Found in the Letterbox
The following are e-mail responses to 'Tales
of Toy Cars' and The Breithaupt Miniature Motorcar
Museum. Your letters are welcome and may be submitted via the 'Guest Book'.
"Congratulations to Wood Smythe for the interesting
article on TV and movie tie-ins. Some additional information that Wood
might appreciate: Corgi did manufacture six models in their "Juniors
Rockets" range that were associated with the 1969 James Bond film "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service." As a child, I had a Corgi Mercury Cougar
convertible sheriff's car, and I was puzzled why a British toy manufacture
chose to model and market a relatively obscure American car in such an unlikely
design scheme. This design scheme was Corgi's way of extending the life
of the short-lived film tie-in car. The OHMSS cars manufactured by Corgi
were: the Mercury Cougar convertible with a raised top and four skis on
a trunk-mounted ski rack; two bobsleighs, one used by James Bond, the other
by the film's villain, Blofeld; the enemy's black Mercedes 280 SL with "SPECTRE"
labels; a Ford Capri with rally logos; and, a Ford Escort, also with rally
logos. The models ran for only a short period of time, and are very expensive
when you do come across them these days.
I just read "Off-the-Shelf", and while I agree that it is unfortunate
that Maisto is copying models of manufacturers as apparently is the case
with their new Volkswagen Camper, the company is in the position where it
must produce a full line of 1/64 models at about 50c each. Unfortunately,
the only way it can compete is by shrewd cost-cutting, such as deleting
interiors in models and copying models. Sure its disappointing, but model
cars have been under one dollar for twenty-five years. I wish all the mainstream
models such as Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Maisto, etc. had the novel details
of Lonestar Impy cars, but this is impossible in today's marketplace. Even
Matchbox stopped including moving parts on its cars, though I recently read
that they will reintroduce opening doors and other parts soon. Hopefully
this will be the beginning of a renaissance in detailing on basic miniature
Editor's response: Wood has done a great job on a very extensive
list of cars. Thanks for the additional notes.
I just did a feature article on Fast 111's for TOY CARS & VEHICLES.
I think it'll probably be published in another month or so, although I never
know for sure. Wish I'd seen your website before completing the piece. I
believe I have all of them but would have to do some digging to tell. You
know, most of them (maybe all of them) came in two different colors. Also,
there was a chrome finished Piston PUsher which came with a special set
of "personized" license plates ("Vroom", "Farout",
etc. Some were boy's names, too). And there was a brass "Fast 111's"
belt buckle you could send off for. If you still want input on descriptions
I'll dig them out and look them over. I did my TC&V article a month
or two ago and had most of them out then so I can probably find them. Got
to get organized."
Don Elliott (aka The Junk Man, aka Bargain Hunter)
Editor's response: Thanks, Don.
"I was fascinated to see your webpage rating the best
model by different toy manufacturers. However, I was curious to see how
you differentiated between large and small toy companies - many of the "large"
companies were ones that I was unfamiliar with (Schuco, Polistil, Norev
and Guisval). I recently saw "Hongwell" cars advertised on EBay
and wondered if you can provide me with any information on the brand, including
what you think of their workmanship. Also, I own 2 cars (including the
Porsche featured on your web page) from the Speedy line, but don't know
anything about the Speedy brand. Do you know roughly how many distinct
1/64th scale models that Speedy made? "
John Carroll, Lake Zurich, IL
Editor's response: Check out the Hongwell/Simba cars in 'Additions
to the Collection' and watch for more on Speedy by Mercury in future issues.
"Wow -- what a fabulous collection, and you are very generous to share
it on line in such detail. It's exciting to see so many rare 1/64 sports
cars. Many thanks."
Andy Mather, Plymouth, MI
Editor's Note: My pleasure.
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