20th Century Toy Collector

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Archive for the 'Majokit' Category

Postcards from Autobot City

I love it when I accidentally stumble upon something cool. Isn’t that just the best way to discover cool shit? Case in point: a little while ago I was reorganizing my collection room and had a stack of Majokit boxes standing next to some of my Transformers. For those who don’t know what Majokit was (and that’s probably most of you): the Majokit toy line was a modular city that you could build using various parts. You had pavements, traffic lights and signs, street lights, gas stations, the works. It was created somewhere around 1983 by French die-cast metal model car manufacturer Majorette.

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MB Red Tracks and MB Jazz in Autobot City

“Welcome to Metroplex”

When I saw my Transformers stacked next to my Majokit I thought to myself; “wouldn’t it be cool to combine Majokit and Transformers and create a little diorama?” After all, Majokit and the early Transformers Autobot cars were more or less the same scale. So I grabbed a couple of my MB Transformers Autobot cars (Jazz, Red Tracks and Ratchet) and one of my favourite big G1′s : Metroplex and went to town!

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Ratchet and Red Tracks

Within 5 minutes I had laid out a very basic Majokit street. I added some street lights, some signs and traffic lights and a house. Then I placed Ratchet and Jazz in there. That looked pretty cool. I imagined what Autobot City might have looked like and that’s when I decided I would drop big daddy Metroplex in there in city mode. To spice things up I also added the MB Red Tracks to the scene. I positioned Red Tracks as if he were driving down Metroplex’s ramp.

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Metroplex, with laserbeams of awesomeness shooting up behind him

Some seriously geeky fun ensued and I quickly grabbed my iPhone and made some snapshots of the scene, before I had to pack everything up again. I then imported the photos into Photoshop and let the creative juices flow by adding a cool atmospheric background to the scene.

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MB Jazz braking for a red light

As these photos were made in a hurry with a smartphone camera under low light conditions they’re not exactly the best quality, but the end result came out looking pretty OK for a proof of concept. At the very least it made me decide to redo this little project in the near future using my DSLR and on a larger scale (a bigger Majokit street plan, more Autobots). There’s so much cool and nerdy stuff I can think of for the next attempt.

The two photos that I made can be seen in their entirety below:

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“Mega Majokit”

Before I sign off here’s a very cool photo showing what levels of mega coolness were attainable if you had enough dough to buy shitloads of Majokit sets back in 1983-1984. Man I just loved that kind of thing. Just imagine the scene below filled with early G1 Autobots. :-)

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posted by 20th Century Toy Collector in Majokit,Transformers and have Comments (4)

The 1980s had the Best Toys!

Every generation will look back with fondness at their childhood. For me -and I will wager for the majority of the male audience visiting this website- the decade called the 1980s was the decennium where most of our childhood years were spent…. and that was an awesome time to be alive and growing up! I was born in 1975, so for me the 1980s started when I was almost 5 and they ended when I was almost 15. Those are very important and formative years for a boy growing up. The 1980s had some of the coolest toys and cartoons ever!

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Orko says hi!

“1980s rule!”

Yeah, I know that’s a bold claim and some will say that every generation will say the same about their childhood decade(s). But there really is something different about the 1980s and I think I can back that up with facts. The 1980s were the decade where some of the most classic toy lines were launched. Some of these have seen numerous reissues and relaunches since then and some of them still exist to this day!!! The 1980s were also the first decade where toy based cartoon series exploded onto our television screens!!

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Your childhood says hi!

While pessimists might claim that these cartoons were nothing more than 30 minute advertisements for the toy lines they were based on, the kids of the 1980s will tell you a whole different story!!

“Soapbox”

Allow me the priviledge to step on my soap box and to be so bold as to represent a whole generation of kids worldwide, who grew up in the 1980s, whether they grew up in Europe, the Americas or Asia….. These cartoons and toys were a fucking blast! They have stimulated our imaginations like nothing else and for some of us they still resonate profoundly in our adult lives and still fill our lives with pleasure! Hands up all of you who consider Optimus Prime a personal hero. Hands up all of you who got all choked up inside when Optimus Prime died in the 1986 Transformers Movie. Hands up all of you who still get goose bumps every now and then when He-Man holds up his magic sword and says “By the Power of Grayskull!”. Hands up all of you who think the intro theme to the M.A.S.K. cartoon is one of the coolest pieces of music written evah!! :-)

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Yo Joe!!

“The 1980s are still rockin’!”

I guess some sceptics might still claim that the 1980s are nothing different from the decades before and the decades after. Well, I beg to differ. Let’s have an objective look at some of the 1980s properties that are still alive today, shall we? The Transformers exploded onto an unsuspecting planet in 1984 and have remained with us ever since! The toy line just never stopped and kept being reinvented and has recently reached new levels of awesomeness in the 21st century with three major motion pictures and no end in sight yet!!! Next up: G.I. Joe! In the 1980s Hasbro relaunched their G.I. Joe line and it became a major, major hit worldwide. Again, today we still have G.I. Joe toys being released and two succesful blockbuster motion pictures!

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Memories….

But those are not the only 1980s properties that saw re-releases or re-issues. How about the numerous Masters of the Universe re-issues and relaunches over the years and the MOTU Classics line still going strong? How about the Inspector Gadget movies? How about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revival around the corner? How about the Battle Beasts trademark being brought back by Diamond Select Toys and Takara gearing up to release the true successor to the Battle Beasts line: Beast Saga! There’s probably loads more examples you could come up with.

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Kick ass packaging design

“Wonder, magic and adventure”

That’s one of the many reasons I like to collect vintage toys from the 1980s. They’re so frickin’ cool! Another reason is that it recaptures some of the enthousiasm and joy that I felt when I was a kid. I would certainly not want to give you the impression that I don’t feel joy and enthousiasm in my adult life, far from it. But there’s just something about that sense of wonder, magic and adventure that you would feel as a kid that rarely happens anymore in your adult life. Coming home and opening a package that arrived from the US, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands or any other place on this planet makes my heart beat faster and I feel like I’m 10 years old and it’s my birthday when I’m tearing the package open! And that’s a good thing if you ask me.

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My childhood friends!

Thank you for allowing me to get all emotional on you and to indulge in a little personal nostalgia here. I’ll step off my soapbox now. Normal blogging will resume shortly. ;-) I’ve added a lot of goodies to my collection in the past few weeks that I hope to feature here as soon as I can get them photographed.

 

“Gallery”

 

posted by 20th Century Toy Collector in G.I. Joe,He-Man,M.A.S.K.,Majokit,MB Transformers,Transformers and have Comments (9)

Majokit, MB Megatron and Mobile Suit Gundam

Phew! A slew of goodies have been added to the collection. There’s a hint of alliteration in the air with the culprits being Majokit sets, a Mobile Suit Gundam model kit and a dedicated page for my recently acquired MIB (mint-in-box) Milton Bradley Megatron!

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Majokit was created around 1983 by well-known French die-cast car toy manufacturer Majorette. It was basically a kit playset that allowed you to build a traffic environment with street crossings, street signs, traffic lights and much more. It was more or less intended as an add-on to their popular die-cast car toys, although it wasn’t exactly up to scale with their own toy cars! However that may be, the Majokit system was a delight to play with. I had loads of Majorette cars when I was a little kid and I went nuts when I first saw the Majokit sets in my local toy store. I recently added a couple of Majokit sets to my collection, most of which still MISB (mint-in-sealed-box). Look out for an in-depth article on Majokit in the near future!

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A couple of weeks ago I took up watching the first Japanese series of Mobile Suit Gundam. It’s a cartoon with giant battling robots in it and that is the only justification I need. Ofcourse I could not reject the temptation to part with even more of my hard earned money this month in exchange for a nice, special edition Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 model kit. It was made for Gundam’s 30th anniversary last year and has special 7-Eleven colours. Now only to find the time to put the model together in the next couple of decennia…

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And as you can see from the picture above, the Milton Bradley (MB) Megatron that I recently reported on obtaining has found its way into my collection room. I took the time to add a dedicated collection page on Megatron, which you can find on the Collection menu to the right or simply by clicking here. You’re welcome. But that’s not the only Milton Bradley madness, because I also added a whopping total of four other MB Transformers to my collection recently with one more to follow shortly. Stay tuned!!

posted by 20th Century Toy Collector in Majokit,MB Transformers,Mobile Suit Gundam,Transformers and have Comments (4)