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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#870 MINIFLEX - VOLKSWAGON (VW 1300) (Nr. 4) (Around 1970)


I got this car together in a bigger lot with several die-cast models. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the beginning, but later that “Hong-Kong” in the base and the Miniflex brand made me thought. I knew similar toy cars made by Tomte of Norway and this one is actually very very similar in construction, material, colour and wheels.


It is the only one I have from this brand, and the only one I will probably ever have. Apparently Miniflex are rare knock-offs of other toys made by the mentioned Tomte, VynilLine, Galanite and other brands. Many of them were very famous in Scandinavia and Germany, but quite unknown in the rest of the world.


Unfortunately, nothing is known about the manufacturer.



There are 18 known models and they are numbered in the base. This “VOLKSWAGON” (note the misspelled word in the base) is number 4, and it is known only in blue. Other references seem to have been made in several colours.




Please visit this webpage: http://www.plastbilar.se/miniflex.htmhttp://www.plastbilar.se/miniflex.htm for more information about Miniflex and similar toy cars. It is in Swedish, but currently, the language is not a barrier anymore if you have the right translator. In the Miniflex sub-section of the website, there is a picture that shows an original Mini-Flex box, obviously based on Corgi Toys in yellow and blue colours, and with the text “Scale Model Cars” written in a similar typography than the one used by the company from Swansea.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: VOLKSWAGON (VW 1300) (Nr. 4)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: around 1970
  • Company: Miniflex (Hong-Kong)
  • Size: approx. 9 to 10 cm

Saturday, October 28, 2017

#869 MAJORETTE - PEUGEOT 205 TURBOOM (1987)



Making innovative toys for children in the die-cast world is quite difficult. Darda made a great cars with a very strong pull-back motor, and Hot Wheels made excellent models that simulated having an accident. Many toys have used powder caps, like cap guns, or He-Man Thunder Punch, but combining all three features in one toy has only been made by Majorette.



In 1987, Majorette had already made a motor that was similar to Darda’s for its “Motor” series. This series, as explained in entry #803 was quite short, but the motor designed for it was reused in the Turboom series that we are talking about now.



So what is so special about Turboom? Well, it is a series in which the cars simulate an accident in a very realistic way. The hood/bonnet and the doors open when the car crashes, and on top of this, there is a powder cap that produces a very loud sound.


Of course to flint the powder the car has to crash at a very high speed, and that is why you need a very strong motor. The powder cap is placed below the hood, where it will be hit by a rod coming from the “main” part of the car everytime it crashes. Of course the car is still fun without the powder caps, only it won’t produce any noise.

This line is very very short, counting only two models (a Peugeot 205 and an unidentified Pick-Up truck). They were simply named Turboom 1 and Turboom 2. Each model came in two decorations. However, in the following years, other variants were released, so there are a few rare cars out there that do not appear in the catalogue image below.



The pick-up truck is even more interesting, since with each crash, the hood and the canopy will detach. In the case of the Peugeot 205 nothing detaches, so nothing can get lost.

To play with these cars and crash them against each other, there was a special track made, using parts of the Majorette Motor series tracks, but crossing them in a way that there is a chance that the cars will collide.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: TURBOOM 1 (PEUGEOT 205)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#868 PLAYART - JAGUAR E-TYPE 2+2, LOTUS ELITE and PORSCHE 928 (Ref. 7123, 7199, 7201) (Around 1982)

Here are a few more Playarts with similar reference numbers. This time, all three vehicles are sport cars.

7123 JAGUAR E-TYPE 2+2 (Corgi Juniors Knock-Off)






7199 LOTUS ELITE (TOMICA Knock-Off)





7201 PORSCHE 928





FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: JAGUAR E-TYPE 2+2, LOTUS ELITE and PORSCHE 928 (Ref. 7123, 7199, 7201)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: Around 1982
  • Company: Playart (Hong-Kong)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Sunday, October 22, 2017

#867 HE-MAN NEW ADVENTURES – HE-MAN and HYDRON (Ref. 2274 and 3259) (1989)


At this point in the history of the blog, there is nothing more to add regarding this toyline. I can finally present the newborn He-Man, as it was intended to be rebooted in the very early 90s. Strong, but without those huge muscles and with a stylish hair.


The action figure was also updated to have many more points of articulation, and be more playable. New characters (all new except He-Man and Skeletor), new story (more sci-fi and less sword and sorcery), but unfortunately a much lower success.

He-Man came with armour, helmet, sword and shield. The armour could be used to carry the sword. The handle of the sword is extremely fragile, so in many cases (maybe 90% or even more) the sword will be broken. As there are many of this, a figure with a broken sword has a very low value, while, if the sword is complete, the prices are reasonably higher.






Hydron is another of the heroic warriors. It is some kind of diver and comes with an harpoon, backpack/oxygen bottle and a diving helmet. The backpack does not attach very well to the helmet. The figure is not very rare, but it is often incomplete.



 

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: HE-MAN and HYDRON (Ref. 2274 and 3259)
  • Toy Line: He-Man (also New Adventures of He-Man) (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 14 cm

Thursday, October 19, 2017

#866 ZYLMEX - MAC LAREN F.1, MATRA F.1, REPCO and LOTUS (D30, D31, D32, D33) (1975)

Tthese are amazing cars in their original cardbacks. I love the 70s style in those "Racing Car" and the colour combination used on it.

The D30 McLaren F1 has a different cardback than the other three, don't know why... probably the card with less references is a couple of months older, and it got updated when the new models were ready, without changing the front at all.

Note that the three cars with the shorter list on the backcard carry the same racing number than their reference number, except the Mac Laren, which is reference D30, but RN 58.

D30 MAC LAREN F.1




D31 MATRA F.1




D32 REPCO


D33 LOTUS


In a previous entry I showed some Zylmex F1s that were knocked-off from Penny/Polistil, but these four I show today are clearly inspired in Majorette's models from 1968 and 1969.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MAC LAREN F.1, MATRA F.1, REPCO and LOTUS (D30, D31, D32, D33)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1975
  • Company: Zylmex (Hong-Kong)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Monday, October 16, 2017

#865 RUIZ - LAND ROVER SANTANA GRÚA (Around 1983 or 1997)


I already talked about this type of toy in a previous entry (see #574). I recently got these two cars in a flea market, but I haven't found the old Ruíz vehicles I had as a kid. I will find them soon, no worries.

In between I will publish this entry about Ruiz. In the old entry I said that the company still exists, but this has to be clarified. Apparently, the current "Baratijas Ruiz" was founded in 1997, so, it is probably a new foundation of the old company. They are still based in Zaragoza and they produce the same toys than 40 years ago, but unfortunately, they do not have a website.


So, for the time being, we won't be able to find any further information about the company, I wish they start their own web with a nice "About Us" section, and they explain the whole history of both the old Ruíz and the new Ruíz.

I just caught this picture from Google Maps. It is their current location on Zaragoza (Ctra. Castellón Km. 3,7 Nave 5). Only a small sign at the door indicates Baratijas Ruiz.


Everytime I find a toy company that is active since so many years, or that still produce toys that were produced when I was I kid, I feel happy and I wish they stay in the business for a very long time.

I cannot say if my two new Land Rovers were made in the 80s, or sometime between 1997 and 2017, but in this case, I don’t care, I like them very much.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LAND ROVER SANTANA GRÚA
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: Around 1983 or 1997
  • Company: Ruíz (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Friday, October 13, 2017

#864 YOLANDA – RUPERTA KEYRING (UN, DOS, TRES) (1991)

 

This is a simple keyring made by Yolanda with the Mascot of the TV show “Un, Dos, Tres”. The name of the pumpkin is Ruperta, and we already know her from a previous entry (#217).

Yolanda/Comansi probably got a license from the TV program to produce merchandising, and they made the funny pumpkin in several sizes and in several forms, and also painted or unpainted. The figures shown in the article in the link are the smallest ones, this keyring is way bigger, maybe around the size of a table tennis ball.

The metallic ring and the short chain that binds it to the plastic figure have a good quality, but I wonder how resistant the plastic ring is, in which the keychain is attached… It looks very very weak.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: RUPERTA LLAVERO
  • Toy Line: Un, Dos, Tres (TV Quiz Show)
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: Yolanda (Spain)
  • Size of the figure: Around 4 cm

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#863 CORGI CUBS - JEEP (Nr. 501) (1977)



The Corgi Cubs were cars in the classic 1:43 scale size made with very few details, plain colours and simple and robust construction (no windows, plastic base, durable axles…)


The construction also reveals that Corgi was trying to produce these models as cheaply as possible, and so, the way the axles are attached to the chassis is cheap and kind of new. In the base there is some indication about a patent that has been applied and many collectors think this patent may refer to the way that the axles are attached to the plastic base.



They are based in very generic designs that do not depict any known (real) model. There are many different types of vehicles: trucks, lorries, vans, cars, helicopters, sport cars, race cars, hatchbacks and also the Jeep (ATV) shown in this entry. After all, small children rarely interest themselves for the real cars their toys represent, they want to have different types at early ages. Later things change.

And because things change, adults collectors do not like this series. Being “fantasy” cars has made that most collector do not even consider these toys. They just focus on the other Corgi series.


The Cubs models are actually rare, they were only sold during +/- 2 years, and then they disappeared. Probably they didn’t sold very well, and they were withdrawn from the catalogue. Despite being rare, they can be bought for very little money.

I am happy with my Jeep, I don’t think I would buy any other model from the series.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: JEEP (Nr. 501)
  • Scale: Around 1:43
  • Year: 1977
  • Company: Corgi Toys (United Kingdom)
  • Size: 9.5 cm
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