Thursday, February 6, 2014

#378 PLAY-ME – DOUGLAS F-15 EAGLE (Ref. 126) (Around 1983)


Play-Me is another die-cast manufacturer from Spain. The company was founded in 1969 in the town of Beniparrell (Valencia), and its production includes several kinds of vehicles and other objects.

Truck models in approximately 1:100 scale were not very well done. I have one of these, and they are rather simple and lack of details. There were several models made, although all casts were actually the same with different loads: tow-away truck, load truck, cement mixer…

Car models (in 1:64 scale) are even worse: no interior, no chassis, no plastic parts; a single piece of casted metal with wheels. They are very very rare. There are also some references of military vehicles, like jeeps, tanks, cannons or the famous Kübelwagen.

Another product PlayMe offered (and for which they’re best known) was pencil-sharpeners. They were put inside of metal-casted miniatures: cannons, a sewing machine, an old radio, an old photographic camera, a telephone… there are literally dozens of different models, including one which is the Football World Cup Trophy, and was released on occasion of the World Cup in Spain, 1982. Some later series (mostly animals) were made in plastic.

On the category “traditional toys”, there are many trucks, tanks and other vehicles in a bigger scale, plastic dolls, also some ability games (for example shooting games), and most interestingly some tin toys, all of them licensed by Technofix of Germany (Nürnberg). We think this partnership dates from the first years of Playme, that’s the early 70s. Some of this toys include the Technofix references “Loop the Loop”, “Lift Garage”, “Cable Car”, “Play Lok” and many others.

But the most remembered toys from Playme are its planes. Since they couldn’t compete against other scale car manufacturers, they decided to specialize in planes. Around 1970, there were no Spanish companies making die-cast planes, or these were still not popular enough.

The first series included 15 references, which were later extended to 20 and in a third phase, to 28. They were referenced 101 to 128, and sold in a small jewel box with very nice interiors (depicting mountains, ships or airports) and with a short text about the real plane: history, speed, flight height, power… This package was later replaced by a more conventional box with window.

It seems that these toys were inspired in American models from Cragstan, although many models are their own casts of famous Spanish planes.

The toy I show on  the pictures today is a F-15 made by Playme in white and red with reference number 126.

  • Name: DOUGLAS F-15 EAGLE (Ref. 126)
  • Scale: Unknown
  • Year: Around 1983
  • Company: Playme (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 10-11 cm

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