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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October treats with no tricks (well, maybe one…)

If you’ve been following Suncoast DiecastersTwitter feed (and you should be), you’ve seen that we’ve been “treating” you to some delightful distractions as we near the end of October. More wonderful goodies await you below the blue bar. On to the photos!

October 2014

If you’ll recall from our May meeting, Krista (Suncoast Diecasters‘ official Bat-Collector®) purchased from me an assortment of Bat-Items which included a Happy Meal Super Bugs figurine. Well, whilst further cleaning my garage, I found the other figurines from the set. Please say hello to Wonder Petunia, the Flashmanian Devil, and of course … Bat-Duck.

Nana nana nana nana nana naa -- BAT-DUUUUUCK!

Nana nana nana nana nana naa — BAT-DUUUUUCK!

Other than the Hot Wheels logos on the sides, and the embossed Mattel on the bottom, I know nothing about this retro bus. It looks slightly similar to the Rocket Oil tanker from the Designers Dreamz set, but it is not that. Nonetheless, it’s cool enough for a photo (plus some artsiness), so here ’tis. Feel free to share your knowledge about this model in the Comments section.

Ralph Kramden's Dream Ride. Hey, did you know Ralph drove for the *Gotham* Bus Company? Coincidence? COINCIDENCE?!?

Ralph Kramden’s Dream Ride. Hey, did you know Ralph drove for the *Gotham* Bus Company? Coincidence? COINCIDENCE?!?

Also during our May meeting, Krista also bought from me a Rat Fink figurine and associated vehicle. Again, garage cleaning; again, found something neat-o. In this case, the collector card/sticker which came with Rat and his ride. Through my power to control the multiple dimensions of the Space-Time Continuum, I now present to you both the front and the back of the card, at the same time.

If I ''Think Fink!'', must I then Blog Flog?

If I ”Think Fink!”, must I then Blog Flog?

Bill shows off this Classic ’31 Ford Woody, a true classic from the Redline era. Its official color may be something different, but I’m calling it “teal” for the purpose of a uproariously funny caption.

A tealwoodie.

A tealwoodie.

Bill also has this teal blue Classic ’32 Ford Vicky, a Heavyweights fire engine which is clearly too small (compared to the other cars) to be called “1/64th”, and the very rare gold chrome Buzz Off.

The firetruck isn't too small; it's really just far away.

The firetruck isn’t too small; it’s really just far away.

Buzz Off (nee Tri Baby) comes from the fertile mind of Larry Wood, and features an opening rear canopy which reveals three turbines (or nuclear accelerators, maybe). Please enjoy this shiny close-up.

Does the center turbine spin in the opposite direction to counteract vibration? Just wonderin'.

Does the center turbine spin in the opposite direction to counteract vibration? Just wonderin’.

Bill also had this decidedly rare (as in, “only produced in 1968” rare) Hot Heap, in beautiful Spectraflame copper with a lovely champagne interior.

Hmm. Neither George Barris' Kopper Kart...

Hmm. Neither George Barris’ Kopper Kart…

...Nor a Champagne Super Nova. Oh well.

…Nor a Champagne Super Nova. Oh well.

Big Tractor Mike doubles-down on his own Redline family reunion with these two Volkswagen Beach Bombs with surfboards intact.

Beach Bomb-y, Beach Bomb-y, lend me your hand...

Beach Bomb-y, Beach Bomb-y, lend me your hand…

A dramatic and artsy low-angle shot for you, with some shimmery background artistry.

Beach Bombs and bokeh, for your viewing pleasure.

Beach Bombs and bokeh, for your viewing pleasure.

Ken got this large-scale (1/43?) garbage truck with daring backless gown. Which is to say, its hatch door cover thing is missing. Beyond that, I nothing about this model, because I neglected to take a photo of its base for reference. Ken?

I'm fresh out of funny ''garbage truck'' captions.

I’m fresh out of funny ”garbage truck” captions.

I had originally arranged the three Colectomatics in a sort of swirly arc, with the Other One in the center. Ken asked me why I chose that arrangement. I explained to him about artistry and other high-minded concepts. He then asked why I simply didn’t line them up straight. So I then rearranged them as you see below. Ken then asked why I chose that particular configuration. So I klonked him on the head with a pool cue.

Lucat bene si ergo / Fortibus es inero / O nobili demus trux / Garbage trux, to be exact. (See how I switched it up, there?)

Lucat bene si ergo / Fortibus es inero / O nobili demus trux / Garbage trux, to be exact. (See how I switched it up, there?)

You’re a bad man. You bad, bad man, you. …Anyway, Ken got this alt-colored Johnny Lightning Badman at our October meeting, and apparently a really crappy pun was included in the price.

A bad man, and a bad joke.

A bad man, and a bad joke.

This is an Aston Martin DB6. Not the James Bond car, but the next best thing. I took only two photos of it — one being of the base so I could ID it later here in the post — because at the time it seemed nice but not spooktacular. I now regret not taking more photos of it, because as I was reviewing the high-resolution original, I had this eerie realization that there was more to this car than I first thought. It has a nicely-detailed grill (yes, much the VUM chrome has vanished from the grill and bumpers), an attractive yellow interior, and even engine compartment “vents” on the front fenders. While I had been considering some of the other vehicles in this update, I decided it would be horrifying of me not to declare this model to be our October 2014 Find of the Month.(*)

A hauntingly beautiful car...

A hauntingly beautiful car…

 Hey, why don’t you download yerself a nice, big treat for Halloween?

See you at the November meeting!

~WM