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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#815 LWNR/WINNER – SPACE EXPLORATION VEHICLE (Around 1990)


This is an interesting space toy from the early 90s. At the time, the space-themed toys were already declining in comparison to the previous decades. There were still some interesting toylines (most notably Starcom) and toylines subseries (for example G.I.Joe´s Star Brigade), but it was a time of a more down-to-earth fantasy and action times for toys.


I would say this toy, being much more humble, is inspired by Starcom. It is a land vehicle with distinctive features to be used on the Moon, Mars or any other planet (wheels, radars, cannons...). It has two LEDs on both sides and also a small loudspeaker to produce light and sound. Inside there is a small cell battery, that I removed because it was already a bit damaged. Another cool feature is that the cockpit can be opened revealing some kind of seat.


The toy has cool stickers in a futuristic style, as seen in many movies before.

About the company LWNR we know that it is still active. They are based in Dongguan, China since 1978, and they master the complete process of creating toys, from the concept and the design to manufacturing an packaging. As many toy companies these days, they moved from a more general production to toys for younger children, which are the ones that still get toys (and not Smartphones or whatever). They have huge facilities (factory, offices and warehouses) an they employ up to 2000 people. Quite astounding. Unlike other Chinese companies, Winner is proud to give its employees good labour conditions and work environment.


To see the current catalogue and get more information about the toylines, history and more, please visit http://www.winnertoys.com/.


UPDATE1 (Dec/2018): A few pics from eBay showing this toy and similar ones in their blister cards.

 
 




 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SPACE EXPLORATION VEHICLE
  • Company: LWNR Winner (China)
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Size: approx. 8 cm

Sunday, May 28, 2017

#814 BARAVELLI / BGM / GIODI – PORSCHE 911 S (Around 1979)


This is a rare Porsche 911 in a scale close to 1:64 (3 inches size). It is quite rough in its details, and has plastic base and dark windows, and, of course, no interior.

So, qualitatively, it is not a great toy, but still a very interesting one due to its maker: Baravelli.

There is very little information about this brand out there. The logo of the company is a circle with a three-pointed star inside with the letters B G M, which according to the Dutch Wikipedia comes from “Baravelli Giordani MAM”, although I cannot recognize MAM as an acronym (sorry, I don’t speak Italian). Other sources say BGM may come from “Baravelli Giodi Miniatura”.

I have seen many carded models marketed as “Giodi” that seem to be the exact same model that I am showing today, so I am almost certain that Baravelli (or BGM) and Giodi are the same company. Actually, Giodi could be a short name for Giordani.

The company produced, as you can see in the pictures, cars in the budget range during the 70s. If the Wikipedia is right, the company got absorved by polistil by the late 70s when the competition was growing both in the internal and the external markets.


What I knew of this brand is that they were used as giveaways in Ferrero’s Kinder Surprise. Not in the standard eggs, but in the bigger Maxi Eggs. Apparently, and according to my Kinder Surprise catalogue, there were two series from Giodi: VIP and VIP 2. The first one came in cardboard boxes with plastic windows, while the second one in cardboard boxes without windows.

According to this source, the “serie VIP. 1” had 12 references: BMW 520i, Cadillac Eldorado, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Volvo, Lancia, Renault, Porsche, Mercedes; Stratos, Ferrari and Rover. They came without any stickers applied but a small sheet of plastic stickers to be applied by the happy owner of the car.

The “serie VIP  2” has also several references, although only three are mentioned: Mercedes 450 SL, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and Porsche 911 Turbo. Possibly there were more of them. Each one came with 1 sticker (the brand emblem) applied in the hood of the car. That Porsche is exactly the one I am showing in my pictures.

According to the guide, each of these models has a catalogue value of 100 Euro, something which I certainly doubt.

It is actually credible that Giodi/BGM/Baravelli might have been bought by Polistil, since at roughly the same time, Ferrero Maxi Eggs were also giving Polistil models away… at 1:43 scale.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: PORSCHE 911 S
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: Around 1979
  • Company: Baravelli B.G.M/BGM Giodi (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#813 TRANSFORMERS - TURBOMASTERS - BOSS G1 (1992)


Long time since last Transfomers entry! This is one of the few figures I have with all its accesories. It is one of those "European Exclusive" figures from the late G1 years that is not so expensive. Maybe not very interesting for collectors because of its flashy colours. Nevertheless it is not so easy to find complete because of it´s three small yellow missiles and the missile launcher.



Apparently, the missile launcher feature was (or could have been) the cause of the figure not being available on the U.S. It wouldn´t pass safety regulations. This, of course, brings me to another toyline I know much better: G.I.Joe. The figures belonging to the American waves from 1991 and 1992 were released in Europa with missile launchers, but not in the U.S. From 1993 on, the American toys also came with missile launchers (a change in US regulations?). This is a topic somebody should study further.




I had this toy for a while and I thought it was missing the bonnet, until I found out that the turbine that I bought in the same lot was actually to be placed there. With the turbine (also hard to find) it looks vaguely similar to a Batmobile.
The Turbomasters are 4 in total, Boss is the subcommander. I also have two more, but none of them is complete. Those missiles are really difficult and expensive to find, so let´s see if I can find more in the next years at reasonable prices to complete this nice subseries. Despite what many collectors say, I love figures with flashy colours and impossible accesories, both in G.I.Joe and Transformers toylines.
As usual with my Transformers entries, I will finish with the cool tech spec. This one has great ratings, lots of 10s!
BOSS
  • Faction: Autobots
  • Subgroup: Turbo-Masters
  • Function: Force Leader
  • Motto: “Never underestimate your enemy... he's always worse than you could ever imagine."
  • Bio: Leads with courage and cunning, whilst being fearless in front line battles. Is able to outwit even the smartest Decepticon with the sheer skill of his combat strategies. As vehicle, his central, forward facing turbine elevates to fend off attack from high fliers. As robot, armed with a powerful hand-held turbo defender.
  • Tech Specs for Boss:
    • Strength: 7
    • Intelligence: 10
    • Speed: 8
    • Endurance: 7
    • Rank: 10
    • Courage: 10
    • Defense power: 9
    • Skill: 10
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: TURBOMASTER BOSS
  • Toy Line: TRANSFORMERS (G1)
  • Year: 1992
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm

Monday, May 22, 2017

#812 EFSI – FIAT 242 and CITROËN C35 (Around 1975)


Efsi Holland made these two vans in several versions each. I am still surprised to find more and more decorations of them. I already have 6 or 7 different ones.




Not only the colours change, but also there are versions with a siren on top, other without, and some with windows other without.

The Fiat 242/Citroën C35 was the result of a cooperation between the two car manufacturers and it is surprising to me that Efsi made two casts which are almost identical, instead of choosing another van which may look “more different” to each other. The only difference is in the front, where the logo of Fiat or Citroë in displayed and on the base, where the name of the car is written.





This van has not been reproduced in this scale by any other die-cast manufacturer I know of, so they are interesting collectables for people interested in the cars and vans from the 70s an the 80s. I think it was quite common in many European countries.

UPDATE1 (Dec/2018): A green Citroën C.35 "Holland", unfortunately not in its best shape.





FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: FIAT 242 and CITROËN C35
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: Around 1975
  • Company: Efsi (Netherlands)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Friday, May 19, 2017

#811 MATCHBOX - WORLD CLASS PORSCHE 944 (1993)


I remember I bought this car in a flea market maybe 15 or 20 years ago. I though it was older, and I bought it because I liked the box, and I thought it may be also rare. Apparently it is not so old, because the World Class series debutted in 1993. It consisted of normal “Super Kings” models repackaged in strange looking box (or actually display, since it is open on one side).


The World Class were only saloon cars, like the ones you can see in this promotional picture from 1993, while the World Sports were sports cars. One year later the same series were available, but the box was update accordingly to match the style of the new corporative image with yellow and orange boxes instead of blue, as seen in the following picture.


The Porsche 944 is an old known Super King, nothing has changed except the colour, which I think was not previously available. It has practicable doors and trunk, as indicated in the box. The World Series are somehow the followers of the Super Kings. That previous Porsche 944 (and other models in this size) were available in the kind of box shown in entry #459.



About the rarity of this series, I am not sure. On one side, the cars are often spotted on eBay or similar webs, but on the other side, there is only one site where I could find pictures of these cars boxed. It was here: http://www.shabbir.com/matchbox/picgall/picks.html. The guy who made this web, has three models in their boxes. Not bad!



Matchbox later reused the name “World Class” for another series of highly detailed cars in 3 inches size. Somewhat similar to the “Premiere Collection” series (see #381), but with a different card and a different box.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: PORSCHE 944 (WORLD CLASS)
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Year: 1993
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 10 cm

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#810 PANINI - BA-146-100 AIR FRANCE from JET AIRLINERS (2004)






I was talking to a toy expert recently who showed me these planes in the Micromachines scale. There is no doubt about them, because they are still wrapped in its original bag (and comes with its original papersheet). They belong to a series of 48 planes that could be bought together with Panini stickers for the collection: "Jet Airliners" from 2004, which apparently had only 82 stickers.


Although the planes are relatively new, I decided to write an entry about this plane (I have only one), just for comparison purposes. I have written two other entries with Panini stickers from two different collections (published long ago).


The collection of 48 planes consisted of 24 different models, each of them in two decorations, that is, with two different sets of stickers, belonging to two different airlines, for example. Iberia and Alitalia, or Air France and British Airways.


What the expert also told me is that the other collection of military planes in the micromachines scale and that I showed a very long time ago in my blog is also from Panini. Please return to entry number #273.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: JET AIRLINERS (BA-146-100 AIR FRANCE)
  • Scale: unknown scale.
  • Year: 2004
  • Company: Panini (Italy) / Unknown Toymaker (China)
  • Size: approx. 3 cm
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