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Sunday, May 26, 2019

#926 PIATNIK – BLUMEN (Nr. 278) (Around 1973)

Unfortunately, all quartett and children decks that do not show cars or very specific licenses or themes are not very interesting for collectors these days.

Flowers and plants (or botanical) decks are maybe among the least-liked ones, and that´s is a pity.

I already showed a Flowers deck by Piatnik a very very long time ago. That first version showed drawings, while this newer version has already colour photographs. I personally like the one with the drawings better, but this pictures and card style is also quite charming, it exemplifies the design in the years in which it was made and sold. The pictures do not have a great resolution (or maybe it was the printing press that did not have the quality standards we are now familiar with, and the soap-box (pink plastic) today looks ugly. I guess at the time it was different.

Comparing the older version of the deck with the new one, I have to say, that a few flowers are different, although many are the same and also ordered in very similar families. The reference number is the same.

 The first deck is from 1955, this one could be made around 1973. It still has the same reference number than the original one.

  • Name: BLUMEN QUARTETT (Nr. 278)
  • Alternative Names: „FLOWERS QUARTET "
  • Year: Around 1973
  • Company: Piatnik Wien (Austria)

Friday, May 10, 2019

#925 CORGI JUNIORS and HOT WHEELS! - FORD MUSTANG, FORD SIERRA, RAYGO RASCAL 600 and JAGUAR XJR12 (1981, 1983, 1989 to 1995)

In the last years, I have found several Hot Wheels cars that I already had as Corgi Juniors. They are at first sight identical, so I was wondering how many of these are out there and what is the story behind them.

We already commented in previous entries that Mattel bought Corgi Toys in 1989, and sold it again to a management buyout in 1995. With this purchase, all casts from the Welsh company passed to Mattel.

During this period (89-95) Hot Wheels seems to have released 16 different models with their own marking on the base, some of them identical to the Corgi Juniors models, other with slight modifications and improvements in the casting. Some models were previously unissued, others were simply better casted. I cannot really see many improvements comparing one model with the other... But it is a curious thing havin the same cast with two different brands in their bases. There were other similar cases in the die-cast world.

The wheels were also changed in some models for another one more modern looking (like the Mustang below), some of these wheels models still look great, but other doesn´t. At the time, this change was a great thing.

For more info, the chapter devoted to Corgi models sold under Hot Wheels! brand can be read in Mac Ragan's book Hot Wheels Cars HERE.

The models presented in this entry are:

Ford Mustang Cobra – Orange version from 1981, white version with American flag is probably from the late 80s. Reference number 104A.

Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. Note the better looking wheels.

Ford Sierra 2.3 Ghia – Yellow version from 1983. Reference number 129A.
Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. In this case, with low quality wheels, shared with other brands and not very good looking. Maybe a later re-release?

Raygo Rascal 600 – practically identical to each other. Corgi Reference number 44A. Hot Wheels! model from 1989 to 1995. Sorry I could not take the pictures together, I am not sure if I have the Corgi version or not.

Jaguar XJR12 by Corgi, mid to end 90s. This final model is a Corgi Juniors model with Hot Wheels tampographies. Curious. I guess it is also available with Hot Wheels base. Again with the "less beautiful" wheel type.

  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1981, 1983 and 1989 to 1995
  • Company: Corgi (Great Britain) and Hot Wheels! (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm
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