Sunday, October 10, 2021

#983 MIGHTY MAX – CONQUERS THE PALACE OF POISON and TERMINATES WOLFSHIP 7 (1992)

These are two Doomstones I bought some years ago at a very low price. I do not collect this toyline, but I thought they were nice. Although they are copyrighted in 1992, they were for sale in Spain in 1993, and so they appear in Toys R’ Us Catalogue from Christmas 1993/94. They were priced at 1.495 pesetas, which is quite accurately 9 Euro, rather expensive considering its size, but not its quality.


The first of the two sets “Mighty Max Conquers the Palace of Poison” is my personal favorite as it involves an Egyptian pyramid, a mummy, and a giant scorpion, together with snakes, skeletons, tombs and treasures. Unlike many other playsets, this one opens in two halves, but has the head of the snake as some kind of tower, and both sides connect by means of a plastic cord.



The base has a small practicable tomb and lots of snakes and skeletons all over the floor, the tower part shows some stairs until up the mouth of the snake where a treasure is hidden. The other side has three floors: a basement dungeon, a first floor with the tomb of the pharaoh (the mummy is hidden inside) and the upper floor with god Anubis in his Throne.


The mummy is nice looking but the scorpion is much more attractive, as it is several times the size of Mighty Max.

The second set “Mighty Max Terminates Wolfship 7” is in principle very attractive as it involves a spaceship, robots and even a smaller spaceship, but personally I find the desing a bit repetitive and boring.

Note that the base represents the interior of a spaceship. It has two platforms that are the ears of the wolf when closed and can be expanded or closed. The central part with those two orange balls could be some kind of power generator, but I don’t know it for sure since I haven’t seen the cartoons. Another practicable part is the cannon that can aim to both sides.

The vertical part shows three floors, but they are all very similar On the upper one there is a throne.

The tip of the base, representing the fangs of the wolf can be detached and used as a personal spaceship. The robots are cool, but again, they only differ on the position of the arms, so I guess they could have done better here.




When closed, both playsets look great, either as a nested snake of a wolf-spaceship (especially with the ears out).

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: MIGHTY MAX CONQUERS THE PALACE OF POISON and TERMINATES WOLFSHIP 7 (Doomstones)
  • Toy Line: Mighty Max (wave 1)
  • Year: 1992
  • Company: Bluebird Toys (Great Britain)
  • Size of the Playset: Around 10 cm long
  • Size of the figure (Mighty Max): 1 cm

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

#982 POLFI-TOYS - RENAULT 17 (Around 1977)

Today, I bring some exotic model from Greece. It is the first time, I think, that a greek toy appears in the blog, so I am happy for that.

It is my first Polfi Toy, I think I bought it in the first months on 2020 from another collector in Austria. It is not in its best shape, but I payed only 3 euro for it. Most of the Polfi models I have seen have paint chips, so I guess they do not have the best paint work.

Greece, as Spain or Portugal had a relatively close toy market with their own national brands until the early 80s, and Polfi is maybe the best-known greek brand of toys, maybe not the most important, but probably one of the most successful, having sold many hundred thousands of die-cast models like this one but also in bigger scales, motorbikes and even planes.

Some of these 1:55-1:64 cars seem to be copies of Matchbox models (except for a few Formula ones, which look like Polistils), while some 1:43 models knock-off the cheap series of Polistil, although it is fair to say that they also had their own models.

The Renault 17, as I said, looks very much like the Matchbox model from 1974, but it is not a knock-off. Some details mark clear differences with the British model. The base is completely different, and also the wheels have a nice casting that looks like an off-road tyre.

I am sorry the pictures are not good, and even the colour is kind of different, I think the flash is distorting the colours, that look a bit brighter than they actually are. The model is dark orange, almost red, which, by the way was also the colour that Matchbox chose for the Renault 17. I will try to replace them as soon as possible. 

I would say Polfi is a brand that is worth collecting, so look out for these small die-cast, they are great. I would like to add some historical notes about the brand, but I couldn’t find anything. Maybe somebody from Greece can give us some hints? I would love to hear more about this toy manufacturer. 

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: RENAULT 17
  • Scale: 1:55
  • Year: Around 1977
  • Company: Polfi Toys (Greece)
  • Size: Around 7 cm

Friday, September 10, 2021

#981 CHRYSLER QUARTETT – AMERICAN DREAM CARS (PROMOTIONAL) (2001)

This excellent deck of cards was probably made in Austria around the year 2000, and shows 32 Chrysler cards with their usual technical details (number of cylinders, power, capacity/displacement and max. speed) plus an American flag with or without the Austrian flag near to it.

Some Chrysler models were actually manufactured in Austria, and most accurately in the Eurostar factory in Graz between 1990 and 2002. I suspect this deck of cards might have been a gift for Chrysler customers in Austria or maybe even for Eurostar employees in the year 2001, as they started producing the PT Cruiser and Voyager (the 4th generation, shown in card B1) models that same year and this set was purchased in a flea market in this city. Note also that there are no marking or indications of manufacturer, barcode, year or anything else, and the pictures used all belong to the official Chrysler photographic archive. The text is written in German.

Just one year later, after the manufacturing of 50,000 units of the first model mentioned above, the plant was closed. The process was, for each car unit, around 2,000 dollar more expensive that it would have been in Mexico, so the plant was sold to Magna Steyr, and no more Chryslers were assembled in Austria ever since.

The deck is beautifully designed in clean white with minimalistic style on both sides of each card and in addition to the 2001 models, there are a family with classic Chryslers (Family H), racing cars (Family G) and a few other models, which, to my knowledge, were never available in the European markets.


FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: CHRYSLER AMERICAN DREAM CARS
  • Year: 2001
  • Company: Unknown Manufacturer (probably Austria)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

#980 GAMA – OPEL REKORD, ASCONA and CORSA (893, 1140, 1159, 1176) (1978, 1981, 1983, 1984)

This is my second entry showing Gama die-cast cars. In the previous occasion, I showed a 60s Porsche Carrera in 1:43 scale, and this time I am showing four Opel/Vauxhall models from the late 70s and the 80s.

Not to repeat everything four times, I would like to summarize the common characteristics of these models. They are all 1:43 scale die-cast, have practicable parts, detailed interiors and the base include not only the name of the car, brand, etc., but also some technical specs for a particular model such as speed, power and 0-100 km acceleration time.

I would say they are all excellent, you cannot really confuse the models with any other Opels and the combination of metal and plastic parts, some of them painted in two colours shows probably the most accurate representation of the models available at the time. All these and most Gama I have seen on the Internet are in very good condition, so probably they were not really intended for children, but adult collectors, or they had an astounding paint quality, or, most probably, both at the same time.

They were marketed under the GAMAmini brand and sold in cardboard boxes with windows, but I also suspect they were sold at Opel athorised dealers to owners of the real cars or car enthusiasts in general.

So, chronologically…

Opel Rekord Limousine 4-Türig (893) / Vauxhall Carlton


The real model was for sale between 1977 and 1982, and this toy was probably made in 1978. It is the oldest model in the lot and was manufactured in Hong-Kong, while all the others were manufactured in Western-Germany. Curious that the production was moved from Hong-Kong to Germany and not the other way round, how did that happen? Hong-Kong marked models seem to be somewhat rarer than the German ones, and also more exensive, although any of these can be easily found on eBay or similar sites.





Opel Ascona Stufenheck-Limousine 4-Türig (1140) / Vauxhall Cavalier

This thrid version of the ascona premiered in 1981 and wasn’t modified until 1984. It represesented the mid-upper-range car by Opel between Rekord and Kadett. After a facelift, it was still sold untl 1988, and then it was replaced by the Opel Astra. This model was far more common than the Rekord on the streets when I was a child, but still a good expensive car.





Opel Corsa SR (1159) / Vauxhall Nova

At the time, he smallest Opel available, this car was expremely popular at the time. It was launched in 1982 and wasn’t modified until 1985, although not much. I recall this car as a kid, and I even travelled in it a couple of times, maybe because of this, it is my favorite model. Note that it has a practicable trunk door, but the bonnet cannot be opened, as it was the case of the Ascona. The other two models have both practicable trunk and bonnet parts.




 

Opel Rekord Limousine 4-Türig (1176) / Vauxhall Carlton

This car is the 1983-facelift Rekord that we have just seen before. It would remain for sale until 1986, when it was replaced by the Opel Omega. It is interesting to compare this model with the pre-facelift one, and see, for example, that the base is exactly the same, and the bodies also very similar to each other, I would say the main structure is exactly the same, and only the practicable parts and the front and back plastic pieces are different.




I bought altogether in the last half of 2019 for 5 euro/piece.

 

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: OPEL REKORD, ASCONA and CORSA (893, 1140, 1159, 1176)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984
  • Company: Gama (Germany/Hong-Kong)
  • Size: Around 9 cm
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