Monday, April 30, 2012

#144 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE – ROKKON and STONEDAR (1986)

These two figures were part of the fifth MOTU wave (1986), and are therefore very easy to find and very cheap to buy. Their names are:

  • Rokkon- Young heroic comet warrior
  • Stonedar- Heroic leader of the rock people

According to the story in their mini-comic, they are two warriors from another planet that fall in Eternia as meteorites. As they meet He-Man, they say they have come to help fighting evil.

Their feature is that they can turn into rocks to hit the enemy, of to repel laser attacks. This transformation is somehow new in the MOTU line, maybe Mattel took this idea from the Transforming robots by Takara, and introduced various figures that could change their aspect in a considerable way: apart from these two; King Hiss, Extendar, Rio Blast or even Dragstor.

Both figures are very very similar, they could even be easily mistaken, but if we pay attention to their casts, we’ll notice that there is not a single shared part. This speaks of the quality that this line got to achieve in this wave, in which all figures had different bodies, limbs and heads.

Rokkon, the young heroic comet warrior, is painted in silver colours, and was equipped with a strange weapon, a mixture of a radar and a gun in purple and silver colours. Rokkon seems to be a metallic rock (in blue and silver), with sharp crevices all over its body.


Stonedar, the heroic leader of the rock people is decorated in gold colours, and included the same weapon as Rokkon, just in red and gold. Stonedar has the appearance of a meteorite, a grey and blue rock with small craters.

Here are the pictures I took last winter before I sent these two figures to Romain (from en-broc), since I had them doubled. I hope he is enjoying them in his MOTU collection!

As a bonus, I put here the story “Rock People to the Rescue”, that was included in every pack of one of these two figures.


FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: ROKKON and STONEDAR (Ref. 9863 and 9862)
  • Toy Line: Masters of the Universe (wave 5)
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 14 cm.

Friday, April 27, 2012

#143 MIRA – CAZA SUBMARINOS and ACORAZADO (Ref. 5055 and 5058) (Around 1977)


One of the most curious series ever produced by Mira was a series of boats. There is very few information about them available on the internet. This is probably so, because these small ships are not identified anywhere but in the box, so people who have (or had) these pieces loose probably don’t know that they were made by Mira.

According to the jewel case in which they were sold, I would date these ships around 1977. The jewel case was almost identical to the one used in their cars, but reduced in size, and included a little support to place the ship over it.

List of the models produced (may be incomplete):
  • Buque/ Passangers Ship (blue) (ref. ?)
  • Barco de Vapor/ Steamboat (blue) (ref. ?)
  • Missisipi/ Steamboat (white/ blue) (ref. 5052)
  • Submarino/ Submarine (blue/green) (ref. 5053)
  • Fragate/ Frigate (beige) (ref. 5054)
  • Caza Submarinos/ Submarine Chaser (green/orange) (ref. 5055)
  • Corbeta/ Corvette Ship (blue/beige) (ref. 5056)
  • Destructor/ Destroyer (blue) (ref. 5057)
  • Acorazado/ Battleship (grey/red) (ref. 5058)
 In brackets, the colours in which (at least) they were available.

These are relatively cheap toys, can be found for less than 10 Euros each mint and boxed. It is interesting to note, that the small cannons antennas, and so on, are quite fragile. My Submarine Chaser is missing a small part right in the middle of the ship (I already bought it so).

This small series of ships shouldn’t be mistaken with a series of much bigger ships, also made by Mira at the same time in metal and plastic. These were around 20 cms each, and referenced 5001 to 5004 (Destructor Cazasubmarinos, Acorazado, Corbeta, Portaaviones). These were clearly inspired by Matchbox SeaKings series.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: CAZA SUBMARINOS and ACORAZADO (Ref. 5055 and 5058)
  • Scale: ?
  • Year: Around 1977
  • Company: Mira (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 to 8 cm

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#142 SCALEXTRIC – MERCEDES 250 SL (Ref. C-32 or 4032) (1967)

Not so long ago I published two articles about the “vintage” line that Scalextric started in the 90s. I presented the first two vintage cars they made: a Seat 600 and a Mercedes 250 SL Sport. Today I bring the “real” vintage version of the Mercedes: the original one from 1967.


As said in #107, there are two versions of the Mercedes 250 SL, this one (hardtop, ref. C-32) and the “sport” one (cabrio, ref. C-33). They were originally released in 1967 and 1968 respectively, being the second and third models designed and manufactured entirely in Spain (first one was the Seat 600, and before all these three, the Mini Cooper was manufactured in Barcelona, but designed in England). Both Mercedes share the same cast, but the windshield/ roof part. It’s a taste thing which one do you prefer.

The Mercedes were discontinued in 1972. In those five years were released in various colors: black, green, white, brown, and this burgundy red. Black is somehow “rarer” since the C-33 was only manufactured in the other 4 colours.
The hardtop was also manufactured in several colours: black, white, burgundy red and grey. They were applied in a way that the colour of this part was never the same colour of the car. There are very elegant combinations, like this one, but there are also some other combinations that don’t look that good, for example a light brown car with a burgundy red hardtop.
The Grey hardtop is very rare to see. The same car with it is up to 200 Euros more expensive than the same car with other hardtop colour. To my understanding this is a lot of money, since the grey hardtop is very light and it looks pretty similar to the white hardtop.

An interesting fact from this vehicle is that it was the first to have a “mobile” guide blade. The Seat 600 and all the English imported models to-date had a fixed guide. You can better observe this in the following picture. Note also the RX Motor.

Two more facts are the driver, which always had a "jet"-type helmet and the decoration of the car, which consisted of three race numbers, applied over the bonnet and doors. This model is completely original, even the tyres are the original ones (they were never changed). The box is also completely original. As you can observe, the box is tagged three times: the sticker from exin on one side, a second tag from "El Corte Inglés" (also on the same side), plus a third tag on the front of the box which has an uncertain origin. All three tags mark 420 pesetas, that's exactly 2,52 Euros. Compared to the prices that these cars can reach nowadays, it would have been a good investment to buy and keep a few of them over all these years.
FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: MERCEDES 250 SL (Ref. C-32 or 4032)
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Year: 1967
  • Company: Scalextric Exin (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 14 cm

Saturday, April 21, 2012

#141 REPRO BOX DVDs: DINKY, CORGI, MATCHBOX, SIKU (2012 EDITION)

I have recently bought this pack of two data DVDs that are sold through eBay. They are available from a few different sellers in Ebay, listed at different prices. I decided to buy the most expensive one, since it had a better description, more gigabytes and included several catalogues. I will not put the name of the seller here, but with the description (and picture) above, you’ll easily find who he is.
First I want to say is that the DVDs have what they promise: the comprehensive list of boxes that is show in the description corresponds to what it is to find in the DVDs. You can make your own repro-boxes very easily!
There are many catalogues, (mostly German and English editions), as well as price guides from 2004. The instructions for some models and stickers that are promised in the listing are also there. The fact that there are many German catalogues and that the price guides and other few documents have the eBay seller as an author makes me think that this guy could actually be the author of the dvds, and the rest of the sellers could have copied the dvds from the first seller. If not, he took the trouble to improve and expand the collection.
There were, however, some little problems with my DVDs: I found is that from the 8 or 9 gigabytes, around 3 or 4 are just pictures that nothing have to do with boxes: pictures of different die-cast models, pictures of custom and sci-fi cars, plus a whole bunch of software (freeware). Many files are also doubled… for example instructions for different corgi toys, or stickers… it is true that some are better scanned as others, but they could have erased the “bad” files.

The pictures that illustrate this entry are boxes I made for a few models, just to test how good the scans are, and if they are really accurate in size and colours. I am very happy with them, although with laser printer would actually be better than with my inkjet printer.
I hope you found this review useful if you’re thinking about buying one of these sets.I would recommend this same set I have, rather than buying a cheaper one.
Corgi boxes correspond to these two models:
- Chevrolet Corvair
- VW 1500 Karmann Ghia

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#140 KAÏDO – KAPAWACH, DAÏMAN and ORX (1990)


These Kaïdo figures are one of my favourite G.I.Joe (ARAH) bootlegs. These casts have been used during many years for different toy-lines, but since Kaïdo were the first I knew, I usually refer to them with that name.
 
This series was formed by ten figures and at least one vehicle. The figures, their function (if known) and affiliation were:
Kaïdo:
  • Charkaff – Chief officer
  • Kanats – Mine sweeper
  • Slanders Submarine combat squad chief
  • Daïman – Pilot
  • Zorgev Commando Major
  • Kapawack – Anti-drugs agent
New Order:
  • Orx – Emperor of the New Order
  • Zargone
  • Alpacko – Coordinator of the New Order Organisation
  • Molloch Explosives Specialist
  • Tetrark – Weapons Specialist
  • Tarkhan - Special Agent
I remember that I bough Kapawack (the only figure I had during many years) during the holidays in a little village. The seller was a man who had these figures over a piece of cloth on the ground. These figures were available as well in the biggest and most famous department store in Spain: El Corte Inglés, but not in traditional toy shops or other toystores. I guess very few of them were ever made, because they are rare to find. These three are the only I have complete with box. I own the rest without backpack, weapons or box except Kanats.
There is not much I can say about the figures: they have a t-crotch, so the practicability of the figures is quite reduced compared to Hasbro’s G.I.Joe. The heads are great sculps, but the bodies could be improved, not only because they only made 4 different bodies for 12 figures, but also because they could be more detailed.
A very interesting point was the package in which they were sold. It had exactly the size of a VHS tape, and could be opened and close as many times as desired, since it was made of transparent plastic. I like this system much better than the classic card with a bubble attached to it.
The second positive point that these figures have, is a very detailed “missions passport”, more detailed than the filecards made by Hasbro (but less elaborated, a little “naïve” could we say). It included a description of the character, plus a map of the world and a piece of “top secret” information. See the complete booklet in the pictures below (unfortunately in spanish, and not translated yet)

As you have probably guessed from the first pictures, Kaïdo figures came with a talking backpack with two buttons: the first one was a spoken command, the second one, an action noise. This same idea was implemented by Hasbro in its “Talking Commanders” in 1990, at the same time than Bikin. These figures were released in Belgium and the Netherlands, so the voice commands were recorded in at least two languages: Spanish and Dutch, and, of course, sold in packages with the appropriate language.
Maybe you know them (or very similar figures) as:
  • Adventure Man (by AM)
  • M.P.A.C.T (E.M.P.A.C.T. in Spanish) (by Toyman)
  • American Defense (unknown toymaker)
  • Mega Cop (by Charter King)
  • ...

All of them are repaints and recombinations of Kaïdo figures, with different heads, or even the same Kaïdo figures without any changes. All of them include the talking backpack (except the Mega Cops), and a few accessories.
And talking about accessories, it is interesting to mention, that almost all accessories included with Kaïdo figures are copied from Hasbros’ G.I.Joe or even from Lanard’s Corps. For example, Kapawack has the rifle which was originally available with Crazylegs (87) (without the stock), and the pistol available with Psyche-out (87). If you’re familiar with Hasbro’s G.I.Joe you’ll easily recognise some other accessories, like Viper’s (86), Lamprey’s (85) or Gung-ho’s (83) rifles, just to mention a few. Some figures also include the UZI, the long rifle or the short rifle that came with many Lanard figures. I have many of these accessories so I can compare then with the “original” ones, and I can say these are made of a lower quality, harder plastic, although they’re practically unidentifiable if you do not have both in your hands. As far as I am concerned, all the weapons packed with Kaïdo figures were made of black plastic.
From the three figures I present here, I can only offer loose pictures of Kapawack; the other two boxes are still sealed.
KAPAWACK:
A Peruvian soldier, expert in jungle and mountain warfare, has the mission to fight drug trafficking in South America and the Caribbean Sea. His family was killed but his brother Alpacko survived and was recruited by the evil New Empire.

DAÏMAN:
Daïman was a poor boy from Taipei, but his will is strong and finished his degree in computer science. He is also a black belt in karate, and motorcycle’s driver. He has an accident in one of his races, but he was determined to live. Afterwards joined the Kaïdo team and trained to be a jet pilot.

ORX:
Orx was a military tactician, space and rocketships’ pilot and a scientist. In his private base for launching communication satellites, he also suffers an accident, and survives, although his body has been severely burnt and damaged. Since that moment, his character changed and he starts wearing a pilot helmet. His plans now are to control the world.
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: KAPAWACH, DAÏMAN and ORX (Ref.KS003, KS004 and KS010)
  • Toy Line: Kaïdo
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Bikin (Belgium)
  • Size of the figures: 11 cm. or 3,75’’
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