Sunday, September 24, 2017


Another big brand that tried to follow the Micro-trend started by Galoob in 1987 was Mattel´s Hot Wheels!. I would say this Planet Micro series came too late, and would have done much better in terms of sales and popularity if it had been released before, in the late 80s.

HotWheels probably thought they could start their own line of micro cars, in a larger scale than Micro Machines (see Mini AutoMagic / Micro Color Racers, #), but unfortunately, it didn´t worked, and there were only a few dozens of models made. Years later, Hot Wheels decided not to innovate and release cars in a compatible scale/size, in similar packaging, similar price category, and grouping cars by some common characteristica.

The result are very nice models with metal base and plastic bodies looking absolutely great. One difference is that Mattel decided to present the models in some kind of customized plastic base (or "Micro Scape") related to the theme of the car series. In this case, all cars are attached to stands, like it was a car fair or something like that. This "feature" was only available for the first sets, later, the model were simply attached to the cardboard interior, just like Micro Machines.

Among all collections, this was probably one of the bestsellers, since it has so cool cars, all in one package:
  • Ferrari F50 (red)
  • Jaguar XK Cabrio (green)
  • Porsche Boxter Cabrio (white)
  • Mercedes SLK Cabrio (orange)
  • BMW Z3 Cabrio (silver)

  • Scale: 1:150 aprox.
  • Year: 1997
  • Company: Hot Wheels! - Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 2 cm

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The DeTomaso Mangusta is another example of Nacoral´s Intercars series. The 1:43 model is well casted, but still inferior to Corgi Toys, Polistil or even Pilen models in the same scale.

It has the same problem than many other Intercars, and it that the plastic compound used for the hubs degradates and the wheels do not look nice anymore. There was a previous wheel model in metal and rubber tyre that does not present thei problem, as well as a later "superfast" type wheel (1 piece, in hard plastic) that also looks good almost 50 years later, but, of course, esthetically is not comparable to the first version. This second wheel type looked great originally, depending on your personal taste, even better than the first metal and rubber model, but they unfortunately have this flaw. Some old Guisvals also had this problem, and the wheels, when in touch with the plastic box, they tend to glue and merge with the box.

Despite this small flaw, I decided to buy it because it came in its original box, and this is always a plus. The box is a rather classic cardboard box with window and long back flap. The colours used are orange and blue, similar to the orange and green used in the Chiqui-Cars. The box has not a very aleborated design, and has no pictures or artwork, just letters and logos. The inside is interesting, since the name of the car is printed in the upper side of the window.

  • Name: DETOMASO MANGUSTA (Ref. 106)
  • Scale: 1:43
  • Year: 1971
  • Company: Nacoral (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 10 cm

Monday, September 18, 2017


The Diplodocus is one of the biggest dinosaurs on the first wave. Tyco promoted this toyline saying the dinosaurs were realistically made in the correct scale, but I actually doubt it. The Triceratops or the Torosaurus are (quite) as big as the Diplodocus, and compared with the Deynonichus or the flying sauria, I would say something is not fitting.

No matter what, the Diplodocus was presented as the second biggest dinosaur of wave 1 (only the T-Rex was bigger), and the biggest dinosaur of the Valorians, the one that came with Questar, the heroic leader and Mind-Zei, the elder and wise Valorian. There was a third figure included, named Aries (this character did not have any elaborated background in the cartoons). Besides this dinosaur, only the T-Rex and the Brontosaurus came with 3 figures.

The Diplodocus had walking function and also moved the neck from side to side. It was operated by one battery located at the stomach of the dinosaur.

The armour is one of the most impressive ones, with two huge compartments at the sides, each of them opening with six doors that reveal a big number of cannons and one controller seat where 1 figure can seat or stand. There is a pilot cabin behind the neck, which is articulated, but after some usage, it does not stand anymore in any position you like, and the cabin does not close as it should. There is place for one figure there. Remember that the valorians can communicate telepathically with the dinosaurs by using the AMP, so there is no need for controls other than for the cannons and weaponry.

Finally, there are four more accesories, two of them are placed on the neck of dinosaur and two more on the tail, and in my opinion, these are great add-ons! The dinosaur looks pretty amazing with them.

As usual the figures included one rack of accesories, in this case the grey ones corresponding to the first wave. Three figures, three sets.

  • Toy Line: Dino-Riders (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1988
  • Company: Tyco (U.S.A.)
  • Scale of the dinosaur: 1:24
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

Friday, September 15, 2017

#853 GUISVAL - TRASPORTE NASA and TRANSPORTE REGATAS (07007 and 07009) (Around 1987)

We already know the TIR series. Among the different references made for it, there seems to be two types of trailers, some are smaller, other are slightly bigger. The trucks are the same two models always (both American models, never seen in Europe, or at least in Spain). In the first entry, I showed three models I keep since I was very young, and this time I will present two more acquired in the last couple of years.

Like the rest of TIR models, these were available either in jewel boxes, blistercards or loose in nice displays.

Note that the TIR series was available during several years and has two types of wheels at least. The first one is the one used by the car transporter (see previous link), while the one from this NASA truck is the second, more modern version. I guess there were first released in the early 80s and later extended with four more references in the late 80s, maybe 1987.

In the last years of Guisval, another series of trucks with long trailers was launched, but in this case, the trucks are much more modern and "european" and the wheels are completely different, but some of the loads carried in the trailers are the same used in the past. References bleonging to the new series also started with 07xxx.

As a reminder and for the sake of completeness, I copy a list of all classic TIR references:

  • 07001 - Trailer Container
  • 07002 - Trailer Dumper
  • 07003 - Trailer Bomberos
  • 07004 - Tanque Combustible
  • 07005 - Transporte Animales
  • 07006 - Transporte Coches
According to the catalogue, these references also exist (or not!) - Series extension?
  • 07007 - Transporte NASA
  • 07008 - Grua Telescópica
  • 07009 -
  • 07010 - Transporte Bulldozer
  • 07011
  • 07012 - Trasnporte Regatas
But the fact is that, the same model can have two references, note for example, the box "Transporte Regatas" wih number 07009, shown in this entry (instead of 07012) or other models seen at eBay whose numbers do not match those of the catalogues.

  • Name: TRASPORTE NASA and TRANSPORTE REGATAS  (07007 and 07009)
  • Scale: 1:87 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1987
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 16 cm (with trailer)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


The early 90s saw an explosion of toys with this thermal-paint that changed colour if put in the fridge. Many toys from Asia had this feature, and among these, many were low budget toys, so I assume it was not much more expensive than normal paint.

Matchbox's Catalogue 1989

Matchbox was no exception in the die-cast world, and released a short but intesting line of colour changing cars in the popular 3 inches, "superfast", series. The models released within this series are not new casts, they are all known from the previous years.

I guess they must be a bit rarer than the normal series. Taking a look at the catalogues, I see they were available for not very long, they only appear in 1989 catalogue.

I own only these two: the Ferrari F1 and the Chevrolet Chevy. Note the strange pink paint. When cooled down, they turn kind of white. I have to check other models I have that appear in the catalogue picture above, since some of them may be Super Colorchangers. I have to find that out.

All colour changing models are made in Macau.

  • Name:  '57 CHEVY and F1 RACER
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Matchbox (United Kingdom)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Saturday, September 9, 2017


I enjoy discovering new die-cast makers from the past. A few months ago, I found this car and I bought it for 5 Euro. Maybe a bit expensive considering its condition, but consider I had never seen any of its brand before, I decided to buy it.
Lion Toys is a die-cast manufacturer from Holland. The company started as early as 1946 with tin trains, but soon started producing scale cars too. The "Lion" in the name comes maybe from its founder Arie van Leeuwen, but the Lion is also one of the symbols of the Netherlands, so it could be both.

The company seems to have been very focused on the national market, producing cars that were popular in the country. At some point they stopped producing cars to produce exclusively trucks and busses, again with a great focus on models which were popular in the Netherlands.
The firs car produced was a Volkswagen Type 1, but it was followed by many DAFs, a Renault Dauphine, an Opel Rekord or a DKW 3 = 6.

Among the trucks, there are again many DAF models, but also Mercedes, Volvo, Iveco, MAN or Scania, and the busses are Hainje or Berkhof, among others.

Since May 2010, the brand is property of Tekno.

  • Scale: 1:43 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1967
  • Company: Lion Toys / Lion Car (Netherlands)
  • Size: approx. 8 cm

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Two more figures from the Lost World series. I already presented two carded figures a long time ago, and now I will present two loose ones.

The figures are Roland Tembo "Great Hunter" and Nick Van Owen "Video Expert".

Roland Tempo came with a Pachycephalosaurus hatchling, and a huge accesory that moves, called "dino stun prod", which may be some kind of capture-device for the dinosaur included, and also a small knife, that shares its cast with G.I.Joe´s Shockwave from 1988.

Nick Van Owen comes with a water launching gun attached by means of a thick hose to the backpack and a videocamera. This last accesory shares its cast with G.I.Joe´s Scoop from 1989. This action figure comes with the pteranodon hatchling.

Both accesories shared with the G.I.Joe toyline have a slightly different colour than the original ones.

Interestingly, there are two versions of Nick Van Owen. One with baseball cap, one without. I am still missing the cap version, but I have a chinese bootleg of it, found a long time ago (maybe in year 1997 or 1998) in a chinese bazaar. It still keeps its original backpack.

  • Toy Line: The Lost World (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1997
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Scale of the figures: Around 11 cms

Sunday, September 3, 2017

#849 MERCURY SPEEDY – O.S.I. SILVER FOX and FERRARI P5 (Nr. 807 and 815) (Around 1971)

There is already an interesting entry in this blog about the small (3 inches) series of Mercury called Speedy, although at the time, I was showing one Speedy Velox Ferrari P5. In this occasion, I want two show two Speedy's from the ordinary series.

Compare the cars with the one in entry #466 and note the different base and different wheels. The "Velox" comes from the superfast-type wheels used later, the two models today came with rubber wheels, as you can observe in the pictures.

  • Name: O.S.I. SILVER FOX and FERRARI P5 (Nr. 807 and 815)
  • Scale: 1:66
  • Year: Around 1971
  • Company: Mercury (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 10 cm

Thursday, August 31, 2017

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