Friday, July 31, 2015

#573 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE – LADYBIRD BOOKS (1984 and 1985)


I have 5 out of 6 books from this series. They were printed in 1984 (or 1985 if the German translation) in different languages: At least English, Dutch and German. I found mine in flea markets and I hope I can still find the sixth one. Mine are in German, and the one that is missing is "Die stählerner Gigant".


Ordered by publication number, the titles are:
2985-0 Die Schwingen des Unheils
2986-0 Eine Falle für He-Man
2987-0 Skeletors Eisblockade
2988-0 Der stählerne Gigant
2989-0 He-Man und das ungeheuer
2990-0 Castle Grayskull in Gefahr

Later, there were two more titles released. One of them is called "He-Man and the Asteroid of Doom". The other one "He-Man and the Lost Dragon". These are rarer, and to my knowledge are only available in English.


They are written for children by John Grant and are beautifully illustrated by Robin Davies. The stories are simple and involve a few characters each, including monsters and secondary characters from which there was never a figure made. The pictures of these characters (also vehicles and landscapes) are very interesting and add some interesting background for playing or even for customizers.



The books are more or less A5-sized, hardcover and intended for children´s hands. They have 43 pages each, more than 50% of them are illustrations, the rest are filled with text. With a big font, the text is easy to understand. Nevertheless I had to search for a few words in the dictionary each time (German is not my mother language), so not really an easy thing for children, kids younger than 10 will probably learn a few words in each book.

There was a similar book collection published by Golden and also licensed by Mattel.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#572 TIGER QUARTETT - MOTORAD WM (4241), TOLLE JETS (Nr. 4253) and MOTO CROSS WM (Around 1978)



Just the pictures of three more quartets, see previous entry for more information!

TOLLE JETS (Nr. 4253) - Based on Tolle Jets by Piatnik? (later reissued with a few changes as "Flugzeuge" Nr.4243)





MOTORAD WM (4241) - This card is a Piatnik quartet, probably a later versión of the deck shown here (#351), which had the number 4233. Both sets share a lot of cards, but there are a few ones which are different.






MOTO CROSS WM - Based on Piatnik's MotoCross WM Nr. 4249






FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MOTORAD WM (4241), TOLLE JETS (Nr. 4253) and MOTO CROSS WM
  • Year: Around 1978
  • Company: Tiger (Germany, Austria)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#571 TIGER QUARTETT- SCHIFFE (Nr. 76) and RENNWAGEN (Nr. 79) (1972)

 

I have bought a few more decks by Tiger, and I will present them in this and the next entries. There is not much to add to the introduction made in entry #337, the only difference is that this time I have two decks which are older than those shown in the first entry.

I remember there were at least 3 "releases", each one characterized by a reference number (either 2, 4 or no digits). According to quartettblog.wordpress.com (very nice blog in German, recommended!), these three releases were:

1972 (2-digit reference number): Schwarzer Peter (Nr. 71), Blumen (Nr. 72), Tiere (Nr. 73), Städte (Nr. 74), Tierbabies (Nr. 75), Schiffe (Nr. 76), Flugzeuge (Nr. 77), Autos (Nr. 78), Rennwagen (Nr. 79)

Late 70s (4-digit reference number): Motorrad WM (Nr. 4241), Exotische Tiere (Nr. 4245), Tolle-Jets (Nr. 4253), Tierbabies (Nr. 4256), Schnelle Eisen (Nr. 4259)

Late 70s (No reference number): Airlines, Autos, Auto-Cross, Auto-Rennsport, Crazy Cars, Dicke Brummer, Dragster, Formel 1 WM, Hobby-Flitzer, Klassische Renner, Lokomotiven, Militärflugzeuge, Miniflitzer, MotoCross WM, Motor Monster, Motorräder, Motoryachten, Rennfahrer, Rennwagen, Schiffe, Schnelle Eisen, Schwarzer Peter, Sportwagen-Stars, Tiere, Tierfamilien, Tolle Autos, Tolle Bauten, Tolle Coupés, Tolle Flitzer, Tolle Flugzeuge, Weltrekord Fahrzeuge, Windjammer, 200 km/h-Club

SCHIFFE (Nr. 76) -  based on "Schiffe" by Piatnik (Nr. 4242)





RENNWAGEN (Nr. 79) - based on "Rennwagen" by Piatnik (Nr. 4229)



 

These three cards promoting other Piatnik sets were in the box of "Rennwagen", but I cannot assure, that they were originally included, or if they were put in afterwards.


In the first entry dealing with Tiger decks, there was another versión of "Rennwagen", but they are completely different decks.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SCHIFFE (Nr. 76) and RENNWAGEN (Nr. 79)
  • Year: Around 1972
  • Company: Tiger (Germany, Austria)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#570 POLISTIL MINI - CITROËN 19DS, VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE and AUTOBIANCHI BIANCHINA (Around 1960)


These cars were found in a flea market around one year ago. I immediatly recognised the quality of the cars and decided to buy them: they are marked APS 1/77 Italy, they represent very charismatic models from the 50s and the 60s, and despite the age, they are in very good shape.


Later, at home and to my surprise, I discovered that the cars were manufactured by Polistil, so I guess they were intended to be sold for vey little money, or to be combined with electric trains. I have also read somewhere, that Polistil also had some kind of ferry boat to carry many models from this series.
The cars reproduced are popular Italian and European cars, including many Fiats (500, 600, 600 Multipla, 1100...). The three models I own are:

CITROËN 19DS (French car sold from 1955 to 1975)


VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE (German car sold from 1938 on in several versions)


AUTOBIANCHI BIANCHINA (Italian car sold between 1957-1969)


Note that the Bianchina is not very well finished. One of the windows has not been properly done, and is almost covered by plastic. I am not sure if the chassis has also been mounted in the wrong direction, note that the wheels are not very well centered with the body. The other seem to be ok.
These models belong to a very short, very interesting and very rare series. Maybe because of the plastic, many of the units sold might have been destroyed during play (it would be enough to step on them) or thown in the trash, because their appearance is that of a very cheap toy.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: CITROËN 19DS, VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE and AUTOBIANCHI BIANCHINA
  • Scale: 1:77
  • Year: Around 1960
  • Company: Polistil (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 3,5 cm

Sunday, July 19, 2015

#569 M.A.S.K. - MATT TRAKKER and JACQUES LAFLEUR (EURO EXCLUSIVE 2-PACK) (1987)


We have already talked about M.A.S.K. small sets. I also mentioned that there were two-figure sets that were sold independently, although those figures were identical to the ones sold together with the vehicles.

I don´t really know how much success this small two-packs had, but there were not many of these made. In Europe and Argentina, there were some more packs released as in the U.S. The European figures were mostly repaints of some pilots released with vehicles, and so an interesting collectable for M.A.S.K. collectors worldwide, as most "Euro Exclusive" items are.

In this case, I have Matt Trakker with Lava-Shot and Jacques LaFleur with Maraj


Something that I don’t like about M.A.S.K. is that they keep reusing the same characters again and again… For 4 or 5 waves and over 40 vehicles, there should be more characters, and not new figure casts with the same old characters. I always thought, as a kid, it was enough to have one Snake Eyes and one Storm Shadow, I didn’t need a second one with a different uniform… One example is that I got Prince Adam from the Masters of the Universe line, and I never ever though of buying He-Man, because they were actually the same character, and you cannot play both at the same time. It’s either Adam or He-Man. With M.A.S.K., if I had had them at the time, I guess it would have been the same story. If you have one Matt Trakker, one Miles Mayhem and one figure of each character I wouldn’t have bought a second one.

Was it the same in your case?


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MATT TRAKKER with LAVA-SHOT and JACQUES LAFLEUR with MARAJ
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K.
  • Year: 198
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#568 GUISVAL MOTOS - VARIOUS MOTORCYCLES IN 1:32 SCALE (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979)


Guisval was always a few steps ahead compared to their national competitors like Mira or Guiloy in the small scale. Guisval´s 3 inches (which is for a motorbike around 1:32) was clearly better built and were most successful than other 1:64s. In the same 3 inches prize category were included these motorbikes. They are slightly bigger, but use lots of plastic parts.
These motorbikes are among the oldest models made by Guisval. They started in 1974 with 6 different models (3 casts each in two versions). The new series was named Tauro (Taurus).

  • 201 Bultaco
  • 202 Guzzi competición
  • 203 Honda
  • 204 Bultaco competición
  • 205 Guzzi
  • 206 Honda competición

In 1975, the Harley Davidson, with reference 207 is added to the collection.

Nº 207 - Harley Davidson (1975)

In 1976, two models appear for the first time: 208 - Kawasaki and 209 - Harley Davidson Policia.

Nº 208 - Kawasaki (1976)

In 1977, the new models are: 210 - Montesa Cote 348 and 211 - Harley Davidson Militar.

Nº 210 - Montesa Cota 348 (1977)

Nº 211 - Harley Davidson Militar (1977)

In 1978, only one model is added to the Tauro series: 212 - BMW R100 RS.

Nº 212 - BMW R100 RS (1978)

In 1979, two motorbikes are discontinued: 201 is now a Benelli 500 and 203 is a Benelli 750 SEI.

Nº 203 - Benelli 750 SEI (1979)

In 1980, three new models: 205 - Ducati 900-SD "Darmah", 207 Ducati 500 "Desmo" and 211 Ducati N.C.R. 900 "Desmo".

In 1981, three new models: 202 Guzzi 850 Le Mans II, 204 - Guzzi 850 T3 and 206 - Guzzi 850 T3 California. Interestingly, the Montesa Cota 348 appears now with reference 213 while reference 210 is not shown.

In 1982, still no 210 reference, but two more references added: 214 - Benelli 500 "Competición" and 215 - Ducati 500 "Competición". These include fairings that hide almost completely the body of the motorbike.

In 1983, there are no new models added to the collection, and there won't be any more. Ever.

By the last 80s, all motorbikes came with fairings and also several plastic parts, although there were still a few different body casts (Honda, Moto Guzzi, Bultaco). The quality of the plastic figure representing the driver is also lower, they are all the same man with a helmet, in different colour combinations, while in the models from the 70s and early 80s, there were different casts including a woman, a police and at least two types of men drivers. The head of this figures was customized in factory with one type of helmet, or hair (driving without helmet was ok back then!).

These motorbikes seem to be "inspired" by some models made by Britains between 1965 and 1975. I learnt about Britains Bikes on an article by Eric Bryan in DieCast Collector, issue 192, October 2013, and I think those Britains motorbikes are better made and better detailed. There is also a great variety of models.

Mr. Bryan, if you read this, you forgot to include Guisval and other Spanish die-cast in your "Some Other Vintage Diecast Motorbikes" box! For example: Mira (#216), Guiloy (with license from Mercury), Dalia (with licenses from Mercury and Tekno) or Guisval.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: BENELLI 750 SEI, HARLEY DAVIDSON, KAWASAKI, MONTESA COTA 348, HARLEY DAVIDSON MILITAR AND BMW R100 RS (Nr. 203, 207, 208, 210/213, 211 and 212) (respectively)
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Year: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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