Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Italian Spacemen (CO-MA)

 A selection of nice plastic spacemen. Italian origin. CO-MA produced a number of beautifull space toys, and their ray-guns especially are out of the ordinary.


Spacemen, COMA, Italy
1950's-60's



Crazy radar robot

Sometimes the shine and the chrome are pretty cool ! Here a robot with a funky box and a helicopter below the radar dish...

box...
Radar Robot, KY, Japan,
1970's

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Wienermobile bank, ?, China,
1990's
One of the icons of Americana is the hot dog, and no better and weirder item to represent this national fast food as the Wienermobile.

There have been a number of those around, the first one made in 1936 - in order to promote the Oscar Mayer brand in the USA. The futuristic design of this vehicle made it go all the way to the Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan, where it is one of the most fotographed attractions.
(See http://www.thehenryford.org/museum/index.aspx)

The real thing....

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Budha...

Tetsujin 28 Bank, ?, China,
1990's
He's Gigantor the Allmighty - but he stays ZEN... Looking at the sky and see if a nitwit wants to attack. If not, he'll just collect your pennies and dimes, Euros and cents... Another unmarked (bootleg ?) toy - but one with a stance.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stereoscopic images ? Try the View-master

Before the age of Wii's and I-somethings, kids were just plain happy to entertain themselves with this. 2 Identical images on a revolving disk giving the viewer an impression of depth. Basically, 3-D technology with bigger glasses !

Wikipedia says there have been about 25 models of viewers produced, and about 1.5 billion disks. Here are 2 packs of reels from my favorite heroes. Interesting thing is that lots of the disks and viewers produced for this were made in Belgium, the country in which I grew up.


Ulysse 31 reels, View Master Int., Belgium,
1981
Albator reels, GAF, Belgium,
1979

No wonder this toy got itself into the list of the U.S. toy Hall of Fame (http://www.toyhalloffame.org/) together with other best-sellers like Barbie dolls or Duncan Yo-yo's.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The pirate... and the game of thrones

Captain Harlock, High Dream, China,
2010's




Harlock? He likes a good glass of red wine. Before going to battle with the Mazones / Sylvidres!

Was there some secret potion in the wine ? Or did Harlock find the fountain of youth ? Anyhow, a kid this age should not drink ! Hehehe...


Captain Harlock SD (Super Deformed), Vance Project, China,
2007

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pre-war slinger-shot, shoot me to another planet Rocket !

In an era of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials at the movies - kids back from my grandfather's age would be playing with these...

It is nice to notice that any respectable gentlemen going to Jupiter or Mars would do so in their best suit and matching hat. Oh, yes, there is even one smoking a cigarete! (big no-no in the toy-world and the real-world nowedays!)

The patent of the toy and description of it working can be seen here: http://ip.com/patent/US2105579

Jet Rocket ship, Sportswood Spec. Co, USA,
1938
Jet Rocket ship, Sportswood Spec. Co, USA,
1938

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What ? Paid 25 USD for a rock ?

Kryptonite rock, Pro Arts Inc., USA
1977
 ... that's what my parents said when I saw this in an Antique store in Indiana. But mam, it's Kryptonite ! And it glows in the dark (still does, after 34 years...)

I particularly enjoyed some of the instructions that came with the booklet:

  • Do not keep your Kryptonite Rock in the same room as one of your Super Hero comics
  • Do not lend your Kryptonite Rock to anyone, you never know whose side they are on
  • remember, Superman says, "it's terrific - it's fantastic - it's Kryptonastic !"
So yes, paid about 25 bucks for a stone with green paint on it, and it's worth every penny.

Gan Gara Ganchan



Another one in the "kiss me I'm cute"-range, this is my G-rated robot (no, really, it's on the belly !)

Gan Gara Ganchan, Popy, Japan,
1970's


Gotham blasters

Batman watergun, Durham Industries, Hong Kong,
1970's
When you need a help from the caped crusader: get a hand on these water guns !

Batman watergun, No732 (?), Hong Kong,
1970's


Batman watergun (detail), No732 (?), Hong Kong,
1970's

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's S-cool time pretty soon !

... And stores all over are having new stationary for the kids to go to school with. What a pitty this does not show up anymore...

Robot pencil sharpener, ?, Germany,
1950's
Robot pencil sharpener, backview

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Joker...

From Cesar Romero to Heath Ledger, lots of actors have taken his deviant behaviour and turned him into Bat's favorite vilain.

Schizophrenic, yes. Insane, certainly. But terribly bad. And that makes a villain "perfect"!

Jokermobile, Fast Food Premium, China,
1993
Joker, Fast Food Premium,
China, 2010


The traveller...

Maettel, Aruze, China,
2003
Another of Leji Matsumoto's characters, Maettel represents love and melancholy (of being eternal ?). Defending the inocent, but giving all there is for freedom. Freedom of thoughts, of choice, of actions... In stories repeating themselves, but different each time (the famous time loop of much of Leiji Matsumoto's stories) she encounters friends in her fabulous 999 train, from Tetsuro to Harlock.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sup ? on a Suzuki ?

Sometimes strange variations of toys can be found on the foreign markets. In this case a Superman bike. Why would somebody that can fly through the skies do on a bike ? Don't know... Batman, OK - he needs wheels... but Superman ? Come on ! Also, does he need to endorse a brand of tires ? Is he broke ?

Superman on bike, Gulliver, Brazil,
1970's

Sleep Tight Astro !

Astroboy (SD), Medicom Copy ?, China,
2010
Astro got his part of SD (=Super Deformed) toys. Here is one of the cutest versions.

AKIRA - Kaneda and motorcycle

Kaneda and bike, Kaiyodo, China,
2000's
The serie that launched manga (=Japanese Comics) into the world was definitely Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo. It was later released as an OAV (=Cartoon).

Ultra-violent, it shows a vision fo the future of NEO TOKYO and the whereabouts of a group of delinquent kids with a government project that went horribly wrong.

Bond, James Bond

If there is one serie that showed us gadgets to be used in the future (from digital watches to say, ... diving cars) it was James Bond.

Jaws moving van, Corgi Junior, Gt Britain,
1970's
Lotus Esprit, Corgi, Gt Britain,
1970's


Don't know the answer ? Ask Sam - the Answer man !

We've all gotten one of these - cards and electric current to teach us geography, math etc. This is one of the earlier versions.


Robot Sam the Answer Man, Jacmar, USA,
1950's

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Plushies from my favorite cartoons !

I never was into the Beanie Babies or any other plushy side of collecting, untill these came along.

Captain Harlock, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994 
Toschiro, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994
Emeraldas, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994
Maettel, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994 
SD (= Super Deformed : a Japanese way to make items look cute !)

999 Driver, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994 
Tetsuro, Banpresto, Srilanka,
1994 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fancy Tableware

Need a little salt in yourt life ? Do it the Astroboy way ! From the galaxy to your kitchen table, here he is with little sis !

Astroboy and -girl salt and pepper, Shin & Company, Japan,
1990's

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Before the jet-age...

Victory Squadron, Irwin Toys, USA,
1950's 
... people were using propellor planes... These are some that won the second World War to America.

I glow in the dark, but can give hugs also !

I glow in the dark !
In the cute department, this one will go well next to Robocon. He has a big smile, a propellor on his head like Doreamon, and a big medal on his chest (for bravery ?) Made of hollow plastic.

Ladies and Gentlemen: May I present Robotan to the world !

Robotan, Popy ?, Japan,
1970's

Monday, August 8, 2011

Battle of the Planets !

Mark nodder, Nakajima, Japan,
1970's
Mark nodder (detail - back with "flying wheel"), Nakajima, Japan,
1970's

Jason's racecar, Banso, Japan,
1970's

The G-Force is back ! Mark, Thierry, Princesse, Alumette + Kipo (French names) were fighting evil Zoltar every Wednesday afternoon on TV. They had a wonderfull spaceship, the Phenix, that could transform into a firebird, and they communicated through high-tech bracelets which would transform them into super-"birdmen and woman" in a blink of an eye.
Strangely, most of the toys that appeared in Europe were of the second serie, which showed other mecha (= spaceship and vehicle design). It seems the cartoon became a sudden and unexpected success in a number of countries: Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands,  the U.K.... and when toystores finally got into the game, they had to accept the toys related to the new (= in Japan) series.

5 figurines (Dutch packaging), CIVAS, Hong Kong
1980