Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#544 MAJORETTE - SONIC FLASHERS (SERIES 2300) (VARIOUS MODELS) (1989 and 1990)

From 1989 Catalogue

I already wrote one entry about Sonic Flashers, but this entry is more ambitious and will try to explain a little more about them.

This line was launched in 1989 and from the very beginning it had great sales. This success would later lead to a diversification of the line, with new and parallel lines, like military vehicles, planes... each series had a different number. The "ordinary" Sonic Flashers were series 2300, and each model had a reference number 23XX. This entry will be devoted only to the standard 2300 series.

The action feature, of course, was that each car made a particular sound and some light effect that could be activated when pushed down. On the inside each car has a small printed circuit board with a cell battery. According to the advertisement, the battery was able to operate the feature over 1500 times. Most models were based on previously existing Majorette models, although some were modified, probably to let enough space on the interior for the circuit board. Majorette didn´t allow to change batteries in the first models, although some others later models had screws instead of rivets.

2301 POLICE CAR (PORSCHE 928) ("POLIZEI" GERMAN VER.) and 2304 PACE CAR



As said before, the line was launched first in 1989 with only 3 different casts and 8 references. Those first models were:
  • Porsche 928 (Police, Pace Car, Rescue Vehicle)
  • Ford Bronco (Sheriff, Fire Engine, 4X4 Rallye)
  • Ford Transit (Ambulance, Police Van)
 


 

The Police decoration of the Porsche was adapted to Germany in this especial model I am showing here, together with two versions of the Pace Car (red or yellow sirens).

From 1990 Catalogue

The next year, 1990, the line was expanded with several new models and decorations. The models from the previous year were still available, the new were:
  • Chevrolet Impala Police
  • Pompier "Fire Truck"
  • Fougon "Police Van"
  • Ambulance
  • BMW 750i
  • Chevrolet Corvette (Coupé and ZR 1)
  • Sport Prototype ("Sebring Team" and "Daytona Team")
  • Depaneuse "Tow Truck"
2309 CHEVROLET IMPALA POLICE


  2313 BMW 750i 
2318 SPORT PROTO 




2310 FIRE TRUCK/POMPIER



Pompier compared with the original cast from the 200 series

2314 RACE CAR (CHEVROLET CORVETTE)



Each model was equipped with a suitable sound, these were available:
  • Police
  • Alert
  • Emergency
  • Fire
  • Horn
  • Brakes
  • Truck Horn
  • Not defined yet (by the time Majorette published the catalogues and the backcards, two cars were promised a "new sound", this sound was actually a motor sound while accelerating and shifting gears).

Since the line was becoming more and more popular, there were also gift packs available with several cars inside. Some sets could be really big, some even mixing vehicles from the 2300 series with planes or helicopters of other Sonic Flashers' series.

In 1991, again new models, new decorations and new sounds:
The Chevrolet Impala gets a new decoration in blue instead of black, and the Pace Car Porsche will be released in yellow instead of orange. More interesting is the rename of the BMW 750i to 535i, although I think the blue models still had "750i" tampographied on the doors.

The new models/decorations are:
  • BMW 535i in black
  • Ambulance in red "Fire Rescue"
  • Ferrari "Super GT"
  • Semi Truck
  • 4X4 Beverage Truck
  • Ford Bronco 4X4 "Crash Car"

The new sounds are "music", "broken glass" and "turn signal/car horn".

In 1992, there were less news, only
  • Ford Bronco "Police 4X4" with machine gun sound
  • 6X6 S.W.A.T. with missile lauch sound
  • Rocket Launcher with missile lauch sound

From 1993 on, there were only new decorations made but no new sounds or casts. This year, the yellow train was also released as part of the 2340 series, which are to the 2300 series what the 300 series is to the 200.

Some casts created for this series were later reused in the ordinary series. Although this model is quite recent, I include here the pictures of the Sport Proto made in the early 2000s, without sound or lights:




UPDATE (JAN/2017): Depannause in Red from 1991 (ref. 2315).




FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SEVERAL SONIC FLASHERS´ MODELS (Nr. 2301, 2304, 2309, 2310, 2313, 2314, 2315 and 2318)
  • Scale: 1:64 (aprox.)
  • Year: 1989, 1990 and 1991
  • Company: Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

2 comments:

  1. Mine still work from when I was a kid. So 27yrs later batteries still have a charge, I played with mine too as a kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing, probably they were kept in very dry and cold conditions. Unfortunately, wenn they have to be replaced it is very difficult to do so.
      Thanks for the comment!

      Delete

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