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 cars."

James Fisher

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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