Missus Moonbase and I have just spent two warm weeks on the Continent.
Its always interesting to see what vintage toys are around when I get chance. Shops, flea markets and souvenir stores are all worth a look whilst holidaying.
This year wasn't particularly fruitful but we did find some stuff. Then again we did have limited luggage space for bringing goodies home.
Whilst in the Alps it was fun to see small souvenir wooden and plastic ice axes attached to a plastic mountain boot or cap and rope. These were everywhere in the alpine souvenir stores and I couldn't help wondering if any of the kit would fit our friend Action Man or GI Joe? Has anyone tried?
At 7 Euros a piece I let it go but I do recall having a set of them at home anyway from a trip years ago. I will have a mosey.
I did think that the lack of any mountaineering and skiing dress-up action dolls in alpine shops was a missed opportunity and real gap in the market. I reckon an Action Man and Barbie style toy mountaineer with all the gear would go down a storm. There were some ceramic big-headed boy dolls in traditional felt costumes but these were mantelpiece souvenirs and not for kids. Oddly enough they did remind me of Pedigree's big-headed Joe 90 doll though!
One of the highlights of the break was a boat trip across Germany's Konigsee, which culminated with a visit to the onion-spired St. Bartholoma's church.
In the nearby souvenir shops I went looking for a plastic replica of the long lake boats but alas there were none to be found. Again i thought this was a missed opportunity. In the 1960's Hong Kong outfit T in a Circle/ Tai Hing released many plastic boats, which I collect and are exactly the sort of thing a modern toy company should do for the various tourist lakes like Konigsee I think.
On our travels we did pick up a few vintage toys though. In a new toy shop I managed to find some old boxed doll sets that were nearly 15 years old, the Karina camp fire set from 2003. I still love finding dead stock like this in modern toy stores and at 2.99 Euros I couldn't resist buying one.
Apparently the Karina doll by Busch was one of the most popular dress-up dolls throughout Germany at one time. Here's a German Karina doll checklist I found [can't see my set on it though!]. Have you heard of Karina?
We also bought some more loose vintage Playmobil at a fleamarket, much of which is from 1974. This will join our growing collection for our baby Grandson when he's older. I reckon Playmobil maybe Germany's number one new AND vintage toys for collectors. Its everywhere and in huge amounts. What do you think?
I also spotted a forlorn Japanese die-cast robot at a fleamarket. Its a Granzel figure by Popy from 1976 and despite lacking its mask, missiles and hands it was going for a song so I bagged it for home.
It will form part of my late summer Ebaying effort to raise funds for the final Project SWORD toy missing from my fleet, the T in a Circle Moon Bus.
Here's Granzel posing in the Moonbase window.
Do you know Granzel?
More continental toy musings and my own snaps to come soon when I've sorted them out. In the meantime I hope your'e enjoying your summer readers!