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Thursday, March 22, 2018


Max und Moritz is a German illustrated story written by Wilhelm Busch in 1865. The book has 7 chapters, all of them rhymed in couplets.

I knew the book, but it wasn´t until recently that I had it in my hands and I could read it a little bit (it is difficult if you are not fluent in German). The stories and the illustrations have a lot of things in common with later comics and cartoons. Max and Morizt are two naughty boys doing nasty things. The chapters are also called "tricks", and describe one mischief of the two main characters: stealing a roasted chicken from a kitchen, sawing a wooden bridge, putting gunpowder in a smoking pipe... until they meet their fate being shredded in a backery.

As many cartoons, the stories are kind of violent, at least with today's mentality, so I think, the book is not so popular anymore in German speaking countries as it was before.

But what brought Max and Moritz to this blog today is the series of figures made by Heimo in the late 70s. The series comprises 8 figures plus one variant. Just for clarification, Max is the brunette boy, Moritz is the blonde boy. Note in this picture below that the two Max figures have different hair colour: one brown, the other black.

The original 8 figures were

  • Max (hands on back)
  • Max (with smoking pipe)
  • Moritz (hands on back, red shirt)
  • Moritz (with gunpowder flask)
  • Widow Bolte
  • Tailor Böck (sitting)
  • Teacher Lämpel
  • Meister Backer

And the variant is

  • Moritz (hands on back, green shirt instead of red)

The variant is not more difficult to find than the ordinary one. Heimo figures were produced massively, and even today, they can be found on ebay at relatively low prices (considering its age).

Also note that Max and Moritz were available in two different casts, the first represents them doing nothing, with their hands in the back and smiling, as they were lovely little boys. The other two versions are taken from chapter/trick 4 (Streich 4), were they fill the pipe of teacher Lämpel with gunpowder. Max has the pipe and Moritz the flask with the gunpowder. In some catalogues this figure is referred as "with inkwell" ("mit Tintenfass"), but this must be an error, since there is no inkwell in the whole book.

Illustration taken from
Figures are marked POLYMEDIA, most probably because they came out as a merchandise for a TV series made between 1977 and 1978. The producer was Polyphon Film- und Fernseh GmbH in Hamburg, ans was directed by Hermann Leitner and John Halas. The years would match and also the style of the figures and the colours.

As menstioned before, a nice complete set of figures, not difficult to find, nor expensive. The figures are somewhat bigger than the usual Heimo from these years, and are about 6 cm high, which makes them more attractive than other figures like those made of Wickie, Heidi or Disney.

  • Year: 1977
  • Company: Heimo (Germany)
  • Size of the figures: 6 cm

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#897 MICRO MACHINES - SHAKE & SNIFF COLLECTIONS #2, #3 and #4 (1992)

And yet another Micro Machines subseries, and maybe one of the most curious ones, the Shake & Sniff.

The series consists on trucks with long trailers, whose main feature is that the trailers have some smell, depending on what is printed on the sides of the trailer. An example: if the truck is carrying bananas, the trailer will have a banana smell. For that purpose, the trailer has some small holes drilled in the back part, but I do not know how does the interior look like, probably has some kind of cardboard or sponge impregnated in some scent.

Another feature is that the trucks come with opening doors and the cabin moves up to reveal the motor of the truck. The trailer have small practicable feet so they stand when they are not attached to the truck. This same feature applies to the "Semi-Truck" series from 1989, from which the Shake and Sniff could be considered a continuation or an improvement. The Semi-Truck collections were also available after the Shake and Sniff was withdrawn form the assortment only one year later (1993).

The collection started (and ended) with 4 collections, with 2 trucks each. I am currently missing collection #1, which could be the most difficult to find since one of the trucks smelled like garbage. Definitely, not the best commercial appeal compared to the other three collections.

Collection #1
Cab- Over with Garbage Load
Streamliner with Pine Load

Collection #2
Streamliner with Rootbeer Load
Cab- Over with Vanille Ice Cream Load

Collection #3
Streamliner with Choc Chip Cookie Load
Super Cab with Bubble Gum Load

Collection #4
Streamliner with Popcorn Load
Super Cab with Banana Load

In Spain, the series was called “Mover y Oler” (Move and Smell).

  • Name: Micromachines Shake & Sniff Collections #2, #3 and #4.
  • Scale of the cars: 1:150 aprox.
  • Year: 1992
  • Company: Galoob (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 2 cm
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