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Monday, July 27, 2015

The scale problem - both in Matchbox size and in real life

Matchbox cars are toy cars. This sounds obvious, but it becomes reality when you realize that most "Matchbox" scale cars are actually 2.5- 2.75 inches long rather than true 1:64 scale, resulting in VW Golfs that are the same size as enormous off-road quarry dump trucks. 

The photo to the right illustrates this...  A "small" Ferrari 308 that is in much larger scale - but almost the same physical size - as an enormous Fire Truck. 

As a kid, the scale issue scarcely bothered me.  As an adult, it irritates me immensely. Most "1:64" scale commercial trucks are much closer to 1:90 scale, and you need to buy trucks from the larger "super-king" ranges in order to get trucks that are really 1:64.  Even within ordinary passenger cars you see the scale issue - with Matchbox' compact early '70s Ford Capri dwarfing the full size late '70s Mercury Cougar Villager Wagon.  Sometimes I try to get around the issue by buying small cars (Honda Fits,etc.) from Tomica, who tends to run slightly smaller than true 1:64 scale, and larger cars and trucks from Siku, who often runs closer to 1:55 scale.

Over the years I've tried to train my mind to see true scale, closely looking at 18 wheelers and cement mixers on the road, and comparing how much larger they are than ordinary cars. So I was amused last week when I saw these 2 1:1 scale red 2 seat convertibles, and thought about how they appeared to be different scales.  The tiny back-end of the Triumph Spitfire is dwarfed by the fat, high rump of the Cadillac Allante.  The Cadillac appears to be 2X wider than the Triump.  And yet, they are both accurately sized 1:1 cars...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rare Matchbox Transitional Mustang... ...but in the super-rare regular wheels white-color!

Regular readers of my blog know that my favorite die-cast brand is Matchbox, and my favorite Matchbox's are the super-fast transitionals...

On of the rarer and harder to find of the transitionals is the Mustang, and one of the very rare variations of this rare model is to get it in the same white paint as the regular-wheels version. 

I just received this one in the mail, an Ebay find.  It's pretty beat up - the paint is heavily chipped and the trailer hook is gummed up and twisted off, but the wheels and axles are straight (a pet peeve of mine) and the glass is all sound.  It is original and authentic and ready to be played with. 

The price was surprisingly low, even though the shipping costs from England were high.  I expected to be out-bid given how difficult of a model it is to find.   

Overall, I'm thrilled with the purchase and the model.  This is a favorite casting of my mine, and I frankly never expected to find it in white - beat-up or mint.