Merry Very Late Christmas! (with Explanation!)

Yes, this is our December 2018 update, and yes, it’s super-duper late. As you know, I’ve been looking for a better job (thank God, literally, I am still employed). Job searches, networking, and various other et ceteras take up a lot of my time.

Beyond that, I’ve had other delays. My computer crashed — hard — and I had to take it into a shop to get repaired. That was in mid-December, near the middle of the ironically named holiday “rush”, and it was about nine days before I got it back.

Also, my water heater has developed a leak. I’ve had to do some minor repairs around the area, and I have to arrange for a plumber. Thank God, again literally, it’s still under warranty.

All this has also delayed my newest Christmas diorama photo. Since 2008, I’ve prefaced each December update with a new Christmas Panel. I do have most of the components for what would’ve been the Dec. 2018 panel sitting out; I just haven’t had time to actually set up the scene.

Not all the delays were bad, however. I spent Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day with relatives near Fort Myers. Their original plan was to arrange a rental car for me (to save wear on my old truck); but a couple of days after the initial call, my niece called me with an even better idea: she and her family were then at Disney World, leaving Christmas Eve morning. She said they would swing by and pick me up! And, my nephew and his fiance would bring me back on Christmas Day night! So, I not only got to spend two days with family, I was chauffeured both ways! Holiday wonderment!!

So, without any further further delay, please get to the photos!

December 2018

Aah, Christmas in Florida: Twinkly lights, and the doors open to let the fresh, cool air in!

Okay, the doors were open because a guy was working on the A/C. But still, Christmas in Florida!

Okay, the doors were open because a guy was working on the A/C. But still, Christmas in Florida!

Aauuugh! It’s a Martian war machine from War of the Worlds!

Actually, it's an overhead grain bin, from Big Tractor Mike's collection. ...Aauuugh!

Actually, it’s an overhead grain bin, from Big Tractor Mike’s collection. …Aauuugh!

Our December meeting might be considered “O Canada 2.0(!)”, as we were visited by Canadian couple Glen and Robin. Both amparamedics, and both ambought these five ambulances (you see it now, right?) from Original Ken.

Ambulances? Ambulancoi? Ambulancelot?

Ambulances? Ambulancoi? Ambulancelot?

They also bought this Matchbox Rolamatics-series Police Patrol.

And since the toy is about 40 years old, we can safely presume that the Rol doesn't amatics any more.

And since the toy is about 40 years old, we can safely presume that the Rol doesn’t amatics any more.

They also also bought these four buses: (L to R) Airport Coach (Matchbox); Humvee (Hot Wheels) [apparently not a bus]; Fuji Semi-Decker (Tomica), and…

0201812-004

…This … um…. Well, it appears to be a repainted Rapid Transit.

We think it's repainted; we're not really sure.

We think it’s repainted; we’re not really sure.

And now to our Find of the Month(*). I’m not even going to joke about this, because of the nature of the item. It’s a Matchbox VW van, done up in custom patriotic livery in honor of the emergency crews who responded to the 9/11 attacks.

You may download a 1000w X 1103h image here.

You may download a 1000w X 1103h image here.

See you at our January February meeting!

~WM

(Okay, Ken, you can send me the photos from the January meeting now!)

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Customs! on! Parade!

A situation at work required my presence, so once again Original Ken provides the photos. We have several nice customs in this update, so get to the photos!

June 2018

I apologize for both the haziness and smallness of this first photo. OKen took a wide “group photo” of some of Big Tractor Mike’s Tomica stock. Thus, no particular item was really in focus. Also, since the pic was comprised of such a large number of boxes, even at full resolution (which this is) each box was smaller than our standard photo size. nonetheless, I was intrigued — not to mention a bit creeped out — by this freaky spider crane model. I swear, it looks like something that could be part of ROTF Devastator.

Or, maybe it'll be Spidey's new ride in "Into the Spider-Verse".

Or, maybe it’ll be Spidey’s new ride in “Into the Spider-Verse”.

Here’s something that will make your eyes happy again: Ken’s beautiful photo of BTM’s Custom T-Bird (original Redline).

Much better.

No, it’s not a garbage truck, yet I’m still surprised that Ken did not buy this Viking street cleaner.

Some nice mechanical detail on the rear panel.

Some nice mechanical detail on the rear panel.

Renault 5TL and Ford Group 6, both by Matchbox.

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2 Matchbox Citroen S.M. models, and a Citroen CX, via Mike’s stock

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Actually, Ken had all three of these models staged in a single photograph. However, somehow this ’77 edition was accompanied by a sweeeet reflection — on the pleather pool table cover, yet! — and I just had to showcase it.

Original Ken: Le Artiste Photografique.

Original Ken: Le Artiste Photografique.

1983 Extras Series Upfront 924 — the extra being the snap-on ski rack. As I pointed out back in August of 2010, the ski rack isn’t merely some vaguely ski-shaped pieces; there are two pairs of poles with baskets, and two pairs of skis with boot bindings. And thanks to Ken’s hi-rez camera, you can see this even more clearly now.

The fact that the rack is shot through the rear window is, apparently, of little concern.

The fact that the rack is shot through the rear window is, apparently, of little concern.

Two Tyco Corvette slot cars, which Ken sold to Scott.

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And now, we get to the customs. These first two photos feature another farm display by BTM, which includes two custom handmade trailers.

???

The original of the above photo had quite a tilt, which sharply cut off the road piece. I was able to rotate it, but had to crop out the sharp road end because it looked like it was just falling off into space.

I appreciate how a few pieces of green shred appear to be shrubs when in context with the vehicle models.

I appreciate how a few pieces of green shred appear to be shrubs when in context with the vehicle models.

An M2 Machines pick-up, customised by Doug for Mike.

"For show only".

“For show only”.

And for our Find of the Month(*): ’76 Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray, with custom paint and tampo by Jim. Bought by Bill. Nicely done, Jim, and well-chosen, Bill!

Click below for larger image.

Click below for larger image.

1000h X 556v X 168kB

And with half a week of June left, I shall treat myself to a cheeseburger in celebration!

See you at our July meeting!

~WM

August heats up as Summer wraps Up!

Update: Got some text from Big Tractor Mike, and I’ve (eventually) edited it for posting. You’ll find his commentary among the Farm Fotos below.

For some of you, the kids are already back in school. For the rest of you, they will be soon. Labor Day is just around the corner. (Oh, and our Calendar is updated.) Yes, soon we’ll see the final sunset of this Summer season … but at least we have the next K-Day to look forward to!

In the meantime, let us reminisce with these wonderful photos from our August ’14 meeting:

August 2014

Um, actually, before we get to the August photos, let me address something I wasn’t able to get to in our previous post. If you recall, last month I received from Big Tractor Mike five collector cases: four Dukes of Hazzard cases, and an Official(!) Matchbox case. It occurred to me that the MB cover photo would make great wallpaper for one’s computer or laptop. I finally got around to scanning it, cropping it, adjusting the et cetera, et cetera, and now offer you your choice of four sizes to download:

The sizes below are tops with shoppers!

The sizes below are tops with shoppers!

800×600 ¦ 1024×768 ¦ 1366×768 ¦ 1600×900

Big Tractor Mike brought in a few awesome (and awesomely massive) farming mega-machines. I’ll tell you more about ’em as soon as I get some write-up fodder from the BTM himself!

BTM: Die-Cast Promotions’ 1/64th-scale BIG BUD 747. Supposedly the largest tractor in the world. Specs: 760 H.P.; articulated 4WD.

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BTM: Rite 750 tractor. Die-Cast Promotions’ 1/64th-scale model, Long Creek Toy Company.

It takes a big man to autograph a machine this size....

It takes a big man to autograph a machine this size….

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Eat your vegetables, son, and you'll grow up big like me!

Eat your vegetables, son, and you’ll grow up big like me!

Do ... Do I hear Ennio Morricone music playing somewhere?

Do … Do I hear Ennio Morricone music playing somewhere?

Mike says the company built one full-size working version of this design, then sent it to a museum. Hey, you can read about that right here!

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While I was setting up the above shot, Doug spotted something curious on the fend—  Um…

''Moo.''

”Moo.”

Yes. Anyway, as I was setting up the above shot, Doug spotted something curious on the fender. We all took turns looking at it, trying to figure it out. I finally got out my eye loupe, and we discovered this interesting bit of detail which the model maker thoughtfully thought to include:

Jaeger's Auto Body -- 43 years without a website!

Jaeger’s Auto Body — 43 years without a website!

BTM: Toy Farmer/Die-Cast Promotions’ Big Roy model 1080 (factory version) 1/64th scale model.

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BTM: In the heat of the North American battle for a thriving, high-power articulated tractor market, Big Roy was unveiled at the US Farm Progress Show by Versatile Manufacturing Company. Loaded with design innovations, the model 1080 was a bold statement: eight bulky Firestone tires rode on 4 axles powered by a massive 600-HP Cummins engine. Retractable ladders, a camera monitor system, and many in-cab comforts made a tour of the futuristic tractor forever memorable.

Big Roy was a star on the farm show circuit for many years after its introduction. When the company introduced its Series III line in the late ’70s, the tractor was cosmetically transformed to the sharp black and red paint scheme of the new line.  Once the Big Roy had completed its promotional duties, an arrangement was made with Manitoba Agricultural Museum to provide the famous tractor a permanent home. Thanks to museum volunteers and tourist support, Big Roy lives as a distinctive reminder of a glorious era in tractor history.

The red/yellow die-cast replica is one of two versions produced and is representative of its appearance circa 1977. The second tractor (red/yellow/black — museum version): current appearance circa 2006.

''But they're combines / Identical combines all the way...''

”But they’re combines / Identical combines all the way…”

BTM: Current Matchbox hay trailer, pre-production, picked up at the 2014 Gathering of Friends Saturday night auction. Donated by Mattel — cost me $70.00??

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BTM: Champ of the Road (sort of a K-Mart exclusive) SUPER COMBO: die-cast tractor with plastic log trailer and log. This model is almost an exact copy of the Majorette model from an earlier decade.

''Jerry, save yourself! I'm done for!''

”Jerry, save yourself! I’m done for!”

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Another plus is that it's *not* a ''Hello Kitty'' lunch box!

Another plus is that it’s *not* a ”Hello Kitty” lunch box!

Mike attended the 2014 Matchbox Collectors International Gathering of Friends, where he acquired this 2013 very limited-edition Convention Vehicle, which was eventually purchased by Tom. Just to clarify: this is not something you send tumbling down orange track.

Cor, blimey!

Cor, blimey!

Bill had some great stuff, such as this rare Hot Bird on a number 37 blue card from 1990.

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Also Bill: Matchbox Volkswagen van, 1970. Wish I’d thought to take a photo of the back of the shell, so’s you could fully see the rating entity’s logo…

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Also Bill, too: Matchbox Horse Box from 1977. Exceedingly rare to find one with both horses.

''But they're horses / Identical horses all the way...''

”But they’re horses / Identical horses all the way…”

Also Bill, too, as well: This yellow-and-blue plane was made by Ertl, and was only available to dealers.

Contact!

Contact!

Chocks off!

Chocks off!

Catch me in action at Red Bull Flugtag 2015!

Catch me in action at Red Bull Flugtag 2015!

Also Bill, too, as well: This yellow-and-blue plane was made by Ertl, and was only—  Oh, shoot. Guess I should’ve posted this photo first. Well, anyway, enjoy the funny caption.

Flugtag! Because it's German!

Flugtag! Because it’s German!

Ah, here we go. Big Tractor Mike RAOK’d me with this very rare item: Back to the Future DeLorean, in a Japanese market box, available only as a Universal Studios Japan exclusive. Very nicely detailed and sculpted model. By the way, this is the third time Mike has done me a solid regarding the DeLorean. Last month he RAOK’d me with both the Hot Wheels DMC-12 and Time Machine; and, way back in March of 2011, he provided tires for a footloose Johnny Lightning Time Machine I picked up at a rummage sale. With so much Mike history, I readily declare this our Find of the Month(*) for August 2014.

Hey, with versions by Johnny Lightning, Hot Wheels and Tomica, I could film my *own* trilogy!

Hey, with versions by Johnny Lightning, Hot Wheels and Tomica, I could film my *own* trilogy!

See you at the September meeting!

~WM

(Hey, I finally posted one in the same month the meeting took place! Points for me!)