Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smoking is "bat" for health !

Pinguin, Gulliver, Brazil, 1978
I did not grow up with the Tim Burton Batman movies, but with the series that aired in the 70ies and 80ies, with Adam West and Burt Ward. And these series had great villains, really great ones ! You had Ceasar Romera as the Joker, Victor Buono for King Tut, Julie Newmar for Catrwoman, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler - all first class actors who fitted in their roles (and costumes) perfectly. And Burgess Meredith, as the Pinguin - perfect for the job.

In a period where it was still politically correct to put a cigar in the mouth of an actor portraying a baddie in a kid's show, Corgi toys jumped on the opportunity to have another vehicle (cigar included) that could chase the Futura Batmobile, one if not its best-selling reference.
Pinguinmobile, Corgi, Gt. Britain, 1979

The umbrella is removable and quite fragile. Why a buggy ? Did it appear in any of the shows ? I don't think so, but if there are any Batman vintage specialists out there please let me know.

It gets dusty in space !

Ultraman-Leo Ultra-fighter Mac-Ki Machine1 (wind-up),
IMAI, Japan, 1970's
Just like old wine bottles, old toys gather space dust - especially when they enter asteroid fields - or when their owner forgets to clean them before taking the picture (like in this case).

Swordfish - Espadon

Espadon SX-1, Eligor - Hachette, France, 2010

By Jove Old Boy ! This is the most spectacular airplaine ever - from the Blake and Mortimer "Le Secret de l'Espadon" comics by Belgian artist Edgar P. Jacobs. 

Strangely enough, the comics were written just after the war (1946 to 1949) but in the beginning of the 50ies a real plane, the Douglas X3 Stiletto, would appear and be a close match to Jacob's design...

Douglas X3 Stiletto experimental plane (Nasa Photo)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bring your kid to work - day !

Hey, this happens in the toyworld also ! ... Proof ?

Atomic Robot Man and Junior, Schylling, China, 1990's

Spiderman and Spiderboy, Bootlegs, China,
Batman (bootleg), China, 2000's and
Batboy, 2010's

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Going to Acapulco in style, gringo ?

Holly Tequila Batman, they painted the Batmobile yellow !
Holly Sombrero Batman, let's go and get a burrito !
Holly Tabasco Batman, I smell a real churasco !
Holly... ok, ok, I quit.

Batmoble ,?, Mexico, ?
Here is another one of these bootlegged toys (= read - unliicensed, unmarked, cheaply made, ...) from Mexican origin. You have the Dynamic Duo and their ride, all in blown plastic. Sweet !

Monday, June 25, 2012

La Fuerza G

Mark action figurine, Jecsan, Spain, 

This is one I found loose - missing belt and gun and visor. The leader of G-Force is as ugly as his female counterpart (see older blogs on Gatchaman). Now you know where Kenner got the style for their first batch of new Star Wars figurines !

Nostalgic Heroes cat-eyed Tetsujin enemy

Robots and Rivets... The first Steam-Punkers ? Gigantor and Friends and Foes ! There is a certain air of a boiler man... Rustic futurism from Victorian industrial revolution ? Nope... Just great Japanese design !

Robot (help me find my name!)
Nostalgic Heroes, Japan, 1990's
Excuse me Mr. Blue Pinocchio guy.
Do you know who I am ?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Behind the curtain...

Box, now you know how to
write robot in Cyrillic !
Robot, Soviet Union, 1960's

It's just a plain wonder they did not print CCCP on that toy ! The design is pure Russian from that period though - square and basic. Did this guy have a Lada to drive on the moon ?

For the little history lesson, the word "ROBOT" is Czech and was first heard in a play by Karel Capek in 1920 ("RUR" - Rossum's Universal Robots) It comes from Old Church Slavonic "robota" which means "work" (thank you WIKIPEDIA !)

Going to Vegas ?

Slot Machine Robot, ? (HK or China)
I think this one worked at the Stardust. When the casino closed, he went straight to my collection ! All I need now is to find a "robot croupier" for the black jack table...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The kiss...

Galaxy Express 999, Neo Super Figure
Revolution, Medicos, China, 2005
"the kiss" between Maetel and Tetsuro
(sepia version)

Maetel (normal color vers.)

Claire and 999 driver (normal color ver.)
Claire and 999 driver (sepia color ver.)


Count Mecha

This is for me the best set ever made of Gashapons (= small Japanese "prize" figurines) for the Galaxy 999 series. Each figurine came out in 2 different colour styles : normal and sepia. Detail is top notch.

Reg. color
Reg. color


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Girlie Bot

Hao Taitei Ryu Knight DX Ryu Knight Magidorar
I have a powerball !

Bandai, Japan, 1994

Here is another robot in the series of the "Mad Hatters" - All pink and ready to read you your future in the cristal (... nope, blue plastic translucid plastic, really) ball.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spiders in the attic ? - ask Corgi for help !

Toymakers were very eager to cash in on any profitable license... this is true today like it was true in the past. British toy-company CORGI made a number of Spidey toys that never appeared in the comics of in the cartoons. 

Spidercopter, Corgi Juniors, England, 1970's

Why would Peter Parker need a helicopter, or worse, a bike, ifhe can jump from one tower to the other with his web ?

Spiderbike, Corgi Juniors, England, 1970's

The design is nice though - the big helicopter is a mixture of scorpion with arachnid. Talking about 2 bad bugs for the price of one !

Spidercopter, Corgi, England, 1979

Flying carrier

Because landing in the air can be much more fun than landing at sea. At least, this is what the Angels told me. Do you know them all ? Rhapsody, Melody and Harmony, Symphony and Destiny Angel...

Spectrum logo on front

3 tiny Angel Jets ready to take off...
... and a control room high above the landing deck

In the Captain Scarlet series, this "flying fortress" was called Cloudbase. This is to my knowledge the only toy that was made of it when the show aired originally (except for some IMAI model kits). Later on toycompany Vivid Imagination got a go at it...

Cloudbase, Bandai, Japan, 1960's

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Takkong (from Utlraman), Popy, Japan,
2003 reissue

Cool header card !

Pure vinyl bliss !

Ultraman was not a show that aired on French TV, so I have to admit it is not one of the things I grew up with as a child. But if there is one hero that is more popular in Japan than in the rest of the world, this is it !
Some collectors are only specialized in him - and have thousands of pieces in their collection. The number of monsters Ultraman had to fight is staggering - and this is one of them.

Special effects meant lots of explosions (T-Birds style) and a man in a rubber suit (Godzilla style).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Le" Stormtrooper

Talking about bottom line job position... You get blasted, attacked by Wookies, slaughtered by Jedi's... and your boss ? Huh, he just happens to be a Sith Grand Lord or something like that... If you go on strike he strangles you... If you unionize he strangles you... ohhh - and if he has a bad day, well... same same.

12" Stormtrooper, General Mills, Hong
Kong, 1978

Evil twin brother of ... see left

Big Ears...

Robot, ?

Some Shogun Warriors have horns... this one has, hmmmm. "angel ears" ? Weird little figurine found in Lisbon's Feira da Ladra.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mean green rescue machine...

Popy - box
Grip - box

Thunderbird 2, Popy, Japan, 1970's

Thunderbird 2, Grip, Japan, 1970's
(with tiny TB4)
Before weight watchers (left)...  after (right)

From all the Thunderbirds spacecraft, this is without any doubt the most recognizable. It taught kids that you could put a 20' container in a spaceship and call it a "pod" - and that the whole thing floated when dropped in water. In all my experience in international trade - a container will absolutely sink if it falls of a vessel ! (unless it is filled with styrofoam :). The detail on these small ships are amazing - and the legs (which don't have any opening mechanism like the Dinky toys) are very fragile.

Difference between TB4 from Popy
and Dinky? Popy has sloped cockpit. 
WIth their British Dinky cousin...