Tag Archives: retro toys

Never mind the adverts (Pt9)

Welcome to part 9 of TVTA’s series Never Mind The Adverts.

In this edition we focus on James Bond 007 Spy cards.


A collection completed!

Today I finally completed my 007 trading card set! I needed five cards to finish, two of them super-rares. The cards were released in 2008 by GE Fabbri Ltd alongside a fortnightly run of magazines containing facts and info on the James Bond films. The magazines and cards were available to buy in UK newsagents. There were 275 cards to collect, trade and play with (each card has numerical statistics similar to Top Trumps).

A collectors tin was offered with issue 2 in which to store your cards. Mini albums were also available if you wanted to display in a reading format. Other items included a 007 spy pen and a burglar alarm toy. Some of the items were only available for subscribers and were not sold in shops.

Got, got, got, haven’t got, got…

After spending a small fortune and finding that I needed only a dozen or so cards to finish, I stopped buying the cards as I was only turning up doubles. When GE Fabbri discontinued the line I was disappointed to learn that unlike other trading card companies such as Panini, they didn’t offer an end service to buy directly any remaining cards needed. So, it was off to eBay for me to chase the stragglers. At first it was easy, but trying to find the last five I needed for a fair price proved to be difficult. That is until this week, when after a considerable hiatus I decided to hunt down those last stragglers and got lucky!

And here they are…


A small breakdown of what was available either in-store or as a subscriber exclusive…

Issue 1 backing board that was available in newsagents for the series launch. In the foreground is the collectable storage tin that came with issue 2..


Storage tin showing a complete collection of the 275 trading cards. You can also see the double-sided poster standing in the inside of the lid which doubled as a checklist to track and mark off each card.


007 burglar alarm toy, two spy pens, and the wrapper from an opened pack of cards.


Series magazines and cardboard storage box.


The name’s Bond. James Bond. These cards are dedicated to the various actors who played the role.


Villains, allies, Bond girls, gadgets and vehicles!








To sum up, I’m delighted to finally finish this collection. The colourful cards are packed with interesting characters, gadgets and vehicles that span all the Bond films up to Daniel Craig’s first outing. There are plenty of metallic foils to collect along with a small number of super-rare tilting double image cards, making this set hard to complete yet not impossible – even almost ten years later on the secondary market. The magazines are well-produced and the extras are good fun. The collectors tin adds a touch of elegance but needs to be handled with care as the metal is very thin and prone to dents and scratches.

Marks out of ten for the entire set and the collecting experience: a solid 8.5.


That’s all for now. Thanks for looking, and join us again soon for another Never Mind The Adverts!

KerPlunk

Kerplunk was made by Ideal Toys in 1967. Players load the tower with 30 sticks to create a ‘nest’ then place 40 marbles on top of the nest. Players take turns in carefully removing the sticks to prevent any marbles from falling. Fallen marbles accumulate in designated player trays at the base of the tower. The winner is the player with the least amount of fallen marbles at the end of the game.

Ideal Toys catalogue page. 1972.

BIG TRAK

BIG TRAK (US) or Bigtrak (Europe) was a computerised toy vehicle created by Milton Bradley in 1979. This six-wheeled tank-like monster came with attractive decals, a front-mounted blue photon beam headlamp, and an integrated programmable keypad that remembered up to 16 commands which it then executed in sequence.

ZEROIDS – workers of the future

“From the planet Zero come the incredible workers of the future – grabbing, pinching, clawing, carrying, attracting, throwing, pushing, pulling and hauling. From turret to track they are realistically simulated in awesome detail.”

I love how in 1972 the Ideal toy company was using the word “awesome” to describe one of its products – awesome being a word heavily in use today to describe… well… awesome things. Things like toy robots. Things like Zeroids!

Zeroids was a line of battery-operated motorised robots able to propel themselves across surfaces. They appeared on toy shelves in 1967 and underwent a rebrand in the late 70s and more recently in 2016 by the Toyfinity company. The original robot characters in the line are Zobor the Bronze Transporter, Zintar the Silver Explorer, and Zerak the Blue Destroyer.

UK. Ideal catalogue page. 1972.

Never mind the adverts… here are the toys (Pt7)

Welcome to part 7 of TVTA’s series Never Mind The Adverts.

In this edition we focus on vintage and modern Playmobil figures.

Playmobil is one of my favourite toy lines for its simplicity, feel-good factor and traditional themes. As an archiver of toy advertising and a bit of a junkie when it comes to collecting toys, it’s always fun to add some Playmobil, whether from the secondary market, new, or by nagging the family to dig out any childhood stuff. Some of the following sets below are incomplete, but will still, I’m sure, have the power to bring a smile to your face.


First up…. vintage Playmobil Indians from the late 70s / early 80s

Various figures and accessories from vintage Playmobil indian sets.


And the band(s) played on

Circus bands. The top is a vintage set from the mid 1970s missing a few pieces, while the bottom is from circa 1991 and is missing the stage and a cymbal stand.


The Midnight Café

I was pleased with how this photo turned out. This set was available in France as a mail away order in the Playmobil catalogue supplement.


Rabbit Klicky Bunny Bizarreness!

Playmobil Easter bunny with eggs, basket and cane. Loose and packaged example. This strange but cute figure was given away in meals by French fast-food chain Quick in 2016. It has the feet and head of a rabbit appearing on the body of a Playmobil figure. The character is the same as the one sold in 2014 in the Playmobil Easter calendar pack. Playmo Easter bunnies can be dated back to 2004.

More Quick promotional Playmo figures

Sealed baggies. Quick promo figures from 2014 / 2015.


Recreio Comic from Brazil

Brazil. Sealed Recreio comic with Playmobil promotional figure in baggie. 2015.


I like to move it

E-Rangers Robot and driver. 2012. This very cool toy has articulated arms, legs and feet, and can grasp objects. It comes with a crate of red rocks for lifting (not pictured).


Elvis and Lady Gaga are in the house

From Playmobil’s ‘Fi?ures’ collection. 2011. Series 2 Elvis and Series 3 Lady Gaga.


Vintage Playmo-Space

Vintage Playmo-space. GE 5P robot with RG 9-5 vehicle and figure. Circa 1980.


Playmobil Special Plus

playmo-prince-buscuits-offer-2016-post

From the Playmobil Special Plus collection. Fairy and deer. 2016. This particular set was given away free by French company Prince when you collected ten tokens from their biscuit products.


Baby Dinosaur

Baby dinosaur, dinosaur egg, scientist. Circa 2011.


Table tennis

Table tennis players from 2011.


Zulu

Playmobil Zulu warrior. 2009.


Executioner

Off with their heads!! I call him “The Executioner of Lille”. He’s actually from the 2011 Playmobil ‘FI?URES’ Series 1 line


Zombie Pirates

I call these my “Zombie Pirates” but they’re really just various ghost pirates pulled together from sets between 2009 and 2012 to form an undead motley crew of ocean-bound vagabonds.

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking, and join us again soon for another Never Mind The Adverts!

Dates quoted from official Playmobil catalogues.

Thanks also to Klickypedia


 

Never mind the adverts… here are the toys (Pt6)

Welcome to part 6 of TVTA’s series Never Mind The Adverts.

In this edition we focus on the best (or 2nd best depending on your stance) musical band to come out of the Star Wars original trilogy films:

Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band

Original concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie.


US toy manufacturer Kenner released the Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band play-set in 1983 for their 3.75 inch action figure line. The characters are representative of the alien pop band hired by gangster Jabba the Hutt in the third installment of the original Star Wars trilogy film Return of the Jedi. The play-set was also released for the european Trilogo line and the Spanish Lili Ledy line.

Sy Snootles

Image Lucasfilm.

Singing from curling lips that sprout from the end of her long proboscis, with spindly legs and arms, could Sy Snootles be the galactic female equivalent of Mick Jagger? There are barely a handful of female O/T Star Wars figures; luckily Sy Snootles attempts to make up for this by being one of the grooviest and most interesting-looking alien of the entire line. Her action figure does her fine justice.


Max Rebo

Image Starwars.com

Max Rebo is the floppy-eared blue elephant-like keyboard player and leader of the Max Rebo Band. He comes from planet Orto and his species is Ortolan. His piano is called a Red Ball Organ.


Droopy McCool

Image Starwars.com

Droopy McCool is a flute-playing Kitonak from planet Kirdo III

 


This is the second Sy Snootles and the Rebo band I’ve owned. My first was a boxed Trilogo which I traded a while back for other Stars Wars stuff. Here are a couple of pics I saved.



I really love this set and wish that Kenner had also made some Biths for a cantina band play-set. That would be some jam session putting both bands together!

As always thanks for looking. Join us again soon for another Never Mind The Adverts!


Sources:

Star Wars The Essential Guide To Characters by Andy Mangels. Boxtree. 1996.

Imperialgunneryforum.com

Starwars.com