Friday, November 30, 2012

#221 GOOD TIMES - KULT! Nr. 7 (1/2013)




The latest issue of Kult! is since a few weeks out. I bought this last issue (and the first also, which I didn’t have yet) on ebay, which is an alternative to ordering them on the official site or buying them in your local store. The shipping costs are 3 Eur for Europe, no matter how many magazines you're ordering. I’m quite happy, because now I have all the 7 magazines that have been published so far.

Nr. 7 comes, as usual, with a mixture of articles dealing with cars, movies, music, toys, comics and many more things.

This time we find an interesting article about toys based on space exploration, moon landing, planets, robots... plus a short article about chritmas toy catalogues. Another article deals with magic boxes, which can also be considered as toys. 

Another of the most interesting articles in this issue is one dealing with Michel Vaillant, the comic character created by Jean Graton. A new comic book will be released soon... I was always fascinated by these comics in which the cars were depicted so realisticly, all of them real models, and even with real characters on their stories, like for example Michael Schumacher. 

Apart from this, there are articles about the Moon-Landing, Hawaii 5-O, Russ Meyer, J.R.R. Tolkien, the comic book from "Lustige Taschenbücher", Volvo PV444/PV544, plus many more articles and, of course, the news and kult!-books sections.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#220 DINAMIZAÇAO “ACTION CARDS” – AVIOES A HÉLICE MILITARES (Ref. 120) (Around 1986)




This is an “exotic” quartett card deck I found during a trip to Portugal. Since I love card games, I bought this one for my collection.

They were very popular there in the last 80s, although there is very few information available on the internet about the cardmaker, or about other releases they made. If you can tell me something about them, I’d very very grateful.

The only information comes from the rules card, which says there are other decks with ships and cars available, as well as other card and board games. In the card on the left, you can see an advertisement for Nai Kei, Zig Zag and Jogo do O (which seems to be a version of Duell).


 

 

As usual in these kind of quartets, the land in which the deck has been manufactured, is widely represented on the game. Portugal has 12 planes (out of 32). There are also one plane from Mozambique (old Portuguese colony) and one from Biafra.

Also interesting is that the planes are also classified after their country of origin and also after their function (for example: transport, observation, combat…)

Some of the cards do not depict planes, but helicopters, which are a different kind of vehicle, but it doesn’t really matter, the game makes a lot of fun as it is.



 


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: AVIOES A HÉLICE MILITARES (Ref. 120)
  • Alternate Names: MILITARY PROPELLER-DRIVEN PLANES (English)
  • Year: Around 1986
  • Company: Dinamizaçao (Portugal)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

#219 LONE STAR (TUF TOTS) – WASTE DISPOSAL TRUCK and EARTH MOVER (Refs. 618 and 627) (1969)



This are very curious models. They're the only ones I own in this scale by Lone Star, and I found them in a thrift shop and a flea market respectively a few years ago. They are not that rare, but they are nice models in an unusual scale for this kind of toys.

Lone Star is the trademark used by the toy division of Die Cast Machine Tools (DCMT), a british company based in London.

This company was founded in 1939. Among their first products, there are many guns and rifles, which were very popular at the time because of the many films about Indians and Cowboys. It is said, that the name of the toys comes from these products. They also produced many hand-painted figures (early in metal, later in plastic), which I know thanks to smallscaleword.blogspot.com.

But their most successful products were vehicles, and there were vehicles in several scales made… starting with the classic 1/43 (similar to Corgi’s cars), 1/64 under the Impy series, and also in 1/85 with these Tuf Tots.

If you want to know more about the company, or other toy series, we advice you to visit http://www.lone-star-diecast-bk.com/ . In this entry we’ll just focus on the Tuf Tots.



As said above, this series was made in a smaller scale than the usual 1:64, and pretended to be an alternative to Matchbox models, as they were three times cheaper. The series comprised 11 cars in 1/85 scale and 16 trucks in 1/118 scale, which means that all toys were around 1,5 or 2 inches long.

Among the cars, there’ re a Citroën DS, Mercedes 280 SL, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, a Dodge Dart, a Jeep, a caravan, even a trailer with a boat. The trucks are different and include tankers, delivery trucks, a London bus, Tow truck and some more. The Mercedes, Citroën, Corvette and Dodge were available in two different versions: cabrio and hard-top coupé, which were basically the same model, with or without the black plastic top.

All of them seem to have been launched in 1969, and despite its small price and small size, they’re made with great quality and are also very strong because of the zinc-alloy in which they’re made.


Three models were re-released by Lone Star as “Zippy Zoomes” (Mercedes, Corvette and Citroën) and available between 1983 and 1985. They came in a garage which could “shoot” the cars.

Later, the moulds were used by Microlink (a company from Wales) to release a series called “Mokes”. The main characteristics of these cars were their bright colours, like pink, orange, red, green, and they were packed with stickers to customize them.



Here's a list of all Tuf Tots models by Lone Star with their references:

610  Tipper Truck    
611  Freight Truck    
612  Apache Low Loader
613  Speedboat and trailer    
614  Refuse Truck    
615  Cement Mixer
616  Milk Delivery Truck    
617  Horse Box    
618  Waste Disposal Truck
619  Citroen Coupe    
620  Stingray Coupe    
621  Dodge Dart Coupe
622  Mercedes Coupe    
623  London Bus    
624  Fire Engine
625  Caravan    
626  Circus Truck    
627  Earth Mover

581 Gift Set
583 Gift Set

??? Vauxhall Cresta Estate (Preproduction model, never released)

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: WASTE DISPOSAL TRUCK (Ref. 618) and EARTH MOVER (Ref. 627)
  • Scale: 1:118
  • Year: 1969
  • Company: Lone Star (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 4 cm

Thursday, November 22, 2012

#218 MIGHTY MAX – BLOWS UP DINO LAB (1993)




A new line comes to TFTP. I recently found a Mighty Max complete playset, and I bought it. I had also seen other playsets, but I was not sure if they were complete, so this is the first and only playset I own.

Buying this toy has given me the chance to learn more about this great toyline. I knew it in the toy shelves by the mid-90s, but at that time, I had not much interest in toys anymore. Now as a “toy reviewer”, I regard them in a different way: they’re amazing toys! I’m glad I have bought this one.


Figures included in "Blows Up Dino Lab" playset


The name of the playset/adventure is “Mighty Max blows the Dino Lab”, and comes with Mighty Max, the Dr. Zygote and two dinosaurs: a velociraptor and a pterodactyl. These toys are playsets in form of a shell that, when closed, have very cool forms, always related to what’s on the interior. This one is a Triceratops, where two horns are actually parts of the pterodactyl and the raptor. When opened, it reveals two parts: One of them is placed horizontally, and the second is intended to be placed vertical.

Most sets are based on the TV cartoons, in which Mighty Max is transportated to some magical or ancient place where he has to fight against monsters and fierce animals. I have never seen the show, but it was intended to promote the toys. This playset is based on episode “Zigote’s Rhythm”.



Dr. Zygote in the laboratory

Mighty Max on the cannon

Dinosaurs scape!
  
There were three waves of toys ever made, although in all of them the products were very similar. The “Doom Zones” (also “Doomstones”) were the most common toys, together with the “Horror Heads”, “Hairy Heads” and “Monster Heads”, which were smaller in size and included only 2 figures (intead of 4). There seems to be even smaller sets than the “Horror Heads”, with only one figure included, but these seem to be extremely rare to find. These are called “Shrunken Heads”. There are also promotional playsets from McDonalds, and other that could be attached to the wrist, as a watch.

Apart from these, there were bigger playsets, for example, 6 “Battle Warriors” (See “Magus” in the catalogue picture) or 5 large playsets (among them “Dragon Island”).


Bluebird logo and copyright at the bottom of the plastic "shell"

The toys were created by Bluebird Toys (the same company that did Polly Pocket) and were distributed by Mattel in Italy and by Ideal in France and Spain. Here are a couple of pictures from catalogues that show the prices that those toys had in 1994. In one of the catalogues is even this exact playset depicted, and it had a price of 1595 pesetas, that’s 9,60 Eur.


Christmas catalogue 1994. Showing a similar toy with Ninja Turtles instead of Mighty Max.

Toys 'r' Us Christmas Catalogue 1994

Also interesting to mention, is that this playset came with a different Mighty Max figure in the U.S.A. as it came in Europe, or at least, that is what I could get from a few images I have found in different websites. Maybe I am wrong and some experienced collector can tell me that.

Italian carded playset - incl. the figure in this article and not the one with the monkeywrench.
Find more about Mighty Max HERE!

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: Mighty Max blows up Dino Lab (Doom Zone)
  • Toy Line: Mighty Max (wave 2)
  • Year: 1993
  • Company: Bluebird (Great Britain)
  • Size of the playset: Around 10 cm long
  • Size of the figures (Mighty Max): 1 cm
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

#217 YOLANDA – RUPERTA (UN, DOS, TRES - TVE) (1991)




I wanted to make an article dealing with promotional plastic figures because yesterday I discovered the blog “chicledunkin.blogspot.com” that deals with promotional figures. I found the blog very interesting and I could even chat a bit with its creator, Javier. I think this blog will be something really exceptional as it gets more and more contents.

These small figures (around 1 or 1,5 cms high) were done by Yolanda in 1991. They were the prize from a chewing gum promotion that same year. Similarly to the Real Ghostbusters figures I showed a while ago, you had to find a prized sticker in the chewing gum in order to receive one of these figures.

I’m not sure if all of you can recognise the figure, but it is a pumpkin wearing a hat (well not wearing, but on one hand), and a baton on the other hand. This Pumpkin is “Ruperta”, the mascot of “Un, Dos, Tres”, the most successful quiz show ever in TVE (TeleVision Española).

This TV program was aired for 10 seasons between 1972 and 2004. Right after season 6 (1987-88), there was a pause of 3 years before season 7 (1991-92) came. Maybe for this reason, the “comeback” was prepared more carefully, although a chewing gum with the name of the TV program is more an anecdote than a real story.


If you pay attention to the figures, all three are made from exactly the same cast. That is so because there was only one type of figure, but in many different colours. If I’m not wrong, I think each colour was an amulet or lucky charm for a certain aspect of life, like love, luck, health, work, money and so on. There were 8 different colours (red, yellow, bright orange, pale orange, blue, green, violet and pink?).

Behind the hat of each figure, you can read “© 1991 TVE Yolanda” plus the CE symbol.
I can't remember the brand or the maker of these chewing gums, but it was surely the same that did the Real Ghostbusters' chewing gums. The stickers contained small puzzles for children, and some of them, as said before, were prized.

2 sticker examples (taken from: http://undostresweb.16mb.com/cromos.html)

Comansi (Yolanda was the same company) also released these figures in a slightly different size and cast more or less at the same time. This paralell collection has 10 figures instead of 8

Pic: Todocoleccion.net

This is the end of my article, but don’t forget to give “chicledunkin.blogspot.com” a try!


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: RUPERTA
  • Toy Line: Un, Dos, Tres (TV Quiz Show)
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: Yolanda (Spain)
  • Size of the figure: Around 1,5 cms.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

#216 MIRA – SUZUKI GS 1000 & MOTO GUZZI V 1000 65 (Ref. 2301 and 2308) (Around 1983)



Motorbikes made by Mira during the 70s and the 80s were also a big success. Guisval’s models probably sold better, and Guiloy’s were probably better done, but Mira was also an important brand among the die-cast manufacturers, and could distribute their motorbikes very easily, ensuring good sales.





At first sight, these motorbikes are built at a slightly higher scale than those two other brands mentioned above. Earlier models were real motorbikes, done in the “Guiloy”-style. This series was called “MOTO CLUB”. They’re nicely casted, with lot of details, and represent more or less popular models of those years. Later issues (those) were partly released with fairing to make them more attractive to children. From the outside they look now like race motorbikes, but if you carefully see, behind the fairing, they’re the same old models. Note that both motorbikes have actually two seats (or seats for two people) and the Moto Gucci even comes with travel boxes, but anyway, the motorbike looks great with the fairing, and those big race numbers.

Also worth to mention are the plastic pilots, great in their leather suits with a stripe on the side, slightly better than those made by Guisval. Guiloy sold its motorbikes without pilot figures.

MOTO GUZZI V 1000 65

MOTO GUZZI V 1000 65 - Plate: A-JM 309

Each model was made in several colours, so there are a lot of variants out there. All of them were made in metal and plastic (the chromed exhaust pipes, the seat and the fairing are made of plastic), what makes them quite durable.All fairings are actually the same, and the stickers were applied randomly.

As usual in this company, the motorbikes were available in shops in a cardboard frame including 24 models in their cases. Some models were also available in plastic packs. All models were available during many consecutive years, so they’re difficult to date exactly. 

SUZUKI GS 1000

SUZUKI GS 1000 - Plate: A-JM 301

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SUZUKI GS 1000 & MOTO GUZZI V 1000 65 (Ref. 2301 and 2308)
  • Scale: approx. 1:36
  • Year: Around 1983
  • Company: Mira (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#215 M.A.S.K. – CONDOR with BRAD TURNER/ HOCUS POCUS (1985)




This M.A.S.K. entry is dedicated to the Condor, one of the vehicles released in the first wave, and also one of the most famous, it appears in every comic book and in almost every cartoon chapter.

As you can see, the Condor is a green motorbike, whose “stealth mode” is a helicopter. It is a relatively simple and small toy, but nevertheless very nice to play with and with a great transformation (anything that flies is a great for me).




Together with Scott Trakker + T-Bob and the Thunderhawk, is probably one of the best selling toys in this line.

The Condor also belongs to the M.A.S.K. team and its pilot is Brad Turner, with the mask named “Hocus Pocus”, which “pretends to project false images”. About Brad Turner, we don’t know much, is supposed to be a rock musician and a climber. Other characters had a richer background than him, and were released as a toy more often. There were two versions of this figure made: this is the first one, while the second one was released with the Razorback (1987).






The blades of the helicopter are, in my opinion, a bit fragile, and in played toys, they might not keep in horizontal position. The Condor came without any bombs or detachable accessories, but the part behind the landing skies seems to be very fragile. If you zoom in the pictures, you might notice that mine is broken.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: CONDOR with BRAD TURNER/ HOCUS POCUS (Ref. 37340)
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K. (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1985
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the vehicle: 5’’ or 13 cm
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#214 OBERTOYS - GROTES-CAR RENAULT 5 (Ref. 102) (Around 1984)



OBERTOYS


Obertoys was another Spanish toymaker, based in the city of Ibi, Alicante. Unfortunately, the company disappeared in the early 90s (probably 1992), but left behind a great series of toys which are very easy to identify because they have a very peculiar style.

The company was probably founded around 1970 as a Limited Liability Company by a man named Olegario Bernabeu. The name of the company is derived from the name of this person (Olegario BERnabeu TOYS).

In this company there were two people with that name, and that makes me think they were father and son, although I don’t know which is which. I suspect, the father is Olegario Bernabeu Carbonell, and the son is Olegario Bernabeu Bernabeu. Obertoys was probably a family business. These two gentlemen also designed toys, and have several patents with very nice toys. Some are also very innovative. In some other Obertoys patents, a third person appears as inventor: Joaquín Pastor Carbonell, who probably was a cousin of Olegario Bernabeu Carbonell.

Obertoys' Logo

 
As said before the toys made by Obertoys have a very peculiar style, you can recognise them only by looking at them. They made a lot of vehicles with this “toon” or deformed style, all of them very funny. Some include a figure’s head (and upper body) as if it was the driver or the pilot. The materials that Obertoys used the most are tin and plastic, although in later years they will use more plastic and less tin. Obertoys labelled their products in Spanish, English and French, so a part of their production was intended for export.

Most of them are marked on the chassis and wheels, but some other, like this one here, use wheels that are very similar to Guisval’s. There are also vans and trucks in this or in a more realistic style, and in different sizes. 



Nice interior decoration in tin

Plastic Chassis with logo
 
This series is called Grotes-car (a wordplay with the word “grotesque”, meaning “odd” or “eccentric”), and represents a Renault 5, which was a very popular car during the 80s. There are other cars in a similar “deformed” style, but, to my knowledge, they do not belong to the Grotes-car line. Among those: Seat Panda, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, an undefined Formula 1, Citroën 2CV… undefined trucks and ambulances…

The four references depicted in the box are four Renault 5:


Ref. 100 - Rally

Ref. 101 - Bomberos (Fire Brigade)

Ref. 103 - Police

Ref. 103 - Servicio Grúas (Road Assistance)


Among the few toys that are not cars, trucks, or planes, there’s a great series of small, portable, sport games. These were my only Obertoys’ toys as a kid, and I keep great memories of them. I had a small football game, a billiard game, a mini-golf game and also a basketball game.

The founding date of 1970 is only approximate. By that time, Ibi had its first proto-industrial zone. In the outskirts of the city, 7 toy factories were built together. Those years were very prosper for the Spanish economy, and they would be until the mid-80s. In Ibi some building grounds were declared industrial, what brought new industrial zones. These new industries were not only focused on toys and were not only big toy companies. There were also many smaller companies that worked for the bigger toy companies.

The company had two addresses in Ibi: The registered office was in Roger de Flor, 11 (this street does not exist anymore, probably was renamed sometime) and the factory/warehouse in Virgen de los Desamparados street, no number.

According to somebody from Ibi, in the abandoned factory there were thousands of toys stored (that couldn’t be sold or taken out of the building because of the seize). It seems that the factory was looted little by little until the 5th March 2000, when it caught fire. That fire was probably intentional, since the factory had no electricity, and was seized by a bank. The fire was quite heavy and needed the collaboration of three firemen teams from neighbouring cities.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: GROTES-CAR RENAULT 5 (Ref. 102)
  • Year: Around 1984
  • Company: OBERTOYS (Spain)
  • Size: Around 24 cm.
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