Monday, July 19, 2021

Diver or spaceman ?

Or diver ?
Spaceman, Torgano ?, Italy ? 

They don't eat a lot in Space...

Monday, July 5, 2021

The Italian Star Wars bagatelle

Star Wars "flipper", ARCO FALC S.P.A., Italy, 1978-79

+ the original metal marbles needed to play the game ! (120 BEF = approx. 3 EUR in today's Exchange Rate)

Sunday, July 4, 2021

The missing link...

So after all there is a second manufacturer that produced the "copies" of the Pyro rifles here in Portugal. After having found the rifles that were mistakenly attributed to Hercules but were in fact versions made by a company called "Sirolite", a portuguese fellow collector was able to find me one of the original "Hercules" rifles after all. These were (I believe) the first ones to be produced here, because they are closer to the original Pyro design. 

Hence the round barrel all the way - coloured tip - contours on the crank instead of the "flat" crank on the Sirolite, 4 vents instead of 3, and the pieces from different colours that were molded and glued on the Sirolite version are part of the integral mold of the gun's body on the Hercules. (grip + dial on stock + side vent), just like on the Pyrotomic desintegrator...

The quality of the built seems also much better (no desalignment, no glue marks etc.)

Space Rifle, Fábrica de Plásticos Hercules, 1950's, Portugal

Unlike the Sirolite, this one has clear "Hercules" markings

Sirolite (top) and Hercules (bottom)

Side B

Unlike the Sirolite, the barrel here is round,
even in the "fin" area.

Top view - sizes are the same

The "Fábrica de Plásticos Hercules" was a split of former company plásticos Henriques & Irmão (or Luso-Celulóide) created by 2 brothers in the locality of Espinho in 1931 (close to the city of Porto). The company originally produced jewelry and other knick-knacks, but quickly started producing plastic toys since it was a convenient way to reuse rejected materials from their main production lines.

In the 1950's, Luso-Celulóide split and one brother created OSUL (which later became famous in its diecast and zamac miniatures under the name METOSUL, using a lot of Dinky tooling) and the other brother created the HERCULES toy factory. It is still believed that the Hercules company met with Pyro in the USA (during a toy fair ?) and thus were able to use the molds.

Were these molds afterwards lended or given to Sirolite to continue production ? The mystery remains...