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 the 'Guest Book'.

Happy Anniversary TofTC

With the last issue, July 1999, 'Tales of Toy Cars' (TofTC) completed our first full year of publication. It is appropriate to pause for a moment to say thank you to you, the readers. Over 4,000 readers are visiting the site each month, resulting in monthly hits or page impressions of 150,000. It's great that you have found this effort interesting and of value. Your e-mail letters confirm that our common interest are being served by this publication.

The contributors writers for TofTC are all volunteers. Their efforts have been critical to our success. Brian Willoughby from Kentucky has prepared many great stories on some of the more interesting toy cars. In some cases, his stories have been the first ever published on obscure diecast manufacturers. He and I both enjoy doing reviews of how certain automotive makes and models have been represented in 1:64 scale. David Cook of California is an expert in racing miniatures and will be back with more stories. Dot Lang's (Texas) stories on small-scale Ford Thunderbirds share insights on her favorite car. New contributors will be joining TofTC in the next several issues. Remco Natrop of Holland will share his expertise regarding Siku miniatures. In this issue, Deanesh David Nair of Malaysia offers a look at his small-scale cities, designed for 1:64 scale cars.

Where is TofTC going. We are simply going to do more of what readers like. In the September 1999 issue look for an exclusive online interview with Tom Lowe, President of Playing Mantis and the person responsible for the Johnny Lightning revival. Johnny Lightning diecast are the leading a revolution in how manufacturers serve the collector market and Tom will be providing his thoughts on the present and future of our hobby. Also in the September 1999 issue, watch for stories on small-scale ambulances and hot rod station wagons. TofTC will also be looking for more experts on specific diecast manufacturers for regular contributions. If you are interested, click on 'Guest Book' and let me know. Experts on specific makes and models are also being sought. If you collect Vipers or Nissan 'Z' cars or any interesting car represented in 1:64 scale, your contribution is welcome.

TofTC has focused primarily on 1:64 scale toy cars. This will not change. We will also feature stories on other scales, 1:18 in particular, but 1:64 scale will remain the favorite subject matter. These small-scale cars are the most common 'toy cars' and carry with them the charms of playtime that keep us all young at heart. This is also the scale with which children still begin their collections. My four year old son and I can enjoy this hobby together and that makes it all the more fun. Toys are designed to be played with we should never loose sight of this fundamental reason for their existence.