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Datsuncog

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Datsuncog last won the day on April 15

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About Datsuncog

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    Norn Iron
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    Rusty cars; vinyl records; small-batch beers; writing; graphic novels; cats; photography. Amongst other things.

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  1. Right, well... market revisited... and yeah, I kinda lost the run of myself. Again. I'd bopped over to St George's in the vain hope of picking up that limited-edition white Vanguards Transit, but it was gone (and probably already on eBay for more than my house is worth, because FORD M8). I'd also wondered if maybe those bubbly 1950s Lesneys might, after all, be quite nice - but they were also all gone. Hell's teeth, I hadn't even clocked that... think he was looking a tenner for the stuff on the top shelf. Might not have been there when I went back, mind - the stall was already pretty depleted in the space of three hours. The homemade minicab Lexus was still there, but had an asking price of £15 and, nice as it might be once the wonky lettering's been cleaned off, I don't want to fall back down the 1/18 rabbithole (they're much harder to conceal under the bed, I find). So I consoled myself by going buck daft in the 50p boxes. As you do. So, not just Amishtat suffering a hefty dose of buyer's remorse this afternoon. When will I ever learn? This is what I scooped... Matchbox Superfasts - MB 52 Dodge Charger III (another manufacturer concept car, this one first seen in 1968) and MB 27 Lamborghini Countach - which, at the point this model appeared, also only existed as a single concept car, put together by Marcello Gandini for the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Later prototypes and the 1975 production car came with much more in the way of cooling scoops and whatnot. So both these toys tie in with whatever-it-was I was wittering about yesterday. Matchbox's Countach is also notable as it featured tampo-print markings directly to the body of the models. Previously, paper stickers or waterslide transfers had been used to add decoration to Matchbox toys, but this method allowed more intricate designs. Tampo-print Superfasts were referred to as 'Streakers' and came in unique packaging (even though they were pretty much copying something Mattel were already doing). MOAR Superfast - the Soopa Coopa in a belated attempt to appreciate it for what it is, and also because I've never before found one with both glazing and engine intact. The Saab Sonett III (SNAP with Amishtat) is as good a fantasy vehicle, given that they were made in such small quantities and not sold in the UK. But it had the right look for the speed-demon image Matchbox was pushing in '73. The Red Rider is a much later model, a 1980s reissue of the Pie-Eyed Piper from the previous decade. I had this as part of one of those 20-car bumper gift sets; but I think it may have been sold individually too. Note the crude 'Made in China' modification to the base, eradicating any mention of Lesney and 'Made in England'. I like that Dodge Commando Pepsi truck; real versions weren't all that common, and I owned one of these when I was very small. One for the nostalgia box. The two Unimogs are missing tyres but otherwise not that bad. I'm not sure why I took these, other than grabby-hands syndrome. From Lesney to Playcraft… some from the Corgi stable now. The Husky Aston DB6 has bits of bumper missing and gained a repaint, but is still a handsome model and the suspension is intact. This casting enjoyed a very long life, still popping up well into the 1990s as a Corgi. The Mercedes Benz C111 was part of Corgi's new-found efforts to appear cutting-edge: buildings models of the cars of the future, not just replicas of Auntie Edna's Mini. The C111 was a Mercedes concept car from 1969, so Corgi were doing well to get it on the front of their 1970 catalogue. Corgi made a version of this in both 1/64-ish Juniors scale and 1/43 scale. The blue thing is simply called a 'Can Am Racer', and is a crude enough little thing BUT does feature a 'Growler' mechanism - a rasping device not unlike sticking a playing card in the spokes of your bike wheel, which I believe were meant to approximate exhaust noise. I'm not sure how successful these were (I had a Ford GT90 in both Growler and non-Growler versions - dunno which came first) but the whole enterprise does smack of Corgi having to produce something cheap and gimmicky as a retort to Lesney's Rolamatics range. Still, it's in surprisingly good nick, this one. Now here's a bit of a rarity... Yes. Matchbox did an Alfa Carabo - but this one is by Corgi. A Corgi Rocket, no less. Built to challenge Hot Wheels with intricate race tracks and 'tuned for speed', Corgi launched the Rockets range with great fanfare and scooped 1971's Toy Of The Year prize. With bodies made from electroplated chrome oversprayed with coloured lacquer, they were fast and eyecatching - even if their much-vaunted 'strip n tune' function basically consisted of putting a drop of oil on each exposed axle. Unfortunately for Corgi, Mattel held a patent for this kind of flexible track, and a court case determined that Corgi had infringed it. They were permitted to sell existing shop stock, but manufacture no more. A year after coming to market, Corgi Rockets were gone. (I'm not sure why Matchbox didn't get a tug too, as their Superfast track was also the same basic idea - unless the case hinged on some specific feature of Corgi's track.) Rockets sets are, apparently, amongst most valuable pieces from the Corgi Toys oeuvre by dint of sheer rarity. Vectis Auctions has achieved four-figure sums for some of them - the James Bond set in particular. Hot Wheels and Majorette, now... The Chevrolet Vega is a recent release and has suffered a bit of toybox wear, but still a tidy wee casting. I'll keep this for a bit, I think. The 'Minitrek' camper is one I used to own when I was a kid, and I swear I was just thinking about it on Wednesday afternoon, wondering where the hell it went as I really loved it and I would never have got rid of it - yet I can't remember seeing it much past 1986. At a guess, it was a casualty whenever my dad demolished the greenhouse (cos my brother kept falling through it) and I spent a while hiding cars in the 'caves' left by the broken-up founds, before it was all rotavated and grassed over. I know I lost an ERTL police car in that episode, through being too good at hiding them and not good enough at finding them... maybe that's where my Minitrek went? Tampo prints have rubbed off, but it still looks good in AS team colours, you'll agree. The Majorette Toyota Lite Ace... erm... At the market: "Wow! It's got pink wheels!" Back at my computer: "Oh... it's got pink wheels." Sorry, really dunno what I was thinking. Was this something like a Majorette equivalent to those 'My First Matchbox' cars? Bigger scales, now... A Hot Wheels branded BMW 635, in 1/43 scale... weren't these essentially rebranded Polistils, or am I confusing them with something else? I owned a few of these, along with their Bburago competitors, but found them not quite as sharp as Bburago, castings wise. This one's picked up a few scrapes but the sticky residue should clean off ok. I probably should have left this Mustang, as it is fucked - missing door, missing A-posts, and cracks to the sills just behind the (missing) side rivets. But, y'know... 50p. 😕 And, ultimately, I did pick this one up too. Possibly just to make it up to a round tenner for Blokey I have no need of this (like the others, pretty much) but figured that maybe someone on here could use it? Yargh. Remorse, remorse, remorse... I'm full of it. Oh well. I probably should try to sort the Box Under The Bed (you can tell it's bad when it becomes capitalised) this weekend, and offer out my assorted OMG MARKETFIND M8 diecasts to any folks here who can rehome them. Then I'll go out next week and do it all again. I am a silly sausage. Watch this space.
  2. Remember what I said last week? Bollocks, I was only right and all. HUGE amount of new diecast on the stall this morning. Mostly old stuff, but lots of other curios too. Only I was running late because TRAIN and didn't have time for a proper guddle. Heading back over there shortly - here's what I snapped earlier so if anything appeals, sing out quick and I'll do my best! ^^^Mostly repaints of variable quality Also repaints? Weird bubbling happening on these, but at £2 a pop, maybe they'll do someone? Can't see these being offered out at much more than £1 or so. Heh, I remember those Sindy beach buggies; seems that everyone's sister had them in the mid-80s. The massive hardboard caravan's a new one on me, though. Lexus LS400 cab is an unusual version... I'll assume a cackhanded Code 3 with Letraset. Bizarre Corgi 'Turbine Truck' thing I ain't never seen before. ^^^ Lone Star E-Type: possibly the worst diecast rendition I've ever seen (yet, still strangely appealing nonetheless) Modern-ish stuff. ^^^ I should have bought this ^^^ And this too - I'm not really doing large-scale stuff these days, but wasn't someone on here looking a Bburago Merc 190 recently? ^^^ 50p Boxes were overflowing again with 70s Superfasts and Whizzwheels; most of 'em utterly bollocksed, naturally, but some still looking salvageable. I'll have my phone on me to read any pleas for diecast succour! Updates to follow...
  3. Cheers, folks - glad you got something out of it! Yeah, the hate was always strong in me for fantasy cars - from any manufacturer - because hey, every Woosh 'n' Push and Mod Rod in the range was a waste of good metal that could have been a Mk3 Cortina or Austin Allegro instead... But Vulg's top-notch restorations/modifications have given me reason to look at these omnipresent childhood automotive irritants with fresh eyes - and also do a spot of research into why they even came about. And, you know, I kinda get them now. Like David Cassidy and jeans with tartan turn-ups, I can't fully grasp why certain things were so amazingly popular in the early 1970s - but I guess a bit of context kinda helps. It makes sense to me now that, in an effort to fend off the threat from Mattel and woo youngsters back through greater novelty and excitement, Lesney skipped rapidly from manufacturer prototypes, to speculative cars of the future, to off-the-wall customs inspired by some of the wildest and most cutting-edge designs from the pages of hot rod magazines (as above). It was a bold move, but it worked. Their designers grasped that making toy cars was no longer simply about making a decent replica of Dad's grey Austin to push around the carpet. Mostly. For kids like me, it was still about the realism - but I guess I would have been in the minority. I'd love to know what the year-on-year sales figures were for each model in the 1-75 range. How did the Soopa Coopa sell against the Renault 17? Corgi responded in a similar manner, consolidating their brand by refining and retooling their smaller Husky range as Corgi Juniors with Whizzwheels - and also modelling motor show concept cars, like the Alfa Romeo Carabo and the Mercedes C111. They didn't commit as fully to the fantasy route of Matchbox - though continued to develop their valuable TV-franchise toys with increasingly bizarre and unique vehicles. As their 1970 brochure indicated, the future was looking bold and exciting... Essentially, Hot Wheels' competition forced other manufacturers to change their game, rightly or wrongly. Action and Playvalue suddenly became buzzwords for UK diecast makers - and they could see their cars needed more than just opening doors to qualify as 'exciting'... Matchbox had offered their Motorway tracks since the 1960s - but how exciting was that, to basically watch traffic circulating? When you could have jumps, loop-the-loops and battery powered drag racing? Within a year or two, both Matchbox and Corgi were offering dizzying, gravity-defying racetracks featuring eyecatching vehicles - the fun was in the motion and the spills; what the cars could do, rather than just what they were. Ah now. Basically, this diecast era which I'd written off as 'stupid' has come to interest me a bit, and I'm doing a bit of digging to educate myself, while also popping the results up here - just in case anyone else is interested. (This is what happens when you work as a government researcher but there's no current government... ) And by all means, add to this stuff! I know bog-all, but I'm sure you lot have collective knowledge and memories that knock Google into the proverbial cocked hat. Thanks to all for the encouragement, and stay tuned!
  4. Great review... hoping to pick one of these up tomorrow! Despite the usual Oxford limitations, it's an appealing wee thing in a nice colour - and finally, it's a diecast Maxi. Bizarre that it's taken so long for one to turn up.
  5. Just been doing a bit of digging on these, as nothing was coming up in my old Matchbox catalogues. Also, a Matchbox TR7 seemed... weird. Seems that the Glo-Racers were derived from the short-lived Matchbox Powertrack range, a small-scale Scalextric/AFX/Tyco competitor, of which the TR7 was one of several cars available. https://powertrackshak.blogspot.com/2008/02/triumph-tr7-pt-111-uk-143753-us.html It seems at least some of the old Powertrack mouldings were shipped to Hong Kong not long before Lesney hit the buffers in 1982, and reused as the Glo-Racers range, with some minor modifications. This appears to have been originally released as a Powertrack Racer: Like this... In this set... This one wasn't - though maybe there was the intention to release it as a Powertrack car before the whole range was binned off, and losses cut? Interesting stuff!
  6. Now THAT is nice. ERTL I/18 version? Well scored, dude - even without a box, you won't find one much cheaper online...
  7. Proof, if it were needed, that Corgi pre-fucked the axles on their models prior to them even leaving the factory... Quite a lot of my Corgis of both scales came with a droopy arse.
  8. Heh, cheers dude... PM incoming, I'm intrigued...
  9. Yeah, mine was both too. A metric ton of Isopon carefully sculpted by its previous owner to resemble a Cortina, then mostly hand-painted with black Hammerite and green Dulux, apparently in the dark, using the same brush interchangeably. Still, when it became abundantly clear there was more fresh air than metal in the structural bits, I ended up with £15 more than I paid for it courtesy of one of the banger boys. The scary bit is that when I bought this, it was clearly a decrepit end-of-life nail - yet was also the same age as my current daily (which blends into any given car park and I really don't consider to be shite). Funny how things change. Also: I really am not particularly tall (5'10''-ish), yet somehow appear to be towering over this car. Hmm.
  10. That's ok, so am I... Mebbe you didn't see my shedful of crap last year?
  11. I found that having a massive clear-out last year has massively helped me focus on those models I'm really interested in collecting. It feels kinda brutal, but I'd recommend it.
  12. The Guildsman has quite an interesting story behind it... By 1970, the recently-launched Hot Wheels were making serious gains in the UK diecast market with their Spectraflame-painted 'California Customs'; wild-looking concept cars such as the Beatnik Bandit and Dodge Deora. Mattel had approved a massive advertising budget to put their far-out wares in front of young buyers in the UK, with TV and magazine spots plus sponsorship tie-ins that the 'old guard' of Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox had never wanted (or needed) to consider. This was a game-changer. The market had suddenly shifted away from faithful realism and multiple opening features as the primary goal of a diecast toymaker. Even though Corgi had produced a replica of Dean Jeffries' Pontiac GTO- based Monkeemobile, it was part of Corgi's expansive TV tie-in range and didn't really mark the start of a dalliance with the 'kustom kar' scene. Along with the others, Lesney were concerned at being left behind - churning out their technically accurate, but slightly humdrum, 'grey porridge' models such as the Foden Cement Mixer and Ford Zodiac MkIV. Losing market share and with no homegrown 'name' customisers like George Barris or Ed Roth to draw on (both already famous to kids through Revell and AMT's range of licenced plastic model kits), Lesney hurriedly turned to recent car design competitions in an attempt to find something, anything, they could add to their lineup to show they were also cool and hip. Preferably in a very eyecatching colour. As part of this search, Lesney contacted Vauxhall to ask if they could take a look through the many thousands of entries received for their annual Vauxhall Craftsman's Guild Design Competition, aimed at school-age students. One particular design from the 1969 competition, penned by a young fella named Phil Gannon, really stood out. Lesney obtained permission from Vauxhall to make a model based on his 3rd-place design. Phil's design was thought to be sufficiently modern and futuristic to compete with Mattel's line, and it does indeed appear a very harmonious, balanced piece of design work. I'd drive one. The idea was it would also be one of the first all-new models to showcase the Matchbox range's new (Hot Wheels inspired) Superfast wheels, and was among many that appeared in the artwork for their Superfast Track sets. This was the future! Even though Vauxhall owned the legal title to the design under the terms of the competition and could do with it as they pleased, Phil received a gratuity payment of £25 from Lesney. Since a 1:1 version of his design was never built, having these on the shelves must have been the next best thing for him. The name chosen by Lesney for the model came from the newsletter Vauxhall circulated to aspiring young designers involved in the Craftsman's Guild Design Competition. Oddly, although the base said Vauxhall, the box never did. Incidentally, the somewhat bulbous winner of the 1969 competition looks a smidge like a 3-dr Nissan Juke to my eyes. Prescient, maybe, but nowhere near as lithe as Phil's design, with its uniquely shaped wheelarches and glass roof. First glimpses of this 'futurism' angle within Matchbox had initially appeared with the 1969 release of the Pininfarina BMC 1800, the larger of the two 1967 Berlina Aerodinamica styling exercises by the noted Italian design house. Unfortunately the full-size cars didn't go down overly well with BMC's top brass (though, in a case of waste not, want not , these prototypes, ahem, 'inspired' Citroen's Robert Opron to create the GS and CX not very long after). Nonetheless, this model appeared as part of the first Superfast releases, and was unusual as it wasn't a car you'd ever see on the road in real life. The Freeman Inter-City Commuter, another Matchbox release from the same period, had a similar genesis to the Guildsman, as it derived from a 1967 Daily Telegraph 'car of the future' design competition. The writing was on the wall, though, and 1970 did seem to mark a breakpoint in Lesney's corporate philosophy. Even standard production car models introduced after this date, such as the BMW 3.0 CSL, always seemed a bit blocky and slapdash when compared to the fine level of proportions and detailing seen in their 1960s output. As I mentioned a few weeks back, around this time the elegant models from the new Matchbox King-Size range - conceived to compete in the same scale 1/43 as Corgi and Dinky - were quickly overhauled as the eyepopping 'Speed Kings' range, emerging with oversized engines and flared arches to accommodate huge dragster wheels. The kids, it seemed, loved them - and volume sales were what counted. You can hardly blame them. Within a few years though, Lesney's own draughtsmen were cooking up their own lurid 'fantasy cars', drawing heavily on the increasingly bizarre glassfibre candyflake creations adorning custom mags up and down the country... some of which had definite links to actual vehicles, as Vulgalour pointed out the other week on this very thread, while discussing Matchbox's non-prototypical offerings. Toe Joe? Stretcha Fetcha? Erm… WTF I'm done here. At least no-one would be stupid enough to model that. Daaaah.
  13. I've just noticed that @R9UKE has this up for sale, and it's giving me a whole host of unexpected desires...
  14. You want to be using some of this. Because if you add fins to the Rover, as suggested in the ad, no-one will notice the holes in the roof, hey?
  15. Corgi branding also appeared on that weird MC Toy/Maisto 'light and sound' police car, which appeared to be based on a pirated casting of the Matchbox Mk3 Escort Cabrio with a peculiar hard-top added... But it's not a 3-dr hatch, so maybe best ignored for now? As you say, plenty to be getting on with already!
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