My Hobby is collecting Diecast Model Cars

Here are the model cars I’ve picked up this month (August 2017).

I have started this blog site as I can’t access my previous site: Jim holroyd diecast blog

I don’t know whether the problem is with my phone service provider or with wordpress.



Diecast cars are made of zamac, a metal alloy of zinc, magnesium,aluminium and copper. To mark their 50th anniversary Hot Wheels have put out a special range of “Zamac” cars; these are regular cars but they are unpainted. Hot Wheels have put out zamac cars since 1998.

For the 50th Anniversary they have chosen eight muscle cars.

Hot wheels zamac

1 – ‘67 Ford Mustang Coupe

2 – Chevy Camaro Concept

3 – ‘68 Plymouth Barracuda S

4 – ‘70 Buick GSX

5 – ‘68 Oldsmobile 442

6 – ‘71 Dodge Demon

7 – Plymouth Duster Thruster

8 – ‘68 Copo Camaro

The Lamley group show all the cars in their YouTube video: Lamley Preview: Hot Wheels 2018 50th Anniversary Zamac 8-car Set

All cars come with flame tampos, tinted windows and a 50th Anniversary mark. I was surprised to find the set in both Pepela and XS Toys locally (in Tbilisi). Whilst it would be great to get all eight, I decided to start with one and after much deliberation, I chose the ’67 Ford Mustang Coupe.

Zamac '67 Ford Mustang Coupe
’67 Ford Mustang Coupe (Zamac)


I might return for more when they have a -30% sale which they usually have once a month. The Buick is particularly tempting. The cars come at a premium price of 11.90 lari (compared to 7.90 lari for the regular cars).

11.90 GEL = $4.85 (US), 7.90 GEL = $3.23 (US)



Matchbox 1971

I am wondering whether I should narrow my focus more in my collecting. I have over 1100 model vehicles, from a range of brands. My favourite brand is Matchbox of which I have about 260. I have more Hot Wheels (about 430) because they are easier to find and more numerous. What particularly interests me are the cars put out by Matchbox around the late sixties and early seventies. I am not so interested in the trucks, although if I find them at a reasonable price I will pick them up. Looking at the range in 1971, I have marked, those I have and put a box around those I still want.

The models ticked aren’t all in pristine condition like those shown. My Grit Truck is missing its rear wheels, some are the earlier regular wheels models, many have paint chipped, some have buckled wheels.

some of my models from this era

I don’t use ebay or other online resources, living in Georgia (the country not the state) it is not easy to use these sources and the cost of shipping is exorbitant. I also prefer to hunt on the ground finding an old Matchbox model locally is a big thrill.

The frisson of nostalgia, I get from these models is difficult to quantify.


Somethin’ ’bout a truck in a farmer’s field
A no trespass sign, and time to kill
Nobody’s gonna get hurt, so what’s the big deal
Somethin’ ’bout a truck in a farmer’s field
Kip Moore – Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck
Dodge A100 Matchbox Tbilisi
1966 Dodge A100 Pick-Up (Matchbox)

Pick-Up is a small truck with an enclosed cab and open back. In my childhood, my idea of a Pick-Up was the Ford Pick-Up from the Matchbox range which came with a white canopy. Growing up in South East England, I didn’t see too many Pick-Ups about. I use the hyphenated spelling because that is how I first came across it in the 1969 Matchbox Catalogue. I have also seen it as one word Pickup and two separate words Pick Up or Pickup Truck.

Ford Pick-up Matchbox Catalogue
Ford Pick-Up in 1969 Matchbox Catalogue

I am more interested in cars than trucks, but a pick-up is a combination of both and I have picked up quite a few pick-ups in recent years.

Pick-ups x 9
9 Pick Ups from Matchbox, Tootsie Toys and Hot Wheels

I particularly like the Hot Wheels Datsun 620, which reminds me of the Matchbox Ford Pick-Up from the ’69 Catalogue.

Datsun 620 Hot Wheels
Datsun 620 Pick Up (Hot Wheels)

I am looking out for more variations of the Datsun 620, I’d also like to find a Mazda Repu Pick-Up and the old Matchbox Ford Pick-Up.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Story

This week’s photo challenge is Story

Here is a “Toy Story” 😀

My wonderful Facebook friend “Dutch” sent me 12 old Matchbox models and asked for nothing in return except for some pictures taken of the models here in Georgia (the country not the state). I was happy to oblige…a story with a happy ending.

Most I took around Tbilisi, where I live.

Lamborghini Marzal outside 3
თბილისი “Tbilisi” wrought in iron
Renault 17TL Outside
Renault 17TL

I even ventured outside Tbilisi to the ski resort of Bakuriani, to capture the BMC 1800 Pininfarina in the snow.

BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Snow Groomer 7

The cars have for me this tremendous frisson of nostalgia as they were like the models I had as a child and lost over the years.

DeTomaso Pantera, Kashveti Church

The psychology of why I,  an adult, still collect Matchbox cars is another story … Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

Old Matchbox Cars in Tbilisi and Bakuriani

In a previous blogpost, I wrote about my Package from the Netherlands. My great Facebook friend “Dutch” sent me 12 old Matchbox models and asked for nothing in return except for some pictures taken of the models here in Georgia (the country not the state).

12 Matchbox Cars

The cars:

1. Citroen SM  2.DeTomaso Pantera 3.BMC 1800 Pininfarina  4. Mercedes 230SL        5. Iso Grifo  6. Ferrari Berlinetta  7. Ford Zodiac MkIV  8. Mercedes 300SE 9. Renault 17TL 10. Lamborghini Miura 11. Mazda RX500 12. Lamborghini Marzal

It was such a generous gift and throughout February, I’ve been taking each model out and taking photographs, so now I have a photo of each with diverse Georgian backgrounds. Let’s have a look…

I didn’t take the cars out in any particular order, the first out was the Mercedes 230SL.

Mercedes 230sl outside 3
Mercedes 230SL at Freedom Square in Tbilisi

Then we had the DeTomaso Pantera outside Kashveti Church.

DeTomaso Pantera

The BMC 1800 Pininfarina was the only model taken out of Tbilisi, I had some fun taking photographs of the BMC with Snow Groomer at the ski resort of Bakuriani.

BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Snow Groomer 9
Snow Groomer and BMC 1800 Pininfarina

The Citroen SM was pictured outside the terminus of the funicular railway.

Citroen SM Outside 3
Citroen SM

The Mazda RX500 is pictured on Rustaveli Avenue outside the Marriott Hotel.

Mazda RX 500 outside
Mazda RX500

The Lamborghini Marzal, I placed on a bench on which is written “Tbilisi” in Georgian characters “თბილისი”.

Lamborghini Marzal outside 3
Lamborghini Marzal

My favourite casting the Iso Grifo like the Mazda RX500 was captured in Rustaveli Avenue, the Tbilisi Champs d’Elysees.


Iso Grifo MBX Outside
Iso Grifo

The Mercedes 300SE and Renault 17TL were shot with a background overlooking the northern part of Tbilisi.


It was back to Rustaveli Avenue to capture the Ford Zodiac MkIV, the tall rather ugly building in the background is the Biltmore Hotel.

Ford Zodiac Outside 7
Ford Zodiac MkIV

For the Lamborghini Miura, I chose to take some shots in Jikia Cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

Lamborghini Miura Outside
Lamborghini Miura

The final car is the Ferrari Berlinetta, which I took to Didi Dighomi yesterday,  for this shot…

Ferrari Berlinetta Outside
Ferrari Berlinetta

It has been a fun project, I hope you like the pictures.

დიდი მადლობა, Dutch.

Dank je, Dutch.


Monthly Acquisitions: February 2018

As a collector, it has been a very disappointing month, I have only added three models to my collection, one new, one secondhand and one was a gift. All three are Hot Wheels models. This compares to 38 last month (Monthly Acquisitions : January 2018).

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, Vanster and Jaguar D Type
Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34), Jaguar D Type and Vanster

I have been looking in the usual places but pickings have been pretty slim. I found the Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) in Super Toys in Galleria,  the first diecast I have found there I actually wanted, it had been on my Wants’ List. Also on the Wants’ List was a Renault Sport RS 01, which I also saw but I didn’t like the wheels and I wasn’t too enamoured by the silver version (I’d prefer to find the blue or yellow variants). The stores in Tbilisi haven’t had any new Hot Wheels after the 2017 G case… and the Matchbox stock is older still. In Pepela I was told they may have new stock next month, but I won’t hold my breath.

In the cheap secondhand toy shop near the Central Station, I found a Hot Wheels Jaguar D Type, a previous user had marked it with a blue marker or something but it was only 2 lari and it is a Jaguar, so I got it. The base is metal, the model is from around 1998, I have another slightly later variant.

Jaguar D Types and e Type
Jaguar D Types (Hot Wheels) and Jaguar E Type (Matchbox)

The final model was a Vanster, this had been a peg warmer in Carrefour a few months ago. This was a gift from Dima one of my students. Strangely, the day before I’d been watching a video of the Ford Transit Supervan (Video Link). Like the Vanster, the Ford Transit Supervan is a van with an engine in what is usually the load area. Hot Wheels have made a model of the Ford Transit Supervan, which is on my wants’ list.

Ford Transit Supervan
Ford Transit Supervan Hot Wheels (Photo: Lamley Group)

On the subject of gifts, two models left my collection, a Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray and a Matchbox Aston Martin DBS Volante. My wife’s godson and his brother visited and I gave them the cars as they were leaving which seemed to thrill them, maybe we will have future collectors in them.

Corvette Stingray and Volante
Corvette Stingray and Aston Martin DBS Volante

Not diecasts but toy vehicles; I did find a couple of Zambonis driven by the Peanuts character Woodstock. As the Zamboni is pushed along Woodstock rotates, I think these may have been Happy Meal toys.

Zambonis with Woodstock

Totals: 3 Models: 3 Hot Wheels

1 bought new, 1 bought secondhand, 1 gift

Outlets: 1 Cheap Secondhand toy store, 1 Super Toys and 1 Gift from Dima

Total cost: 8.90 lari ($3.61)



Iso Grifo

Iso Grifo

My favourite Matchbox casting is the Iso Grifo. It first appeared in 1968 with regular wheels and was among the first Superfast models, in the transitional period (1969 to 1970). It was pictured on the packaging of the Superfast loop set (SF-2).

Matchbox Catalogue 1970 track

The model remained in the range until 1975 when it was replaced by the Mini Ha Ha.

I have never seen the real Iso Grifo on which the model was based, it was a limited production Italian sports car powered first by a Chevrolet Corvette engine and later by a Ford Boss 351 engine. 413 Grifos were built between 1965 and 1974. I think it looks amazing.

Iso grifo (2)
Iso Grifo: The white model is a 1:43 scale plastic model made in USSR

Matchbox had 4 versions, the regular wheeled model and three Superfast models: dark blue and then light blue versions and later in 1985 a Super GT budget model version.

Iso Grifo

The base of the Iso Grifo was changed to accommodate the new Superfast wheels.

Base: Superfast model (top), regular wheels (bottom)

Snow Fun

I visited the ski resort of Bakuriani in Georgia and took along a couple of Matchbox models for some photos.

BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Snow Groomer 3
Snow Groomer and BMC 1800 Pininfarina

The two I chose were the Snow Groomer and BMC 1800 Pininfarina. The Snow Groomer was an obvious choice because it is a snow plough (or plow for American readers).

Snow Groomer
Snow Groomer

The BMC 1800 Pininfarina was part of the Package from the Netherlands like the DeTomaso Pantera in my last post (sightseeing).

BMC 1800 Pininfarina in Bakuriani.JPG
BMC 1800 Pininfarina

Snow makes a great backdrop for minimal effort.

BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Snow Groomer 9

Monthly Acquisitions : January 2018

Monthly acquisitions January 2018
Monthly Acquisitions January 2018

A new year, the first month of which has seen several new models enter my collection. 38 in total! I went way over my 100 lari budget for the first time since last May, despite a dozen wonderful Matchbox cars being a gift from “Dutch” (Package from the Netherlands).

Dutch 12 (2)
Matchbox cars sent to me from the Netherlands

The number of cars filled more than a page of the notebook, where I record my acquisitions.

Monthly acquisitions January 2018 list
listing the first 34 models

With two exceptions all the models were either Matchbox (19) or Hot Wheels (17). The two exceptions were a New Ray Pontiac GTO Convertible and a Fast Lane Bugatti Veyron. The Bugatti even came oddly with a Matchbox box.

Monthly acquisitions January 2018 not HW or Mattel
Pontiac GTO (New Ray) and Bugatti Veyron (Fast Lane)

I picked up the Veyron at the Secondhand Toy Store for 2 lari in a box for a Matchbox Off-Road Raider. I didn’t have any of the new style boxes for Matchbox cars, so this was interesting, later in the month I got a Matchbox Dune Dog in a box for a Matchbox Hudson Hornet from the same store. The boxes don’t close like the old ones did. Here in Tbilisi, any new Matchbox cars are sold in blister packs.

Monthly acquisitions January 2018 boxes
the wrong cars for the boxes

The Hot Wheels numbers were boosted by two multipacks: Surf’s Up (Hot Wheels 5 Pack) and Hot Wheels 9 Pack.

Monthly acquisitions January 2018 HW
Hot Wheels

Only the ’65 Mustang Convertible is an older model. The others are all recent. I discovered to my surprise that Wendy’s, the hamburger restaurant has a shop selling some diecast, which is where I picked up the ’69 VW Custom Squareback and the red Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Matchbox models by contrast are older secondhand models with the exception of the ’59 Chevy Wagon with boat, which I found in Pepela.

Monthly acquisitions January 2018 MBX
Matchbox models

The Porsche 959, I found in the clothing market and is the first model I have of the Matchbox Specials series, an off shoot of Matchbox “Speed Kings” made in China, in the Matchbox International era between the Lesney (up to 1982) and Mattel (1997 on) eras.

The 1960 Ferrari Dino 246 V12, is a Yesteryear Model, I found at Dry Bridge market.

Totals: 38 Models: 19 Matchbox, 17 Hot Wheels , 1 New Ray and 1 Fast Lane

8 bought new, 18  bought secondhand, 12 a gift from Netherlands

Outlets: 12 a gift from “Dutch”, 11 Secondhand toy store, 5 Carrefour, 5 Dry Bridge, 2 Wendy’s, 1 Pepela, 1 Isaak (Vagzlis) and 1 Clothing Market

Total cost: 163.61 lari ($65.52)