Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#749 GUISVAL – FANAL/ DISPLAY COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN and SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS (Around 1990)

 
These are two displays from the very early 90s by Guisval, as the cars were still made in Spain. I have talked about these display items many times over the entries dedicated to Guisval, but these are the first I actually buy. I got them through a friend who saw them in a shop. For that year, the models included are quite old-fashioned, and include casts that were already used in the early 80s.
 
 
The first of the two is a "campeón" collection, that is the 3 inches, ordinary collection by Guisval. It contains 24 cars, in plastic blisters, many of them are double, triple or even cuadruple. Note that interestingly, the bottom three come in slightly bigger blisters, because they are bigger models (vans and pick-ups). The yellow display should have some cardboard decoration on both upper sides, but they are lost, or maybe removed if the cars were originally placed in another display and the picture did not fit the cars anymore.
 
The cars from these years suffer from metal-fatigue or zamak pest and sometimes are found broken, even if mint in box. This is the case of the pick up at the bottom, center column or the second car in the center column (a golden Seat Ronda).
 
All cars come with rally stickers, and with either 4 spoke wheels or 8 point wheels, which are two of the latest wheel models used by Guisval.
 
The models are (by row and column)
  • Opel Kadett (Vauxhall Astra) - Matra Simca Bagheera - Ford Sierra
  • Porsche 928 - Seat Ronda - Matra Simca Bagheera
  • Matra Simca Bagueera - Renault 11 - Peugeot 205
  • BMW 323i - Renault 21 Nevada - Citroën BX
  • Opel Corsa - Ford Sierra - Seat Ronda
  • Seat Ronda - Mercedes 190 - BMW 323i
  • Ford Sierra - Opel Kadett - Ford Sierra
  • Renault Espace - Toyota Hilux - Renault Espace


The second display has a bunch of trucks (either Volvo or Magirus Deutz) together with one Jeep Willis, one Land Rover, several pickups (Toyota Hilux and Datsun), two Renault Espace and a camper van. I love this set, because most of these vehicles came with plastic accesories like canopies, tow hooks, or construction items and these are usually lost in played toys. It is diffcult to get some of them complete.
 
 
 
Here, the wheel mixture is more complex, because we find the 4-spoke wheel and the typical “truck wheel” (small circle surrounded by 5 points and big circle), together with the classic wheel used in the Jeep Willis.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: 2 FANALES/ DISPLAYS COLECCIÓN CAMPEÓN AND SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS
  • Scale: Cars around 1:64, trucks around 1:100
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm each

Monday, November 28, 2016

#748 HOT WHEELS!/ LIONEL TRAINS INC – 3 FLIPPERS/ REVOLVER MODELS (1990)


I was surprised to see that there is almost no information about these toys on the internet. I have seen a few message boards were people look for them, and, althouhg many people remember them, almost nobody seems to know what their name was. They are called “Flippers”.

Flippers because you can flip them and then you have a completely different model, kind of a car with two sides.


You can see several characteristics that made this cars very recognisable: they are quite flat, the have big wheels, and they are made of metal except the central part, which is made of plastic. This part moves up or down, depending on which side of the car is up. Another characteristics are the bright colours with appealing tampographies (very in the 90s fashion) and being fictitious cars, or at least, no accurate reproductions of any known car. I guess it is very difficult to make a car look like a real one when you have such “flat” constraints.

They were sold in reversible blister packs (a blister pack that could be hang either upside-down or downside-up, with two "hooks") and there were even some sub-series in which the car could also emit sounds "Flashmagic", like Majorette´s Sonic Flashers. There are different cardbacks. In one of them, there are 8 models/ references depicted (4 really, but with 2 ecorations each). I think there were only three "flashmagic" made, and they had references: 8862, 8870 and 8871.

There were even some speed tracks especially designed for the Flippers.

Interestingly enough, the card is written in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish, and the addresses are from Mattel in the U.K., France, Belgium, West-Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain… researching a little bit, I found out, that these cars were never available in the U.S., but they somehow made their way to South and Central America (at least some countries).

They are not marked at all with "Hot Wheels!", "Mattel", but with “© L.T.I.”, so they are quite difficult to identify if you did miss their release in the early 90s. The hint again is on the backcard, where we can read:
“Mattel, Inc. Manufactured and sold under license. © 1990 Lionel Trains, Inc.
Made in China. Produced by Chief Industrial, Co. All rights reserved”

That means, that the real designer and maker of these toys is Lionel Trains Inc. (Hong-Kong), not Mattel. Therefore L.T.I. Mattel probably and simply found the models very good and decided to get a license for them for Europe.

The original cars by Lionel trains were called “Revolvers”, and were available in the US (Note the address from Michigan in the card front). They were also licensed to another toy company named Irwin for (at least) the Canadian market. Since the product was already available in the U.S., we have a reason why they were not sold under the HotWheels! Brand.

The interesting thing is that Lionel Trains also had 8 models (actually 4 in two decorations each), the same ones that later released Hot Wheels. Still there are some cards which are not in any of the next cardbacks, so I guess Hot Wheels maybe made a second batch of cars with new decorations, or maybe was it Lionel Trains?

These are the 8 Hot Wheels models, carrying references: 6001 to 6004 and 6007 to 6010. I wonder if the two missing references 6005 and 6006 are the two I have…

Picture taken from ebay.co.uk

This is another picture of a Hot Wheels Flashmagic cardback.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

These are the 8 Lionel Trains models. The second starting from above is the one I am showing in the the pictures: The yellow side is called “Dirt Shifter” and the black/purple side is called “Turnin’ Burner”.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

I remember their commercial, and that they had a certain popularity back then. I have had these toys in my hands for many years, although I never owned any. It has been only recently, that I got my first three (or I should say six?)

They went as they came, and the line has been long forgotten. I just expect that this blog entry wakes up some memories in people who had them or collectors from the US who are looking information about them now on google.



This series was copied by another (currently unknown) toycompany, see one knock-off here: http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2017/01/768-unknown-manufacturer-hot-wheels.html
 
UPDATE 1 (May/2017) New model acquired, same cast as yellow/purple car in the pictures above.
 
 
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: 3 HOT WHEELS! FLIPPERS/ LION'S TRAINS INC. REVOLVERS MODELS
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Mattel/ Lionel Trains Inc. (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Friday, November 25, 2016

#747 MIRA - PEGASO TRANSPORTE INTERNACIONAL (Ref. 69) (1976)





The most renowned series by Mira is probably the Pegaso truck series made in the late 70s and continued during the early 80s. This included one truck in long (first) and (then) short version, and with every possible trailers: cargoes, cranes, tankers, fire brigade with ladder, big wine casks, military...

For me, the great success, is that they decided to make them in 1:64 scale, and thus, compatible with most toy cars that are very common among children. Think that most toy trucks were made with the same size as cars, to be sold for the same price, so, even as a kid, I looked at trucks and thought they were too small compared with the rest of the collection. With the Pegasos by Mira you wouldn’t have such a problem, they had the same scale.


I think it was around 1976 that the first models were released, there were long (4 axles) or articulated trucks with long trailers. Some (like this one) also included an additional trailer to be towed by the first trailer. As said before, all truck were the same pegaso model and the colour varied from one model to the next. A Bus was also released within this series, but only a few references were made of it.

Most accurately, there were 36 references. 4 of them were buses, 8 were "double" (with additional trailer), 5 of them were chromed (including one "double" and one bus), and the rest were all long trucks (either 4 axles or 2 axles plus 2-axled trailer).



The next year 1978, and using as a base the articulated version of the Pegaso, several new loads were created and attached to the base truck, creating 26 "short versions" with, again, many different decorations. These were sold without trailers and they were surely much cheaper. There were other large model issues, including a modern not-articulated tanker, a cement mixer and others.

Several references were sold during many years, until the mid 80s, and are available with different types of wheels, among other minor details. Over the years, some trucks were designed with a peg on the roof to attach a plastic spoiler, and the decals were replaced by stickers. The cast, however, remained untouched.


They are very sough-for in Spain and they can be quite costly to buy, apart from difficult to find. There are people who collect only these Pegaso trucks, and they have amazing collections.

In this case I am presenting one of the largest models that could be bought at the time, a "mudanzas" (move away?) truck. I have other 2, that I will present some other time.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: PEGASO TRANSPORTE INTERNACIONAL (Ref. 69)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1977
  • Company: Mira (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 11 cm + 8 cm trailer

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#746 M.A.S.K. - FIREFLY with JULIO LOPEZ/ STREAMER (1986)


In the second series, M.A.S.K. issued 8 more vehicles, more or less the same number than in the first wave, including new types of vehicles, which were chosen probably for being as different from the ones in the first wave as possible.


An so we got a dune buggy. This type of car was somehow popular in the 80s, with some dirt races and circuits in the U.S. and other countries. I remember watching some races on TV. I haven't seen them for years, wo I guess, they are not celebrated anymore. Buggys are today almost forgotten, probably because of security issues, since they seem to be very dangerous cars.


Despite that, I love the Firefly, a Buggy that transforms into a jet. The buggy itself has every detail: from the side mirrors to the exhaust pipes, the front spoiler, the not-round steering wheel... it looks awesome.


The jet is somehow more strange, but it still looks like some flying thing with huge turbines behind, long wings and several small guns.





Behind the pilot seat, there is a compartment that hosts a bomb. In flight modus, it can be dropped off by pushing one lever on the top of the vehicle. Anything that is designed to be dropped off gets lost easily, so it was a great luck to find one of these. Now I can show this vehicle 100% complete (well, almost, one of the wing guns has a broken tip).

The figure that comes with the vehicle is Julio Lopez, a new character with hispanic roots. Most toylines, after the initial success tried to present characters from ethnic minorities or other nationalities, and M.A.S.K. is a ood example. This is a great chance to enter foreign markets, mostly in Europe or South America.

Taken from a German M.A.S.K. Comic Book

The mask is Streamer, and, as most masks in the series, is not "mortal". This one pretends to release super-tack glue.
 


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: FIREFLY with JULIO LOPEZ/ STREAMER
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K. (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the vehicle: Around 6'' or 15 cm
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Saturday, November 19, 2016

#745 ANGUPLAS/ MINI CARS - SEAT 1400 (Nr. 2) (1958)

 
I wanted to write an article about this brand, but when looking for information about them, I have found that the guys from 87thscale have already summarized a short history of the company and a complete list of references, with the help of Juan Mauri Cruz, one of the most important collectors of this brand worldwide. He has also written a comprehensive book (over 400 pages) about the company that is being sold in very few places for around 42 Euros.
 
The most interesting part of the history of Anguplas is its relation with Norev. Angupas made ome models for Norev, assembled others and sold Norev's in Spain. It is interesting to find some "mini-cars" made in France and some Norev madein Spain, although not every model had both versions. There were even sets that combined one truck from one maker and a trailer from the other one.
 
 
From the very few models I own by Anguplas, this one has the lowest reference number (nr.2) and is the oldest of them. It is made in greyish blue and, as you can see, has a few details painted in other colours. Red lights, silver base,  silber bumpers and silver front grill. The model has a very good detail level for its small size and has even windows.
 
Apparently, Anguplas made each car in several colours, so many collectors are just looking for all possible variations. This is quite a difficult task to achieve.
 
 
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SEAT 1400 (Nr. 2)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:87 (H0)
  • Year: 1958
  • Company: Anguplas/ Mini-Cars (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 4 cm

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#744 UNKNOWN MANUFACTURER - BASKET FEVER PVC FIGURES (1993)


This plastic figures were made in 1992 and are marked (C) D´Ocon 1992. Interestingly, there is no manufacturer marking on the back of the figures and collectors in Spain argue if the manufacturer was Comics Spain or not. The figures are identical to these: same plastic, same paint, similar design, but the company in 1992 has some economic problems as I explained in entry #267. This would make some sense if they did this figures using a second company in order to cash the money and avoid paying other debts. One detail here is that in 1997, together with Comics Spain there were other two companies that were precincted and closed.
Curiously, that same year it would be another D'Ocon production (Delfy) that would cause the end of Comics Spain.
It will probably take a few years more until we find somebody involved in the casting or manufacturing of these figures and we know the rest of the story. No matter what, the figures  are really great and represent characters from the Spanish cartoon series "Basket Fever" or "Locos por el Basket".
This series was produced by the Public Spanish TV (TVE), the ACB League (professional basketball league) and the Spanish Basketball Federation to promote basketball and sports among children. The main character, a grasshopper was also the official mascot of the ACB league.
Charlie and Hooper


The cartoons´ script dealt with two rival gangs who instead of fighting decide to play sports for the control of the block. One of the gangs is formed by respectable, nice and kind dogs, and the other one are crook and troublemaker dogs. The grasshopper arrives and joins the first group, and will have the idea to play basketball with the rival gang.
Linda


The good guys gang is called "dinamics". Although in the original series there were more characters, these are the ones made in PVC:
-Mike (a.k.a. Boss): Gang Leader
-Linda: Gang member
-Hooper: The grasshopper, newest member of the gang
-Sargent: Trainer (I do not have the figure yet!)
The bad guys gang is called "quebrantahuesos". This name literally means "the bonecrushers", but it is also the common name in Spanish for the bearded Vulture, a bird that can be found in many places around Spain.
-Charlie (a.k.a. Kilo): Gang Leader
-Yvonne: Gang member and Charlie´s girlfriend
-Rapper: Gang member
-O'Rejas: Trainer
Boss and Ivonne


Unfortunately, there are other characters that do not got their figure. In the dinamics gang: Freddie (a.k.a. Krueger) and Plasta, and for the Quebrantahuesos team: Paccino and the Destroyer. With these figures we would have 2 five member teams and two trainers, and thus we could have played 5 on 5 basketball games.
Rapper and O'Rejas


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: HOOPER, BOSS, LINDA, CHARLIE, YVONNE, RAPPER and O'REJAS.
  • Year: 1992
  • Company: Unknown Manufacturer, maybe Comics Spain (Spain)
  • Size of the figures: Around 7 cm (between  2’’ and 3’’)
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