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Jon last won the day on October 26 2017

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About Jon

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    Rank: Renault 16

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  1. So after going to bed, I arise in the morning to a veritable feast of Siku on here - nice one, chaps! My Siku story started in 1987, when my dad's job in the Army had him posted to Germany. We moved there for around 18 months but it seems I made the absolute most of my 3 Deutschmarks in weekly pocket money (about £1) and would relish the Friday trip to Divi supermarkt, where I could splash DM2.45 on a Siku car each week. Seemingly, there was no budget for sweets and the like, just saving up for more Sikus. So 1987/88 is a personal sweet spot for these reasons but I do appreciate the older castings too, as they would've been hanging about in the rage at that time, still. Looking at all the stuff people have posted up here and seeing all the items I remember having, it's safe to say that I was an avid collector and obviously made the most of Christmas and birthdays - I recall at least 4 trucks and 4 car/commercial & trailer combos. I mostly looked after my stuff, so I'm sure my folks didn't mind feeding my habit. Anyway, my post here is useless without photos, so here's the Siku I forgot I had: Bought from a stall at a local market, I was drawn to this Opel Astra caravan, as it's not a bad old rendition. It's also painted in an oh so German shade of green - I remember solid, bright colours being a common theme for cars and clothing, when I lived there. As you can see, the boot opens for much desired marble storage space and the suchlike. It's also nice to see clear headlamps, orange indicators and painted tail lights, too. Although the wheels are admittedly much closer to the real things, rather like @Split_Pin, Siku nirvana for me is the painted spoked wheels era (I can confirm that the Ford Cargo ADAC helicopter rig did come with earlier spoked wheels, as mine has them!). On return to York in 1988, Sikus weren't seen for a couple of years and then became a thing to save up for. I remember buying a red Beetle and a white Beetle convertible, plus a VW T4 van with later, nobbly spoked wheels but then interest waned beyond this, although I'd still peruse when visiting model shops, of course. I picked up a 2020 catalogue a couple of weeks ago and the Siku range is now depressingly drab - mostly super cars and SUVs in dark metallics and I could hardly identify any of them. Small hatchbacks and light commercials are conspicuous by their absence. I imagine it's really hard to compete with the likes of Hot Wheels now, since they have a giant range of castings and always seem to be launching new variants.
  2. A couple of weeks ago, I gathered together all my NZ acquired Sikus (barring one I'd forgotten about) and took a group photo: It's a fairly rag-tag collection of stuff that's been available and at a price I could afford - or haven't been outbid on; that's seeminlgy been very much a thing, of late, as @bramz7 will attest to, when I attempted to buy some mint/boxed Polistils for him during lockdown. Anyway, as you can see, it's rather light on cars. But last week, I struck lucky, with a small group buy! I'd never seen one of these Siku 280SLs in the metal before, although I was outbid on a group of 4 mint/boxed Sikus a few days prior. But we've established that it's a good thing I didn't win the auction, as ultimately what would I have done with them, etc. Barring a bent rear axle, the playworn paint work, skinny Siku wheels and red plastic rear lights are right up my alley. It also has clear glass, which isn't always a thing in this era of Sikus. The front end is nice also but would be interesting to be compared to a Whizzwheels Pagoda. The bumpers are also satisfyingly skinny, though I'm not quite sure how federalised the bumpers were in the US on these SLs, so apologies for any potential inaccuracies. We must take these picture book backgrounds very seriously. See what I mean about the wacky Siku glass?! I don't mind this though, as it's very of its time. I also like how it shows that Siku went to the lengths of attaching a separate nub of blue plastic for that single emergency light. Top marks also for making a Porsche 911 look so ordinary - no spoilers, wide track etc. This will have been a hang-up from the fact that this was quite an old casting by the time this one was churned out, no doubt. "Well la-di-da, look at this chap in his new fangled German van, with its dimensionally efficient square body that hardly tapers in as it rises, so as to fit more towels in to sell down t'market." Actually, there's a grain of truth in this made up scenario, as I remember a guy at York market called Howard, who sold towels out the back of a VW LT back in the '80's and '90's. He had a microphone and everything and would pile up bundles of towels to sell to mildly mystified customers, all the while needlessly chattering away at an amplified level. Ever the promoter, he even had the Howard's sign writing on his van decked out in the style of the Harrods logo, until that got him into a bit of trouble. Funny what you remember, eh? Anyway, I was very glad to nab one of these in green, as I have a silver one back in the UK, which was a favourite toy but I'm defo sure I'd have chosen a green one, had there been an option. This has suffered a minor dose of marker penning of the side lights but for now, I've just cleared up the excess daubing. The inset bit can stay as is, for now. Last in the pile was one I'd been hoping to get for ages - a Mk1 Granada wagon! Again, this had mucho pen daubing on the grille but a quick wash with a dry marker pen put paid to that. It's missing the roof siren and whip aerial and the white paint is peeling away (maybe don't park it so close to a fire?) but again, I don't care. What I like most about this is the woeful dimensional inaccuracies, achieved largely by using the big wheels, reserved usually for commercial vehicles and the Range Rover. Look at the depth of the rear door, above the wheel arch! And that front door window shape is all sorts of wrong, too. It's as if it were made primarily as a toy, or something. Round the back, it doesn't get much better, with the tail gate lacking in any real detail. There are a couple of exhaust pipes though, to denote that this a the 3 litre V6 version, as per the Siku chassis spec sheet. After all, your pretend car might as well be the fastest one. Anyway, knowing that my group photo was now outdated but also finally having a few cars in my motley collection, I gathered the art and crafts, ex-ADAC mobile testing station and VW pickup together for a 1970's inspired shot. Note the generator that slides out from the front of the trailer, to provide pretend power to the whole rig. If you peer with enough vigour amongst all the corrosion, you'll see that the floor of the testing station even has a set of rollers. Sadly, the internal door on the right of the bay doesn't open up but all the extendable bits fold away neatly and stay shut, even after this many years and this much wear. So it's fair to say, I was somewhat more satisfied with this haul, as they came just as expected. The auction finished at 4:56pm on a weekday but Trademe has an awful habit of auto-extending the auction by 2 minutes, each time a bid is made in the last 2 mintues of auction. The only other bidder was a buyer I'd lost out to many a time before, so my hopes were low. However, I like to think they were still at work and didn't have time to dig into their deep pockets, so I managed to nab these 4 Sikus for £3.50!! That's a bargain in my book, for something from 40 years ago, that I imagine wasn't sold in large numbers in NZ in the first place. It's the small victories, eh?
  3. Hey, check out what I won last week! Only a flipping mint/boxed Husky Commer Walk Thru van!! But seconds into getting my mits on it.... I notice a staple..... Oh. I'll admit, I was quite crestfallen. I'll also admit, I did a quick Ebay check to see what these go for unopened, prior to bidding and I paid only a fraction of what an actual mint/boxed one was being offered at. So, no retirement fund but on the plus side, I could take a proper look, guilt free! I'd forgotten how small these Huskys were! I reckon you could slap this trackside in a Hornby raliway layout and it wouldn't look out of place. I've fond memories playing with a couple of these round at my grandparents' house back in the 80's. I'd forgotten quite how vivid the yellow/green colour was! The driver's door slides freely but the passenger side one is quite stiff, still. Unlike other Huskys, this Commer has a metal base. I don't remember the 'suspension' when playing with these 30+ years years ago but I guess they would've been quite playworn. Let's take a closer look - apologies for the crappy close-ups, my phone camera isn't great at this, it seems. It looks like the suspension is hollow rubber tube or suchlike. The rear of the packet mentions oiling the axles to aid free running - presumably, this was a quick solution to the emergence of Hot Wheels and the like? There seems to be a few Husky releases I wasn't aware of, too. One thing I'd totally forgotten about was the lack of rear door! I was convinced these came with a red roller door but I think I was just getting muddled with the Lesney Rentaset van I also played with round at my grans. It does beg the question why you'd make a van like this that you couldn't load stuff in?! Check out the 'glass' top though, which highlights the vast, empty space just waiting for marbles and suchlike, had there been an opening rear. Unlike here, in reality the plastic shines beautifully - I'll admit, it is as mint as fresh as the day it was made. Lastly, I cracked open the proper camera, to get a 'scene' shot. I'll admit I've used this one before but this one just seemed perfect for the task. Ulitmately, I'm much more interested in handling my die cast rather than staring at them through yellowed plastic bubbles. I feel like I was slightly taken for a ride on this one by the seller but not so much as to elicit a complaint - life's too short and I've probably learnt a lesson in the process, so all good. It still scores highly on the nostalgia front, even if that central windscreen pillar is bent. I'm sure that's just a sign of Corgi's high quality back in the day, so I won't risk chipping the paint, attempting to straighten it. Anyway, sorry for all the words. I did also receive another die cast parcel that day that I was excited to open!
  4. Here's a Dinky I picked up a few weeks ago, which I hadn't known existed until I saw it for sale: In fact, I had a choice of TWO of them! I'm almost wishing I did get both, as they were only £4.50 apiece and, from a bona fide antiques shop, which is a pricing enigma in itself, I reckon. Anyway, both were playworn, though this was slightly the better of the two. Must admit, I've always been a fan of the early, Renault 16 powered Europas, with the gawky looking buttressed rear ends. In fact, I have a Whizzwheels era Renault 16, so perhaps I should do an engine bay comparison. Bus-sized steering wheel is comedically massive but it's the mis-scaled efforts such as this that make older castings more endearing, IMO. Only thing left to do was a line-up of my Dinkys from this era. I don't think I'll become an avid collector of these but I would like a few more, including the civilian version of the Range Rover in an excellent shade of metallic brown.
  5. From an in-depth google (up to 3 minutes worth), there look to be only 2 boxes they were issued in: & 3 things: the back of the earlier box mentions all the opening features but doesn't mention accessories; where would they fit in the boxes?; the accessories wouldn't all fit in the boot! That led me to suspect the accessories don't match the car. I think you may have bought a ringer. Call the police! Case solved. I remember similar signs in the mint/boxed Dinky police Transits I used to own. Or they may have been from the motorway maintenance one. Either way, it gives you carte blanche to add some more essential die cast to your shopping list, to accompany your accessories!
  6. Here's another recent purchase from my favourite local (only 100 miles away) shop: With all the influencer tendencies that regular posters inflict on my buying trends, I seemed to be experiencing a whiff of Corgi 1/36 nostalgia, so at £5, this was the only logical solution. From the date of the price sticker, it was a recent addition, which made me wonder if I'd missed out on any other juicy specimens. If that were the case, it was probably for the best. It's by no means mint (please tell me the bubbling on the edges of the bonnet isn't zinc pest!) but I thought fairly priced for shop stock. As you can see, this 3.5 litre V8 jam sandwich is the perfect candidate for responding to life or death scenarios in the notorious crime den that is Bedale, North Yorkshire. There are still two 1/36 Corgi SD1s languishing in my UK toy stash; one Triplex one and my favourite, in light metallic brown with black roof. Both are very play worn and acquired somewhere along the line from boot sales or swaps. The fact that the parcel shelf and all opening bits stay up by themsleves makes me think this police one has seen very little beat being brummed along carpet/lino/North Yorkshire cobbled stone.
  7. This is the only one I have, grabbed for a bargainous 50p/$1 from the cheap tub at the model shop, last year: Shame someone lost the glass but can't grumble at the price. I love the opening bits and super springy suspension. I recently lost out on a MkX Jag and a few weeks back, a mint/boxed Firenza, although I successfully bid the winner up to $72, before I had to have a word with myself and ask how much I really wanted one. Was still a 'good' price for a Firenza but only if I was going to sell it on. I think I'm a lot happier at the playworn condition/budget end of the market. Though that said, I am awaiting delivery of a boxed 60's gem (from another maker), which I couldn't resist winning the other day!
  8. Jon

    Renault 11 Automatique

    Shame to hear about the poor 11 running, Rob. It does rather sound like something that @Renault18 might be interested in?! If you'd like, I could call the guy I know who lives locally and is big into French cars and has an 11 automatic, which he somehow manages to keep going in NZ! He may well have some useful info, if you did fancy a final reprise fettle. Good luck with the sale though and I really hope it stays in forum hands.
  9. Solved it^^^^ Lone Star Impy Roadmaster Fiat 2300S. Could really do with a whole heap more of these era Lone Stars, as they're flipping stunning!
  10. Check these out! These are a bit more up my alley - released when the MX-5 was still new. Well, the red one was; the white one is a 1998 issue, so into Mk2 MX-5 era but I'll not argue. This was a bit of a nostalgic hit for me, as I only remember ever buying one Hot Wheels back in the 1990's - a solid red version of one of these, with standard black wall wheels, from a supermarket somewhere in Leeds. There weren't many other Hot Wheels in the toy box but those that were would've been bought by someone else and were 1980's releases. Anyway, note the sparkly paint job and trademark logo on the windscreen. The sidelights are also the same casting as the windscreen, so look good in person. EDIT: I've just remembered that the above statement is untrue: when a massive Tesco's opened up nearby circa 1992, me and my brother would buy cheap multi-pack Hot Wheels there, somehow swapping out all the fantasy crap for better models! This is a 1991 release, which makes me surprised, as to me these look like much later wheels. The base is metal, so good quality but I'll admit that the interior and all clear windscreen is a bit cheap. Altogether, with a naff paint job, oh-so-90's wheels and the black interior, this is far inferior, in my eyes. But I found both of these at my favourite model shop, where they were sitting in a box of much later, more mundane Hot Wheels. I couldn't resist them, especially as these cost no more than new Hot Wheels sitting on the shelves, so again, these can go in the swaps pile, as I know someone here will snaffle them up. I did look for other 90's carded HWs in the box but these were the only ones, so presumably someone's come and cashed in their Mazda collection, as I saw a few other Mazda models about the place. I also saw this on the floor, remembering I'd dismissed in in the past. Conveniently, price labels are dated, so this has been knocking about the best part of 18 months, so may get reduced at some point, should anyone be interested. What piqued my intrigue though was the display cars on the transporter. The Superfasts and Corgi Rockets Interceptor are easy ones to ID but what's the blue one, obscured? I'm thinking Impy Flyers something but can't think what. Anyway, a quick Google reveals the transporter is a Sears release, from the early 70's. This seems like the type of thing that would have generated minor rage from Jon_minor, as I adhered to scales when playing with cars. I will say the abreast layout is at least novel and does lend itself to fitting 1/43s on. I've yet to find out what the buttons do on the truck cab but no doubt it's a sound thing. Guess I'll just have to look at the box next time!
  11. I bought this pair, whilst experiencing a die cast fix - rather like @sierraman, I was bidding on stuff and getting nowhere, as the same few high rollers were bidding on Trademe stuff I had my eyes on. So think of these as knee-jerk compensation. It also helped that it was buy one, get one 50% off. Metal bases too, since these are premium castings. Not sure what the printed numbers refer to, as they don't correspond with the series number on the carding. Again, nice casting detail, carefully applied paint and tampos, etc. Same goes for the rears. I will say I'd much prefer a narrower wheel but then there wouldn't be space for the dished rims, so it's all give and take, I guess. Here's the Cosmo's wheel efforts - nice but nothing like the originals. Ditto with the Silvia's. I will say that they've chosen a very nice shade. Much nicer than the Cosmo's white but then that's a little unfair, since all of the first Cosmo's were white. Not sure what this image is showing that others haven't already shown but I took the photo and uploaded it, so here it is. You can just make out the M logo badge tampo above the grille, I suppose. And the side badge one is a pretty good effort. There's a similar one on the boot lid, of equal quality. Thing is, when I picked these up (the only other one there was the Honda City - no Skylines or Sunny pickups left), there were several on the shelf and I fully intended to open them up and plonk them in a photo scene before lining them up with other 1:64s. Except, I'd managed to lock myself out, so had to do a 40 mile round trip to pick up house keys from Mrs_Jon's work, after which the moment was gone. This was a couple of weeks ago, so I've had time to realise that these are something better appreciated by others, so in the 'swap box' they go. It's fair racking up, so hopefully I'll be in a position one day to actually rid myself of these things with like-minded 'shiters, when I can next travel to the UK! Yet despite the above statement, that didn't stop me picking up another couple of carded Hot Wheels last week....
  12. Here's another auction I, er, bagged: What the flip was I doing, concerning myself with such tut? I wondered that too, once won... Initial outlook wasn't good. I mean, I'd forgotten such terrible Micro Machine imitators existed but this isn't the kind of nostalgia worth paying for. If it were, I'd be looking to net a set of those Reader's Digest vintage cars next. I was ready to be all stylishly incredulous of these little buggers but in actual fact, they're magnetic and so could potentially add a little charm to my fridge door. Nope, no interest to me, other than that they're apparently made by Hot Wheels, so may be of interest to others. Not going well so far, is it? Some Kinder Egg toys here - I remember the vintage ones foreground. Background fodder for documenting purposes only, again. Getting better. These are earlier Kinder toys and I remember building both and actually playing with them, some time back in the 1980's/early 90's. Much more toy-like than the ones above and the orange car has a friction flywheel effort, which propels it a few inches along a suitable surface. I actually like these. I'm thinking this one might be from before my choccy egg snaffling days but I do appreciate the detail. The rear end is far less yellowed. All in all, charming. Porsche 935, if I'm not mistaken. The photos in the listing weren't great due to the scale of the subjects but I managed to identify the light blue effort as an International Harvester Scout, due to the rear side 'window' shape. Turns out these are Tootsietoy Jampac models - basically, small cast models, marketed in sets from the 1970's onwards. I do actually have a couple of other earlier, similarly small Tootsietoys, bought this time last year in Colorado. Interestingly enough, I've yet to see another image online of the IH Scout yet, though my searching has hardly been exhausting, admittedly. Anyway, according to Wikipedia, Tootsietoy are still pressing out cars at a rate of 40 million a year, which frankly doesn't sound true. Here's where things began to get a bit more interesting. This is slightly more detailed than a Tootsietoy (not saying much!) but I still can't identify what actual car this should be. Any ideas? Likewise, I'm unsure of the model here - maybe a Porsche? Looking at the wheel cap styling, I was guessing these were made in the 1970's. This Jeep has the honour of being the only one I picked up with all four wheel caps intact. I mean, it's crudely built to a price but what better way to emulate a WWII era Jeep?! But THIS was the main reason I was bidding! Like I say, the images weren't great but I managed to identify this as a Citroen Chapron Le Dandy. I don't collect this scale and I don't actively collect Citroens in particular but I was intrigued by the choice of this casting. Again, I can't really fault the detail here, for something so small and cheap - there's even tiny little chevrons on the boot lid. This got me wondering whether it may be a scaled down version of a Corgi Le Dandy, which would point it to being a product of a Hong Kong die caster, as per @Datsuncog's previous research and explanation of such things. Turns out the the DS casting was unusual enough to allow me to identify these as Playart Mini models. I somehow seemed to have evolved a liking for Playarts and have collected a handful as a result. I find their choice of castings quite bewildering and the history of them on-line isn't prolific, which only adds to the air of mystery. Then there was this. I was also able to spot this as a thing of interest but again, had no idea who would've made it. Turns out that it's a Pocket Tomica, which is seemingly a series of small plastic models that can be bought at random from vending machines, at 200 yen (£1.50) a pop. Here's a Micro Machine Porsche 356 Spyder, for scale. This didn't come from this auction but was nestling under a rear seat of my Visa GTi when I bought it. Anyway, here they all are - quite literally, a mixed bag. Most are worthless but enough of them piqued my interest to spend a couple of hours taking photos, internet searching and learning more about obscure, cheaply manufactured and largely forgotten die casts. It seems that the Playart Le Dandy isn't often seen in that colour, so if I were so inclined, I could likely palm it off to someone somewhere and recoup my £4 investment. Can't say fairer than that, eh?
  13. In other 'back in my lockdown days' news, I also nabbed this: Now this is peak collecting for me - 20th century cast 1/43, more toy orientated rather than collector-spec, dreary family car in jazzy, correct colour. It also helps that I like Mk1 Passats, as there was an orange 2 door one of these in lovely condition, parked up nearby for years, as I was growing up. This is a Schuco one and I bloody love it. Cherry on the cake stuff would be a lowlier spec single headlamp grille but you can't have everything. Can't grumble at £4, though! This can join my other family Volkswagens in my collection, from Schuco, Schabak, Gama and Conrad. The red Mk2 Passat came in a Gama box but they're both made by Conrad, so am assuming they were one and the same by the 1980's. I'm not a diehard VW fan or anything, it's just that German manufacturers seemed to take modelling home branded vehicles quite seriously, back in't day. Hence why I also seem to have a few BMWs, too.
  14. Now I KNOW I've got a mint, boxed set of this in my parent's loft in York, sitting in a plastic storage tub for mouse-proofness: Bought again from my favourite model shop with outdated wares, circa 1993/4. From memory, it was £11.50 (don't ask my how/why I retain this stuff...), so a fair few weeks going dry of die casts, to fund it. From memory, it was stored really high up on a shelf, with other things in front of it. A nice classic rendition of 'whacky roadsigns' boxing here, with the addition of colour coding for the subject matter. I really did score some weapons-grade NOS stuff from that shop back in the day - all of it since sold, barring this set.
  15. Yes, I have memories! My brother had a silver one, as seen next to the far, far more impressive red and black ones with red interiors! I think they captured the palate of current Japanese coupes of the time pretty accurately there, unless someone's personalised these; I note no tow bar on any of the rear ends in sight. I remember there being a little nub underneath to flip the lights - don't remember the front suspension press trick! My brother swapped the standard wheel centres like your has for 4 spoke efforts, which looked MUCH better. Rather like the Honda Prelude Corgi, presumably also launched late into the real model's production run, it does seem strange they were such short lived. Shame.
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