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Shite in Miniature II

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:50 AM, Datsuncog said:

Oh, and unfortunately I won't be in Belfast tomorrow, so I'll have to forgo my usual Friday Minishite Market Tat expedition - apologies!

(Knowing my luck, this is what Market Blokey's stall will look like tomorrow, in my absence...)


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...

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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.

1 hour ago, flat4alfa said:

I spot a Batmobile with the red wheel bats centres

How much is he wanting 

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.

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Enjoying your ponderings about 1970s Matchbox/Corgi/Hot Wheels etc Datsuncog. As a child of the '70s these very much define my younger days.

I don't recall having strong feelings either way about the OTT custom/prototype models, but if I think back to those I remember playing with most they were the more standard type of vehicles - the everyday cars and lorries. Easier to recreate what I was seeing around me? Dominos made useful loads for the HGVs.

Matchbox Superfast were my main playthings, followed by Corgi and a handful of Majorettes (and very few, if any, HW). Although they'd been replaced by Superfast by the time I was born, I did have a few regular wheels as hand-me-downs and jumble sale finds. The latter were pretty poor on my double-loop race track, and Corgis with plastic bases weren't that great either.

Fastest one I had on that track and the various extensions it ended up with over the years was a pink Lotus Europa with no doors. Rola-matics weren't much good, so would end up with the little plastic nibs on the wheels snipped-off. Had a Growler E-Type that of course was useless.

My loop set had Streakers versions of the Countach (as just purchased by DC) and a Hairy Hustler. Both survive, as does most of the track, but the Lamborghini has ended up with a rather clumsy white Humbrol repaint. Some years later I got the Stunt Jump set and that had the unlikely combination of BMW CSL and Citroen CX.


What I liked most as an accessory to my Superfast etc was a card roadway set I had, like the above that I bought a few years ago as a replacement . The scale suited the cars nicely. I also had one of thicker card but narrower lanes and tighter bends which wasn't as satisfying. Edit: Just remembered the good one was called Roadmaker - I've picked up a couple of versions of it off eBay.

Searching fruitlessly for photos I stumbled across one for Matchbox Playtrack. That seemed a bit too toy-like with chunky single-lane plastic tracks in bright colours.

Tomica Hypercity was a good modern version which my son had. Shame they don't appear to sell it here any more. I still regret that a local shop wouldn't/couldn't sell me their Hypercity display when it was clear they didn't have any stock to sell.

Picked up some HWs at the local supermarket tonight - VW SP2 and '69 Squareback Custom plus an Escort Mk1. There were versions of the Skyline R32 and Mazda REPU that differ to what I already have, but that way madness lies. I just pick up whatever random oldies that I find appealing.

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On 5/25/2019 at 7:28 AM, Spottedlaurel said:


Maybe I'm imagining it, but did old Highway Codes use real toy vehicles on Roadmaker track?

I seem to remember that,black & white pictures with the flashing indicators added in colour?

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