Snoopy Plastic Figurine by Schleich

Snoopy has a had quite the career. When not sleeping atop his doghouse he takes to the skies in his Sopwith Camel to do battle with the Red Baron. Now that’s exciting, but especially for a dog!

We’d better have a look at this prestigious pooch:

Snoopy Standing Tall

Always on top of something!

Charles M. Shultz created the Peanuts comic strip which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. And although the star of the strip was good ‘ol Charlie Brown, it was his dog that really rose to the top.

Snoopy Side

Classic Profile

Snoopy joined the comic strip two days in on October 4th, 1950.

Snoopy Profile

Snoopy is a loyal, innocent, imaginative and good-natured beagle who is prone to imagining fantasy lives, including being an author, a college student known as “Joe Cool” and a World War I Royal Flying Ace.

Snoopy Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel

The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It had been developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and would become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

Snoopy is perhaps best known for his fighter ace persona, wearing an aviator’s helmet and goggles and a scarf.

Snoopy Headgear

This little PVC (plastic) figurine was produced by the Schleich company and is a current release available in stores now.

Snoopy Label

Schleich was founded by Friedrich Schleich in 1935. Its figurines were first released in the 1950s with the development, production and marketing of comic figurines such as Snoopy and The Smurfs. In the early 1980’s they added animal figurines and Muppet characters to their range of products.

So is Fighter Ace Snoopy your favorite, or is Joe Cool more your speed? Either way, you have to agree this is one canny canine!

Burago Disney Character Diecast Cars

Burago of Italy has produced many Disney-inspired diecast cars over the years. I’ve found three more to add to my collection, this time featuring Donald Duck and Sulley from Monsters Inc.

The packaging is original but in very bad shape and the cars themselves have seen better days. But let’s have a look while pretending that they are gently-used second-owner vehicles:

Burago Sulley Package

Mercedes 190 E

The Mercedes-Benz W201 was the first compact executive car from Mercedes-Benz introduced in 1982, positioned below the E-Class and marketed under variants of the Mercedes-Benz 190 nameplate.

Burago Sulley Car Side

Happy on the side…

Burago Sulley Car Front

Scary on the front!

Burago Sulley Car Underside

The W201 enjoyed strong sales in Europe but fared poorly in the United States. Series production ended in April of 1993 after the manufacture of approximately 1.8 million examples. I’m assuming less of this diecast replica were made!

Burago Donald Car Package 1

Volkswagen Golf ’98

The Golf is a small family car produced beginning in 1974 and marketed worldwide across seven generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates, such as the Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Caribe in Mexico.

Burago Donald Car Side 1

Angry on the side…

Burago Donald Car Front 1

Angry on the roof! Trust me.

Burago Donald Car Underside 1

Initially, most Golf production was in the 3-door hatchback style, and this appears to be the one Donald Duck prefers to endorse!

Burago Donald Car Package 2

Chevrolet Corvette

Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. This Burago version seems to be from this Fifth Generation run, although it could be a Fourth Generation model. Either way, Donald has ramped up his ride a tad!

Burago Donald Car Side 2

Angry on the side again…

Burago Donald Car Front 2

But absent from the top and hood this time.

For its first year, the C5 was available only as a coupe (as this diecast is), although the new platform was designed from the ground up to be a convertible, which returned in 1998.

These great little diecast models are in the 1/43 scale and have stickers to embellish them rather than paint-on-paint. As mentioned at the outset, these examples need a little TLC as some of the stickers are drying out and peeling. However, I only paid about $3.00 CAN each for them so I think I did alright overall!

Burago Disney Packaging

Vroom-vroom!

Mickey Mouse Skipping Rope by Arco Toys

Skipping is one the oldest outdoor activities for children. Most often little girls will play various skipping games together while the boys look upon the ‘sport’ as sissy. But boys have been known to jump in from time to time!

Skipping rhymes have been recorded in all cultures where skipping is played. Examples of English-language rhymes have been found going back to at least the 17th century. But I think this skipping rope might only be from the 1960’s or 1970’s:

mickey-jump-rope-1

Just a little wear and tear

mickey-jump-rope-2

These have a nice little detail in the handles:

mickey-jump-rope-3

This Mickey Mouse skipping rope was made by Arco Toys:

mickey-jump-rope-4

Given the amount of rope attached to the two handles I have to assume that these would have been made for a child between the ages of 5 and possibly up to 8.

So what skipping rhyme would you use to play with this rope? May I suggest this one based on the Disney character of Cinderella:

Cinderella dressed in yellow, went downstairs) to kiss her fellow, by mistake kissed a snake, how many doctors will it take? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 etc. (Go to 20 then go down to the next line)
Cinderella dressed in blue, went upstairs to tie her shoe, made a mistake and tied a knot, how many knots will she make? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in green, went downtown to buy a ring, made a mistake and bought a fake, how many days before it breaks? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in lace, went upstairs to fix her face, oh no oh no, she found a blemish, how many powder puffs till she’s finished? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in silk, went outside to get some milk, made a mistake and fell in the lake, how many more till she gets a break? 1, 2, 3, etc.

Disney Lesney/Matchbox Cars from 1979

I love die-cast cars and especially if they contain a Disney character in the driver’s seat. I found two examples from the same line recently and was able to catch up with them while they were on the ‘open road’:

matchbox-79-7

I think Donald is tailgating!

This line was produced by the Lesney Products & Company Limited for Matchbox. The cars themselves are the usual size for a Matchbox vehicle but the figures are obviously oversized! Let’s have a closer look:

matchbox-79-1

Goofy seems to be driving a Volkswagen Beetle while Donald may be driving a Volkswagen Dune Buggy.

matchbox-79-4

matchbox-79-2     matchbox-79-3

Coming and going

matchbox-79-6

I don’t know how many cars were released in each series but I did find out that Series 1 had Mickey Mouse in a red fire truck.

These are indeed die-cast cars as plastic hadn’t taken over yet back in 1979, and thank goodness! There is one last detail to point out:

matchbox-79-5

Can you read this license plate?

Could it be VB-5 standing for Volkswagen Beetle 5, the ‘5’ relating to its order in the car release schedule? That’s the best I can figure. Do you have another idea?

Collectors Showcase Vintage Magazines

There’s nothing I love as much as old collectibles than old magazines about old collectibles! And recently I was able to pick up thirteen issues of Collectors’ Showcase, ‘America’s Premiere Pictorial Magazine for Collectors’. Long name, great content!

Collectors Showcase Mags 001

Now why are these old and out of date magazines of value today? First, a collector can use them to source and identify hard to find or difficult to classify items. Often there will be articles about specific items giving date of manufacture and company names. Second, if the magazine records prices, a collector can track values over the years. Third, due to the advertising of new-at-the-time collectibles, original pricing can be determined for many items.

And of course, Fourth, a collector just loves to look at old toys!

Collectors Showcase Mags 003

Hey, it’s Disney!

Being a Disney collector, I obviously like to look for old magazines that feature Disney items, like the one above. Here are a few items I found in these thirteen issues:

Collectors Showcase Mags 006

How many Disney buttons can you find?

Collectors Showcase Mags 007

Collectors’ Gallery featuring the Mickey Mouse Handcar

Collectors Showcase Mags 009

Awesome to see such rare items!

Collectors Showcase Mags 012

Everyone loves movie posters!

I mentioned earlier that magazines of this type, although mostly out of print today, are also valuable for the advertising spreads within. Have a look at a few of my favorites:

Collectors Showcase Mags 004

Where: Disneyland Hotel, Embassy Room

Collectors Showcase Mags 008

Must. Have. These.

Collectors Showcase Mags 010

Walt Disney World Tencennial products

Collectors Showcase Mags 011

19,700 hours to make? I don’t want to know how much this cost!

These magazines are packed with wonderful collectibles from everyone’s childhood, no matter what generation you are from. The articles are insightful. The images breathtaking!

And just how much did I have to pay to obtain these windows into the past? They originally sold for $4.00 to $5.00 between 1982 and 1986 but I paid only $1.00 for three so less than $5.00 for the whole batch.

FUN FACT: Do you remember Shields and Yarnell, the pantomime couple from the 1980’s who were on just about every variety show going?

Shields and Yarnell

Yes? Well, then did you know that they were sometimes billed as ‘Living Puppets’ and so, as collectors themselves, had a vast collection of marionettes and other puppets, including Pinocchio? It’s true according to the January/February 1982 issue of Collectors’ Showcase!

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Kazoo by Omara

This product is somewhat misnamed. The Mickey Mouse Kazoo is more like a blowhorn that one would use at a college pep rally. Have a look for yourself:

MM Kazoo 1

Rah Rah Shish Boom Bah!

This is a basic plastic toy, probably from the 1970’s, that doesn’t do much. You can yell in it all you want, but little amplification will occur! Although I did notice a little more volume when I tried it.

MM Kazoo 4     MM Kazoo 3

No holes = little sound amplification

There is a thin metal plate between the two white discs which I presume vibrates to create at least the illusion of amplification.

MM Kazoo 2

But for a little kid, it was no doubt a lot of fun bellowing into it and imagining the kids on the next block could hear them!

MM Kazoo 5     Whatza matta kazoo?

Made in Hong Kong by Omara.

Special Edition SCOTT RIGGS Nascar #10 Die Cast Car

The movie Cars by Pixar came out in 2006, and if scientists studied the matter, I’m sure they’d find some correlation between the number of stars in the sky and the number of die-cast models of the movie’s characters. Seriously.

And I have purchased my fair share.

Cars cars display

But not this many!

So now in a world where every extra automobile in the cast has his own ‘action figure’ on the market, it becomes increasingly hard to find a model that stands out as unique.

But I may have done so:

Cars Nascar 1

Cars Nascar 3

Scott Riggs (born January 1, 1971)

It’s not uncommon to link a Disney character with Nascar or other sporting industries. I have a larger Nascar model car sporting Daisy Duck. But you have to admit: a better marketing match than Cars and Nascar you will never find! This promotion was produced in 2005.

Burago Car 7

I’m always impressed with the level of detail they are able to add to such small models! But now let’s compare Scott’s actual car with the replica I just purchased:

Nacar 10

Actual

Cars Nascar 2

Die cast model

Close enough. Sporting Lightning McQueen and The King on the hood is a nice touch, but represents the only indication of Cars imagery on the model.

I haven’t taken the car out of the packaging yet. As the packaging is damaged (with the Hot Wheels stocking hook missing) is it still worth more packaged than loose?

I’ll probably unpack it and park it next to my Lightning McQueen model. Maybe they’ll race!

Mickey Mouse Die Cast Car by Burago

I almost didn’t bother buying this die-cast model car. It did picture Mickey Mouse and is an item I had never seen before. The asking price was $9.00 CAN which I thought was a bit high. So I bundled it with two other cars (thank you American Pickers) and got a substantial reduction.

Burago Car 1

Who is Burago?

They manufacture toy cars and kits, among other items. Burago focuses on quality management systems. In the past twenty years, their factories have implemented QC, QA and IQC systems, and strictly adhered to international SQL standards. Additionally, all their factories have in-house laboratories equipped with qualified testing instruments. In 2005, their factory had successfully attained the ICTI (The International Council of Toy Industries ) CARE Process seal.

The purpose of the CARE Process is: To enable the worldwide toy industry to assure consumers that its products are manufactured in safe and humane environments. To achieve this, its intent is to provide a single, fair, thorough and consistent programmer to monitor toy factory compliance with the industry’s code of business practice.

Blah, blah, blah. But at least now we know that the toy featured in this post was not cruelly treated during its manufacture!

Burago Car 4

Burago Car 2

Burago Car 3

End of box

Now let’s have a closer look at the car itself:

Burago Car 5     Burago Car 6 (2)

Burago Car 6

1/43 Scale and Made in Italy

This is likely a Fiat, although no model is listed on the toy car or the packaging. But Fiat is the biggest automobile manufacturer in Italy, so it seems at least possible. I also found this picture of an early model Fiat on the Net for comparison:

Fiat Car

Close! Again, this is a little unusual and so worth adding to my growing collection of Disney-themed die-cast cars.

Disney’s California Adventure SUPERSTAR LIMO Model

Disney’s California Adventure didn’t get off to a good start. The attractions left a little to be desired, including the one featured today. Superstar Limo was situated in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of the park and was one of the original attractions featured on opening day on February 8, 2001. The attraction closed in 2002, earning the distinction of being the park’s first attraction to permanently close.

But it did spawn its share of merchandise, like this nice die-cast model of the ride vehicle:

SS Limo 1

SS Limo 2

The attraction’s purple “stretch limo” ride vehicles took riders through a cartoony rendition of Hollywood. Riders were introduced to stars, some of whom appeared at the time on ABC shows. Among the celebrities were Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Cindy Crawford, Tim Allen, Jackie Chan, Drew Carey, Cher, and Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopee Doo!

SS Limo 3  SS Limo 4

SS Limo 5

Out on the town!

This originally sold for $8.00 US back in 2001 but the asking price at the collectible store where I purchased it was $20.00 CAN. I grouped it with two other Disney die-cast cars and was able to get it for a reduced price.

So whether we have fond memories of Superstar Limo or not, there will always be room in my Disney collection for cool attraction-based merchandise!

Book Review: Toy Wars by G. Wayne Miller

G.I. JOE AND BARBIE FIGHT IT OUT

Toy Wars Book 001

I love a good read. But I realize, after recommending many books to friends, that not everyone has the same taste in literature. My taste is so varied that I can’t always be assured of a good response when I gush about my latest greatest read!

This book however, printed in 1998, should appeal to a fairly wide cross-section of readers. It’s a historical account of two large U.S. companies. It’s a tale of family tragedy and triumph. It’s an educational thesis on corporate America and the share holder effect. Ultimately, one could say it’s a basic story of good versus evil. So, it should appeal to a few different types of people!

Toy Wars Book 002

Hasbro (the main company followed in this book) and its rival Mattel rise from small family companies to huge stock-driven toy giants, with both good and bad results. They gobble up just about every other main player in the toy and children’s entertainment markets with only one goal: To become the single biggest, if not the only, toy company on earth!

Some books like this, with such subject matter, are dry and hard to get through. But G. Wayne Miller manages to make it a page-turner by keeping the focus as much on the families who own the companies as he does on the companies themselves, with all of the toy development, successes and failures, brought on by a fickle group of consumers, the children of the world.

And my favorite part of this read was learning just how many of my childhood toys these two companies own the rights too! Here is a basic breakdown of the Hasbro line:

Hasbro Gaming

  • Monopoly
  • Twister
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Clue
  • All Hasbro Gaming

Girls

  • Nerf Rebelle
  • My Little Pony
  • My Little Pony Equestria Girls
  • Littlest Pet Shop
  • Furby
  • All Girl Brands

Boys

  • Nerf
  • Beyblade
  • Star Wars
  • B-Daman
  • Transformers
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • G. I. Joe

Preschool

  • Play-Doh
  • Playskool
  • Furreal Friends
  • Baby Alive
  • Elefun and Friends

Mattel also has many brands under its name. Both companies have bought up various companies to own beloved properties. Below is a partial list of Mattel’s line of products:

Barbie, Hotwheels, Monster and Ever After High, WWE, Disney, and too many more to list here. Please click the links to the official sites for more information and product lines.

Barbie Toy Line

Ever heard of any of these toys? Sure you have! But if you want to hear the stories behind their creation and marketing, you need to read this book. And again, you’ll be surprised at just how many of your childhood favorites came directly from these two bitter rivals.

I’d give this book a 4.5 stars out of 5. A must-read for any true toy fan or collector!