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Saturday, May 20, 2017

A slightly uncommon car.... Corgi Junior Porsche 917

I like featuring unique and unusual cars/pieces from my collection on this blog.  Sometimes they are extremely rare.  Sometimes just something different from the ordinary.  And sometimes they are ordinary pieces after all, but ones that I like a lot.  

Some would say that there is nothing overly special about this car, a beat-up model of a mighty Porsche 917 race car, modeled by Corgi Junior.  But Corgi Juniors are already somewhat rare models, and this model has a nice feel to it.  

One of the things I like most about it is its size...   It is big and imposing taking up every millimeter of a standard slot in a Matchbox collector case.  Hot Wheels did an excellent 917 as one of the earlier entries in their Adult Collectible series (sold as part of the 4 piece Porsche set in the late '90s), but while that model had great realism / detail and an opening back, it always struck me as being a little small.  In contrast, this Corgi is imposing, scaring other race cars right off the starting grid.  
In other comments, I wouldn't have minded a more race-car-oriented paint scheme (not even a number on the side), and the gold color is rather bland and unexciting (think mid '00s gold Lexus RX300s!).  But the car rolls well on its standard issue wheel.  

Overall, a nice car that deserves a quick mention on this (heavily read) blog...! 






Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alfa Carabo...: Matchbox vs. Hot Wheels vs. Corgi

Why do toymakers have to copy each other, each making their own model of a car already modeled by another toy company, and leaving so many other great designs unmodeled...?  How many '67 Camaros do we all have...   And C5/6/7 Corvettes...  Yet we have no Honda Accords, Ford Tempos or Toyota Camrys...? 

Such is the case of the Alfa Carabo - a show car - not even a real production car - but one that was modeled by each of the 3 major toy-makers.  Well OK, as long as we have 3 distinct models - let's at least decide who made it the best?!?

I have the Matchbox version in 3 colors and 2 varieties.  The purple and pink superfast versions, and the grey (unmarked and without an interior or actual windows) Super GT version. Corgi gave 2 varieties - the standard purple - and the wizz-a-wheels forest green version.   Finally, Hot Wheels gave us the Red-line version - shown here in later lime green enamel paint - but also available in earlier spectraflame colors.  The Hot Wheels version is unique in that it alone has opening doors - scissor-style-Lamborghini Countach doors that pivot upward. 

Who made it best?  Well, its easy to see who made it worst....  The cheap-o grey Super GT version is the easy loser. 

Among the remaining 3 models, its a hard fight.  The Hot Wheels feels nice, with a heavy heft and the opening doors, but in the end it is the green whiz-a-wheels Corgi Junior, with a separate insert for the hood-mounted air-ducts, that wins the title for the best Carabo model. An unusual win - Corgi doesn't often win these comparisons! 









Monday, May 15, 2017

An absolute jewel of a model... Eidai Isuzu Elf airline re-stocking truck

Every once in a while I come across a model that is as close to absolute perfection as is possible to get...

A jewel...  ...perfect in modeling, perfect in scale, perfect in weight/heft/feel, etc....

This blog is about one of those models.

It's from a brand that almost no one in the USA knows about - Eidai.  I first stumbled across the brand at a toy fair/flea market a decade ago - a garbage truck labeled as "Eidai Grip Zechai" - that has the similar qualities as this model. 

The model is probably slightly under 1/64 scale (1/60?), and is slightly larger than a standard Matchbox model - enough so that it is probably 1/2 an inch too long to fit into a standard storage case, and probably 1/4 of an inch too high.

The base is metal.  The cab and chassis are wonderful detailed.  The paint is rich.  There is a driver in the cab.  The cargo hold rises up on an X-platform and plastic doors on both ends open up.

While this model is hard to find and a little expensive on EBay, it is a veritable bargain for the quality you get.  $25 is a cheap price to pay for a model that will be the pinnacle of most collections...












Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Norev Peugeot 407 - available as a sedan, coupe AND station wagon!

 How many times have you gotten a Matchbox sedan model, but thought "how cool would it be if I could get it in the wagon version"?

Amazingly, once in a while you CAN...!  Norev made the same Peugeot 407 available in 3 different body styles - sedan, coupe and station wagon!  And they almost made them all in the same color - I've got 2 of the 3 bodies in red and 2 in light gold.

I picked these models up when I was in Paris 6 years ago - at a Peugeot dealership.  They are nice models - with metal bases and nice detail.  The trailer hitches are overly large - making the  monstrous Majorette hitches seem tiny in comparison, and the wheels leave a little to be desired.  But overall they are great models.  Enjoy the photos!



PS.  To be fair, Matchbox did actually make multiple body styles in at least 2 recent models...   In the case of the E46 3 series, Matchbox did a coupe version (I have it in silver) and a sedan version (but only as a police car).  The Cadillac CTS was also available as a wagon and a coupe....   Both potential subjects of a future blog entry.