Saturday, October 22, 2016

#735 TIN‘S TOYS – CHEVROLET and UNKNOWN MODEL (T.214 and T.225) (Around 1977)

These are two cars that many people will think they have no value at all, while other people will think they are absolutely fascinating. They are two models made by Tin’s Toys in the late 70s and, to my knowledge, they are unique casts, not copied from other companies.
The cars, of course, don’t look very nice, their casts are not very carefully detailed and the proportions seem to be wrong. The plastic parts are also quite rude, but present fantastic and fictional add-ons to otherwise well known car models. These additions are unique to Tin’s Toys, as it happened with the O.S.I. Bisiluro shown in entry #336.

So the two models are:
T.225 MADE IN HONG KONG in red
This one is in my opinion a MONZA G.T. DRAGSTER (a concept car derived from a Chevrolet Corvair), but for some reason it is not marked on the base. The original car had windshield and roof, but this one (considering that it is complete, and not missing any parts) seems to be a Cabrio.

This model I think it is a Chevrolet ASTRO 1, a concept car from 1967, also reproduced (in another scale) by Corgi or Guisval.

  • Name: CHEVROLET and UNKNOWN MODEL (T.214 and T.225)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: Around 1977
  • Company: Tin’s Toys (Hong Kong)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I didn’t have either of these figures as a kid. The Horde Trooper was cool, but I always found it boring, because its appearances in the comic, were to be destroyed by one punch and that was all. I cannot remember any adventure in which the Horde Trooper had any interesting plot behind. Today I appreatiate its design, it is really great, and like many collectors I wouldn’t mind having a few of them. They are currently one of the most expensive figures in the series because people are just buying them over and over again to build armies.

The action feature is that, when hit in the chest, the chest will open and its head will hang down, like it was dead or “deactivated”. At least in my figure, the feature doesn’t work as well as I was expecting, I wouldn’t dare to say it is a design error, but almost.

The accessory is a red staff, which, again, is quite boring, but has a great design.

Snout-Spout is another great figure that spits water a little bit like Kobra Khan, only Kobra Khan would vaporise the water, and Snout-Spout does it in stream-form. The head design is truly great, and it includes the great leg-system without “rubber bridge”. That is why this figure will stay in good shape for a longer time, it won’t get loose legs.

The figure plays the role of some kind of fireman, and maybe for that reason, it came with an axe.

Both figure’s design is 100% exclusive, no parts are reused from other figures and no parts were ever reused to other figures, after all, the MOTU toyline was a goldmine, and they could really afford making these cool figures without reusing casts.

  • Name: SNOUT SPOUT (Ref. 2803) and HORDE TROOPER (Ref. 2549)
  • Toy Line: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (Wave 5)
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 10 cm

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#733 NACORAL S.A. / CHIQUI-CARS – MACO SHARK and PORSCHE 904 (2032 and 2033) (Around 1969)

Finding these two models in such a great condition only happens once in a blue moon. They are really rare models made by Nacoral in Spain. I have talked about this company in several previous articles, so I would recommend you to visit these entries (click here).

Unlike the previous entries, that dealt with cars of 1:43 scale or bigger, this time I also present two cars in 1:64 scale (3 inches). They are two sport cars of the 70s: the Maco Shark (based on a Chevrolet Stingray) and the Porsche 904. Cars in this scale by Nacoral are much rarer than their bigger brothers.

The accuracy of the casts is (in my opinion) worse than the quality of the 1:43 or bigger, these are based on Aurora Cigarbox from the U.S.A, while many of the 1:43 or bigger models are made from casts bought to Polistil or other European manufacturers.

The wheels are very nice, with some silver/chromed painted hubcaps (in the Schuco style) and with nice interiors. The Porsche model still has some stickers, but the Maco Shark probably never carried any.

These models have reference 2032 and 2033, but there were not as many made as that. First I would like to mention that the Chiqui-Car series started as a 1:43 series (see entry #145), including originally plastic models. After some time the models were made die-cast, and the series name changed to Inter-cars. Some models have both plastic and metallic versions, but many others were simply discontinued as new die-cast models were made available.

Why did Nacoral decide then to use the old name “Chiqui-Cars” to the new metallic 1:66 scales series? Proabably because they had the copyright for the name already and that was cheaper than registrating a new name. On top of that “chiqui” has the meaning of something “small”, so, as 1:66 is smaller that 1:43, Chiqui-Cars and Inter-Cars could actually fit very well together. The Chiqui-Cars were also used with some race tracks in the Hot Wheels style, and were advertised as “Pista-matic”, “Pista Rápida Meteoro” or “Pista RR..Rapida” (“Pista RRRápida”). The wheels however are far from the Superfast by Matchbox or the Whizzwheels from Corgi… maybe there were several versions of these Chiqui-Cars wether they were sold with or without track?

So, back to the references, they started in number 2030 and ended in 2035. All references carried an “M” at the end, indicating they were made of metal. So 6 models in total, all copied from foreign makers.

Ref. 2030/M – Chevrolet Camaro
Ref. 2031/M – Ford Mustang
Ref. 2032/M – Mako Shark (in the boxes, Mako is written with “k”)
Ref. 2033/M – Porsche 904
Ref. 2034/M – Pontiac Firebird (cabrio)
Ref. 2035/M - Silhouette

The original Chiqui-Cars series comprised numbers 2000 to 2029 plus two Land Rovers with references 2051 and 2052.
  • Name: MACO SHARK and PORSCHE 904 (2032 and 2033) (CHIQUI-CARS)
  • Scale: 1:66
  • Year: Around 1969
  • Company: Nacoral (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm

Saturday, October 15, 2016


One of the latest books related to toys I have bought is this compilation of all Masters of the Universe (and related toylines) mini-comics.

There is nothing much to say of this huge book (Around 1200 pages). It is just the mini-comics for Masters of the Universe, He-Man, Princess of Power and the newer Masters of the Univevrse toylines put together in one.

Some of the original mini comics are currently very hard to find, and some are sold for over 100 euros, so collecting around 100 titles in one book is something nice in terms of avoiding the investment in all those mini-comics, or if you were already a collector, you can use this book not to spoil the condition of your hard-collected mini-comic series.

The mini-comics are complemented by a series of interviews with pencillers, writers, Mattel staff and various artists. The interviews are nice to get a brief portrait of these people, but they do not bring much light into He-Man or the Masters of the Universe, since nobody saw the success of the toyline coming and none of them ever thought their work would actually survive further than a few years.
Apart from this book, I have my own mini-comic collection. Since they don’t need much space, and selling them won’t make me rich, I decided to keep all variants that I could find. There are mini-comics printed in Hong-Kong, the U.S., Malaysia, Taiwan, Spain… there are versions with only one language, with two or four languages, and some include extra pages with ads from Mattel.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Game Watchs became really popular by the mid 80s. Most kids back then wanted a Casio watch with chronometer, alarm and as many other functions as possible) and then a Game Watch. There was no Game Boy yet, so this was the “top” in electronic games…

Well, not this game in particular, but some made by Nintendo with double screen and most complex controls (up, down, left, right and two buttons). Those were great games, and very expensive at the time. Even today are very sought-for and very expensive to find in good condition.

The toy I am presenting is the cheap alternative to those Nintendo or Casio games. As a kid I had two of them that I will rescue for a future entry. In the first one I had, you had to move a trampoline to avoid that some gymnasts fall and hurt themselves. The second one dealt with basketball players that passed the ball to each other until the ball was thrown to the basket.

This third game was found in a flea market several time ago, as one family that worked as travelling sellers decided to sell some stock that they had from the 80s and the 90s. Every piece costed one euro, so I picked this machine.

Note that the controls are limited to two buttons (left and right) and then you have “Start” and “Game A/B”. The A and the B are usually a difficulty level mark, so, one you master A, you can play a little longer with the B-mode before it becomes too boring. The thing about these games is that they had no-end, so you could play for the infinity, each time faster and with more and more balls, gymnasts or whatever your game was about.

I don’t think this machine has any interest for collectors today, note that it tries to imitate the current arcade machines, in which the screen was usually framed by some figures or illustrations of the game. Back then, the graphics were not very good, so any hand-made illustrations would help the player to go into the story in a much easier way.

This machine comes with a rather poor box (original, though), two instruction sheets: one generic in English, and the translation to Spanish, and one battery, which after 20 years, I’d better take it to a recycling-spot.

And why game-watch? Because on top of the game, the machine had a clock and you could see what time it was. I think some also had an alarm, but not this one.
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Company: Unknown Manufacturer (China)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm long

Sunday, October 9, 2016


There are some Corgi models from the early years that I love for being quite accurate, or for representing rare models that were not made by other manufacturers, but in this case, I love this model for its weirdness.

To my knowledge it is not based on any known model. I have been looking for it thinking it is maybe an “Adams Bros” creation, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. The toy model is often refferred as Adams 4-engined “Drag-star”, although 4-engined is not casted on the base (but maybe on the box or in some promotional catalogue).

If it exists or not, however, is secondary, the design is amazing, no doubt about that, and the finishing by Corgi is also great. I love that red colour that fades into (the base-) orange, the small plastic figure inside the cabin/cockpit, the four lined-up motors that leave some space for the pilot to see between them, the usage of chromed and black parts, the great wheels (think and big behind, small at the front), and the action feature of that rear-bumper that can be triggered from the front. Is it really a bumper? What is the purpose of it? It is also not very important… as I said before, just looking at the car brings happiness to car-lovers and car-fanatics like me.

This model was first released in February 1972, being among the most popular that year. It came with whizzwheels.

I don’t know if you would agree with me, but during the 70s, there were tons of great concept cars and prototypes that caught great attention. This continued during the 80s, but then it disappeared in the 90s. Today there are more and more car manufacturers, but they do make these rare prototypes only in very rare occasions. I guess with the current automation in factories, it would be too costly to design only one unit of some avant-garde car for shows that is really fully-functional (including security aspects, durability and more). Today, they just show some concept art or 3D animations, but back then, you could really go somewhere and see the car yourself.

  • Scale: Approx. 1:43
  • Year: 1972
  • Company: Corgi Toys (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 11 cm
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