Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#86 MAJORETTE – SONIC FLASHERS' YELLOW TRAIN (ref. 2341 Y) (1992)


The “Sonic Flashers” series by Majorette was a very successful one at the beginning of the nineties. I can remember when they came out, they were the first die-cast models ever with electronics inside. Until that moment it was probably too expensive to build those circuits in such inexpensive toys like die-cast cars. At those years there were some talking dolls and or figures that were completely analog, they carried inside something very similar to a vynil record with a small player, but electronics (or microelectronics) were still rare.
What does this circuit bring to a toy car? It’s very easy, some cars have brakes’ noise, some other sirens, other ones produce the sound of broken glass… there were many different noises. Additionally cars had one or two leds (lights) that glow while producing that sound.
 
Majorette started this series in 1991 with the ordinary 2300 series. The first wave included only 3 cars (Porsche 928, Ford Bronco and Ford Transit van), in 3/3/2 decorations from each model without considering possible variants.
The series proved to be a great success, and it was expanded during many consecutive years. It is difficult to determine when the line was cancelled, since I do not own the complete catalogues.
It is also difficult to determine to which series each model belongs, since some models were released in different decorations with different numbers. Some series were:
  • 2300 (1:64)
  • 2330 Special Forces (military)
  • 2340 (larger packs with trailer, trucks, limousines…)
  • 2350
  • 2360
  • 2380 Air Force (planes, jets, helicopters)
  • 1300 micro sonic flashers (smaller scale, micromachines scale)
  • 3300 (1:43)
  • 3390 Sonic Alarm (1:43)
  • Majo Baby
This model here was found in a flea market and since it only cost one euro I decided to buy it. It is very rare, since I didn’t know that there was a train in Sonic Flasher series, and in no way in yellow colour (I knew the red version, which was also available as 2341 R). The original model, (the one on which this one is based) is the “Western Locomotive” produced between 1982 and 1986 in several colours (green or blue with Ref. 278 in individual pack and Ref. 315 in double pack with wagon).
Majorette catalogue from 1993
The series 2340 consisted of several models that were a little larger than usual, for example limousines, trucks with load, or this trains with wagon. Series 2340 are to 2300 what series 300 are to series 200. And since these are better and more expensive toys, each of these models could perform four sounds instead of just one. For the trains: “steam whistle”, “engine sound”, “ringing bell” and “clickey-clak”, and additionally one light at the front side of the locomotive. By the way, to activate these sounds, you have to press lightly the car or vehicle against the floor. A little disappointing is that the models with 4 sounds perform all of them the one after the other, instead of performing one different each time.
The Sonic Flashers, unlike the standard models, can be opened to replace batteries. The body is fixed to the chassis with screws instead of rivets. This model, around 20 years after their sale is still working. The loudness of the sounds is not very high, but it’s still audible, so they were made to last.
These cars were presumably made in Thailand, where most models were being produced at that time.
This article is very likely to be expanded in the future. I never thought I could make an article with just this model, but here it is… hope you liked it.
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: YELLOW TRAIN SONIC FLASHERS (ref. 2341 Y)
  • Scale: ?
  • Year: 1992
  • Company: Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm + 7 cm

2 comments:

  1. Muy interesante. Yo solo conozco los primeros, no sabía que la linea se expandió tanto. A ver si un día haces un artículo entero sobre los Sonic Flashers.

    Recuerdo que para activar la electrónica tenías que accionar la "suspensión" del coche. ¿Cómo se activan en este caso?. Más aun habiendo 4 sonidos diferentes.

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  2. Gracias por el comentario, he añadido una línea para explicar su activación. Efectivamente se activa igual que los demás, apretando un poco contra el suelo, pero lo de los 4 sonidos es un poco timo, porque hace los cuatro sonidos uno detrás de otro... sin remisión. Me hubiera gustado más que hiciera un sonido distinto cada vez. El led parpadea todo el tiempo mientras dure el sonido.

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