February’s OK(Day) with Us!

February went quite well for Suncoast Diecasters. Lots of great buys and trades at our meeting; and even K-Day was better than usual. For myself, I came away with three nice new rides. I first picked an “exclusive colors” variant of the Custom ’69 Volkswagen Squareback out of my box. I was kind of iffy on it, when I found a regular, teal(?)-colored one as well. I think they make a nice set, so I kept ’em. Also got the Grass Chomper custom lawn mower. You can tell by the “tumbling guy” logo on the card that it’s part of the “figures” subset, designed to carry Mega Blocks figurines. Most of those vehicles aer IMHO too toy-like, with all the pegs. The Chomper, however, has few such pegs, and they’re well-disguised.

And it has a neat (if unintentional) 1/43 look to it.

And it has a neat (if unintentional) 1/43 look to it.

Before moving on, I have another announcement: you can now search our site via categories! I’ve used categories pretty much from the beginning here at our WordPress site; however, it only just recently occurred to me that I need to put the Categories widget on the site. (And yes, the categories really need to be reorganized; some in fact would work better as tags. That’s a future project.)

Now, on to the photos!

February 2016

Boy, oh boy. All I can figure is that Big Tractor Mike just hates Star Trek. Every time I bring in Star Trek stuff, he makes it all go away! In fact, this month he even made nonStar Trek stuff disappear! Does his wrath know no bounds? Well anyway, he starts off with this Enterprise-E (NCC-1701-E) which first appeared in Star Trek: First Contact. What I’ve always appreciated about the various redesigns of the Enterprise — which I admit is an obvious notion — is how the modellers maintain the established saucer/hull/twin nacelles configuration while making each iteration more streamlined and futuristical. Features working lights and sound.

The toy, some 15'' long, looks sadly puny on its oversized stand.

The toy, some 15” long, looks sadly puny on its oversized stand.

Here, we go back to the future with the old-school, “Original Series” Romulan Bird-of-Prey. I haven’t been able to verify this, but I’ve often thought that designer Wah Ming Chang created the BoP at least partially as an homge to the classic “flying saucer” designs of 1950s sci-fi. I apologize for not even considering a photo of the toy’s ventral hull which features a great depiction of the “bird of prey” graphic. Features working lights and sound.

Yep, overexposed and washed out. My bad.

Yep, overexposed and washed out. My bad.

And finally we have the Enterprise-D … and then some. This is the “alternate future” D from the episode All Good Things… — except when it’s not. Despite the presence of translucent plastic details, this toy does not feature light and sound. Instead, what it does feature is the ability to transform from the “regular” D configuration to the “alt-future” version (and back). Note in the photo differences between the nacelle surfaces, as well as an enhanced phaser cannon to the left of the bridge. (It also features the massive “Borg Buster” cannon on the saucer’s ventral surface which, again, I neglected to photograph). I arranged it in this half-transformed configuration specifically to highlight the differences.

You remember that Star Trek/Transformers crossover, right?

You remember that Star Trek/Transformers crossover, right?

Those of you who recall the episode may wonder where the Big Missing Cool Part is. It’s hidden inside the necessarily-oversized neck, accessed by popping up the latch at the base…

How do we make it look more futuristic? By adding parts!

How do we make it look more futuristic? By adding parts!

…Lifting up the neck cover and pulling out a bunch of loose, floppy parts…

R2, that stabilizer's broken loose again. See if you can lock it down.

R2, that stabilizer’s broken loose again. See if you can lock it down.

…Then finally aligning those parts and snapping them gently together.

BOOM! Mutant third warp nacelle!

BOOM! Mutant third warp nacelle!

Mike also acquired this Scotty figure which features a really neat gimmick. You’ll note (despite the glare) that the figure’s lower arms and entire lower half are transparent, with glitter flecks embedded. The figure is on a stand molded to look like a transporter pad. A button on the pad activates a digital recording of the “Original Series” transporter sound effect while also ramping up a super-bright LED to full brightness, which then fades out again. The light dances up through the figure’s transparent parts, giving the illusion that Scotty is beaming out.

Och, me poor bairns!

Och, me poor bairns!

Oh, the wonders that show up on QVC. (Or Home Shopping Network, whichever.) Seriously, I bought this from a TV shopping show back in the ’90s. It’s a bump-n-go toy, but what really intrigued me was its secondary action. After a few moments, it would stop, then a pad would extend from the base, lifting the car off the floor. The rear panel labeled “Cosmo Fighter” would raise up to reveal lighted “thrusters”; its wheels would raise in a “hover mode” fashion; and short, Chitty-esque winglets would extend from its sides. Then it would reset and drive around again, repeating this cycle. The overall effect was a sort of combination of the Back to the Future DMC-12 and the Spinner from Blade Runner.

...And a name right out of '60s sci-fi!

…And a name right out of ’60s sci-fi!

Sadly, as is typical of bump-n-go’ers over time, its b-n-g drive no longer works. However, the secondary action still does, and it makes for a neat show. It’s also very large; the car’s a good foot long or so, so it’s also a great rolling toy. BTM got this in the Great Trek Removal as well. I don’t have video or a photo of its “alt-mode” because we would’ve been thrown out of the Sports Bar.

Because it's REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY loud!

Because it’s REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY loud!

Finally, Mike got this Happy Meal(?) toy, which includes a side of gimmick: pressing down on Ron McD winds a spring action, which sends the plane zipping across the floor when you let go. He also got the sculpted foam fireplace (which I should’ve posed better) and calendar from our Santa’s Cycle Shop Christmas panel. Yes, indeed, Big Tractor Mike acquired two pieces of Suncoast Diecasters original artwork.

Very uptown of you, Mike!

Very uptown of you, Mike!

When I suggested a certain price for the whole lot, I could tell from the look on Big Tractor Mike’s face that he was undulating, calculating and formulating a counter-offer. He later approached me with a car-n-cash offer. The car offered as the “car” in the “car-n-cash” offer is this … which at first I didn’t recognize, because its proportions are off. It is in fact a DMC-12. Not sure if its roofline is too high, or if its body is too narrow. In either case, its windshield is too square as a result; it should be clearly rectangular.

Totally for squares, dad.

Totally for squares, dad.

I checked its base to verify that it is indeed a DMC-12. More significantly, I discovered the Zee logo. Yes, this is a Zylmex model! I’ve done many foolish things in my life, but I’m not fool enough to turn down a Zylmex DeLorean. And imagine my further delight when I found it also does this neat trick:

Hey, Mattel! Notice anything? Gettin' any ideas?

Hey, Mattel! Notice anything? Gettin’ any ideas?

Tom, ever vigilant for VWs, picked up this Hot Wheels pack which features two beetle variations and two van variations.

Hippie commune not included.

Hippie commune not included.

Here they be, for your enjoyment:

There. Now you are enjoyed.

There. Now you are enjoyed.

Tom also went a bit loose with the definition of “beetle” by bagging this groovy Corgi retro-commemorative.

You know Tom loves these, yeah, yeah , yeah...

You know Tom loves these, yeah, yeah , yeah…

The box top (face?) flips up to reveal a nicely-displayed van, er, lorry, as well as a sculpt of the two groovy groupies.

...And with a van like that, you know Tom should be glad.

…And with a van like that, you know Tom should be glad.

The “45” in the corner reveals itself as an informative fold-out, with a mail-in card for further info on the Corgi Classics series tucked inside.

Being for the benefit of Mr. Tom.

Being for the benefit of Mr. Tom.

Now, you didn’t really think I’d leave without showing you a sweet close-up of the van, did you? (I’m not leaving, that’s just how the cliché flows.) Here ya go, along with a nice shot of the gals.

Or ''birds'', as they're called in the land of the Mersey Beat.

Or ”birds”, as they’re called in the land of the Mersey Beat.

Bill bagged this awesome 20th Anniversary set. These sets each feature a special variant Anniversary model, such as the Monster Vette here. Available in either gold or chrome, these models also have a custom 20th Anniversary logo stamped into the body shell. Price on the Toys ‘R’ Us sticker?: $1.99 (in 1988 dollars).

Ironically, this set is now 28 years older than the anniversary it's celebrating.

Ironically, this set is now 28 years older than the anniversary it’s celebrating.

Doug bought this massive Tonka bulldozer from BTM. This is from the days when toys were really meant to be played with. You’d go out to your sandbox (or, anywhere in the yard, really) and do some serious digging. At least until your mom caught you. Lovin’ that well-worn, much-played-with pitted surface on the blade. Don’t know if this is designed to a particular scale, but it’s huge.

I'd peg it at about ''1/2-half toaster oven''.

I’d peg it at about ”1/2-toaster oven”.

Recall that Doug  brought in a Sizzlers set, then more recently brought in an Anki Overdrive set. Well, for February Doug has gone full-circle– er, more accurately, he has gone full-trioval with the slot car set he brought in. A video is thoughtfully provided below for your viewing pleasure.

(Note on the video: What you’re seeing, or not seeing, really, is a whole lot of nothin’. The cars were overpowered, and kept flying off the track. Fully two-thirds of the total footage was of empty track, waiting for the cars to be reset. That was all edited out, to create the illusion of an actual race happening. I do think the result looks pretty good nonetheless.)

The ker-klak you hear at the end? Car flying off the track. (If the video doesn’t play properly, you can watch it in a separate window/tab.)

Ken cornered this quaint, kaleidoscopic quintet of colorful Colectomatics to corral into his cultured (if cumbersome) collection, capering and cavorting continuously.

That, children, is an example of alliteration.

That, children, is an example of alliteration.

More directly: Here Ken has a 1966 Dodge A100 pickup (Matchbox), a Jaguar E-Type 2+2 (yellow, Corgi), and a Jaguar E-Type (chrome, Faller).

Well, ''chrome-ish''.

Well, ”chrome-ish”.

Who, or what, is Faller, you ask? Faller is a German toy company which made a variety of toy lines over the years, including diecast miniatures and slot cars. Now the company focuses mainly on train sets and accessories. I’m just concerned about their possible ties to the German mafia.

Because it says ''hit car''. That's the joke.

Because it says ”hit car”. That’s the joke.

We interrupt this update for this brief Public Service Announcement:

From the Toy Safety Council of Hingna, India.

From the Toy Safety Council of Hingna, India.

Sharp-eyed readers (and anyone who can read) will spot the name Leo by the Mattel logo. This is a very rare variation, by Leo of India. There’s really no info regarding Leo online. Whereas most other foreign-made HW models simply say “Made in [country name]”, I can only presume that Mattel’s contract with Leo required (or at least allowed) the co-branding. This one is even more rare, in still having its original box.

A toy car in a matchbook-sized box? Ridiculous!

A toy car in a matchbook-sized box? Ridiculous!

Mike bought this from Ed, which was dang smart of him. For its unique foreign (dare I say exotic?) pedigree and richly-colored packaging which itself makes a nice display, I very happily declare this Leo Second Wind to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for February 2016.

That is one classy-lookin' photo, if I do caption so myself.

That is one classy-lookin’ photo, if I do caption so myself.

See you at the March meeting!

~WM

Advertisements

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!)

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

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