Sunday, August 30, 2015


The Lamborghini Countach, in any of its versions, is one of the most iconic cars of the 80s. Almost every important die-cast manufacturer has made it in one scale or the other. Also has Bburago, which had impressive reproduction in bigger scales.

But in this case, we are focusing in the 1:43 models. I own two of them, the first one in White and the second one in red.

The White model was produced between 1988 and 1990, and this version in particular, with that decoration has refence number 4137. It is a Countach 5000 S.

Because the car is amazing, it has been in production as a toy during many many years. The red model is much more modern as we can tell from the wheels. Even the base has changed. The red model’s base is much more elaborated and include the Lamborghini name in its original font.

  • Name: LAMBORGHINI COUNTACH 5000 S (Nr. 4137)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Bburago (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 8 cm

Friday, August 28, 2015

#583 G.I. JOE - ASTRO-VIPER and TOXO-VIPER (1988)


This topic was discussed very intensely in the Spanish G.I.Joe Message Boards "Casa Slaughter", but now this site has disappeared.
The chewing gum could be bought in sweet shops and bakeries for 5 pesetas each (0,03 Eur). There was only one flavour: strawberry and each chewing gum included one sticker. It was wrapped in a pink paper decorated with some figures based on blistercard illustrations.
Those stickers could be collected in a paper album that had roughly the size of a sheet of paper, and could be bent in two, resulting a small booklet with cover, interior (2 pages) and backcover. The album was, of course, free, and most children had a few of them. I had 6 or 7.

The 39 stickers had to be sticked on the inside pages. These were the 36 figures available that year, plus three stickers with the emblems of G.I. Joe, Cupra (the Spanish Cobra) and Tiger Force. Each sticker represented the toy figure equipped with all weapons, and had a characteristic background colour depending on the faction: blue for G.I. Joe, grey for Cobra and orange/yellow for Tiger Force.

In case you got to complete the album, you were promised a big prize. For one album you could choose two figures (theoretically one good guy and one bad guy) and for two albums you could choose one out of three big vehicles: the Tomahawk, the Phantom X-19 or the Rolling Thunder.

That was of course an almost impossible task. Despite buying chewing gums by dozens, there was a sticker that was really difficult to obtain: Toxo-Viper. During many years I thought that this sticker did never exist. The chewing gums were a big success, but I never met anybody who got this particular sticker. Years later, on the internet, I met a guy who said that he completed one album and received two figures. I do not doubt this is true. According to what he told me, he found the sticker somewhere on the street, completed the album, sent it, and got two random figures, not the ones he asked for, and not even a G.I.Joe and a Cobra, but two Cobras.

Toxo-Viper obsessed many kids back in 1990 (in Spain the American figures from 1988 came later), everybody looking for that sticker. Me too, and finally, I bought the figure in rage. The figure is simple, has plain colours, and also simple accesories. The best of Toxo-Viper for me are the concept for the figure and the helmet, which has an amazing design. The backpack has at the side two containers which are sometimes broken and the gun has a peg for the cable that is also fragile. Otherwise it is a rough figure.

The second figure presented today is Astro-Viper. This figure was also in the album, but the sticker could be found normally. Although both figures were released in the U.S. in 1988, Astro-Víbora belonged to the 2nd Spanish series (1989, but was also available the following wave in 1990) and Toxo-Víbora to the 3rd series (1990). This figure also has an amazing helmet and a cool backpack. The backpack has 5 parts: main body, two arms/control handles and two lasers. The two lasers are very fragile, and are almost always broken. The peg to insert it in the main part is too fragile. The colour scheme is also amazing in my opinion.

Watch out! Joe's laser artillery!

As a bonus I include here the spanish filecard for Toxo-Viper and another one (I think its Norweigan or Swedish) for Astro Viper.

  • Toy Line: G.I. Joe (Wave 7)
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 9,5 cm (3 3/4'')

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


MC Toy reproduced a lot of different models by Ford. Here are the four oldest and most interesting ones:

Ford Escort 1,6i (Ref. 8449) - I have the impression that this model is among the rarest MC Toys made. I haven´t seen it very often, but it is a nice reproduction. With so many versions of the Escort, both in Europe and the US, I am not sure which car does it represent, I think it is the European version.

Ford Sierra XR4Ti (Ref. 8441) - One of the features that MC Toy adopted very soon was the colour change with temperature. Many models from the common series were repainted and redecorated with this type of paint. The first version of the Ford Sierra by MC Toy was red, and the temperatur-changing version is either pink or white. Pink in normal temperature, white after coming out of the fridge.

Ford Granada 2.8 GL Mk II (Ref. 8451) - This car was already a bit old when it was reproduced, and represents the Mark II European version. The MC Toy model is very well done, and the colour blue suits it very nicely, I don´t like the black decoration, it would have been better without it.

UPDATE (May/2020): This car was incorrectly identified as a Toyota Hilux SR5 in entry #434, when it is a Ford F-150 Flareside [Ref. 8739] I move the following text from that entry to this entry. Thanks to MetalPower for pointing it out.


This model was equipped with a different type of wheels made only for a few models. It also has some fragile plastic parts behind the cabin, that are sometimes missing.

  • Name: FORD ESCORT 1,6i (Ref. 8449), GRANADA (Ref. 8451), SIERRA XR4Ti (Ref. 8441) and FORD F-150 FLARESIDE (Ref. 8739)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: The two first digits in the reference number indicates the year of design and manufacture, so: 1984.
  • Company: MC Toy (U.S.A./ Macau)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Lone Star has two Roadmasters series. The first and oldest one, spelled Road-Masters started in 1956 and was made in 1:43 scale, like their competitors from Corgi and Dinky. During those first years, the models by Lone Star were not very well detailed. In the early 60s, models started having windows but not interiors, that would be available first by the end of the 60s. Head and tail lights were painted silver or red. Wheels were two parts, including aluminium hubcaps and rubber tyres.

In 1966 the Impy series was introduced. This series had a fixed size of 3,5 inches, that is, very similar to the Matchbox 1-75 series. The Road-Masters were discontinued, but this new series was called Roadmasters Impy. Here's a flyer with the first 12 models ever reeased in this series.
The Impy models were advertised as the "cars with everything": a lot of practicable parts, steering, jewelled headlights. They were the first toy producer to adapt the thin, low-friction wheels introduced by Hot Wheels, less than one year after Mattel (Mattel: 1967, Lone Star: 1968). Models equipped with these wheels were repackaged to the "Flyer" series.
The packaging was similar to the one used by competitors Corgi and Dinky, although afer a few years, the introduced the boxes with plastic Windows. The boxes of the Impy series displayed a baby devil.
In the U.S.A., the Impy series was sold as "Mini-Cars" in blisters packaged by Physio-Chem, a toy company that usually distributed in the United States toys made in other countries.
To finish this entry, I would like to publish here the images of a catalogue that I found on the blog DieCast Chile, which is a very nice blog in Spanish that shows die-cast models from different manufacturers. This catalogue was found here: Note that the cover car is actually the same I am presenting here, with the original rubber wheels instead of the "flyer" wheels.

  • Name: VOLVO 1800S (Nr. 19)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1968
  • Company: Lone Star (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 8,5 cm
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