April 2017 Update

We’re too close to our May meeting to waste time on a silly intro. Get to the photos!

April 2017

Well, I done it again. Big Tractor Mike had eight of these shiny Holiday hay-haulers, and I arranged them in what I thought would be a good presentation: four across, in two rows. When I offloaded the photos and began editing, I realized that at the size I use here on the site, that 2-by-4 photo would provide only postage-stamp sized tractors (further, several had bad glare). So instead I chose the best-looking one of the bunch to showcase.

Just reload the page seven more times to get what I was going for.

Just reload the page seven more times to get what I was going for.

Similar good concept/poor execution with these loose baubles. The upper portion of the photo is as I intended; however the holiday call-outs on the cab roofs are illegible. So, I zoomed, rotated and cropped them to provide the legible lower labels.

Composition! Plus a wee bit o' alliteration!

Composition! Plus a wee bit o’ alliteration!

All this leads up to this miniature yet massive dealership lot BTM set up. You can almost see teensy people shopping and kickin’ some tires.

Come on down to Big Tractor Mike's. Hot Dogs and free balloons for the kids.

Come on down to Big Tractor Mike’s. Hot Dogs and free balloons for the kids.

And for those of you who are hoping for just such a thing, here is another view of the sweet showroom model which turns a collection of toy tractors into an attractive diorama.

Naming rights available. Contact BTM for details.

Naming rights available. Contact BTM for details.

Surprisingly, one of BTM’s tractors has a pull-back motor. Several of us had fun with the thing, then I got the bright idea to film a demonstration of it. (The demonstration being that filming it this way was as fun and silly as I hoped it would be.)

Tractor Power from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

And yes, I did the “video shuffle” as described in last month’s update.

For the last few years, the Happy Meals Hot Wheels models have been rather hit-n-miss (IMHO). Sometimes they’re quality diecast models worthy of mainline status. Sometimes they’re plastic but still well-designed. And sometimes they’re just cartoonish toys suitable only for children and hard-core completists. In this case, Ken scored well with this model he bought from Ed.

This, as you will see, is a sweet treat.

This, as you will see, is a sweet treat.

Turns out it’s a stylized Studebaker Wagon. Also features some serious firepower poking up through the hood. Yes, it’s all plastic; nonetheless it’s very attractive and would complement any collector’s display. Ed actually had two of these, but someone else got to the second one before I did.

Quoth the Huntsman: "Darn the luck, darn!"

Quoth the Huntsman: “Darn the luck, darn!”

Ken (Original Ken, to be precise) also nabbed this clean reissue of the Mongoose funny car. In beautiful condition, Real Riders, and of course it still does its trick:

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Now here, we get to some serious, serious metal. Big Tractor Mike bought this Big Metal Model from Ed. This is an MG T-series roadster (minor design inaccuracies prevent me from identifying which specific T-series model). It’s large, about 9″ long. Based on the body lengths stated in the Wikipedia article, that puts it at right around 1/16th-scale, which interestingly enough happens to be a scale associated with Live Steam modelling.

This would look great in a 1/16th train diorama.

This would look great in a 1/16th train diorama.

Aside from paint wear, the car is in good shape, and seems to be complete.

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The model is a product of the Hubley Manufacturing Company. So, this is not only a great model, it’s also a memento of that golden age when American toy companies actually made their toys here in America.

I'm-a pour out a wax bottle of soda for my homies.

I’m-a pour out a wax bottle of soda for my homies.

And speaking of serious metal, how about some terrific tin? This is a USCG “duck” amphibious truck, and is an example of classic Japanese tin lithography toy-making. “Tin litho” has been around for over a century, with manufacturers in several countries, but it wasn’t until after WWII and the “sci-fi” craze of the 1950s that Japanese tins toys — particularly space and sci-fi themed toys — really took off in America.

Poor focus included at no extra cost to you.

Poor focus included at no extra cost to you.

This long-ended eBay listing gives some detail about this model, for example, that it has a friction motor. This is typical of such toys: One or more actions are available via either friction or pull-back, wind-up, or battery power.

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That listing also mentions the box. Here’s a nice photo of it, which you may find pinteresting.

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This model is by Daiya, which I could find precious little information about online. In fact,the one page that says anything significant about the company barely says more than that the company was founded in the ’50s, was active from the ’50s through the ’70s, then disappeared.

Thanks for coming through again, Internet!

Thanks for coming through again, Internet!

Well, okay, YouTube does provide some fun.

So here we are at the end of the update, and it’s time for the declaration I always make at the end. And this time, I have the great privilege of having double the privilege. Yes, for only the third time in Suncoast Diecasters‘ 10-year-plus history, I am very happy to announce Dual Finds of the Month(**): The Hubley MG roadster, and the Daiya USCG “duck” amphibious vehicle. Congratulations, Big Tractor Mike, you’ve done very well! And so did you, Big Tractor Mike!

See you at our May meeting!

~WM

March Update, brought to you by Windows 10

No kidding there. My old laptop was a WinXP model. Support for that OS ended in 2014, and support for the various programs I was running on the laptop naturally dwindled over time. I have finally bought a new Win10 model, and I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks by turns either beating Windows into submission or flailing about helplessly at its ingrained obstinance.

After installing a better browser and security software, uninstalling bundled junk, installing importantly useful software such as my drafting program, uninstalling more bundled junk, installing my camera and printer, uninstalling even more bundled junk, etc.,etc., I finally have the thing in a basically useful configuration.

So, get to the photos!

March 2017

Greetings, Citizen! I am looking forward to your assistance in enjoying this March 2017 update. Let’s begin this rousing adventure!

Batman begins...

Batman begins…

Doug bought this 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi from Big Tractor Mike, as a gift for a very special person.

At 1/64th scale, it's actually a semi demi hemi.

At 1/64th scale, it’s actually a semi demi hemi.

He also bought this Case International planter…

(These are all ERTL models, by the way.)

(These are all ERTL models, by the way.)

…As well as this similar implement.

Which folds out to sleep four comfortably.

Which folds out to sleep four comfortably.

Of course, farm implements to be useful must be attached to a strong, sturdy tractor. Doug has chosen this handsome Allis-Chalmers model.

Nice.

Nice.

BTM added yet again to my collection of DeLoreans with these two offers. First is this sweet Hot Wheels Entertainment-series hover-mode model. I appreciate this one because it’s not only a great variation on the DeLorean theme; it also gives me a MOC model to pair with the one I loosed in September of ’15.

''Hover'' mode, or ''really, REALLY parked'' mode.

”Hover” mode, or ”really, REALLY parked” mode.

The other one is this cartoonishly-proportioned Happy Meal prize. And I mean cartoonish in the literal sense, as it’s based on the 1991 BttF cartoon. Which you forgot all about, didn’t you? (Can’t blame ya.)

Hmm ... Time machine looks good with a Big Block.

Hmm … Time machine looks good with a Big Block.

Actually, that “big block” isn’t merely decorative. It houses a friction motor, the flywheel of which has a layer of flint. Which is also why it’s transparent; give the toy a strong-enough push, and the motor will generate sparks to simulate the “time travel” effect:

1.21 Gigawatts! from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

By the way, this video is raw, unedited and lacking the quirky title and credits typical of our other videos because in designing Windows 10, Microsoft did away with Movie Maker. Just another in MS’s long history of thoughtful and considerate decisions[citation needed]. I still have my old WinXP laptop, so I do still have access to Movie Maker there; it just means shuttling videos to & from on portable storage. If you happen to know a good, safe, simple (and preferably free) video editor & converter for Windows 10, please let me know in the Comments.

And in case you’re wondering what that white object protruding out of the side is (mis-identified by Big Rob as “a wad of gum”), it’s good ol’ Doc Brown himself. Which just proves the adage:

"Some things were not meant to be seen in close-up."

“Some things were not meant to be seen in close-up.”

Speaking of Big Rob: He too also bought some stuff from BTM. Starting with these two Cheetah models by Johnny Lightning. Apparently JL learned well from Mattel that the same model can be re-packaged as a different series to sell it again with otherwise little effort (e.g., my many HW DeLoreans). The red one is “Rebel Rods”, while the green one is “Street Freaks” (cross-referenced with “The Spoilers”).

Toy car collecting: Made for the spreadsheet era.

Toy car collecting: Made for the spreadsheet era.

And finally, Big Rob made the Big Buy from Big Tractor Mike with this Big Scale Batmobile. And I do mean big, as in 1/24th-scale big. It’s by Metals Die Cast, an offshoot of Jada. Sweetly detailed, and elegantly packaged with yon Caped Crusader standing alongside his crime-fighting chariot.

Nana nana nana nana -- Diecast!

Nana nana nana nana — Diecast!

Nicely finished, literally and figuratively, with “trident” exhaust pipes, “batwing” fender flares, and drag ‘chutes on either side of the exhaust nozzle.

Wait, does a turbine engine really need zoomies?

Wait, does a turbine engine really need zoomies?

Even the Boy Wonder is included. He’s in the passenger seat, using the Batphone. He’s probably crank-calling the H.I.V.E. Tower again.

"TRAIN! PAY ATTENTION! MANDATORY MEETING!"

“TRAIN! PAY ATTENTION! MANDATORY MEETING!”

Starring George Reeves as Superman.

Sorry. My mistake. I meant "Starring Ben Affleck as Michael Keaton".

Sorry. My mistake. I meant “Starring Ben Affleck as Michael Keaton”.

Well, there’s no need to recite its thoroughly obvious qualifications. With zero hesitation I happily and readily declare this sweet, super-size Batmobile miniature as Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for March 2017. Congratulations, Big Rob!

The small dark rectangular thing is something BTM threw into the deal. Not sure what it is. Candy bar, maybe.

The small dark rectangular thing is something BTM threw into the deal. Not sure what it is. Candy bar, maybe.

See you at our April meeting!

~WM

February 2017

As you might guess, with Gary’s passing there was a bit of a down atmosphere to our February meeting. This was made more palpable by the absence of Original Ken, who was out with the flu, and the news from another member that he had suffered a brief seizure between this meeting and our previous one. (If you would care to pray for our group, that would be appreciated.)

Nonetheless, there was camaraderie, conversation, and trading.

I have moved the post on Gary’s loss to our In Memoriam section.

On a lighter note. I’ve activated a new feature on our site. At the end of every post is a short list of related posts. That list has only been text links; now it features a thumbnail of a random photo from each post in the list.

February 2017

Doug brought in this sweet custom-built storage he found at a flea market. The front panel swings up & latches to lock in the three drawers. He intended to offer it to Original Ken, for to storage his slot-car stuff. Ken (via phone) politely rejected the offer. So, Big Tractor Mike bought it instead. This is all very exciting! Or at least, I thought it was….

You seem board, Doug!

You seem board, Doug!

From Ed, Big Tractor Mike bought this Treasure Hunts-edition ’57 T-Bird for a friend who particularly collects such things.

It's a THunderbird! Get it, ''THunderbird''?

It’s a THunderbird! Get it, ”THunderbird”?

Also from Ed, Big Tractor Mike also bought this compete four-car set of Silver Series II vehicles. Mike was fortunate to get the whole set in shot … unlike how we used to have to do it.

Oscar Mayer? Looks more like an ARMOUR hot dog! (Man, I am good today!)

Oscar Mayer? Looks more like an ARMOUR hot dog! (Man, I am good today!)

I bought this sweet T-Hunt$-edition Classic Packard from Ed. He had several such models, so I set them all together to determine which one looked best. Then I noticed that one of them things is not like them others. One was spectraflame blue, with white-walled chrome-blue DDRRs. Turned out Ed had a Super amongst his plain ol’, everyday, run-of-the-mill T-Hunts (wait, did he really just type that?). Ed’s asking price was reasonable (I know, because I asked), so I added this to my small but feisty collection of T-Hunts.

Not just classic, but classy!

Not just classic, but classy!

From Mike I bought this large Majorette Ford Coupe. It’s been years (if not decades) since I bought a Majorette; the model is cool, and Mike’s price was fair, so I treated myself.

Yes, the cardboard is beaten up. And yes, you are seeing staples.

Yes, the cardboard is beaten up. And yes, you are seeing staples.

Pretty snaZZy-lookin’, wouldn’t you say?

And yes, you are now hearing a ZZ TOP song in your head.

And yes, you are now hearing a ZZ TOP song in your head.

…But you must agree that this, er, “top-down” style is much cooler, with a more aggressive look to it. Also, this at 1/43 scale, which makes it even better. For its sharp, racer styling and powerful look, I declare this model to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for February 2017.

And yes, I have now run out of funny captions.

And yes, I have now run out of funny captions.

Hey, grab yourself a larger version of the above image.

See you at our March meeting!

~WM

Monkeyin’ around on K-Day!

Huzzah! I am very pleased with the results of yesterday’s K-Day outing: Not one, not two but three Gas Monkey Corvettes!

I found the one in my box, as did everyone (I suppose). While we were still in the first phase of the event, the Box Raffle, another collector who somehow managed to already have several Monkeys handed me one of his. Then, during the second phase, the Feeding Frenzy, another collector handed me another Monkey! Three Gas Monkey customs with almost zero effort on my part? Sure, I’ll go home happy with that!

See no Rawlings, hear no Rawlings, speak no Rawlings.

See no Rawlings, hear no Rawlings, speak no Rawlings.

Now, I understand — Some of you are clutching your chests, writhing on the floor in agony, gasping for someone to call 911, all the while a cry of anguish is screaming in your head: “Why why WHYYYYY did you open the package?!!?” The answer is simple, Mr. Anderson

Because I chose to.

Because I chose to.

Let us all please remember that despite Mattel’s labeling, the original vehicle actually has a real name:

''The Midas Monkey''

”The Midas Monkey”

Chatted with some good folks, and got three awesome cars (or three copies of one awesome car). All in all, a very good day.

*This* is how Hot Wheels cars are supposed to look.

*This* is how Hot Wheels cars are supposed to look.

See you at our March meeting!

~WM

January, February, Kdayuary

Happy New Year 2017!

And yes, we’re late. A busier-than-expected (and unexpectedly modified) work schedule, a frustratingly difficult home improvement project, and various other things all added up to a pushed-back January 2017 update.

Also, not a lot of activity in this update, as the post-holiday meeting is usually slow for us.

On the other hand, good news: The February 2017 K-mart in-store event and mail-in promo are now on our Calendar!

Oh, and I finally  activated the “Tag Cloud” widget on the left over thar.

Enough delays already! Let’s get to the photos!

January 2017

Hello; I’m a truck.

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-:-:-:-

Heh. You older readers may very well recognize that as the opening lyric of Red Simpson’s country-western novelty tune, I’m a Truck. And to you younger readers, yes, there really is a song sung from the point of view of a truck. For context, just think of it as Optimus Prime sings There’s a Gear in my Beer.

Bill bought this model from Big Tractor Mike. By the way, “truck” actually has a name.

''Hello; I'm Back Biter.''

”Hello; I’m Back Biter.”

Back Biter is from Hot Wheels’ interesting concept series, Crack-Ups. Each model in this series is gimmicked with a spring-loaded panel which upon impact would unlatch and spin around to reveal simulated damage. This addressed (or attempted to) the playtime conflict of wanting to crash one’s toys without actually causing damage. When done playing, the child (or Bill) could just rotate the panel back.

If only real vehicle damage were so easy to repair.

If only real vehicle damage were so easy to repair.

Crack-Ups models would have the gimmick panel on the rear, front, side or even on top. A “bonus feature”, as it were, of ol’ Back Biter here is that the camper top would also fly off, enhancing the “damage” effect.

See that plastic tab? That's actually the spring which launches the camper top.

See that plastic tab? That’s actually the spring which launches the camper top.

I’ll be honest: When I first saw that tab, I thought it was one of those battery separators … until I remembered that Crack-Ups came out decades before pre-installed batteries in toys were commonplace.

Bill also bought this snazzy boat-&-trailer combo known as Seafire. Well, the boat is Seafire; the trailer has no name.

How 'bout Bottom Biter?

How ’bout Bottom Biter?

In case you’re wondering whether the boat separat– Uh….

Hello, ladies. I'm Dash Handsomely.

Hello, ladies. I’m Dash Handsomely.

For goodness’ sake. Anyway, in case you’re wondering whether the boat separates from the trailer, yes it does. Yet Seafire remains mobile, as it has rollers underneath, which I’d be happy to show you except I forgot to photograph the bottom of the thing.

Ironically, Seafire is roadworthy but not seaworthy.

Ironically, Seafire is roadworthy but not seaworthy.

What you’re seeing … is an optical illusion.

The trailer is *not* actually attached to the truck!

The trailer is *not* actually attached to the truck!

Along with loose cars and boxed sets, BTM has several very nice glass-topped display cases. Here, Jason provides some friendly competition with just such a display case of his own.

Classy.

Classy.

Some of its contents are particularly interesting…

A rat rod from the mouse house!

A rat rod from the mouse house!

…Particularly interesting, indeed.

(Sigh) If only I didn't have bills to pay.

(Sigh) If only I didn’t have bills to pay.

And now, a brief word from our Sponsor:

(Our ads are in color now, by the way.)

(Our ads are in color now, by the way.)

Okay, that’s not an ad but the back of this front, another of Hot Wheels’ concept series, California Customs. This series featured mainline models done up in very bright colors, and included a plastic medallion as well as a sticker sheet fo further customize the model. Emergency Back-up Ken bought this from Ed.

AKA 3-Window '34.

AKA 3-Window ’34.

This model’s sheet features licensed automotive supplier brands.

And yes, I'll go ahead and say it:

And yes, I’ll go ahead and say it:

(Ahem) Branding!

While the blister has yellowed a bit with age, and there are a few minor crumples along the card’s edge, this model is otherwise in very good condition, and in that most rare of states, complete on its card. Ergo, I readily declare the Cal Customs-series ’34 Ford to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for January 2017!

Again, AKA 3-Window '34.

Again, AKA 3-Window ’34.

And now a special treat for you, here is Red Simpson’s I’m a Truck:

See you at the February meeting!

~WM

Our Merry Christmas gift to you: a Free Screensaver!

Really, it’s true!

(It's actually bigger than this.)

(It’s actually bigger than this.)

Suncoast Diecasters has been around for ten years. We’ve been online for nine. In that time, through WordPress (fellow bloggers and e-mail subscriptions), Facebook and Twitter, we’ve been blessed with about 380 followers. True, there are social media “superstars” who’ve amassed thousands of followers. But for this little local, humble club to have several hundred people interested in us is simply fantastic.

So, to celebrate a decade of tradin’ and collectin’, as well as to say “thank you” to you, our faithful followers, I’ve put together what I hope you’ll find to be a jolly little holiday screensaver.

Also, I’ve updated our Calendar with Suncoast Diecasters‘ 2017 schedule. I’ve tried several different formats for our Calendar over the years. Thank the Lord, with WordPress’ help I’ve found a new one which is tidy, more easily read and, most importantly, repeatable.

I’ll give you the link for getting our screensaver at the end of this update. So, get your holiday mood going, and start enjoying our photos! (And thank you again!)

December 2016

Of course, our December meeting is also always our Christmas meeting. For proof, here’s a shot of just some of the decorations around the Sports Bar. I assure you, the icicles had richly colored LEDs; they weren’t the glaring white things my camera decided they were.

'Tis all a-twinkle!

‘Tis all a-twinkle!

Last month a conversation between Scott and Original Ken eventually turned to the collecting of marbles as a hobby. Thus, Ken brought in some of his collection this month for Scott to peruse and appraise. Scott provided some interesting details about the marble hobby. For example, he pointed out that while Ken’s stash contains many glass, mass-manufactured marbles, there are also numerous clay, hand-made marbles. The clay ones are opaque, and not quite as shiny as the glass ones. More interestingly, he pointed out the many flat(tish) surfaces of a clay marble, contrasted against the machined and polished roundness of a glass one. Eventually Ken and Scott agreed on a price, and Scott walked away with a bagful.

Because it's Christmas, for your sake I will *not* make the obvious joke here.

Because it’s Christmas, for your sake I will *not* make the obvious joke here.

Very similar to last month, I had to shoot this with my phone’s convenience camera because the meeting was nearly over and my equipment was put away. I wouldn’t have taken the pic at all if I didn’t happen to just notice (thank the Lord) something toy-like in R.D.’s hand as he was saying his good-byes. This is Inside Story, and he bought it from Big Tractor Mike. The Super Kings’ size allowed me to shoot them from a reasonable distance. In contrast, this single, small toy necessitated a close-up which, coupled with the overhead’s glare off the white paint, prevented a better, more clear shot.

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Slightly astigmatic Spider-Man!

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Slightly astigmatic Spider-Man!

The following three (or, maybe four) items were all purchased from BTM by Gary. The JL ShowRods set below was the last shot I took using LiveView, which I’ll explain in a moment.

Wait, isn't this *2* of only 5000?

Wait, isn’t this *2* of only 5000?

Like most digital cameras (I presume), mine has an LED screen on back which lets you see exactly what the lens is seeing. In my camera’s OS, this is called LiveView. This is incredibly convenient for determining both zoom and focal point. And incredibly inconvenient when I get an all-red screen with the warning text, “Battery too low for LiveView”. So, I had to use my camera’s regular optical viewfinder for these next two photos, only guessing at the result. Thank the Lord, they both came out well-focused.

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I would've made funny captions for both these photos, but I'm two-tired.

I would’ve made funny captions for both these photos, but I’m two-tired.

JIm bought the following four (exactly) items from Ed. First is this picayune and puny Purple Passion:

Car's so small, it took two photos to make one good one.

Car’s so small, it took two photos to make one good one.

Next is this Hot Wheels Collectibles-series King ‘Kuda. I’m amused by the claim, “multi-piece car”; it’s my understanding that all Hot Wheels models are multi-piece.

You'd think the mechanic would've remembered to get that rag off the fender.

You’d think the mechanic would’ve remembered to get that rag off the fender.

And lastfully, these two classic Redlines: The Demon (b) and Custom Cougar (t). The Cougar obviously is based on a production vehicle. The Demon (a.k.a. Prowler) is based on the Li’l Coffin custom show rod. Yes, Virginia, there is a Li’l Coffin.

48 years of well-earned paint chipping.

48 years of well-earned paint chipping.

No, this photograph is not backwards. If you’ll read what it says, you should understand why it appears backwards.

Cidemarap is a leading OTC medication.

Cidemarap is a leading OTC medication.

This is a VW “Samba” ambulance by Maisto, from BTM to Ed. Well-appointed, too. Painted tail and fog lights, and that “glass lens” texture on the headlights in the above photo? Two of the most thoughtful tampos I’ve ever seen.

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Ed bought this Matchbox ambulance from Big Tractor Mike. I wonder if perchance it looks familiar…?

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Back in June, Ed bought from Big Tractor Mike a Speed Kings-series Mercedes Benz “Binz” ambulance. Here, Ed has done it again, but at a smaller scale.

One wonders if Ed is planning to start his own two-scale empire.

One wonders if Ed is planning to start his own two-scale empire.

A brilliant entrepreneurial business idea: combination auto mechanic and drive-in theater.

See, 'coz one has its hood up, and the other is facing ... Look, it's Christmas, just go along with the joke.

See, ‘coz one has its hood up, and the other is facing … Look, it’s Christmas, just go along with the joke.

Original Ken bought these from BTM. Both are from the 100% Hot Wheels series.

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Curiously, only one has a working hood.

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Just like egg nog:

Thick. Er, I mean yummy.

Thick. Er, I mean yummy.

Ed displayed several Hot Wheels Christmas diorama/playsets on his table. A few, I already own. One or two, I didn’t particularly care for. But this one … this one really stood out.

Sing along, folks! "It's the Little Saint Nick..."

Sing along, folks! “It’s the Little Saint Nick…”

The action poses, the great coloring on the vehicle, the barely-hanging-on elves — this is happy holiday hilarity for sure. You might be wondering why I haven’t provided any photos of Santa and his sweet ride outside of the box. Very simple: I haven’t opened it yet. That will happen sometime Christmas morning.

Yes, this is my Christmas present to myself.

Yes, this is my Christmas present to myself.

There’s a certain vehicle which has appeared off and on among BTM’s wares for quite some time now. After some research, which I will illustrate later, I decided to by it.

Pictured: *Not* the Yellow Submarine.

Pictured: *Not* the Yellow Submarine.

It’s Hover-Raider, a large-scale Matchbox vehicle. It’s part of MB’s short-lived Battle Kings-series.

# K-107

# K-107

Here’s the research, illustrated as promised. I was fairly certain I had the smaller hovercraft, but I was concerned that it was amongst The Many, Many Items Packed Away For The Move That Never Happened. Thank the Lord, I found it in time for our December meeting. My intent was to create another “Two Scales” photo set — which you can see is not quite as I imagined. As soon as I spotted the 107 on BTM’s table, I realized that, apart from the colors and general shape, the two models are dramatically different.

The smaller hovercraft is 'Superfast'-series # 72 & 2. Yes, "& 2" is actually part of its designation.

The smaller hovercraft is ‘Superfast’-series # 72 & 2. Yes, “& 2” is actually part of its designation.

And, yes, I am aware that our forlorn Two Scales page is sadly underloved and malnourished. Perhaps next year I can set aside time to go through The Many, Many Items Packed Away For The Move That Never Happened and relocate the models with which I can give that page the attention it deserves.

Anyway, I bought the K-107, for four reasons: 1) I really did want it; 2) Mike’s price was very reasonable; 3) I did go through the trouble of finding the 72; and 4) The Discovery.

The Discovery? Oh, that the K-107 has a Rolamatics feature. This is not indicated on the baseplate at all. Quite literally, I discovered it only because I felt something move against my fingers when I tried to straighten the radar housing. As with most Rolamatics models, being decades old, the feature no longer works properly. The radar spins about half-way, then the whole thing locks up. This happens both forward and backward. Still, it gives me the opportunity to give you your Christmas bonus: a new video!

Hover-Raider Rolamatics demo from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

For this truly unexpected feature — not to mention the fact that it’s simply a great large-scale model — I declare the Matchbox Battle Kings-series Hover-Raider to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month for December 2016(*).

Okay, you’ve been Nice and read the whole update down to this point. (Or, maybe you were Naughty and just leaned on the Scroll Down button. Whatever.) First, some details: You’re going to download a compressed (zip) file named SD-10th-Xmas.zip. Inside are the screensaver itself, a Readme file (and please read it; it’s there for a reason (the reason being that you should read it.)), and a Music sub-folder which contains the music MP3s and a license. (The music is already embedded in the screensaver; I included the MP3s in case you wanted to use them elsewhere.)

The screensaver is compatible with Win XP and newer operating systems. (Windows/PC only; sorry, Apple/Mac users!)

Okay, you may now download your free screensaver. Thanks again for being part of Suncoast Diecasters‘ extended family.We wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah. and a Happy New Year 2017! See you at the January meeting!

~WM

November 2016

Heavy holiday workload plus paperwork and other fallout from a major personal event prevented me from getting this November update published in a more timely manner. So, once again, no quirky intro. On directly to the photos!

November 2016

Ken asked if I could take a shot of the massive display of cars on a certain table. Attempting to be fancy, I set my camera to “panorama” mode, and took several photos. Unfortunately, it’s been quite a while since I used that mode, and I’m out of practice. I tried modifying the result in the “stitching” utility, to no avail. See that line of blue-boxed Final Run Hot Wheels on the far left? They’re also that hazy blue blur. Those two Jammer cases towards the right? Same case, different angles.

Still: Massive display.

Still: Massive display.

Very near the end of the meeting, Jason bought several Matchbox Super Kings-series tractors and trailers from Big Tractor Mike (thus maintaining his Big Tractor certification). I specify “very near the end of the meeting” because by then I had packed away my camera and tripods. So, I used the camera on my phone. While not as high a resolution as my digital camera, overall these photos came out nicely.

Super Kings...

Super Kings…

Big tractors...

Big tractors…

Catherine. No, wait...

Catherine. No, wait…

Did it again. Got lazy. After lunch, R.D. bought these ten vehicles from Ed. But because it was after lunch, I didn’t feel like shooting each one individually, nor even in small groups. So, I “stacked” them thusly, and took the shot. Result? Too much glare, and no names are legible.

Bad camera person! Bad, BAD!!

Bad camera person! Bad, BAD!!

The following three models, this Custom ’56 Ford F-100, the Packin’ Pacer and the gold Top Eliminator were purchased by Original Ken from Ed. The F-100 is from the 2013 Heat Fleet series (or HW Showroom series, depending on which side of the virgule you prefer).

Pictured: Pristine Purple Preference.

Pictured: Pristine Purple Preference.

This light-blue (no, honestly!) Packin’ Pacer is rare, per Ken. It’s from the 1983 Speed Machines series. I’m impressed by how well-sculpted the door latch is. It looks like a 1/64th-scale person could really grab it and pop that door open.

Packin' Pacer.

Packin’ Pacer.

Also, the exhaust pipes (which may or may not be zoomies), while not hollow, at least were sculpted with a small lip over the flat interior face. Much better than a plain flat end.

.recaP 'nikcaP

.recaP ‘nikcaP

Ken states that it is very rare to find a Top Eliminator in this color in this condition. I believe him. Other than being somewhat “rough around the edges”, this is in great shape. Its gold chrome finish is still gorgeous.

Truly, a golden oldie.

Truly, a golden oldie.

This gold chrome edition of Top Eliminator was only available in 1977 and 1978. This is the ’78 version; you can tell by the AC (Delco) logo on the rear fender. (That would be the little red dot.)

Look! It still does its trick!

Look! It still does its trick!

Ed bought this rare Mercedes Benz model from Big Tractor Mike.

It's rare because it has opening doors.

It’s rare because it has opening doors.

I’m kidding. What makes it rare is that it’s by a Korean manufacturer, King Star. You may note that it also says “Diamond Toymakers” on the backer. I’m making a wild guess that King Star is the brand, and Diamond Toymakers is the manufacturer (much like Hot Wheels and Mattel). I wish I could tell you more, but BTM has no more info, and the Internet has utterly failed to be helpful.

Even the collector sites which specialize in odd, rare and international brands have nothing on this one.

Even the collector sites which specialize in odd, rare and international brands have nothing on this one.

We will return to Suncoast Diecasters‘ November 2016 Update after this brief commercial message:

Even the collector sites which specialize in odd, rare and international brands have nothing on this one.

And now back to our Update, already in progress.

Actually, that’s the top tampo on this tip-top toy, a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air, done up in Crane Cams 50th Anniversary livery. Original Ken bought this from Big Tractor Mike, and is very wise to have done so.

One sweet little ride.

One sweet little ride.

Yes, me know. You like nice close-ups. You good people. Me give you nice close-ups.

See? Nice.

See? Nice.

Now that looks like power:

To quote Rocket Raccoon: "Oh ... yyyeeaaahh!"

To quote Rocket Raccoon: “Oh … yyyeeaaahh!”

Now, at this point you’re probably wondering which item is the Find of the Month. And you may have reasonably guessed it’s the ’57 Bel-Air. If so … you’re half-right. Yes, the Chevy, for its sheer beauty and great value as an anniversary premium, certainly deserves the designation. However, for being so incredibly rare that even the entire Internet can’t find it, I’m also awarding the designation to Ed’s King Star Benz 450. So, for only the second time (rather appropriately) in Suncoast Diecasters‘ history, we have Dual Finds of the Month!(*)

See you at the December meeting!

~WM

October 2016

A major family event prevented me from attending Suncoast Diecasters‘ October meeting. So, Original Ken dutifully stepped in to provide photos for the update.

October 2016

It’s been a while since we posted any photographs of members’ table collections — the overwhelming majority of our pics are after-purchase or after-trade. Ken has provided a few shots of Big Tractor Mike’s collection. These images illustrate only a small portion of his items, which usually take up an entire pool table (not to mention side-stacks).

From Big Tractor Mike's collection.

From Big Tractor Mike’s collection.

From the collection of Big Tractor Mike.

From the collection of Big Tractor Mike.

From the big tractor of Collection Mike.

From the big tractor of Collection Mike.

And another photo.

And another photo.

Just to prove my point about the after-purchase photos, here’s a photo of the Hot Wheels ’70s Van, which Ken took after purchasing said van from BTM.

I just realized, those aren't flames, it's the syrup. Cute (I guess).

I just realized, those aren’t flames, it’s the syrup. Cute (I guess).

Ken took this photo of a collector case full of bins which in turn are themselves full of classic Redlines, after (note the pattern) Mike got them from Jim in a trade.

This is how one super-increases the value of one's collection in a single move.

This is how one super-increases the value of one’s collection in a single move.

Matchbox Dodge A100 and Ford F-150 Raptor, from Jim to O’Ken.

Apparently, the A100 is the world's first reverse wheel-stander.

Apparently, the A100 is the world’s first reverse wheel-stander.

O’Ken then purchased this Corgi garbage truck (yes!) and three Kenner Fast111s from Jim. The KF1s are (L to R) Cyclone 3, Sporty Shifter and Cam Rammer.

Wait, *I'm* supposed to get the Fast111s. Something is VERY wrong here...

Wait, *I’m* supposed to get the Fast111s. Something is VERY wrong here…

Exactly three photographs ago, I mentioned that Mike got from Jim a bushel of Redlines in a trade. So, what did Jim get? These five Corgi Jr / Husky jeeps, two Playart cabin cruisers, and a blue Corgi Martin Walter Ford Transit Caravan.

Variety is the spice of collecting.

Variety is the spice of collecting.

I was intrigued by the stunningly long and surprisingly specific name, “Martin Walter Ford Transit Caravan”, so I did some research. Martin Walter was a coachbuilder; the company would take the Ford Transit and customize it with extra sleeping space and other amenities. This converted model would then be called the Dormobile. So, this Corgi is not simply a rare toy, it’s doubly rare because it’s based on a specific real-world customization not seen from other toymakers. Thus, this miniature easily earns its place as Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for October 2016.

The site below, written in Hungarian, features many great Dormobile advertising images.

The site below, written in Hungarian, features many great Dormobile advertising images.

Husky Ford Transit Caravan (Martin Walter Dormobile)

See you at K-Day, then at our November meeting!

~WM