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Saturday, August 30, 2014


This is a beautiful book. Most of it it´s just high resolution and big size pictures of old tin toys made by companies from Nürnberg (Germany). This city is the home of some of the most important toy companies in Germany and Europe. During the first half of the last century, Schuco and Bing had each thousands of workers each, and produced toys for many european countries as well for the USA. Although these two companies closed by the 1960s, there are still today many world-wide famous companies there, like Playmobil, Carrera or Trix.
Inthe book there are some chapters with beautiful texts, explaining the relation between the city and toys, as well as two short chapters with the histories of Schuco, Bing. The rest of companies (CKO, Fleischmann, JNF, Gama...) are trreated only tangentially. The book ends with an epilogue that gives an insight on the companies settled in Nürnberg that still produce toys today.
Some of the brands shown in this book are:
Arnold, Carette, Distler, Doll & Co., Dressler, Falk, Fuchs, Fischer, Fleischmann, Gama, Gescha, Geobra, Günthermann, Gösö, Hess, JNF, Kellermann, Köhler, Lehmann, Niedermeier, Plank, Seidel, Strenco, Technofix, Tipp & Co. and Wüco
I bought this book in Cologne/Köln in March 2014 for around 12 Eur, although in Amazon can be found even cheaper. There are at least three books more with the same format dedicated to other companies (for example TRIX or Gama), but these are much rarer, they were probably printed in more limited issues.
Very interesting book, if you ever find it, buy it. It is a nice introduction to German toys and offers a great insight into the toy companies from Nürnberg.
This picture has been reduced on purpose

Friday, August 29, 2014


The toys in this entry are different from what I have shown until now in this blog. If after so many entries I can recall correctly, I have never shown a pencil sharpener.

Another entry has been published about Gisima, including information about the company and showing a few (rather badly made) cars. Check it here!

The first of these toys, the Renault 5, has some similarities with Majorette’s model. Not only because of the wheels, the body is also very similar. It is however very nice that Gisima manufactured this toy in Renault-yellow and gave it so suitable stickers. The windows are of course very dark, so you cannot see the pencil sharpener inside (so no interiors).

The second model is slightly bigger than the first one and represents a Ferrari BB 512 Turbo, and differs from the Renault in the pull-back motor that it has and the Renault doesn’t. The wheels have a special soft plastic ring, so the traction of the pull-back motor is better.

The colour this time is not Ferrari-Red, but dark blue, but I know this same model was made in different colours, so there was also a red model. The stickers are also nice, and have the word Ferrari on them. Another detail is the rear license plate “IBI-5426”, that mentions the famous village in which Gisima manufactured its toys, and that we have mentioned so many times in this blog.

UPDATE: I finally found the Ford Fiesta that was released together with the Renault 5. Here I put some pictures. Both cars were the most popular cars by the beginning of the 80s in Spain.

  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1985
  • Company: Gisima (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 5 and 7 cm

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#450 HE-MAN – TORNADO/SPINWIT and QUAKKE/EARTHQUAKE (Ref. 1683 and 1849) (1991)

The next duel of He-Man figures is Tornado / Spinwit vs. Quakke / Earthquake!

These figures belong to the third wave, which is quite rare, although not as much as the fourth wave from 1992, whose figures usually cost around 100 Euros when they’re complete, and much more if they’re mint on card.

The third wave comprised the following figures:

  • Artilla / Weaponstronic (Ref. 1639)
  • Sagitar / Tharkus ["Deluxe Action Figure"] (Ref. 2145)
  • Spinwit / Tornado (Ref. 1683)
  • Tuskador / Insyzor (Ref. 1319)
  • Butthead (Ref. 2026)
  • Quakke / Earthquake (Ref. 1849)
  • Staghorn (Ref. 5804)

Tornado is a very attractive figure with bright colours. It is curious that in this collection all characters from the evil forces have relatively dark colours, while He-Man and friends have brighter colours. In this case, Spinwit/Tornado is orange, blue, pink and yellow and includes grey/silver accessories.

The figure features some “twister”-effect with both arms, and this way it is supposed to be able to fly, a little bit like a helicopter. The description on the cardback says: “Uses his amazing tornado spin to help the inter-galactic forces of good to fight the evil Skeletor”.

The figure came with a three-spiked gun and two wings that could attach to his arms. It is not clear if these wings are attached in one direction or the other. According to the package, the thick part of the wings goes on the shoulders, although the figure looks somehow better the other way.

He-Man New Adventures: Spinwit / Tornado - two variants

Although I have never seen any references to this, there are at least one variant of this figure, which can be easily identified just by looking at the head of the figure. If the head has a uniform colour, the head has been painted, otherwise, it might have some golden/brown patterns. This second version has some details painted in gold while the first figure has these same details in a dark yellow colour.

Quakke is a very heavy figure, with huge arms and legs. It is decorated with dark colours: brown, red, black and includes a black handle with a stone that detaches in 2 parts. The stone fits in that handle, and the figure can hit the ground with it, what produces an Earthquake. The mechanism is located on the back.

Both figure’s mechanisms are very interesting, since they are new to the Masters of the Universe and He-Man toylines. The stone is relatively difficult to find, since it often got lost. It doesn’t fit very well the handle and it doesn’t look like a real accessory.
  • Name: TORNADO/SPINWIT and QUAKKE/EARTHQUAKE (Ref. 1683 and 1849)
  • Toy Line: He-Man (also New Adventures of He-Man) (Wave 3)
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 14 cm

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#449 ROMAN – MOTO FRICCIÓN (V-213) (Around 1979)

This is the third motorbike with friction motor I show made by Román. Román was another classic toymaker settled in Ibi, which had many toys in tin. Motorbikes and cars in several sizes are their most famous and popular toys.

In this case, this is a rather big (23 cm) motorbike with the reference V-213. The same cast was used for different variations:
  • V-210 Police Highway Patrol
  • V-211 Dunlop (race model) (at least two different decorations)
  • V-212 Beppo Big Circus. The pilot is a clown.
  • V-213 Police Dept. (very similar to V-210)

Later a completely black model (without decoration) would be released in a more modern type of box. This model was maybe intended to profit from the TV airing of Street Hawk, the TV series with a motorbike in the style of Knight Rider. In Spain this TV series could be seen for the first time in 1986.
  • Year: Around 1979 (Probably sold during many years)
  • Company: Román (Spain)
  • Size: 23 cm

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#448 MEBETOYS/ HOT WHEELS! vs. POLISTIL vs. JOAL vs. MERCURY– FERRARI 512S PININFARINA (Ref. 6621, M13, 119 and 66) (1970 and 1971)

This model is in my opinion one of the most impressive prototypes ever made by Ferrari. The car was made for the Turin show of 1969 taking as a base the 512S (which was a race car) prepared by Pininfarina. The designer of this version was Filippo Sapino.

In this case I’d like to compare three models at 1:43 scale (two made in Italy, one made in Spain). A previous entry also talked about the same car in the same scale, but made by Mercury (#256). In that entry I already mentioned that the car was in construction quite similar to the model made by Mebetoys. You can review that old entry and judge yourself.

The interesting thing about these two cars, is that even they are the same scale, they look quite different: the length and the width are different, the windshield has a complete different forms, and the Mebetoys model is flatter than the Polistil one. How can this be? Being the car a prototype, it is very likely that the toy manufacturers never got the real measurements of one of the very few units made, so from photographs the designers tried to make some casts, that are very different among them, since each team had probably photographs taken from different angles, different distances and with different references.

I like all these models very much.

I’d like to start my comments with the Polistil model (red), which is the longest between these two. It has practicable bonnet and cockpit door and has a very impressive simulated motor under the bonnet and also on the chassis. It is also the only model between these two that has some stickers to decorate the sides of the car, and the bonnet is made in black with a red mesh, much more like the real car.

Mebetoys/ HotWheels model (green) is wider and shorter, and has clearly fewer detail than the Polistil model. Apart from practicable bonnet and cockpit door, it also has a practicable trunk (in the front) with a spare wheel inside. The chassis is a bit disappointing, since it has very fewer details, but this is compensated with the lights in/out feature that can be activated by pulling the tab on it.
The rear part of the car is also quite disappointing, because instead of casted, Mebetoys simply applied a sticker with the rearlights and the space for the license plates.
This model was available in blue, yellow (like the real model) or green, and in a later reedition, in red.

The hubcaps are very similar but those from Mebetoys looks better and have a better 3-D effect.
It is one of the models made during the last years of Mebetoys, after they were bought by Hot Wheels, but before they discontinued the Brand.

The Joal model is also based in the Politoys model, so there is not much more to say about it. The stickers are very nice, and the mixed colours in body and Bonnet gives it a strange looking.

The Mercury model, as said before, is unfortunately in a previous entry, so please visit it here, and compare all models together. Mercury seems to have taken as a reference the Mebetoys model, although it is hard to say, I haven't seen all four models together yet.

  • Name: FERRARI 512S PININFARINA (6621, M13, 119, 66)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1970 (Mebetoys, Politoys) and 1971 (Joal, Mercury)
  • Company: Mebetoys/Hot Wheels (Italy/ U.S.A.), Politoys (Italy), Mercury (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm
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