. 69) vs. MAJORETTE BANK SECURITY (Nr. 204) (1978 and 1980)


Majorette's Bank Security Van is one of those models that I had not known until recently. It was only a few years ago that I saw it for the first time. I have it now twice and I like them very much. The Matchbox model, I have it since a long time.

This type of vehicle is kind of rare, only Matchbox has a similar one which is also very nicely done with plastic roof, but it was just a matter of time that Majorette got its own security transport van.

The Majorette model has a practicable door on the rear part, so the playability is somewhat better than the Matchbox model, that has no practicable parts. Both look bulky and strong, like the real security vans, although the Matchbox model was made earlier and has a slightly older look today.

The Matchbox model was originally released in red with white roof in the year 1978, but a later and rarer version "Drescher Bank" can be found in green. Both have several variants depending on the shade of colour applied, window colour and so on, the usual stuff.





On the other hand, the Majorette model is available in many different colours and decorations, some of them very recent, since the look of the truck is still modern, or at least it was until a few years ago, I have seen more modern driving around the city.

The first model seems to be the greenish blue one, that first appeared in 1980 catalogue. Although not very clearly, we can see that it has a decal on the bonnet. We think this model was a prototype, because in the catalogue from 1981, we already see the famous model in metallic blue, one of the most common ones.

In 1982's catalogue, the van appears in grey with a decal on the bonnet with the text "BANK" and two crossed keys.





And every year a new decoration: in 1983, it was presented with some red and blue stickers on the sides, In 1984 with "post" stickers, in 1985 with "Bank" Stickers on both sides, and in 1986 the model presented in this entry. All of them in yellow. Note that the card depicted is the German version "Geldtransport", not the most usual "BANK" version.



And finally, in 1987, the most usual white version came out. This one was available during, least, three consecutive years. In the 1990 catalogue it appears in light silver, but keeping the tampos, although this may also be a prototype, because I have never seen it, and the following year, the picture appears in white again.

That appearance in the 1991 catalogue is the last for a long period of time. More modern versions of the van (Made in Thailand) are available in other interesting colours, like dark blue, but then it becames difficult to follow how many, which tampos they carry and so on.

Sorry for the bad photos of the Armoured Van, I'll replace them soon.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SECURITY TRUCK (Nr. 69) and BANK SECURITY (Nr. 204)
  • Scale: 1:57
  • Year: 1978 and 1980
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain) and Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Monday, June 1, 2020

#951 FIGURAS EN ACCIÓN (F.E.A.) Nr. 22 + MODELLEISENBAHNER + PUPPEN AUS PORZELLAN (A-L. Klink)


Figuras En Acción Nr.22 (May 2020)

New issue uploaded and ready, this issue is a bit shorter than usual (almost 80 pages) because many of our collaborators (including myself) have been very busy during the last months, and not only because of the pandemics.

Still, we keep our promise and we managed to collect a bunch of great articles dealing with:
  • G.I. Joe and Transformers crossover figures.
  • Superman the Movie Madelman vs. Super Geyperman
  • Computer Force / Computer Warriors by Mattel
  • Rubber ducks
  • Travelling toys
  • All the usual sections (books, travels, treasures, news, editoral office…)
  • Plus a new section of vintage advertisements/publicity.
Don’t miss it! As usual, it is completely free, no registration required.




Modelleisenbahner (3/2014)

I found this old magazine (2014) of Modelleisenbahner in a bookcase close to the place where I work, where people leave old books and stuff they do not want or need anymore. I took it out of curiosity, and read it. I was fascinated by the quantity of releases and news about electric trains, tutorials, research about real trains and railways… it was beautifully done.

I know close to nothing about trains, but since I work on my own toy magazine (see above), I though I might find some ideas for this or that section. I am happy I took it, because the magazine was extraordinary. I do not know how is this hobby evolving, but in recent visits to flea markets, I have seen many great collections being sold. I am afraid this hobby is going downwards. Shame!


Puppen aus Porzellan

In that same bookcase, I found this book dealing with another hobby, which is completely unknown to me: porcelain dolls, and how to make them yourself.

It sounds like something people did a long time ago, but not anymore, I still though it was interesting and took it home and read it. It is short and easy and taught me about this pastime. Amazing that people spent so much time making the porcelain an painting the details, putting eyes, hair and eyelashes. The book is a guide on how to work, which tools to use and more, and it should have been an amazingly difficult task to create your own porcelain doll. It includes a list of collections and museums where porcelain dolls are displayed. The book was published in 1987, so many of these do not exist anymore.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

#950 FEBER CARRERA – HONDA MOTORBIKE PLUS RACING APPAREL / MONO DE MOTORISTA (1986)


Feber was the great Spanish toy manufacturer from the late 80s, they had virtually every type of toy, from dolls to board games to battery vehicles.

I had a Honda motorbike in scale 1:2 in red when I was maybe 5 or 6. It was probably the greatest present I ever got for Christmas. The motorbike was very realistic and looked like the real one, even had suspension. Unlike other battery motorbikes that were operated by stepping in a button, this one had throttle twist, making it almost real. According to the promo, it had two motors.



Other technical characteristics:
  • Dimensions: 1110x355x705 mm
  • Batery: 6V, 8 A?
  • Weight: 8.3 kg
  • Scale: 1:2

My father manipulated the circuitry to also have blinkers (or turn signals), so I probably had the coolest Feber Honda in the world.


Photo: todocoleccion.net

With the motorbike I got a Feber helmet in grey, similar to the one that the boy in the first picture is carrying and the yellow racing appareil shown in this entry. It is the only part that survived until today and it is completely original except for the Alfa-Romeo patch on the back, which was applied shortly after its purchase. I can even recall where did my parents buy the patch, and how we applied it. It is in great shape, despite being around 35 years old and have been used by a few kids for disguises or riding bikes. It is for a six-year-old child, probably size 110 to 120.




I like the patches that Feber designed for it, and it makes me think that the clothes were actually inteded for a Paris-Dakar battery motorbike also by Feber (That one was a KTM) or maybe for both at the same time (note also the Honda patch). The appareil was also available in red inteded for the Honda I had, as you can see in the promotional page shown above.

The motorbike was stored during many years in a shed, but was not working anymore and at some point it disappeared. The helmet also lost its face shield, and probably got dirty, since its interior could only be partially washed or nothing at all.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: FEBER CARRERA (HONDA 750cc), RACING APPAREIL and HELMET
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Feber (Spain)
  • Scale: 1:2

Monday, May 11, 2020

#949 STARTING LINEUP – 4 NBA PLAYERS (1997 and 1998)


Beside wrestling, I do not have many action figures based on real sports. I got this figures on eBay for very little money, and I was surprised when I finally had them in my hands.

The figures are made by Kenner, so the quality is very high. The difference to other toy lines is that the figures in this collection have to be very realistic. The figures have the face of the real player, also the size matches the player’s height. The positions in which the players move and stand are also very realistic and to my surprise, are nicely compatible with each other, looking almost real.




The four players I have are:
  • Latrell SPREWELL (WARRIORS, 15)
  • Chris WEBBER (WIZARDS, 4)
  • Dennis RODMAN (BULLS, 91)
...from 1997, and:
  • Kevin GARNETT (TIMBERWOLVES, 21)
...from 1998.



I am not a great basketball fan (I was, but years before 1997), so I did not know these players very well. I, of course, heard about Dennis Rodman and Kevin Garnett, but I have to confess that the other two were completely unknown to me.




Note that every figure comes with a minimal stand, so the figure can stand on one foot, or look like it is jumping. The stand is attached to the figure by means of a metal bar, and the figure can be turned in one or the other direction. They also move their arms and head, and some also move other parts of the body.



Despite all, I sold the figures shortly after taking the pictures. To my surprise they were very cheap even in their boxes, so I sold them for more or less the same money that I payed for them. I decided to get rid of them because the collection is extremely extense, and the figures take too much space, they are big, and with those play positions they take much space.

I loved taking all the pictures in this entry.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SPREWELL (WARRIORS), WEBBER (WIZARDS), RODMAN (BULLS), GARNETT (TIMBERWOLVES)
  • Toy Line: Starting Lineup
  • Year: 1997 and 1998
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 12 cm

Friday, April 24, 2020

#948 SPEED WHEELS - HINO DUMP TRUCK and NISSAN FAIRLADY Z (TOMICA KO's) (Around 1990)


I got these two cars recently. Normally I am not interested in the die-cast models when I cannot recognise the brand. In this case, I recognised them as Tomica knock-offs and they were in their original blister cards, so I decided to buy them. 1 euro each blister.

Can you recognise which models they are?
The car is a Nissan Fairlady Z, like the one in entry #548.




 The truck is a Hino Dump Truck, although the plastic part is different from the original Tomica one.



This kind of die-cast models are usually unmarked in the base (just "made in China"), so it is difficult to match model with toymaker. With the blister, obviously, I can say it is Speed Wheels. At the cardback there are several models depicted, one of each kind: sport cars, formula racing cars, pick-up trucks, tractor racers and more. I do not know how many of each type were made, but both blisters have the text "SERIES IV" in the front. I don't know either how many series were made, but on Google you can easily find pictures of series V (some Yatming KO's there), series III (look like Matchbox's Super G.T.s), series X (look quite modern and better done than the previous series, some look like Maisto other like Hot Wheels KOs), series XIII, and more.

The upper part of the blister is cutted off because originally it had the price tag on it. It costed 0,69 US$ per unit or 1 US$ if you took two. As I could see on Google, some blisters have this part also cut off.

I have noticed models that were available in two different series, I guess the card was redone everytime they wanted to change the retail price, but most of the times the assortment just remained as it was.

Interestingly, the one who seems to be the earliest blister pack of "Speed Wheels" on Google (does not show any series number) has the Faie brand printed on the card, so does this series relate anyhow to Faie? I think it is more probable that behind Speed Wheels hides a company that bought stock rests or maybe obsolete machinery to get/make very cheap models, so maybe they started buying from Faie, then from Yatming, then from Welly, Maisto... It could even be that the brand is still in use.

Interestingly, the distributor is a company from Illinois, U.S.A.


Other Speed Wheels came in plastic bags, in this case, each model was 0.39 US$ or 1 US$ for three cars. These cheaper models look like Summer's withouh windows.

And for the TFTP record, some unknown models from past entries seem to be Speed Wheels too! The mobile crane in entry #766 has also been seen inside one of these blister packages!

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: HINO DUMP TRUCK and NISSAN FAIRLADY Z (TOMICA KO's)
  • Scale: Around 1:61 and 1:100
  • Year: Around  1990
  • Company: Speed Wheels (U.S.A.) / Unknown Manufacturer, maybe Welly? (China)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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