Sunday, March 31, 2013

#265 HASBRO'S WWF – LUDVIG BORGA and CRUSH (1994)



In the last months I have analysed waves 1 and 2 of this toy line in series of three articles each that were published consecutively. However, with wave 11, I am doing it differently. This wave has some of the most expensive figures, and I still do not own all of them, so I am presenting the figures in a disordered way.

The first entry with figures from wave 11 was #53, in which the wrestlers analysed were Adam Bomb and 1-2-3 Kid. Now I’ll show two more figures: Crush and Ludvig Borga. If you want to read more about wave 11, please visit that entry, where we talked about prices and difficult figures.

The two wrestlers are quite unknown to me, since I never saw them on TV.

Crush (with Kona Crusher!)


Crush, also Kona Crush was the character played by Brian Adams. We was part of the Demolition Tag Team with Ax and Smash during the years 1990 and 1991, but left for a year to participate in another Wrestling conference, and returned to the WWF in 1992, this time to fight solo under the name of Kona Crush. Kona, by the way, is its hometown, a city in Hawaii. The Hasbro figure comes from these years. He used later other names like Heel Turn. He was also in prison for purchasing steroids, and possessing illegal weapons. He passed away on 2007.

This figure is a repaint of the figure released in wave 7 (one year earlier). The original Kona Crush had a yellow and purple outfit. This figure is much easier to find. Another figure of Crush was available much earlier, but that time in the Demolition Outfit. Some versions of that figure were sold with helmet, some other without.



 
Ludvig Borga (with Finland Finisher!)


Ludvig Borga (real name Tony Halme) was not in the WWF for a long time. He participated only between 1993 and 1994, and apparently played the mean anti-American. A quick check at his Wikipedia entry is very recommended: he was a member of the Finnish Parliament, wroten a few books, and had a career as a professional boxer. He also participated in several wrestling shows and in the Finnish version of Gladiators. He took his own life in 2010, after many controversial incidents.

The figure is big compared with the rest of the toy series, mostly because of those long arms and big hands. The fingers are fragile and could break off. The head is a great sculpt.



Note: three more wrestlers from wave 11 can be seen here #375.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: LUDVIG BORGA and CRUSH
  • Toy Line: Official WWF (Wave 11)
  • Year: 1994
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 12 cm or 4,5’’

Thursday, March 28, 2013

#264 GUISVAL – LANCHA DE COMPETICIÓN (1981)



Since I wrote a very long article just two days ago, I will now publish a very short one with a vehicle that has a lot in common with what I wrote about Guisval’s “Club” and “Junior” series.

These speedboats were manufactured around 1981 by Guisval, and came out in the just mentioned “Club” series. They were the perfect candidate for that series, since they are more plastic than metal, and might have been very cheap to produce.





The two pictures below are taken from todocoleccion.net (Seller: Humber)

This boat was never part of the “campeón” series, but it was sold together with some “campeón” models in double packs ("campeón autopista" series comprised cars with trailers), before 1981 (see pics above)


All the speedboats share exactly the same cast. Depending on the colours and the stickers, there are two models to be found:

Lancha Rescate: 
  • White with blue interior and red hull, “Rescate” stickers (at least 2 versions of stickers)
Lancha Competición: 
  • Yellow with red interior and blue hull “RN 42” stickers
  • White with blue interior and red hull, “RN 42” stickers (wrongly applied stickers, should have been a "rescue speedboat"??? )
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LANCHA DE COMPETICIÓN
  • Scale: Approx 1:64?
  • Year: 1981
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6-7 cm

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#263 GUISVAL – FORD MUSTANG I, II 1:64 (1973, 1976, 1981)



GUISVAL'S FORD MUSTANG plus "CLUB" AND "JUNIOR" SERIES


The cars presented in this entry are all Ford Mustang. Guisval had two casts for this particular car model, the first one is a quite old cast (1973), and the second one was issued a few years later in 1976.

The first cast seem to be the “Fastback” model from 1965 (1st generation), while the second one seems to be the Ford Mustang II coupé (II stands for 2nd generation), none of these cars were ever sold in Spain, but they usually appeared in films and tv series, which might be the reason why Guisval decided to reproduce this particular model and not any other.

Chronologically, the first Mustang was issued in 1973, but I do not own any of these.
It was the nr. 37 Ford Mustang “Circo” (Circus) in purple. The car had on the bonnet the head of a clown, while through rear windshield some kind of seat can be found. This seat might have been planned to sit some kind of figure. That same year, a VW Bug was released with an alien figure seated on the back, as it would be here.

1973 – Nr. 37 – Ford Mustang “Circo” (Purple)

Picture: todocoleccion.net (seller: Humber)

And just one more note, Guisval released in the beginning of the 70s a lot of vehicles with “Circus” stickers, clown, lions, monkeys and more. This is obviously not a coincidence, but the result of the popularity of the tv-show “El Gran Circo de TVE”, which was aired from 1974 to 1981. One year earlier (1973, the year of release of this car), there was another tv-show “Las aventuras de Gaby, Fofó y Miliki” with the same characters and the same idea. 

One year later, a second version of the Ford Mustang was released. In this case, the head of the clown was replaced by a dragster motor, and the back seat was occupied by an orange plastic figure depicting the driver of the car.

1974 – Nr. 35 – Ford Mustang “Gymkhana” (Blue)


It is interesting to mention, that almost at the same time, Scalextric released a dragster version of the Ford Mustang. Maybe a sudden interest in dragsters?

Note that the design of the wheels and compare them to the “classic” Guisval wheels of the car behind. Both the “Circo” and the “Gymkhana” versions were originally released with the “chromed hubcap” wheels, but, as they were sold during several years, at some point, they were released with the other type of wheels.


In 1976, the orange pilot figure was removed from the car, so it is also possible to have a complete model without the pilot. But, attention!, at this time there were only models with the second type of wheels, and the plastic part representing the motor is slightly different, it does not have the air intake on the top.Additionally, there are versions whose chassis has two round holes that were used to attach the car to the jewel box. This peg system was changed afterwards, and most guisval cars and vehicles have two big square holes to attach to the cases (and also to some trailers).

Ford Mustang with different plastic motor part. The second picture presents a red motor (factory error?) The car on the left picture has two round pegs in the chassis, the one in the right, two square holes. Pictures: Todocoleccion.net (seller: Periode)

The “Circo” version was available until 1976 and discontinued in 1977.
The “Gymkhana” version was available until 1979 and discontinued in 1980. Remember that there are two versions: 1974-1976 and 1977-1980

1976 – Nr. 15 – Ford Mustang II 
 

In 1976, a second cast came in to Guisval’s Campeon collection: Ford had redesigned their Mustangs (“2nd generation”) one year earlier, so Guisval decided to make a new cast and produce new Ford Mustangs. The new model was also designed as a dragster, and came with a black chassis that comprised the back of the car. Apart from a big motor over the bonnet, the model had three exhaust pipes at each side between the chassis and the body, as well as big rear wheels (bigger than front wheels). The exhaust pipes are the same piece than the interior, if you look through the windows, you’ll recognise one single seat in the same chromed colour.


This cast also knew two different versions. The colour was changed from purple (1976-1979) to green in 1980, to be discontinued in 1981. It is important to note that the front motor is always the same; in some pictures, the purple model might be mistaken by the Escorpión model, which had a different motor (with a very tall intake). The Escorpión model is made in 1:36 scale.


Now we have to make a short interruption to talk about the Spanish economic crisis by the end of the 70s. Surely it had its beginning in the (referred as) 1979 energy crisis (although this tendence cames from much earlier -1973-, a strong downturn was caused by the Iranian revolution in 1979) that affected most western countries. With a weaker economy, and higher production costs, the sales would descend, so Guisval (and many other toy companies) had to offer cheaper products. The only way to do that was offering less detailed models that the ones they were offering until now.


In 1981, Guisval launched two new series that would be very successful over the following years. They’re very similar, so sometimes it is difficult to tell between the two. These are the “Club” and “Junior” collections, and the comprised exclusively “Campeón” models but produced in a cheaper way.

"Club" Stand. Picture taken from miniaturasenmetal.jimdo.com
The “Club” series for example have no plastic interior, and the windshields are dark (normally dark green or dark blue) in order to “hide” this absence. None of the models had practicable parts, and some casts had to be modified to reduce the manufacturing costs. Take the blue Ford Mustang in the picture behind the “Gymkhana” model. The bonnet (which had a “hole” to fix the motor or the clown head) is now flat. Exactly the same happened with the Ford Mustang II (see pic below). The Datsun Patrol came as a “pick-up” (without plastic accessory on the back) or the Jeep Willis came without the plastic canopy and plastic pilot figure.

1981 – Ford Mustang (Series "Club")

Ford Mustang "Club" (left)


1981 – Ford Mustang II (Series "Club")




Some of the new “club” miniatures, came with very appealing stickers were applied to the car, with race numbers and rally decorations, but other came with absolutely no stickers. The models with stickers in Guisval collections are often referred as “rallye”, for example: “Ford Mustang II” and “Ford Mustang II Rallye” might differ in the stickers, although in the models in my picture it is not the case. The stickers were mostly applied randomly.

The price of these models were lower than the “campeón” models, and could range between 85 and 110 pesetas (0,51 to 0,66 Euros) and they were available in nice stands that hung in toyshops and kiosks. Some of these stands were made of cardboard, in which the cars (with or without that green jewel case) were inserted. Similar stands for this collection were made of expanded polystyrene.


The “Junior” collection was a mixture of “Club” cars and ordinary, loose “Campeón” cars. These models came with interior and practicable parts, but were slightly older models. I guess this was the way to reduce the number of toys in stock that were not sold during the last few years. “Campeón” models in the “Junior” collection do not carry stickers at all.

"Junior" Stand. Picture taken from forocoches (user: coupetin)
I forgot to mention that cars with plastic pieces like the dragsters in this entry, or that pilot figure are very likely to be damaged or missing in played-with toys. Stickers and decals also.

This entry deals Only with 1:64 cars. There were also some Ford Mustang released in the Escorpión collection (1:36 scale), which are out of the scope of this entry. 

EDIT: Very recently (some sources say around 2008), the cast of the Ford Mustang II "Dragster" version has been reused by Guisval in new models. These models have the simulated motor from version I -without driver-, are decorated with tampographies and the interior is made of white plastic (instead of chromed), so they're easily distinguishable. I include one picture here:

Picture property of "thementalpower" from uno64.mforos.com
The newer model was sold in a blister pack with black cover. The car was placed kind of ramp, and the name of this new series was "Tunning Extreme". I have seen at least a pink, a white and a grey model, apart from the green one here. All of them have different tampographies. 

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: FORD MUSTANG “GYMKHANA”, FORD MUSTANG, FORD MUSTANG II, FORD MUSTANG II RALLYE
  • Scale: Approx 1:64
  • Year: 1973, 1976, 1981
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6-7 cm

Saturday, March 23, 2013

#262 DINO RIDERS – DIMETRODON with SHADO (1989)


One more complete dinosaur from wave 2, this one falls into the intermediate-size category. Like the rest of the dinosaurs in this category, the Dimetrodon comes with a nice “jaws” action feature. By pushing the button on its tail, the jaws open.


These were the whole content of the box, except the figure accesories, which I did not photographed, but which can be seen in entry #212. The set included with Shado was the "Valorian Set 1"

 
There’s something remarkable about Dimetrodon’s armour: It’s the first one in this toy-line in which the armour was also intended to be played apart. This idea would be rescued in the “Ice Age” wave (4th wave), where the armour of the creature was also part of an ice barricade, or ice station.

In this case, the upper part of the armour, that covers the sail of the Dimetrodon could be used as a bunker/barricade when not placed on the dinosaur. 

 These are a few more pictures I took by the end of last summer. In them you can observe the great pivoting seat in which Shado seats, it can be oriented in any direction and it can also be placed in different heights, thanks to two small blue pieces that act as hinges and axles. 



The armour of the Dimetrodon can be opened or closed. When opened reveals two powerful cannons



I never commented in detail the instruction sheets used in this toy-line. Depending on the size of the dinosaur and the number of pieces of the armour, the instruction sheets could have different sizes and could include 4 or 2 pages. In most cases, instructions are a 4-pages leaflet, just for very small dinosaurs like the Ankylosaurus are just two.

The border of these documents can be either light blue for Valorian dinosaurs, or purple for Rulons Dinosaurs. In some cases, grey borders can be found, or even dinosaurs in which the colour of the border has been mistaken.

This is the Spanish instructions sheet for the toy. 



 
In any case, the first page always depicts the contents of the box, naming each part accurately. The rest of the pages indicate how to put all pieces together to form the armour of the dinosaur. If the process is not very complicated, there is usually room in the fourth page for further explanations about how to use the figure accessories, in the case of the Dimetrodon it is explain how to fix the gun to the hand of Shado and how to use the ladder.

Since this entry is quite short, I’d like to show the comic book that was available with the dinosaurs and that introduces the story of the Dino-Riders and the most important characters and dinosaur species in the collection. The first comic is titled: "The adventure begins". Although in America there were two comics books released (this one for wave1, another one for wave 2), in Spain and other european countries, only this one was released (in each country in a different language). I am showing here the English/American version.

The comic was made before the collection was completely defined and there are some "inaccuracies" that we could mention at the end of this article.

Dino Riders Comic Book Cover








If you notice, the clothes used by Questar and Youngstar are different from the used in the figures. Most characters are placed in the wrong dinosaurs: for example Turret flies the Quetzalcoatlus, Gunnur the Diplodocus... these are surely minor details, but they give us the information that the comic was ready a time before the toy line was ready to be sold in toyshops. Serena also appears in the story, although its figure would be released one year later in the second wave.

The Spanish version of the comic had a figure catalogue in the last page, instead of the Dino Riders club information shown in this catalogue. Apart from that, it is interesting to mention that the Torosaur does not appear in this catalogue, although it was part of the first wave.

Spanish Comic - Last page figure catalogue
NOTE: Throughout this article I called the Dimetrodon a “dinosaur”, but this is wrong because it lived 40 million years before the dinosaurs, in the Permian Era (300-250 million years ago). A similar scale Dimetrodon was shown in entry #184.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: DIMETRODON with SHADO
  • Toy Line: Dino-Riders (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Tyco (U.S.A.)
  • Scale of the dinosaur: 1:24
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm
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