Sweet November! (No relation to the movie. Nope.)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Day, spending time with your families and not out Black Fridaying with the massing mobs. Suncoast Diecasters‘ November meeting was great, with many great finds, buys and trade.

Speaking of great finds: You know that every month, I designate a Find of the Month. Well, I can say that we had, in a sense, two FotMs in November. I was very greatly surprised to find that dear Marge had returned from her four-year sabbatical. She did bring several trays of cars, of which other members including You Humble Webmaster didst partake, but the main joy was simply that she returned. We don’t know if she’ll continue to attend, but we were all very insistent that she at least make our December meeting.

Recall that the Saturday before our meeting was a K-mart Collector Day event, the last one of 2015. I did pretty well this time. Got a Flames-edition Hudson Hornet and ’41 Willys, the K-Day edition “sandy brown” Subaru Brat, and the literally shiny ‘n new Hi-Roller.

'Tis pretty!

‘Tis pretty!

One more thing: I probably don’t have to do this, but I apologize that I couldn’t get our November update published actually in November. I have a new job, and the darn thing is interfering with my site update time.

And now, on to the photos!

November 2015

Doug picked up this Other Blue Oval NASCAR racer and Meyers Manx, along with a slot-car controller which does not work with either of those cars but, what the heck, it’s the holidays!

There are some jokes here which write themselves, so I won't bother typing them.

There are some jokes here which write themselves, so I won’t bother typing them.

If you’ll recall, back in September Big Tractor Mike bought several Last Action Hero items from me. However, some accessories were absent, oddly not being in the same box. When I went back into my storage unit, one of the boxes I brought out just happened to have those self-same accessories, with which I RAOK’d BTM at our November meeting. As you can see below, one of the items is the Ripper’s hat. Yes, he’s a psychotic murderer; but, he’s a dapper psychotic murderer!

Hmm... That ''dapper'' line would've made a good caption....

Hmm… That ”dapper” line would’ve made a good caption….

The other three or four of you who’ve seen Last Action Hero know that it’s the story of young Danny who gets a magical movie theater ticket which allows him to enter the in-movie realm of his hero, Jack Slater. Among the accessories, I also found the Danny action figure, officially named Hook Launchin’ Danny, and his shoulder-fired grappling hook. This device is an amazingly detailed and astoundingly accurate replica of the one which Danny did not use in the movie even once ever at all. However, I do have to give props to the toy’s designers. It has an impressively powerful spring, launching the hook over two feet before friction from the line slows it to a fall. Plus, the anchor allows a child (i.e., Big Tractor Mike) to attach both ends as a type of zip-line.

Massive as the launcher is, I'm surprised I was able to get the figure to balance without support.

Massive as the launcher is, I’m surprised I was able to get the figure to balance without support.

Also back in September, BTM bought a model figure kit of Constable Odo from Deep Space Nine. I asked him if he still had it, and he said yes. So, I RAOK’d him with this publicity photo of Odo, advising him to pair it with the model if he ever decided to sell it. I got the photo at a Star Trek convention at which Rene Auberjonois was the headliner, and was shocked when I realized there was not autograph on the photo. I clearly remember standing at the autograph table, complimenting him on his performance as Odo, so I must’ve had something else autographed. By the way, the blue blur in the upper left corner is glare from the overhead lights when I took a shot of this picture.

Yes, kids, you're looking at a photograph of a photograph. ...SCIENCE!

Yes, kids, you’re looking at a photograph of a photograph. …SCIENCE!

Scott was a model guest, buying this AMT Vicki Hardtop from me.

See how I used the word ''model'' there? *That* is how you do comedy.

See how I used the word ”model” there? *That* is how you do comedy.

BTM bought this Rat Fink set from me. You might notice that the plastic blister is quite crumpled. See what happens when you try to store your collectibles, kids? Remember, always rip ’em right out of the package!

Better-focused and somewhat less-glarey close-up included as our free gift to you!

Better-focused and somewhat less-glarey close-up included as our free gift to you!

BTM bought this literary gem from me. It’s filled with interviews, behind-the-scenes photographs and early concept sketches of the ships, costumes and the monster. As well-known as Alien is to the Nerdo-American audience, it’s fascinating to consider what the movie might have been had Scott and O’Bannon made these different choices. For example, the small, train-like line sketch near the lower right corner is what eventually became the Nostromo.

I don't know what the big blue thing in the middle is. It wasn't used in the movie.

I don’t know what the big blue thing in the middle is. It wasn’t used in the movie.

Once again, I brought in a bunch of Star Trek items, and once again Big Tractor Mike took them all away. Why do I bother? Er, um, what I mean is, I’m glad Mike bought these from me! He paid me a good price for them, and I didn’t have to re-pack them and take them back home again.

WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER!!??

WHY DO I EVEN BOTHER!!??

I beRAOK’d Ken with this comical car(toon) from Nickelodeon’s CatDog. Ken appreciated it because it’s a garbage truck, but he also got a kick out of its pull-string action. Pulling CatDog from the trash pile unwinds a string which winds a spring. The spring then unwinds, causing the wheels to roll and retract CatDog back into the pile. On a clear, smooth floor it can run about six feet. And, yes, I am now complicit in Ken’s mad scheme to own every garbage truck toy ever.

-:-

-:-

The toy is a premium that was available in a Burger King Kids Club meal. It may be hard to see in the shadow, but in the upper left corner it states a copyright of 1999 (see inset in lower left corner for enhanced image). I posted this shot with the copyright for a very specific reason. It’s because…

-:-

-:-

…Of this: the battery still works. Think about it: this is 2015; it’s copyrighted 1999; that means the toy is sixteen years oldand the battery still works! That is impressive. You may notice the mini-wheel below the front bumper. For unknown reasons, the toy’s designers put the spring-power drive to hidden wheels under the toy, and made the “cartoon” wheels merely part of the body casting. And if you’re wondering why there’s an oversize SunRacer occluding the upper right corner of the photo, it’s because your family doesn’t need to see my big ol’ thumbnail, especially not during the holidays.

I advised Ken to change the battery before it gets all explodey.

I advised Ken to change the battery before it gets all explodey.

Ken asked me to photograph the treasures he bought from Marge. I was trying various arrangements when I realized there was veritable rainbow of toy cars in front of me. Thinking back to last month’s focus on composition, I carefully sought a natural chromatic flow which would involve all the cars. I might’ve been able to invert the black cars with the Mountain Dew cars, tying their green logos to the green truck, but I think this arrangement works better.

I honestly think the colors flow very well here.

I honestly think the colors flow very well here.

When I started sorting through the bag of Ken’s cars, I jokingly told him I hoped he had a Mountain Dew car.

A. One. Singular. Fer cryin’ out loud.

Not sure if this is three cars, or one car doing a spin-out with the camera shutter open.

Not sure if this is three cars, or one car doing a spin-out with the camera shutter open.

One of the three cars I bought from Marge. Yeah, the paint’s chipped along several edges, but the wheels are straight and clean, and the body and tampo are in relatively good shape for a toy that’s probably over thirty years old. Just wish I could I could remember the name of this model…

I'm usually good with car names, General Lee speaking...

I’m usually good with car names, General Lee speaking…

Numbah Two car from Marge: Rock Buster. This is the 1983 Malaysia version. Yeah, it’s missing its roll cage. But, its wheels too are clean and straight, and its paint and tampos are in great condition. So the what if the roll cage is missing? When would I ever again have an opportunity to obtain such a rare model, much less for such an affordable price?

Rock Buster! Oh, no, that's this car. Dang.

Rock Buster! Oh, no, that’s this car. Dang.

And the Third and Final Car I bought from Marge: Camaro Z28. You may suspect by the large blocky section between the rear wheels (lower portion of photo) that this is either a friction or pullback model. (I can’t tell which, as the mechanism doesn’t work.) Now, I generally have no interest in Camaros unless it’s a particularly special model, and I never buy frictions (or pullbacks, whichever). So why did I grab this one? Well, I looked at its base to see if it had any info at all — and I discovered it claims a scale of 1/59. I don’t recall ever seeing a scale on a friction. More importantly, it has the Zee logo. Yes, this is actually a Zylmex, not just some no-name repli-pony. I have a few models in the 1/5x range, and seeing as this is a brand-name model, I had no hesitation in buying it.

Zee produced a Z, as you can zee.

Zee produced a Z, as you can zee.

Aah, now we come to the truly interesting stuff. You may think you’re seeing (clockwise from bottom) Custom Police Cruiser, Lola GT70, Torero, Lola GT70 (with spoiler?!?), and Turbofire, but you would be so very, very wrong. For instance, that’s simply Cruiser.

They're creepy and they're kooky...

They’re creepy and they’re kooky…

These are actually Lola GT and Lamborghini Special.

...Mysterious and spooky...

…Mysterious and spooky…

And these are merely Lola GT (again, with spoiler?!?) and Super Turbo.

...They're all together ooky.

…They’re all together ooky.

Okay, okay. At this point you’re probably thinking I’ve really misunderstood my own off-site links. Cleary, these cars are Hot Wheels models, right? Well, yes and no. What they are, are Muky castings of Mattel models. How did Muky get so precise in copying the look of HW models, you ask? Simple: they were cast using actual Mattel dies. Huh? Muky was a toy manufacturer in Argentina. The company obtained in some manner dies which allowed them to produce Mattel-accurate toy cars. I say “in some manner” because there are several competing theories as to just how Muky got the dies: they were imported directly from Mattel; they were stolen from Mattel; they were reproduced from actual Mattel blueprints; etc. One particular curiosity is that Muky offered a version of the Lola GT70 with a spoiler, a variation never offered by Mattel. Regardless, it’s interesting to note that, unlike many other foreign manufacturers, there is a great amount of information about Muky available online.

Bob had these on his table at our November meeting. This is one the very best things about Suncoast Diecasters membership: discovering rare foreign models which can greatly enhance any collection. These are all now currently enhancing Big Tractor Mike’s collection, in fact. For their rarity, their great condition, their completeness with the original boxes, and especially for their intriguing mystery, I hereby very readily declare this set of Mukys to be our Find of the Month(*) for November 2015.

He likes it! Hey, Muky!

He likes it! Hey, Muky!

See you at the December meeting!

~WM

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September transports us into Fall!

Okay, the title is somewhat overwrought, perhaps. But there’s a reason for it, as you will learn as you read on through this update.

However, before getting to the meeting’s photos, I want to share with you the car I got at the most-recent K-mart event. Right, the one car. As has been happening far too often over the last several K-day cycles, the “special” vehicles offered during the September 5th event were completely uninteresting (IMHO). So when it was my turn, I simply dug through the box to see whatever I could find. And, thank you, Lord, what I found was this:

The Brat is used in Bratislava to deliver Bratwurst.

The Brat is used in Bratislava to deliver Bratwurst.

I never found a first-edition Brat, so I was very pleased to find this one. And this one alone made K-day completely satisfactory for me.

Now, on to the photos!

September 2015

Thus sayeth our valiant* young Bill: “The Roll Patrol Jeep CJ-7 came out in 1986, from Malaysia. This version with blackwalls was found on three different cards: two different Action Command cards, and a blue card in 1991. The blue card, with the number 12, is very rare to find. The Thunderburner in white came out in 1989 with two other wheels variations besides this one: a blackwall, and one in Ultra Hots wheels from 1990. All three have the same tampos. The version of Thunderburner in black with the The Black Knight tampo on the doors came out in 1987, from Malaysia. There`s also one with Ultra Hots wheels, released in 1989. The yellow Inside Story came out in 1980, from Hong Kong. There are two other version in yellow: one from Malaysia, and one with clear windows, both from the same year.”

*Note: Plymouth Valiant not shown.

*Note: Plymouth Valiant not shown.

Remember last month, when Big Tractor Mike bought all my Star Trek items? Well, he’s done it again! Only this time, he bought all my stuff! He upped the ante! He cleaned me out! He wiped the floor with me! (Okay, those bromides may have been a little over the top.) Here, BTM gets askull — I mean, ahead of the Halloween rush with this Jack Skellington figure from The Nightmare before Christmas. Backer’s a bit rumpled from years in storage, and there’s a slight split in the glue at the lower left. Otherwise in good shape, and complete.

Boo. (Sorry, that's all I could think of.)

Boo. (Sorry, that’s all I could think of.)

Mike then jumps (and skips and frolics) ahead to Christmas with these two embossed foil ornaments. The top one is obviously a traditional depiction of a sleigh, whilst the bottom one shows Santa Claus and Friends in what appears to be a 1900s-era runabout decorated for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Festive foil is fun!

Festive foil is fun!

BTM then gets Tick-led pink (get it?) with these The Tick and Space Shuttle wind-ups. The Tick’s arms and hands pop forward, as if he’s actually pushing himself along by rolling the Studebaker’s rear tires. The Shuttle’s action is surprisingly complex; in fact there are two actions which happen simultaneously. It rolls forward for several inches, then stops and spins around rapidly several times, then rolls off again in whatever direction it’s pointing. Meanwhile, the doors pop open and the astronaut pops up, then slowly winds back down into the cargo bay as the doors slowly close over him.

Go ahead. Yell ''Spoon!''; it's okay.

Go ahead. Yell ”Spoon!”; it’s okay.

Af if to emphasize the point, Mike also picked up this Odo figure kit. (I mean, the point about buying all my Star Trek stuff last month. That’s the point I was referring to.)

Before ''Deep Space Nine'', he was best known for inventing the Odometer.

Before ”Deep Space Nine”, he was best known for inventing the Odometer.

Yep, just like on the show, if Odo doesn’t spend time regenerating in his bucket, he just goes all to pieces.

An in-context DS9 joke! BOOM!!

An in-context DS9 joke! BOOM!!

Here, Mike goes on a literary bent by picking up these three Godzilla storybooks. I should’ve arranged them differently for the photo. Cleary the top one is titled Godzilla on Monster Island, and the bottom one’s title is Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster. The title of the one in the middle can’t be seen, and I have no idea what it was.

Oh wait, I just remembered: ''Godzilla and the No Good, Very Bad Diary of Lemony Hallows''.

Oh wait, I just remembered: ”Godzilla and the No Good, Very Bad Diary of Lemony Hallows”.

BTM continues his literary aspirations with this retro catalog of retro goodies. I was surprised to find this when I opened a storage bin, as I have absolutely no recollection of ever buying it. Perhaps I got it at a Star Trek convention; or perhaps it was included as a “gift” with something else I ordered. Maybe I got it through a catalog of catalogs (yes, Virginia, there are such things). Or, heck, maybe I just ordered it directly from Amazon.

It was first published in 1990, so it's not like it's *that* retro...

It was first published in 1990, so it’s not like it’s *that* retro…

Mike’s literary quest reaches its highest peak, its sun-warmed summit with this rare collection of short stories about the greatest hobby in the world. Most of the stories are wonderfully humorous or thrill-seeking adventure. Its two most poignant tales, however, are I used to have that and My parents never bought me that one.

Correction: The above book does not contain any stories. It just has pictures of toy cars.

Correction: The above book does not contain any stories. It just has pictures of toy cars.

Aaand speaking of Hot Wheels, there’s one right here somewhere. BTM also acquired from me these “higher end” models which are better-detailed than mainline cars, and come in special packaging. Of the four, the Camaromad is the strangest, and I could never figure it out. Was it a Camaro stylized as a Nomad wagon, or a Nomad wagon stylized as a Camaro? Well, the “always reliable” Internet has turned up exactly one page that provides any kind of information on the design. It’s sparse, and you have to scroll almost to the bottom (or, you know, just do a word search on the page for “Camaromad”), but at least it’s something.

Like I said back in April: Earl’s Live Bait ‘n Diecast.

Like I said back in April: Earl’s Live Bait ‘n Diecast.

I never saw Last Action Hero at a theater, because I listened to the critics who panned it. Then I saw it on TV, and was quite entertained by it. Hm – Learned that lesson. Anyhoo, by then the LAH toys were being clearanced out, so I done snagged me a few. And now, Big Tractor Mike has de-snagged them from me. Here we have Jack Slater and Evil Eye Benedict. And his Evil Briefcase. I didn’t realize until I started editing the photos that I should’ve set the ‘case in front of EEB instead of to his left. Fortunately, the photo was of high-enough resolution that I could crop out the ‘case separately. Along with stickers, it includes weapons and a tray of eyeballs. Yep, that white strip with the round things is a magazine of weaponized false eyeballs.

'Cause nothin' sez ''Fun for the kids!'' like murderous prosthetics.

‘Cause nothin’ sez ”Fun for the kids!” like murderous prosthetics.

This is bad guy The Ripper, with axe but without hat (which oddly was not in the bin he was in), and — I will quote from the package here — “Skull Attack Jack.” It’s Slater as a Shakespearean character, who launches a skull via Spring-Powered Action! Oh, and he has a dagger and a sword.

''I vant to zing und dantz, I vant to zing und dantz...''

”I vant to zing und dantz, I vant to zing und dantz…”

Of course, one can’t have an action movie without action vehicles. And here they be! It’s Evil Eye Benedict’s Evil Eye Roadster, with original box, and Slater’s convertible with no box. Note however that Slater’s ride does have seatbelts, because who ever heard of an action hero who doesn’t obey all safety regulations?

The Goofus and Gallant of the automotive world.

The Goofus and Gallant of the automotive world.

And here we have the action vehicles in action: Benedict’s roadster is just bristling with gadgety weapons, including a pop-up missile launcher, while Slater’s ‘vert does a classic side-wheelie the old-fashioned way…

I-4/I-275 Interchange: The Home Game.

I-4/I-275 Interchange: The Home Game.

…With a hidden trike wheel, just like Hal Needham taught him!

Oh, sorry: (Ahem) ''Spoiler alert!''

Oh, sorry: (Ahem) ”Spoiler alert!”

It seems that Big Tractor Mike is determined to eradicate my Star Trek collection. For here he has acquired yet another such item, the NexGen Transporter* playset. Well, at least it gave me an opportunity for an overwrought title for this update. (Yes, this is exactly and specifically the reason for that title. So there.)

*(Jason Statham not included.)

*(Jason Statham not included.)

For your entertainment and edification, here’s a video of the Transporter in operation at our September meeting — And it really really works! And by “really works”, I don’t mean sub-atomic disassembly and matter conversion. I mean, the “magic trick” of an object placed in the chamber disappearing and reappearing actually functions as advertised. Enjoy!

(If the video doesn’t play properly, you can view it in a separate window.)

At some point during the meeting, Mike comes over to me, holding a Hot Wheels DeLorean which he offered to me. At first I thought this was odd, as he had already given me three other DeLoreans. Then I noticed something very … peculiar about this model….

Aw, man! Four flats and no spare!

Aw, man! Four flats and no spare!

Yep, it’s not merely a DeLorean. In fact, it’s not even merely yet another Back to the Future time machine. It’s the wheels-down “hover mode” variation, which I didn’t even know Mattel produced. Upon realizing this, I gladly accepted Mike’s RAOK, upping my DeLorean collection to five (three Hot Wheels, a Johnny Lightning and a Tomica).

So, you may be wondering how it rolls. Duh! On its wheels, of course! Seriously, has there ever been a Hot Wheels vehicle which didn’t roll well?

*Cough*greenaliencrosser*Cough*

*Cough*greenaliencrosser*Cough*

So, for its rarity and its choice variation (not to mention some fine detailing), I declare the “hover mode” DeLorean to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for September 2015.

Hey, dig this cool diorama I built!*

Hey, dig this cool diorama I built!*

*(Actually, the background photo comes to us courtesy GoodStockPhotos.)

See you at the October meeting!

~WM