Monthly Acquisitions November 2019

Monthly Acquisitions November 2019
November 2019 acquisitions

28 more models entered my collection in November, a few left in the direction of Kakha, but it was still a large haul…so much for going on a diecast diet!

It was the second month of the year, where I went over twice my nominative budget of 100 lari (the other was April). The grand total was 210.70 lari ($70.94), most of this was from just three models which cost me 140 lari ($47.14).

Monthly Acquisitions November 2019 big expense
Soviet Made GAZ M_13 “Chaika”, Saviem Car Transporter (Majorette) and Dinky Austin a40 Van

The most expensive was the GAZ M_13 “Chaika” (1:43 scale), this was made in the USSR and cost me 60 lari ($20.20). This was from Gocha’s stall at Dry Bridge market. Other stalls were selling the same model at 150 lari ($50.51)! So I kinda got a bargain! This is a nice addition to my Soviet-made models of Soviet cars, most of which are in the same 1:43 scale. I have seen recently some models of Soviet cars made in China, these don’t really interest me and seem a little overpriced (at 25 lari a piece).

The Austin A40 Van (Dinky) I looked at in a previous post (Dinky Austin A40 Van from the late fifties.) It is the oldest model in my collection. It cost 40 lari ($13.47) also from Gocha.

Gocha also pulled out the Saviem Car Transporter (Majorette) from his car, he is learning what I like. This 1:60 scale transporter looks good with the 1:64 scale cars I like to collect. This was also 40 lari.

Hot Wheels

Monthly Acquisitions November 2019 HW
11 Hot Wheels

There were 11 Hot Wheels models added.

  1. Tesla Roadster with Starman. This was the only Hot Wheels model I bought new. I’m not a big fan of  Tesla but I like models related to space travel.
  2. Jaguar XJ220. This came from Kakha in a trade with some other models.
  3. Nissan GT-R (R35). This I found in a secondhand store.
  4. BMW 2002. This is a great casting of an early seventies BMW.
  5. Boom Box. This has a plastic body, I was hoping it would be a Color Shifter, but it isn’t. It is from a Batman pack and has the livery of the Gotham City Police Department.
  6. Z-Whiz (Datsun 240Z). I was very happy to find this even in this highly play worn condition. The Z-Whiz was the first Japanese Import to be made into a casting in Hot Wheels history. This model is from the late seventies. The green-tinted windows seem unusual, the pictures I have seen have been of blue-tinted windows. Made in Hong Kong.

    Z-Whiz, playworn but historically interesting as the first Japanese import modelled by Hot Wheels
  7. 1985 Honda CR-X. Another one for my JDM collection.
  8. The Jetsons Capsule car. Inspired by the Hanna-Barbera Cartoon.
  9. 10 and 11. 2011 Dodge Charger R/T. This was bizarre. I found these Color Shifter models in the secondhand shop, I could only find this model, not any other ones. Hot Wheels make several Color Shifters that change colour with changing temperature. This Dodge is orange when cold and yellow when hot.

    Color Shifters Hot Wheels Chry
    yellow when hot, orange when cold, 2011 Dodge Charger R/T


Monthly Acquisitions November 2019 MBX
6 Matchbox models

Nothing very old here. Certainly nothing from the early seventies or before. No Lesneys.

  1. 1968 Lamborghini Miura P-400. A recent casting of the classic Miura in almost the same colour as the early Superfast model. Made in Thailand.
  2. 1969 VW Karmann Ghia. Another recent casting of a classic VW. Made in Thailand.
  3. Ford Model A Coupe. 1:52 scale. From the early 1990s. Made in Thailand.
  4. Lamborghini Countach LP500s. Matchbox International Limited. Made in China.
  5. 2000 Chevrolet Corvette. Made in Thailand.
  6. White Water Raft Boat. Made in Thailand. This boat is missing the trailer it originally would have come with.

Other Brands

I found quite a selection of models from different brands this month.

Monthly Acquisitions November 2019 Other brands
11 Models from other brands
  1. 1960 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon (Johnny Lightning/Playing Mantis). 1:64 scale. I come across very few of this brand here in Georgia (the country not the state). In the US the brand sells for about three times the price of Hot Wheels, the models have more details, they also have a metal base and body and rubberised tyres.
  2. 1972 Buick Riviera (Johnny Lightning/Playing Mantis). This model has an opening bonnet (hood).

    Monthly Acquisitions November 2019 Johnny Lightning
    Johnny Lightning Buick Riviera and Ford Country Squire
  3. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (Jada). Some fancy wheels on this model.
  4. Lamborghini Countach (Maisto). I find it difficult to resist any Countach or Miura, both are such iconic Lamborghinis.
  5. GAZ M 13 “Chaika” Made in USSR. 1:43 scale.
  6. Mcdonalds Flintstones vehicles x 2. These aren’t diecast. I loved Hanna-Barbera Cartoons as a kid, especially The Flintstones, Wacky Races, Yogi Bear and Tom and Jerry.
  7. Shell Tanker (Corgi). Made in China.
  8. Austin A40 Van (Dinky). The oldest vehicle in my collection to date. Made in England.
  9. Saviem Car Transporter (Majorette). 1:60 scale. Made in France.
  10. Porsche 911 GT3RS (Majorette). Opening doors. Made in Thailand.


Totals: 28 Models:  11 Hot Wheels, 6 Matchbox, 2 Johnny Lightning, 1 Jada, 1 Maisto, 1 Corgi, 1 Dinky, 2 Majorette, 1 made in USSR and 2 McDonald’s Toys

2 bought new,  23 bought secondhand, 3 traded

Outlets: 20 Secondhand Toy Stores,  3 Dry Bridge Market, 1 Pepela, 1 XS Toys and 3 Kakha

Net expenditure: 210.70 lari ($70.94)

1 lari = 34 US cents


wabi-sabi is a world-view of Japanese origin, centred on the acceptance of imperfection.  The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

I came across this idea from watching the Toy Polloi channel on YouTube (Toy Polloi on Wabi-sabi Toy collecting).

Many collectors want to collect a toy, as perfect as can be, in mint condition, preferably never removed from its packaging. This is not how I collect, most of my cars are play worn with their own intrinsic charms.

Austin A40 Van

Last Sunday, I picked up a Dinky Austin A40 Van from the late fifties. This is the oldest model in my collection being around sixty years old, it has paint chips and a cracked tyre but I think that is part of its charm. If I were to resell it, it would fetch far more if it were in mint condition and with a box (Toymart estimates the price to be around £210 for a mint in box model). But I’m happy to keep it as it is, some child (who may now be older than me!) has probably had a lot of play value with this model sometime in the past.

I often pick up incomplete models. Below, you can see a cargo trailer without a tractor cab, a Matchbox Unimog missing some tyres and a Husky Snorkel fire engine without its hydraulic lift.

wabi sabi before
models missing parts

I am not skilled at model detailing, I watch videos by baremetalhw with awe, he restores and customises many Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Patience is a virtue in Wabi-Sabi toy collecting. A couple of weeks after finding the Husky fire truck, I found an extendable ladder, though not the original hydraulic lift, it does make the model a more credible fire engine. For the Unimog, I found some washers in the appropriate size to act as tyres and for the trailer, I found a suitable Tractor Cab (a Matchbox Ford Cargo cab) to tow it. These weren’t the original parts but I am pleased with the results.

wabi sabi after
with “new” parts

I often find tow trucks without hooks, and improvise with a bit of chain or a twisted paper-clip. I have two  Euclid Dump Trucks one is highly playworn and its yellow paint has faded from too much exposure to the sun but I feel it has more character than the tidier model next to it. The Matchbox models I like to collect were toys, they were made to be played with. Most diecasts are made from a compound alloy known as Zamak or Mazak which is virtually unbreakable in normal play use.

wabi sabi
tow trucks with improvised hooks and the Euclid Dump Trucks in different states of wear

I have a Matchbox carry case, itself a bit battered, to hold many of my rougher  Matchbox models.

wabi sabi case
some rough Matchbox models in a carry case

I do keep some of my collection in blister packs, unopened but I would estimate this only accounts for 10% of my collection. The two Hot Wheels Super Treasure Hunts, which I found on the pegs are still on their short cards, but I have opened most of the regular treasure hunt cars.

Mystery Machine Super TH
Mystery Machine (Super Treasure Hunt)

My collection isn’t accumulated with the thought of resale. Having no boxes for the Matchbox cars instantly halves their potential value. Whilst, I prefer to have the cars in as good condition as possible, I will happily settle for a few paint chips on a model I especially want. I don’t like buckled wheels and most of my cars have sound wheels, Early Matchbox Superfast and Hot Wheels with thin axles were especially prone to buckling. I am also not keen on models that have been repainted by a previous owner unless it was done really well.

Dinky Austin A40 Van from the late fifties.

I was very surprised today to find this old Dinky van at Dry Bridge Market here in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Austin A40 Van
Austin Van “Raleigh Cycles”

This model was produced in England between 1956 and 1960, it was from an era before Dinkys had windows. In 1956 Corgi had just entered the market in direct competition with Dinky and their cars were being advertised as “the ones with the windows”. The model is playworn and the front tyre is cracked but, considering it is around 60 years old, it is not in bad shape. It is one of the few models in my collection older than me.

The Austin A40 Van (#472) is advertising “Raleigh Cycles”, others advertised BP and Nestle. A rare version advertising Omnisport, a general store in El Salvador, went for an incredible £6, 400 at auction (Dinky toy van fetches £6,400 in furious bidding at auction).

I don’t have many Dinky Toys, they don’t have the same Nostalgia Buzz as Corgi and Matchbox. This model predates my birth (1964 ) and is unlike the models I remember playing with as a child. I can relate better to the slightly later Triumph Herald (#189) (1960-1964) as this has windows, independent suspension and is closer to the cars I played with as a child.

Austin A40 Van and Triumph Herald
Two Old Dinky Toys: Triumph Herald (1960-1964) and Austin A40 Van (1956-1960)

Monthly Acquisitions: October 2019 and some models that have left the collection.

This hasn’t been a classic month for collecting, I didn’t find any old (pre 1980) Matchbox models. But, I did add 20 cars to my collection, it wasn’t all incoming as there were a few models, which I parted with, too.

Lada Niva
Lada Niva (DeAgostini)

For a while, I have thought my collection too large, I live in a small two bedroom flat and I just don’t have the space to display all my collection so some of my cars sit in boxes for months at a time. I estimate I have around 1500 cars, another census is needed. I have in the past sold a few at Drybridge Market (Selling) and may do so again. I have tried selling some on Tbilisi Expat Marketplace but this was done rather half-heartedly and failed. I have also given some away to other collectors, to my grandson and to friends. This month, I gave the Lada Niva in the photo to Samuel, a student of my wife, as he showed an interest in the collection and his father used to drive a Niva. I have also given and traded a few with Kakha who sells models in the street near Vake Park. He likes American muscle cars, so I traded a few and got in return a Jaguar F Type Project 7, Datsun 620 Pick Up and Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

outgoing us muscle
American Muscle Cars traded with Kakha

I like American muscle cars but I have far too many, I’m thinking of focusing on the models I really like: the first generation Ford Mustang, the second and third generations of the Chevrolet Corvette, the ’64 Buick Riviera, the ’68 Mercury Cougar and the Ford GT.

monthly acquisitions out
two carded models exiting the collection this month

I need to give serious thought to what I want to focus on, I have been pondering this for a while. I definitely want to collect Matchbox from 1967 to 1975 and Corgi from the seventies for  That Nostalgia Buzz. 

Despite my reservations, I still added another 20 model to my collection this month.

monthly acquisitions oct 2019
this month’s additions

 Hot Wheels

I bought the Porsche Panamera new, the others were secondhand.

monthly acquisitions oct 2019 hw
Hot Wheels x 8
  1. Porsche Panamera “Polizei”. I am not a fan of the Panamera, I prefer Porsche models to have two doors, however as a police car it makes more sense for stopping that speedy getaway…
  2. Jaguar F Type Project 7. I have this in green and red, but it looks great in metallic light blue, one of the models I got in trades with Kakha.
  3. Oshkosh Snow Plow. I thought the model I had bought was lacking a plow, but it turns out the later releases of this model came without plows.
  4. 90 Honda NSX. A nice addition to my JDM collection.
  5. Ferrari 599 GTB. Hot Wheels no longer has a license deal with Ferrari, an added incentive to collect them secondhand.
  6. Riley & Scott Mk III. I had never heard of this car until I researched the model. It is a sports racing car which competed in a number of American races in the late nineties and also at Le Mans.
  7. Datsun 620. I don’t think I can ever have enough of this pick up, I have a couple in red and this is the second I have in green.
  8. Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. Gold is not an authentic colour for this car, the actual car is unpainted carbon fibre.


It was a disappointing month for Matchbox finds, I just found these three to add to my collection.

monthly acquisitions oct 2019 mbx
Matchbox x 3
  1. Cliff Hanger. Unlicensed Jeep style model.
  2. Ford Model A VanMatchbox Speed Shop“. I got this from Gocha at Dry Bridge Market. I like to have models with their brand name advertised on the side. I also like the raised letters on the rear tyre, which is different to my other Model A Vans.
  3. ’71 Nissan Skyline GTX. Although it is  a recent casting, I was very happy to find it.


Aside from Hot Wheels and Matchbox, I found a few other brands, some are just Made in China with no brand marked on the vehicle.

monthly acquisitions oct 2019 other

  1. NASA Space Shuttle. I really wanted to find the Matchbox Skybusters verion of the NASA Space Shuttle, until I find one this Chinese-made model shall suffice.
  2. VW Beetle 4 x 4 (Maisto-Tonka). I like taking my Matchbox VW Beetle 4 x 4s outside for photo ops, I can take this one too, for some variety.
  3. Mercedes SEC. Unbranded Chinese made model.
  4. Rouleau Compresseur (Majorette). A road roller, this was just one lari. Made in Thailand.  Road Rollers
  5. Esso Tanker Trailer (Majorette). I didn’t find a cab for this, when it was new it would have come with a Bernard Tractor Unit. Made in France.
  6. Beach Buggy (Corgi Juniors). This model from the seventies is missing its windshield. Made in Great Britain.
  7. Lamborghini Miura. No brand marked on the car. On the base is just marked No. 817 and Made in China.
  8. Jeep Cherokee. Another anonymous Chinese made model, unusually for such models it has opening doors.
  9. Honda S2000 (Realtoy). I think the only other model I have by Chinese brand Realtoy is also a Honda S2000, but in yellow not green.


Totals: 20 Models:  8 Hot Wheels, 3 Matchbox, 2 Majorette, 1 Realtoy, 1 Maisto, 1 Corgi and 4 unidentified Chinese made models

1 bought new,  16 bought secondhand, 3 traded

Outlets: 9 Secondhand Toy Stores,  4 Dry Bridge Market, 1 Pepela, 4 Kakha and 2 Clothing Market Steps

Net expenditure: 75.90 lari ($25.73)

1 lari = 34 US cents

I don’t have a record of all the outgoing models, it was around 10 this month including the Mercedes SLK (Siku) below, I gave this to Kakha because it has a red interior and he loves the colour red.

outgoing Mercedes SLK
Mercedes SLK (Siku)


Concept Cars


concept cars Lamborghini Marzal and Maserati Boomerang
Maserati Boomerang (Norev) and Lamborghini Marzal (Matchbox)

Concept cars are made to showcase new styling or technology and to gauge the public’s reaction. Concept cars never go into production directly. In modern times all would have to undergo many changes before the design is finalized for the sake of practicality, safety, cost etc…

Die-cast companies have included many such cars in their ranges hoping the exciting designs will entice their target market to part with their pocket money.

The Lamborghini Marzal was produced for the Geneva Motor Show of 1967. It was designed by Bertone to provide Lamborghini with a true four seater, the design was a one-off but many of the ideas were later used in the Lamborghini Espada.

Lamborghini Marzal 1967 (Photo:  Buch-t)

The Marzal design probably found wider recognition as a die-cast model, with both Matchbox and Dinky making scale models, albeit in other colours such as dark red, despite the original show car being painted silver.The Matchbox Lamborghini Marzal was one of the first cars created for the new Superfast wheels introduced at the end of 1969.

Another concept car popular with die-cast manufacturers is the Mercedes C111; Norev, Corgi, Matchbox and Hot Wheels all produced models.

Concept Cars Mercedes C111 Lamborghini Marzal and Maserati Boomerang
Mercedes C111 (Corgi)

The C111 had the gull wing doors, a feature of Mercedes sports cars going back to the classic 300SL of the fifties. In the sixties and seventies, Mercedes was experimenting with different types of engine: Wankel rotary engines, diesel engines and turbochargers and they would use the C111 platform as a testbed.

concept cars top trumps
Top Trumps: Concept Cars

Nowadays a lot of research is being made into greener technologies, autonomous vehicles and suchlike. One car that looks interesting is the Toyota FV2 (video clip). The FV2 doesn’t have a steering wheel. Instead, the car is operated by the driver shifting his or her body to move the vehicle forwards, backwards, left or right. It mirrors or responds instantly. It also uses intelligent transport system technology to connect the driver with a variety of local safety information. I hope some company will put it out as a die-cast model.





For stopping that speedy getaway…

In Italy, Lamborghini has just donated a second Huracan to the country’s Highway Patrol. Like the first, it will be used for “normal police operations”, as well as the urgent transport of blood and organs. Naturally, it isn’t entirely standard. There’s the same 610bhp N/A V10 and all-wheel drive system, sure, and all the normal stuff you’ll find in any regular police car. Lights, sirens, radios, a video camera and gun rack – it’s all there.

fast police cars gallardos and countach
Matchbox Police Lamborghini Gallardos and Hot Wheels Lamborghini Countach Pace Car

I can see Lamborghinis might be useful for transporting donor organs quickly, although in Grey’s Anatomy they usually employed a helicopter to get organs to the hospital quickly. However, for catching criminals, sure you can catch up with them but where do you put them when they have been arrested?

fast police cars panamera
Porsche Panamera “Polizei” (Hot Wheels)

A Police Porsche Panamera makes more sense to me, you have a very fast police car but it has the extra space to accommodate those arrested.

fast police cars panamera, 991 and 993
Police Porsches

Road Rollers

I am not generally a great fan of construction vehicles, I tend to collect sports cars. Having said that, however,  I do have a weakness for cement mixers, especially the Foden Cement Mixer (#21) in the Matchbox range at the time of the transition from regular wheels to Superfast wheels (1969-70). I also feel a strong Nostalgia Buzz with the 8-Wheel Crane (#30) of that same period.

frisson of nostalgia crane and refrigerator truck
8-Wheel Crane (#30)  and Refrigeration Truck (#44)

When Lesney launched Matchbox in 1953, the first of the four original Matchbox vehicles was a road roller. A diesel Aveling-Barford Road Roller. So there is an historic significance to road rollers for the Matchbox collector. This was around before I was born, so I have no fond childhood memories of this and I don’t seek out Matchbox vehicles before 1965.

matchbox road roller 1953
A diesel Aveling-Barford Road Roller (not my photo)

Yesterday, on the steps of the clothing market, I was not expecting to find anything interesting except the usual Chinese junk, but I came across a Majorette Rouleau Compresseur (road roller), the asking price just 1 lari. This model has been in the Majorette line for over three decades from 1982 until 2014. Earlier models were made in France, but this is a later model that was made in Thailand, it still has a commendable amount of metal in the model.

rouleau compressor
Majorette Rouleau Compresseur

I only have one other road roller in my collection, a recent Matchbox road roller, which is smaller and more plasticky than the Majorette model. The Matchbox model is in a dark metalflake green, which would look fine on a sports car but is, to my mind, less realistic than the slightly orangey yellow of the Majorette model. Matchbox may be my favourite brand but here I prefer the Majorette.

road rollers
Matchbox and Majorette road rollers

As a young child, a treat was to visit Salt Hill Park in Slough, in the playground was an old traction engine road roller fixed in the ashphalt for children to clamber over and play on. These days it probably wouldn’t be allowed because of health and safety concerns, but I recall it with fond memories.



Monthly Acquisitions: September 2019

Another month of collecting saw 16 models added to my collection and a couple leaving (both Hot Wheels: Ferrari F40  and Dodge Dart Demon ).

Monthly Acquisitions Sept 2019
newly acquired

Of the 16 models only two were bought new, the others were all secondhand.

9 were Hot Wheels.

Monthly Acquisitions Sept 2019 3
Hot Wheels
  1. Nissan Skyline 2000 GT/X. I love this casting, designed by Jun Imai, whose name appears on the roof. I have several of the casting in black this is the first white one I have found.

    Nissan Skyline 2000 GtX white and black
    Nissan Skyline 2000 GT/X
  2. 65 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. I find C2 Corvettes difficult to resist.
  3. Lamborghini Countach “Pace Car”. This I bought new, Pepela were having a -30% sale. I already have the model in red, but the Countach is such an iconic seventies car, another one is more than welcome.
  4. Mercedes 380SEL. A regular Mercedes sedan is more the realm of Matchbox than Hot Wheels. The model dates from the late nineties.
  5. Fish’d & Chip’d. This is  based on the Jaguar Mk X, my father’s dream car. The Mk X was never available as a two door. This was a trade for a Dodge Demon, I found a seller parked near Vake park, Kakha, a specialist in retro gaming but who had quite a few diecasts for sale. I had bought a Maisto Boss Mustang from him earlier in the month and he told me he liked Dodges.

    Dodge Demon
    Dodge Demon
  6. Porsche Carrera. This is a Hot Wheels model produced from a Corgi casting. Corgi – Hot Wheels

    Porsche carrera corgi hot wheels silver
    Porsche Carrera
  7. Drivin’ Wild. This is a Hot Wheels transporter, it would have been sold in a Super Rigs pack with a fantasy car (Nitro Doorslammer). It is a fantasy model but not as outlandish as some of the Hot Wheels haulers.
  8. Ford GT Race. In one of the secondhand shops I frequent, the assistant knows me well, she apologised for not having many small cars. She did rummage out the back and found this and the Nissan Skyline, if I were interested, I could have both for the princely sum of 5 lari. I was interested 🙂
  9. ’68 Chevy Nova. The 3rd September was my birthday and I treated myself (as no-one else was going to…) to a new Hot Wheels from the pegs of my local Pepela store. The choice was limited, but the Nova in Gulf livery looks sweet.


Monthly Acquisitions Sept 2019 2
5 Matchbox
  1. Austin Mini Cooper 1275S (1964)  I used this to make a comparison between Hot Wheels and Matchbox in an earlier post. What is the difference between Hot Wheels and Matchbox? Scale 1:51. This would have been more appropriate than the Nova as a birthday present, as I was born  in Britain in 1964. I found this at the Clothing Market, where I hadn’t found anything interesting for quite a while.
  2. Volvo C30. I realised when I got it home, I already had one. My collection is getting too big for me to remember every model I own. I would have been happier finding another P1800S. 1:61 scale.
  3. BMW 328i from the 2000 Car Wash 5 Pack.1:59 scale.
  4. 70 Boss Mustang 302. From 1998. 1:62 scale. Made in China.
  5. Mercury Commuter Police Car. Speed Kings. This was the highlight of the month, coming from Gocha at Dry Bridge market. A previous owner had decided to redecorate the police car as an ambulance, it makes an interesting Group 3 model.
Mercury Commuter Police car
Mercury Commuter
Mercury Commuter Police car with catalogue
Mercury Police Car in 1970 Matchbox Catalogue

Other Brands

Monthly Acquisitions Sept 2019 4

Aside from Matchbox and Hot Wheels, I only picked up two Chinese made models, a ’70 Boss Mustang by Maisto and an Audi Coupe in “Delta Airlines” livery with no diecast brand marked on the base.


Totals: 16 Models:  9 Hot Wheels, 5 Matchbox, 1 Maisto and 1 unidentified Chinese made model

2 bought new,  13 bought secondhand, 1 traded

Outlets: 10 Secondhand Toy Stores,  1 Dry Bridge Market, 2 Pepela, 1 Kakha and 1 Clothing Market

Net expenditure: 94.20 lari ($31.82)

1 lari = 34 US cents

What is the difference between Hot Wheels and Matchbox?

Hot Wheels and Matchbox are  both diecast car brands owned by Mattel, they are roughly the same size around two and a half to three inches long at a nominative 1:64 scale.  Matchbox is older having begun in the fifties, Hot Wheels came onto the scene in 1968 with their fast wheels on piano wire axles. I prefer Matchbox because of That Nostalgia Buzz they were the toy cars I grew up with. However, I have more Hot Wheels in my collection because they are far more numerous and have a better distribution network. Matchbox tends to be more focused on realism being copies of the cars and lorries (Matchbox has far more lorries than Hot Wheels) that can be seen on the roads. Hot Wheels has more fantasy elements and the cars tend to be slightly modded or hot rodded from the base car.

Morris Mini, Matchbox Mini
Morris Mini (Hot Wheels) and Austin Mini (Matchbox)

I think the difference between the two brands is nicely illustrated by these two Minis, the Hot Wheels model (left) has a lot of graphics, a bump on the bonnet and is shorter and wider. The Matchbox model is more like a Mini you would see on the road with simple graphics and more realistic proportions.

I will continue to collect both brands.

That Nostalgia Buzz

I have written before about the nostalgia buzz on this blog. It is one of the drivers for my collecting. Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

1969 superfast
1969 second edition catalogue, showing new Superfast models

Some models come with a strong “nostalgia buzz“. I was 5 years old when Matchbox switched from regular wheels to Superfast, the models of that time evoke in me strong feelings of nostalgia. Particularly the Sports Cars like the Iso Grifo and Lamborghini Miura, these were my dream cars at the time. I pulled out a selection of cars from my collection that have the strongest nostalgia buzz for me…

nostalgia buzz group
These Matchbox cars evoke strong nostalgia in me

Nostalgia relates to our sense of identity, it kindles fondly remembered aspects of our past and helps to cool the anxieties of our present. Music and smells can also evoke the past, a tune or a smell like TCP (the antiseptic frequently applied to my childhood cuts) , will transport me in my mind back to my childhood.

Matchbox diecast catalogues 1969
1969 Catalogue

I don’t have any of the models I had as a child, but I have bought similar ones. I favour models of the late sixties and early seventies cars, and the Matchbox brand, largely because that is what I played with most as a child.

nostalgia buzz Lamborghini Marzal
Lamborghini Marzal

The Lamborghini Marzal was one of the very first Superfast cars, there is no regular wheels version. The dark red model was first and this has a more powerful nostalgia buzz for me than the pinker model that appeared a couple of years later.

The first new cars with Superfast wheels: Lamborghini Marzal, BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Lotus Europa

Not all models of that era have the same buzz for me. The models below: the Porsche 910, Ford Group 6 , GMC Refrigerated truck and Dodge Tipper are from the same time but their buzz is weaker maybe because I desired them less at the time (1969, 1970). The older models in front: the Austin Cambridge and Ford Fairlaine Fire Chief Car also have a weaker buzz as they came from a time before I was conscious of Matchbox cars.

nostalgia buzz weaker
These models from the same era and a couple of older models have a weaker buzz for me

Matchbox Cars from the period 1968 to 1972,  resonate most strongly with me in a nostalgic sense. I was born in 1964, so these years were the peak of my toy car playing years. I probably stopped buying toy cars when I was around 12, and started buying music with my pocket money instead.

nostalgia buzz group 2
Matchbox cars with a strong nostalgia buzz

The Citroen SM and Mazda RX500 are slightly newer than the other models, having been introduced in 1972. To my mind they are still new models even though looking back from 2019, there is little difference between a model 50 years old and one 47 years old.

The recoloured models have a more dilute buzz. In the seventies, unlike today, cars had the same colour for longer. I am still looking for the first colour of the BMC Pininfarina, which was a gold colour before it was changed to a milky orange.

nostalgia buzz iso bmc marzal
on the left the darker colours were first, the lighter colours were the recolours, I don’t have the first colour of the BMC

Aside from Matchbox the other British brands: Corgi and Dinky have some models with a nostalgia buzz, but fewer as they were more expensive and so I had fewer of them as a child. Also there are a few Majorette models that remind me of my first trip to Paris in 1974 (Chrysler 180, BMW 3.0CSL and Mercedes 450SL). Other brands Hot Wheels, Siku, Tomica etc… do not have this buzz for me as they were not part of my childhood.

nostalgia buzz corgi 2
Some Corgis with a nostalgia buzz

Nostalgia comes from two Greek words, nostos meaning homecoming and algos meaning longing or pain. My collecting of model cars really took off, when I moved to Tbilisi, Georgia (2009). Maybe I am trying to make a connection to home (England) or my past. The French writer Proust, describes how tasting a Madeleine cake, which he hadn’t tasted since childhood, triggered a cascade of warm and powerful sensory associations. Nostalgia can boost psychological well being.

Iso Grifo
Iso Grifo

I have one particularly vivid memory from childhood, in the classroom, when I was just seven, my friend Carl showed me his model of the Matchbox Mercury Cougar “Rat Rod Dragster”, this was like no model car I’d seen before. The car was bright lime green with an exposed engine. I was familiar with the earlier Mercury Cougar, which had opening doors and came in a metallic light green, but this was something new. Hot Wheels hadn’t made a direct impact on my childhood at that time (1971) in England the pocket money rivals of Matchbox were the Corgi Juniors and Corgi Rockets. Finding a model of the Rat Rod at a Boot Sale in 2012, transported me back forty years.

Rat Rod and Wild Cat
“Rat Rod” Mercury Cougar and “Wild Cat” Ford Mustang