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Shite in Miniature II

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I feel like I've been neglecting the other makes with my catalogue scans, so dust off your Acorn Electron, it's 1985

 

49159674897_4b36dba78b_3k.jpgCorgi 1985 01 by RS, on Flickr

49158956758_9350739d6e_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 02 by RS, on Flickr

49159441841_4905f196a8_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 03 by RS, on Flickr

49159671917_bee250a14e_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 04 by RS, on Flickr

49159670857_a6b639301a_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 05 by RS, on Flickr

49158952413_017796d80b_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 06 by RS, on Flickr

49159437241_397cfe4f06_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 07 by RS, on Flickr

49158949508_bb0150197b_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 08 by RS, on Flickr

49159434961_59e4258c3c_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 09 by RS, on Flickr

49158947493_baf13bad05_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 10 by RS, on Flickr

49159432791_8f4f4da9de_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 11 by RS, on Flickr

49159662997_aa77fe7ac8_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 12 by RS, on Flickr

49159430196_655dc2f6d4_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 13 by RS, on Flickr

49159429236_c2833bce11_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 14 by RS, on Flickr

49159659847_fe9c0b9526_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 15 by RS, on Flickr

49159426771_83e4ca04c1_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 16 by RS, on Flickr

49159657397_46d9f7a1e7_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 17 by RS, on Flickr

49159656617_3255a56c8a_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 18 by RS, on Flickr

49159655577_e579a7d066_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 19 by RS, on Flickr

49158936568_f2135625c7_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 20 by RS, on Flickr

49158935343_dae3301932_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 21 by RS, on Flickr

49159420546_428656748b_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 22 by RS, on Flickr

49158933078_e6055efd9d_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 23 by RS, on Flickr

49159417806_f44b233202_5k.jpgCorgi 1985 24 by RS, on Flickr

49158931168_eae3ee5613_3k.jpgCorgi 1985 25 by RS, on Flickr

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Very interesting year for Corgi, that one - first year under new management, with new packaging, new models (some of which never made production, like the flip-roof Merc SEL) and new budget lines like the 1/43 Turbos range... just a pity they never made a full-size BMW 635, Saab 9000 or Opel Manta.

Cheers for all your scannage, most appreciated!

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On 12/1/2019 at 11:31 PM, morrisoxide said:

 

I thought it came in the cardboard box? Anyway for 33 Quid I walked.

IMG_20191201_141929 smoll.jpg

There's some good videos on youtube warning you about this sort of thing. The guys shows what the scammers do, they open a blister pack using solvent and then do something 'unique' to the car, wrong wheels, no paints like above, etc and then reseal it with the hope of charging a big premium for it. 

Here's an example video:

 

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Have to say, I don't quite get the whole 'errors' thing... having worked in retail for many years, it was pretty common to find at least one or two Hot Wheels in a case that were packed upside down, missing an entire axle, or tampo printed completely squint.

I always just thought it was shit quality control, and it annoyed me...

I mean, as a collector of various types of useless tat I can kinda see the appeal of owning something super-rare, but this sorta thing leaves me cold - especially when these can be easily faked, as shown in the video. A rare colour, or unusual wheels, then fair enough I suppose - but no glazing? Missing parts? So what?

But then I know people who will pay insane prices for 'mispress' vinyl records, e.g. LPs that have the labels stuck to the wrong sides, or typos on the sleeve etc.

Nowt as strange as folk.

Maybe I should have squirrelled the missing-axle Hot Wheels away, rather than tossing them in the discount bin...

 

Now I look at that 'paintless' Cortina upthread again, the body does look kinda mottled and matt - the way a shell does once it comes out of caustic solution.

I can well see how a vehicle that hasn't had an axle attached might, for some reason, make it all the way through the manufacturing process and wind up being packed without the defect being noticed, but fully assembled and packed with no paint whatsoever? Ah, c'mon...

 

That said, opening blister packs using solvent is a brilliant idea and I will be stealing that - but only so I can keep the packaging illustrations intact and use the card backings to line one of my display cases.

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I’m a complete nerd for buying every sodding variety of matchbox but I wouldn’t pay a premium for one. Typical was a lot of the early 70’s cars you see with Gulf and Castro’s stickers on, loads of these stickers were either in gift sets or escaped when they folded U.K. operations back in the 80’s. 

That said I spent a whole 50p yesterday on a BMW 323i Cabrio as it was made in Thailand as opposed to the one I already have that’s a macau issue. I know I’m tragic...

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On 11/26/2019 at 9:16 AM, Tenmil Socket said:

Really? Any pics?

Took me a few days to dig it out, but here it is; I thought it was greeny blue but it's not.

Also found variations on my Corgi Novas I hadn't noticed while I was digging through the box... anyway, Escort.

20191203_113728.jpg

20191203_113737.jpg

20191203_113803.jpg

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1 hour ago, Datsuncog said:

Have to say, I don't quite get the whole 'errors' thing... having worked in retail for many years, it was pretty common to find at least one or two Hot Wheels in a case that were packed upside down, missing an entire axle, or tampo printed completely squint.

That said, opening blister packs using solvent is a brilliant idea and I will be stealing that - but only so I can keep the packaging illustrations intact and use the card backings to line one of my display cases.

 

I like errors - just makes it unique. This one clearly fell out of the tampo applying thing as it has damage and no graphics. I've got quite a few error cars

 

34944283414_77b0513b71_b.jpgP3040002_zpse1if4xmv by RS, on Flickr

 

I also use the cards to brighten up my display cases, I've found thinner sold in little bottles at Wilko applied to the back of the card works well, a few applications and 10-15 minutes sees the blister fall off. PVA glue is good for putting them back together

 

48013199807_9abb4238a2_4k.jpg20190606_141702 by RS, on Flickr

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29 minutes ago, cms206 said:

Took me a few days to dig it out, but here it is; I thought it was greeny blue but it's not.

Also found variations on my Corgi Novas I hadn't noticed while I was digging through the box... anyway, Escort.

20191203_113728.jpg

20191203_113737.jpg

20191203_113803.jpg

Thanks for the pics, I appreciate it. The plastic around that front rivet looks like it's perhaps been molten?

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On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:53 AM, Split_Pin said:

@Datsuncog I can't believe how your timeline of your approach to model cars was exactly like mine and during the same period.

I think I've mentioned before but I had a best friend from about 1987 to 92 whom was an only child and went to a private school. He had lovely model cars, new ones almost every week too. That was when I first saw a 1/18 Bburago and 1/43 models by early producers of detailed cars in display cases such as Bang, Brum, Best, Eligor, Box and of course Vitesse. I only had a pile of Corgis and Superkings. However there was mutual respect there because his dad had all but one of his cars 'stolen' as a child (I think 'cruelly given away' is more probable) and I had all my Dads and 2 Uncle's Dinky and Corgi cars, some boxed. 

I recall my first ever proper 'model' car was a 1953 2cv in grey. It even had the little speedometer to the left of the steering wheel! 

Anyway, after we drifted apart, when Vanguards, Minichaps and and Trofeu came along, the cars he once had seemed crude in comparison. I am of course nostalgic about all of these cars now and the models I had too!

Heh, I reckon there was certainly a pathway for us chaps of a certain age... probably a blend of cultural influences, retail availability and natural inclination!

Funnily enough, my dad also lost all but one of his substantial childhood car collection when his older brother took it upon himself to sell them all to a second-hand dealer in Smithfield Market, because he was "too old for that sort of thing now".

Naturally, The Brother trousered all the proceeds, and probably used it to fund one of his Friday night revels which, in those less risk-averse times, generally seemed to involve beer and petrol in roughly equal quantities - as apparently he'd typically charge over the Craigantlet Hills to Bangor in his Jaaaag S-Type, get nicely-oiled up in one of the many seafront bars, and somehow manage to pilot his way home again. Hey, it was a perfectly normal social convention at the time, and it sure kept the undertakers and gravediggers busy...

1397489608_JaguarS-Type-ClandeboyeDrive.thumb.jpg.e87bf31a391c3b3bd6fa8a88157388e3.jpg

So this was the only diecast survivor, found many years later under a sideboard in my grandmother's house when it was moved - a well-used police version of the Corgi Ford Zephyr Farnham estate:

20180624_114423.thumb.jpg.0e8a9d6c8863e6e6e1cf10bc53bfdc17.jpg

Weirdly, I didn't know anyone else who was into diecast cars. No-one at all.

I mean, most of my friends had a few Matchbox cars in their toy basket, or Tonka trucks, or a Scalextric set, or (like James-Up-The-Road) the Playskool Bigfoot 4x4x4, but they pretty much grew out of them by the time they were about six or seven and then it was all He-Man and Thundercats figures, or WWF Wrestlers, or plastic guns, or just interminable football. Things I just wasn't really into.

I think I was considered very strange indeed for continuing to be attracted to miniature vehicles past that age (well, not just for that reason, though it was certainly part of it). It was seen as almost infantile amongst my peer group. Like continuing to play with a Fisher-Price pull-along telephone, or something.

However, it did at least mean that I could sometimes blag unwanted models off the ones from primary school, like Andrew Ruston who sold me a small 1950s Lesney coach and a Superfast Citroen CX for 50p, or Richard Henning who swapped me a Superfast Mercury Cougar Villager with a scratched bonnet and a missing tailgate for some rubbery Monsters In My Pocket figurines that came free in a cereal box.

I became quite obsessed with Spot-On models when I was about twelve, as I found a book in the local library all about them (Graham Thompson's definitive guide from 1983, now worth £££ in itself).

Realising the toy factory had been only up the road from me (Castlereagh Rd in Belfast), and then uncovering about a dozen mint and boxed examples in a physics cupboard in school (bought back when the school had opened in 1963, used in experiments to show how speed = distance/time) meant that I developed a minor mania for them, expounding at great length to anyone who would listen about the company history and model range up to the point that the factory burned down in 1967... well, rather like I do now on here, really.

Still, to this day, "so when did the factory burn down?" remains a phrase among some of my longer-standing friends as code for "you really need to calm your tits on this".

There were maybe one or two people I knew who had an interest in cars and owned a few models, but they tended to be into Ferraris and Lamborghinis and had 1/18 Bburago and Polistil models of the same - and certainly no-one who could share my joy at finding a Corgi Whizzwheels Marina Coupe at a swapmeet.

 

But I guess the acquisition of my first 'proper' model went like this...

I think it must have been just after Christmas 1987. My model shop of choice had a display case outside, and in it was a black 1/24 scale VW Beetle convertible by Polistil, with a removable cream plastic hood:

81117329_PolistilS15VWBeetleCabrio.jpg.59ea43cbef8227cedbdb536262b337eb.jpg

I'd spotted the Beetle slightly too late to add it to my 'letter to Santa'. But I'd fallen for it in a big way, and wouldn't stop going on about it. So my dad took me down to the shop along with some money I'd received for Christmas. I think it was £6.99.

The display Beetle was still in the case outside when we arrived, and so I went to see if I could find a boxed one on the shelf.

But instead, my eye was caught by the 1/18 majesty of a Bburago Mercedes 300 SL, in black.

bburago-1954-mercedes-benz-300sl.jpg.3266e0e171ef8708d83d7eb102a9fc11.jpg

I couldn't take my eyes off it, it was so sleek. The fine wheels. The interior (with dials!). But it was also £11.99.

Basically, I blew all my Christmas money on the Merc (which had been partially earmarked for savings), and when we got home I was lambasted by my mother for spending so much on a toy car and my father, as the responsible adult, also received a tongue-lashing for allowing me to do so.

Oh well. Worth it. I loved the Mercedes, and it was the first of many 1/18 Bburago, Polistil, Solido, Maisto and ERTL models I acquired. And although the box got chucked, I did keep it in pretty good nick, too - I didn't play with it roughly, though annoyingly it did develop minor paint chips where the top of the door touched the 'T' on the roof whenever it was opened.

I never did get the Beetle, which afterwards just looked a bit crude and ham-fisted compared to the Bburago. Meh. I was moving on up in my tastes.

Looking back, I find it hard to believe I was quite so young when I got this - but it definitely sticks in my mind as my first 'proper' model, and so much bigger and more detailed than anything I had before (excepting the plastic models that Uncle Brian gave me, but they were way too fragile to play with properly).

 

I know I acquired a few more Bburago models in subsequent years which are linked to certain points in my life (a 1/18 1956 Chevrolet Corvette I bought with some writing prize money in early 1989; a 1/24 Jaguar XK120 I brought into school in P5 for a Show-and-Tell and which, to my horror and distress, was deliberately smashed up by some bullies who snatched it off me in the cloakrooms afterwards; and a 1/24 Ford Mustang in CHiPs livery bought on holiday in Majorca in 1988)

20180620_183949.thumb.jpg.ba57b59e0c5263e812ffdb6ac3462b52.jpg

...as well as various 1/18 scale 1980s supercars procured for me by well-meaning relatives (Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Countach LP500S, Porsche 959 - all by Tonka Polistil).

So I think I'm correct as positioning the acquisition of the Mercedes Gullwing as very late 1987, as it couldn't feasibly have been any later than that

 

And my first proper 'collector' 1/43 model was a Corgi Classics Ford Zephyr Mk2, in dark blue from a model shop in York in 1989. I was very pleased with this one, and soon started to gravitate towards the smaller scale models made by Corgi and also the first of the Matchbox Dinky range in 1991. Not only were they a bit cheaper, but I preferred the feel of them in my hand, somehow, and my shelves started to be filled with Morris Minors, Mk2 Jaguars and Bedford CA vans...

A few Solido 'Age d'Or' US models were also in the mix - a Fire Department Chevrolet truck bought by my grandparents, and a 1940s Chrysler Windsor taxi I bought myself (though it wasn't the car I'd pointed to in the case, but I was too shy to tell the proprietor he'd retrieved the wrong model):

20180523_122922.jpg.c4728258531d533c43ce5cd72c5b0f59.jpg

And then came the elegant Vitesse models... as well as the aforementioned, there was also a Citroen DS19 in lemon yellow, and a Land Rover SII...

20180529_221948.thumb.jpg.0bf9e7bfcbe6f45fb17b5f0f40348e93.jpg

 

And I was something of a vulture for discounted models: about once a year the model shop would set up a 'sale table' of dead stock or damaged items, and I'd usually be there to pick stuff up for half price - even if, to be honest, the subject matter didn't really grab me that much. But that's how I came to own some Brumm models:

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20180523_115626.thumb.jpg.953213fd6bbfec09f6a239595bfaeb6e.jpg

And broken Solidos (I think this Pug 605 with a broken box, missing tail lights and a splayed shell cost me £3)

20180529_220416.thumb.jpg.4f71eeb3b28de6fdb3000eb9de8a5337.jpg

Then there was the random stuff I scooped up while on holiday...

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^^^ From a newsagent in Mulhouse

20180529_221044.thumb.jpg.588a47c328bcafe8763dbe455013ee7c.jpg

^^^^ I picked up quite a few of these ERTLs over the years, generally from Welcome Break services on the M6.

20180529_221031.thumb.jpg.586e89534c6eb86c20320dc839eea2ae.jpg

^^^ This Pontiac GTO inadvertently travelled about 160 miles on the roof of my dad's Ford Sierra, having been set down briefly while I was trying to sort out a tangle of headphone cables and seatbelt at the services, and then forgotten about. I was most surprised to find it still there, pushed up against the roof bars, when we arrived at the campsite.

 

And then there were the pleasingly affordable Lledo Vanguards 'Fifties and Sixties' collection, which offered pretty good value at a fiver a pop from a local market, even if they weren't the same scale as my Corgi Classics.

20180426_080034.thumb.jpg.de335ee630c96f0478da5e695252714b.jpg

And that's not even mentioning all the hopelessly knackered shit I'd bring back from jumble sales and car boots, and then carefully arrange on my bedroom shelves like I was some sort of demented museum curator crossed with a Womble...

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"Oh, I'll restore them all some day..."

 

And where are they all now?

Well, you lot have got them! 

 

So yeah - I think my general compulsiveness to acquire diecast tat has deep, deep roots...

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I am not, by my nature, a thief, but if I had discovered a cache of mint Spot On models as a kid I would absolutely have made every effort possible to nick them from my school. I was also similarly obsessed by this firm when I was young, but not from the book (which I've never seen) but from a copy of the 1989 Mint & Boxed catalogue (which I probably still have, somewhere). In this are hundreds of amazing Spot On models and I was fascinated because, whilst I made a point of combing every car boot sale and school fete for 1960s and '70s diecast toys, I had never, ever come across a single example of Spot On. I loved the variety of subjects and the fine details, if not the weird paint schemes.

1611967864_2014-10-01-PSCR-MintBoxed004.thumb.jpg.28387df67f0bb6e57741442d241a1cfd.jpg

The Brighton Toy and Model Museum had (and still has) an enviable collection of Spot Ons, which just added to my desire. All this was execerbated by the ridiculous pre-crash 1989 prices for these Mint & Boxed models, and the idea that I'd never be able to afford even a single one. There was also a whiff of intrigue about the whole thing as, by the time this catalogue found its way to me, the company had disappeared in a morass of bad debts and accusations of serious fraud - news story here, in case you weren't aware https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/toy-fanatic-jailed-for-pounds-12m-fraud-businessman-who-won-queens-award-for-industry-created-1512446.html

Anyway, eventually I found a Fiat Multipla for 5p at a school fete - totally devoid of paint, one smashed window and generally down at heel. I was absolutely thrilled with my find, which I lovingly 'restored' as I did most of my car-boot finds with some Humbrol and a manky old brush. In an odd bit of foreshadowing, knowing the toys rarity, I was careful to preserve the tiny fragment of original paint that was left on the front panel of the car in an attempt to preserve a little history and patina. I've still never seen another Spot On for sale outside eBay.

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@DatsuncogMate, I get it. Other than my best and oldest friend, no-one was really into cars, real or miniature. No-one in my family is into cars at all, and I was an only child. So there was just me and the Matchbox I l loved so much, with a few Hot Wheels from the now defunct Arnold's in Brentwood High Street, and a memorable ERTL General Lee that ended up with a broken wheel when I attempted to recreate one of Bo and Luke's jumps off a desk at junior school.

I also bought a few Bburago models as they were so nicely detailed - Mercedes SL gullwing and 80's Ferrari GTO spring to mind. However much as they're nice, there's something about the level of detail vs play value of the 1:64 and 1:32ish stuff that just makes it perfect in my eyes.

Also some little fucker at school binned my Dinky safari Beetle, and although I retrieved it, the decklid was lost forever. I also had my Dinky fire service Transit go walkies, as well as my green Sand Digger. I suspect there may be a few under the floor in my old bedroom as there was a gap where the sloping ceiling above the stairs cut off a corner of my room - when she pops her clogs I'm having the floor up!

Oh and I was also always rummaging at jumble sales for tatty die casts, although I wouldn't have been seen dead in a charity shop as a kid...

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Good news, bad news;

 

Thought you guys might appreciate some pictures from the toy museum at Stansted, so as the GF was up for it we took a drive up there on Thursday

 

49163008833_c7a926a22d_b.jpgScreenshot_20191203-140657_WhatsApp by RS, on Flickr

 

Bollocks. Still, I went a few years ago and the pics are here https://flic.kr/s/aHskYqqrP2

 

In better news, I posted a pic of the fake Sand Digger on a FB group, and someone's only got the one I've been looking for

 

49162930193_5d6bdc8f3f_c.jpgFB_IMG_1575380771290 by RS, on Flickr

49163409526_26b51d1682_c.jpgFB_IMG_1575380778890 by RS, on Flickr

 

Mine was black, but it's 100% the same car, even has a manufacturer's name - Impulse Toys Ltd. I would also say that the one I obtained off here recently was made by the same company going by the way the body is mounted, graphics etc. Now I just have to find one...

 

...eBay may be my friend - close but no cigar

 

 

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Luckily at our infant school we had a (now demolished) car track built from concrete into a banking, it had tunnels, bridges made from wood etc. Distinctly remember bringing into school a Jaguar Sovereign Superkings Police Car, a Corgi Lotus Elite and a BMW M1 to school. Don’t know at the time how it happened but the Jaguar wasn’t accounted for at the end of the day. Wankers. 

Most of my peers were into cars, remember playing with some Skybuster type aircraft in the lower playground and a really thick kid called Craig ended up with an F14 Tomcat or similar landing nose down into his head causing bloodshed. 

I don’t know about a lot of people but didn’t you always get some kids that habitually trashed their toys? There was one on our street, always had really good stuff but wasn’t happy until he’d stamped on it or it resembled a car wreck. You constantly had to watch him as well as he was a tealeaf. 

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2 hours ago, Tenmil Socket said:

Thanks for the pics, I appreciate it. The plastic around that front rivet looks like it's perhaps been molten?

I'll need to compare it to one of the other dozen or so I have kicking about...

20191203_144234.jpg

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I think that’s how the rivet is supposed to be on those, it would have been a peg sticking out then it’s sort of splayed out by a conical shaped press to hold the base on. The fucking monotony of doing that all day doesn’t bear thinking about. 

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26 minutes ago, barrett said:

I am not, by my nature, a thief, but if I had discovered a cache of mint Spot On models as a kid I would absolutely have made every effort possible to nick them from my school.

Heh... funnily enough that was exactly what happened to them in the end, though not by me, sadly.

I did borrow some of them for a weekend - with written permission from the teacher who had guardianship of them - and took them down to the local model shop to see if I could get a valuation on them. The Spot Ons still had all the collector cards and club bumf in the boxes and everything, though some were missing an end flap due to being opened and closed for thirty-odd years.

I can't remember all of them now but there was definitely a Fiat 500, Meadows Frisky, Jaguar Mk10, Austin Cambridge, and an MGA, plus a Dinky Mini Countryman and two identical Dinky Studebaker Golden Hawks in there.

The guys in the model shop were impressed; even back then they were quoting about the £60-£80 mark for some of the Spot Ons.

I brought them back in to Mrs Adgey on Monday with all my neatly tabulated findings, advising that she ought to take better care of them, and perhaps obtain some cheap Matchbox cars for class experiments relating to speed and velocity, as these were very much collector's items.

I was such a little prick. Remember this self-styled ten-year-old antique tycoon?

450915454_JamesHarries.jpg.69172fef95c249768f6bb5543d9767a4.jpg

Yeah, that was basically me, but with worse hair and a more insufferable demeanour. Not by intentional mimicry, I hasten to add - I wasn't aware of James Harries until quite recently, but there were definite parallels.

And this was probably what everyone's faces started doing whenever I got going about Spot Ons…

James_Harries_After_Dark_23_March_1991.thumb.jpg.d4d596f55a54e2d45a916ed97d27e652.jpg

Much of my school career was spent fantasizing about the models in Room 26, and how I might possibly acquire them via fair means or foul...

It was only years later when I was in sixth form that I happened to ask Mrs Adgey whether she still had the cars, only to be told that no, someone had jemmied the cupboard a few years back and stolen them all...

I then spent the next couple of weeks in a state of abject terror that I was the prime suspect in this Grand Theft Autoshite, and was about to be hauled in by the rozzers for some enhanced interrogation.

Sham_69_Tell_Us_The_Truth.jpg.e8f3126cd0ab8bee34899677e5eb9b77.jpg

But no.

Hey ho.

I did once steal a battered Lesney Chevrolet Impala taxi and a paintless Jaguar Mk10 from a box of diecast in Miss Massey's room when I was in P5, though, so it's not like I was whiter than white... though the guilt still gnaws at me today.

Still, I believe @sierraman ultimately benefited from the ill-gotten proceeds of my juvenile crime spree, so. y'know... fair warning.

1783587794_PoliceRaid.jpg.b29ffb0e1c79bb194925810ae2a6bcec.jpg

 

Quote

I was also similarly obsessed by this firm when I was young, but not from the book (which I've never seen) but from a copy of the 1989 Mint & Boxed catalogue (which I probably still have, somewhere). In this are hundreds of amazing Spot On models and I was fascinated because, whilst I made a point of combing every car boot sale and school fete for 1960s and '70s diecast toys, I had never, ever come across a single example of Spot On. I loved the variety of subjects and the fine details, if not the weird paint schemes.

Yeah, I think that's what took me to the fair - the sheer range of unusual models like the Humber Super Snipe estate, VW Type 3 estate and Commer Walk-Through van, and all at a consistent scale.

Sometimes the colours were a bit much, but the sheer heft of the castings and details like tax discs and number plates catapulted these toys into my Number 1 want territory. I must have borrowed that book at least ten times.

And yes, it was the startling knowledge that this amazing toy line existed, and made locally too, but I'd never ever seen any of them which made it my own personal diecast Atlantis.

 

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The Brighton Toy and Model Museum had (and still has) an enviable collection of Spot Ons, which just added to my desire. All this was execerbated by the ridiculous pre-crash 1989 prices for these Mint & Boxed models, and the idea that I'd never be able to afford even a single one. There was also a whiff of intrigue about the whole thing as, by the time this catalogue found its way to me, the company had disappeared in a morass of bad debts and accusations of serious fraud - news story here, in case you weren't aware https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/toy-fanatic-jailed-for-pounds-12m-fraud-businessman-who-won-queens-award-for-industry-created-1512446.html

Indeed they do - and I often found an excuse to mosey down to Old Stein via the Trafalgar St tunnel, just so I could peek in the museum's doors...

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I'd vaguely heard of the Mint & Boxed scandal - thanks for that link!

Yeah, seems to have been part of that daft 80s spiv bubble when everyone was going to make themselves millionaires with 'investments' - oddly enough, my aforementioned uncle managed to get badly burned when he invested in a 'concours' Cortina 1600E, bought sight unseen, in 1988 or so - and also paying a handsome monthly storage fee to the company concerned... when the bubble burst and said company went tits-up with acrimony aplenty, it turned out his 'investment' was a wobbed-up rusting heap that had been sitting outside in a field for several years. Also, about eight different people reckoned they were the owner.

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Anyway, eventually I found a Fiat Multipla for 5p at a school fete - totally devoid of paint, one smashed window and generally down at heel. I was absolutely thrilled with my find, which I lovingly 'restored' as I did most of my car-boot finds with some Humbrol and a manky old brush. In an odd bit of foreshadowing, knowing the toys rarity, I was careful to preserve the tiny fragment of original paint that was left on the front panel of the car in an attempt to preserve a little history and patina. I've still never seen another Spot On for sale outside eBay.

That's fantastic - and the Multipla was another leftfield choice brilliantly modelled by Triang.

The only two Spot On I owned were a beat-up Vauxhall Cresta PA and Morris 1100 found at a school fete for 20p each c.1993 - both reduced to little more than a shell, baseplate, axles and cracked glazing.

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I meant to restore them, but typically never did. The Cresta I sold for £1 in 2010 (that's a shot of my car-boot pruck, sold out the back of my XM estate...)

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While the 1100 went to @Noel Tidybeardof this parish last year, for the princely sum of 50p.

£1.10 profit over 25 years?

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I ARE TYCOON YO

 

The really big news that made me hyperventilate, though, were rumours that when the part-derelict Spot On factory was finally demolished in the late 1980s, large amounts of models were discovered still boxed up and sitting there in the abandoned storerooms. The story was that they'd been sold in bulk for absolute peanuts and had made their way to Dublin, where factory-fresh Spot Ons were being sold at markets for £1 a go...

Every time we were down in Dublin in the early 90s I made strenuous efforts to navigate my way to a market, just in case... but I never saw anything beyond multipacks of white sports socks and off-brand AA batteries.

Although, you'll no doubt be familiar with the 'Tommy Spot' figures which came with the various playsets - at one point I had hundreds of those, bought from Elliotts joke and novelty shop in Ann Street, who were knocking out a bag of 50 assorted figures for £1. I believe these had also been found during the factory demolition. I just happened to be looking in their window one day, and from my endless studying of the Graham Robson book, knew immediately just what they were.

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They included many multiples of the titular 'Tommy Spot', his dad, 'Mr Spot', and various policemen, burglars, firemen, mechanics, deliverymen and even the pilot who came with the BEA-liveried Vauxhall Cresta PB, plus the Coldstream Guards who came with the 'Royal Occasion' gift set.

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I bought a few bags every time we were up in Belfast and I had a sort of microbusiness arrangement with a guy called Roy who did swapmeets, to sell some of these figures though his stall, at a frankly jawdropping 2400% markup (i.e. 50p each).

Invariably, I then converted the profits into buying more diecast off Roy. That was how I was able to blow £17 on a Trofeu Mk1 Escort when I was only 13.

TYCOON YO

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Despite brisk sales at the time, my enthusiasm waned and Elliotts' stock dried up, so I quit with about a hundred or so left, and put them away as a kind of a nest egg - but I then accidentally sold them last year for, um, practically nothing.

 

I ARE NOT TYCOON.

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21 hours ago, Tenmil Socket said:

@DatsuncogGot one of these with an eye missing, a bit dusty, tatty box and in 'rally' livery... free. Just pay postage if you want it?

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Aw cheers for that - I made a decision last year that my heart's just not in the 1/18 scale stuff any more and offloaded the last of it, so probably best that it goes to someone who really wants it.

Someone who may be lurking on these pages...

Still, thanks so much for thinking of me!

 

21 hours ago, sierraman said:

Luckily at our infant school we had a (now demolished) car track built from concrete into a banking, it had tunnels, bridges made from wood etc. Distinctly remember bringing into school a Jaguar Sovereign Superkings Police Car, a Corgi Lotus Elite and a BMW M1 to school. Don’t know at the time how it happened but the Jaguar wasn’t accounted for at the end of the day. Wankers. 

Most of my peers were into cars, remember playing with some Skybuster type aircraft in the lower playground and a really thick kid called Craig ended up with an F14 Tomcat or similar landing nose down into his head causing bloodshed. 

Cor, that track sounds amazing... the best we could manage was whizzing Superfasts off the steps in the infants playground near the boilerhouse.

Though yeah - wankers for nicking your Jag. I had that one too - really nice model, but the paint just fell off mine. I still had the box until a few months ago, mind.

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I don’t know about a lot of people but didn’t you always get some kids that habitually trashed their toys? There was one on our street, always had really good stuff but wasn’t happy until he’d stamped on it or it resembled a car wreck. You constantly had to watch him as well as he was a tealeaf. 

Yeah, I think that cropped up a while back, kids who would bring in brand new stuff like 1/24 Bburagos and just smash them up... I know I went through my own little destructive scrapyard phase, but I confined it to already knackered cars (and continued to play with them, in their wrecked state - toy scrapyards innit?)

Kids who just habitually smashed new stuff up clearly had issues, in retrospect. Not fun.

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Park up your Sinclair C5, it's Matchbox 1985

 

49164357272_dc9b443a2d_3k.jpgMatchbox 1985 01 by RS, on Flickr

49164356947_12477e4456_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 02 by RS, on Flickr

49164356027_7de291f8c2_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 03 by RS, on Flickr

49164355097_69c93157fa_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 04 by RS, on Flickr

49164354252_192e1c97dd_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 05 by RS, on Flickr

49164119391_5bdb3a6ceb_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 06 by RS, on Flickr

49164352257_401613c608_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 07 by RS, on Flickr

49163634448_1647e49e92_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 08 by RS, on Flickr

49163633353_6fdf727bae_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 09 by RS, on Flickr

49164348792_0e826759ee_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 10 by RS, on Flickr

49164347612_b9812842a6_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 11 by RS, on Flickr

49164112741_e7eb0a7ae5_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 12 by RS, on Flickr

49164345672_7fcc1f8682_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 13 by RS, on Flickr

49163628238_d7c58b32c4_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 14 by RS, on Flickr

49163627438_295386bce2_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 15 by RS, on Flickr

49164108501_6576e64c6b_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 16 by RS, on Flickr

49164341487_24ee0ed77d_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 17 by RS, on Flickr

49164106431_3de9249e50_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 18 by RS, on Flickr

49164101911_e67607b2d6_5k.jpgMatchbox 1985 19 by RS, on Flickr

49164100801_43fc3daaed_3k.jpgMatchbox 1985 20 by RS, on Flickr

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