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Thursday, April 30, 2015

#540 COIBEL - HOVERCRAFT (Around 1981)


This is a die-cast company that very few die-cast car collector knows. They are better known for their die-cast guns, which are very realistic replicas of famous real guns. A quick search in Google for "Coibel die-cast" will reveal dozens of these. The most interesting toys in this section are licensed pistols, rifles and accessories from James Bond’s movies.

But they also made some models in 1:64 scale. One of the most frequent is a knock-off of the 007 Lotus Spirit made by Corgi Toys for the Corgi Junior series, only in the box they printed "Superboons" instead of "James Bond". The text and logos are cleary inspired in Superman. Curiously, other Corgi Junior models that were copied are the Supermobile (Nr. 11-C1) and also the helicopter (one of its versions was “Daily Planet Helicopter”, Nr. 6-D1). Maybe the designer was a great Superman fan!

Pic taken from, seller: sobrado

They also copied Corgi Juniors’ Batbike (Nr. 23-C1).

But the model I own and I am showing here today is this super-rare hovercraft, actually a knock off of a Matchbox Superfast model, you problably know. I have never seen this Coibel model anywhere else.

Coibel from Castalla, Alicante, was the toy marketer and Industrias Técnicas Auxiliares S.L. (short: ITA S.L.) from Ibi, Alicante, was the manufacturer. The first company still exists today, although they are now a bus company. The second company doesn’t exist anymore, and should not be mistaken with other companies with similar names.

The toys were produced in the late 70s and early 80s. The only mention to these companies that can be found nowadays come from the 11th of March, 1977. That day many newspapers published that the both companies had been fined with 5 Million Pesetas each for selling and producing pistols and guns that look real, for violating some law for the security and the possession of firearms. After that, ITA S.L. decided to export their guns to other countries, and that’s why they in November 1981 filled a trademark application (for the brand Coibel, which was the trademark they already used in Spain, and for which they had the logo, packages and so on) to sell their products in the U.S.A. and that’s what they did until 1989. Unfortunately, we do not know what happened afterwards. In that country, the toy guns made by Coibel are quite sought after, mostly those based in real models, like Mauser, Luger or Magnum.

  • Scale: Unknown
  • Year: Around 1981
  • Company: Coibel (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

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