Sunday, June 29, 2014

#430 GUILOY – SEAT PANDA and PORSCHE (Ref. 611008 and 61024) (Around 1991)


This entry is the continuation of the previous entry. In this case I’ll talk further about the models shown in the pictures. These two models are slightly older than the previous ones, as you can notice from the wheels. They’re also slightly better finished.

Let’s start with the package. Although this was not the only package available (they were also sold “loose”), the jewel box is one of the classic packages for the Spanish die-cast models. The car is fixed to the orange base by means of three pegs. This is the first difference, since the older metal models only had two holes on the base for two pegs. You can compare the pictures of the Seat Panda in this entry (modified cast) from the picture in this other entry (original cast).






This means, some cars were still being made of old casts. At this point, we might remember that the Seat Panda was built between 1980 and 1986. That year, it was replaced by the Seat Marbella, which was almost identical, and that was built between 1986 and 1998.

If you compare it with the Porsche, you’ll notice that the Porsche is a much worse cast, the interiors are carved in the base, the cast has fewer details… Maybe this Seat Panda was the last model ever with separate plastic interiors.









Another difference between these two cars and the five ones in the previous entry, is that these still have their “own” stickers, they’re clearly designed for this models, according to their shape and that the Porsche stickers clearly state “Porsche”.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SEAT PANDA and PORSCHE (Ref. 611008 and 61024)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1991
  • Company: Guiloy (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#429 GUILOY – OPEL CORSA, RENAULT 25 and FERRARI GTO (Ref. 66116, 66128 and 66136) (Around 1992)


We have talked about Guiloy a few times already, although I have never mentioned which is the origin of the company.

The company was founded in 1969 by four men from Ibi: Francisco Belda Guillem, Carlos Martínez Guillem, Ramón Mira Verdú y Manuel Mira Verdú. Initially, the company was intended to serve the toy industry, not to make toys itself. They were experts in the manufacture of casts, and also in metal or plastic casting.

Only two years later, the four members of the company decided to start their own toy lines. First part-time, than full-time.

From the very beginning, the company followed a quality differentiation stgrategy, producing great toys with metal castings but also plastic parts.

Their first products were 3 motorbikes in 1:24 scale. The success gained with them was used by Guiloy to broaden their offer. The first trucks were produced in 1977 and the first cars in 1984, in many different scales.

Guiloy's Opel Corsa (Ref. 66116)



The end of the 80s and the 90s were hard times from the company, since the first cars from Eastern Asia arrived, and the prices had to be more competitive than ever. The cars shown in this entry date from that time. The models are very simplified, the metal base has been changed for a plastic one… everything in order to produce cheaper toys.  The problem was that the Chinese toys were not only cheap, they were also better done (see for example this entry). Even the stickers were quite generic to fit any given model


Guiloy's Renault 25 (Ref. 66128)



The line didn’t last long, because Guiloy wisely changed their strategy and their vision. They started producing very high quality toys, most of them in bigger scales like 1:24. Their models were laureate with the “Miniature of the Year” award from the International Toy Fair in Nurnberg three consecutive years (1995, 1996 and 1997). This quality vision allowed the company not only to survive, but to produce many miniatures that were exported to all corners of the world. Unfortunately, the concurrence from the Chinese factories also reached higher scales and quality reproductions in bigger scales, and Guiloy had to close in June 2009.

Guiloy's Ferrari GTO (Ref. 66136)



Not to be mistaken with a previous Ferrari GTO. This one is slightly smaller.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: OPEL CORSA, RENAULT 25 and FERRARI GTO (Ref. 66116, 66128 and 66136)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1992
  • Company: Guiloy (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Monday, June 23, 2014

#428 COMICFIGUREN PREISKATALOG - SCHLÜMPFE 1997/1998 (MICHAEL KOLLER, BERND MAIER, HELMUT STERZ)


This book was edited by the same publisher (Koller-Maier-Sterz Verlag GbR oder KMS) and partly by the same authors than the book presented in entry #401. That book dealt with plastic (PVC) figures based on comics, tv series, films, books... and this book is also based on pvc figures, but all of them from one single TV-series: The Smurfs.

The book is a catalogue and a price guide of all Smurfs made between 1965 (first series) to 1997 or 1998, which is the date in which the catalogue was released. There´re naturally newer guides, but to me, this guide is new enough.

Each page depicts the Smurfs made in a certain year. The upper half of each page is a colour picture of the figures, while the lower half is a list of characters and prices. The guide also includes some figure variations.

The most interesting part is a few pages that explain the history of Peyo and the Smurfs. Other interesting things I learnt are that there are not as many PVC Smurfs as I though, and also that some of them are extremely valuable. There are also several brands that have made this type of plastic figures, although the book talks almost exclusively about Schleich. It would have been great, if there was some information about the Spanish Smurfs like the famous CNT (Comic No Tóxicos).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

#427 SMURFS – KING SMURF and WILD SMURFS (1973)


The first plastic Smurfs ever were a give-away from the magazine Spirou that in 1960 decided to produce 3 figures made of latex.

Schleich is a German company founded in 1935 by Friedrich Schleich. During the first years, the company produced security clothes for industrial workers. After the war, the company changed to plastic toys. It was 1951, and the first Smurfs wouldn’t come out until 1965. Those were the first figures intended to be sold on stores.

During the 70s, Schleich shared the production of these pvc figures with Bully. In 1981, after 57 figures, the production is again exclusive to Scheich.

Since 1978, there’s an additional line, the Super-Smurfs, which are articulated, as well as a complete series of accessories like different houses, castles, a mill…

In 1979, the production of the figures is expanded from Germany to some other countries: Sri-Lanka, Hong Kong, Macau, Tunisia and Portugal. The figures were gaining popularity and after the Hanna-Barbera TV series from 1983, Schleich was selling over 1 million figures each month. That same year, the small plastic figures were declared “Toy of the Year” in The Wall Street Journal.

This toy has been offered as a give-away by Hardee’s or McDonalds. There are also lots of promotional figures out there, some marked with the logo of some company, other were exclusive to that offer.




The only three figures I own were released in 1973 and are the King Smurf and two Wild Smurfs (or in German, “Schlimps”)

Something that interests me even more than the official Schleich/Bully/Peyo releases are copies, bootlegs and imitations. The most famous for me are the CNT Smurf from Spain (Comic No Toxicos), form which I have heard a couple of times, and that are very rare and difficult to find. These were made by Comics Spain, a company from which we have talked a couple of times before. Probably, because they lost the licences to produce Smurfs, decided to make them without the name of the company. Each figure had only a sticker with the words “comics - no tóxico” (not toxic).


Possible (until now unknown) CNT Smurf? -Sorry for the quality of the picture-


I thought my fourth Smurf might be one of these, but according to some sources, CNT Smurfs are very well finished, and have a similar quality to Schleich. This is not the case. I haven’t seen the Fisherman Smurf anywhere, I think it must be even rarer than a CNT, some kind of bootleg or similar. It was bought in Spain as part of a lot that also included this Torero and some small plastic figures in the “Dunkin” Style (maybe they’re real Dunkin, not sure about that), so I guess it is an old fake from the late 70s, it’s not a modern figure. Any information on this?

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: KING SMURF, WILD SMURF and FISHERMAN SMURF
  • Alternate Names: KÖNIG SCHLUMPF, WILD SCHLUMPF or SCHLIMPS, ANGLER (German) / PITUFO REY, PITUFO SALVAJE, PITUFO PESCADOR (Spanish)
  • Toy Line: The Smurfs / Fake?
  • Year: 1973
  • Company: Schleich (West-Germany) / Unknown Company (Spain)
  • Size of the figures: approx. 5 cm







Thursday, June 19, 2014

#426 MATCHBOX – SEVERAL MODELS OF YESTERYEAR (years ranging from 1979 to 1988)


MODELS OF YESTERYEAR

Matchbox has released many different kinds of cars in many different scales. One of the less popular (in my opinion) is the Models of Yesteryear. These models are ancient vehicles (from Steam Machines to Sport Cars of the 30s, 40s and 50s) made in a bigger scale than 1:64, I would say most cars are around 1:35 scale, although it is difficult to chose a number for all those trucks, machines and cars. All models are around 11 centimetres longs.

All these models are marked with a reference number started with “Y”. The collection was started very early; as early as 1956… Those days, only a few Models of Yesteryear were released per year, for example that year were released models Y-1 to Y-4, then two further models in 1957, 5 morein 1958…

As in the Superfast series, some models were discontinued, leaving a gap in the numbering system. This gap was then taken over by a newer model. There can be up to 5 different models with the same reference number, and for the same reference, there might be many different variations (colour, wheels, casting, decals…)

The best source for this particular Matchbox series is www.matchboxmemories.com. There you’ll find a complete list of all models ordered by number.

According to that website, we might distinguish several “runs” or “époques”:
  • Y1 to Y16 from 1956 to 1975
  • Y17 was used for the first time in 1975
  • References from Y18 on were used starting in 1979.
  • The highest reference number is Y-66 (model form 1992), although models Y-48 to Y-60 were never released.
  • In 1992, the Models of Yesteryear line was renamed Collectibles, and in 2006, for the 50th anniversary of the line, there were some new issues, but the line didn’t have any continuity after that.
The models I currently own are:

Y-3-3: 1934 Riley MPH (first release 1974 red. 1979 blue) - Scale 1:35






The box for this model is an older version than the rest of the boxes shown in this entry. What it didn't change from one version to the next, is that box included a short history of the car on the bottom or the back of the box in three languages (English, French and German)




Y-5-4: 1927 Talbot Van (Issued 1978, 1985) - Scale 1:47
Y-12-5: 1937 G.M.C. Van (issued 1988) - Scale 1:45








Y-22-1: 1930 Model ‘A’ Ford Van (issued 1982, several years) - Scale 1:40







Y-25-1: 1910 Renault Type AG (issued 1983, blue 1986) - Scale 1:38
Y-26-1: 1918 Crossley “Beer Lorry” (issued 1984) - Scale 1:47






In the last two pictures, note that the cast of the base is actually the same for these two models.



NOTE: Sorry for the quality of the pictures, they were taken very quickly, and were not originally intended to be shown in this blog.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: 1934 Riley MPH (Y3-3), 1927 Talbot Van (Y5-4), 1937 G.M.C. Van (Y12-5), 1930 Model ‘A’ Ford Van (Y22-1), 1910 Renault Type AG (Y25-1), 1918 Crossley “Beer Lorry” (Y26-1)
  • Scale: 1:32 (approx.)
  • Year: 1979, 1985, 1988, 1982, 1986 and 1984 respectively
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 10 to 13 cm
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