Monday, September 30, 2013

#331 COMANSI and NOVOLÍNEA – LUCKY LUKE PLASTIC FIGURES (Around 1985)



We all know Lucky Luke, the character created in 1946 by the Belgian author and artist Morris. The character was already very well known around 1984, when Hanna Barbera coproduced a TV animated series about him. The other producers were Gaumont and FR3, so it was a French-American production. This TV series was premiered the 15th October 1984 in FR3 (France), but shortly afterwards it was available in many other countries.


Some sources say that same year, the series was synchronized to Spanish, and aired in one of the two channels of Televisión Española: TVE1 or TVE2, I can’t remember which one. Since television has a strong impact in children, Comansi started producing Lucky Luke toys. The most famous are its plastic figures, but there are also other like plastic guns or shooting games, and articulated action figures in the “Comanboys” line. There seems to be also many vintage figures made by Schleich in Germany, which shouldn’t be mistaken with the Spanish ones.



So, Comansi made an undefined number of figures, all of them hand painted, including several versions of Lucky Luke, the Dalton Bros., Jolly Jumper, Rantanplan, and other secondary characters. My guess is that these figures were made around 1985, it must have been after the cartoon was premiered in Spain.

Comansi figures

I have 5 figures from this first series: Lucky Luke, a confederate soldier (no idea of its name, anyone?), Hank Bully (the stagecoach driver, unfortunately without the Stagecoach) and two brown horses.


Many of these figures sold, very well, while other didn’t. My guess here is that, one or two years later, Comansi decided to make re-releases of the most popular characters, and sell them with the last figures they had in stock. The new figures, were not painted, and therefore it was more suitable to sell them under their 2nd brand Novolínea. Novolínea rarely released painted figures, but in this case, it is quite clear that the figures of the Vulture, the Asian Man, Rantanplan, the two guys in black with tall hats (the Gravedigger?) and the bald man in blue (the Banker?) are leftovers from Comansi. The unpainted figures are the four Daltons (unfortunately, two of them are the same), Lucky Luke and another figure that I cannot identify either.



I found that pack not so long ago in a flea market, but there are many of these available in todocoleccion.net at very low prices. Each bag includes different figures… so if you want to have the whole series, you might end up buying a lot of bags!

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: LUCKY LUKE PLASTIC (PVC) FIGURES (Ref. 47)
  • Year: Around 1985
  • Company: Comansi and Novolinea (Spain)
  • Size: Around 4 cm (average)

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