Monday, December 26, 2011

AMERICAN GRRAFITTI THE MYSTERIOUS BLONDE'S '56 FORD THUNDERBIRD


The Revell American Grafitti white 1956 Ford T-bird offered in 1:25 scale diecast with car hop figure is a pretty nice depiction of the '56 T-bird used in the 1973 movie American Grafitti and driven by the "mysterious blonde" Susan Sommers. The car hop figure on roller skates is the real value in this set, as she is what every guy would like to have delivering his Mel's drive-in burger and shake to his open window. She is more accurately detailed in 1:24 scale than the 1:25 scale model T-bird because the car's grille is not blacked out and the wide whitwall tires are too wide compared to actual car used in the movie. American Grafitti is a cult classic and the Revell '56 T-bird has a special reminiscent quality and place for every diecast car collector and their diorama display.-- Craige P. Keen Shop here

Thursday, December 15, 2011

CORGI 1/43 ONLY FOOLS & HORSES SET



Del Trotter has become a national institution along with his famous vehicles from the seven series award winning British TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses. This two piece set comprises of Del Boy and Rodney’s ‘Trotters Independent Traders’ Reliant-Regal Supervan III and Del’s green Ford Capri.  These 1:36 scale die cast vehicles boast full body decoration, the ‘2 wheeled van’ features; Del’s Suitcase, opening side and rear door, furry dice, ‘tax in post’ sticker, and the ‘Cap-ri Ghia’ includes; an opening boot and orange wing mirrors and aerials. Shop here

HOT WHEELS 1/64 FLINTSTONES FLINTMOBILE


Hot Wheels back in 1994 released this 1:64 sized (standard mass produced Matchbox, Hot Wheels size) version of the Flintmobile. It does somewhat resemble the one from the cartoon series in design but not in colour. The one in the cartoon was made out of red logs and had a white (with the same red coloured logs supporting it) canopy and wheels. It also didn't have a middle support log on the canopy but this is obviously present in the Hot Wheels version to give support to the canopy otherwise touching it, it would break pretty easily. In the cartoon the white canopy also hung down a bit at the driver end of the roof, this is not present in the Hot Wheels car. See the vehicle out of its blister pack in the customer images part of this page.

One of the reasons Hot Wheels may have gone with the wrong colour is that the canopy on this Hot Wheels vehicle actually changes colour if you dunk it in a sink full of hot water. 90's neons is the colour it changes to, I haven't personally done this with my vehicle as I'm not sure it changes back after you've washed away the brown and I'd prefer mine to be brown to whatever neon is. If you get one and do dunk it, I'd love to hear what it changes to and if it goes back in the comment section of this review.

The other thing that lets this Hot Wheels car down a bit is that it doesn't roll very smoothly (fast) and squeaks a lot when doing so. If you're planning on leaving it in the packaging the blister card it comes does nothing to enhance the display either. It's pretty much your standard blue Hot Wheels card of the 90s with the red Hot Wheels ribbon logo at the top. See my customer images for the back of the card but there's nothing special on there either other than telling you this came from some breakfast cereals that I've never heard of but seem to be rip offs of Kellogg's Coco Pops and Fruitloops. Cereal box coupon mail ins might have been how you got these in 94 but now they are quite commonly found on E-bay and elsewhere. However most sellers who sell this can't spell, so try variations of the correct spelling by leaving out the first t or other letters in Flintstones or Flintmobile when searching. As far as I know Hot Wheels are the only manufacturer who has released this vehicle in 1:64 size.-- James N Sympson Shop here

JOHNNY LIGHTNING - THE FLINSTONES 'BARNEY RUBBLE'S SPORTS CAR'


 Don't get me wrong this is a pretty cool car, that's why I bought it but that doesn't mean I'll just it rate it five stars when there are obvious flaws. Firstly and most obviously the wheels on this thing are rubber tyres with shinny hubcaps. Neither of these things had been invented back in the stone age. The TV show had circular rocks, I'm not saying they should have used rocks, plastic would have done the job as long as it somehow resembled rocks appearance wise. Plus the car in the cartoon was red, this one is brown and light brown (granted the colour of many trees and logs). So maybe you would let that slide except for the fact that for display purposes the card behind the blister bubble uses the image from the cartoon of Barney driving Fred in this very car so you can immediately see they are not the same. The blister pack in its entirety displays very well so it is a shame that the die cast car looks so different for those who wish to keep it in the unopened packet. You also get a nice little original filmstrip animation art cel. There are about 20 different ones of these so if ordering online who knows which one you'll get. The one I've got has Fred and Barney queing in a line behind three other guys. If you are going to take the car out and throw away the packaging you can actually get the cel with the exact same image as is on the card which would probably be the best one to display with the car out of the packet. 

The car itself also has a little hole in the floor for feet powering action. So it is a nice little die cast and to my knowledge no one else has done a 1/64 Barney Rubble's Sports Car so you can't really complain. What else is out there though that would go very nicely with this one is Hot Wheels Fred Flintstones Flintmobile
. So you could park these side by side on display.--James N Sympson  Shop here

THE FLINTSTONES



The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that screened from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Flintstones was about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend. It has since been re-released on both DVD and VHS. The show celebrated its 50th anniversary on September 30, 2010.
The show's popularity rested heavily on its juxtaposition of modern everyday concerns in the Stone Age setting. It has been announced that Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show) will produce a revival of The Flintstones for the Fox network. Development is set to begin in fall 2011 and the first episode is scheduled to air in 2013.

MINICHAMPS 1/43 BMW Z3 - JAMES BOND 007 'GOLDENEYE'

BMW Z3 Blue E36/7 James Bond Car From Movie "Goldeneye" 1/43 Diecast Model Car by Minichamps

BMW Z3 Blue E36/7 James Bond Car From Movie "Goldeneye" 1/43 Diecast Model Car by Minichamps



The beautiful model in the specially-packaged series of cars from the James Bond films is the BMW driven by 007 in 'Goldeneye'.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

JOHNNY LIGHTNING LOST IN SPACE THE CLASSIC SERIES


         

    Robot B-9                            The Chariot



Jupiter 2                       Space Pod  


From the creative mind of producer Irwin Allen came one of America’s most famous and most popular TV series LOST IN SPACE. The show’s debut was on September 15, 1965 and ran for 3 seasons on CBS. The first year was filmed in black and white with the second two in color. 83 episodes in all were produced 4 more than the original Star Trek’s 79! The first 2 seasons employed cliff-hanger ending the show closing on a freeze frame with the words “To Be Continued Next Week, Same Time, Same Channel.” Fan might also be interested to know that the storyline had the Jupiter 2 launching its voyage from Earth on October 16, 1997 way off into the “future!”

Playing Mantis delivers yet another innovative blockbuster to the die-cast world 4 famous models from LOST IN SPACE each packaged on its own beautiful blister card! Collect all four. The Robinson family’s home and spaceship, the Jupiter 2 was the cornerstone of their daily existence. The highly mobile Space Pod could land an exploration team into the most treasonous of terrains and back out again! The Chariot a state of the art land and sea rover, was an integral part of the Robinson’s space exploration arsenal from Day one. And who could ever target the Robinson family’s true voice of reason their Environmental Control Robot B-9 “Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!”

The fun doesn’t end yet. As an extra collectables bonus, collect all 50 LOST IN SPACE film clips. There’s one inside anywhere else! Exciting action scenes and stills filmed right on the studio sets!

Johnny Lightning Blues Brothers Mobile



This is a must for any movie die-cast vehicle collector. The ex police car which starred in so many scenes including two great police car chases is well made by Johnny Lightning. Besides the car you also get a bonus show card, in this case of the orphanage the brothers were on a mission from God to raise the money to save. The car is actually also in that picture in front of the building. This all means it displays nicely still in the blister pack if you're a collector who isn't into opening the packets. The vehicle has rubber tyres, the P1 and the police star logos looking like they've been peeled off like in the movie. 

Johnny Lightning also released the vehicle from the sequel Blues Brothers 2000. --James N Sympson  Shop here

Sunday, October 16, 2011

CORGI THE BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE


This is a completely casting of the Yellow Submarine. The new sub measures 67mm high and 114mm long. This compares to the original model's 69mm and 132mm respectively. The dimensions aren't that different and and yet the model seems much smaller and more squat. Gone are the opening haches, revolving periscope feature and white upper deck. Although a much simplified model, at least the painted figures are included and seem not to have been reduced in size. The box is most nostalgic with its lovely artwork from the film. See more

CORGI THE BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE SPECIAL EDITION






In 1999 Corgi revamped The Beatles Collection. Off went the AEC billboard truck, and the Dormobile; in came new packaging and figures for the Yellow Submarine.

The new window box with header card was a rather austere black and the pictures of The Beatles (more Hard Day's Night than Yellow Submarine) were given greater emphasis. But the new, separate figurines were excellent. The 54mm metal figures were very accurate renditions of the cartoon characters and dressed correctly for their journey as The Beatles and not Sergeant Pepper's band.

This was a limited edition and according to the certificate in my example, only 5,250 were made. This version appears in the 2000 fold out leaflet for Corgi's TV themed models, but it was replaced by brand new model. See more

Monday, October 10, 2011

THUNDERBIRDS 40th ANNIVERSARY 2 AND 4 DIECAST


Two of the price of one model with this release. They come in specially designed 40th Anniversary packaging. Thunderbird 4 fits neatly into the belly of 2. A lever releases this portion, a ramp lowers and 4 is away. The legs of 2 are retractable. Good fun. Shop here

Sunday, August 28, 2011

007 on the Case

Packaging design for Corgi's new Definitive Bond Collection was recently commissioned from the leading design consultancy Stocks Taylor Benson.

The series features eleven models and each will be encased in its own individually created pack featuring images from the relevant blockbuster Bond film. To capture the real essence of 007, stills and artwork from the original promotional posters held by the EON Films archive were made available to the Stocks Taylor Benson Design team.

Glenn Taylor, Managing Director at STB Design, enthused 'This was a great commission for us, with no shortage of requests from our designers to be on Corgi's Bond team. With so many dramatic scenes and top stars to choose from, there was also a wealth of images available to create a memorable series of pack designs'--Model Collector


James Bond - Citroen 2CV 'For Your Eyes Only'

James Bond - Double Decker Bus 'Live and Let Die'




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Looney Tunes Vintage Bugs Bunny Die Cast Car


I really don't know why Matchbox didn't go with a sixth Looney tune character instead of two Bugs Bunnies. Sylvester would have been perfect, he could have been holding Tweetie in his outstretched hand while coming through the windshield of either vehicle Bugs uses. Plenty of other characters they could have gone with too if they didn't want to use him. Without the flag, this just looks like there was supposed to be another character but the deadline for design was coming up so they just used the same rabbit but without the flag. James N Sympson  Shop here

Looney Tunes Pro Racers Taz With Sprint Car



This car, Taz, is a nice yellow with blue stripe sprint car. It has TAZ OIL in big red black bordered letters on the side of the vehicles silver roof wings. Also written in black on there is Pure Tasmanian Oil. These words also appear on the front wing. The wings are very shiny and reflective so if using a camera to photograph and brag to your friends on Facebook or something you'll need to turn the flash off. There is a small Acme Safe and Co logo inside a red circle on the side, as well as the words TAZ TRANS, and Merry Melodies inside a red rectangle. On the rear sides of the vehicle is the red number 99. The prototype shown on the back of the blister card (see my images for this product) shows Taz wearing a yellow with red stripe swimming cap. He is not wearing that in the real versions. You'd think Matchbox would have at least retaken the photo with the produced cars but I guess someone got lazy in production. James N Sympson  Shop here

Looney Tunes - Pro Racers - Wile E. Coyote #99 Miniature Car




This car Wile - E Coyote is a nice car but I would have much preferred the black Nascar shown on the back where it shows all six to collect (see my images for this product). Obviously the prototype was a black car, who knows why they didn't run with that but it would have been nice when you consider how similar this looks to the white Bugs Bunny Nascar. I also like how on the prototype car Wile-E is wearing goggles, as are the other characters which don't in the real versions. You'd think Matchbox would have at least retaken the photo with the produced cars but I guess someone got lazy in production. Speaking of the card, you can also get all six vehicles on a black rather than blue blister card, the blue is a lot cheaper though. You can get the blue carded ones for well under $10 each if your patient enough on E-bay and elsewhere. This and the other Nascar one tend to go for the cheapest auction price, Road Runner and Daffy seem to be the most sought after and highest priced.--James N Sympson   Shop here

Looney Tunes - Pro Racers - Bugs Bunny - Looney Tunes Racing #1 Miniature Race Car



You can choose from two Bugs Bunny themed vehicles in the series of six Looney Tune Pro Racer vehicles. This is by far the better of the two both as a stand alone vehicle as well as in how it displays with the other five characters. Because Wile E. Coyote also comes on a white Nascar and is also coming through the windshield after failing to wear a seatbelt, the Bugs Bunny Nascar one looks very similar. Whereas this old 70s/80s Group C Racing Car looks very different to Wile E.'s one plus the figure also is holding a flag. It also looks way better with it's carrot themed paint (the white car's bonnet, roof and engine compartment are painted orange with the rear wing on the back painted green roughly resembling a carrot when viewed from above. Reinforcing this subliminal image are two actual images of carrots, one on each side with the words Bugs Bunny on them. Just in case somehow the figure was broken out of the car you've also got an image of Bugs Bunny on the bonnet (hood) with his catchphrase What's Up Doc? beside it. On the side panels are the words Looney Tunes Racing in a font you'd be familiar with if you ever watched the cartoons back in the 80s. I have uploaded some images for you but the car itself if you were a child back then is very similar to many that were around then so if you're an adult collector it will bring back some memories of your childhood. Not that kids today won't like the car either. The car's design on the base says 1984, with the new carrot paint job the Looney Tune Pro Racers came out in 1991. The figure is made of plastic and rotate slightly in the windshield. The flag and figure are obviously the most fragile, and this is the one of the six vehicles most likely to move and roll onto the floor if where they are being displayed is bumped. It is the lightest of all six pro racers by a long way.

The other three characters in the series are Daffy Duck on the roof of a green ute), Taz on a sprint car and Road Runner on another racing car. It is a shame they didn't include a different character instead of having two Bugs Bunny ones. Sylvester holding Tweetie would have been nice or any of the huge range of other characters. The Matchbox Pro Racers are a nice little set to collect, you should be able to find them for under $10 each on blue blister cards in online auctions if you're patient enough or even cheaper if you can somehow get a set. They also come on black blister cards which are rarer and more expensive. --James N Sympson  Shop here

Saturday, June 18, 2011

LOONEY TUNES - PRO RACERS - DAFFY DINNER #13 MINIATURE RACE TRUCK



 This is easily the best of the six Looney Tune pro racers. Daffy comes on top of a green and purple off road racing ute. He spins 360 degree around so you can pose him however you like including looking like he is holding onto the roof and top of the windshield. He is sort of in a high diver's stance so you can use him in other displays as well as with the vehicle. Shop here

LOONEY TUNES - PRO RACERS - ROAD RUNNER #2 MINIATURE CAR


 The Looney Tune Pro Racer series is a pretty nice and still reasonably priced series of TV related Matchbox vehicles to collect. You can get five characters in six different vehicles. As well as this dragster Road Runner car you get Daffy Duck clinging onto a ute, Bugs Bunny comes in two cars, a carrot themed older style racing car, as well as a Nascar one which is very similar to the Wile E. Coyote flying through the front window after not wearing a seatbelt Nascar one. The carrot themed one is much better where he is holding a flag. You've also got Taz on a sprint car. All characters are plastic and do rotate slightly. The cars are of course like all Matchbox vehicles, die-cast metal. 

Roadrunner is sponsored by Bird Seed Company, written on the right side of the car before the number 2. From the left side the sponsor is also there but it's hard to read on the rear boot side. This sponsor means coyotes will have to come up with something else to use as bait to get roadrunner to stop in the middle of the road for him to pull a rope and make an anvil fall on him. Also sponsoring the boot (trunk) with their name in capital letters is ACME TAR & FEATHER CO. Sagebrush Headers is also a word sponsor on each side of the car, don't really get the joke of that one. 

The car has a massive silver oversized motor, it is impossible for a driver to see out the windshield with this motor so luckily this team found roadrunner with his long neck who can poke his neck through a hole in the windshield and still see. There is also a hole in the rear window for his tail. The head and tail are made of rubber and are pretty flexible, however they would easily be pulled out if a child or someone decided to carry the car around by either instead of picking up the whole car. 

This isn't the best car of the series but it is the hardest to track down.--James N Simpson Shop here

DUKES OF HAZZARD #12 MOLLY HARGROVE'S PLYMOUTH ROAD RUNNER


 The third Dukes of Hazzard release series brings die-cast collectors and fans of the TV show Molly Hargrove's Plymouth Runner. Now I've got to be honest it's been a while since I've seen this show and I don't remember much about this vehicle other than Daisy drove it when she got a job at a racetrack and I'm pretty sure Molly Hargrove was an ex professional race car driver when she was younger or something so Daisy is going to be her protégé or something. I don't remember and that's the thing, Johnny Lightning really should have provided a brief synopsis somewhere on the packaging, explaining about this car and what episode/s it appeared in. Also maybe the bonus sticker could have been a bit more relevant in telling the story. I mean obviously Daisy is in a racing suit and it's likely the same one she wore when driving this car but why not have a picture of her getting into this car or sitting on it rather than the General Lee? This is by no means a unique problem with just this vehicle, there are many spread over the six (at time of this review) Dukes of Hazzard releases where a similar reliance on memory is needed. 

Oh and what's with the orange engine? Granted I admit I don't recall the episode in detail but I'm pretty sure it had a normal coloured engine if we got to see it at all. 

Release 3 also brought some of the other most popular (thereby hard to find now) vehicles of the six releases (so far at time of this review). They were the most similar to actual used in TV show General Lee, Double Zero Mustang (popular by collectors who don't even like Dukes of Hazzard), Uncle Jesse's Chevy Ute and Eno's Racing Car (popular in no small part to the sticker of the Enos in uniform and hound). Six vehicles made up release 3 and the other one was the Finchburg County Sherriff (red and white) police car. 

Release 3 kept the brilliant innovation of the packaging from release 2 where you can view the vehicle in the packet from all six sides including through the back of the blister pack. Unfortunately though Johnny Lightning did away with the bonus magnet and replaced it with a sticker instead. However they kept the same rectangle format that was much more popular than the cut around the characters way they did with series 1. So there's no difference in viewing the sticker to the magnet if kept in the packaging but obviously a magnet does not bend and droop over time like a sticker does standing behind the car on display. The sticker with this one is as mentioned Beau, Daisy and Luke sitting on the bonnet (hood) of the General Lee. 

Like all Dukes of Hazzard Johnny Lightning vehicles, the normal cardboard backing with a small plastic blister has been replaced by the whole thing being entombed in plastic. I like this as it certainly ensures if you are a keeper in packaging type person that it stays in great condition, even if you buy it online and it comes through the post. My only criticism is they could reduce the top part in size (above sticker) as it would then fit on more smaller shelves in people's houses to display it.--James N Simpson Shop here

Monday, June 13, 2011

CORGI CLASSIC - ELVIS THUNDERBIRD WITH FIGURE IN 1998

In 1998 Corgi Classics introduced the "Elvis" model which contained a diecast figure of Elvis in his white suit, sitting & strumming a guitar. Shop here

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CORGI 1/36 ONLY FOOLS & HORSES RELIANT REGAL VAN


In incredible 25 million viewers watched the swansong of "Only Fools and Horses" on the BBC at Christmas 1996, breaking the BBC's previous audience records. First screened in 1981, John Sullivan's saga of the Trotter family began with their life with granddad in Nelson Mandela House and developed the story of Del, Rodney and their family's rocky path to a business empire, marriage and children and in the process becoming one of the BBC's most successful comedy series ever. 


This 1:36 scale die cast model of Del Boys battered Reliant Van features full body decoration including; furry dice, "tax in post" sticker, suitcase and opening side and rear doors. Shop here