Thursday, November 23, 2023


Card manufacturing in Spain has been traditionally dominated by Heraclio Fournier, followed by other brands like Naipes Comas. But there are many other manufacturers, like Mas Reynals from Barcelona, a company founded in 1989 that produced lower quality and cheap decks of cards that looked very similar to other more famous ones.

Their products were sold some "100 pesetas" shops, the equivalent of the modern pound shops or 1 Euro Shops. And that was its price, a very low one. Some of their decks were aimed at the tourist market, although they covered also the children´s/toy market. The company had a second brand called Varitemas S.L. that they used since the foundation of the company. In 2003, Más Reunals changed its name to Varitemas S.L., which is active still today.

Do not try to access this url today, as it is not active anymore.

We have this deck since the very late 1990s, I think we bought it in the classic little town weekly market. These events are disappearing now, as every spot on the map has its supermarket, and an internet connection. There used to be at least a tent with cheap toys, and one of those days, we got this deck of cards. I’m quite sure it costed 100 pesetas (0,60 euro)

It is the classic "Schwarzer Peter" game, with a series of couples of cards, except one that does not fit. The player holding that card at the end of the game loses. The cards that fit together have the same number and one half of an illustration each. Together they tell the story of Robin Hood, although there were other tales  or stories available. The drawings do not look very professional, but they are nice and bizarre altogether. The deck was not played much with, that is why it is still in a very good shape.

There are still many of these available for sale in sites like, based on well-known tales and stories, and they are not expensive. Some of them are still sealed. Interestingly, they seem to have been available in blister cards for display.


  • Name: ROBIN HOOD
  • Year: Around 1999
  • Company: Varitemas, S.L. (Spain)

Sunday, November 5, 2023

#1033 DARDA - FERRARI F1, BMW-WILLIAMS F1 and TEAM DARDA (Around 2006)

These three cars by Darda are among the most modern in my collection. Darda is still selling and producing very good-looking cars and tracks, but they are not precisely cheap toys. Maybe that is why they are so hard to spot today. Two of these Formula ones represent the models driven by Michael Schumacher (RN5) in the 2006 season and one of the three drivers that ran for BMW-Williams in 2005, which we cannot identify since the toy does not carry any race number. It could be Mark Webber, Nick Heidfield or Antônio Pizzonia. 

The second red formula, with white stripes is more difficult to identify, I am not sure if it represents a real model or not, mostly when it carries number 1, it had to be a world champion driver, and with those colours, I cannot recall any racing team from the 2000s... Also it is decorated with "Team Darda" tampographies, unlike the other two which have logos of real companies and products. This is not definitive, as sometimes cigarretes and alcoholic beverages were not represented on toys at that time. 

I would conclude that this car is slightly more modern and just a way to reuse a cast that they kept.

Both cars are based in the same cast, only the colours and decorations are different. They look great, but, unlike older Dardas, they are completely made of plastic. I have seen other formula one teams represented with this same cast: some more decorations of a red cast (none of them seems to be a real team), a yellow model that seems to represent the Jordan from 2001 or before, and a white and black formula, which, with some imagination, could be a McLaren-Mercedes. As a matter of fact it carries RN9, which in the year 2005 corresponded to Kimmi Räikönnen. Of course, there are several variations of each model, with different tampographies or slight different colours. I'd love to have them all!

Here pictures of one car only, maybe you can see the cast details better this way.


  • Name: FERRARI F1, BMW WILLIAMS F1 and TEAM DARDA (1617-040 and 1631-001) (Numbering according to (Team Darda cannot be numbered, as this website is gone private and I cannot check the references anymore)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 2006
  • Company: Darda (Germany)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Sunday, October 22, 2023


It took me around 15 years to complete this toy. I found the plane/figure first so many years ago, then the two guns around 5 years ago, and finally, last year, I got the Powermaster figure in a lot where it was not depicted! It was a “gift” from the seller. I had actually bought other Transformers stuff, but not this part.

This model is one of my favorite transformers in my collection (I do not have too many), not just for the difficulty of completing it, but also because both the plane and the robot look great, it is easy to transform and has nice accessories. The colours are also interesting, with grey and light blue for a plane plus deception-purple. 

The Powermaster Hi-Test is also a nice cute little robot that transforms into a simulated motor that fits into the upper part of the plane, and, due to its size, is very difficult to find. It has a chromed part on the back, and it is only roughly articulated. Its arms move and its legs fold up to fit in the slot.

Dreadwind couples with Darkwing (a very similar jet, but made in darker shades of grey) to form Dreadwing. Also their weapons combine.


    Faction: Decepticons
    Subgroup: Powermasters
    Function: Air Defense
    Motto: "Fear is a friend whose presence is felt long after he's left."
    Bio: As ominous as a storm cloud and as chilling as a winter breeze. Grim and gloomy -- always acts as if his best friend just became permanently inoperative. Binary-bonded to the Nebulan, Hi-Test, a thrill-seeking, over-achieving perfectionist, constantly striving to keep Dreadwind's morose mind on his evil work. Equipped with two thermal melters and two air-to-air missiles. Combines with Darkwing to form Dreadwing.

    Tech Specs for Dreadwind

        Strength: 6
        Intelligence: 8
        Speed: 7
        Endurance: 8
        Rank: 6
        Courage: 7
        Firepower: 7
        Skill: 8


    Toy Line: Transformers (G1)
    Year: 1988
    Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
    Size of the toy: Around 20 cm in Jet mode

Sunday, October 8, 2023

#1031 CORGI JUNIORS – CITROEN DYANE, 2CV and 2CV (1975, 1985 and Around 2005)

Each die-cast manufacturer usually focuses on the car brands that are more popular in their own countries, and specifically on those that are manufactured there. It is, after all, a business, so cars that are well known sell better. I say this because Corgi Juniors is based in Wales, United Kingdom, while Citroen is a French car manufacturer, so the models shown here are kind of rarities. Really? Well, yes and no.

The 2CV model appeared (in yellow with a duck stickers) in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only from 1981, and Corgi always released models from 007´s movies. Besides being an iconic model, appearing in a James Bond film and had been used in several versions and decorations (too many to mention all of them), it is a profitable and popular model by Corgi (many French, Spanish, German, Italian… manufacturers also did it). The red version shown here corresponds to a release from the mid 80s, probably from 1985. This later version should correspond to serial number 53455, although I am not completely sure. The version with flowers on the doors has been spotted in the kind of box shown in entry #497, so it could be slightly older than the one shown above with coloured roof.

The orange version is done out of an alternate and improved casting (but simplified construction), and is already from the 2000s.

The Dyane model represents a much less popular car, and it can be mistaken by the previous one. It was intended as the successor of the 2CV, and came in several versions. I like a lot the fourgon versions by Majorette or Guiloy, but this standard version is also excellent. It has a practicable trunk, which is not so common in the Corgi Juniors line. There are basically three versions: bright yellow, gold yellow and purple. The second one comes with the roof painted black, the first and third ones don´t. This model was released in 1975 with number 89 (89-A1 Yellow gold model, 89-A2 Gold model, 89-A3 metallic purple) and was available until 1982.


  • Name: CITROEN DYANE (Nr. 89-A1), 2CV (Nr. 53455) and 2CV (Nr. Unknown)
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: 1975, 1985 and Around 2005
  • Company: Corgi Juniors (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Sunday, September 24, 2023

#1030 PAYÁ INTERNATIONAL – FERRARI 312 FORMULA 1 (Ref. 2134) (Around 1972)

This International Payá Formula 1 is unmarked, what makes it difficult to identify. The quality of the cast stands out, and you can easily notice that it is not a cheap toy, but unless you are familiar with the company, you won´t be able to recognise it.

It is the Ferrari 312 F1 (Ref. 2134), a nice cast that I cannot assign to any other manufacturer, it was probably made by Payá themselves. Other unmarked models with similar reference numbers were also the own creations of the Spanish die-cast maker. It is completely red and carries a RN3 sticker. I think it is a great sample, and collectors will appreciate its rarity.

The models with reference numbers 2134 or higher are somewhat more difficult to find, probably because they were released later that the rest, when other die-cast manufacturers were better established and the competition was higher. That is why I dated this car around 1972, while all the other cars I own were dated around 1970. Take a look at my other International Payá treasures!

*By the way... I noticed that I sometimes write International Payá, and others Payá International. I would say both are OK!


  • Name: FERRARI 312 FORMULA 1 (Ref. 2134)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1972
  • Company: Payá International (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Sunday, September 10, 2023

#1029 SOLIDO – LOLA T 280 (Nr. 15) (1973)

I have had chances to buy many Solido models over the years, but most of the times, I refused. Models by Solido are mostly in 1:43 scale, which was not very interesting for me until quite late in my collector´s life. Recently I found this excellent model of a Lola Sport Prototype with Swiss Cheese decorations (funny!) and in perfect shape. I couldn´t let this go. It is beautifully made and it comes with practicable motor cover.

As usual in this brand, the car is only decorated on the side that can be seen through the box window. A sheet of stickers is available in the box, that the buyer has to apply himself or herself. In this case, the owner didn't do that.

The real car was used in the year 1972 to run Le Mans. This decoration corresponds to two different teams. RN7 belonged to the Team Ecurie Bonnet Switzerland and the drivers were Hughes de Fierlant (from Belgium), Jorge de Bagration (from Spain) and Mário de Araújo Cabral (from Portugal). The team abandoned after only 26 laps. RN8 did a bit better, completing a total of 213 laps after abandoning. The drivers in this case were Joakim Bonnier (from Sweden), Gérard Larrouse (from France) and Gijs van Lennep (from the Netherlands). This last driver made the fastest lap in the race that year.

Seen at:


  • Name:  LOLA T 280 (Nr. 15)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1973
  • Company: Solido (France)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Sunday, August 27, 2023


I don´t recall the series, never saw it on TV or had any merchandising as a kid, I knew them later, as an adult, so let's go directly to the toys.

The original release by Heimo comprised 9 pieces. 5 "male" and 4 "female" Barbapapas. The ladies can be recognised as they carry a kind of bun (hairstyle) at the top of their heads.

  • Barbapapa (Pink) (waving hello?)
  • Barbahelle (Blue) (scratching head?)
  • Barbabravo (Red) (with bowling ball?)
  • Barbazoo (Yellow) (with red bird)
  • Barbabo (Black) (with palette)
  • Barbalala (Green) (open arms)
  • Barbabella (Violet) (sneezing?)
  • Barbasophie (Orange) (with book)
  • Barbamama (Black) (with flowers)

The figures are unmarked, what makes me wonder if they are original Heimo or not. The German brand is one of the most bootleged ever, and other original Heimo figures I own are marked with a round stamp on the back of the figures, but the stamp cannot be read, maybe it is a Walt Disney certification (all stamps are in Disney characters). It could also be that some are original Heimo and other aren't. See, for example, the following two Barbasophie. They are quite different from each other. The one on the left is better painted, I would say. Are both Heimo? both bootlegs? one Heimo and the other a bootleg?

I present here 5 figures, plus another one that I found later. There is still three missing that I expect to get sometime in the future.


Plastoy also launched a series of Barbapapa PVC figures in 2003.


  • Year: 1979
  • Company: Heimo (Germany)
  • Size of the figures: Around 3 cm