Saturday, February 1, 2014


I am used to reading books about toys in Spanish that are most of the times self published, and sold in short editions, so the first thing that caught my eye about this book, is how well done it is. The guys from Diábolo Ediciones have released a great book, with hard cover, glossy paper, big pictures with very good quality (all of them in colour) as well as a modern and nice layout (important because of the many pictures illustrating the text). In respect to this, the book is remarkable, but in respect of the contents is even more remarkable.
Adolfo Bernalte has done an amazing work compiling old catalogues from some of the most important toy companies in Spain (those that manufactured planes). From the early days of Payá, Rico, Jyesa, Sanchis and Picó (starting as early as 1910) to the die-cast planes made by Mira, Pilen and Play-Me in the late 80s.

These catalogues are the base to a comprehensive list of references: each reference (or almost) is illustrated with the actual toy and maybe even some of it´s variants, the box in which it was sold, or further data about the (real) plane in which the toy is based. To illustrate such a book, Adolfo uses his particular collection, but has also collected pictures from a few dozens of collectors, museums and shops in Spain, since many pieces are extremely rare, very expensive or even invaluable (from some toys are only one or two pieces known to exist).

The book is divided in two parts and several chapters, each of them dealing with a particular toymaker. The first part deals with tin planes and the second part with die-cast planes.
Adolfo is an enthusiast about planes, and studies the history of aviation. He has already written books for the Ministry of Defense, and he is a pilot and a flight instructor. His interest for planes goes further than that, and also collects toy planes. His blog is an important source of information for toy enthusiasts. It is always very precise in analyzing toys. The backcover of the book, as well as the header of his blog has this nice motto:
"When I was a child, I dreamt I would grow to be a pilot and I would fly the planes that crossed the skies...
Today, I'm an aviator, I dream of being child again, and playing with my toy planes."
This book is recommended for every toy enthusiast, specially those interested in the toys made before the 1970s, since it is one of the very few books written about Spanish toys from that period available.

NOTE: To check all my entries dealing with planes, I created the label "Plane".

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