November 2017 Update – now with text & photos!

Been putting in extra hours at work because of the holidays. Nice for my wallet, not so nice for my free time. Particularly, it’s been impacting relatively frivolous things such as club site updates. That’s also why it took so long for me to post my lament on the closing of a K-Mart. So, no silly intro this month. Just get to the photos!

November 2017

Emergency Back-up Ken brought in this fabulous BMW Isetta 250. The Isetta has had a bit of a resurgence in pop culture popularity, thanks in part to TV shows such as Family Matters and American Pickers. Among toy car collectors, it’s probably best known for its super-powered appearance as Hot Wheels’ Whatta Drag. The Isetta is classified as a microcar due to its small size. Just how small is the Isetta?

Well, this is a 1/43-scale model ... and it's *barely* the size of HW's VW Drag Bus.

Well, this is a 1/43-scale model … and it’s *barely* the size of HW’s VW Drag Bus.

What’s this?? (asked William Dozier):

The zippest car collection, indeed.

The zippest car collection, indeed.

That’s the back (or front, same view) of an unopened shipping pack of Inside Stories (“Storys”?), courtesy of Big Tractor Mike. BTM explains that this is how Hot Wheels were shipped way back when: A box, not dissimilar to the boxes one sees at a K-Day event, contained not a well-organized arrangement of ready-for-hanging mixed models but rather the lot of identical models bagged thusly. That this set is still in its original bag is of course super-rare and thus super-special. Upping its specialness (in case you missed it in the above photo) is this neat detail:

Practically a brand unto itself.

Practically a brand unto itself.

Yes, these are from the near-mythical and poorly-documented Leo editions from India. With the exception of a “native language”-edition backer, one usually has to do some research to determine which country a particular Hot Wheels model is manufactured in. The Leo models, in contrast, are always clearly identified.

Now, here’s the hard choice for the serious collector: to open, or not to open? If one opens the pack to better display the models, the value of it being specifically an unopened shipping set is immediately lost. On the other hand, the set as it is … is frankly not much to look at display-wise.

Tom continues his reign as Suncoast Diecasters‘ Viscount of VWs with this purchase from BTM. This is the Volkswagen 1500 Saloon, (No. 15), a limited model in production only from 1968 through 1972. He paired it with a custom re-paint by Jim in the form of a candy-apple red Ice Cream Truck.

Note Jim's rustic hand-hewn lettering.

Note Jim’s rustic hand-hewn lettering.

Original Ken was RAOK’d via BTM using this custom edition of Jaded. This one features an illustration of that incredibly popular and very well-known DC superhero who developed bird-like superpowers after getting bitten by a radioactive raven, and who was advised by an old man, Remember, if you ever get superpowers, you should probably use it to do some good, instead of not doin’ some good.

In this scene, he's battling ... I don't know, Godzilla, I guess.

In this scene, he’s battling … I don’t know, Godzilla, I guess.

(Ahem) It reads: ‘From a time when nearly all businesses depended upon these versatile small commercials to deliver a variety of goods throughout the country.”

Please read along silently, as I type aloud.

Please read along silently, as I type aloud.

And just what is it delivering?

Garbage!

Garbage!

Courtesy Emergency Back-up Ken, this is the Scammell refuse lorry, a 1:76-scale three-wheeler from Oxford Diecast. Of course, it does not deliver garbage. It collects waste material from the residence or office, and carries it to a waste handling and processing center. Which … is … in actuality, delivering something from point A to point B. So, yeah, this thing really does deliver garbage!

Honestly, I don't know why you were giving me such a hard time about it.

Honestly, I don’t know why you were giving me such a hard time about it.

For its recognition and celebration of mundane workhorse vehicles, its well-sculpted detail, and for simply being a really good-looking model, I declare the Scammell refuse lorry to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for November 2017.

Congratulations, EBU Ken!

Congratulations, EBU Ken!

See you at our December meeting!

~WM

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August = Late; K-Day = Great!

Hurricane Hermine and other issues delayed this August update, which makes me 0 – 4 now. So, once’d again, no wacky intro.

The dates for the next K-mart Collector Day and the 1-for-20 Mail-in Promo have been posted to our Calendar, so please check them out!

And now … the photos!

August 2016

There is a curious duality to collecting: In gathering what one chooses to collect, one discovers that one must also collect something else. The first object can be anything (such as 1/64th-scale toy cars); the second object is always the same: storage. Here, Gary collects a display case from Big Tractor Mike.

The blue bag contains a collection of mounting hardware. Collecting!

The blue bag contains a collection of mounting hardware. Collecting!

Here, Bill has collected a “Corvette Cenrtal”-edition Split Window ’63; a Hummer; and a HW Main Street-series Dixie Challenger.

Collecting!

Collecting!

Bill acquired this still-great-looking Field Car (#18). This is the ’70-’74 Superfast edition.

Based on the International Scout.

Based on the International Scout.

Later, he got this red one.

So there.

So there.

From Big Tractor Mike, Original Ken purchased these two Jadeds. The white one is from the 2011 HW Performance series, while the other is the 2007 Treasure Hunts edition. More interestingly, Jaded is based on the Henry J, a sedan offered by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation in the early 1950s. The car is named after company chairman, Henry J. Kaiser. (It has nothing to do with Henry Ford.)

(Or Kelsey Grammer)

(Or Kelsey Grammer)

In collecting these three carded Willys models, Ken reveals his secret collecting passion: country music.

Country icon Hank Williams Jr.

Country icon Hank Williams Jr.

Country super-star LeAnn Rimes.

Country super-star LeAnn Rimes.

Country legend Ray Earl Bobby-Joe McScruggs ... Jr.

Country legend Ray Earl Bobby-Joe McScruggs … Jr.

This is a great item, for two reasons. First, it’s a beautifully framed portrait photo of Dale Earnhardt Sr., accompanied by a commemorative postcard and official U.S. postage stamp celebrating stock car racing. Second, it’s a RAOK from Tom to Ken, commemorating their friendship.

Click below for larger version

Click below for larger version

1000 * 1135

I had to leave the meeting early to go see another group of friends. Ergo, my time for taking photographs was abbreviated. These Corvettes purchased by Arde were among the last I shot, and I didn’t have time to take the multiple shots these beauties deserve. These are 1/43-scale modes with exquisite details.

1963 Stingray Convertible

1963 Stingray Convertible

1953 Corvette Convertible

1953 Corvette Convertible

Ed had an assortment of Hot Wheels children’s books, which as you can see below featured a HW model shell-displayed at the end. Ed doesn’t remember where he got them, and the price sticker is utterly generic. Nonetheless, Arde was sufficiently intrigued to purchased this one.

Aaarrgh! We captured the treasure!

Aaarrgh! We captured the treasure!

For the adult collector (and by “adult”, I’m speaking strictly chronologically. I make no reference to intellectual or emotional development), it is easy to forget that Hot Wheels was and is, at its heart, a toy for children. Parents over the last few generations have lamented the effort needed to get kids to put down their playthings and pick up a book. Here, Mattel makes at least some effort toward addressing this with these simple, almost primer-like mini-books. The colored-block text is annoyingly self-serving, in that it needlessly describes features of the model such as wheel type or interior color. The regular text, however, gives a brief yet interesting, and often historical, overview of the actual vehicle. For parents whose kids love Hot Wheels, or cars in general, these books can be a good starting point for parent/child reading time or deeper research into the hobby or the history of the vehicle. For this, I declare the Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt books to be our August Find of the Month.(*)

These pages feature the real Ford vehicle that Shoe Box is based on.

These pages feature the real Ford vehicle that Shoe Box is based on.

Download yourself a little light reading.

See you at the September meeting!

~WM