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 e-mail

"Hello, I don't like some of the fancy designs/decoration on some Hot Wheels cars. How can I remove them without spoiling the base-paint.I found out that the 'paint' or? used for the design was sticky and can be removed partially by rubbing with cloth or even finger.I feel the fancy design spoilt the beauty of the car.I admire the quality/accuracy of the models made by Hot Wheels but definitely not the over fancy and can come off fancy decoration. For example, the model car Porsche 911 GT3 I bought recently, the car is accurately made but I don't like the additional removable sticky decoration.please advise. Thank you. Best regards,"


Editor's Response: I feel the same way about the tampos on many toy cars. I have not had good success with removing them but I have not done this too often. My problem is that the tampo comes off but the finish on the paint under it never looks as good as it should. Carburetor cleaner has been recommended and you might use that with Q-tips. The key is to take the tampo off in layers and rub gently so the paint is not damaged.

"Hi Doug, I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for your incredible web site. The amount of information available is simply mind blowing! I am new to the hobby and found your pages while searching for VW/Audi diecast for my small but growing collection. Your article "Audi Finds Respect in Miniature" and Brian Willoughby's July 2001 story on the VW Golf were especially entertaining. I did however find an error in the article about the Golf. It was reported that Majorette "skipped" the Golf II model when in fact they did not.  I have included a couple of photos from my collection that show just two variations of Majorette's Golf II. I bought each of these in twin packs which included a trailer and boat but have seen a yellow version in a single blister. The Golf's have unique metal headlights, a tow hook and an opening rear hatch. I am always looking to add new cars to my collection (mostly water-cooled VW's and Audis). Thanks again for an incredible site, I have already added it to my list of favorites."

Mike McConnell

Editor's Response: Thank you for the encouragement. Many readers have noted the missing Golf II. Here is the image Mike sent,

"Hello Doug, When I get a chance, I will email you some Yatming packaging images as I previously only wrote to you inquiring your interest in them. I imagine you must receive a great amount of email!

The first Yat Ming models I bought, I believe it was '79 or '80, they were distributed as "Road Champs". I purchased models either as singles or in three packs. The three packs were expensive at the time at $3.39 at Toys 'r' Us. Typically I would buy only the models that interested me at the time. At a later date, I found a few Yat Ming packaged and distributed under the "Imperial" name which were available in the mid '70's (the packaging is dated 1976).

In the early '80's, J.J. Newberry stores, which had offices in York, Pennsylvania, switched from the Playart line to Yat Ming. I am pretty sure it was not the other way around. Both were sold under the "Fastwheels" name for 88 cents. At the same time, Yat Mings were sold under the name "Playfun"(the same Oak Brook distributor of Motor Force), "Dustbusters"(Harmony as distributor), Action Force, and some other ones I have listed somewhere. There must be many other names to be discovered. I think the earliest I found them at Woolworths was about 1990, they may have been there for some time. There were periods in the 1990's, the models did not appear to be available in the Los Angeles area, so there are some models I do not have (and probably may not need to have them!).

Thank you for inviting me to contribute to the TofTC. I would be interested in contributing images and writing on the Underwood Funho! line, for instance. There is a website, I think it is that has the history of the company. I can include some interesting images of their Matchbox size line. And of course there is Maxwell! I will take a look and see what your contributors have created.

I connected to the Internet only in the beginning of this year and have found interesting stuff, including TofTC! Best Regards,"


Editor's Response: I have recently met Kimmo via the Matchbox Collector's Community Hall Forum and he is an excellent source for diecast information. i have encouraged him to join our band of contributors.