Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Here are some of the first G.I.Joes after the G.I.Joe: ARAH era. I remember when they came out around (to Spain) in 2002 or 2003. For some reason they were sold in 2 packs, although later there would be other packages available.

These are the first I ever saw, although then I bought none. I was not thinking about collecting them, and I haven´t bought any except these four blisters which I found at a flea market for maybe 1 or 2 Euros each. For that price I couldn´t let them go, but I have never bought any since them. Well I have a few more that I got in job lots or that friends gave to me, but I will just keep these blisters, and the others will be sold in my toy shop.

The Gi Joe vs Cobra series had a new (supposedly improved) body cast which was a little bit taller and slimmer than the ARAH body cast. The GvC had a cartoon-ish style, when the ARAH had a more realistic approach. The colour of the figures turns again to darker and we find many camo patterns, like during the first half of the 80s.

Hasbro reused many casts from weapons, backpacks and vehicles, although most figures were completely new. Interestingly, some old ARAH casts were reused to create new versions of old figures (but no new figures) and packaged in GvC series. The new weapons are sometimes very similar to the vintage ones, so many collectors buy them to complete old figures. The plastic is, according to experts a little bit shinier and more fragile, but I cannot confirm it, since I only have vintage weapons, and those that I have bought in the internet I do not know where they come from.

The first 6 sets, as depicted in the backcard are:
  • Agent Scarlett vs. Zartan
  • Sgt. Stalker vs. Neo Viper Commander
  • Flint vs. Baroness
  • Snake Eyes vs. Cobra Commander
  • Nunchuk vs. Firefly
  • Beach Head vs. Dr. Mindbender
I have the first four.

One of the most amazing things of these blisters are the positions in which the figures are presented, either jumping, or pointing with their guns… really original, would be later used in other toylines, but, as far as I can remember, these were the first.

Some of the new weapons (even when based on old casts) included a lid that could be inserted in some electronic vehicles and would make noise depending on the pattern coded in that lid/weapon. This can be seen very clearly in the staff of Cobra Commander on the left side, although every box has at least one of these weapons.

The first GvC releases were, of course, the most famous characters known from the previous series: Cobra Commander, Duke, Baroness, Snake Eyes... with almost no new characters.

  • Toy Line: G.I.Joe vs Cobra (Wave 1)
  • Year: 2002
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: slightly over 3.75’’ or 10 cm

Saturday, December 3, 2016

#750 AMIGO - WWF QUARTETTS Nr. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 (1992 and 1993)

I am fascinated with these card sets by Amigo released in 1992 and 1993. Amigo is one of the greatest German card and board game makers. It is surely among the top 5, and because wrestling was hugely popular in that country by the early 90s, Amigo released 8 WWF quartetts with the corresponding license of the copyright owner.

I am not sure how this all started, by I think the first 4 came all at once into the toyshops in 1992, while the other 4 came one year later, a sign that the first four were selling very good. There are at least two editions of each of the 4 first sets, as you can see above, so, at least the first 4 were reissued at some point. Note that some boxes have a signature on the cover, other not (the ones without the signature are reissues), and some cards have in the back of each card a wrestler and text or only text. The example above even has a different cove picture (Papa Shango instead of the Ultimate Warrior).

The numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 are much more difficult to find. I have number 6 only. I´ll buy the other 3 as soon as I find them.

Each set contains 32 cards, plus two instruction cards and three promotional cards (wrestling publications, other Amigo games, and wrestling videogames). Those promotional cards, are very difficult to find, if you are a die-hard "completist". The 32 cards build 8 families, with 4 members each, but in this set, the "family members" are not related in any way... One card shows one wrestler or one tag team, and the next card another wrestler. You can play the classic game with the families or using the back of the card you can play a sort of paper-scissors-rock game with one action on the back of each card. Here “Press” wins “Pin”, “Pin” wins “Body Slam” and “Drop Kick”, an so on…

The game complexity or fun is, in my case at least, unimportant. I just like looking at the great pictures showing wrestlers in action. The pictures are amazing, official promo pictures taken by the WWF themselves. All 32 wrestlers or teams are really well known, and there are no repetitions. The problem is that in the next quartett, you find the same 32 characters, but, fortunately, different pictures. If you collect all four sets, you could have 128 pictures of very famous wrestlers, and 256 pictures with all 8 card sets. In the second set, however, there are a few new wrestlers that were not present in the first 4 sets.

SET 1:

SET 2:

SET 3:

SET 4:

SET 6:

  • Name: WWF QUARTETTS Nr. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
  • Year: 1992 and 1993
  • Company: Amigo Spiele (Germany)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


These are two displays from the very early 90s by Guisval, as the cars were still made in Spain. I have talked about these display items many times over the entries dedicated to Guisval, but these are the first I actually buy. I got them through a friend who saw them in a shop. For that year, the models included are quite old-fashioned, and include casts that were already used in the early 80s.
The first of the two is a "campeón" collection, that is the 3 inches, ordinary collection by Guisval. It contains 24 cars, in plastic blisters, many of them are double, triple or even cuadruple. Note that interestingly, the bottom three come in slightly bigger blisters, because they are bigger models (vans and pick-ups). The yellow display should have some cardboard decoration on both upper sides, but they are lost, or maybe removed if the cars were originally placed in another display and the picture did not fit the cars anymore.
The cars from these years suffer from metal-fatigue or zamak pest and sometimes are found broken, even if mint in box. This is the case of the pick up at the bottom, center column or the second car in the center column (a golden Seat Ronda).
All cars come with rally stickers, and with either 4 spoke wheels or 8 point wheels, which are two of the latest wheel models used by Guisval.
The models are (by row and column)
  • Opel Kadett (Vauxhall Astra) - Matra Simca Bagheera - Ford Sierra
  • Porsche 928 - Seat Ronda - Matra Simca Bagheera
  • Matra Simca Bagueera - Renault 11 - Peugeot 205
  • BMW 323i - Renault 21 Nevada - Citroën BX
  • Opel Corsa - Ford Sierra - Seat Ronda
  • Seat Ronda - Mercedes 190 - BMW 323i
  • Ford Sierra - Opel Kadett - Ford Sierra
  • Renault Espace - Toyota Hilux - Renault Espace

The second display has a bunch of trucks (either Volvo or Magirus Deutz) together with one Jeep Willis, one Land Rover, several pickups (Toyota Hilux and Datsun), two Renault Espace and a camper van. I love this set, because most of these vehicles came with plastic accesories like canopies, tow hooks, or construction items and these are usually lost in played toys. It is diffcult to get some of them complete.
Here, the wheel mixture is more complex, because we find the 4-spoke wheel and the typical “truck wheel” (small circle surrounded by 5 points and big circle), together with the classic wheel used in the Jeep Willis.
  • Scale: Cars around 1:64, trucks around 1:100
  • Year: Around 1990
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm each

Monday, November 28, 2016


I was surprised to see that there is almost no information about these toys on the internet. I have seen a few message boards were people look for them, and, althouhg many people remember them, almost nobody seems to know what their name was. They are called “Flippers”.

Flippers because you can flip them and then you have a completely different model, kind of a car with two sides.

You can see several characteristics that made this cars very recognisable: they are quite flat, the have big wheels, and they are made of metal except the central part, which is made of plastic. This part moves up or down, depending on which side of the car is up. Another characteristics are the bright colours with appealing tampographies (very in the 90s fashion) and being fictitious cars, or at least, no accurate reproductions of any known car. I guess it is very difficult to make a car look like a real one when you have such “flat” constraints.

They were sold in reversible blister packs (a blister pack that could be hang either upside-down or downside-up, with two "hooks") and there were even some sub-series in which the car could also emit sounds "Flashmagic", like Majorette´s Sonic Flashers. There are different cardbacks. In one of them, there are 8 models/ references depicted (4 really, but with 2 ecorations each). I think there were only three "flashmagic" made, and they had references: 8862, 8870 and 8871.

There were even some speed tracks especially designed for the Flippers.

Interestingly enough, the card is written in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish, and the addresses are from Mattel in the U.K., France, Belgium, West-Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain… researching a little bit, I found out, that these cars were never available in the U.S., but they somehow made their way to South and Central America (at least some countries).

They are not marked at all with "Hot Wheels!", "Mattel", but with “© L.T.I.”, so they are quite difficult to identify if you did miss their release in the early 90s. The hint again is on the backcard, where we can read:
“Mattel, Inc. Manufactured and sold under license. © 1990 Lionel Trains, Inc.
Made in China. Produced by Chief Industrial, Co. All rights reserved”

That means, that the real designer and maker of these toys is Lionel Trains Inc. (Hong-Kong), not Mattel. Therefore L.T.I. Mattel probably and simply found the models very good and decided to get a license for them for Europe.

The original cars by Lionel trains were called “Revolvers”, and were available in the US (Note the address from Michigan in the card front). They were also licensed to another toy company named Irwin for (at least) the Canadian market. Since the product was already available in the U.S., we have a reason why they were not sold under the HotWheels! Brand.

The interesting thing is that Lionel Trains also had 8 models (actually 4 in two decorations each), the same ones that later released Hot Wheels. Still there are some cards which are not in any of the next cardbacks, so I guess Hot Wheels maybe made a second batch of cars with new decorations, or maybe was it Lionel Trains?

These are the 8 Hot Wheels models, carrying references: 6001 to 6004 and 6007 to 6010. I wonder if the two missing references 6005 and 6006 are the two I have…

Picture taken from ebay.co.uk

This is another picture of a Hot Wheels Flashmagic cardback.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

These are the 8 Lionel Trains models. The second starting from above is the one I am showing in the the pictures: The yellow side is called “Dirt Shifter” and the black/purple side is called “Turnin’ Burner”.

Picture taken from Swifty’s Garage (http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/7441162/1/)

I remember their commercial, and that they had a certain popularity back then. I have had these toys in my hands for many years, although I never owned any. It has been only recently, that I got my first three (or I should say six?)

They went as they came, and the line has been long forgotten. I just expect that this blog entry wakes up some memories in people who had them or collectors from the US who are looking information about them now on google.

  • Scale: 1:64
  • Year: 1990
  • Company: Mattel/ Lionel Trains Inc. (U.S.A.)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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