Sunday, May 8, 2022

#997 FIGURAS EN ACCIÓN (F.E.A.) Nr.26


The new issue of Figuras En Acción is out now!

Watch out for a bunch of new and interesting articles about the contruction game Tente, Matchbox's Thunderbirds, Action's Men, traditional toys from different parts of the world and the third and final part of the G.I. Joe + Transformers toys.

The usual sections are also present this time: news, books, museums, the "treasure" analysis, vintage advertisments and more. We had a lot of fun making it, and, as a matter of fact, we are already working in the following issue, that will appear in December 2022.

Go to the official blog to download the magazine!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

#996 MC TOY - TURBO FEEZERS (KEY CARS) (Around 1984)

APRIL IS THE MONTH OF BOOTLEGS AND KNOCK-OFFS AT TOYS FROM THE PAST!

These key cars were bought in Austria around two years ago, as I found it curious that they used the image of Niki Lauda in the box and also on the keyrings that hold the keys to the cars. Because it was made around 1984, it was probably already a Chinese or East-Asian manufacturer that made them. The box doesn´t look so well, the design is not very good.

 


Unfortunately the box is almost empty and included only three cars with around ten keys, but no brand or any information whatsoever. Later I found that these cars are probably manufactured by MC Toy in Macau at a time were they preferred to hid their name to avoid possible lawsuits. Just a few entries ago I was talking about the Key-Cars from Kidco/Matchbox  from 1983, these are maybe from 1984 and probably started the series using just two different casts in different basic colours.

The manufacturer of these toys was confirmed a few months ago by Steven (from motorcade.weebly.com), who also sent me this yellow corvette below, which is marked Macau on the base. This model has some wear, and it is the same that was already in the box, but it is a nice addition.

 

I know that these models would later be released in other colours and with tampographies instead of paper stickers, I have one of each model with some neon (in the 90s fashion) tampographies, which are also completely unmarked and two more racers (F1 racer and Indy Racer, according to their original naming) which (surprise, surprise) are marked MC Toy on the base. These were acquired as a lot some time later.

 



The key cars by MC Toy made their way to the Maisto era, when they were sold in blister 2-packs with one key (also with the denomination Burnin' Key Cars). Unlike the ones made by Kidco, these are die-cast and do not have any protective plastic bumpers, so I guess most of the played models today are in very bad conditions, or have been disposed already. They came with soft plastic tires for a better grip which also can be lost and, in general, the detail and the quality of the toy is low (poor casting and dark windows), so early units even misspells "Tubro" for "Turbo" in the stickers, but still the models chosen (Chevrolet Corvette C3 from 1978, Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am from 1979) are nice sport cars, very representative of the early 80s.

By the way, the name on the Niki Lauda box is Turbo Feezers and the German slogan is "Schneller als die Formel 1!", which translates as: "Faster than Formula 1!" I wonder if the image of Niki Lauda was used with or without permission (I guess without), but this makes the box item even more interesting for collectors. The box shows a picture of him wearing the Brabham-Parmalat team cap, team for which Lauda drove between 1978 and 1979.

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: CHEVROLET CORVETTE C3 and PONTIAC FIREBIRD (TURBO FEEZEERS), F1 RACER, INDY RACER
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1984
  • Company: MC Toy (Macau)
  • Size: Around 7 cm long

Sunday, April 10, 2022

#995 JUYBA - GUERREROS ENEMIGOS DEL MAL - YELLOW NINJA "ROBIN" (Around 1988)

APRIL IS THE MONTH OF BOOTLEGS AND KNOCK-OFFS AT TOYS FROM THE PAST!

Juyba is one of those brands that made bootleg toys in the 80s that has been recently discovered by international collectors (mostly Masters of the Universe collectors). It is very sough-after now and all their items have increased their value enormously. Today they are very difficult to find, becuase most of these cheap toys broke and were disposed when (or as) their original owners grew up. The few units that are still out there are well kept, and they are rarely spot with their accesories or with their even more fragile cloaks and robes. Some of Juyba´s lines are being made today again as repros, including their accesories.


This one is a yellow ninja, in the style of Ninja Warriors with a cloak, belt and one accesory, 100% complete as we have seen in its original display, under the name "Guerreros Enemigos del Mal". Although there are other castings with a "ninja head", this one looks more like Batman´s partner Robin. Note that this piece has some hair casted and is wearing a face mask, which makes my figure a bit of a rarity, as it is much more scarce than the usual ninjas.


In the issue nr. 24 of Figuras En Acción we were discussing the toylines Jinetes del Espacio and also the miniature trucks and vehicles which are similar to Bruder Mini and we gave a couple of notes about the history of the company, although not much is known currently about them, just the usual legal stuff that nobody really cares about. The company seems to be active as an importer of toys, although they do not manufacture themselves toys anymore.


Juyba is actually the acronym of JUguetes Y BAratijas, and they are based in Castalla (Valencia).

 

 

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Name: Unknown (Yellow Ninja with Robin-like head) (45027)
  • Toy Line: Guerreros Enemigos del Mal
  • Year: Around 1988
  • Company: Juyba (Spain)
  • Size of the figure: Around 12 cm tall


Thursday, March 24, 2022

#994 MICRO MACHINES – TRAINS SERIES (1989)

MM’s enthusiast mostly collect cars and trucks. Other kind of vehicles are not so popular, including the trains made between 1989 and 1990, but they are very nice collectables, so colourful and beautifully detailed.

I have four complete sets plus a couple of pieces that make incomplete sets. Today I am presenting there:

  • American Passenger

  • Continental Bullet

  • Iron Man No.1

  • Transcontinental Freight

 
All of them from 1989, when the Trains series was started. Each of the sets included 5 pieces, that is one locomotive and four wagons, or two locomotives and three wagons. The first series consisted of 8 collections, exactly the four above plus the same four in repainted versions (and with different names:
  • Lightning Express (sames as American Passenger, but in grey/yellow/white)
  • High Speed Bullet (same as Continental Bullet, but in grey, orange, white)
  • Cannonball No.9 (Same as Iron Man No.1, but in different colours)
  • Western Freight (same as Transcontinental Freight, but in different colours)

Each blister came with 10/12 tracks, which were exactly 8 curves and 2/4 straight tracks, that could be attached to each other forming long rail loops around or through you Micro Machines cities.

In 1990, all train sets were re-released in alternate colours, but without changing the names. Unfortunately, these are very rare to see, as they were only available in some countries and also in low numbers. That same year there were three additional sets with sounds called Power Sound Trains: Steam Train, Passenger Locomotive and Great Plains Diesel. These three are more common than the standard 1990 releases, but still rare. The casts used for these are the same, the paintwork is different, and they produced two sounds when pressing a button located on top of one of the wagons (generally, the biggest one, that also hold a cell battery.

Several playsets were released to be combined with this series, such as 2 different Train Stations, an Engine House, a Trestle (kind of bridge), or the bigger Train Central City (with a big colour playcard, several buildings with Super Micro Light feature and more rails to extend your lines). Some of these included a complete Power Sounds Trains set, others didn’t include any trains.

Noteworthy is the Power Train City, a playset in which the trains could be dragged automatically along the rails with a system that was probably the same used in the different slot tracks released over the years.

There is still a train station, released in 1996 in the “highways and Byways” style with one train set, two cars, tracks and onel building, but the vehicles were previously released (the train is the Transcontinental Freight from 1989).

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Name: Micromachines Trains Collections: American Passenger, Continental Bullet, Iron Man No.1, Transcontinental Freight
  • Scale: unknown.
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Galoob (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 2 cm

Sunday, March 13, 2022

#993 STAR TOYS - DAVID EL GNOMO SEVERAL PLASTIC FIGURES (Around 1986)

 
Following the great success of the TV series, Star Toys released a wide variety of characters in PVC, from which I only own 7 of them. I think there are over thirty figures of David, Lisa and other secondary characters, as well as bigger toys, such as the fox Swift, the four trolls and the three Yetis, the swan, the artic fox, an igloo, the gnome house and several sets of furniture for that home.

 

I do not know exactly how many figures are there, as I could not find any collector claiming the ownership of a complete collection. What I can say, is that these few figures shown here are among the most common ones, while several species or families of gnomes, such as Africans, Arabs, Inuits, musicians… are much rarer to spot. Also some specific versions of David and Lisa are very rare to find. Especially nice is a couple of naked figures that came in the bathroom accessory set box. Or one in which Lisa is feeding two baby-gnomes.

The figures were sold in bags with several figures in them, or probably also as single pieces in certain toy shops and bakeries during 1986 (the series started in October 1985), but it was aired several times more in the following years, so it remained popular during a long number of years. And not only in Spain, the series was sold to other countries where it was equally successful, and the PVC figures can also be found in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy… so I guess Star Toys made good business with this license.


I got mine in a flea market in Austria, they did not cost much, so I decided to get them, even though I had none and I was not very interested in them. But now I love them, and I would like to get more if possible. I am checking the internet to see if some more are available at low prices, and I keep discovering nice figures that I would like to have.

For the time being, I am happy with these 7 figures, all of them representing (I think) David or Lisa in different activities. They are all marked BRB at the back. In my case, the figures are all in a great condition, other used toys present paint loss, especially at the tip of the hut, where their small owners used to chew on them.

FACTS and FIGURES:

  • Name: DAVID EL GNOMO (Several figures and characters)
  • Year: Around 1986
  • Company: Star Toys (Spain)
  • Size of the figures: Around 7 cm
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