Monday, May 23, 2011


The Merryweather name is one of the most venerable in fire fighting history. With roots that trace to Adam Nuttall’s fire-engine works around 1750, the firm was taken over in 1836 by Moses Merryweather who had worked as a mechanic for the company. In the second half of the nineteenth century, along with companies such as Shad Mason and Baddley and Roberts of London, Merryweather still sold many manual pumps to hospitals, factories and country estates. However, the company began achieving important breakthroughs in the realm of steam. In 1900, Merryweather introduced “Fire King,” its first self-propelled steamer and, within another three years, the company would introduced a vehicle that would change fire fighting forever. It was the first gasoline-powered motor driven appliance ever to be used by a public fire brigade. The following year, in 1904, the Fitchley Fire Brigade received from Merryweather the first gasoline-powered engine with a Hatfield 500 gpm pump driven directly by a shaft from a road engine, an innovation that had enormous impact on fire engine manufacturing. (This chassis, engine and pump are housed in the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.) Soon, many fire brigades wanted gas-powered engines for their companies and, for many years, Merryweather was a leader in providing and developing such vehicles. Now, the 1904 Merryweather Fire Engine has been re-created in precise and authentic detail for The International Fire Engine Collection: The Turn-of-the-Century Edition.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DINKY 1/43 DY-9 - 1949 LAND ROVER

The Dinky Collection is a 1949 Land Rover. At first glance this is a nice model, but closer inspection reveals two main criticism: the real vehicle would never have had a chromed front bumper, as the model does, and the chassis is far too low-giving it almost no ground clearance at all. Viewed from the side, this ruins the appearance of the model. Shop here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Produced from 1962-74, it was available in 2 and 4 door saloon's or a 3 door estate version. Front wheel drive was via a four speed gearbox which was powered by either the 1098cc or 1275 A Series engine. Shop here


This is the Royal Mail series include the Scammell Scrab. In the distinctive red, the model includes side advertisement boards for that added touch of authenticity. Shop here

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Lotus launched a legend in 1962, the Lotus Elan. Following on from the previous Elite model the new Elan offered improved handling, performance and had a less fragile feel to its overall design. Below the Elan bonnet sat a twin-cam four cylinder engine which would become a legend in its own right, powering other classic Lotus models including the Cortina sports-saloons.Initially the Elan came as an open two seater, from 1964 a fixed head coupe was also available, both bodies being constructed from GRP and mounted on a separate chassismore. The model has finished in yellow with black interior and hood, very nice detailed dash board, doors and boot open the bonnet also opens to reveal the engine.Moveable wheels with knock ons.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


In the America heartland, the temperature frequently dips below zero on cold winter mornings, draining power from many cars’ batteries. For nearly a century, motorists have depended on AAA for that crucial jump start. And AAA has always relied on its local network of service trucks to get customers on the road as soon as possible. In the mid ‘50s, the “Battery Service” truck from the Harris Brothers’ Mobilgas station was a familiar sight. Many a stranded driver was glad to see the classiic Pegasus emblem on the side of the truck, for it meant they would soon be rescued. Rigged with a utility cabinet and vise, a battery charger on wheels and a full rack of batteries, the truck was equipped to charge or replace a battery—whatever the motorist needed. And now the Mobil Battery & Quick Start Service 1956 Chevy 3100 is part of The Fabulous Fifties Road Service Collection. It has been crafted in die-cast metal by Matchbox Collectibles—the Greatest Name in Die-Cast.


As you can see this is a very nice horror artworked themed vehicle. Officially this was part of the 1992 Tattoo release by Hot Wheels, there's a few other okay vehicles such as Street Dog (vicious dogs) and Skull Rider (skull and snakes), both of those are on BMWs by the way. They are not in the league of Open Wide but you might want to look into them. The rest of the Tattoo series isn't worth looking into at all. By the way they come with a few bonus tattoos of dentures too, I threw mine out, the paper had gone a bit yellow even inside the sealed pack so it's a gamble if you get yours and they actually can be applied to skin if you're into that. The blister pack is actually quite tall as well, a lot taller than you're average 1/64 sized blister card. You've got to take this out the pack though, it's that good.

Open Wide is basically a van covered in a number of dentures with fangs, they don't all belong to the same owner as some are for thin snake like mouths and others wide canine types. All have some yellow substance dripping from them meaning getting bit by these dentures isn't just going to hurt or cause the loss of a limb, but if you somehow survive, you're likely to contract rabies or some other awful disease as well.

The colours of the van are yellow and maroon, applied in sort of a spray painted look. The Hot Wheels vehicle itself is nothing special, basically a van with very average cheap wheels, it's officially a Baja Breaker brand van. It's an ugly van, the designers couldn't decide if they wanted a rectangle rear window or a ship type circular one so went with both in the one bit of plastic. Without the great paintwork you'd probably pass on this Baja Breaker thing. It is a sturdy Hot Wheels vehicle though I'll give it that.

The artwork is brilliant though! You've got eight fanged dentures on this thing. Three on both sides, and two on the roof. Unlike most Hot Wheels artwork, the three mouths on each side aren't the same but are six different mouths opened in different menacing poses. This means you can display it with either side facing the front then change it for a different look. There's no dentures on the rear doors, probably because the designers were so embarrassed by the circle rectangle window mistake, that they forbid the artists drawing any attention to it.

Open Wide is a must own for any horror artwork die-cast vehicle collector. --James N Sympson Shop here


The artwork on this 1968 Pontiac GTO from Johnny Lightning is simply brilliant. There haven't been many snowmen released throughout the various years of the Coca Cola vehicles by Johnny Lightning or even Matchbox who also are licensed to provide official Coca Cola imagery on their 1/64 sized vehicles.

This vehicle was released as part of the 2003 Coca Cola Polar Bear Series. Even though it doesn't have any polar bear imagery on the actual vehicle it did come in the same designed blister pack with the backing card of a polar bear and two cubs putting a star on top of the Christmas tree that the rest of the series had. This particular vehicle was not released to the shops with the others but instead, it was offered for purchase by members through Johnny Lightning's website. This means there weren't as many of these made as the other vehicles, meaning it is harder to find in collector stores and online websites than those other vehicles.
This is a yellow 1968 Pontiac with a thick dark blue bordered in white strip down the sides and over the bonnet and boot (hood and trunk). On the side strip is the Coca Cola word logo in white as well as the top part of a winking snowman wearing a red scarf and black top hard with the words ICE COLD written on it. The white Coca Cola word logo is also on the boot. On the roof the same winking image also appears but this time it's a full body image. He is holding a glass of Coke in both hands in front of his body. He's standing beside a yellow real estate type sign with the words For That Refreshing New Feeling. There's also the red Coca Cola with white letter logo beside the Snowman's head. In the background there are snowflakes falling.

The wheels are quite good with red rimmed tyres where you can see the tread. The seats dashboard and other parts of the interior are white. --James N Sympson  Shop here

Thursday, May 12, 2011


The Thames Trader box van comes in the smart, and familiar, yellow color scheme of Lucozade. This will make a very pleasing addition to the collection. Shop here


The Comet cab is linked with a tanker body, producing a very nice model. The initial livery is Power, in its green coloring set off with gold lettering. Shop here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


A stunning replica of one of Fords most recognizable and iconic car. Beautifully crafted 1923 White Ford T-Bucket Diecast Model Car features opening trunk and steerable front wheels. No collection is complete without this beautiful car.



This book presents a unique selection of the most rare and collectible toy cars made in Japan and Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s. Three particular groups of toys are covered: the magnificent large-scale tinplate cars made for the American market; the smaller but equally sought-after Japanese diecasts by Model Pet, Micro Pet, and Cherryca Phenix; and plastic friction-drive cars made in Hong Kong. Some of the toys pictured are so scarce that they are believed to be among a mere handful that survive in mint condition with their original boxes. This book provides many fascinating new insights to the history of the companies that made and distributed the toys, using long-forgotten trade journals, rare catalogs, and interview with people who worked in the toy business at that time. See more


This is a magnificent album of gorgeous double page color spreads. Everything from pedal cars, die cast, tinplate, and other materials.

A useful feature is the inclusion of the same figure in each spread so that one can immediately see the comparative sizes from one to another. This is especially useful in the case of the early Matchbox which were not made to any consistent scale. Instead they wer made to fit the box!
Thus the overall dimensions in inches are given instead.
More modern diecast is often made in 1:50 scale (metric O guage) and 1:43 scale is close enough to look well on an O guage model train layout.
Not a reference but a dream book: Especially the hard-used timplate Buddy L and pedal cars which were not made as collector's items.
I well remember the Doepke line of construction equipment made in the late forties. Twelve fifty then, now extremely collectable and expensive.--El Cutachero  See more


The history of Schuco can be traced back to the birth of Heinrich Muller in 1887. Muller had begun making his own toys as a teenager, and he soon joined the Bing Company. In 1912, he left Bing and, together with Heinrich Schreyer, a local merchant, formed the toy company Schreyer & Co., which in 1921 became known simply as Schuco. The company began by making small felt and plush covered mechanised figures and animals. One very famous Schuco toy, which was first produced in the 1920s, was the Pick-Pick Bird. An incredible 20 million were made in a production run that lasted until the 1960s. It was in the mid-1930s that Schuco came up with its Schuco-Patent-Motor-Car. As early as 1946 Schuco toys were appearing in American stores and the boom was about to begin. Sadly, by the mid-1960s, the writing was on the wall and the end of the tin toy was not far away. Diecast metal and particularly plastics were the new high-tech materials, which had begun taking over as early as the late 1950s; tin was perceived to be slightly old-fashioned. There was also the so-called 'safety issue' of tin toys with sharp edges and small children. The company did not turn to plastics until the early 1970s; by then it was very much a case of too little to late. By 1976, Schuco had gone out of business. This informative and beautifully illustrated book is an absorbing record of the history of this internationally famous mechanical toy producer. Anyone interested in collectable toys will be entranced by the illustrations; anyone who is interested in the history of transport will be fascinated by the changes that this century has seen. ---See more

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class is a luxury compact car produced by the Mercedes Car Group division of Daimler AG since 2002. It can be powered by a variety of gas or diesel engines, in four or six cylinder designs. Schuco is a legendary German toy manufacturer, founded in 1912. The company achieved worldwide fame with its toy cars manufactured in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, many of which were patented. While Schuco continues to issue a limited number of metal retro-toys for collectors, today the company is better known for its amazing diecast vehicle replicas. Working directly with manufacturers and car collectors, Schuco painstakingly re-creates each vehicle in miniature, often incorporating tiny details only visible with a magnifying glass. Most Schuco models are issued in specified limited quantities, and once gone, will not be made again. That’s why wise collectors know that a Schuco model isn’t just a purchase: It’s an investment with a lifetime return of enjoyment. Shop here


The Vanguards diecast collection centres around classic British vehicles through the last five decades. Now produced by Corgi the finish on each model is an accurate representation of the original car. With a deep paint luster, and fine details such as wing mirrors and door handles, these models are a pleasing addition to any classic car collector.

Dragon Taxis is the largest private hire and taxi company in Wales with over 450 licenced vehicles and drivers. This model represents their humble beginnings. Shop here

Monday, May 2, 2011


It is good to see the Pinder (Jean Richard) models appearing once more from Corgi, as item primarily intended for the French market. The animal trailer has been seen, now linked with the Renault Saviem tractor unit, a good, but slightly basic, casting. Shop here

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The Gosport based company have a large fan-base and their unusual emerald green livery looks good on the Utility. Love the advert too! Shop here


Corgi has selected four Great British Motoring Icons to model as part of the anniversary range. The models are all of the actual vehicles tested at the time by Autocar or Motor magazines and each includes a re-print of their original road test. You can see what the experts thought at the time and compare the model with photographs of the car when it was new.

This model is of the superb 2002 Range Rover Vogue that combined superlative off road performance with every day luxury for the well heeled. Shop here