Sunday, October 6, 2013

#333 AIRGAM COMICS – SUPERDIABOLICS SUB-AQUATIC with PIRANHA (1985)



HISTORY OF AIRGAM and AIRGAM BOYS

This vehicle belongs to the first Airgam Comics series, you can tell the first and second series, because the figures in the second series have swivel arm and articulated knees, while those figures from the first series don’t.

It is important to mention that Airgam is a company with a long history. These figures belonged to the last toyline they produced, since the company declared bankruptcy in 1987 and disappeared. The following text is a summarized history of the company, taken from the great article appeared in rosaspage.com.



The company was founded by two brothers, José and Jorge Magriá Deulofeu. Although the company existed since 1945, the first two years they only produced pieces of wood to make necklaces and armbands.

Those wood pieces were provided by a small family workshop in the town of Torelló (famous for their woodworks), that was property of Pere Vila Soldevilla.

In 1947, the Magriás moved to a bigger workshop (also in Barcelona). The “catalogue” of the company was expanded by producing cloth dolls, leather balls, and small wood toys, although these wooden toys were not produced by themselves, but bought from Mr. Vila from Torelló.

The company kept growing during the next few years, and they were capable of producing more and more toys, even with increasing complexity, like toy guns. Around 1953, the company started casting plastic toys, which, at the time, wasn’t still a very popular material for toys.

In 1954, the Airgam company is officially founded. The name comes from the family name (surname) spelled backwards: Magriá – Airgam.

In 1965 the company moved to Hospitalet de Llobregat, which would be the base of the company until its end in 1987. The new building was much bigger than the previous one, and was equipped with all types of machines.


In 1976, the Airgam Boys toyline is put on sale for the first time. The figures were probably inspired by Geobra’s Playmobil, only a bit larger and more points of articulation. They look more like Play-BIG.

There were a lot of different themes within the Airgam Boys toyline. The most important were: Romans, Cowboys and Indians, Football Players, Soldiers, Astronauts and Aliens, and Circus artists. There was even a female version of this figure for girls called “Miss Airgam”, and many many accessories.

And precisely this same Airgam Boys line evolved into the Airgam Comics that I have shown in this entry (and some previous entries too). The first wave from this figures were simply repainted Airgam Boys to look like superheroes, while for the second wave some new parts were made.

Some of these figures were released as Coman Boys, since the stocks they had when the company shut down, were sold to Comansi. Comansi’s Coman Boys were much smaller figures originally, but I guess to spare the costs of creating new packages for these few figures, they simply packaged them as Coman Boys.

This figure is Piranha, and is based in one of the aliens in the Airgam Boys’ space series, only repainted to look like “Swamp Thing”. The original alien may have been designed after Greedo, the Star Wars character, or at least, the sculpt of Pirahna’s head is similar to Greedo’s head in Kenner’s 3 3/4’’ figure.



As other Airgam Boys, the figure has ball joint in the neck, practicable arms and legs (each leg moves independently, unlike Playmobil’s), and also practicable ankles and wrists.

The figure sold with the vehicle has a significant difference with the figure sold in blister cards, and is that it doesn’t have the piece of black plastic behind its head and without the accessory. I took the pictures with the other figure, since it looks better, but I have both.









The vehicle is also “recycled” from Airgam Boys, and it is some kind of boat/submarine. It has capacity for one figure (driver) which is placed lying down on the cockpit and “fixed” with two small hinges.
Some details which are worth mentioning are the chromed parts, the antenna, the very detailed cockpit and the nice stickers, plus two killer-features: the two spring loaded cannons and the motor to use the toy in water, which was also included in the pack. If not used in water, the vehicle comes with three plastic wheels.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: SUPERDIABOLICS SUB-AQUATIC with PIRANHA
  • Toy Line: Airgamcomics (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1985
  • Company: Airgam (Spain)
  • Size of the vehicle: 18 cm
  • Size of the figure:  10 cm

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