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Saturday, August 15, 2015

China Trip! (1st Post). Drugstore-ish cars found in Beijing Night Market

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the delay in getting updates to Matchbox Frenzy...  I just got back from a trip to Beijing, which included a lot of car thought (real cars - based on the mushrooming native Chinese car industry - and model cars - with the *hope* that I'd find stuff that I don't find in the USA).  I tried to update my blog while I was there, but the Google/China rift meant that the blog was blocked to me while I was in China...  So here I am, a few weeks late. 

As I said, given how many diecast toys are actually produced in China, I really hoped that I'd find some cool - and hopefully inexpensive - stuff, particularly Tomica. 

Unfortunately, though I searched through all of the bazaars and flea markets and toy stores that I could find (including the toy market located behind the pearl market), I found very little Tomica...  1 store only - and their selection was not as great as I had hoped.  You'll see my Tomica finds on a later post. 

And as for pricing - well - there are many things that are super inexpensive in Beijing...  Street food, subway fares, taxi rides, etc., but that list does not include diecast cars.  The Tomica and Siku that I found were on the order of $5 US per car (incidently - the Matchbox/Hot Wheels that I found were not much cheaper).  So they weren't expensive - just not as cheap as I'd hoped. 

But I did find some cool stuff, starting with the set of cars shown here.  I have no idea what brand they are.  They seem like what you might get in a drugstore - though the heaviness of the cars makes them feel higher quality than say a Maisto.

This packaging of cars - all packaged in groups of 4 - was fairly commonly found in many of the night-market/flea market types of vendors.  Actually, the most interesting things about these night markets was how much repetitive merchandise you found - almost as if there were wholesale suppliers selling merchandise produced expressly to be sold in night markets.  It made the vendors feel less original... 

I probably paid about $9 for this set - not sure if I got ripped off or not (I probably did...).   The cars actually feel pretty nice.  They are slightly large - not quite as big as Sikus, but a tad larger than comparable Matchbox Cayennes.  Given that they are models of large SUVs, that probably means that they are close to correct 1:64 scale. 

The set included 4 luxury SUVs; a Range Rover, a Cayenne, an Audi Q7 and a BMW X6, all reasonably well modeled, all with opening doors.  Unfortunately, they have pull-back friction motors in them - so you can't pull them back without winding up the motors.  The paint scheme is also a little unfortunate - its hard to imagine a construction company giving their engineers Porsche Cayennes to toodle around in.  But a nice set of cars to have found regardless.  Incidentally, this is my first model of a BMW X6... 

Overall a nice set of cars.  If you see them on EBay for not too much money then I'd recommend adding them to your collection.  The only problem - since there is no brand - I don't know how to search for them...  On the other hand, if you go to the Beijing night market off of WangFuJing street - then look for this set. 


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