Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For the bikers... you can fly through space also !

Just snap on your handlebars...
And let the wind do the spinning !
Flyboy bicycle ornament, Reliable, Canada,

Playing the astronaut...

Sometimes all you need to roam into space is a mask. Note the details of the microphone assembly. Just like the real thing (right picture...)

Alan Shepard, first American to go to space,, 1961
Nasa Astronaut mask, ?, USA,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Noisy robot - Bad, bad....

Robot whistle, ?, Japan,
Robot whistle, ?, Japan,

Robot whistles (small), ?, Japan,

Rocket whistle, SPEC-TOY product, USA,

Robot clicker, TT maker (promotional item), China.
The 4 first pictures are vintage items from both sides of the world. I guess the tin whistles are from the 50's because there are no markings and I have no clue who may have produced these.

The last item was used as business card by one of the current Chinese companies that reproduce old tin toys.

"El" scooter with "El" Astronauta

It seems Spanish toy company EGE got the tooling of a very, very popular toy in the 60's. Japanese toymaker Masaduya had already 3 versions on the clock, one with an astronaut, one with Snoopy and one with Santa Claus. Instead of continuing with the same concept, they obviously sold the toy (or exchanged it against something else ?).
EGE has very few spacetoys known (one very nice space shuttle shows up now and then here in Portugal ). This is one of them. Notice the old NASA logo. And the freckles on the kid's face!

Face (detail)
Scooter Espacial, EGE, Spain,

Another spacecar...

Spacecar, Tudor Rose or Kleeware (on a Pyro mold), England,
Here again, this toy appeared in the USA under the Pyro brand, ... and later on in Europe and Autralia under the Kleeware, Tudor Rose or Moldex brand..

I like the hood ornament and the very subtle styling of fins and reactors on the back of the car. The silvery plastic has the marbelized look of similar toys.

The Tracy boys...

Thunderbirds key-chains, ?, Netherlands,
This key-chain set was released in the Netherlands and is pretty comon to find (at least partially) on the fleamarkets of the region. It has John and Virgil Tracy, Parker and Penelope (who's going to knock someone with her shoe !) and Brains, with rocket and glasses !

Thunderbirds lead figurines (set 1), Good Soldiers, England,
Thunderbirds lead figurines (set 2), Good Soldiers, England,

These 2 sets of lead soldiers are more recent. Handpainted - they show some characters like Kyrano and Tin-Tin who are less common.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't press the fin ! don't !

X-40 Spaceship with Shooting Capsule, No. 232 ?, Hong Kong,
1960's ?
This plastic space ship is part of a bunch of X-... toys made in Hong Kong. They have very nice functions for plastic toys of that time - with separate antenas and radars etc. (which make them quite hard to find in complete conditions nowedays).

On this one, the plastic nose cone detaches when you press the fin and ejects as a separate spaceship with the astronaut.

Let's get artistic ! - Captain Harlock Stamp Set

Albator (jeu d'impression), Multiprint, Italy,
Easy as 123 - you stamp it, you color it, and you can make up cartoon stories over and over...

3 variations on the Robocon teacher robot Gantsu

Teacher Gantsu robot (hard plastic), Popy. Japan,

Teacher Gantsu robot (slot machine version), Popy. Japan,

Teacher Gantsu robot (vinyl), Popy. Japan,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Professeur Simon - Simon Wright

Captain Future's best friend is a deceased professor: Simon Wright. Deceased ? His body maybe, but his brain was inserted into a floating robot of some sort that helped our captain in all his adventures. He really was, the "thinking bot". Japanese toymaker Popy did a nice job, especially with the light function inside the toys "transparent rubber" brain... The lazer gun from Mars attacks would take this concept again decades later.
Professor Simon Wright (French box), Popy, Singapore,
Back of the box - note other toys in the serie...
Yes, my brain can light up !

Glowing brain ! Yes ! How cool is that ?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let's have some lizards tonight ! "V" (the original series)

Visitor's Shuttle, ?, Argentina,

Do you remember these ? These series were quite popular in Europe and South America at the time. Also, one of Michael Ironside best roles in TV series. No wonder Paul Verhoeven got him later for Total Recall and Starship Troopers!


Alcor, Actarus, Minos, Hydargos, Fabianplastica, Italy,
Saucer - Vega, Fabianplastica, Italy,
Soucoupe Goldorak, Fabianplastica, Italy,
An Italian company did follow the TV shows of the time and made some interesting - if not crude, toys - some of them made by no other (like the bad-guys saucer in the Goldrake cartoon).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Space 1999

Eagle, Dinky Toys, England,
Eagle, Dinky Toys, England,

Another cult series for all the nerds within us, Space 1999 was another masterpiece of Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, UFO, Captain Scarlet, ...) What if you were stuck on moonbase Alpha and thrown out of earth's orbit ?

The Mad Hatters

Gonbesu, Popy, Japan,
These 2 bots are just soo unique because they have hats. The first one is Gonbesu... a Japanese attempt of what a Mexican-sombrero type of robot should be.

Hao Taitei Ryu Knight DX Ryu Knight Bourus, Bandai, Japan,
The second one, frankly, I don't know - some kind of priest head-gear? Found in London's Chinatown in the 1990's - looks to be a pre-Gundam show of some kind.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Captain Scarlet Spectrum Patrol Car (SPC)

Same vehicle, same series (Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet) and 3 different makers from all over the world.
Notice how in Argentina they do not make any reference to the series... not willing to pay royalties, for sure...

SPC, Bandai (friction model), Japan,
Tornado 31, ?, Argentina,
SPC, Dinky Toys, Great Brittain,

Before cell phones...

Telephone Robot (miniature reproduction of Yonezawa toy), China,

One of my favorites... just need lots of cash to buy the real one. Note the teddy bear on the center of the dial. And the blinking eye feature... just too cool !

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bendables - Captain Harlock

Falsification and bootlegs in the toy world are not a new phenomenon. The more important the license, the more "unlicensed toys" will appear suddenly on the market. This was already true in the late 70'ies with unoffical / unlicensed versions of TV - cartoon heroes, like this Captain Harlock (Albator). Note how the face detail (scar included) is stamped on the non licensed version, while it is painted on the licensed one. Also, the flimsy cape on the (stiffy rubber) bootleg is held together with a staple... a big no-no in toy safety, even at that time.

Capitan Harlock (Ceppi Rati) and unlicensed version,

Nausicaa, Albator, Ramis, Ceppi Rati, Italy,
Captain Harlock, Italy ?, Bootleg ?,