January 2018 Update: Great Start to the New Year!

You may recall that previous years’ January updates were lightweight affairs. Post-holiday wind-down, attendance was low, and few if any trades took place. This year, our January meeting was radically, wonderfully different — a good crowd, and some serious treasure-tradin’ and car-findin’!. So get to the photos!

January 2018

You’ve seen various farm dioramas from Big Tractor Mike before. Well, sir, I walked into our January meeting and hardly got situated, when I looked over and saw the biggest display BTM had yet brought in. BTM asked for several photos; I took ten photos overall, including a few focusing on a certain special black truck. Later I’ll update this update with info from BTM on what you’re seeing here. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful slideshow:

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Ed was in attendance, and brought in a wonderful variety of models: Treasure Hunts, almost all in Kar Keepers; quality loose models in Jammers; packaged sets; and … the cardboard box.

It was about a foot square, and loaded with loosies priced at “priced to move” prices. A few guys began cautiously picking through the box. Then Ed, to ease their hunting, unceremoniously dumped the whole thing out onto the table:

Awwww.

Awwww.

From this forlorn pile of rejectlings several treasures were found. For example, here are the ones Original Ken acquired:

Matchbox ambulance, and High Speed police car.

Matchbox ambulance, and High Speed police car.

Matchbox Mayflower moving truck with opening rear doors (and without rear axle).

Matchbox Mayflower moving truck with opening rear doors (and without rear axle).

Ferrari Testarossa, a transitional Corgi casting issued by Hot Wheels. The blue Malibu with flames is a Jada, from Big Rob's son Robby

Ferrari Testarossa, a transitional Corgi casting issued by Hot Wheels. The blue Malibu with flames is a Jada, from Big Rob’s son Robby

Speaking of Kar Keepers: I told you I would, and I did. I asked around at the meeting if anyone had a Kar Keeper or Protecto Pak. Big Tractor Mike demonstrated some left-over holiday spirit and RAOK’d me with a P’Pak! Later, I secured my Milano as promised.

See? The one Milano is safely MOC in the shell, while the other can be displa-- THE DEATH STAR HAS CLEARED THE CARDBOARD! THE DEATH STAR HAS CLEARED THE CARDBOARD!

See? The one Milano is safely MOC in the shell, while the other can be displa– THE DEATH STAR HAS CLEARED THE CARDBOARD! THE DEATH STAR HAS CLEARED THE CARDBOARD!

Ken got this sweet Zee (Zylmex) school bus from BTM. Overall the package is in really nice condition, with beautiful artwork.

I'd give this Zee an "A".

I’d give this Zee an “A”.

By the way, I was originally going to not point out the vintage price tag, as Wal-mart is quite contemporary. But then I thought about the fact that Zylmex has been gone for a while. In fact, according to the Zylmex Tribute Page, the company went out of business in 1996. As of this writing, that’s twenty-two years ago — in other words, nearly a quarter of a century. I guess that’s pretty darn close to vintage.

(I haven’t included a separate photo of the price tag because this image is very close to the original’s size, and is quite clear.)

Big Rob had a nice assortment of Johnny Lighting Lost in Space miniatures, and sold this Robot B-9 to … somebody. Seriously, neither Rob nor Ken nor myself can remember who bought this. Even so: Enjoy your recent purchase, Unknown Suncoast Diecasters Member!

Mystery Collector; Are you ready for your Mystery Collector?

Mystery Collector; Are you ready for your Mystery Collector?

As club photographer, I’m always taking photos of people’s treasures. But at this meeting, something unique and wonderful happened: Ken took photos of my treasures! Ken was impressed by the cars I found, and snapped photos for our club’s Facebook page. For example, from Robby, Big Rob’s son, I bought this NASCAR Stocker. Very good condition. This is the version which says “Racing Stocker” on the base. While not the exceedingly rare “Mountain Dew Stocker” version, I am nonetheless very happy with this model.

Although, to be honest, I'm a Coca-Cola man myself.

Although, to be honest, I’m a Coca-Cola man myself.

From Ed’s pile-o-playthings, I found three cool models. First is this Mercedes convertible by TootsieToy.

This is a really good-looking casting.

This is a really good-looking casting.

Then I got these two unusual Hot Wheels models:

Okay, that … that photograph might be a little misleading. Actually, I posted it to proved these are Hot Wheels-branded. Further, they’re copyrighted 1985. And that’s all we know about them. Here are the actual models:

Um...

Um…

As you can see, they’re somewhat cartoonishly proportioned. Both have the same base, and the same construction: The one-piece engine/interior simply snaps into the body shell. Both have friction motors. The blue is gummy, and goes neither far nor fast. The red on the other hand still performs relatively well.

However, quite seriously, no-one in the club has any idea where these models are from. Not even Ed, who had them in his cardboard box. So if any of you fellow collectors out there can shed any light on these mystery mobiles, please let us know in the Comments. Thanks!

So, let me make this official: 2018 starts off grandly with Dual Finds of the Month(**): Ken’s classic Zee bus, and my Hot Wheels oddball unknowns. Three cheers and a tiger for us!

…And, our January updated was posted with a tiny little sliver of January left! Celebratory victory dance!

See you at our February meeting!

~WM

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September 2016

Hey! I got our September update done while there’s still one whole day of September left! Sweet, sweeet Victory!

Now go enjoy the photos!

September 2016

We start off our September update with Original Ken’s Most Favoritest Thing in the Word: a Willys model. He purchased it from Big Tractor Mike.

...Most favorite, except for garbage trucks, that is.

…Most favorite, except for garbage trucks, that is.

This nicely-sculpted model with its white-to-pink washed flames and bright yellow– Hold it… What the heck is going on under the front end of this thing? Is it buck-toothed? Are those fangs?!?

All I want for Chwifmaf if my two fwont teef...

All I want for Chwifmaf if my two fwont teef…

Okay, I’ll let you in on the secret: It’s a slot car. Which is Ken’s other, other favorite thing.

Ridin' the rails, boys!

Ridin’ the rails, boys!

BTM explains that this slot car is an Autoworld model. But, not the old Autoworld, rather the modern one. Yet, Ken says it’s an HO Johnny Lightning, Thunderjet series, which was previously known as Aurora and/or Cigar Box. So, which is it?

Turns out it’s both. The Internet was actually useful this one time, in providing this well-written article which explains that, long before the ‘Net, Autoworld was a mail-order catalog supplying the slot car market. AW closed eventually, but was re-opened by Playing Mantis. The new AW re-issued new productions of the old models. Because everything old is new again.

O’Ken also bought these Willys models from BTM. All four are Johnny Lightning; the display cases are from a Lexmark promo. Ken put in his own background cards.

Ken wikes Willys models.

Ken wikes Willys models.

He weally, weally does.

He weally, weally does.

Willyshoemaker.

Willyshoemaker.

Ha! ''Willyshoemaker''. I'm hilarious!

Ha! ”Willyshoemaker”. I’m hilarious!

Here, you can see how simple geometric alignment can make for an attractive display.

Creative background cards may create the illusion of a showroom, raceway or other diorama-like appearance.

Creative background cards may create the illusion of a showroom, raceway or other diorama-like appearance.

Tom bought this Greenlight “Hitch & Tow”-series from Big Tractor Mike.

The Ram 1500 looks good, but that Dodge II sure is clunky...

The Ram 1500 looks good, but that Dodge II sure is clunky…

From BTM, Big Rob bought this sweet custom Johnny Lightning Cheetah, as well as this classic TootsieToy Cheetah.

Toot, Toot, Tootsie -- Good buy!

Toot, Toot, Tootsie — Good buy!

And now, because you’re “good people”, here is a better view of the two vehicles. C’mon, you didn’t think I’d cheetyah out of a nice close-up, did you?

See what I did there? ''Cheetah'', ''cheetyah''? This is good stuff!

See what I did there? ”Cheetah”, ”cheetyah”? This is good stuff!

Note: Please follow all instructions carefully.

Remember to run safely with safety scissors.

Remember to run safely with safety scissors.

So what’s with the paper guidance? Well, it goes along with this here fellow here. This is the Peterbilt Hauler. More specifically, this is from the Steering Rigs series. Can you see that large, clear plastic steering wheel on the back of the trailer? No, you can’t, not in this shot. Anyway, that was connected by a linkage to the tractor, thus allowing the child (or Bill) to “steer” the toy.

And yes, I am totally regretting not photographing the loose, unbagged one.

And yes, I am totally regretting not photographing the loose, unbagged one.

Per Big Tractor Mike, only two Steering Rigs sets were produced: An oil refinery, and this Sand & Gravel set, which was purchased from him by Terri and Robert. This set is complete, and its inner bags of this set are all sealed, making this a doubly very rare find.

Heck, the previous owner hadn't even colored it in!

Heck, the previous owner hadn’t even colored it in!

Ah, the natural, unspoiled beauty of a Hot Wheels set in the wild.

Mike engages the wild Set while I stay safe up here in the helicopter.

Mike engages the wild Set while I stay safe up here in the helicopter.

Classic Mattel: Soft paperboard buildings topped by hard plastic roofs.

Or, maybe they're by Ikea...

Or, maybe they’re by Ikea…

For its completeness, great condition, wonderful conceptual playability, and absolute rarity, I very happily declare this Hot Wheels Steering Rigs playset to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for September 2016!

'Tis a rare thing of beauty.

‘Tis a rare thing of beauty.

See you at the October meeting!

~WM