Today’s toy images are scanned from the US printed 1990 Ertl Export Catalog which was produced in six languages, 50 pages, and contained the 1990 Ertl range available for export around the world.
My adverts section for Corgi Toys shows some cool superhero, film and TV-themed die cast vehicles, and I always knew that Corgi was spot on when it came to representing pop culture in its die cast range. Even so, I wasn’t quite prepared for the images that greeted me as I took hold of a copy of the Paris-based Fair Play Distribution Catalogue from 1980.
This A4 toy brochure aimed at shops and stores features more pop culture goodness than you can shake a Penguin umbrella at, including many fabulous point-of-sale store displays. If these toy units don’t take you back to happy childhood times spent at the toy shop buying cars then I don’t know what will. Simply amazing to see.
The catalogue also features Corgi’s regular die cast vehicle range, which will have to come in a separate post as there are just too many photos to show in one outing, and as Wooof correctly points out, TVTA readers may be in severe danger of a vintage-joy circuit overload. Enjoy the scans!
1980 Fair Play Distribution Catalogue, France
As always, thanks for looking 🙂
Courtesy of the 1976 Pilen catalogue from Spain
Pilen S.A. was a Spanish company that produced die cast model cars, key chains and toy guns. TVTA is pleased to present the full scans from this terrific little catalogue printed in Spanish, French, English and German. Featuring international model cars, a Tiger tank, toy guns from top cop shows like Kojak, Columbo and The Untouchables, and somewhat randomly… a set of child’s kitchen scales. It’s all here. And how about those front and back covers… with what looks like a De Tomasa Mangusta launching itself through a set of tyres against a deep red background. Always good to see some art on the covers of a catalogue.
While many of Pilen’s models are considered recasts of Dinky, Corgi, Solido and Polistil, see here and here, Pilen nevertheless stamped their own identity on them by producing superb vehicles made of quality materials, with attractive paint apps and working features.
Guns N’ Wrenches
Pilen produced some cool toy guns, managing to snag licenses for big name 60s and 70s TV shows like Kojak, Columbo, Matt Helm, U.S. Marshal, Cannon, Get Smart, and The Untouchables. Pilen key chains featured various mini tools like wrenches, saws, hammers, and even a pistol. I had one of the key chain tools as a kid and I’m almost certain it had working features. According to Wikipedia the key chains were already in production by Pilen long before the company began selling cars. Included with each car purchase was a mini catalogue with a slip which could be cut out and collected then used to send off for a free key chain.
On balance …
I don’t know why the child’s kitchen scales are included on the last page… maybe it was an end of line sale, or just a space-filler, or the company testing the market for the launch of a line of die cast super kitchen accessories? Here at TVTA we never mind a little speculation, and are always happy to end a post with a kitchen unit or accessory 🙂
This is part one of my two-parter featuring retro toys exhibited at the Coventry Transport Museum and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in the city of Coventry, West Midlands, UK.
You can see part two Here
I’ve always enoyed visiting the transport museum and was pleased to see it once again following its recent refurbishment. If you get chance to visit do so – you’ll see a fascinating display of British Midlands’ transport heritage as well as a current exhibition of classic tin and die cast toy vehicles such as Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox.
I couldn’t end the post without at least showing some of the amazing examples of ‘real’ transport on display.
How many of these do you recognise?