We were graced with Ed’s  presents  presence at our December ’12 meeting. Ed brought in a fabulous show-off item: this original (and I mean original) Mighty Maverick — not only carded, but on the wide card with Collector’s Button. (Yeah, not-for-sale show-’em-off items are verboten at Suncoast Diecasters meetings but, eh, it’s the holidays.) Note also that the card is unpunched. Drool, drool.
Merry mirth with Mighty Maverick!
Not to be outdone, Bill acquired this equally original, equally wide-carded, equally Buttonized Whip Creamer. (I never could get the “whistle” to work on mine.)
Oh, if only we had some Pecan Pie to put that Whip Cream(er) on!
Ed, as usual, done brought a scrumptious selection of goodies, one of which was this fully-loaded collector’s case, which Ken snapped up forthwith. How many delicious classics can you name? I see Cosmobile (both red and blue); Planet Scout; Baja Buggy; Tow Joe….
Ken got his Christmas shoppin' done all at once'd!
When I spotted this pseudo-woodie among Ken’s kars, I presumed it was Extremeliner. Turns out it’s Boxotica. And now it has another name: mine.
Boxotica ... Extremeliner ... Maybe I'll just call it ''TealWoodinator''.
Holiday RAOK by Ken to me. One of a series of miniatures offered by Reader’s Digest as a subscription premium. Manufacturer is High Speed, for your information. I chose this one because he also had the box for it. (I also have an RD/HS fire engine, also with box.)
Holiday vaction in Reo! ...What? Spell check? No, I didn't, why?
Ed saw me looking over this case, and offered it to me for an  Embarrassingly Low  Incredibly Attractive Holiday Price. I questioned him a couple o’ times to make sure he was serious (and feeling well), because the price he asked would’ve been amazing, were it just for the case alone…
Yes, a collector always needs more VROOM! (Get it? I made a funny with the words!)
…But as you can see, I got far, far more than mere more storage. Even if I decide to part out all of these cars, the case itself was an outrageous bargain.
Mama always say'd, Lahf is lahk a boux o' Hout Wheeyulls...
RAOK. Complete and total RAOK by Ed to me. It was near the end of the December meeting; folks were starting to pack up their stuff. I headed over to the table where I’d had lunch, to gather some items I set there. Much to my very great surprise, these three MOCs were lying there. As I was looking them over, I noticed Ed out of the corner of my eye, with a big ol’ sheepish grin on his face. His Christmas gift to me. (No, the cars, not the sheepish grin. Although … No.) I even tried to hand a few Georges to him, but he refused. Ed, may the Good LORD bles you and keep you, brother.
Still, colorful wrapping paper *would* have been nice...

November 2012

New old stock: A local Walmart got a shipment of Hot Wheels which must’ve been gathered from loose warehouse lots. The assortment featured a range of older models, some going at least as far back as 1998. Among them I found this 2002 MOC Open Road-ster, which I offered to Kenny, who rejected it in favor of other new old stock (see below). So, I offered the OR to Bill, and he happily accepted it. What? Oh, yeah, Bill also picked up an Auburn 852 and a Jeep CJ-7.
Bill's all patriotic with red, white and ... um ... um ... Hmm
Ken acquired this  garbage  sanitation truck, as well as this smartly appointed ’58 Plymouth Belvedere. And because it’s named so, I get to do this, because it’s funny: Oh, Belvedeah! Come heah, boy!
Ken keeps kollecting kompost kollectors!
As I said above (see above), Kenny rejected the Open Road-ster in favor of this fellow, which I’d not seen before the Great Walmart Time Shift. By the way, I’d originally offered this to Big Tractor Mike, who rejected it in favor of … um … empty hands, I guess.
Ken's a Smooth Operator/Smoooooth Operatooooooor
What!? That background doesn’t look like the Sports Bar (& Grill)! No, much to my chagrin (which is not like a normal, happy grin), the photos I took of this truck were too badly out of focus to use. (I’m pretty good about checking tight close-up results on my camera’s screen; don’t know how I let this one slip by.) So, because the truck is very cool and because I very much wanted at least one photo of it in this Gallery update, I e-mailed Ken to see what he could do with his fancy-shmancy new camera. Turned out he got several high-quality shots, including that artsy perspective shot in the lower half of the frame.
His new camera really proved its Ken-worth! (Get it? Ken-worth?)
My other shot that failed. I’d not heard of this manufacturer before this, and I wanted it too in the Gallery. Ken’s camera came through nicely here as well. And now you know what they did with all that left-over clear, lightly carbonated, alcoholic beverage: they mixed a thickening agent into it and cast toy trucks out of it!
Zima zooma zooma! (That's the best I could come up with.)
Bob done did himself and the whole club proud with this magnificent acquisition: the Hot Wheels Factory, a hot-melt injection molding system for casting your own Hot Wheels cars. (Well, casting the designs provided by the plates.) This kit is nearly complete, even having the stickers and some of the original paints. Yes, bottles of paint were included as well! Mattel had several hot-melt craft kits available, such as Thinkmaker and Vac-U-Form. Imagine it: a kid not only owns this set, but his dad also has a tool shop in the garage … Pops could machine custom molds for Junor! He would then be King of all Hot Wheels!
Kids! Be the first on your block with your own Hot Wheels franchise!
A drill needs bits, and the Hot Wheels Factory needs these bits. Here we see the two-piece tray set which forms the cars, as well as the bag of colored plastic slugs which, um, also form the cars. And no, I have no idea what specific models come out of this tray. (They may not even be, you know, “actual” Hot Wheels models — in other words, Junior might not be casting his own fleet of Cheetahs on Dec. 26th.) Note the smaller areas in front of the car body shells – that’s where the windows were cast. Yes, if you look carefully near the upper right corner of the pellet bag, you’ll see a clear slug for making clear windows! And finally, what good is a toy car without toy wheels on which to roll? The small bag in the more or less middle of the pic contains wheel-and axel sets for to be making your car to move. Indeed, indeed, friend, the Factory came with its own Bag-o’-Redlines!
Using Special Adapter #P36, these plates also work with the Easy-Bake Oven!
A RAOK from Ken, and a pseudo-RAOK from Big Tractor Mike. Ken’s been going through his collection, indexing, culling out duplicates, and generally making a project of his hobby. He found the two Kenner Fast111s in back, and since he’s not too big on KF1s, and since they’re rather worn, he gave ’em to me gratis. No, you’re not seeing double — the chromed cruiser in front is the same model as the yellow pop-top in back. It’s the exceedingly rare mail-in Promo version, which along with the near-mint black bounder behind it, BTM sold to me for (you didn’t really think I was going to avoid this, did you?) An Embarrassingly Low Price®. The un-twins are Piston Pusher; l’il blackie is Pipe Dreamer, and finally, ol’ yeller is Range Runner.
The Kenners keep on a-comin'!
Dune Daddy, sort of aqcuired at our last meeting. I say “sort of” because I actually got it three months ago, but now I can actually keep it. Explanation: This is one of several cars I picked up elsewhere. I had BTM review ’em to see if any were profitable, and several (including this’n) he rated at verious dollar amounts. I actually had two of these, one of which I sold the next month. There was some question about it, since BTM couldn’t pin down the variation. Bill (who knows variations like nobody’s businees) declared it to be from the Wisconsin Toy Company series — which means it’s a particularly rare variation of an already-rare model. And since I haven’t seen a Wisconsin since the early days of Suncoast Diecasters (check the very first photo in our 2007 Gallery — that’n’s mine), I certainly wanted to keep this one. So, I prayed, “LORD, I’ll set this car on the table next month. If it’s Your will that I can keep, it won’t sell; otherwise it will.” The next meeting came; the car didn’t sell; so, thanks to the LORD, I now have half the Wisconsin series in my collection!
Because when you think 'Hot Wheels', you think 'Wisconsin'!
It was gettin’ towards the end of the meeting, and I realized I hadn’t seen any of Big Tractor Mike’s new treasures. So, I asked him what he got, so I could photograph it … and he tosses this pile o’ lettuce on the table. Hey, he provided the subject matter, I provided the photography. I am here but to serve.
How Green was my Diecast

October 2012

Jet Threat 5.0 is disappointing. Or, it would be, if this were that. But it’s not; it’s simply an adorable l’il pull-back plane which our adorable Original Ken picked when he was being just oh so adorable.
Soooo… Why is it here in the Gallery? Well–
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's-- Well, it's just a plane, actually.
–Here’s the answer to that question. Which itself is a question which remains unanswered. We all took turns trying (and failing) to identify the creature in the logo. One said it’s a monkey; another said it’s a pagoda. I said it’s either a cobra, or a cobra-man, or a ninja (or some other Asian warrior) wearing a cobra-styled hood. I was also the first one to point out the stylized W in front of the being. Anyway, here’s a photo of it. I found a import/export website which listed Chinese companies, but none which Anglicised names started with W featured this logo. Take a stab at it and submit your guess! You can’t be any more wronger than we were!
Snake on a plane?
Emergency Backup Ken’s buddy Gary picked up these fair fellow Fords from Your Humble Webmaster. Excellent pairing, Gary!; well-played!
Ford x Ford! Get it? Ford x For-- Never mind.
Bill snagged this re-tooled and re-issued Evil Weevil, as well as– …Well, now; who is this curious little green fellow? Bop on over to Bill’s personal gallery to learn more.
Iiiiiiit's SuperWeevil!
Tom got quite a prize here. No, I don’t mean a rare JL or the ghoul — er, cool Wolfman livery. No, I’m talking about the base model itself. This is a 1/64 replica of the seriously awesome AMT Bugaboo model kit. This kit was from that late-’60s / early-’70s era when wild hot rod designs ruled the shelves. It’s also a heartbreaker: I had the Bugaboo kit when I was a kid … If I recall correctly, I eventually busted it somehow, and so threw it away.
Even a beetle, pure in heart, may become a drag-rail when the wolfbane vroooms....
They say the two happiest days in a 1/64-scale boat owner’s life are when he buys it, and when he sells it. Thanks to Tom, I have experienced that second day. He also asked for a ride with a hitch so his boat would have something to do, so I scoped through my Jammers and found the Tonka. (You know, they say the two happiest days in a 1/64-scale Tonka owner’s life….)
Yes, families everywhere enjoy the great hobby-sport of fishing!
Someone bought this Volkswagen Drag Bus. I don’t remember who. Anyway, here’s the obligatory photograph of it.
(Witty tool-tip goes here!)
Someone bought this 100% Hot Wheels “Classic Bodies” set. I don’t remember who. Anyway, here’s the obligatory photograph.
(Witty tool-tip goes here!)
ZommeEiner gebotten diese Zwei Mercedes. Ich nicht gerembere whuom. Zonderweg, hierein am die obligatierische fotograf.
Hmm... Bubble Gunner II is rather disappointing....
Someone bought these tw– Oh, the heck with it. Thunderbirds are Go!
A color photo in black & white. No, a black & white photo in color! No, wait...

September 2012

Oh my, oh my. And yes, it’s mine(!). Big Tractor Mike (no doubt motivated by the LORD) did an incredible pseudo-RAOK upon myself with this retro Redliner: Short Order, very rare and very wonderful. And yes, now very protected in a mini-case. The nicks are meaningless; the color is clear, the Redlines are fairly sharp and, most importantly, the pop-out mini-bed is neither missing nor broken. By the way, this is from the One-Shot New Guy collection which illuminated our August meeting, as described in BTM’s personal gallery. Please go check it out – and please try to keep your eyeballs in your head. (How does one do a pseudo-RAOK, you ask? Suffice to say it is in fact possible.)
Short Order: Divinely delightful delinquent.
RAOK by Bill to me. This is the very rare Kidco Commemorative Series set, which features four vehicles (’78 ~ ’80) in silver and gold tone. (More and more I regret not collecting toy cars during the ’80s.) While Kidco items do not command the high-dollar value of major-name models (see Short Order, above), they are yet greatly appreciated because — aside from simply adding more variety to the hobby — Kidco often produced models not found from other manufacturers (see Camper in the August section below). I couldn’t find info online as to what specifically was being commemorated by this set (the company itself did not run for ten years); however, I did find a nicely informative article, by none other than dependable toy-car devotee Doug Breithaupt, with lots of nice pics. Please enjoy Part 1, Part 2 and
Part 3.
BTM's a tough act to follow, but Bill does nicely here!
Because you’re such a nice audience, and because I’m a thoughtful Webmaster, I’ve provided this unified set of Kidco close-ups. I’ve provided it also because these cars feature a feature often not featured on the major brands of the same period: opening doors.
Because you, Loyal Reader, deserve these close-up shots. You really do.
Another RAOK –Well, half a RAOK, I guess. This time from Ken, who knows I am Suncoast Diecasters’ Kaiser of Kenner Fast111s. Which this is. Or was. Mostly. This is, er, was (gaaah!) Piston Pusher, a pop-top funny car. Now, one might wonder why I would accept a funny car which so clearly is missing its funny part. Well, first of all, it’s a RAOK from Ken (that alone is enough). Second, when he showed me the KF1 license plate, I got a good laugh out of it. And third, believe it or not I think the model actually looks pretty cool this way.
So fast, the whole body just flew right off!
Now, is this ironical or what? While “severely damaged” in the sense that the body shell is as gone as gone could be, not only is the remainder of the car in (comparitively) good shape but its license plate is in superb and utterly legible condition. And no, your eyes are not deceiving you: while the spelling was altered to fit on the plate, it does in fact say “Ah-ooo-gah“!
''License blows; does the horn?'' - Wait, I think I got that wrong...
I am very seriously kinda half-heartedly thinking of going through my junkers to find one with a grill/radiator/headlight combo just so’s I can pop the combo off the junker and onto this baby, just to give it a more complete “incomplete” look. (I’m also sorta barely considering painting the seat so it stands out more.) But whether I do or don’t, the point is that this de-funnied funny car actually looks neato in my opinion, like it’s a rolling “rescued from the heapyard” restoration project. (And since I’m now its owner, my opinion is the only one that counts. So there.)
Kinda looks like those speedsters from the 1920s. You know, kinda.

August 2012

Ken (no, not Original Ken; I’m referring to Emergency Backup Ken) brought in this monster truck. And by monster truck, I do not mean, “Let’s us go mud-stompin’!”. I mean this truck is a monster, at about 9″ long and weighing nearly two pounds. This is some serious metal. Nicely detailed, with a fully articulated catcher-thingy.
Another Ken, another garbage truck. Are *all* Kens this way?
I brought in a few finds, mainly to get them appraised by Big Tractor Mike so I could decide whether to price ’em on the table or just toss ’em into a box for my nephews. Turns out several items were well-evaluated, including this Matchbox Fire Ranger Station. The results of the appraisal were such that I RAOK’d BTM with this as a thank-you.
Autobot Metroplex! Oh, wait...
Pick-up Camper, by Kidco. While Hot Wheels offers the semi-futuristic GMC Motorhome, and Matchbox offers the modern-era MBX Motorhome, Kidco provided this classically retro runner with a traditional after-market bolt-on look. Purchased by BTM from me.
Sticker makes it look like an off-road child's bedroom.
Cars.com promotional. I’m genuinely surprised at the opening doors. Not just a pretty sitter; features several digitally-stored sales pitches, as well as blinking headlights. Purchased by BTM from me.
Show me the CarFax! Oh, shoot, got it wrong again...
What’s this?!? Heh, a tease from me to tempt you over to Big Tractor Mike’s personal gallery, where a 1/64th-scale bomb of epic proportions was dropped, to the delight of all. And when I say all, I mean just those who were actually there at the time.
Let me squeeze in a tease, if you please.

July 2012

Things are back to normal, as Tom once’d again is buying Volkswagens. Here he snags a playset with a Beetle, two more Beetles, a T-2 bus, a modern bus and a …um …on-fire thing.
Tom totally trips with these toys!
Big Tractor Mike started a new thing: “Pick yer cars an’ make a deal!”, whereby one chooses whatever cars one wants from the bin, and BTM figures out a price. Bill done did pretty well for himself, acquiring these twenty-five items. I’d do a “Bill bagged his own and saved!” joke here, except they were already bagged to begin with.
Now with Freshness-Seal®!
Bill also snagged this Bronco 4-Wheeler. Bill prefers models in high-quality condition (even if they’re thus pricier), and expressed concern about the discoloration of the motorcycle. I told him it looks good because it brings out detail of the bike.
Sometimes, ya just half'ta go bikin'!
He captured this Redline-era Rear Engine Mongoose as well. Sweet, sweet engine detail.
What's good for the mongoose is good for the mongander. (See what I did there?)
Ken aquired this interesting identity crisis. And I’ll have to wait ’til I see him again to identify it. ‘Coz it ain’t neither a Hi-Raker, nor a Cal Custom.
No, officer, the truck I saw had normal-size wheels & a non-floaty motor. This one's completely different.
On the other hand, this Ken Kapture is nicely named: Jaguar XJS. Just check out the awesome and sweet details. Plastic head- and taillights. Opening doors. Two-tone interior. And separately-molded windshield wipers. And finally, a detailed dash, if you please.
Suncoast Diecasters: For the upscale collector with refined taste.
And finally, Ken gets something we all want. No, no, not bacon. I mean storage. Don’t know the manufacturer of this case, but we know it paid attention to the diecast market of the time: the callout states not only Hot Wheels and Matchbox, but also Fast111s(!).
Suncoast Diecasters: 'Coz we likes us some STORAGE!!!
First, let me explain the blue background. Yes, these are from our July meeting; no, the photos are not from the Sports Bar. Since I don’t always  bother  have an opportunity to charge my camera, I’ve instituted a new policy: I will photograph my new cars last, and if necessary at home, to make sure the other members get their cars photographed during the meeting. Clockwise from upper left: Dragster; Speed Shark; Flat-Out 442 (with GHOs).
Speed threeks! (...Instead of ''freaks'', ya see.)
Ever since I photographed the Minitrek for Bill’s gallery, I’ve been intrigued. The Minitrek, which is based on the Toyota Hilux, came out in 1981. I don’t remember seeing it, which is a shame, because it’s an attractive and sporty design. Now, thanks to Big Tractor Mike, I gots me one.
I'm going up the country/Babe, don't you wanna go?

June 2012

Tom did not buy Volkswagens this time. I cannot explain this. However, he did ask me if the dune buggy below is a VW. I told him that, while many (if not all) the early buggies were based on VWs, the concept itself is so well-established that any design which fits the concept can be called a dune buggy, regard-
less of whether it’s actually based on a VW configuration. L to R: Nissan Titan (HW); Baja Bandit (MB); Chevy Silverado (HW)
Tom buys three toy cars!
Tom continued to not buy VWs; however, he dived head-first into Redline mania, buying these three beauties. L to R: Red Baron; Mighty Maverick; Dune Daddy (nee Sand Crab)
Tom buys three more toy cars!
Oh, wow. Big Tractor Mike super-duper RAOKs me with this scrumptious Kenner Fast111s Collector Case. In great shape, much appreciated … and much needed! Related story: While I was still on the road, not yet at the June meeting, Big Tractor Mike literally “calls in a favor”. Said favor is executed, and Mike rewards me with the case. Okay, maybe it’s not so random, but this simple gift far outweighs the favor. (But to be technically accurate, it does not outweigh a Kedata. But then, that’s an Unrelated Story…)
Swoon… Oh how I loves me some STORAGE! A happy home for my happy (and growing) collection of Fast111s.
Oh, look at all those potentially Kennerful spaces!
Ken also did a Wonderful Thing, by finding and then transacting to me this near-MOC (and unpunched!) Kenner Fast111s King Cobra, thoughtfully stored in a ProTech Car Case. Related story: Something about this model that struck me odd is the “boxiness” of its design. The packaging is copyrighted 1980. I think of KF1s as “late ’70s”; yet I had always thought that ‘Stangs didn’t get boxy until the mid-80s. However, a quick image search on the Internet (motto: Always Helpful.®) proved that, in fact, the 1980 ‘Stang did suffer, er, feature that boxy look. So, no weird time-trips here, just yet another delicious addition to my collection.
Kenner also brought us the first Star Wars action figures. Then went out of business. The end.
Again, unpunched. Hmmm… Seems no Fast111s model could trade hands more than twice. So what happens if you’re the third owner, and you want to sell or trade? Do you have to call Kenner’s Dept. of Records and ask for a new Certificate of Ownership? Is there a fee? What about depreciation?
Weird. I actually more models than are shown here...
As I said at the top of my own Member’s Gallery, my high school buddy Jeff collected Fast111s. I don’t recall how much Hot Wheels were back then, but I’m curious if any of you remember. Mainly ‘coz I’m curious how the price below compared with HW prices back then. If it was significantly higher, that too certainly would’ve affected KF1s’ success in the market.
You'll always find the Nice Price at Nave Dist!

May 2012

Our May 2012 Gallery starts of with yet another big ol’ shout-out to Big Tractor Mike. He brunged in several Kenner Fast111s models; a few I already have duplicate and threeplicate … yet in the mix were these three which definitely needed to brought into my possession:
Mighty Mule. A new, first-time acquisition. I had only seen this model once before, among Ken’s treasures in December of 2010. Now, thanks to BTM, I gots me one of my very own!
Mighty Mule
Jet Screamer. Ironically (perhaps), the only other JS I have was also purchased in May, of 2011. And, this one’s tampoes (which, I admit are difficult to see, are only lightning bolts along the exhausts) have different colors from the May ’11 JS — so, now I have “the whole set”, as it were. FYI: When I say the whole set in this context, I mean only the two (or, rarely, three) body color and/or tampo variations of each model; I am not referring to ALL FIFTY STATE LICENSE PLATES.
Jet Screamer
Pipe Dreamer. This model is particularly rare, not just in the sense of Fast111s being rare today generally speaking … but also rare in that this is one of the few models to actually include its name. That’s right: unlike Mattel (and most other manufacturers, I presume), when Kenner introduced the Fast111s line, it was decided — quite incomprehensibly — to not emboss the model names on the baseplates. Thus, if as a kid you lost (or your mom threw away) all the packaging from your F1s, you were likely to forget most of the models’ names. And as an adult collector, until and unless someone thoughtfully created a web page covering F1s, you’d never know more than a few by name. And this is one of them. By name.
Pipe Dreamer
Tom apparently mistook these Porsches for Volkswagens, and so purchased them. This is one of those tormenting purchases. You long to put each of these rides in a special display, perhaps your own custom diorama — yet it’s so sweetly packaged that you dasn’t break it open.
The new Port-A-Porsche Pak!®
Yet, through the magic of digital photography, it’s now possible to allow you to enjoy these models more closely without breaking the seal. Complimentary drool cups are available in the lobby.
Because you WANT to see more.
What can I say? ‘Nother Porsche.
A Porsche is a Porsche, of course, of course...
Oh, my, the yumminess. This is very special, in that Ken semi-RAOK’d me with this delightful dream-ride out of Ed’s collection. (How does one semi-RAOK something? Just believe that it’s possible.)
Spooky Space-Awesomeness!
This, by the way, is Road Agent, a kooky kustom by Ed Roth. Oh, you may have noticed in this photo that RA’s right winglet-thingy is broken off. Know what? I can’t hear you over the awesomeness.
Radical Roth-ness!
Oh, yes, This is what I like: wild, crazy, totally spaced-out customs. That, and Kenner Fast111s. And pro wrestling. Did I mention the pro wrestling?
So wild, it's a-hurtin' mah brain!

Apr 2012


Ken goes all happy with this T-Hunt version of the ’41 Willys. I attempted — strongly — to RAOK him with it, but he eventually shoved some Georges at me and threatened to call in Big Tractor Mike, so I submitted to his Capitalist ways.
Ken will treasure this forever. Or at least until-- No, I'm sure he'll treasure this forever.

He (Ken) also got this, the T-Hunt version of the Classic Packard. But this one didn’t involve any threats to my person.
Yep, I'm sure Ken will treasure this'n as well.

Ken (yes, Ken, again) also nabs this very pretty version of Larry Wood’s classic A-OK.
All shiny an' purty!

Ken (You’re listening to WKEN, all Ken, all the time!) did too also gather (clockwise from upper left) Hot Rocker [Matchbox Rola-Matics]; “Captain America” version of Hot Bird; and the lovely and talented Matra Rancho. This Rancho, by Matchbox, is nicely appointed, and even features a working drop-gate. Also features the rare (well, to me) “Made in Bulgaria” claim to faim. Er, fame.
Troika! (I know, I looked it up.)

Ken’s workmate (Yes! Still mostly Ken!) nabbed these Bat-toys. The Batboat has a kind of ’80s look to it. But the Batmobile is the classic Husky/Corgi version with a Rola-Matics-like action: When rolled or pushed, a plastic flame would “flicker” in and out of the turbo exhaust.
Holy paired prizes, Batman!

I (yes, I, not you-know who) purchased this awesome Hot Wheels Construction Crane from Penny. Yes, really, it’s a Hot Wheels, from back in the days When Mattel Actually Cared.
RUN! It's a Decepticon!

…And when I say that Mattel cared, I mean they actually bothered to put some effort into their construction vehicle designs. Today, you get the blown-engine Wheel Loader with non-operating bucket. But on this 1982 model (thirty years ago! Yikes!), you got a boom-cab that actually swivels, and the boom extends. Look close, the boom even has a hydraulic actuator! (Sigh … those were the days….)
It works just like on Tee-Vee!

From Penny, I also acquired this original-edition Dumpin’ A. I have two (I think) of the second-edition models with the yellow bucket & orange body, but they’re both quite banged up. This’n, while it has its share of dings and scratches, is in far better condition than the ones I already had.
{Witty comment goes here!}

Ahh, sweet, sweet victory. American Victory, to be precise. A classic design by Larry Wood. And from the Redline era, no less! (I gotta Redline! I gotta Redline!) This seems to be the first edition model, as well. Interesting fact: on the base is a proclamation I don’t recall seeing on any other model — “Patented U.S. and Canada”.
So, from Hong Kong to the U.S via Great Circle Route through Canada, eh?

Mar 2012


Kenner Fast111s, courtesy Big Tractor Mike. And I do mean courtesy. He offered me these plus two others last month, but I determined that they were models I already had. During the time in between meetings, I reviewed my collection and realized that not only did I have duplicates of several models, I also had threeplicates of several. Further, I realized that could stand to have threeplicates of these two. So I e-mailed Mike and asked him to bring them again in March. At which time he RAOKs me with ’em. Yeah, gratis! What a swell guy! The models, by the way, are Pipe ‘N Hot and Piston Pusher.
Pipe 'N Hot's on the left, Piston Pusher's on the right, just to clarify.

Another Mike model, this done properly via cash transaction. I bought this for several reasons: 1) it’s a Tomica, and I can always use another Tomica; 2) it’s in excellent condition; 3) the price was very reasonable, considering the model’s great condition; and 4) it’s really nicely detailed.
This is the same scale as the GMC Motorhome, right?

Ken gathered a gaggle of garbage trucks at the last meeting, growing his great collection by … um, a lot. Heck, at this point he might even … Go>>Pro! Heh-heh! See, ‘coz there’s a — never mind.
Ken + garbage trucks = a Suncoast Diecasters meeting.

Ken didn’t know what Flumidin is. Well, I found out what it isn’t.
Works faster than Vitameatavegamin!

Ken said I would laugh. I did. When he set that itty-bitty l’il garbage trucklette on the table, I couldn’t help myself.
It's just so oochie-choochie cute!

Ken (not that Ken, the other Ken) had a case of two-for-a-bucks. Not wanting to fool with change, I grabbed some other car, and this. Yeah, looks pretty beat up, don’t it? Know what?; I don’t care. This is Alive ’55 from the 1974 Flying Colors series, it’s from the Redline era, it’s an Embarrassingly Low Price® of a whole different magnitude, it has an opening hood … and it’s-a mine all mine!
Ken you believe this?

Feb 2012

Ken found this … um … uniquely-colored version of Bubble Gunner, which is from the 1983 Speed Machines series. I just … don’t get that engine color at all, man.
So ... strawberry-lemon bubble gum, then?

Ah, but Ken and the whole world are back to normal with this, a Matchbox Colectomatic garbage truck. Yes, an honest-to-goodness real (toy) garbage truck. Also unique, in that this one is a reverse of the modern toy car, which is made in China for the American market: this one was made not in China, for the Chinese market. Ah, so!
Finally, Ken got it right again.

You foreign-language students are gonna have to let me know if this is actual, authentical Chinese writing, or even close.
How do I enter this into BabelFish?

Tom found this Delivery Truck done up in “Little Debbie” livery. As far as I know, this version was only available in the Little Debbie 3-pack (which I have, BTW). So, Tom, where are the other two vehicles … ?
Sadly, I never actually see this truck on my street...

Oh man, the Lord was truly smiling on me at this meeting. A new member, Penny, had brought a nice and very varied selection. I had only briefly glanced over it before settin’ up my camera and shooting photos for this month’s gallery. Meanwhile, all the other Diecasters kept going back and looking over her cars. Much later, I decided to take another look — and found this incredible beauty: The Dream Van XGW, from the 1984 Real Riders series.
Super way too cool.

Dig how cool and awesome this is. And, it’s the first-release version as well, not from later in the line. I never even knew it had a door! Thank you, Lord! (By the way, yes, there is a re-tooled version in the 2011 Hershey’s series. But, understand that it doesn’t have center or rear side windows, opening door or the “luggage rail” roof detail.)
Man, this is like mega-atomic awesome.

Even after I discovered the working door, there was another surprise left. Bill looked it over and showed me the sleeping dog inside the van. The super-groovy incredibleness of this gift from God is almost too much to bear.
Monet's ''Dog in Blue Frame''.

Why two shots of that goggie in the window? I wasn’t sure how the photo would turn out, in terms of the dog showing up clearly, so I took several shots using various camera settings. Obviously from the above photo, satisfactory results were achieved. However, despite using a tripod (and not touching the van), I still somehow managed to jostle the camera just so, ending up with these shots just slightly off from each other. So, being a creative genius with an eccentric sense of humor, I did some croppin’ and scalin’, and achieved my goal: a working cross-your-eyes 3D image. Seriously. You’ve seen those funky posters where you cross your eyes and (if you do it right) a 3D image pops out. Same here. And it really really works. Go ahead. Try it. You know you want to….
Let's see it on the 3DBB!

Jan 2012

Ken starts off 2012 with a heck of a find. Remember back when I said that one of Ken’s top three collecting passions is “rare and/or international brands”? Well, this one is that: rare and international…
Beauty of a Buby, baby!

…It’s a Buby! From Argentina! Actually manufactured in Argentina! (No out-sourcing issues there, I guess.) So, how did Ken get this van all the way from Argentina to here?
...Does it have rubber baby Buby bumpers?

Simple: he towed it!      What?      WHAT?
And now a word from our sponsor...

In an entirely unrelated photo, here Ken acquires a righteous ride from the same series as my too-tall T.
How come ERTL doesn't do K-day events?

Big Tractor Mike RAOK’d me with this empty box which apparently used to hold GoBots‘ Crain Brain. Yes, I said empty box. Why did I accept it? One very important word: STORAGE! Later I purchased the MBX Motor Home from him because I like the livery.
Think about it: both boxes are empty.

Self-branded or self-referential livery is nothing new in the miniature car hobby. The Team Hot Wheels look has been going strong for several years now. The thing about a well-designed self-referential livery for me is that it can either a) convince me to buy a vehicle I was “iffy” about, or b) convince me to re-buy a vehicle. While this model basically is advertising its own brand (as do all such dressed models), I find it to be a very attractive design. By the way, the motto under the window is “This team lives for adventure!”
The lively livery livens up the livin'!

Mike C. picked up this very clean Camaro which is an exclusive from the Double Barrel Stunt set.
...And in *much* better condition than the one at Hot Wheels Wiki!

And to confuse you, here is another white car with a mainly-blue tampo. Actually, this is one of Bill’s finds, called Thunderburner. This one with blackwalls is not an easy variation to find.
HWWiki doesn't even *have* this one!

Bill scores big again, with this Mexican variation of Ice-T. I find it interesting that for some foreign markets, an entirely different packaging design is used, while for others such as this one, the packaging is identical to the stateside design (except for the language, of course).
Ice-T de la Mexico es muj caliente!

Bill scores big again, again, with this trio of Redlines. The Cool-One and Carabo are from the Flying Colors series, while the Jet Threat is from the Spectraflame era.
Red Lines! Red Lines! RED LINES!

In 1976 Mattel began using a single piece for the turbine engine of Jet Threat instead of the three-piece design shown here (with hinged cowling and interior detail), re-christening the model as “Jet Threat II”. I can only presume this was a cost-saving move, as it did not improve the appearance of the model (arguably, it actually detracted from it). So, since original Jet Threats, complete and working, are difficult to find (and expensive to acquire), I want you to drink in the verdant beauty of this beast for free. (By the way, I have first dibs if Bill ever gets tired of owning this one. Fair warning.)
That is just absolutely delicious.

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