Monday, May 30, 2011

#23 GUISVAL – SEAT 850 & LAMBORGHINI MARZAL (1967 and 1970)



Many of the car collectors reading these lines may have not heard about Guisval. If you are not Spanish, it won’t be surprising. If you’re Spanish, you have not only heard from them; you have probably owned many of these miniatures sometime, or you have bought them as a present for children.

Guisval is the most successful die-cast miniatures manufacturer in Spain. Their models are in the market since 1967, and (specially before the 90s) they could be adquired almost anywhere: not only toy shops, but also in newsagents, or candy shops. The reduced price, the detailed models, how tought they were made, and a very wide variety of colors and decorations, were not overlooked by parents.

Francisco Guillén Verdú founded a company with his name in 1962, which originally built some toy watches, toy typewriters and some ships and submarines. This company changed its name to Guisval in 1967, when two friends of him joined to this project. Their names were: Guillén, Serralta and Valero, and the company was renamed to Guisval, using the first syllables or letters of their surnames (GUIllenSerraltaVALero). These three friends met while they were working for Payá, another toy company, that exists since 1909 in the town of Ibi (Alicante). Ibi has been the center of the Spanish toy industry during decades, and still is, although the industry nowadays is much weaker.

It all started in a basement in Ibi (1962). Picture by: Francisco Guillén Verdú, courtesy of Xavier Arumi (www.rosaspage.com)

With the change of the name, they start producing 1:64 scale cars, which is for what they are best known. This series is known as “Campeón”, and it exists even today. The quality of the models has decreased with the years (that will be commented in future entries).


To illustrate this article about the history of Guisval, I have taken two of the oldest models I have. One of them was first released in 1967, the Seat 850 was a very common car those days in Spain. The other was first made in 1970, and represents a Lamborghini Marzal.


Specially distinctive are the wheels, consisting of two parts (first version in Seat, second version in Lamborghini), the metallic basis and the “fabricado en España”, which was in later models translated to English. Note that the logo in the Seat seems to be a little older than in the Lamborghini. Both models were made in more than one color, but always sold under the reference numbers: 32 – Seat 850 Coupé/Rally and 41 - Lamborghini Marzal.

Matchbox also made a Lamborghini Marzal in approximately the same scale.

FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: Seat 850 Coupé/Sport and Lamborghini Marzal (Nr. 32) (Nr. 41)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1967 and 1970
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Saturday, May 28, 2011

#22 1000 VIEWS!

This blog has already received over 1000 visits! Thanks to all who made this possible! I have already published nearly 20 toy reviews and this is (hopefully) just the start. Much more reviews are coming.

Stay tuned for what’s coming next!

By the way… articles #10 and #13 have been updated with new pictures.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#21 REAL GHOSTBUSTERS – FRIGHT FEATURES’ EGON SPENGLER and WINSTON ZEDDMORE (1988)


The Real Ghostbusters was never a popular TV series in Spain. At least I don’t remember watching it on TV. It’s quite surprising that these figures made the whole way to my country. Here’s the story (it took a few years) of how they arrived to Spain.
 
The figures were first available in Spain around 1992. I remember that day in which some friends of my parents came to spend a few days at home with their son. We passed by a Spanish well known department store (El Corte Inglés) and our parents bought a figure for each of us. He took Peter Venkman and I took Ghost Post. If it wasn’t for him, I would have probably never bought any figures of this series.
The Fright Features series (2nd wave - see photo with card) was the first (and probably the only) which was ever sold in Spain, and I don’t think all those items were actually available. During the early 90s, many toy lines which were not available in Spain, were imported to be sold in El Corte Inglés. Otherwise, very strange toy lines like Galoob’s Unifighters, Olmec’s Bronze Bombers or Kenner’s Real Ghostbusters would have never been available there.
Click to enlarge and read the importer's information



So what happened between 1988 and 1992? Probably these figures and vehicles were leftovers, that weren’t sold in other European countries. Note that the card is written in French and Dutch. Some exporters –Loustau and Sachnovsky brought them, and offered them to El Corte Inglés. The figures were not available anywhere else, and (maybe for this reason) they were not a big success in Spain. 

The actual card that you see in the pic, was from a figure I bought myself (when I was maybe 12) in a 2x1 offer. That means, that the original price of one figure in 1992, was 850 pesetas (5,10 Euros), but they were later sold at half price (425 pesetas or 2,55 Eur).


Frigth Features!

Well, I don’t want to speak much more about import-export, otherwise I won't have much time to talk about these two wonderful figures. They are two of the four members of the ghostbusters: Egon and Winston. The figures from the second wave of this Kenner’s series, included a “fright feature” which could be activated pushing one arm. The figure seems to be very scared! This feature was in my opinion a great idea, it makes a lot of fun, and it’s very original. I have rarely seen something similar in other toy lines.
Egon opens his mouth, lengthen his neck, and his tie goes up. Winston has a most elaborate feature, in which his head turns 360º while he opens his mouth in a very funny expression.


Together with each figure, a ghost and a suitable weapon to trap it, were included. The ghost could in some way attack the figures but the humans could defend themselves with the trap weapon (see pics).



Instructions for both figures' features

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: FRIGHT FEATURES' EGON SPENGLER AND WINSTON ZEDDMORE
  • Toy Line: The Real Ghostbusters (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 14 cm approx.

Monday, May 23, 2011

#20 CORGI vs. JOAL – PORSCHE CARRERA 6 (1967 and 1971)

 
These two cars may look exactly the same, but they are very different. One of them was manufactured by the worldwide well-known British company Corgi Toys. The other one was made a few years later by the Spanish company Joal.
 
Joal is a very popular brand in Spain with more than 50 years of history. Nowadays they only produce trucks and agricultural and public works fields vehicles, but in the 60s, 70s and even the 80s, the produced many other types of die-cast models, and other metallic toys, like guns or sewing machines.
 
Joal Catalogue from 1971. Pic courtesy of Juan Pedro (El Kiosko de Akela) - Note that some models are similar to other models from Matchbox, Corgi or Mebetoys (See blog entry #5)
Joal made its own moulds from Corgi or Matchbox models, and shared them with other Spanish companies like Pilen or even the Italian Mebetoys.
 
Here’s a picture of the real model. To my opinion, the mould of these toys is a perfect reproduction.
 
If you are the author of this picture, and you don’t want it to be displayed here, please contact me.
 
Just in case you’re still asking yourself which one is which… the one with the number 60 is the Corgi model, and the one with the number 88 is the one made by Joal. The most notable difference is in the interior. Corgi model has a driver, while Joal model doesn’t. Other minor details are the white stripe over the cockpit or the bonnet, that cannot be fully opened in the Spanish made model.
 
 
Another interesting difference is the color of the bonnet glass: Corgi made it orange, while Joal decided to make it blue. The quality of the stickers is a little bit higher in the British model and the diamond-headlights were glued with a better glue… note that the car on the left is missing its two rear lights.
 
The bottoms of the cars are also very similar: Corgi model displays the Porsche crest, while Joal displays their own crest (MINIATURAS JOAL). This model had the series number 111. Strange enough, is that the “Made in Spain” is displayed nowhere, and that’s quite unusual for the models made in those years.
 
The tyres are also a little bit different.
Even though the Corgi model is slightly better built and better finished, the Joal models are very appealing for the Spanish and also for foreign collectors, because of its rarity. This white/red/blue model was the first one Joal built, but in following years, this same car was released at least in green, and gold versions.
 
Corgi made a second yellow version that looks exactly like the Joal version (blue bonnet, white and red body), with the number 1 or number 60.
 
Both were packaged in carton box, and Joal also sold it in a jewel case too (jewel case for the later models). From the Corgi model were 848.000 units sold.

UPDATE (JAN/2017): I just got another Corgi Carrera 6. Note that the colours are identical to the ones used in the Joal model.





And now, althogether:



 
FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: PORSCHE CARRERA 6 (Corgi's Nr. 330 / Joal's Nr. 111)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1967-1969 and 1971-?
  • Company: Corgi Toys (Great Britain) / Joal (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 10 cm

Saturday, May 21, 2011

#19 TFTP LOGOS!!!

I just created a few logos to mark my pictures. I'll use them from the next article on. These are the first three logos, in orange, purple and red. I pretend to apply them randomly at the pictures, or choosing the one that stands out better above the rest of the picture.

I'll probably make more in the future, all with the same style. Hope you like them.




Remember that all the pictures you see in this blog (with very few exceptions) are made by myself; and the toys I'm showing are toys that I actually own, so if you want to use my pics, please ask for permission first.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#18 MICRO MACHINES - SPEED SHOP CUSTOMIZING SET (1990)


From the many playsets made by Galoob for Micromachines, this is one of the most strange. This one does not represent a city or a part of a city, or a transport vehicle. This playset is just a yellow plastic tool box (there was another version in red), with many accessories inside. The box has no function, but containing the different parts.



As you can see in this picture, the contents of the box are: two cars, 4 sets of wheels, 2 dragster motors, 2 rear spoilers and 2 frontal rally bars. The cars in this box are a Ferrari Testarossa und a Porsche 944, although in other boxes different cars were included. They have a few holes to connect the motors, spoilers or rally fronts. The axis can be set higher or lower to customize speed or all-terrain vehicles.




Unfortunately, the number of possibilities is not very high, but the box is a very nice add-on to any MM collection. It is difficult to find with all its original accessories, because the "lock" of the box fails often, and lets everything fall down. Despite this fact, the toy is cheap and can be easily found on Ebay.

The results of the customization are great; see for example these two variants.




UPDATE: See what I found! Now I own a MOC version of this toy with two different cars. Interestingly, the blíster has the price written on it, and now we know, that at the time, it costed 1495 pesetas, which is 9 Euro.

 






In this piture we can see how many models were made within this series: apart from the 4 that appear in this entry, I also have a couple more, that I haven't shown so far.


And in this last picture, there are many other MM collections to buy!

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: SPEED SHOP CUSTOMIZING SET
  • Toy-Line: Micro Machines
  • Year: 1990-1991
  • Company: Galoob (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the cars : approx. 1’’ or 2,5 cm
  • Size of the box: approx. 5,5’’ or 14 cm

Saturday, May 14, 2011

#17 G.I. JOE – SKY HAWK (1984 and 1990)

The Sky Hawk V.T.O.L. (Vertical Take Off and Landing) was one of the first non-real vehicles of the G.I.Joe collection. In the previous years, all vehicles were adapted from real military vehicles. To my knowledge, this mixture of jetplane and helicopter does not exist. Theoretically, or according to its "blueprints", the turbofans located at the top of the plane behind the cabin thrust the plane to take off vertically, and, once in the air, the engines rotates to displace the plane horizontally. The idea is pretty cool, because so a machine would be very fast, and could turn and maniobrate in very short distances.

The toy was part of the third american wave and was also available in Europe. In other countries (Brazil, Argentina and Japan) was also sold with slight different shades of green.


In this picture, you can see the turbofans and the tail fins (by the way, the side ones are placed in the wrong side).

The cabin is very small, and has only capacity for one figure, preferably an early one, that are a little smaller. The seat has a peg to fix the figure to it, and when the cockpit is closed, the figure is "trapped" by the knees, and does not move, no matter how many loops it flies.



This picture shows the front side of the plane , with the twin cannons that can be turned to one side or the other.


The stickers have a good quality. In this next picture, you can see the control panel, which is also the trap hat ties the figure by its knees.


Years later (in 1990), the same toy was released with a "chrome" layer, and black parts (cabin, engines, tails...) for the Sky Patrol section of the G.I.Joe team. This vehicles are difficult to find in good shape, because the chrome layer could fall apart by playing. The box displays a different (but very similar) artwork with different colours. I do not own this second version loose, and therefore I can only display the following pictures from my collection.

From the 4 Sky Patrol vehicles, this one was the only which did not change its original name, because it already started with the word "sky". The HAVOC became Sky HAVOC, the Night Raven was renamed Sky Raven, and the Sharc, Sky Sharc.


FACTS and FIGURES
  • Name: Sky Hawk V.T.O.L.
  • Toy Line: G.I. Joe (Wave 3 / Wave 9)
  • Year: 1984 / 1990
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size: 17 cm
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