Hope you’re enjoying the quirky little pun in the title. It’s explained in the update. But first, a little housekeeping duty:
While briefly reviewing some of our site’s pages, I discovered much to my shock that the map graphic had disappeared from our About page. It wasn’t much, basically a line drawing, but I put in on the page as a courtesy to you Faithful Visitors. Don’t know when or why it vanished, but I have redrawn it, and it’s there now for your visual edification.
Now, onto the photos!*
*(Happy New Year, by the way!)
Yes, starting 2016 off right means startrekking it off right, as in Star Trekking (you know, across the universe); and it’s all thanks to Tom. As you february recall, at our May 2015 meeting — No, wait, sorry: As you may recall, at our February 2015 meeting, Tom bought several Hamilton plates from me, to decorate his brother’s man-cave. I brought three more in for our December meeting; however, Tom was unable to attend, so I held them over for January. Tom attended, and bought all three. The first plate is the Deep Space Nine space station:
Next is the “original series” Klingon battle cruiser:
And finally, the Eagle Lunar Module used during the Apollo 11 space flight:
Unlike the February meeting (when I embarrassingly got it backward), this time I photographed the plates first, and then boxed and taped them up for Tom:
If you’ll recall from our July ’15 update, I teased this M2 Machines car hauler offered by Big Tractor Mike. It’s a chase version, with an exclusive VW Type 2 tucked inside like a delicious nougatty center (he said metaphorically). Tom, as Suncoast Diecasters‘ Viscount of VWs, finally added it to his own collection.
What I didn’t notice back in July is this exclusivity call-out on the top of the box. I had already packed away my camera before I spotted this, so I took this shot with the humble little convenience camera built into my phone.
Tom continues VW’ing with this rare, odd gem. It too is a Type 2, commercial panel version, from Lledo’s “Days Gone” series. What makes it odd is the Nescafé illustration featuring an unidentidied but gallant fellow I have dubbed “Sir Nescafé”.
In trying to identify our handsome chap, I’ve found a couple of other collectors’ photos of this model with this illustration, but I haven’t found any data on the character himself. The Nescafé home site itself proved useless in this regard; worse, it seems to think it’s Windows 8. However, the Taster’s Choice history page states that Nescafé was developed in Nestlé’s Swiss labs. So, perhaps our bon vivant‘s design — and this is strictly a guess — is loosely based on the uniform of the Swiss Guard.
Good friend Ed put in a rare appearance at our January meeting, and he brought wide array of cars. From him I bought this ’57 Chevy in sweet Hot Wheels livery, and this Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. I have an OMWmobile, loose. I don’t think I have one still on its card, so snagging this one from Ed was an easy decision.
From Big Tractor Mike I bought this beautiful Super Coupe from Kenner’s Fast111s line. This model is in near-perfect condition, even to the point of not having any adhesive residue on the license plate blank. While all KF1s are rare, this one is moreso, as this is only the second one I’ve seen. (And yes, I own the other one also.)
Can you believe this?!!? Big Tractor Mike gave me a lump of coal! Da noive!!!
Okay, perhaps this is a clue: The embossed Matchbox logo. In the mid-2000s, Matchbox issued “Coal Cars”, Christmas-themed cars hidden inside “lump of coal” shells. So, which Matchbox car did I find inside this RAOK?
HA! It’s actually a Bertone Runabout Concept, by Corgi, repurposed as the Wonder Woman-mobile. This is an exceptionally cool gift from BTM, in that the Runabout is a very rare model. Although, that may in fact be an inaccurate statement as I now own four of them, including another WW car.
Now, those of you who are staring at the near front-on shot in the lower half of the above photo, not quite understanding what you’re seeing, having difficulty with what your eyes are asking your brain to interpret, let me clear things up for you. This is exactly what you’re seeing:
Back in August, Doug brought in a retro-repro Sizzlers track set. Well, for our January meeting he upped his game, and his technology, by bringing in this Anki Overdrive race set. He got it for his son for Christmas, then thought better of it and brought it in for us to play with.
Before we get to the video (yes, your Humble Webmaster dutifully shot some race footage), I want to point out the one thing I consider a significant drawback in the Anki concept: it requires a smart phone to actually operate it; there is no separate controller device for the vehicles. I know many folks have smart phones these days, but I would suggest to Anki that they develop a stand-alone controller, because I think that would increase their market share.
Okay, needling little rant over; onto the race! In the opening segment, the cars seem to be going very slowly. In fact, they are, because they’re “learning” the track (leading Doug and myself to conjecture that there’s a filament (or something) embedded in the track sections to which the vehicles respond). Once the track is learned, the cars automatically pull up to the starting line, and the race may begin.
Overdrive combines the control of slot cars, the rechargeable ease of Sizzlers and both the interactivity and weapons options of video games. Enjoy the video!
Notice how, near the end, Ken’s car came to a dead stop? It was “disabled” by a (virtual) weapon on Doug’s car. Neat stuff!
Okay, time for a big reveal. We’re at the end of the update, where you know I always place the Find of the Month item. This time, it’s kind of a two-fer, because it’s also the “mystery Christmas gift” I teased back in December. I hope you like it:
It’s the 1969 children’s book, Hot Wheels — The Fast Cars Book. It’s from the Golden Shape Book sub-set of the classic Little Golden Book children’s series. Note how the top and bottom edges of the book are die-cut to more or less follow the shape of the Hot Wheels logo. Yes, you’re seeing that correctly: an original selling price of 29¢; and that’s no sticker, that’s actually printed — by the publisher — right on the cover. (And, no, my book is not for sale.)
I’ll be honest, making this our FotM item is probably a bit self-serving, as this is not something one Suncoast Diecasters member bough from another. Rather, I “found” this by finally opening the right box in my storage unit. There are many toys and other things from my childhood which exist now only as memories in muh brain. This is one I’m very happy to still actually have. I thank the Holy Spirit for the brilliant idea of scanning the pages and converting them into a PDF file, which I then gave to each Suncoast Diecasters member on a CD, labeled with a grayscale image of the cover — thus, the December “mystery gift”. And only to SD members; I’m concerned about copyright, so I will not be selling or otherwise making the CDs available. So, the best I can offer you is this fly-by animated GIF:
I love the concept of the book. The first half features shots of HW cars on various track sections, while the second half is an “around the town” visual tale using the Parking Garage and Action City playsets.
2015 ended well, and 2016 has started out well. Looking forward to the first ’16 K-Day event (whenever it is). See you at the February meeting!
(Hey, I got the January update posted while there’s still a little bit of January left! Points for me!)