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Monday, March 31, 2014

#397 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE – BUZZ-OFF and CLAWFUL (Ref. 4923 and 7016) (1984)

Another entry presenting two figures from wave 3.

Clawful is nowadays one of the most attractive concepts for me. The claw in the right arm is the most interesting feature of the figure. Clawful seem to be the last figure to enter wave three, since it has a very different reference number. In Halperin’s “Bible”, all figures from wave 3 are described except this one.

Buzz-off was one of my first figures, I got it around 1986 and I keep it ever since. The highlight of this figure are those plastic wings, they are flexible and can be expanded of fold down. A closer look at them reveals some patterns that suggest that the wings are bionic or some technologic invention.

As you can see, both figures share its legs and also their left arm. Because of the claws they have, they cannot really hold the weapons. For this reason, the weapons are sometimes missing. The helmet from Buzz-off is also very likely to be missing, since it doesn’t really fit the head, it “lays” on top of it.

UPDATE: The figure presented above is Made in France. I just got a second version from Malaysia, and I have observed some differences that I would like to point out now. First are the eyes (bright in the Malaysian version), and second the wings (lighter and transparenter plastic in the Malaysian version). Left: France, Right Malaysia. Pictures taken with and without flash.

  • Name: BUZZ-OFF (Ref. 4923) and CLAWFUL (Ref. 7016)
  • Toy Line: Masters of the Universe (Wave 3)
  • Year: 1984
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 5½’’ or 14 cm

Friday, March 28, 2014

#396 GUISVAL - RENAULT 17 TS (Nr. 38) (1974)


Last entry dealt with this model of car made by the French die-cast maker Majorette. One year later, in 1974, the model was also adopted to be part of Guisval’s campeon series. It was also a model which was available for a long period of time, at least 10 years, and that’s why there are so many versions made of it.

1974-1975 – Orange (Nr. 38)

1976-1979 - 1974 on: Burgundy red (seen with chromed base, don't know if there are other with black base) (Nr. 38). The wheels were either the ones in this picture or the older version. From this same years, there might be a rare green version with chromed base. I spotted it on the internet, but I have never seen it "live".

~1978-1979 Orange (Nr. 38) I do not have this yet!

1980-1983 White with black base. According to catalogue it had black stickers on the sides, although I never saw these stickers (Nr. 38)

The mysterious sticker

1984 Club series, in white without stickers.

1980-? “Safari Rallye” version - Light green with red front and red mud guards (Nr. 53). From 1984 on, it was available without the red plastic front.

Although I have not taken pictures of this feature, all Renault 17 from guisval have practicable doors.

NOTE: Rear lights of the white model were originally not painted. This was a custom modification.

  • Name: RENAULT 17 TS (Nr. 38)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1974
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#395 MAJORETTE - RENAULT 17 TS (Nr. 260) (1973)

This model was made between 1973 and 1978. Through these years, the car was equipped with three different types of wheels:

Older model: Like the pink one.
Intermediate model: see UPDATE below.
Newer model: Like the orange one.

 It also came with two different types of chassis. The older one is less detailed, the newer one has a very impressive triple exhaust pipe.

And also with many different colour versions: red, dark red, turquoise, blue, dark blue, metallic blue, metallic green, light green, yellow, gold/yellow, orange and pink. Some models had “rally” stickers on the sides other didn’t.

This list was made checking

Although there are very advance collections there, I couldn’t see the pink model anywhere. I think it is quite a rarity. Did you know it?

The casts are very well done, and it looks as if the doors or the bonnet were practicable, but unfortunately, this car model have no practicable parts.

UPDATE: I have bought a second pink model with the "intermediate model" wheels. It is in a much better shape than the one shown above.

  • Name: RENAULT 17 TS (Nr. 260)
  • Scale: 1:56
  • Year: 1973
  • Company: Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Saturday, March 22, 2014

#394 CKO / KOVAP – MERCEDES 350 SL COUPÉ (Nr. 440) (Reedition) (1991)


NOTE: The information for this article is a summary of what I could read from this website (in german):

The company was founded by Georg Kellerman in 1910 in Nürnberg. Mr. Kellerman had previously worked as master-workman with Karl Bub, being one of the most renowned workers in his category. He was also the master of some (later) famous toy manufacturers, like Johann Einfalt (who later would found "Gebrüder Einfalt Nürnberg -GEN-  Technofix"). He also worked for Distler, where gained more experience as a master-workman and also as a production manager, before he could start his own bussiness.
The production on the first years were mostly pennytoys: simple, small and cheap tintoys with simple lithography. Some were offered as promotional articles.

In 1914 the company was already prepared to expand itself, and move to larger facilities, but without leaving the city of Nürnberg. In 1920 Kellerman introduced its CKO logo for the first time. All previous toys are unmarked. The production of Kellerman & Co. in the 20s were cheap autos, trains or automatons (robot-figures).

Apparently, much of the toys produced by CKO were exported. It is nowadays easier to find CKO toys in the USA or the United Kingdom, rather than in Germany. This trade politics would be successful, and the company kept expanding and had to move again to a new factory in 1926.

From 1935 to 1939, the company would produce many military toys, as “panzers”, warplanes and ships, motorbikes… but also the KDF-Wagen (Volkswagen Beetle).

Wilhem (Willi) Kellerman, son of the founder Georg, would enter the company in 1929 after he finished his degree in engineering, and would be responsible for the quality of the products. Only two years later, and after the decease of his father, he would become the manager of the company. In 1935, his co-partner also died, so Willi found himself as the only owner of the company.

Despite the hard times that the 30s in Europe were, the company had a first golden age, employing over 100 workers. This first epoch would end with the Second World War. As usual during wartimes, toy industries stop producing toys and start producing weaponry and armoury to help winning the war. This made toy factories important military targets for the enemies, and the CKO factory was severely damaged (and later plundered) in 1942.

When the war ended, the toy manufacture had to start from zero (or almost). CKO survived with just a few workers and some old machines and tools, producing less and simpler toys, since most models and patterns had been destroyed or robbed. Luckily, Nürnberg was in the zone administrated by the Americans, and there were available resources. All toys produced after the war were marked “Made in the U.S. Zone Germany”.

In the 60s the firma specialised in tin cars, and continued the famous Rollo-Serie (in 1:35 scale), which was started in 1954. Although the cars were well done, they were still quite simple, mass-produced toys.

And already in the 70s, the company kept producing these tin series, without switching production to plastic, which was much modern and cheaper. Japanese toys also played a major role in the 70s, and increased the pressure on the European markets. CKO closed in 1979. One year before that, and after some years of bad economic results, the company turned a limited partnership, but that could save it. CKO was the last (or one of the last) tintoy manufacturers in Germany.

The car you see in the pictures is one of the KOVAP replicas, made later in the Czech Republic (around 1991) but with the original plans and machinery from CKO. It looks great, and I can make my mind about how great toys those rollo’s were.These are marked with the CKO logo plus the word REPLICA, and included the KOVAP logo in a sticker (missing in this model).

Note the nice interiors, and sorry for the pictures. They were taken in a hurry, I should have taken them with a lower angle, so you can see the front and the rear of the car.

  • Name: MERCEDES 350 SL COUPÉ (Nr. 440) (Reedition)
  • Scale: 1:35
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: CKO - Kellerman & Co. (West Germany), KOVAP (Czech Republic)
  • Size: approx. Around 14 cm

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

#393 PRINCESS OF POWER – STORM (Ref. 9722) (1985)

This is my third and last boxed PoP toy. I found it together with the other two (already presented in this blog, check the Princess of Power label).

This winged horse is Storm and it belongs to Catra, as you can see at the front side of the box. Although the box is a bit sun discoloured, you can observe the nice illustration on the front, as well as all the information depicted on the back: a catalogue of wave 1 (depicting all figures, creatures and the Crystal Falls), a picture of the actual toy plus an extra frame to highlight the mane of the horse.

Something curious is that the box still has its price on it: 1975 pesetas (11,70 Eur). Today it might sound ridiculous, because any modern quality toy on that size costs at least 3 times more, but at the time, it was a lot of money.

Note also that the box is the Spanish version, where Princess of Power was renamed “She-Ra y El Reino Mágico”, or “She-Ra and the Magic Kingdom”. As I found this toy, the box was already opened. The toy had been out of the box in the shop, maybe in the shop window, or somewhere inside the shop. The price sticker was also applied in the horse.

Storm, that is the name of the horse, is made of white shiny plastic and has a black mane and tail. Apart from this, the box includes the saddle (to which two plastic wings can be attached) a comb and a brush.

Something curious about the saddle, is that it is different from the one depicted on the box. In the actual toy, the strap that attaches the saddle to the horse is part of the wings, and not part of the saddle. The picture on the back of the box was probably a prototype. Maybe because of the weight of the wings, the prototype saddle would fall down at either one side or the other. By the way… I think I have taken the pictures of the horse with changed wings, the left one should be on the right and the right on the left… sorry.

In my case, the wings are made in Taiwan, the saddle in France, while the horse is not marked. On the box, however, it is stated that the toy is “Made and printed in Spain”.

Also included in the box are the instructions, with some indications about how can you style your Storm with some artistic hairstyles.

And the classic quality control sheet from Mattel Spain:

  • Name: STORM (Ref. 9722)
  • Toy Line: She-Ra: Princess of Power (wave 1)
  • Alternate Names: She-Ra y el Reino Mágico (Spain)
  • Year: 1985
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 24 cm long
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