Friday, June 30, 2017

#826 M.A.S.K. – ARTIC ASSAULT with CALHOUN BURNS (1986)


Here’s another figure set by Kenner for the M.A.S.K. toyline and sold only in Europe. I already wrote about this in entry #314, so this will be a short entry.



The figure is one of the usual characters in the M.A.S.K. storyline, Calhoun Burns. The figure is a repaint of another Calhoun Burns version that was available also in 1986 together with the Chevrolet Corvette C4 known as “Raven”. Even the mask, is the same, only in another colour. The name of the mask is Gulliver, ad its feature is that “pretends to shrink or to enlarge people or objetcs”.



FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: ARTIC ASSAULT with CALHOUN BURNS
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K. (Wave 2)
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 6 cm approx.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

#825 BERLINER – TOLLE AUTOS (Around 1983)


I haven´t seen many Berliner decks. Where I live they are rather rare, I guess in Berlin and in Germany in general they may be more common. The thing is that when I saw this deck, I bought it. Normally I wouldn´t have bought it, since it has no box, and one of the cards is painted on the back, but considering the cars topic, the year in which it was made, it´s small size and that it is rare to see, I bought it. It was cheap, no worry.

There are many quartett decks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with the name “Tolle Autos”, which translates somewhat like “Cool Cars”. It does not say much about the kind of cars that you will find in the cards, because “toll” as “cool” is a very subjective thing.




The 24 cards show a mixture of sports and other we may consider as luxury limos or more common berlinas. Interestingly, the Rolls Royce Camargue on the cover card is not present on any of the cards of the game.

The back of the card is the same for all 24 cards, and shows a series of circles to play Go-Bang, which is a game in which two players have to mark the circles and get 5 in a row. It is curious that Berliner used this design, since if it was ever used, this may spoil the card game, as it actually happened with mine. Maybe this may rise the current value of one of these sets, considering many were spoiled and less remained in good conditions until today.


I haven’t seen this quartett anywhere else, so I could not find any information about the deck. I guess it has to be made around 1983, but just because of the cars that appear in the pictures, I didn’t actually check the release years of every car depicted, but it was probably around that year.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: TOLLE AUTOS
  • Year: Around 1983
  • Company: Berliner (West Germany)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

#824 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE – GRIZZLOR and LEECH (1985)


 
These two figures are two of the most recognizable and unique figures in the whole toyline. They are simply different to the rest of the figures. Grizzlor was the only furry figure made and Leech was probably the biggest and bulkier one (besides the Giants Tytus and Megator). I had the first one, and I can remember wanting to have the second, but I never got it.

I now have both, and I took them out for a dio-photo session. This could be Leech´s hideout.


Grizzlor is some furry beast, probably inspired by a bear, although with some distinctive features like fangs and red eyes. The figure came with a yellow harness displaying Hordak´s bat in red and a green crossbow, as many other Horde members had.

The figure in the pictures is the one I keep since my childhood. The hair is not so nice anymore, I got other Grizzlors in much better shape, but I traded or sold them, keeping only the one I have since the 80s.


There is rare version out there where the face of the beast is much darker, so this variant is called black-face Grizzlor. I do not have this yet, but if I ever have the chance to get it, I definitely will!
This normal version is relatively easy and cheap to find, as the rest of the figures form 1985, that were sold massively worldwide. The accessories are not difficutl to find either, so all in all, it is an affordable figure.

Unfortunately, Grizzlor had no action feature besides its furry skin. Maybe somebody had expected something more on top of that.


Leech´s feature is one of the greatest ever, although during the play it was difficult to use. Thanks to that round plastic mouth, you could attach it to some flat surface (like a window) and fix it by pushing a button in its back. The figure has an air pump inside that makes vacuum in the mouth. The air pump is probably the reason for the big size of the figure.


I like the especially designed limbs for this figure, all end with sucking pumps instead of hands and feet. The figure also had at least one variant in wich the black armband is red, and also another variant in which the figure was packaged with a brighter red crossbow (see pictures). I am still looking for the alternative armband figure, I will buy it when I have the chance.


Having so many plastic parts, Leech is a figure that won´t stand many more years. In some figures I have seen over the years, the plastic in its mouth and probably the air pump inside may harden and then break.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: GRIZZLOR and LEECH
  • Toy Line: Masters of the Universe (Wave 4)
  • Year: 1985
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#823 GUISVAL – MORRIS MG 1100 and SEAT 850 COUPÉ (No. 28 and 32) (1967)


These two are probably the most valuable Guisval cars I have. I do not have many from the very first years with their boxes, just these two and 3 or 4 more. These two casts were in the very first Guisval catalogue including die-cast metal cars from 1967.




The Seat 850 was already presented in one very early entry I wrote for this blog (#23). The car presented then had slightly different wheels. That white Seat is the same that appears in the new pictures, for comparison purposes.








It is interesting to mention that in the very first boxes, the cars where fixed with some kind of double-sided sellotape, as you can see in this picture below. With the time, that sticky band has degraded and has turned to some kind of dusty stripe. This method was probably not very effective, so it was soon replaced by two pegs that would fit the base of the car. There is another picture above comparing the two Seats 850. The yellow one has no holes in the base, the white one has.


The MG 1100 has a practicable bonnet, which is a bit fragile, and the Seat has practicable doors. At the time is was not so uncommon for 3 inches cars to have this quality features, that later would be disappearing gradually.

FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: Morris MG 1100 (Nr. 28) and Seat 850 Coupé (Nr. 32)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1967
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

Monday, June 19, 2017

#822 LA DIBUPEDIA DE LOS 90 (JOSÉ GUERRERO)


I presented more tan one year ago a book that included all cartoons shown in the Spanish Television (and local channels) during the 80s. Now, there is a second part to that book with the cartoons from the 90s.

This new book by Jose Guerrero includes many more references than the previous one, because in the early 90s, two new national channels started together with the regional TVs, all of which offered children’s programmes especially during the weekends and in the mornings. As a result, this is a much more ambitious work.


There are also some improvements, like a better quality of the book binding, an index, several interviews with people related to the cartoon industry in Spain, and the book is so beautiful and so cool to read thanks to a very colourful and graphical layout.

I think this book is a must for nostalgics and also for people interested in the history of TV. Note that the 90s were a great time for anime, the first computer generated series, the start for private channels (you had to pay for them), cable TV and many different types of cartoons, while old style animation was still being produced.

I think this small, handy encyclopedia won’t be outdone in a very long long time.

The book was published thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, and there are only very few units left (overproduction). They can be found at ebay, but only for a very limited time. The keyring below was one of the crowdfunding rewards.

Friday, June 16, 2017

#821 DINKY TOYS – VOLKSWAGEN DE LUXE (1972)


Dinky Toys released the Volkswagen 1300 Sedan in 1965 with reference 129. The car was plenty of detail, had practicable parts, two-part wheels with metallic hubcaps and plastic tyres.


After several years selling it, in 1972, the model was update with plastic “superfast-type” wheels, and it kept selling for a few years more (unitl 1976). There are two versions with plastic wheels, being this one the newer one. That is the model I present here today.


The box in which it was sold was also modified. The original one is the classic yellow base and transparent cover, while the newer model came in the box with black base and transparent stretched cover.


Almost all models I have seen of this are painted blue, but other rarer colour exist.

The model still has all practicable parts, jewel headlights and nice details, like the license plate stickers, but it is not so nice anymore. However, being an iconic model of th history of automotion, it is a nice collectible.




FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: VOLKSWAGEN 1300 SEDAN/ VOLKSWAGEN DE LUXE (Nr. 32)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1972
  • Company: Dinky Toys (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#820 CRAGSTAN/ GAMDA KOOR – CHEVELLE STATION (DETROIT SENIORS SR) No.8100 (Around 1970)


Cragstan is a toymaker from the United States that produced toys in the post-WW2 Japan. It is still unclear if the company was based in the US or in Japan, but the fact is that Cragstan toys are maed in Japan, and were intended mostly for importing then to the US.


Cragstan also had an Israeli company to produce die-cast cars for them, and this company was Gamda Koor (a.k.a. Sabra).


Gamda apparently started in 1962 recasting toys from the British company D.C.M.T. (Lone Star Toys). Koor, was a separate brand owned by the Israeli Trade Union, joined Gamda creating Gamda-Koor in 1966. Among their early production, there was a line of American Cars in 1:43 scale called Super Sabra Cars intended for export. The series comprised 24 models between 1969 and 1972, and they were numbered 8100 to 8123, although many of them were available in stock, police, ambulance, taxi or other decorations.

Some of these models were decorated with decals referring to Israeli Army, national hospitals, national ministries,… or even the United Nations logo, but these were intended only for the internal market.



The same Super Sabra Cars models for the international market were sold rebranded as Cragstan in boxes that remind of the American flag, and renamed to Detroir Seniors (in the plastic chromed bases they were marked Detroit SR). With a budget price 1.49 US$, Cragstan wanted to compete against other more traditional brands like Corgi Toys and Dinky in the U.S.A.

The only two cars I own by Cragstan and also the only two Israeli cars I have are the two I am showing here, which are the same in two different decorations.

The Chevelle Station represents thee model from 1964 to 1967 in its station wagon version. It is a beautiful car not only in its standard sedan version, but also this is rare one.


I date it 1970, because the Super Sabra Cars were in production between 1969 and 1972, and it is unclear if the Cragstan rebranding happened straigtaway in 1969 or more probably a bit later.


FACTS AND FIGURES
  • Name: CHEVELLE STATION DETROIT SENIORS (No. 8100)
  • Scale: Aprox. 1:43
  • Year: 1970
  • Company: Gamda-Koor for Cragstan (Israel/ U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. Around 10cm
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