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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#788 MAJORETTE – DUNE BUGGY (248, 258 and 232) (1970, 1972 and 1995)


 
The Dune Buggy is one of the longest living models in the history of Majorette. It debutted as early as 1970, and has been in production until the late 90s, maybe even more.



It was surely a cheap car to produce, with lots of plastic parts, and thus, very fragile. It couldn’t compare to the other die-cast models by Majorette, all so robust and resistant.


The car reference number was 248, and appeared in the catalogues in red, with black canopy and flower stickers, in the hippy style, so commont at the late 60 and early 70s. The model was then released in several colours (and colour combinations). There were several wheels used with this model, some of them very original and rarely used in other models.


This first version was eleven years in the catalogue, each year in the following colours, although I think other variants were also available.
  • 1970-72 red with black canopy and flower stickers
  • 1973 red with white canopy and flower stickers (this one is a drawing)
  • 1974-77 or 1978 yellow with white canopy and flower stickers
  • 1977 or 1978-81 Black with red base, yellow canopy and yellow wheels (no “NEW” logo in catalogue, so, probably originally released in 1978)
  • 1982 not present
 
The Dune Buggy was surely a best-seller, so only two years later, Majorette introduced a second Buggy model in its catalogue, with the same name, but with reference 258. This model didn’t live so long, and it was present in the following catalogues:
  • 1972-74 blue with yellow base and white canopy
  • 1973 green with white base and white canopy (this one is a drawing, could not exist)
  • 1974-75 blue with white base and white canopy
  • 1976 not present




Some of them came with canopy, other without, the only difference are two holes behind driver and co-pilot’s seats. This model came without canopy. The canopy models are more difficult to find, or at least complete, since the two bars holding the canopy structure are very fragile, and they are mostly broken.

After the 248 model was discontinued in 1982, it would probably remain in shops for a few years. Interestingly, this number is not reused in a few years. At some point in the 90s, the model is reissued with exactly the same cast, but it does not appear in the catalogues. Again there are many variants made of it, including an exotic version in yellow with translucid chassis and canopy. The new reference is 232. Some people who have this model in a box claim that the model is made in France, althought it is probably only assembled in France with parts from Thailand…

The model has been used in many promotional models, under the MajoPub branch. This adds even more variants (colours, canopies, wheels) to the list.




This last car is missing the canopy, whic was originally white.




As a "bonus", I will put here the pictures of that 1971 catalogue that came with my 248 Dune Buggy.




















FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: DUNE BUGGY (248, 258 and 232)
  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1970, 1972 and 1995
  • Company: Majorette (France)
  • Size: approx. 6 cm
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