June swoons in Summer Slowdown

It’s Summer, which means the kids are out of school, and parents have the opportunity/obligation to keep them entertained and busy. Family vacations, summer camp, the great abundance of sci-fi, superhero and CGI cartoon movies out this season, etc., etc.

All of which cost money. Meaning there’s sometimes little or no money left for other activities. Case in point: our June 2017 meeting. Neither one car nor one coin traded hands.

But, that does not mean the meeting wasn’t fun. In fact, this was one of our best meetings for friends just being friends, gabbing and reminiscing. For example, I spent quite a bit of time talking with both Robs Elder and Younger about such topics as Major Matt Mason and ZaAt.

And yes, we do have some photographs for you. Please enjoy:

June 2017

Doug once again gets down on the farm by bringing in two more hay haulers. The left’n is an Ertl model, while the right’n is another 3-D printed production. The “bales” are static grass glued to wood chips.

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This is the undercarriage of the 3-D model. As I was setting up the photo, Doug mentioned that I had set it upside down. I did that intentionally, because I want you to see the impressively complex steering linkage.

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Doug also brought in these true 1/64th-scale concrete masonry units. They’re also 3-D printed. Doug intends — as I understand it — to cover the lower portion of a building model with these. I don’t recall the exact number, but I think the word thousand was in his description somewhere.

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As no buyin’, sellin’ nor tradin’ occurred, I decided to photograph a few choice items from Big Tractor Mike’s table. This is the Indy Eagle. It was produced only in 1969, for the Grand Prix series. Further, it is based on a real racing vehicle.

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This is Mantis. Designed by Ira Gilford, and produced only in 1970. That is, this original version with opening canopy and partially-exposed engine was produced only in 1970. This model went through a couple of redesigns and several name changes over the decades.

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This is Power Pad, also designed by Ira Gilford, and produced only in 1970. There isn’t much information available about this model. It seems to be a stylized Jeep or dune buggy, topped by an equally stylized camper shell. It also features an exposed transverse engine.(Interestingly, the transverse engine was introduced way back in 1899!)

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A change of pace here. Suncoast Diecasters‘ tables feature not just toy vehicles but playsets and media-related items as well. This is the toy set released by Corgi for the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I have to compliment Corgi here. The shuttle-like craft that Rogers piloted was named Ranger 3. Corgi could’ve just renamed their existing shuttle miniature as that, but instead used a proper shuttle name. It perhaps disconnects the set from the show a bit, but they earn a point for honesty.

The movie was released in 1979; Columbia's first launch was in 1981, so it's clearly for the TV show.

The movie was released in 1979; Columbia’s first launch was in 1981, so it’s clearly for the TV show.

Another vintage price tag. I have no idea what CW / CP means; can’t think of any stores with those initials. It could simply be a clearance tag, as clearance tags are often yellow. If you have any info on this, please post it in the Comments.

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Big Tractor Mike set this Matchbox behemoth in front of me, clearly wanting a photograph of it. It’s a King Size-series model, the DAF Car Transporter, model no. K-11. This model was produced from 1969 through 1975. What I particularly like about this model is the inclusion of “working” hydraulic lifts on the deck.

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Here we have the curiously mis-named Shelby Turbine. Another design by Ira Gilford, again for the Grand Prix series as was the Indy Eagle. This model fared a little better, in that it was produced from 1969 through 1971. The flowing body lines, accented by the camera angle, impart a nice fluid feel to the image. This is my favorite photo in this set.

Composition!

Composition!

See you at our July meeting! (…Which is tomorrow!)

~WM

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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

July’ke these photos, me promise!

Had a project which ate up most of the last half of July; thus, another delayed update. So, again I shall forgo the wacky intro, and let you get right to the photos.

July 2015

July means Independence Day, and that means freedom! Now, for some folks, freedom means free stuff, and that’s not good for our nation. But, it is good when the free stuff trades hands at a Suncoast Diecasters meeting!

We freely start off with these things I freely gave to Ken. First is this very nice casting of a garbage truck from Maisto’s Fresh Metal line. I don’t know if this is based on a production vehicle or is simply a “generic” garbager; I’ll have to find from Ken later. But it looks good, and of course it’s in authentical garbage truck colors.

As I've pointed out before, there is actually very little metal on a Fresh Metal model, but some of the castings are quite well-sculpted.

As I’ve pointed out before, there is actually very little metal on a Fresh Metal model, but some of the castings are quite well-sculpted.

This one’s a thrift store find. I’m often surprised at some of the high-quality toys I find amongst the genuine junk at a thrift store. The cans on the back flip up on a little rod, although I’m really not sure why. It also has a pull-back motor which still works. What doesn’t work are the batteries that power the lights and sound effects. But, I left two of the three batteries in the truck so’s Ken would have a reference for replacing them. This is the severalth time I’ve donated a truck to Ken’s scheme to Dominate the World via Toy Garbage Truck Army, because that’s just the kind of friend I am.

(I kept the third battery just in case Ken loses the other two.)

(I kept the third battery just in case Ken loses the other two.)

The Tonka reminds me of the short-lived Tiny Mighty Mo line.

Next up on our double twin-spin of free goodies is this Matchbox Ground Grinder, which I beRAOK’d to Big Tractor Mike. Found it during the same thrift store hunt as the Tonka above. While a very realistic sculpt, I can’t prove whether it’s based on a production vehicle. It seems to be the 2013 first-edition model.

A road grader *without* a huge hot-rod engine? I don't understand...

A road grader *without* a huge hot-rod engine? I don’t understand…

And finally, these weapons which go to Kenner Aliens action figures. I gave them to BTM for free … but I also kind of owed them to him. If you’ll recall from our March meeting, Mike bought a bunch of Aliens toys from me. Well, it turned out that these weapons should have been included. The missile launcher and … grabber-thing … go to Hicks, while the … I dunno, atomic Sawzall? … belongs to Ripley.

Yep, nothing enhances the authenticity of movie toys like completely unauthentic accessories!

Yep, nothing enhances the authenticity of movie toys like completely inauthentic accessories!

Tom happily acquired this Pasco Bug Jam custom collectible from BTM. Don’t know if this was a custom deco by a PBJ member, or ordered through Matchbox; regardless, it be mighty sweet-lookin’!

Will Tom go to the 2015 Jam? Only his nail technician knows for sure!

Will Tom go to the 2015 Jam? Only his nail technician knows for sure!

Ain’t sayin’ much about this. Just that Big Tractor Mike has one available. For now.

Some folks go crazy chasin' this sort of thing, is all I'm sayin'.

Some folks go crazy chasin’ this sort of thing, is all I’m sayin’.

You wants a bigger picture? Go grabs you one here.

Doug bought several sealed tractors and a couple o’ sealed accessory packs from BTM, and asked me to photograph ’em. Knowing that there are numerous still-in-package shots throughout the pages of Suncoast Diecasters, Doug asked if I wanted him to leave these sealed. I said they were his now, and to do with ’em as he pleased. He popped them all, specifically because he had the idea to pair each tractor with one of the accessories. I loved it. (All the tractors and accessories are by Ertl.)

John Deere 6400 with pig carrier.

John Deere 6400 with pig carrier.

White American 80 with mounted excavator.

White American 80 with mounted excavator.

White American 80 with square baler.

White American 80 with square baler.

White American 80 with posthole digger.

White American 80 with posthole digger.

(You might notice that the lower image of the red tractor above is hazy and has some artifacting. I must’ve bobbled the shutter button. Whatever the fault, the real mistake is that I didn’t more closely review the photographs. This happens most often when I’m taking a longer series of shots, as with all these White American tractors. Apparently I still haven’t learned that lesson yet.)

White American 80 with bale fork.

White American 80 with bale fork.

All the above tractors are very cool (and Doug was smart to hook up the accessories), but my favorite is this little guy here. No, there’s no accessory, but it doesn’t need one. This is a John Deere Skidsteer (yes, also by Ertl), and I think it looks great with so much detail packed into such a small space. Look at all that articulation! I can only go by these photos, but I think there are about 143 points of articulation on the model.

The lower stance reminds me of Yellowjacket from ''Ant Man''.

The lower stance reminds me of Yellowjacket from ”Ant Man”.

You may notice that this next set of photos seems to be not from the meeting. And you would be right! As I was packing up to leave, Big Tractor Mike came over and RAOK’d me with this European beauty. I joked with him about having to set up the camera again. These photos I of course took at home.

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This is the DeTomaso Mangusta, by Corgi. It’s a larger-scale model, somewhere in the 1/40s or 1/50s. You can see the mid-line engine and spare tire in the inset below.

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I found exactly one page online that specified the scale as 1/43, which makes sense, but I can’t prove it on the toy. The make and model are shown on the base, but no scale is stated.

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In fact, in this full shot of the base, you can see that there’s very little info. There’s no scale, no copyright, no patent number, no chassis, no nothi– … Wait … What … Where’s th– … What happened to the chassis?!!?

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Oh, here it is:

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Yep, for unexplained reasons, when the designers at Corgi designed this model, they designed…

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Hi there. You had to scroll quite a bit to get down here, didn’t you? Anyway, as I was saying, Corgi’s designers decided to make the chassis removable. It’s an interesting gimmick, and certainly adds a quirky extra value to the model. For its large scale, its great detail and its neat gimmick, I hereby declare the Corgi DeTomaso Mangusta to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month (*)for July 2015. Michael, thank you, brother; this is a seriously awesome gift.

I'll let you know if I ever figure out how to put it back together.

I’ll let you know if I ever figure out how to put it back together.

See you at the August meeting!

~WM

June heats up the Summer Trades!

Well, barely got the June update posted actually in June. So, I’ll skip the intro foolishness, and let you get right to the photos!

June 2015

We start off with Ken’s Ford Maverick. It’s not just a nice model; it’s an actual model. That is, it’s a model kit. Yes, that kind of model kit, the kind one puts together. It’s by Lindberg, which valiantly attempted a different approach to the miniature car hobby by combining it with the hobby kit, uh, hobby.

It was a ''maverick'' approach to collecting.

It was a ”maverick” approach to collecting.

Ken also picked up this farm tractor by Zylmex. It’s from the 1979 Mini Macks assortment.

Picasso had his Blue period. Ken is in his Yellow period.

Picasso had his Blue period. Ken is in his Yellow period.

Ken RAOK’d Bill with this Mercedes-Benz 500 SL from Hot Wheels by Corgi. Huh? In 1989, Mattel acquired Corgi. In 1996, Mattel introduced its Corgi castings, rebranded as Hot Wheels, into the mainline series. As evidenced below, these castings could be of higher quality than Mattel’s own, yet were paired with questionable wheels (not as bad as Kenner Fast111s, but still…). These hybrid models are an interesting subset of Hot Wheels to focus on.

Yes, I said it: Nicer than some of Mattel's own.

Yes, I said it: Nicer than some of Mattel’s own.

Tom bought this Lledo “Days Gone” 1955 VW Camper from Big Tractor Mike. It’s known simply as “Red/Black Camper”.

Model #DG86001

Model #DG86001

Tom bought this Lledo 1955 VW Kombi Van from BTM, done up in Pepsi Cola livery.

Model #73004

Model #73004

Tom bought this Lledo 1955 VW Transporter Van from BTM, done up in 7-Up livery.

Model #73007

Model #73007

How do I know so much about these toys, including their model numbers?

Simple: I done read the boxes!

Big Tractor Mike had two cars on his table (well, actually, he had many toys on — look, you know what I mean), both of which thoroughly intrigued me, and both of which were (IMHO) reasonably priced. I was carefully and thoughtfully weighing my options, when BTM offered a special price for both. Care and thought went out the window, and in their place I got these two cool cars … of which I’m showing you only this wonderfully outrageous Munsters Koach, designed by George Barris, for now, for a reason.

An everyday car for an everyday family.

An everyday car for an everyday family.

If you’ll recall from our previous update, Tom snagged an incredibly rare Still-Bagged-with-the-Mag promo Lledo VW van. Much to my very great surprise, I spotted a second SBwtM Lledo VW van on BTM’s table. Tom and I jokingly prodded each other to “close the deal” and buy it. Long story short, the second one (here displayed in Tom’s manly, burly hands) ended up in my hands.

Should I make the 3-D printer joke again? Nah, I'd better not.

Should I make the 3-D printer joke again? Nah, I’d better not.

You might be wondering if I had considered making the above item our “Find of the Month” again. Yes, very briefly. But I have not in the history of this club’s web presence declared the same model a FotM twice (not to mention twice in a row). I think doing so would set a bad precedent. There is such a rich variety of models and variations in this hobby, that it would be foolish to think that any one particular item could earn that lofty title more than once.

Yet, here we are, very near the end of this month’s update, and I still need to designate something as FotM … Hmmm … What ever to do about that….

Wait, I'm starting to get a picture...

Wait, I’m starting to get a picture…

Ah! I have it! (Literally, as in, “I actually physically own it”.) We now come to the other of the two cool cars I got from BTM: the excitingly cool Monkeemobile, designed by Dean Jeffries. This is just the kind of wildly creative custom rod that I digs the most, baby. From the frame-busting power plant to the stretched-out passenger area, this ride is awesome all the way around. [By the way, did you notice the “bonus show card” in the above photo? It’s a still of the show’s title, framed by an illustration of a “retro” TV — which is quite ironic, since being a card makes it a flat screen!] The Monkeemobile is a great collectible in several ways. It appeals to those who collect TV show-related items. It also attracts those such as myself who appreciate great customs. And it’s a nice variation for those who collect ’66 GTOs. I very, very happily declare this our Find of the Month(*) for June 2015!

If it was the Yellow Submarine, Ken would've bought it. You know, because yellow.

If it was the Yellow Submarine, Ken would’ve bought it. You know, because yellow.

Before you go, you gotta see this.

See you at the July meeting!

~WM

Happy St. Valvoline’s Day!

(Note: Please read this article regarding blocked photographs.)

Branding! That’s what it’s all about! I mentioned last month that Ken and his daughter set up a Suncoast Diecasters Facebook page. They use a cropped version of our Fifth Anniversary Club Vehicle ”family photo” as the wallpaper (or banner, or header). It looks so good that I decided to do the same thing for our WordPress blog and our Twitter feed! So now we have a consistent look on all three sites. Or, in BrandingSpeak, “We’ve implemented a unified synergystic visual strategy across multiple social platforms.” It all works so smoothly that you probably didn’t notice the subtle and nuanced joke in the title of this post. Go back and look at the title again. I bet you didn’t even see it.

And now, on to the photos!

Branding!

February 2015

And now, a belated Christmas ditty, just for you:

Four Star Trek plates
A Three Stooges plate
Two Simpsons plates
And a box nabbed from Big Tractor Mike

'Cause I didn't feel like unboxing & untaping them after Tom bought 'em from me.

‘Cause I didn’t feel like unboxing & untaping them after Tom bought ’em from me.

Seriously, the above plates are from my collection of Hamilton Collection plates. And yes, they are from our February meeting, not from Christmas. Tom got them for his brother’s ”man-cave”. Had them taped and boxed a good half-hour before I realized I should’ve photographed them.

Along with various assorted sundry cars, Big Tractor Mike also bought these items from me: Alien poster puzzle (3′ from top to bottom when completed); 8” Gizmo and 12” Stripe figures from Gremlins; and the V alien visitor action figure.

Explain to me again how LJN went out of business?

Explain to me again how LJN went out of business?

When I pulled this out of storage, I was surprised to see that the human mask was still in its little bubble. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t even once try the “pop the mask on/pop the mask off” gimmick. So I slid the inner cardboard  “tray” out of the box, and discovered a slit paralleling the rear border of the bubble. Clearly, I had in fact taken an X-acto knife to the bubble specifically so’s I could test-fit the mask. Takes away from collector value, of course, but least it’s less damage (and less obvious damage) than simply ripping the bubble off the tray.

And it makes a better presentation than having the mask flopping around loose inside the box.

And it makes a better presentation than having the mask flopping around loose inside the box.

This is a bittersweet thing for me. I’m glad BTM bought it; I know for certain in my possession it would’ve only spent more years buried in storage. But in rediscovering the V figure, I also rediscovered yet another long-gone, classic element of the American fabric: Zayre. Along with such names as K-mart, McCrory, and Woolworth/Woolco, Zayre meant a wide variety of products and brand lines at very attractive prices. Zayre was sold to Ames in 1988, which at the time I found amusing, in that they literally “went from Z to A” in rebranding (Branding!) the chain. Ironically, Ames itself went out of business in 2002. Ah, well; before moving on, perhaps you could take another look at Zayre.

*--Sigh--*

*–Sigh–*

If you’ll recall, the day of our February meeting was also the same da— What? Oh. Yes, yes, I hear you. Fine. Here you go. Enjoy:

Well, that's just adorable.

Well, that’s just adorable.

Anyway. If you’ll recall, the day of our February meeting was also the same day as the K-day event. Again not impressed with the “special colors” models, I went through my case merely to see what caught my eye. I very happily came away with the Treasure Hunt version of Jet Threat 4.0; the new green version of Speed Dozer (I think this green is much more aggressive than the original “construction” yellow); Speed Slayer, a new, “salt flat racer“-style model; and my favorite of the four, the Mooneyes-branded (Branding!) Custom ’77 Dodge Van. Yep, much as I dig wild customs, my fave this time ironically is the mundane corporate roller.

Yet I still can't find ''Moongaloonie'' on the 'Net.

Yet I still can’t find ”Moongaloonie” on the ‘Net.

Ken purchased this RLC ’64 Ford Falcon Sprint from me, and was embarrassed about it because his “make offer” price was less than what I originally paid for it. I told him he should be happy, because 1) he got an RLC model at a discount, and 2) he alleviated me of one more thing to have to re-pack at the end of the day.

Well, Ken bought the upper one; I kept the lower one. Huh?

Well, Ken bought the upper one; I kept the lower one. Huh?

Speaking of Ken (see previous paragraph): What’s in the box, Ken?

Spoiler alert!

Spoiler alert!

Oh, here’s what’s in the box: a Chevrolet van, by El Junioro de Corgi. A little spanish lingo for you there, because this is actually a Brazilian import. Industria Brasiliera, by KIKO. You can find out more about KIKO by visiting Gary’s Cars.

It's a Varig nice miniature! (AND THE COMEDY NEVER STOPS!)

It’s a Varig nice miniature! (AND THE COMEDY NEVER STOPS!)

So who or what is Voe Varig? Well, after extensive research (at Wikipedia), I learned that Varig was Brazil’s primary international airline. And it still is … sort of. After reorganization, the company was split into two separate companies known informally as “old” Varig (which has since folded) and “new” Varig which is fully integrated into GOL Intelligent Airlines. Considering the logo, and the toy’s age, this seems to refer to the “old” Varig. (“Voe” is the Spanish imperative for “go”, as in “Go Greyhound!”)

An oldie but a goodie. No, not Hot Wheels' ''Oldies But Goodies'' series; look, you know what I mean.

An oldie but a goodie. No, not Hot Wheels’ ”Oldies But Goodies” series; look, you know what I mean.

It’s extremely rare to find a Hot Wheels backer that’s been autographed by the designer. For example, this is not one of those. I don’t know whose signature that is, but it didn’t stop Bill from buying it. (I find it quaint that three examples of the “fastest cars on the roads” are lumbering construction vehicles.)

Collect them all! All six of 'em!

Collect them all! All six of ’em!

Okay, here’s the real scoop: it’s actually a double-rare find by Bill. Rare once in that it’s a Leo production (from India), and rare the second time in that it’s still on the card. I’ve seen Leos loose, and I’ve even seen one in a box (like the Corgi above); this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Leo on a traditional-style backer card. Oh, and unpunched, thank you kindly. Can’t even find any definitive info on Leo online. Very happy to declare this our Find of the Month for February.(*)

Yes, I'd say ''limited edition'' is quite accurate.

Yes, I’d say ”limited edition” is quite accurate.

See you at the March meeting!

~WM

September “falls” into Place!

Welcome to Autumn! Crisp evening Bburagoes and the wheels’ turning color… Wait — Eh, forget it, I’ve really messed up something there.

Anyway, the Calendar has been updated, closing out the Wagoneer promo and K-Day. And, our August post has been updated with text from Big Tractor Mike. Also, we’ve added a great new site to our 1/64th Links page, so please check it out!

One more thing: The number of photos in this update may seem to “fall” short – there’s a reason for that. You may recall that back in June, I posted an article about my mom’s health. Well, she had another setback and another hospital stay (she’s home again, thanks for asking). I e-mailed Mike and Ken to advise them that I would not be attending our September meeting, and that someone else would have to take photos.

Fortunately, Ken himself stepped up with his newfangled smartphone, and snapped four photos. Even more fortunately, they were very high-resolution, so I was able to crop out some individual vehicles and thus expand the update.

So, with all that said (er, typed, whatever), on to the September photos!

September 2014

Krista, the official Bat-collector of Suncoast Diecasters, nabbed this sweet Corgi-branded car case with appropriately hero-riffic graphics — Not to mention some graphic-riffic appropriately heroic vehicles. (Hmm… Ken has problems with plastic glare too. Now I don’t feel so bad about my inappropriately glare-roic photos.)

Corgi Porgie, Puddin' and Pie....

Corgi Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie….

So, when Rush Limbaugh talks about the Drive-By Media, does he mean this Corgi Leyland Daily Planet Van?

Eh, heard it earlier on AM Tampa Bay....

Eh, heard it earlier on AM Tampa Bay….

Also included is this Hot Wheels Hulk Incredible The van. (Says so right on the tampo.)

''Hulk smash!'' (C'mon, what else am I gonna say here?)

”Hulk smash!” (C’mon, what else am I gonna say here?)

It’s a toy! It’s a miniature! It’s Supermobile! With powers and abilities far beyond those of other copyrighted material! Able to leap 1.5-inch tall objects if you launch it down orange track with the red jump ramps attached!

I know comic book fans are forgiving, but -- Giant robotic fists? Seriously, guys?

I know comic book fans are forgiving, but — Giant robotic fists? Seriously, guys?

Bill obtained two Jammer cases (everyone say, “We! Love! Storage!”), as well as this darn-good-on-card chopter copter.

An aircraft, and boxed air to put it in!

An aircraft, and boxed air to put it in!

More specifically, it’s the Seasprite Helicopter from Matchbox’s 1973 Superfast 1-75 series. It’s also a bittersweet reminder of days gone by.

I know: you guys just want to groove on that sweet $0.99 Gold Circle price tag.

I know: you guys just want to groove on that sweet $0.99 Gold Circle price tag.

Well, it’s Dale o’Clock somewhere in the world, so pop yerself open a bottle of the Real Thing. Ken picked up this classy custom Coke-colored chronometer, as well as a very pleasant surprise: a Matra Simca Rancho. It’s not merely surprising that Ken found one; what’s really surprising is that this is the second one he found. He previously found one during our April 2012 meeting. Added bonus: different brand as well. The April ’12 model is a Matchbox, while this one is by Siku.

Matra loves Mambo....

Matra loves Mambo….

Surf’s up, dudes! Cool, crisp Autumn surf. Tom grabs some surf coolness with this decidedly rare Hot Wheels Surfing 2-pack. Adding to this he adds a nicely-appointed Johnny Lightning VW Bug, and an awesome Impy/Lonestar VW bus.

It's Frankie and Annette in ''Beach Blanket Bingo''!

It’s Frankie and Annette in ”Beach Blanket Bingo”!

Hey, you want-um see large surfing detail? You can do the so here.

Did I mention an awesome VW bus? Check this out: sweet radical moonroof, opening side doors revealing a nice interior, and even an opening bonnet! The only way this could possibly be cooler is if it were a barn-door bus. As it is, it’s far beyond cool enough to be named our September 2014 Find of the Month.(*)

Mike and Frankie got *nothin'* on ol' Tom!

Mike and Frankie got *nothin’* on ol’ Tom!

See you at the October meeting!

~WM