|Volume IX, Number 1|
Expanding the Collection
BMW 325i - $.11
Toyota MR2 - $.11
Racing Demons 3-pack - $.33
VW Jetta - $1.00
Austin Metro - $3.00
Pininfarina Modulo concept - trade
Ford Anglia - $5.00
Vauxhall Victor Estate Car- $2.00
Citroen DS - $5.00
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud - gift
Jeep Cherokee (forest ranger) - $.50
VW Bus Ambulance - $1.00
1962 VW Beetle- $.94
Toyota Celica - gift
F1 Racer - $.50
Mercedes-Benz E-Class- $.50
Once again my ability to select a single 'car of the month' was challenged by the variety of excellent models that joined the collection in November. Johnny Lightning's superb Citroen DS casting had been offered until now in a dowdy suit of silver/gray, complete with faux rust. It deserved much better and the new two-tone blue version shown here dose not disappoint. A reader sent me this example, thanks!
I recently bought a collection of Yat Ming models (see below) and the selection included this Ferrari 512BB with racing graphics. The sponsor tampo is not politically correct today but gives this variation a vintage look. The 512BB did race although the body on this car is clearly the street version.
Biante continues to produce wonderful cars from Down Under. The '77 Ford Falcon XC Cobra is an interesting mix of Ford Muscle and 1970's styling. The quality is excellent and I love the color choice. This one came in trade from a fellow collector in Hobart, Tasmania and is much appreciated.
A November toy show brought the usual wide variety of interesting models to my collection. the Renault 5 Turbo by Darda is still in very good condition and I like the racing colors. The price was right too.
A package of Road Champs 'Racing Demons' would have been a great deal at 10 times the price I paid. It was in a box marked 3 for $1! I already had the Mercedes-Benz 500SEC but not the other two. The MR2 is hard to find today and this is my first example. I had the BMW 325i in street colors but this racing version is a prize. The E30 325 has a strong racing history but most of the toy racers are M3 versions. As I own a real '88 325iX, this is a real plum for my collection. The price shows how little Road Champs are valued by some.
Racing Champions did the VW Jetta for their 'Fast and Furious' series. I found this version on sale.
If the Austin Metro was indeed 'The Best of British' as Corgi claimed, little wonder the British auto industry is almost extinct today. Still, as a toy car, this model is very interesting. The box is a nice bonus. The scale is huge for a small-scale model, perhaps in the 1:50 range, but still a 3 inch toy car. The Pininfarina Modulo concept was featured in a story last month. I had long wanted an example of this Ferrari-based dream car.
The 'Matchmates' Citroen set (right) was found at the toy show. As I already have both models loose, I think I'll keep this package as is. My regular wheel Matchbox collection still has many gaps but I filled a few at the toy show. The prices for these models were excellent and thanks to Tom Larson, I added the Ford Anglia and re-painted Citroen DS. I found the Vauxhall Victor Estate Car, a wagon I have long wanted, for an amazing price. The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud has long been on my 'wanted' list and was a gift from a fellow Matchbox Club member. What a lovely surprise! The Jeep Cherokee is interesting for the forest ranger graphics and the VW Ambulance makes a nice addition to my hospital haulers. The new 2006 version of the '62 VW Beetle showed up at my local Wal-Mart. The neo-retro regular wheels are an interesting idea and will look good on many other castings. Wheels are not the high point on this rough but ready Toyota Celica but it is a curiosity (thanks Tom).
Golden Wheel seems to be neglecting their own label toy cars in favor of contract work for Grell and others. A few GW label models still can be found and a twin-pack of Penzoil variations was at a local dollar store. I had not seen the F1 casting before while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has seen better days and wheels. With the right paint and wheels these could look much better. The F1 casting is actually quite accurate.
Seldom do I buy three color variations of a new model but the new 2005 Ford GT by Johnny Lightning proved to be too much eye candy to resist. I'm sure we will see many more colors in coming years. A JL boxed set brought the '71 Buick Riviera, Dodge taxi, '59 Cadillac, ford Country Squire and the model I really wanted, the baby blue '61 Lincoln Continental convertible. I finally found the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. I had missed an earlier release. This is a very nice vintage race car and JL did an excellent job. The '57 Plymouth Belvedere is just the type of casting I would expect from Mac Ragen, pure 1950's Americana.
The Tomica Lancia Stratos rally car looks good in correct competition colors and the price for this loose example was a bargain. I now have both the racing and rally versions of this casting.
The silver Pagani Zonda C12 by Motor Max finally showed up in my neighborhood. Now I have it in silver and blue.
Maisto is the first to produce the new 6 Series BMW. Their 645Ci is quite good although some will lament the urbanized wheels. The '87 Buick Regal and '86 Chevy Monte Carlo SS are interesting for several reasons. These are just 'used' cars today as they approach 20 years of age. As such they are very affordable and have become favored entry-level models for urban low-riders. That is exactly what these cars represent and they are the hot rods of the current 20-something generation. Toy versions are appropriate and welcome. The 2005 Cadillac XLR is another favorite of the bling crowd and Maisto has captured the look of a car that continues a long tradition of pimped-out Cadillacs. Sad but true.
When I first saw the Porsche 917 shown here I debated making the purchase. At $3.99, it is clearly overpriced and has few of the features that were presented in the excellent collector casting offered by Hot Wheels. This is the same casting but in a 'budget' version without the detail, nice wheels and opening features of the original. It is the third time HW has done the 917 over the years and I decided I wanted all three. The '32 Ford hot rod came with the HW Hot Rods book. I found it at Half-Price books for $.99, marked down from $6.95. The book has some interesting hot rod facts and I liked the tampos on this model. The 2005 Ford Shelby Cobra Coupe concept provides an interesting comparison to the JL Daytona Coupe above. it is also a much more handsome design than the Cobra Convertible concept also done by HW and Matchbox. The Maserati MC12 is nice to see and even better without the wheels shown here. I've now found both versions. I hope they offer it with racing graphics as well.
Jada's '70 Ford Mustang in Grabber blue looked too good to pass up. This is clearly the favorite classic Mustang year for toy car makers.
Welly has their own version of the '70 Ford Mustang. Nice paint detail, chrome wheels and rubber tires make it even better. The price is right too and this one showed up at Target stores. I hope Target continues to offer Welly models.
I mentioned the purchase of a Yat Ming collection and here are the new colors or models that came in that transaction. The prices were more than fair and I was very happy to fill in some gaps in my collection.
Several models here came from a new multi-pack of Yat Ming models I found. The silver BMW 320i sports new wheels and a black plastic base but this 30 year-old casting still looks good. The red Porsche 928 is from the same set. The Toyota Celica in white was a new color for me. The Dodge Coronet medical car is a nice variation and joins stock and police versions that I have. Two older BMW 320i variations added new colors. Note the chrome bumpers/grill that the earlier cars featured. The fire chief and police versions of the evergreen Ford Country Squire Wagon were new to me. I have three different stock variations but these models are nice to have. Both have the look of real vehicles as I am sure that police and fire departments used cars like these.
The Lamborghini Miura was the first Yat Ming casting, #1001 and this orange racing version is not one I had. I really like the Nissan 280ZX in rally colors. The early Z-cars had a strong rally history but few toy examples bothered with rally versions. The metal base and opening doors were Yat Ming staples in the mid-1980's. The later 300ZX is interesting for the 'Fairlady' graphics which were removed from later versions. The Fairlady name was not used in the US market.
Two new colors for the Saab Sonnet II were received and I like the flag version best. The two VW Beetles are the rarer metal-based versions. Both have the type of graphics one expects on these cars. The flower-power version could easily represent a car seen on the streets in the 1970's. I also added quite a few color duplicates that will appear for trading soon. I can provide a list to interested persons.
Yat Ming models are still largely under the radar of most collector and prices are low. The metal-based models are the most popular. It is true that Yat Ming did find to much inspiration from Tomica, Matchbox and others but they also produced some unique castings not seen from other toy car makers.
Lancia Stratos rally car - $2.00
Pagani Zonda C12 - $.50
BMW 645Ci - $2.89
'87 Buick Regal T-Type - $2.29
'86 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - $2.29
2005 Cadillac XLR - $2.89
Porsche 917 - $3.99
'32 Ford hot rod - $.99
Shelby Cobra Coupe concept - $.99
Maserati MC12 - $.99
1970 Ford Mustang - $2.99
1970 Ford Mustang - $1.00