June is tuned and rollin’!

Aaalllllrighty then. Finally got everything up-to-date here at the site. Calendar‘s updated (what’s that special promo?), splash page is updated, and June is bustin’ out all over with new photos.

June 2014

Okay, what’s the difference between this Tonka garbage truck…

A garbage truck miniature, purchased by a Ken...

A garbage truck miniature, purchased by a Ken…

…And this Tonka garbage truck? (Other than the fact that they’re framed slightly differently?)

...And a garbage truck miniature, purchased by a Ken.

…And a garbage truck miniature, purchased by a Ken.

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).

Bulk discounting: It did not happen.

Bulk discounting: It did not happen.

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.)

Willys: Ken's other collection passion, after garbage trucks. And rare brands. Oh, and international brands. Can't forget international brands.

Willys: Ken’s other collection passion, after garbage trucks. And rare brands. Oh, and international brands. Can’t forget international brands.

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?

It would've been even more super if the car illustration looked like an actual Hot Wheels model...

It would’ve been even more super if the car illustration looked like an actual Hot Wheels model…

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!

I'd like to be/Under the sea/In the Intimidator's garden/In the shade

I’d like to be/Under the sea/In the Intimidator’s garden/In the shade

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.

''Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racing, boys and girls!''

”Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing, boys and girls!”

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’.

Breaker, breaker, this here's the Rubber Duck, what's your twenty?

”Breaker, breaker, this here’s the Rubber Duck, what’s your twenty?”

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).

Optimus gets so embarrassed when he's photographed mid-transition.

Optimus gets so embarrassed when he’s photographed mid-transition.

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.

The sting's the thing that ... that ... something-something-ING.

The sting’s the thing that … that … something-something-ING.

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!

Me crush! CRUSH CRUSH CRUSH!!!

Me crush! CRUSH CRUSH CRUSH!!!

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.

An Awesome Mechanical Menace!

An Awesome Mechanical Menace!

And seriously, wouldn’t Cargo (I call him Cargo. We’re on a first name basis) look super-cool displayed on your shelf next to G1 Devastator, Puzzler and the Voltron Lion Force?

Look out! He's PREPARING TO ATTACK!

Look out! He’s PREPARING TO ATTACK!

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…

His ''brain car'' was simply a black Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9 with ''lightning'' stickers.

His ”brain car” was simply a black Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9 with ”lightning” stickers.

…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.

And by ''paper'', I mean four-color offset-printed cardboard.

And by ”paper”, I mean four-color offset-printed cardboard.

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.(*)

I've re-cropped these two photos so you can drink in Cargantua's robotic manliness.

I’ve re-cropped these two photos so you can drink in Cargantua’s robotic manliness.

...Or his manly roboticness. Whichever.

…Or his manly roboticness. Whichever.

See you at the July meeting!

~WM

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2 thoughts on “June is tuned and rollin’!

  1. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the update !! Pics are great and the commentary keeps you laughing !! Just one correction, the model in the candle is a 1/64 th scale not 1/43 rd . There you are using your artistic license again !! HA HA HA

    thanks again,

    btm

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