Friday, March 31, 2017

#793 BBURAGO – MCA/MIG CENTENAIRE, CHEVROLET CORVETTE ’83 and CHEVROLET CORVETTE ’97 (1994, 1997, 1999)


Three dream cars by Bburago in 1:43 scale. I don’t know any other Centenaire made in small scale, probably because I am not so well informed of die-cast news since the mid 90s. The car is stunning!
The other two are two Corvettes (models from 1983 and 1997), both beautiful, although the green one has been “customized” and its stickers torn.


MCA/MIG Centenaire (Nr. 2083) from 1994 to 1996




Chevrolet Corvette 1983 from 1997 to 2006




Chevrolet Corvette 1997 from 1999 to 2006




These were my last Bburagos. Despite being nice reproductions, I am not buying any more, they are somehow difficult to collect because of the many decorations of each model and due to their scale, they take too much space. I will only keep several cars (currently 3 or 4) that are among my very favorites.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: MCA/MIG CENTENAIRE, CHEVROLET CORVETTE ’83 and CHEVROLET CORVETTE ’97
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1994, 1997 and 1999
  • Company: Bburago (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

#792 SIKU – VOLKSWAGEN KASTENWAGEN (TRANSPORTER III) and MERCEDES 208 (Ref. 1331 and 1918) (1981)


These two bulky vans are an example of typical vans from the early 80s, very rectangular, huge load capacity and not very beautiful. Siku made these two models, which are both from German manufacturers.


A van is a toy that is usually very versatile, since it can be used in several decorations or with slight modifications to look very different from each other. Vans can also be used as promotional toys, just by printing the logo and the name of a company on one side (as it actually happened with these models), and children love opening the rear doors and looking inside, or putting some small item inside.



The two models presented today are in vey good condition.


The first one is the VW Kastenwagen (a.k.a. Transporter, 3rd generation) and was available between 1981 and 1994. It carried number 1331 and was available in many colours and decorations, most notably: skyblue (two shades), red (Coca-Cola), grey, white and green. The same cast was also used in other two references: Radio Van (yellow) and Fire Brigade Van (red) (with a few plastic ad-ons: an aerial and a ladder, respectively).



 

The Mercedes 208 I am presenting was probably part of reference 1918 (Minivan with Trailer) that was available between 1981 and 1988.



Again, the van was available in a single blister in colours silver, bright brown, red, cream white "Holiday Inn" and then in some variations like Schoolbus (orange), Police Van (yellowish green, with plastic horn mounted on roof) and Towtruck (modified cast, various colours).



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: VOLKSWAGEN KASTENWAGEN (TRANSPORTER III) and MERCEDES 208 (Ref. 1331 and 1918)
  • Scale: 1:55
  • Year: 1981
  • Company: Siku (West-Germany)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Saturday, March 25, 2017

#791 HASBRO'S WWF - RICK STEINER, SCOTT STEINER and DOINK THE CLOWN (1994)

 
Unfortunately, I cannot remember watching any of these wrestlers in action, as I have commented several times, by the time they were famous characters in the WWF universe, the show had been cancelled in Spanish TV, so I cannot bring my personal opinion or memories this time.
 
Rick Steiner (Robert Rechsteiner): Rick Steiner is one of my favorite figures from these later years, I like the colouful outfit and the strange beard/moustache that no other Hasbro figure has. The action feature was overused, and thus, less impressive, but still fits well and is always working, so it is a sturdy figure.


Scott Steiner (Scott Carl Rechsteiner): Scott was really the brother of Rick Steiner, but unlikely, the figure is one of the ones I like less. The wrestler is quite generic, the haircut is common to many other wrestling stars, has no distinctive mark or outfit and the action feature is even more boring than the one used for in Rick Steiner. I think this opinion is shared by people in general, based in my experiences from my toy shop.



Doink the Clown (Matt Osborne and others): What a great idea for a character, although probably influenced by Batman´s Joker, the idea of a not-funny clown is in my opinion a good one. He played always the bad guy, but still his outfit, make-up and green wig are truly remarkable. The figure is one of my all-time favorites, being the only one that came with "hair" and a cool pose of the left hand, that should remind you of the jokes and tricks he used to fool his opponents. The action feature is the boring up-down punch, but all the other features makes the figure one of a kind in the Hasbro toyline.




Since wave 11 has already been published completely in different articles (see #53, #265 and #375), the next series of articles dealing with Hasbro´s Official WWF will present the tenth (and last in this blog) of the ordinary series, but I still have a couple of surprises up my sleeve that wrestling fans will really enjoy, so there is still some way to go with this great toyline.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: RICK STEINER, SCOTT STEINER and DOINK THE CLOWN
  • Toy Line: Official WWF (Wave 9)
  • Year: 1994
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 12 cm

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#790 HASBRO'S WWF - HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN #2 and MILLION DOLLAR MAN #3 (1994)

 

The purple series, or series 9 was sold starting in 1994, and, like the later series, was short and kind of "updating" the list of famous wrestlers of the day. I think series 9 sold together with previous and later series, because of its relative short time in the market. Some figures would simply not be manufactured anymore, so a new batch of around 5 figures were added every half a year or so.

The series brough 5 new figures plus the re-issue of Tatanka that had been available in series 6 (see entry #608). Some wrestlers somehow had a second period of great fame, so it was necessary to re-release their figures in order to provide children the chance to play with them in case they didn´t buy it the first time. For wrestlers who were popular during long periods of time, there were several versions (that we call #2, #3 and so on) made, and these were not simple re-releases, but figures based in new designs or at least, new repaints of the old figures. This was not the case of Tatanka, but the other two figures I want to talk about today.


The first one is the #2 Hacksaw Jim Duggan (James Edward "Jim" Duggan Jr.) that came this time in a blue outfit (swimsuit-style) with the American stars and stripes on its back and knee-pads. Unlike #1, that had the 2x4 (two times four) wood bar as an accesory, this figure came with an American flag. In my opinion, Hasbro should have included the 2x4 too. No matter what, the flag is also nice, and what most people don´t know is that the accesory was previously available with another Hasbro product: the Gung-Ho v3 and v4 figures of the G.I.Joe: ARAH toyline, released in 1992 and 1993 respectively. The flag part of the accesory is identical, but the mast is different. In the WWF case, the mast as a round section, that fits the drilled hand of Jim Duggan (this drill was not in #1, see entry #202) and the G.I.Joe accesory´s mast had a more oval section, that fits better in the small G.I.Joe figure´s hands.





The second and last figure today is the third figure of Ted DiBiase or The Million Dollar Man, this time whithout his famous Tuxedo. Compared with the previous two, this figures looks bigger, and more menacing than the previous two, that were kind of small. Although I admit that this figure is more boring, and less remarkable, it has a more appropriate scale, since Ted DiBiase was quite a big man. The figure without accesories (again an error from Hasbro, who should have included a dollar belt) and with the straight punch feature, that is a nice one and had not been used too much in the previous figures.
 


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN #2 and MILLION DOLLAR MAN #3
  • Toy Line: Official WWF (Wave 9)
  • Year: 1994
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 12 cm

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#789 MATCHBOX – RENAULT 5 TL, FORD MODEL A and VOLVO 760 (MB21, MB38 and MB62) (1978, 1979 and 1986)


These three boxed cars are copyrighted in 1981. The box design is the one used during those first years in the 80s, and the one I remember from my very earliest childhood days.

Matchbox cars in boxes are relatively easy to find, since there were so many of them sold over the years, so getting a few boxes is nothing particularly surprising. Trying to get all of them can be a real challenge.


From the three cars that I want to present today, the first one is the Renault 5 TL in its “RALLY LE CAR” decoration. It looks fine in white a green.

This model is copyrighted in 1978, and it is available in several colours, being the most common blue, grey, yellow, white. The blue model was the first one released by Matchbox in 1979, then changed to grey one year earlier, and then, again one year later, it was changed to this decoration here. The white and green version would be replaced two years later by a black one with rally decorations (quite colourful despite the base black). I have never seen the back model, I think it was relaced in the “last-minute” by a white one with the same decoration which is quite common. This would be the last standard release of the R5, available untl 1985 and substituted by the Breakdown van in 1986.


There are other versions that do not appear in the catalogue (the yellow one, for example) and other that do appear, although in another category. For example, there was a second grey version made with “Scrambler” written on the sides. This model seems to have been originally released with a small trailer carrying motorbikes, I am not sure if it was also available in this type of “single” boxes.





The second car is the Volvo 760 that first appeared in the 1986 catalogue, but still as a prototype (“upcoming releases”).
In the catalogue of 1987, we can see this same model I have here, in 1988 it changed from silver to gold, and then to burgundy in 1989. In 1990 the MB62 number is already assigned to another model, curiously a Volvo too, but a Volvo Container Truck.





The third and last model today is kind of special, as you can read in the box, it is a “Special Collectors’ Model” Ford Model A. The cast for this model has been used literally hundreds of times, since its debut in 1983’s catalogue. The first two versions are very well known, the first one is blue and has “Champion Spark Plugs” stickers on the sides, and the second one from 1984 has “Pepsi-Cola” advertisements on the sides. As it happened with other toys I already presented, this Ford A is actually a great item for displaying publicity and making promotional gifts out of it. It is an old car and any brand displayed on it would automatically get a very good image, like having a great tradition behind them and being established since a long time ago.


The story behind the “Special Collectors’ Model” is that Matchbox released many different Ford A’s in very short runs with different colours and brands. This one looks very good in yellow and blue and says: “James Neale & Sons – Limited – Makers of Fire Vehicle Equipment Since 1849”.


Here in matchboxforum there is a thread talking just about variations of this model. Apparently people out there are trying to get all of them, what requires an amazing effort. Those variations also appear is some collector’s guides (unfortunately, I do not have any). I am happy with this model and also with my old Pepsi van, and I do not think I would buy many more of these.


Despite the years that I noted in each paragraph, the copyrights for these vehicles in the bases are: 1978, 1979 and 1986.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: RENAULT 5 TL, FORD MODEL A and VOLVO 760 (MB21, MB38 and MB62)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1978, 1979 and 1986
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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