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Everything posted by Datsuncog

  1. I had to wait for Alan to finish setting out the 50p tray on his Emporium. He's a man who will not be hurried. In the meantime, I scuttled over to the General Tat Stall. Colin there had some new Big Matchbox items. The transporter trailer looks very like the original Convoys CY-1 trailer, but is actually all-plastic. So while it's plainly a copy, it's not been made using the actual Lesney tooling. In fact, there's not much metal in these at all - only the top half of the cab involved any diecast, with the lower half also being plastic. Still has the 5-packs and all. He apparently sold quite a few of the individual Hot Wheels over the weekend and at markets earlier in the week. He'd seen Hundred Hot Wheels Harry again on Wednesday, and said he'd take another lot if he was selling more. Harry told him 'maybe'. So watch this space, kids. He also showed me a flyer from Oxford Diecast, showing some future releases - the red Maestro in 1/72 looks like it could be good, even though they are £7 or something now. I wandered over to the Charity Stall, which had rather less diecast again this week... ...and rather more in the way of packets of biscuits with a BBE date of August 2022. Though there was this VHS video beside the soggy Jaffa Cakes: Blimey. 32 minutes of Tony Pond ragging a Rover 827 Vitesse round the Isle of Man TT course - that's gotta be worth 25p of anyone's money, surely?
  2. There was tat. Not as much as we might have liked, maybe - but it was there. Saico Minor Traveller had curiously flat plaint, but was otherwise decent enough. Super kings Jaaag was ok; some chipping, but perhaps strong enough money at a fiver. Had it been a Volvo 245, I definitely would have - but I've owned one of these before, and it wasn't especially minty enough to warrant a preservation buy. Dinky Terex quarry tipper had buckled axles and some heavy deliberate scratching to the tipper bed, but was otherwise reasonable enough. Lesney Mercury police cruiser had some aftermarket stickers that may have come from a Graffic Traffic set - definitely not factory finish. Dinky Imp was in a sad way, with missing frunk lid, cracked glazing and a natty two-tone paint job carried out with enthusiasm rather than competence... Dinky decker refinished as a Code 3 for 'Wexeter City Transport'. Well, okay. Corgi 007 Aston was a later '90s reissue, rather than a '70s/ '80s Mettoy-era original. Both eras of Corgi Leyland Terrier Weetabix promos were in evidence - the '70s original, and the late '90s version with no commonality. Unfortunately, both were a wee bit too playworn for my liking. And apparently slightly chewed, in the case of the more modern version. Peelermobile version of the Dinky Dodge Royal was tired, but complete bar the roof light. [EDIT - I've had a request put through on this one, so will be going back over at lunchtime to see if I can nab it!] Dinky Chrysler wasn't too bad, considering its venerable age. This thing's got to be over 70 years old, now. Corgi Jaguar MkX was just a bit too scruffy to tickle my fancy. Also up top were a load of modern renderings of tanks and other military vehicles, but it's not really my bag so I didn't do much in the way of photos here. There were also some Action Man vehicles offered out - some of them Palitoy originals, going by the stickers. Postage could be a pain, mind. I'd been hoping for a box of tat, but instead there was only a box of ties... Ah well. And someone laughs in the face of cold soggy toes: Onwards!
  3. Fairly white round our way. Swept about four inches of snow off the Corolla The only car in the car park... clearly everyone else just decided to sack it off for the day. Hey ho.
  4. Luckily, Tuffa yard boots come into play on mornings like this... Just as well! The Corolla required a bit of clearing; must have been about four inches of snow on the roof to brush off. Journey in wasn't too bad, though plainly my colleagues decided to stay in bed. Not too slippy-slidey to get over to the market... Though inside it was a bit Marie Celeste. Seems that a fair few stallholders had taken a look outside and thought, naw... Including my preferred scone vendor of choice. Well, that's annoying. But what about the tat, I hear you cry?
  5. This is not a morning for Adidas Samba, you'll agree.
  6. Okay... an additional challenge to this week's Tat Friday, then...
  7. Very white outside here, too. Snow's still falling, and has been since lunchtime - will see how things are in the morning...
  8. The trailer supplied in the Lotus Racing Set had rather small wheels: Might fit that?
  9. The trailer I was thinking of was blue with a more pointy front - but now I've found a few pics online, the repro tyres don't look like they'd fit it either. Hmm. Most vexing.
  10. I wonder if they might fit trailer wheels - thinking about the like of the Corgi Rice Horsebox? I don't have one to hand to check, but I seem to recall they had very small hubs...
  11. Hah, brilliant! Seems that you never forget the excitement of a box that shape being dropped off by the postie...
  12. Looks a similar size to the Majorette monster trucks provided as part of the Kelloggs promotion in the 1990s... (Wild guess)
  13. I don't think it was ever modelled in period, but Trax do a 1/43 version: It's resin rather than diecast - I think I saw one in a model shop in Brisbane around 2005, but it was strong money and I couldn't very well justify it... I did leave with a 1/60-ish Ford Falcon XY GTHO... but I'd sooner have had the P76... Trax also do a model of the strangled-at-birth P76 Force 7 coupe, too. HFM? Strewth.
  14. Forgot to say - picked up a Hot Wheels Miura in MoreThanAPoundLand last night. They didn't have much else of interest, but I'd picked this one up and put it back several times already over the past year and decided that tonight was the night... I do like a Miura. I'm not normally a supercar fan, but they just look so right from every angle. Also swung by Asda in North Belfast last night - not normally a supermarket I would go into as there aren't any local to me, but I was on the way back from the MOT centre in Mallusk and thought I might give it a try just in case... Yeah, that'll be a no then. Ah well.
  15. In terms of global trade, I suppose the shift to far-east manufacturing following Lesney's bankruptcy and the Universal Toys buy-out enabled Matchbox toys to be made at much lower cost than they had been in the UK, through the use of lower rates of pay to the local workforce, locating factories in Special Economic Zones with specific tax exemptions (Macau, in Matchbox's case, then China and now Thailand - though other diecast manufacturers preferred Hong Kong and Singapore, while Mattel shifted Hot Wheels production to Malaysia), as well as exchange rates that favoured such manufacturing and shipping arrangements. I guess this became the norm as toy car sales had declined steadily from their late-60s peak, as kids developed other interests and spent their cash on other things - manufacturers couldn't rely on sheer volume to drive profitability (remember the main Matchbox factory in Enfield was churning out something insane like SIX MILLION models A WEEK in the late '60s) and, as Corgi and finally Lledo realised, it just wasn't economically viable to manufacture affordable diecast toys in the UK. If you follow the Corgi Model Club account on Instagram, you may have noticed a chap (well, apparently it's a cat going by the avatar) who pops up on every post about a new release to ask where it's made. And every time the social media bod replies to advise that they're made in China, and then goes on to explain that the original Corgi factory in Swansea closed many years ago, and there are no diecast production facilities in the UK anymore - and even if there were, the economies of scale would mean that they'd need to charge two or three times the price to cover their costs compared to China - which would severely hamper sales. I guess it's a niche hobby we have, and the fact we have access to so many relatively-affordable toys and models, both new and old, is still kinda cool. It could be better - but equally it could be worse. There are decent 1960s Corgi models I'm picking up in the market for £5 now that would easily have cost me £10 at an autojumble or swapmeet back in the early 1990s - that's like £20 today. Anyway - here endeth the lesson...
  16. It's true - there's been a huge skew in relative prices in the past half-century or so. Some things that were cheap have become very cheap, other things that were pricey have become fairly cheap, while other things have become rather more expensive... Obviously electronic technology is the the one that seems most noticeable - the Cogparents never tire of telling me how their first colour telly in the late '70s (a Teleton, I seem to recall) cost them the equivalent of two months' take-home wages; say about £4,000 now, relatively speaking. Whereas these days you can get a smallish basic flatscreen for not much over a day's take-home wages (say £100) - though of course you can still blow £4k on a big flashy plasma jobber, should you feel so inclined. Small cheap things like toy cars are one of those things I dimly remember as costing about 75p in the mid-to-late 1980s, at the point I was earning 50p a week pocket money and so able to develop a small degree of financial autonomy. I couldn't buy myself a car each week, so I'd have to save up if I wanted one. Superkings were priced about £4.99, so they were a lot more - ten weeks' pocket money, and so the kind of things that were only realistically achievable for Christmas and birthdays. So that's interesting to learn that a basic Matchbox cost the equivalent of £3.50 back in 1960 - it gives an idea of how much cheaper they had become, relatively, over 25 years or so - £0.75 in 1985 equates to £2.13 in 2023 prices, so they had effectively dropped in price quite a bit since 1960. The fact that individual Matchbox toys were still retailing at £1.50 until a few months ago is kinda mind-boggling when you think about it. So I guess that a rise to £2.00 for a Matchbox car and £2.20 for a Hot Wheels right now is probably only returning them to the same price point as before. Paying £5 for a Superkings toy in 1985 equates to nearly £15 in today's money, which now seems pretty spendy. I can remember combining saved pocket money with Christmas money to go down to Woolworths and buy myself both a Plymouth Gran Fury police car and a Mercedes 190 - that felt giddily plutocratic to spend ten whole pounds in one go, and come home with two 'big' cars. I can now understand my mother's horror upon discovering I'd blown £11 on a Bburago 1/18 Mercedes 300SL, in 1987 - that's an eyewatering £29 in today's money. Quite the investment for a seven-year-old. Interestingly, Bburago's pricing seems to have remained fairly constant over time - by the time I was working in that same model shop about ten years later in the mid/late 90's, I was pricing up Bburago 1/18 at £16.99. That's the equivalent of £30.21 in 2023. Today (owned by Maisto) Bburago's larger offerings seem to retail at around the £40 mark, although appear to have moved upmarket a bit with much finer detailing than their '90s equivalents. Pricey enough - but it's interesting to realise that they were never really 'cheap'. And to put in perspective my moaning about £36 for a Vanguards model today - I spunked most of the profits from my Spot-On figurine racket on a much-coveted Trofeu Mk1 Escort around 1995, which was nearly as detailed as modern Vanguards are. It set me back £17.99 - which works out the same as spending £34.77 today. Nothing's really changed then, except our perceptions...
  17. Weirdly, I've never seen a Superkings 245 in the metal. Not at the time they were still current in the shops, and not in any secondhand shops/ stalls since. Which is odd, as they're not rare. I've owned/ encountered a fair few Dinky 265s over the years- but not the Matchbox version. I'm curiously ambivalent about late 70s/ early 80s Superkings as I reckon the proportions could be a bit blocky, but still... if I saw a reasonable one at a decent price - either plain red/ green or white rally support - I'd be sure to nab it.
  18. Cheers dude! Felt it was appropriate, given the Corolla's ancestry. Have had a soft spot for it ever since staying at a hotel in Tokyo which very conveniently had an Asahi vending machine opposite our room... Although looking closer at the bottle, the stuff they sell in Asda is brewed in Italy by Peroni - so does that make it the Nissan Cherry Europe/ Alfa Arna of the beer aisle? A few years ago I managed to get hold of a few bottles of Asahi Black. Now that was really good, but haven't seen it on the shelves again - well worth it if you can find it.
  19. Semi-blissful state achieved. G'night.
  20. Well, knock me down with a feather. Pass. No advisories either. With any luck, this wee thing's dodged the recycler's gates for another year. And to top it all, MrsDC's away out to meet up with a friend this evening - I feel like a celebratory McDonald's along with my Vanishing Point DVD could be the optimal way to spend a cold evening... simple pleasures for simple people.
  21. It's in the lap of the gods now... Ungrateful bugger blew another sidelight bulb earlier, too. The one that requires removing the battery and the airbox intake to access, of course. I can see it whenever the HGV roller goes up... We'll know shortly whether the welding was worth it!
  22. Corolla MOT scheduled for this evening. A feeling of doom has descended...
  23. Meant to say, that's a billy bargain for two quid! Well found!
  24. Some Convoys jiggery-pokery earlier... Trying to see what's what with the Ford C900. Despite having some sort of hitch mechanism moulded into the fifth wheel, for some inexplicable reason it's not-quite compatible with the late-era Lesney trailers from 40 years ago. What an oversight. Tch. Still, I reckon it looks quite decent as a full rig. Box trailer on the back looks alright too... ...but the Shell logo on the rear quarter kinda begs for a tanker trailer. I think I'm a little shaken by the realisation that my original early-80s Convoys are closer in age to the 1950s and 60s Majors than they are to the modern releases currently on the shelves...
  25. Just so happened to call past the big B&M out by Connswater at lunchtime there. Not a great selection, exactly - despite being one of their bigger stores, there were no single Hot Wheels in evidence at all, and only a couple of clipstrips of Matchbox hung at random points along the toy aisle. Nothing I hadn't already seen on Sunday over at the Newtownabbey branch, anyway. Unless there were loads hidden behind the cages... Plus more Monster Truck action - quite a decent rendering of Bob Chandler's original Bigfoot. (Or one of them, anyway) A box of Bburago 1/43s on one of the lower shelves reminded me I haven't seen them locally for a few years - the castings themselves and details aren't bad, but the wheels are still heinous and cheap-looking. Even if the models themselves aren't all that cheap - doesn't seem that long ago since they were 99p. But it's reassuring that there seem to be a few more options opening up across the country (even if supply is still a bit on the patchy side). Also stopped by Tesco for a bit of actual shopping, and there were even less Matchbox on their shelves - just a few unloved motorcycle trailers amidst some torn open packets. I would have taken some poignant pics of the lack of diecast loveliness, but I was put off by some sad-act busy pawing through the Star Wars tat alongside. A grown man spending his lunchtime looking at kids' toys. The very idea.
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