Collecting Toys Magazine: February 1996 Issue

1996 Nostalgia. Who can resist it? We are ready again to revisit the days of our youth and remember the carefree days when the worst problem we faced was which toy to play with! In this post you will find another issue of Collecting Toys Magazine.

I was reunited with more of my old toys as I turned the pages of this issue of Collecting Toys:

Toys Cover 96

Slot Cars Rule!

Let’s have a look at some of the contents of this issue from 1996:

Toys New Stuff

What’s New?

From an Extreme G.I. Joe action figure to the superhero The Tick, 1996 was ready to kick some serious butt! And there were diecast model cars, too!

Toys Bond

Bond. James Bond.

“No, Mister Bond. I expect you to DIE!” Sorry, I just had to add one of my favorite Bond villain quotes from the Sean Connery days (bonus points if you know the Bond film this is from). Although I have to say that Pierce Brosnan is probably my second-favorite Bond! And he was trending in 1996.

Toys Action Figures

Action Figures

Don’t call them ‘dolls’ or Batman will beat you up! I had a few characters from this line, but I remember Spiderman the most. I also had The Lone Ranger and Tonto and Evel Knievel, complete with stunt bike! Man, I miss those toys.

And if you feel boys can play with dolls, not just action figures, check out this newer product called the Wonder Crew that I reviewed from the Chicago Toy Fair.

Toys Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

I had dozens of the traditional green toy soldiers but had never seen these Blue and the Gray versions. Must have been an American thing.

Toys Show

Antique Toy Show

Toy shows and Antique fairs are amazing places to visit! I zeroed in on this one because of the monster in the bottom right corner. We have Super 8 footage of this guy rolling around our living room back when my sister and I were quite young. This battery-operated toy was the Great Garloo by Marx and measured in at a whopping 23″ tall! The 1960’s were all about the science fiction monsters.

Toys Zoo

Zoo. In. Spaaaaaaaaaace!

Where else would you put a zoo that had metal animals? Think this sparking dog is weird? Just try to imagine the whale and the elephant!

So there we have a look back into the toys of our past. I hope you enjoyed some nostalgic moments!

Collecting Toys Magazine: February 1995 Issue

1995 Nostalgia. Who can resist it? We all love to revisit the days of our youth and remember the carefree days when the worst problem we faced was which toy to play with! Collecting Toys Magazine is a great source to find those old toys we loved so much but parted with as we grew older.

I was reunited with some of my old toys as I turned the pages of this issue of Collecting Toys:

Collecting Toys Cover 95

Japanese Robots

What I like about finding these vintage magazines is the wealth of relevant information they still contain. From manufacturing information to variants to seeing the collections of others, the only information not relevant is the values. But even outdated values can be interesting!

Let’s have a look at some of the contents of this issue from 1995:

Collecting Toys New Stuff

What’s New?

This spread is fun because it shows what was new in 1995, over 20 years ago. New then, vintage now!

Collecting Toys 3 Wheeler

Three-Wheeled & Ready to Roll

My family is originally from England so vehicles like this have a soft spot in my heart. European cities traditionally have narrow streets so 3-wheeled vehicles like this model are very common. This model is of a truck produced in Japan, where they have the same problem. I wish I had one here in Canada! A real one and a model.

Collecting Toys Robot

Behold: GIGANTOR

Can we just agree that Japanese metal robot toys are about the coolest toys in creation?!? Although plentiful, these toys still command a high price from collectors!

Collecting Toys Rollercoaster

1930’s Chein Roller Coaster

This is a good example of how manufacturers worked in the past. They would have one style of toy and simply stamp different characters or scenes onto it to make a new toy. So this roller coaster (above) is identical to the one I have, except mine has a Disney theme. Check the version I have by clinking the link here.

Collecting Toys Soccer

Soccer or Football?

Either way, this game by Subbuteo scored big with kids of all ages. You played with your fingers and could choose from multiple teams, just like the standard table hockey games.

Collecting Toys Hot Wheels

HOTWHEELS Are Good!

No toy collecting magazine would be complete without a spread about Hotwheels, perhaps the most famous slot racing company around. If you were a boy in the 1980’s you had dozens of these little metal cars!

Collecting Toys Pee Puppy

Please Control Yourself!

It’s bad enough to have a real puppy wetting all over the house, I can’t imagine a parent buying a child a fake puppy to water the remaining dry areas of the family home! Each to his or her own, I guess. And I really didn’t need to see where the pee comes out!

So there we have a look back into the toys of our past. I hope you enjoyed some nostalgic moments!

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

For another example of a Burago diecast model, this time featuring Mickey Mouse (perhaps driving a Fiat), please click the link. You’ll also learn a little bit about the Burago company.

Minis Figurines from Disney-Pixar Toy Story 2

Having a rabid fan base is like having a license to print money! Whenever one of us sees a new product, even if he has hundreds of similar items, he will nonetheless open his wallet and march obediently to the cash register. This happened to me recently when I spotted these Disney-Pixar Toy Story Minis:

Look at those eyes!

In my defense, I’ve always been a sucker for the ‘big eyes’ routine. Just look at how cute they look! Tell me you could resist them!

This line of PVC minis figurines are designed to look childlike in appearance, hence their charm. They vary in size from 1″ to 1.5″ and are Series 1. Heaven help me! Let’s have a look at the store display:

Toy Story Display FrontToy Story Display Back

Toy Story Display Side 1Toy Story Display Side 2

Now let’s look at the figures one at a time:

Minis Color Woody

Woody – The Leader

Woody’s hat is removable and he pivots at the waist.

Minis Jessie

Jessie – The Cowgirl

Jessie’s hat is removable and her head pivots.

Minis Winking Bullseye

Bullseye – The Faithful Companion

Bulleye’s head swivels. You’ll notice that he is missing his left pupil. So I guess we have to say that he is winking!

Minis Rex

Rex – The Nervous Rex

Rex’s head pivots. And… he has tiny little arms!

Minis Hamm

Hamm – The Practical Pig

Ham’s head pivots and if you look carefully, you’ll notice that he has a slot in his back. Feel free to make a donation! Oh, and he also has:

Minis Hamm Cork

A Cork

Minis Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear – The Disrupter

Buzz is not articulated in any way. Kind of feels like I’m saying something derogatory there…

Minis Zurg

Emperor Zurg – Evil Nemesis

Zurg is also not articulated in any way. Oh well, like Father like Son!

Minis LGM

LGM – Little Green Man

The LGM’s head swivels all the way around, which one would expect from a three-eyed alien!

Two things sealed the deal on my buying the entire set of these Minis. One was price. At just $2.99 CAN each, it was a much better value than Vinylmations or other blind box offerings. The second thing was that they were not a ‘blind’ purchase, you could see into the package to determine whom you were getting. I wonder how many more figures would be sold if the blind box feature was eliminated? And if the pricing were more reasonable like these Minis.

To continue, like most PVC offerings, there is a Special Edition figure:

Minis Classic Woody

Woody – Classic Black and White Special Edition

At first I was just going to buy this one figure. Then I thought I should also get the normal variation. But I couldn’t leave without his horse… and best friends, and… Oh, I just bought them all!

Minis Hats Off

Hats Off!

So hats off to the Disney-Pixar marketing department for getting me to shell out again for more character figures of characters I already have dozens of figures of. Man, but those guys are good!

For more Disney PVC figurines, click the link to check out an excellent box set of Gremlins!

Tomorrowland Speedway Car from Walt Disney World

The Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite attractions! I just love choking on the gas fumes as I bump around the track listening to the motors of dozens of (basically) little go-carts. And that wasn’t sarcasm, I really do love this attraction for just those reasons!

So when I started to find these great toys on eBay and elsewhere, I started building my fleet:

Speedway Profile

 Mickey Mouse Driving No. 45

I purchased this model recently even though I already have one. And I have two red ones and a blue one. And I’ll add dozens more if I can find them!

Speedway Front

Nice bumper. NO BUMPING!

Eventually I am going to build a large Walt Disney World layout in my basement with a monorail set-up and, of course, a Tomorrowland Speedway track. That’s why I need a fleet. See, it makes perfect sense, my buying dozens of these things.

Speedway Rear

No brake lights. Maybe that’s why people bump!

Now my wife stared at me in disbelief when I told her I had just purchased something that I already had. More than one of. And wanted dozens more of. What is it with women???

Speedway Undercarriage

Oh, Mickey flipped it again!

So maybe the guide rails on the track are a good idea after all.

I paid $10.00 CAN for this particular example. They sold for $12.00 US back in the day:

Speedway Price Tag

Isn’t everything?

These toy cars use a pullback motor. Pulling the car backward (hence the name) winds up an internal coil spring. When released, the car is propelled forward by the spring. When the spring has unwound and the car is moving, the motor is disengaged by a clutch or ratchet and the car then rolls freely onward. Winding must be completed in one pass.

To see my collection of Disneyland Autopia toy cars, just click the link! It is from the days of Chevron sponsorship.

Attractions: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

One thing I love to do on this site is cover places that I visit. There are so many attractions in and around my area that spotlight many unique forms of creativity that it would be a shame if anyone missed them. So if you are ever in Michigan be sure to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

If you’re not planning to be in this State anytime soon, then this post is for you!

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI

Attractions Entrance

What can one say about this place? It’s weird. Weird but wonderful at the same time! And as the first exhibit (pictured below) will show, it draws its inspiration from some pretty solid places:

Attractions Inspirations

Fine Inspiration Indeed!

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square foot building for some 50 years. He was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus and was involved in the appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers. We lost Marvin on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.

But the eclectic showroom he started so long ago still operates and is open to the public seven days a week.

Let’s have a look at just some of the oddities you can expect to find:

Attractions Doctor

Instant Physical Exam for just 75 cents

You will find a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities here. The doctor above is just one of dozens of examples on display. If you plan on investing your money on this doctor’s diagnosis, prepare to be insulted!

Attractions Store

Where to look first?

Walking in for the first time can be overwhelming! There isn’t a bare piece of wall or ceiling in the place.

“Vibratory Doctor”? Is that even legal?

Many of these vintage machines would have been on boardwalks or in sideshows, at a circus or freak show. I wonder why?

Attractions Neon

Beautiful Neon

There are several examples of neon signage as well, with my favorite example being displayed above.

Attractions Advertising

Advertising Signage

Marvin was an equal opportunity collector and so also added vintage advertising to his collection.

Attractions Disturbing

Disturbing!

This museum is definitely a Home of the Weird as the above image shows. A 3-breasted Gypsy, anyone?

Attractions Sailor

The Lighter Side

The museum also has many pieces to make you smile too. Such as the two Sailor Puppets above.

Attractions Food Kiosk

Hungry or Thirsty?

We are about half way through our tour, so if you’re getting a bit peckish, why not stop at the food stand and ask Humpty Dumpty for something to eat or drink?

Attrcations Mirrors

Your Weird Hosts for This Post

What would a fun place be without a warped mirror?

Attractions Truck

On the Road

I need to get me a truck like this when I go searching for things to add to my weird and wonderful collection!

Now all good things come with a price:

Attractions Meters

Electric Donations

There is no charge to visit this museum but, as you can see above, donations to cover the cost of electricity are gratefully received! Also, almost all of the displays are fully operational and can be enjoyed for between 25 and 75 cents a play. This includes vintage arcade games (like Asteroids and Pac-Man), carnival games, pinball machines, and ‘Peep Shows’ (clean, of course!).

So please be sure to leave some of your hard-earned money behind!

COOL FACTOR: 5/5

I was thrilled to find such a unique and strange place among the attractions of Michigan! It won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re easily creeped out. But if you’re a student of history and a fan of early examples of coin-operated art and like to walk on the wild side at times… make your way to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum!

Kinder Surprise ‘Finding Dory’ Chocolate Eggs & Toys

I have posted many examples of the plastic toys found inside Zanai chocolate eggs. That company usually has a nice selection of Disney and Pixar characters. You can click the links to see posts featuring Frozen and Inside Out respectively. But this time I’m sharing some characters from  Finding Dory that I found inside chocolate eggs from Kinder Surprise.

Four Chances

Once these were opened I found that I got three different characters and one double. Let’s begin the opening process:

Kinder Surprise Wrapper

Peel away the wrapper…

Kinder Surprise Opened

Expose the capsule inside…

Kinder Surprise Capsules

Open the capsule and see who you got!

My first character was Bill, a minor character who is voiced by Pixar favorite and good luck charm, John Ratzenberger. He is a small but fairly pessimistic crab. Bill, not John.

Kinder Surprise Crab Pieces

Kinder Surpries Crab

Freed at last, and assembled

This toy has an added feature in that it has a little wheel under the crab’s tummy which, when turned, moves his claws.

Kinder Surprise Claws Move

The next character I released was Bailey who is a Beluga Whale and a resident of the Marine Life Institute. He was voiced by Ty Burrell.

Kinder Surprise Whale Pieces

Kinder Surprise Whale

Freed and swimming in one piece

This toy doesn’t move but it does have an interesting feature. If you dip Bailey’s head in water and push the button on his tummy, he will suck up the water.

Kinder Surprise Water Spout

Then when you push the button on his tummy, he will spray the water out… all over your best friend! Well, what are friends for?

The last character I freed from it’s chocolate holding tank was papa Marlin himself.

Kinder Surprise Nemo Pieces

Kinder Surprise Nemo

Nemo’s neurotic father, the un-funny clown fish, is voiced by Albert Brooks. As with Bill the crab, Marlin also has a movement feature:

Kinder Surprise Nemo Wheels

Wheels, for the fish on the go!

When you wheel Marlin across a surface, he will turn slightly from side to side.

But the toys aren’t technically the only Kinder Surprise when you buy one of these great chocolate eggs. That was a hint:

Kinder Surprise Chocolate

CHOCOLATE!

Unlike the eggs from Zanai, which are just milk chocolate, the eggs from Kinder Surprise give you both milk and white chocolate. Have mercy!

So let’s put the three characters that I got together for a group photo:

Kinder Surprise Set

Not too many smiles for some reason

The quality of the toys from Kinder Surprise are slightly better than those in most of the ones I’ve found from Zanai. But from a creative standpoint, both companies do a good job of giving kids a fun little keepsake.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some indulging to do!

Cars Diecast: Rusty & Dusty Rust-eze

Diecast cars. The term just conjures up all sorts of great childhood memories! Hotwheels tracks with colorful cars doing impossible stunts. Hotwheels cars crashing off the track because of doing impossible stunts! But that was then, now we have diecast characters from the Pixar movie Cars:

“What’s wrong with rusty cars?”

When Lightning McQueen gets his big break and is able to race in The Piston Cup (“He did what in his cup?!?” -Mater) he has a not-so prestigious sponsor to thank for it: Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment. Oh, feel the soothing relief!

And who are everyone’s favorite Rust-eze representatives?

McQueen is embarrassed to be associated with rusty cars and so tries to avoid them at all costs! But he later learns that they aren’t so bad after all.

Rusty, but faithful and grateful!

In the end, McQueen rightly decides to stay with his original sponsor instead of changing to the much cooler Dinoco. A good call if I do say so myself!

DiecastDiecast

Vanity License Plates

“Hey! Don’t drive like my brother!” Brothers. What’cha gonna do? These brothers have taken family togetherness to the next level with matching vanity plates. Rusty (the car) has ‘Rust’ on his and Dusty (the van) has ‘Eze’ on his. These guys are just too cute!

Okay, stop looking at their butts, they’re not that cute!

Diecast

FUN STORY: When I was in my early teens, my father bought an old Dodge van like the one shown in this post. Our ‘Dusty’ had an old 8-track player and a 3-on-the-tree shifter. If you’re under 30 years of age, ask your parents for a translation.

I used to drive around listening to the greatest hits of Burton Cummings (again, ask your parents) and feeling pretty cool because I could use a column shifter! True story.


For more fun with diecast Cars characters, check out some truly odd members of the series with Bessie and Ted Yale.

Star Wars: The Black Series – Titanium Series Helmets

A bit of a contradiction! Is it a ‘black’ or ‘titanium’ series? As if Star Wars wasn’t confusing enough already. Well, we’ll let the Force work it out and just have a look:

Detailed Packaging

This set caught my eye at Walmart for a long time before I finally broke down and purchased them. The 25% discount may have helped me make the decision. Or… was it something else?

These are very well done replicas of the helmets worn by Captain Phasma and the First Order Storm Troopers.

Ready to be released from Cryo-suspension

Nice sculpt from all sides

       Each helmet comes complete with a display stand sporting the Star Wars logo. The helmet can be pivoted on the stand or completely removed from it.

We will have to leave these two members of the Dark Side now as they have a very important meeting with a certain Sith Lord whom I think you will readily recognize:

I thought he’d be taller…


To see more of Darth Vader check out our earlier post entitled Disney Infinity 3.0 Darth Vader.