O F F - T H E - S H E L F

The following editorial reflects the personal thoughts of Doug Breithaupt relating to our common hobby of miniature cars. It is intended to generate discussion
relating to 'Tales of Toy Cars'. Your letters are welcome and may be submitted via e-mail.

Can you help me find a model of my car?

Johnny Lightning M.G.B.
Almost daily, I receive e-mails from owners of real cars seeking diecast examples of their 'pride and joy'. Often, I have to inform them that their '61 Dodge Dart or 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse is not available in 1:64 scale. Sometimes, I can provide good news that a model not only exists in small-scale but is still in production. If they are real lucky, it might even be available in the same color as their real car.

Wives and girlfriends are often trying to find a model of their guy's favorite car. Long before Jaguar captured this idea in their 'S' type commercial, the concept of the toy car as a substitute for the real thing has been popular. One of my favorite requests came from a nun who bought a toy Porsche Boxter for a priest's 60th birthday party.

A variation on this theme is mothers who contact me looking for a specific model that their child desires. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang seems to top the list here. I'm glad Corgi finally put their 1:36 scale model back into production. Now we need a new 1:64 scale model of this much-loved car. The original Batmobile is the other favorite, especially with all the old shows being re-broadcast.

After four years of publishing TofTC and receiving these requests, I have found that certain cars seem to generate more inquiries than others. Here is my list of the most common requests, in no particular order.

Toyota Landcruiser
(original version is desired and Tomica and Majorette produced the only models, both hard to find)
AMC/Nash/Hudson Metropolitan
(has slowed since Hot Wheels offered a hot rod version but a stock model would be popular)
Toyota MR2
(original version was done by Tomica, Maisto, Welly, Matchbox and Zylmex but most are hard to find)
(Zylmex did a stock version that is hard to find and Johnny Lightning did the 'Back to the Future' version)
Saab and Volvo models
(Few have been done so they are generally hard to find, new Hongwells are popular)
Honda/Acura NSX
(Majorette and Tomica still produce this model but both are hard to find in the U.S.)
Toyota Celica and Supra models
(many have been done but certain body styles are hard to find)
Mitsubishi Eclipse
(Only Hot Wheels has done the new Eclipse although I have heard of an Ertl version of the original - anyone have an image?)
Honda models
(like the Saabs and Volvos, these can be hard to find, the Accord and Civic by Maisto are often sought)
Nissan 240Z
(Hot Wheels, Tomica and Playart did this one but these are hard to find)
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
(People love their Jeeps and there are good examples from Matchbox and Majorette)
(The Johnny Lightning version made many people happy)
Jaguar XJ6 - 1968-87
(Corgi did the Series I and Ertl did the Series II but both are difficult to find now and a series III is needed)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
(Corgi's 1:64 version is very hard to find and expensive, it's time for a new version)
original Batmobile
(Corgi and Playart did 1:64 scale versions but cost is high, if you can find one)

Majorette Landcruiser

Hot Wheels Metrorail

Zeetoys DeLorean

Majorette NSX

Tomica MR2
Your comments are always welcome. doug@breithaupts.com.