Far-west toys made in Brazil in the 1970’s



My first text in English, published in July, 2011, dealt with the far-west toys made in Brazil in the 1960’s. The second text, published in September, 2011, dealt with forts made in Brazil in the 1970’s. This third text will deal with other far-west toys made in Brazil in the 1970’s (other than forts). I will not show here all toys made during that decade. For instance, I will not show Playmobil items, those will be dealt with in a future text.

The 70’s were an interesting decade. Many nice toys were made, as you will see in the pictures below. I have seen far-west toys made all over the world. However, in my opinion, it is hard to find sets as beautiful as the ones shown in this text.

The main manufacturer of far-west toys in the 1970’s was a company named Gulliver. As I said in my last text, we do not have precise information about what was made by this company between 1970 and 1972. Thus, for some items shown below I will say that their production started in 1973. However, it is possible that some of them might have been in production before that year.

There is only one item that I am absolutely sure that was made between 1970 and 1972, the Bat Masterson set. This set contained a saloon (in plastic), a plastic base, the Bat Masterson figure (in black, there are three of them in picture) and cowboys. The saloon was a copy from the one contained in the Virginia City set, made by Casablanca between 1967 and 1969.  In this picture you can see the box (in the rear) and the set:

This item was done until 1972 only.

There is another set that might have been made between 1973 and 1974. However, this set is not shown in the catalog for those years. Although this was not completely unusual, it was strange (a set missing in the catalog). Another possibility is that this set was made between 1970 and 1972, and it was no longer being made in 1973. The name of the set was Hunt in the Snow. It came with a plastic base, bears, hunters and trees, as shown in the picture:

In 1973 Gulliver released a new series named “Far West Series”, with new items. The catalog for 1973 and 1974 was the same (valid for both years). Most of the new sets continued being made through the following years. However, there is one set that was made only during 73 and 74, and its name was Savage Plain. It came with a plastic base, buffaloes and Indians. Below are the pictures of the box and the set:

Another set released in 1973 was “The Apaches”. This set contained a plastic base, three teepees, one totem, a canoe and Indians. This was the only set that had the figures of the sitting Indians. These Indians were copied from originals made by Elastolin, in Germany. The sitting Indians made in Brazil are presently very rare. Below are pictures of the box and the set:

It is possible to see in the catalog that there was another model of box for this set. However, I do not have a picture of this other one.

In 1975 the name of the set changed to “Apache Camp”. This name would be used for many years. Main changes were:

-          No more plastic base;

-          Teepees went from 3 to 5;

-          There was a new box.

This same box was used until 1979.

In the pictures below you can see the box and the set:

 

In the picture below, the Apache Camp from my personal collection. I have added more teepees to the set:

In 1978 the set changed again. There was a base (again, but not in plastic), the teepees went from 5 to 4, and they came in different colors. This version was made in 78 and 79. The picture below is from my 1978 Apache Camp, and I do not have the original base (the base can be seen in the 1978 Chaparral set, below):

What is interesting in the Brazilian Apache Camps is that there were no Apaches in the sets. The Indians might be Sioux, Cheyenne, but there were no Apaches…

In the 1970’s the High Chaparral was a big hit in Brazil. Seeing the opportunity, Gulliver released a set (probably in 1973, but it might have been earlier) named Chaparral. The picture below is from my 2008 visit to the High Chaparral, at Old Tucson Studios. I was a big fan of this show.

There were three versions of Chaparral between 1973 and 1979, and two versions of boxes. The first picture below shows the box used between 1973 and 1976, while the second picture shows the box used between 1977 and 1979:

The first version of the ranch, made between 73 and 74 (might be earlier) is the one shown in the picture below:

The house was done of plastic. In the above picture the windmill (only the feet can be seen) shown is made of wood (like the one made for The Ponderosa, in the 1960’s). However, the 1973 Chaparral came with a plastic windmill, as the one shown in the pictures below. Thus, it is possible that there was an earlier version of the Chaparral, and the 1973 catalog showed a picture of this earlier version, instead of the actual 1973 one.

The picture below shows the Chaparral as made between 1975 and 1977. Although the house was still made of plastic, the model was different than the one made until 74.

Finally, the version made in 78 and 79 had a base (the same base was used for the Apache Camp), and the set was smaller than the previous versions. But still nice. Here is a picture of my 1978 one:

 

1979 was the last year a version of Chaparral was made in Brazil. This toy would be discontinued in 1980.

In 1966 Casablanca released the set Caravan, with five wagons. Gulliver continued Casablanca’s work, but the first picture that we have for this set in the 1970’s is the 1973 one, and the name had been changed to Conquer of the West, and the wagons were made of plastic. However, there are in the market wooden wagons made by Gulliver (as shown in the picture below). The wooden wagons made by Gulliver have the same wheels used by Casablanca for the stagecoach in the 1960’s. Therefore, we can assume that this set existed before 1973, although we do not know if the name was Caravan or Conquer of the West.

We also don’t know how many wagons the set contained.

In 1973, with the name Conquer of the West, that set came with three plastic wagons (two covered and one uncovered), cowboys and Indians, as shown in the picture below:

The illustration for the box was taken from the poster of the movie Custer of the West. We do not know if this image was already used before 1973. However, it was used until 1979, and I have very good memories of spending time looking at it and imagining that battle. In my opinion this image is even better than the movie itself. In 1975 (probably) the name of the set moved back to Caravan. However, the box continued the same. The picture below shows the box of the Caravan. I got this picture at the Brazilian website Nosthalgia:

In the Caravan the number of wagons was reduced from three to two (one covered and one uncovered), but two tents were added to the set. These tents had been used in a set named Independence or Death, released by Gulliver in 1972 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Brazilian independence. At the side of the Caravan’s tents there were flags of the 7th Cavalry. Here is a picture of the Caravan (as made until 1977):

 

In 1978 the set changed again. Main changes were: there was a base (like the one used for the Chaparral), tents were reduced from two to only one, and the wagons came in red plastic (instead of brown one).

Casablanca and Gulliver loved to surf in the success of TV shows (like today’s toymakers surf in the success of super heroes’ movies). Thus, in 1975 and 1976 Gulliver produced a set named Kung Fu, to surf in the success of the TV series with David Carradine. The set consisted of a box with cowboys and two figures representing Cane. Here are the box and the set:

 

Well, the last set that I will show in this text will be Gunsmoke (has anyone heard something about surfing on the success of TV shows?). Gunsmoke was not made by Gulliver, it was made by another company named Viocena (popularly known as Viocema). The set contained three wooden buildings: saloon, sheriff’s office and horse stable; stagecoach (like the one made by Casablanca in the 1960’s, but with different horses), cowboys and four figures representing the four main characters of Gunsmoke: Marshall Matt Dillon, Kitty, Doc and Festus Haggen.

Here is the picture of the box of this set:

There were two versions of this set. The buildings in the versions are slightly different. The picture below (from my personal collection) shows the second version of the set:

Festus can be seen in front of the horse stable and Marshall Dillon is in the balcony. Unfortunately in the picture Kitty and Doc are hidden by the stagecoach.

Well folks, that is what I had for now. Hope you have enjoyed it. Well … as my texts have not received comments from international readers, I can not know if you are enjoying it or now. What I know, from the site’s statistics, is that we have thousands of hits from all over the world.

See you in 2012!

Marcos Guazzelli

November 2011

 





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