Tuesday, January 31, 2012

U.N.I.D.E.N.T.I.F.I.E.D. flying pizza pan...

UFO, Alps, Japan, 1960's

One Super Margarita Deluxe with 2 big peppers on the side. Call Pizza JABA the HUTT... Tattooine's best.

There in less than 2 parsecs or your money back.This little saucer came with a flexible track. Below the craft are 2 dented wheels which would "stick" to the track so loopings and such could be made.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blockhead, squarefaced Robert the Robot

Need braces ?

Robert the Robot, Ideal, USA,
Maybe a far-off cousin of the rivetted vinyl robot below... This one is the classic skirted (=no legs - just a base with wheels) bot. Works with a crank like device that makes its wheels turn and the arms go up and down.

The later versions did not have the clear plastic parts on the head.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

X-400 Spaceship - friction motor version

X-400, Tudor Rose or Kleeware, England, 1950's

 Another mold of a Pyro toy that went over the pond. This one is on the cover of Blast Off, one of my favorite books about rare Sci-Fi toys. Strangely enough, the UK version got a friction motor base, which the US Pyro version did not have. Hey George, I know where you got that design for the Naboo fighter !

X-400, Tudor Rose or Kleeware, England, 1950's

Dirty Laundry day ? I got a robot for that !

Missile shooting robot, S.K.H. Japan,
It will tumble your enemies dry... and destroy your socks in a second if you choose the wrong program !

Again, beautiful Japanese design full of bolts and rivets and such...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I find your lack of ... hygiene disturbing...

Vader Shampoo Bottle / Soakie, Omni Cosmetics,
USA, 1970's

"The Force Hair is strong with this one"
"Don't underestimate the Force Conditioner"
"the circle bath is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master shampoo !"

OK, OK, I'll stop !

Spud (potato) gun

Spud Gun, ?, Hong Kong, 1980's

Another of the interesting ray-gun type designs, this one shoots small pieces of "potatoes" due to pneumatic force...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The one that was hard to get !

Sometimes there is a toy that haunts you. A toy that follows you with a particular idea of it through the years but that you never seem to locate anymore. This is what happened when I was 8-9 years old and saw this Captain Harlock ship in a glass showcase inside a department store in Marseille. At the time my parents didn't get me this toy, and it took me about 30 years to find another one in new condition - and quite some cash also. Italian company Atlantic made the famous "little soldiers" boxes of both Captain Harlock and the bad ones, just like they did with Goldrake. Not so well known is the fact that they also made 2 playsets - one of the ship of the Space Pirate (pictured here) and one vacu-formed interplanetary base that came with the "little soldiers".

The catch ? Why soo long ? Well, because it is one of the worst quality toys ever made, which explains why very few survived complete. All is in the formula of the plastic Atlantic used at the time, which is brittle and breaks like glass. They wanted to have clear plastic parts but didn't know very well how to make the stuff. Also, being a "build it yourself" model of a toy (yes - there are wheels at the bottom and you were supposed to play with it) didn't help either, neither did the supports of the missile pods that were cracking due to stress right from starters. This is what explained the glass showcase at that department store for sure!

And since scarcity makes rarity... Voilá !

Alkadia - Atlantis, Atlantic, Italy, 1970's

Alkadia - Atlantis, Atlantic, Italy, 1970's

Alkadia - Atlantis, Atlantic, Italy, 1970's
Captain's quarters (detail)

Alkadia - Atlantis (detail of stern of hte ship with opening ladder at the back), Atlantic, Italy, 1970's

Monday, January 23, 2012

Denjin Zaboga

Zaboga, Bullmark, Japan, 1970's

This is another Super Robot from the late 7ies Japanese TV. It was cool in that sense that it could transform into a bike at will. And we're not talking cartoon here - but live "Sentai" series with real actors.

Did the Transformers series invent the wheel ? Hmmm... didn't think so...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gatchaman II - Individual vehicles

BOTP Keyop's (Jinpei's) Helicopter, Popy, Japan,
This was one of the vehicles used by the Science Ninja Team (Gatchaman) in the second series of the cartoon. Nice bug-like concept / half helicopter half spacecraft. It had the ability to hoover...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Spacewalking...

Astronaut on rocket, ?, possibly Japan,
Get a baby in a spacesuit - put him or her on top of a capsule and... voilà ! We have a windup space toy.  Much cheaper to produce than the big tin toys - this one was also much cheaper to buy ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Bandai version - Akira

If there is one vehicle that is seen as the most "iconic" of the mangaworld, it has to be this one. This is not only an Otaku's dream, but the dream of many AKIRA readers as well. Lots of copies exist, and some people even tried building "the real thing" with more or less success (getting a ceramic engine into the wheels is nothing easy...) This is the Bandai metal (Soul of Chogokin) version, with detachable parts and finally the correct stickers applied (Mc Farlane made a previous plastic model but they had to change all the lettering on the bike due to copyright infringement.).

Kaneda's bike, Bandai, China,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Space Runaway Ideon

After the success of the Shogun Warriors line, lots of toymakers got their act together in Japan and started producing new toys based on ever more popular "giant robot" cartoons. Popy, Nakajima, Takara, Takatoku, Bullmark to name just a few.

Then Tommy came along, and made this rather nice rendering of Ideon. Unlike its predecessors, it's full plastic (The end of the diecast lines meant they could produce bigger and cheaper bots...) And another new feature: it had battery functions !

Ideon robot, Tommy, Japan, 1980's

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Very futuristic and oh sooo British !

England was very technologicaly enclined in their toy industry, and it is no wonder that the big names like Britains, Johillco, Charbens or Cherilea that produced toy soldiers started sooner or later to produce their futuristic lines...
Spaceman, Cherilea, G.Britain, 1950's
Spaceman, plastic copy of Cherilea, Hong Kong ?
Spaceman, Cherilea, G.Britain, 1950's

Spaceman, Cherilea, G.Britain, 1950's
Spacegirl, Charbens, G.Britain, 1950's

... note that the plastic copy of the Cherilea spaceman is about a head higher than the original lead soldier.

ex-Commonwealth plastic - Part 2...

I already showed the X-40... here with the others...

X-50 Spaceship, ?, Hong Kong, 1960's ?

 X-40 Spaceship with Shooting Capsule, No. 232 ?, Hong Kong,
1960's ?
X-30 Space Explorer, No. 303 ?, Hong Kong,
1960's ?

X-40 Spaceship with Shooting Capsule,
No. 232 ?, Hong Kong, 1960's ?
X-30 Space Explorer, No. 303 ?,
Hong Kong, 1960's ?
X-30, X-40, X-50 Family photo
There is still one on my wish list of these (the truck and rocket) If you have one available at reasonable price please let me know.

Plastic from the ex-Commonwealth...

Space Explorer no.103A, LP toys, Hong Kong,

Some of these, like the Space Explorer, came boxed, others carded. All had friction motors and some interesting features, like rotating radars etc. What is interesting in this toy is the vintage "space suits" very similar as those worn by Mercury and Gemini Astronauts.

Space Explorer no.103A (detail), LP toys, Hong Kong,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Duke Fleed's cockpit

Duke Fleed cockpit, HIGHDREAM,
China, 2000's

This is a modern reproduction of the classical chair/cockpit which, after half a turn (and nobody really knows why...) goes for the saucer to the Grandizer robot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another bootleg shogun to go please... yes, one for the road.

Robot, ?, Hong Kong ?, 1970's
Very crude representation of a Shogun Robot, maybe Dragun if I count the number of "horns" on his head. Blown plastic. Possibly a prize for a fair amusement booth...