Jump to content
Brian..

Italian Washing Powder Co-Ma Premium Spacemen

Recommended Posts

Brian..

While searching for the source of some little spacemen I ran across these two brands of washing powder: VEL and Tide. It's evident that both brands offered Co-Ma spacemen as premiums. VEL gave away the traditional Co-Ma spacemen, but I'm not sure of the scale. Can anyone confirm whether they were the large or the small versions? TIDE offered those little Pattuglia Selenita (Moon Patrol) figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ervino

Hi!

Considering that the VEL CoMa Spaceman in the first image you posted is without a base, I assume that they were of the "big" scale series, as all the "small" scale CoMa space figures had all an incorporated base (as the TIDE Moon Patrol ones in your second image).

But this is only my deduction... :-)

Cheers

Ervino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ejpetrie

I would agree with the judgement on the bases, but for one thing: the figure is wearing a helmet.  I have two Italian hobby contacts, both being avid space toy collectors with childhood memories of Italy's own space-craze period.  I have no first hand knowledge of this myself, but each of them asserts that the large Co-Ma figures never came with helmets.  The pictured figure in the ad art is wearing one. If what I have been told is true, then I would lean toward the elimination of the base being an artistic judgement call by the ad agency and not a true representation of the actual item.  The included figures were probably done in the company's smaller scale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ervino

I would agree with the judgement on the bases, but for one thing: the figure is wearing a helmet.  I have two Italian hobby contacts, both being avid space toy collectors with childhood memories of Italy's own space-craze period.  I have no first hand knowledge of this myself, but each of them asserts that the large Co-Ma figures never came with helmets.  The pictured figure in the ad art is wearing one. If what I have been told is true, then I would lean toward the elimination of the base being an artistic judgement call by the ad agency and not a true representation of the actual item.  The included figures were probably done in the company's smaller scale.

​Hi!

 

I cannot confirm or deny your argument about original helmets for the "big" scale CoMa Spacemen figures with personally verified data (all the"family" CoMa space figures that survived my late childhood - early teen years iconoclastic fury were in the small scale... :-) but, judging form these recently auctioned CoMa figures: http://danefield.com/alpha/forums/topic/17192-alpia-coma-ebay-auctions/ (bottom images), it seems that even the big CoMa could have been originally "helmeted": it seems to me improbable that the ones included in the aforementioned auctions were all apocriphal items.

 

One thing is for sure: I have never seen till now small scale CoMa spacemen sold on ebay with their original helmets. Personally I got about half a hundred of them (that maybe I will sell someday... :-) but considered that they are fragile enough, I can easly figure that, even if the big CoMa were originally sold with helmets, it is reasonable to assume that very few of them survived the years...

 

An interesting topic anyway! :-D

 

Cheers

Ervino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alessandro

Large Co.Ma figures had helmets. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian..

They certainly look better with helmets.

coma.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ejpetrie

The first Co-Ma figure shown in that group (the translucent ivory piece) is wearing what appears to be an Archer helmet, so I assume you are talking about the type that the rest of the guys are sporting.  But the thing that made me a little suspicious about this helmet group is the fact that the helmets are badly damaged while the figures appear flawless (except for the shortened tip on the weapon of one of the two riflemen).   Now if these were a durable product like Ajax figures I wouldn't think much of it, but the fragile connecting tubes that run to three of the group's pistols are problematic for people who want these beauties in high grade. I would think that the wear of the accessories would come closer to matching the damage level on the figures, but the helmets are in far worse shape. To me that hints at the possibility of an unknown secondary source at least.  If the majority of their displayed scratches appeared on the inside then that would prove it because these helmets appear to be a loose fit so internal scratching would be kept to a minimum.

As to the argument that it's reasonable to assume that very few full sized originals would have survived, I think that the evidence is to the contrary when you look at the proportion of surviving comparable headgear accessories for other makers' space guys.  Ajax helmets survive in large numbers, as do Archers, all three types for Lido, and all three types for Marx. I've even been able to turn up Moldex helmets in decent proportion to their surviving HP figures.  (So far for me the Moldex turn-up rate for helmets is generally one helmet to every five HP figures, but so far I've found none with any of their later SP examples so I'm wondering if they ever came with any.)  However, the real proof of the pudding for the Italian market is probably the various Alpia helmet designs, which really aren't all that scarce in the aggregate.  I should also add that my experience with the small Co-Ma helmets is the exact opposite of what Ervino has experienced in the modern market (outside of his incredible private stash that is!).  I've turned up small Co-Ma helmets regularly.  It truly seems odd to me that, if a major European maker like Co-Ma made helmets for their large figures, why have none been seen until now?  Plenty of the larger figures have surfaced over the years, but not one helmet?  What are the odds?  Has any Alphadrome Member ever seen these larger Co-Ma helmets before?

In the defense of these helmets possibly being Co-Ma's I can only say this...their proportion to the figures and the awkwardness of their straight-cut base openings both match the designs of Co-Ma's smaller versions quite well.  But I think I'll still have to reserve my final judgement until I see a company ad or a verifiable example of an unopened boxed set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian..

  But I think I'll still have to reserve my final judgement until I see a company ad or a verifiable example of an unopened boxed set.

​Would this do it?

 

coma (2).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ejpetrie

It certainly does, Brian!  What really proves it is the way these helmets match the stunning box art and not the helmets pictured in that auction listing.  Those were obviously substitutes, but these look like they really belong.  And these also renew my faith in the high quality approach of the Co-Ma sculptors.  (Does anyone know who the actual creator was?)  I've always wondered why an artist with such skill would sculpt such a clumsy helmet as those clunkers that the small guys wear.  These helmets appear to have the nice tapered, form-fitting base that I would have expected to find with Co-Ma figures.  Thanks so much for sharing!

Now you have to show the interior of the package and tell us what you know about it!

And now I have to go out and find a few dozen of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alessandro

image.thumb.jpg.3e7cab6201cea7c85ab4754b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ervino

​Would this do it?

 

coma (2).jpg

​Wonderful image, Brian, many thanks for sharing it!

 

Where did you find it???

 

Cheers

Ervino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ervino

Hi All!

 

I found a box of the original '50 VEL Italian washing powder that included the CoMa spacemen & Selenites (between other items) as premiums. The box is sealed, so I dunno what toy it contains, but the attached images of it and of an advertisement page from the same age shows clearly that the CoMa stuff is one of the possibilities.

 

And, no, I have no intention to open the box to check...  :biggrin:

 

E.

 

IMG_1230.JPG

IMG_1231.JPG

IMG_1229.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×