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

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1500+ pics!; And, Thanks to all our Followers!

Yes, fellow collectors, it’s true! As of this update, Suncoast Diecasters has set a new record: over fifteen hundred photographs!!! One thousand, five hundred seventeen (1,517), to be exact, all for your viewing pleasure. WHOOO!!!

And as if that weren’t enough, we have serious follower numbers as well: Seventeen people follow us via WordPress; thirty-eight folks follow us through Facebook; and we have a whopping two hundred thirteen followers on Twitter, for a grand total of two hundred sixty-eight (268) followers!

Yes, there are celebrities (and, you know, “celebrities”) with followers in the many multiple thousands. That does not impress me. What does impress me is that, even if you subtract all the members on Ken’s mailing list, this humble little local club still has well over two hundred thirty followers, outside its regular membership.

On behalf of Big Tractor Mike, Original Ken and all the Suncoast Diecasters members, I thank you all for helping us achieve this great social media presence!

So let me say to all you “outsiders”: If you’ll be travelling in Pinellas County, whether on business or vacation, be sure to check our Calendar. If one of our meetings coincides with your trip, stop in and see us. As Original Ken says, “The food here is great, and a good time is had by all!”

Now, on … to … the … PHOTOS!*

*(Just, you know, not all fifteen hundred at once.)

March 2016

We start off with past, present and futurantic, courtesy of Doug. The past is beautifully represented by this classy and well-appointed VW Beetle. The present, by the can’t-be-taken-seriously Smart for Two micro-car. And the future by this passenger plane which … um … has its rotors facing the wrong direction??

Up, up and -- uh ... Eh, it might work....

Up, up and — uh … Eh, it might work….

Oh, I get it. It’s a VSTOL configuration. Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing, for those of you with acronymophobia. The manufacturer of this particular miniature was thoughtful enough to provide articulation for the rotors. The tampos say “Everest” and “Climber Transport”; while there’s a lot of info online for Everest excursions, I’ve found nothing that specifically features this plane.

All ahead full! And by ''all'', I mean ''both''.

All ahead full! And by ”all”, I mean ”both”.

Mike C. put in a relatively rare appearance, and took out one of our 2015 Club Vehicles, which he missed the fist time. He intentionally chose number 13, reasoning that since Christine is a haunted car, he’d double-down on the spooky factor.

We haven't heard from Mike since, so....

We haven’t heard from Mike since, so….

Mike also nabbed this sweet Construction Crane, still in its sweet original Workhorses-series packaging. The model has a swiveling cab, and the crane boom actually extends.

From that long-gone era known as ''When Mattel Actually Cared.''

From that long-gone era known as ”When Mattel Actually Cared.”

If you’ve been visiting Suncoast Diecasters online with any regularity, you know I rarely pass up the chance to showcase vintage price tags. This is on the back of Mike’s Crane above. I fondly remember the days when Sears actually had a real live toy department. (I find it interesting that mainline models today are typically around $1.09 each.)

Apparently, Mattel saved $0.20 per toy by eliminating the ''working features!'' feature.

Apparently, Mattel saved $0.20 per toy by eliminating the ”working features!” feature.

Ed bought from Big Tractor Mike this Volvo fire engine by Corgi. No scale is stated, but from the model’s size it’s easily in the 1/40s or 1/50s. The clear plastic band is simply a retainer to keep its ladder from flopping about and getting mangled in the packaging.

~:~:~:~

~:~:~:~

I had a little trouble finding a point at which the ladder would actually balance without support, but eventually I was able to get the shot I wanted.

''It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'': The Home Game.

”It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”: The Home Game.

Yes, Ken again managed to find yet even more garbage trucks. Starting at upper left, the green-on-green is a somewhat generic model by Maisto. The one with the toll-free tampos has no manufacturer’s name, despite the quality of the casting. All of us who’d looked it over at the meeting agree that it must be a promotional give-away item. Finally, the yellow one is a Lotus Europa. More significantly, it’s not a Matchbox; it’s very nice casting by Zylmex.

Which also probably explains why it's a European sports car and not a garbage truck.

Which also probably explains why it’s a European sports car and not a garbage truck.

Well, 1-800-Got-Junk certainly seems to have 1-800-gotten its money’s worth; the brand (Branding!) is all over the miniature. I really enjoy being able to get nice sharp, tight shots like this, even if it is just corporate jetsam.

Hmmm ... I should ask Mike and Ken about franchising Suncoast Diecasters....

Hmmm … I should ask Mike and Ken about franchising Suncoast Diecasters….

Tom bought from Big Tractor Mike this swingin’ double-decker bus. Again, no scale is stated but it’s clearly in the 1/40s or 1/50s. If you look closely at the tampos, you’ll note that this model is not just promotional; it’s self-promotional. Rather self-congratulatory, as well. Curiously, the manufacturer doesn’t quite seem to appreciate its own products. An actual quote from the Shinsei site describes a toy as “a small article of little real value but often prized for some reason.” Well, la-dee-da.

*Not* from the 1970 children's TV show.

*Not* from the 1970 children’s TV show.

Two things about this toy: 1) It is truly a toy. As you can see in this close-up, it’s made of a thick, (relatively) soft plastic; the drooping side mirrors are of a similarly soft material; and the paint on the grill and headlights looks rough. However, 2) overall it’s well-made; it has a surprising gimmick — a pull-back motor; and the manufacturer even thought to include a smart little driver figure. Well-chosen, Tom!

*Not* Cliff Richard from 1963's ''Summer Holiday''. Well, probably not, anyway.

*Not* Cliff Richard from 1963’s ”Summer Holiday”. Well, probably not, anyway.

From Big Tractor Mike I purchased three cool items. First is this Boulevard-series DMC-12. Dressed up a bit more nicely than the mainline DMC-12, and still in its package. By the way, this is the second time you’ve seen my new approach to presenting on-card vehicles; the first was the crane above. Previously I would have a photo of the entire card. With this update, I’ve decided to focus on the vehicle, thus the closely-cropped image. Yet, to demonstrate that there really is a full card, I’ve dropped a postage-stamp sized pic of the whole card onto the car photo.

Let me know in the comments how this works for you.

Let me know in the comments how this works for you.

Next is this way whacked-out DMC-12 Time Machine. Like the bus above, it’s very clearly a toy. But, it’s also unlike any other DeLorean I own. It too has a pull-back motor. I just wish I could source it. Its base states “Universal Studios and U-Drive”; unfortunately, U-Drive returns too many search results, none of which stand out as a source for the toy. And it’s definitely not a Happy Meal prize. Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

~:~:~:~

~:~:~:~

Its low, drawn-out profile seems to accentuate the rise of the thrusters, so I wanted to see if I could come up with a shot to further enhance that accentuation. For this shot, I set the car on a pool table side rail, and placed the camera below it on the playing surface, with a pad under the front edge to tilt it up. Fortunately, I long ago learned how to use the camera’s timer, so I no longer have to worry about even the slightest deflection from pressing the shutter button. The camera remained balanced on the pad, and I got my shot.

Composition!

Composition!

Finally, the third vehicle I bought from Mike is this exceptionally clean Emergency Van from Kenner’s Fast111s line. This is one of the best-looking examples of the forlorn KF1 series that I’ve ever seen. Aside from a small patch on the license plate blank (and that could a chroming error as much as decal residue), this truck is basically flawless.

*Not* starring Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth.

*Not* starring Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth.

Now, here is something special. This Kool Kombi, which BTM bought from Jim, is not riveted. No, I don’t mean it’s not Rivited. I mean the base is not riveted to the body shell. Unofficially called a “line pull”, it also has treasure hunt wheels and whitewall rubber tires. You want it? Too bad; Mike already sold it.

Pictured: Drinkin' wine, explodee-odee.

Pictured: Drinkin’ wine, explodee-odee.

And here we proudly have our Find of the Month. Yes, this garbage truck. No, it’s not a typo. Yes, yes, I know; our FotM model is usually a wild custom, or a very rare model, or a very rare wild custom. But the workmanship and detail on this model are such that it deserves to be showcased. For example, you can clearly see that the rear section is articulated with “working” hydraulic rams. The thing that looks like a handle is a handle, which operates the hopper inside the rear section. And according to Emergency Back-up Ken, the black piece on top is a run for electrical and hydraulic lines. Original Ken and I have seen that on only one other model.

Yes, this is Original Ken's. Seriously, did I really have to tell you that?

Yes, this is Original Ken’s. Seriously, did I really have to tell you that?

In this animated GIF, you see both the internal hopper and the rear section operate. Yes, the empty hinges mean that one or more parts are missing, but that does not significantly detract from the model’s design quality.

Note also the full array of lights on the upper and lower rear panels.

Note also the full array of lights on the upper and lower rear panels.

This is by RealToy, and Ken figures it to probably be 1/43-scale. It’s based on an actual MAN vehicle, although I’m not able to ID the specific model. The logo states “The City of New York – Department of Sanitation”. Aside from the “toy-like” be-handled hopper, this has the well-crafted, professional appearance of a serious “adult collector” display model. Therefore I find it very easy to declare this our Find of the Month(*) for March 2016.

If you want to drink in its rich details, download the large image below.

If you want to drink in its rich details, download the large image below.

Original size: 1366 x 768

Oh, there’s one more thing about this truck that helped me make the decision to call it our FotM: it too has a pull-back motor. Yes, the clearly-a-toy bus has a PBM; and the very-clearly-a-toy DeLorean has a PBM. Yet, for all its serious and professional-level design quality, the MAN truck features a feature intended to make it an enjoyable plaything as well. This is briefly demonstrated in our latest (and shortest) (and silliest) video below. Enjoy!:

See you at the April meeting!

~WM

Start(rek)ing off 2016 Wonderfully!

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!)

January 2016

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:

As seen on ''Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"

As seen on ”Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

Next is the “original series” Klingon battle cruiser:

As seen on ''Star Trek''

As seen on ”Star Trek”

And finally, the Eagle Lunar Module used during the Apollo 11 space flight:

As seen on ''How I Met Your Mother''

As seen on ”How I Met Your Mother”

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:

As seen on ''The FedEx Half-Hour Comedy Hour''

As seen on ”The FedEx Half-Hour Comedy Hour”

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.

Pictured: A metaphor

Pictured: A metaphor

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.

Technical note: ''640 X 480'' is smaller than ''4.1 Megapixels''

Technical note: ”640 X 480” is smaller than ”4.1 Megapixels”

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”.

M'lady's coffee is served!

M’lady’s coffee is served!

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.

This is good coffee. You can trust a man in pantaloons.

This is good coffee. You can trust a man in pantaloons.

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.

Did I say sweet? I meant sweeeeet!

Did I say sweet? I meant sweeeeet!

There are no circumstances under which this toy is not cool.

There are no circumstances under which this toy is not cool.

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.)

Classic hot rod styling: A massive power plant and a vintage body.

Classic hot rod styling: A massive power plant and a vintage body.

Can you believe this?!!? Big Tractor Mike gave me a lump of coal! Da noive!!!

I suppose next year he'll give me a waffle iron.

I suppose next year he’ll give me a waffle iron.

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?

Because you strike matches on coal.

Because you strike matches on coal.

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.

Sleek, futuristic styling!

Sleek, futuristic styling!

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:

Wonder Woman, as portrayed by Nicolas Cage.

Wonder Woman, as portrayed by Nicolas Cage.

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.

Yes, another post-packing phone photo

Yes, another post-packing phone photo

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!

SD in: Overdrive from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

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.)

Beloved childhood possession

Beloved childhood possession

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:

A ''Fast Cars'' book requires speed-reading!

A ”Fast Cars” book requires speed-reading!

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!

~WM

(Hey, I got the January update posted while there’s still a little bit of January left! Points for me!)

2015 starts off with a great start!

A brand-new year. New hopes, new dreams; new problems, new fears. New challenges and new adventures.

And, most importantly, new toy cars and photos to go with ’em!

However, first I’m going to be serious for a moment and address some items here at the site. One: we’ve had our first deletion. There was a page here titled Message to Members. That page covered current members’ concerns about the move of Suncoast Diecasters from a privately-owned web site to this WordPress blog. This blog version of our club site is well over a year old, so by now all members have had a chance to read it; the page had served its purpose and was past its prime.

Two: An even more serious and rather somber item. In 2011 a cherished member passed away. An In Memoriam page took the place of our usual Welcome page for a time, then was given its own link on the old site’s Table of Contents. That page has now been added here at WordPress.

Three: This is more up-beat. In case you hadn’t noticed, for 2015 I replaced our SunRacer/logo image with a brighter, more colorful version. In the heady excitement of the holidays, you may have forgotten what the old one looked like (shame on you!). So, for your edification, here they are, side by side by Sondheim.

Compare and contrast, art students!

Compare and contrast, art students!

Four: You know we’ve had a Twitter feed for some time. We now have a Facebook page as well. Truly, Suncoast Diecasters has become a social media empire!

Five: Very, very, very happy to announce new pages! All the Annual Galleries from the original site have been re-created here. Now you can review and enjoy Suncoast Diecasters‘ rich visual history (and Your Humble Webmaster’s entertaining and informative commentary!) all from this one conveenyent locayshun. (And, just like the Members’ Galleries I mentioned in our December update, these contain disallowed code which needs to be stripped out, so they’re a bit funky lookin’.)

With that, let us hie thusly to the photos!

January 2015

You may perhaps notice that the number of photos for this update is somewhat mild compared to previous ones. ‘Tis very simple: Post-Holiday Financial Compression. Or, “After the holidays, ain’t nobody gots no moneh … Honeh!” True, not much trading occurred during this meeting, but it was an enjoyable regathering nonetheless!

Back in December, I mentioned that I had RAOK’d Big Tractor Mike with a bunch of vehicles from Kenner’s Mega Force toyline (which are Not. From. The. Movie.). In that post, I only showed you a single vehicle and accessory. BTM has since thoughtfully bagged each item, so here’s a shot of the accumulated action:

NO, Ken, this has nothing to do with the movie!

NO, Ken, this has nothing to do with the movie!

By the way: For those of you who miss an occaisional Suncoast Diecasters meeting, there’s an alternate method for getting in on the tradin’ and braggin’. Big Tractor Mike operates a booth at the 49er Flea Market, 10525 49th St N, Clearwater, FL 33762. I’ll let BTM hisself tend to the details:

Kenny and I are at the 49er Flea Market from dark-thirty (me, not Kenny) to roughly around 12:00pm every Sunday, unless it’s raining cats and dogs.  We are at row I – 25/26, the very last row (farthest east row in the back, next to the parking lot), about in the middle. Look for my green truck and white trailer.  We do the flea market from October to the end of April, then break for the summer months. We have two tables and a trailer FULL of various die-cast models — If you don’t see what you want, ASK!! It could be here somewhere, or in the trailer. Come on down and see me!!

Approximate location of Mike's approximate location.

Approximate location of Mike’s approximate location.

Krista has a relative who has some other stuffed animal which has the same pattern as the elephant below. (Parse away, English students!) That other stuffed animal came from Build-A-Bear. She spotted this elephant in a claw game at the Sports Bar. (“How the elephant got in the claw game, I’ll never know.”) After a few rounds — and by rounds I mean quarters — she won the thing. Krista intends to present the elephant to her relative not only as a companion piece for the other stuffed animal, but also for the amusement of pairing the $20.00 BAB doll with this under-$5.00 pattern partner.

This is, in fact, the Elephant in the Room.

This is, in fact, the Elephant in the Room.

Bill acquired this Ford Dump Truck, which is from the 1982 Workhorses series. This one is the Hong Kong version; there`s a Malaysia version as well. The tampo says “Sunset Trucking”.

Don Henley drove this down to the Sunset Grill. No, seriously.

Don Henley drove this down to the Sunset Grill. No, seriously.

Ken obtained this Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio by Siku. Its base interestingly lists various technical details about the actual car, such as “8 Cylinder; 3300ccm”.

I'm Siku you saying such things about Ken!

I’m Siku you saying such things about Ken!

Ken obtained this Porsche 911 Carrera by Siku. Its base interestingly lists various technical details about the actual car, such as “6 Cylinder; 3387ccm”.

I'm Siku you nearly duplicating such paragraphs about Ken!

I’m Siku you nearly duplicating such paragraphs about Ken!

And here we see that Ken has completely abandoned his toy car collecting hobby in favor of much more genteel pursuits such as latchhook knitting and needlepoint crafting. Gonna miss him. But, I’ll tearfully think of him whenever I hear this song.

Definitely not a Jammer case. Nope, nope, nope. Don't even think of it as being such a thing. Because it's not that.

Definitely not a Jammer case. Nope, nope, nope. Don’t even think of it as being such a thing. Because it’s not that.

Big Tractor Mike done did me a super-duper big-time RAOK with these three Kenner Fast111s models. And no, it’s not camera flash glare or any such thing; the tag on the middle model is simply damaged.

The Neapolitan ice cream of toy cars!

The Neapolitan ice cream of toy cars!

This is Blazin’ Bandit, KF1’s take on the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Like Hot Wheels, KF1s offered very well-designed “production” vehicles as well as “fantasy” vehicles.

It's named Bandit 'coz it's *just* like the one Burt Reynolds drove in ''Gator''.

It’s named Bandit ‘coz it’s *just* like the one Burt Reynolds drove in ”Gator”.

Cam Rammer, a slightly stylized interpretation of the typical Can-Am design, such as McLaren. I’m going to presume that its first name is Cam rather than Can because someone at Kenner realized that it would’ve otherwise been suitable only for San Francisco.

So, how does this compare to Hot Wheels' McLaren M6A?

So, how does this compare to Hot Wheels’ McLaren M6A?

And finally, we have Street Boss. Aside from the somewhat cartoonish styling of the fenders, this is one of my favorite types of cars: a very hot-rodded classic frame. The high-volume engine would’ve been cool enough. The in-fender lights and prow-like airscoop in front of the radiator impart a Larry Wood or George Barris quality to the design. Coupled with the classy ’30s-era cabin, the result is just the kind of sweet, wild custom that me likes. Very happy to declare this our Find of the Month!(*) Thanks, Mike!

...Wait, this is *not* the car that Bo and Luke drove, right?

…Wait, this is *not* the car that Bo and Luke drove, right?

See you at the February meeting!

~WM

April brings Showers of great new Photos!

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

…And by “showers”, I mean seventeen photos. True, there are eighteen photos in this post, but … um … Well, you’ll figure it out when you get there. Now, on to the photos!

(Please read this post for an explanation for the late posting for April. ~WM)

April 2014

Zylmex!

Yes, we start out with a Zylmex model! I assure you, the “Rad Bird” shown below (a.k.a. Firebird Funny Car) is indeed from Zylmex. Why am I making much ado about this being a product of Zyll Enterprise Ltd. (Zylmex’s really real name)? As an act of beneficence, I have at least one very good reason for making sure it’s known that this is a Zylmex.

Because when it's Zylmex, it has to be stated clearly!

Because when it’s Zylmex, it has to be stated clearly!

Further proof that this is a Zylmex — also known as “Zee” to its hipster friends.

Zylmex: When your Need for Speed is Fed by Zed

Zylmex: When your Need for Speed is Fed by Zed

I’m still processing the idea of popping the package. On one hand, I have at least one other on-card Zee, in better condition as well (go back and look at the first photo; this’n has a water stain). On t’other hand, I would have one more on-card Zee, and I do have plenty of funny cars.

...Wait -- This seems kinda famillar...

…Wait — This seems kinda famillar…

Well, here’s why it seems famillar — er, familiar: Ken found one a few months ago. And, with his being free of its plastic defense shield, it can show off its trick in its very ’80s way.

ZYLMEX!!!

ZYLMEX!!!

Ken nabs some nifty treasures. Clockwise from center: 1970 Ford Mustang (Welly); Colectomatic (MBX); Little Johnny No-Name; 2014 Suncoast Diecasters Club Vehicle; Colectomatic (MBX); ’57 Corvette (Zylmex(!)); and 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air (High Speed).

I swear, there must be some factory which produces garbage trucks just for Ken to find.

I swear, there must be some factory which produces garbage trucks just for Ken to find.

Bill has some awesome finds – particularly that rare yellow dumper, which I’ll tell you about last. Clockwise from right: ’65 Mustang (1990 Color Racers); Sir Rodney Roadster (France, 1983); Top Eliminator (gold chrome, BW, no “A/C” logo); and finally, last but big ol’ definitely not least, the very rare Road King Truck from the Mountain Mining Set from 1974.

The mining truck's rarity is rated as "Super Duper Awesome".

The mining truck’s rarity is rated as “Super Duper Awesome”.

Well, here’s why it seems famillar — er, familiar: Ken found one a few months— oops, wrong photo, my bad. This is actually Bill’s Top Eliminator. I could say here that all funny cars look alike to me, but I don’t want to be accused of being  … a race-ist. (Ka-powww!)

MATTEL .... MEX!!!

MATTEL …. MEX!!!

Showing complete disrespect and utter contempt for poor (and ZAMAC-naked) Sir Rodney, here Road King is using him as a stage prop.

No respect, I tells ya, no respect!

No respect, I tells ya, no respect!

Actually, the purpose of the completely not-a-typical-truck-part handle is for the child (or Bill) to be able to dump the bed’s contents more easily.

Worst. Parking Brake. Ever.

Worst. Parking Brake. Ever.

No batteries needed, the Mountain Mining Set was all hand-operated. You know, just like Facebook used to be back then.

For parties of 12 or more, Bill will rent out the truck as a picnic shelter.

For parties of 12 or more, Bill will rent out the truck as a picnic shelter.

Oh no! It crashed and broked! Actually, I intended to take a pic of its underside when I noticed that unusual block on the base of the cab. It’s about 1/8″ thick, and as Bill explains, it’s a conveyor linkage. The truck follows along a  grooved track as the child (or Bill) turns a crank to cycle the truck through the mining operation.

Hey! There's one of them illegal government GPS thingies under there!

Hey! There’s one of them illegal government GPS thingies under there!

I’ll let Big Tractor Mike give you goods on this next item: “This is a VERY hard to find set!! You can find the models packaged separately on blister cards or in window boxes. The crane alone, loose, is worth from $30 to $40; carded or boxed, from $50 to $60. There are a few promos for the crane, but are rather pricey. The pic of the crane on the back of  this box is of the prototype crane. Notice the all-black wheels and other difference from the packaged model.

The crane is sold singly and is part of the MB Convoy line; you don’t see a lot of these cranes around. Can also be found blister carded with two other models.

The other models can also be found either blister-carded or window-boxed. $3 to $5 loose, around $6 to $10 packaged.

VERY VERY COOL SET!! Worth maybe from $80 to $100.”

Mike should wrap this up and give it to himself as a Christmas present!

Mike should wrap this up and give it to himself as a Christmas present!

The

The “construction” & “fire” sets look pretty-well stocked. The other two sets seem kinda lackin’….

The Lord continues to amaze me with the variety of Kenner Fast111s items that show up at Suncoast Diecasters meetings. Big Tractor Mike gets an odd gleam in his eye, and says to me, he says, “Got somethin’ for ya.” He shows me this box full of The Most Awesome Fast111s Find Ever. As I’d explained before, I had completely forgotten about KF1s until I mis-ID’d one on Ken’s table. I had no clue whatsoever that they’d been licensed to a model maker!

The normal-size diecast version in light blue is from Bill. Note lack of bed-dumping handle.

The normal-size diecast version in light blue is from Bill. Note lack of bed-dumping handle.

No scale is stated on the box. However, in comparing the “ASoM” photo to the diecast – and relating it in me brain to other such dual-scale items in me collection – I’m guessing it’s probably around 1:43 or 1:48, which would be about right.

Kinda makes one wonder what's in the rest of the box...

Kinda makes one wonder what’s in the rest of the box…

Oh, here’s what’s in the rest of the box: 85% air, plus your Daily Minimum Requirement of styrene plastic (Now with free decal sheet! Collect them all, kids!). By the way, for your edification, MPC is now owned by Round2LLC.

I'm torn as to whether to build it, or just put the whole box in my display cabinet and stare at it dreamingly....

I’m torn as to whether to build it, or just put the whole box in my display cabinet and stare at it dreamingly….

In keeping with the whole KF1 theme, the model even offers its own take on the Certificate of Ownership:

A child (or Bill) could put this on the fridge next to his "outlined fingers" turkey drawing and glued-macaroni sculpture.

A child (or Bill) could put this on the fridge next to his “outlined fingers” turkey drawing and glued-macaroni sculpture.

Well, we’re at the end of the post, and if you’ve noticed the pattern over the last several monthly meeting posts, you know that this is where I make a certain declaration. And yes, I’ll be doing that … but just a bit differently this time. I’m talking specifically about our Find of the Month. Now, sometimes it’s easy, in that one particular item really stands out. Other times there are several such items, and I have to do some arguin’ and figurin’ in my head to pick just one. However, with our April meeting I am faced with a real conundrum: there are two items, each of which is simply overwhelming in the areas of Rarity, Uniqueness, and the all-important (but nebulously-defined) Awesomeness. So, I’ve done the only thing I could which seems both fair, and likely to prevent me from over-frying my brain: I’ve chosen both of them. So, without further ado, let me introduce to you the MPC Evil Eye model kit, and the Hot Wheels Road King Truck: Suncoast Diecasters‘ first-ever Dual Finds of the Month!

Introducing the 2014 Pushme-Pullyou!

Introducing the 2014 Pushme-Pullyou!

See you at the May meeting!

~WM