Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#408 TV TOYS (ANTHONY A. MCGOLDRICK)


TV Toys is another Shire Library’s book dealing with toys. It is written by Anthony A. McGoldrick, who invites us to a time travel from the first days of television in the 50s to the 90s.

The book consists of several chapters, each of them dedicated to a decade (50s, 60s, 70s and 80s) In around 40 pages, Anthony A. McGoldrick explains which were the major TV shows for children in each decade, and which toys were made of them. By the 50s there were only a few toys made, but as the time moves on, it becomes more and more difficult to list all toys related to TV series, so I would say the book does not pretend to be an exhaustive study, but an introduction to the topic, for all of you who may want an insight in the world of TV toy collectables.

It is important to mention, that this book deals only which toys which derive from TV shows, and not the other way round! So don’t expect to find anything about Masters of the Universe, or whatever.

The pictures that illustrate the book are all in colour and have great quality. I miss some more pages of text and also pictures, since many toys are just mentioned, but not depicted.

I enjoyed the book quite a lot. It is well written, but it is also easy to understand, and you will find very interesting information. The bad thing is that it is read in just one or two hours. I wish it had been longer, there are many TV-related toys which could have been mentioned but for some reason are not, I guess the focus is put on British television and British toys only.

Monday, April 28, 2014

#407 CORGI – JAMES BOND´S LOTUS ESPRIT FROM THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977)


This car model is probably among the most famous cars that have appeared in a movie, after the DB-5 Aston Martin which James Bond used to drive in his first movies. The Lotus Esprit is a British car, made between 1976 and 1986 (it was later redesigned and sold until 2004) and appeared in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977). It also appeared in "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), but in brown/ocre colour, although this one didn´t transform.



The toy was made by Corgi in 1977 for the first time, and it has been reissued several times since then. To be honest, I don´t know which version is the car in the pictures. In the original ones, the 007 logo is a sticker, and the base is different (it says Corgi without the dog logo). I found it once in a flea market and it had a small bag with all missiles in that had been clipped with the rear spoiler of the submarine to the car, and it is also suspicious, that it is in such a great shape, so it is probably quite new, but who cares?



The car as previously advanced, can transform in a submarine, just like in the movie, and it also fires those red missiles. These features are typical of Corgi Toys models made in the 80s or before. The submarine mode can be activated by pushing the black button on the bonnet (well on the trunk, since the car is a rear-wheel-drive). The missiles can be fired by pressing the button on the roof. The coolest thing about the missiles, is that you fire them one after the other, and not all at the same time. This is something that surprised me the first time I got this model.



Corgi also released this same model in super-rare golden colour, only a few hundreds unit exist, and they were given to the people who were in the premiere of the film.

The Corgi Juniors series (1:64 scale) had it’s own James Bond’s Lotus Esprit. It was much simpler and could transform, but it is still a nice collectable. Originally, it had a red 007 logo on the front part of the car, but it has been rubbed off in my case. This model has number 60-B1 and was also released in 1977.





Collectables based on movies or TV series are very sought for.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: JAMES BOND’S LOTUS ESPRIT (Nrs. 269 and 60-B1)
  • Scale: 1:36 and 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1977
  • Company: Corgi/ Corgi Juniors (G. Britain)
  • Size: 11,5 cm. and 7,5 cm.

Friday, April 25, 2014

#406 JOAL – REMOLQUE TRACTOR (204), PULVERIZADOR (205) and TRACTOR MASSEY-FERGUSON CON PALA CARGADORA (206) (Around 1968 and 1974)


I have already griten about Joal’s “series 200”. In two consecutive entries, I described the Leyland Dumper (Rer. 200) and the Camión Grúa Taylor “Canguro” (Ref. 201). I will now show three more references from this line, and I have all three of them boxed, so there will be a lot of pictures today.

 
We start with “Remolque Tractor Repartidor de Abonos” (Nr. 204) which roughly translates for: “Tractor Trailer – Manure distributor?” I am not sure if distributor is the right word, but this machine is basically a manure container, that deposits it on the ground evenly. The toy is a nice piece, done with great detail. Note that the wheels move the two grey devices by means of a transmission belt, which is made of metal (looks like a spring). This way, the mechanism works today as if it was new, and it is almost 50 years old!





The Pulverizador (Nr. 205) is a similar machine, only this time it pulverizes liquid fertilizer. The cast is simpler than the previous machine, and consist of a blue body with wheels and a couple of chromed parts. This model has no mechanism.




The Massey-Harris tractor is presented in 2 different versions. The yellow one seems to be the oldest version, while the green is probably a reedition from around 1974. There is another tractor, which is basically the same cast, only without the shovel at the front (Nr. 203), but I do not have it.





The box belongs to the second version, although the first one should have had a similar box. The weak points of this toy are the rear wheels, which are made of plastic, and they tend to deform themselves. Note that the green model has this problem: the plastic compound has stuck to the box, so when I removed the tractor from the box, it took on the wheel some cardboard with it. The yellow model has some cracks on the wheels, and another model I had, had directly broken wheels.





The shovel can be lifted by means of a lever, and then dropped by pushing another lever.



The front wheel is slightly different in both models, being these of the green model slightly more realistic. The original pilot is the blue one, the other figure is actually a Corgi figure from Nr. 67 Ford 5000 Super Major Tractor (which is very similar to this one made by Joal, especially the wheels).


Interesting that the box was manufactured by another company (not Joal). This company left its seal in one of the lashes of the box: Suñer from Alcira (Valencia)


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: REMOLQUE TRACTOR (Nr. 204), PULVERIZADOR (Nr. 205) and TRACTOR MASSEY-FERGUSON CON PALA CARGADORA (Nr. 206)
  • Scale: Unknown
  • Year: Around 1968/ 1974
  • Company: Joal (Spain)
  • Size: 11 cm (tractor)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#405 M.A.S.K. – AFTERBURNER with DUSTY HAYES and CLONE (1987)

 

This is another M.A.S.K. vehicle from the fourth wave, (which was the last one) released in 1987 and 1988.

The vehicle is a dragster, that is a vehicle for short races in line that accelerate extremely fast. I guess these cars have no utility out of competition, but they look very funny.



The vehicle belongs to the “Split Seconds” series (as said before wave 4) and can transform very fast. With just pulling a lever on the back side of the car, it will “jump”, and then you have to separate the jet plane.


In the next few pictures, I show the vehicle and its parts. On one side, we have the pink vehicle. This vehicle is equipped with a missile bomb on the front tip. This can be launched by pushing the black button right of the cabin.




The jet is also very nice, and has a cockpit in which the figure lies. The jet is also equipped with a bomb, which can be found on the back part of it.




There are two figures included: a figure plus its clone. In this case, each figure can ride one part of the vehicle, although, when both parts are together, only one figure has room inside. The character's name is Dusty Hayes, one of the M.A.S.K. commando members. In the show he is a stuntman and a pizza cook. The mask of the figure (the normal one, not the clone) is broken behind.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: AFTERBURNER with DUSTY HAYES/ BACKSLASH and CLONE (Ref. 37340)
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K. (Wave 4 Split Seconds)
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the vehicle: 9’’ or 23 cm
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Saturday, April 19, 2014

#404 PIATNIK – CRAZY CARS (Ref. 4231) + PROMOTIONAL HEIßE ÖFEN (1987)


Crazy cars are a mixture of custom cars, vans, dragsters, tricycles, Big Feet, and, in general, strange looking cars. This deck was surely a very popular one, since it was released in several different versions from 1973 (?) on. I think the interest for customized cars came to Europe (from the U.S.) in the early 80s, to Germany, maybe even earlier.


As said before, there are different versions of Crazy cars. Mine has no data on the cover card, except the name of the game, other versions include the reference number (which is 4231) and in the yellow rectangle the words “+ Mini Puzzle”, so I guess my version came without it. I also have a second cover card, which is already much modern, I think from the mid 90s, but I got it from somewhere else, it does not belong to the sets depicted in the first picture of this entry.

Cover card - Version from the mid-90s
Game rules in red the first version, in blue the 90s version

The sets have 32 cards (8 families), and are identical except for the back of the cards and the cover (Deckblatt).






The promotional deck has Philips publicity from its Soundmachine portable radiocassette. I guess the “Ghetto-Blaster” goes well with the images of those custom cars.



Another topic is why Piatnik changed the name of the quartet from “Crazy Cars” to “Heiße Öfen”. The title Crazy Cars would be understood anywhere in the world, but Heiße Öfen is restricted to the German-speaking markets. Maybe some request from Philips? We will probably never know.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: CRAZY CARS a.k.a. HEIßE ÖFEN (Nr 4231)
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Piatnik (Austria)
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