Okay, what’s the difference between this Tonka garbage truck…
…And this Tonka garbage truck? (Other than the fact that they’re framed slightly differently?)
Well, the first one was purchased by Emergency Back-up Ken by itself. In contrast, the second was purchased by Original Ken along with all this other stuff. Thus, as you can see, they’re completely different (even though they’re completely identical).
What else did Ken get here? Well, counter-clockwise from top left, there’s a Willys …and a Willys …aaaand a Willys, and a Jaguar CBS, and an ABC NBC, and a Super Van.*
*(I’ve just been handed a correction: the fourth and fifth cars respectively are a Jaguar XKE and an AMC AMX. I apologize for any confusion.)
Ah, you’ve noticed that the Super Van in the above photo seems to have a groovy hot rod illustration on its side. As you can see below, the artist thoughtfully and creatively used the van’s own actual rear tire as the rear tire of the illustration. Today, it’s possible to see such artwork on real vans … but I wonder if l’il ol’ Super Van here was the inspiration?
Mr. Kenneth gets a little “artsie-phartsie” here. He reaches beyond mere toy car collecting into the realms of home decor and custom candlecraft. (And I intentionally used the “crop to circular selection” function to enhance and focus on the overall shape.) Bravo, Mr. Kenneth!
In this shot, you can see how the “high banking curve” (race term!) of sand creates a multi-level stage, with the 1:43 model and colored aquarium rock low in front, and the shell and beads raised in back. The clear gel fill anchors everything in place whilst not visually interfering with the serene scene.
Cleverly disguised as a kid-oriented collector case, Bill bought this car carrier from me. (The car carrier is disguised as a collector case, not Bill.) The plastic sticking out of the top is a baggie holding a car; by the time I took this shot, Bill already had it loaded up & truckin’.
The upper and lower decks of the trailer hold between four and six cars each (depending on model length), while the cab holds two to four (again, depending on model length). So, in total the carrier can hold anywhere from ten to fifteen cars (I emphasize again, that depends on model length).
A RAOK from Big Tractor Mike to me. This is Stingin’ Thing, from Mattel’s short-lived Revvers line of rubber-band powered cars. No, it doesn’t work, but that’s not surprising: amidst the high-friction rubber treads on the rear tires, the brittle, dried-out winder wheel on back, and the overly-complex gear system crammed into such a small space, something’s bound to become gummed up somewhere. (No, the “stinger”-like object on top doesn’t do anything, either.) Still, none of this decreases my appreciation for it: I recall only ever having one Revvers model when I was a kid; now thanks to Suncoast Diecasters, I have three.
Call the police! Call the military! Call my mommy! A huge, gigantic, enormous and very large monster robot (or robot monster) is on the loose! See how he’s busted out of his containment unit!
Oh, the joy of over-adjectivery. Anyway, say hello to Cargantua (“Monster of the Freeways”). Cargantua was produced in 1985 by Matchbox, in what I can only presume was MB’s attempt to draw some of the fans of Transformers, GoBots and Voltron over into the world of miniature car collecting.
Sadly, it didn’t work out so well. It’s the classic fail: good concept, poor execution. Cargantua didn’t transform in any way. His designers apparently missed that one little factor in the whole “shape-changing robot” craze. Beyond that, he simply didn’t have that much play value. His joints are almost un-poseably stiff, which leads me to believe younger kids got frustrated with him very quickly…
…While older kids who collected cars probably weren’t impressed with his mere thirteen-car capacity, and might have considered him too “toy-like” to be a valuable asset in a collection. Still, he looks good on paper, as the saying goes.
The only place you can find him these days (other than a K-mart clearance shelf, whence came this one) is on the various auction sites. If you go that route, make sure you verify condition and level of completeness. If you want this one, you’ll have to ask Big Tractor Mike. He bought it from me. For his rarity, his uniqueness as a curiosity, and as a no-doubt sincere attempt by Matchbox to expand its market, I’m easily declaring Cargantua to be June’s Find of the Month.(*)
See you at the July meeting!