Tag Archives: 1980s toys

Squeeze ‘n’ Squeak toys

Squeeze ‘n’ Squeak, aka Les Petits couin-couin (France), Quietschfiguren (Germany) and Piepfiguren (Netherlands) was a line of character-themed vinyl squeaky toys sold by the Playcraft company. Aimed at the pre-school market, characters included well-known favourites from the world of Disney, the Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves, Miffy and friends by Dick Bruna, and two ‘pullalongs’ Ernie Engine and Freddie Fire Engine.

Each Squeeze ‘n’ Squeak was packed separately in poly bags for displaying on hangers in the toy shop or in special presentation boxes supplied by Playcraft. The following images are taken from the 1980 Fair-Play catalogue, France.

Thank you for squeaking with us  🙂

Darda Motor 1986

In 1970 Helmut Darda of Germany invented a tiny interchangeable toy car motor and named it the ‘Darda Motor’. The motor could be inserted into a number of different vehicle types and was ‘wound up’ by rolling it back and forth by hand then releasing it. No batteries were required or electricity to power it. Vehicles could run on almost any surface but were given their own special track system called ‘Darda Tracks’ which were sold individually or in sets. Darda designed the system so that elaborate circuits could be created both horizontally and vertically in seemingly endless configurations limited only by your own imagination and how much track you could afford.

Among the typical vehicles you might expect to see such as road, rally and emergency, Darda produced some fun and unique models like dragsters, beach buggies, a mouse(!), a skateboarder, a rocket, and even a replica of Michael Knight’s KITT from the US television series Knight Rider.

The 1986 German catalogue from which these scans are taken show the classic ‘Darda-Motor’ system (red) as well as the updated ‘Darda-Stop-Motor’ (blue) – a new development at the time which allowed vehicles to be wound up but not activated to go until another vehicle had ‘tapped’ them from the rear. This added a new element to racing as cars could now ‘tag’ each other at different points of a race.

Darda is still made and sold to date, and one of the great things about it is that all current vehicles, motors and tracks can be fully integrated with their vintage counterparts. Add to this that no batteries or electricity is ever required, and that there is a seemingly endless combination of track layouts to be made, and Darda takes quite some beating.


Darda Track Sets


Darda Vehicles


Darda Accessories


Sources:

Darda Motor 1986 catalogue, Germany. Scans made by TVTA.

Website: DardaRacing.com


Thanks for looking 🙂

Edocar die cast

Edocar catalogue. 1987. Netherlands. Front cover.

Edocar was a Dutch company that produced die cast vehicles adapted from the castings of other brands such as Maisto, Hartoy and Lledo. Promoting itself as ‘Finest Diecast Miniatures’, Edocar’s early models included 50 ‘Topmodels’ from its Mini Series and 8 ‘Oldtimers’.

The following scans are from 1987 and 1988 catalogues printed in Dutch, English, German and French language. The catalogues feature Edocar’s Coca-Cola promotion range, Super Wheels, a garage, petrol station and traffic signs accessories, a carry case in which to store vehicles, and a vintage Chevrolet van done out in the livery of model-making big names Airfix and Humbrol.

The company continued to release products into the 1990s and early 2000s. Some notable releases are a Flintstones Super Car Collection, an Alfred J. Kwak (Dutch cartoon character) series, motor bikes, and the ‘Music Car’ series in which vehicles would play songs when you pressed one of the wheels. Thanks to Planet Diecast for the additional info.

1987 catalogue



Edocar catalogue. 1987. Netherlands. Back cover.


1988 catalogue

Edocar catalogue. 1988. Netherlands. Front cover.




Edocar catalogue. Netherlands. 1988. Back cover.

Thanks for looking  🙂