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:

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.

Happy on the side…

Scary on the front!

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!

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.

Angry on the side…

Angry on the roof! Trust me.

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

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!

Angry on the side again…

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!

Vroom-vroom!

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’:

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:

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

    

Coming and going

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:

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?

Sinclair Oil Corporation Inspired Pixar’s Dinoco

The Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916, by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation’s logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur. And there is where the Disney/Pixar tie-in begins!

Dinoco is an oil company/gas station that has been seen in Toy Story and Cars. In Toy Story, the logo is an Apatosaurus. In Cars, the logo is a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinoco may have been based on the Sinclair Oil Corporation, because it also uses an Apatosaurus as its logo (above).

I recently came across a vintage promotional film for Sinclair service station owners entitled Sinclair: You Are a Retailer. It likely dates from the early 1960’s if the vehicles in it are any indication.

This was an extremely well done film for an in-house effort! And it yielded many interesting images…

    Sinclair Sales Video 006

Directly above, you can see what a typical Sinclair service station looked like back in the days of full-service and friendly attendants. Below is what a Dinoco service station looked like in Toy Story:

Dinoco Station Toy Story

Let’s compare all three dinosaur logos side by side. First will be Sinclair, then Dinoco from Toy Story, and last Dinoco from Cars:

    Dinoco Toy Story         Dinoco Cars

The first two dinosaur logos are very close, but it appears the Dinoco of the Cars franchise decided to power up their Dino!

It was a real treat to find this vintage promotional film from Sinclair! And it is good to see that Disney/Pixar is paying homage to companies that have helped to shape the landscape we pass through on a daily basis.

Ding Ding! Fill’er up please!

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.

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:

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.

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:

Actual

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!

Book Review: Disney-Pixar Comics Treasury

I was going to be away from home for a while and wanted something to take with me to read. So I went to my local Chapters and found this book in the discount section:

    

HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 2014

It contains 14 adaptions of the Pixar films with 1 extra bonus story involving Wall-E. I’ve read about half so far and have found a pattern developing, even though different writers are responsible for some of the titles.

         

Being as I know the stories inside-out, I can follow the edited versions presented in the book reasonably well. But for first-time readers, many panels would not make sense, as crucial details are left out. It is obvious that these adaptions were not penned by seasoned comic book writers, individuals with a consummate knowledge of conveying a bigger story into the sometimes limiting space of comic book boxes.

         

Now is as good a time as any to mention the bonus story entitled Wall-E: Recharge. As you would expect, there is no dialogue to help you understand what is happening, and because of the aforementioned inexperience of the writers with this medium the story is all-but incomprehensible!

         

The best part of this treasury is the artwork! Every artist brought a great sense of the original story to each title with some truly breath-taking visuals. As a comic book fan from way back, this was a treat to read based only on the pictures (yup, I’m a picture guy).

         

Not to be too tough on this treasury, it’s still a fun read with good work done by all of the creative talent involved. I would definitely recommend it to any Disney parent who would like a nice book of bedtime stories to share with their little Disney fans-to-be!