adding some animals

plastic animals

I didn’t find any diecast models I wanted in the Secondhand Toy Shop today, but I did find some animals in a similar scale to my diecasts, which I thought might make for some interesting scenes.

The Dodge Cattle Truck would originally have come with two plastic cows, I don’t have the originals but this black and white cow, I found, seems to fit fine.


The octopus was a strange choice but I have a Deep Diver (Matchbox), this would obviously look better if I had an aquarium.

Deep Diver and Octopus

I have many vehicles suitable for safari.

Land Rover Discovery and Jeep Willys (Matchbox)

I have a “Polizei” Pony Trailer with its original black ponies, now they have a third equine to play with.

Pony Trailer (Matchbox)

Matchbox have launched a number of Jurassic World models to coincide with the release of the film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I haven’t bought any of the Matchbox Jurassic World models yet but I do have some plastic dinosaurs.

Jeep and dinosaurs

My scene doesn’t quite look as spectacular as one from the movie.

Jurassic World 7
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom




Renault in miniature 2

My collection isn’t just about exotic cars like Lamborghini and Porsche. I also like everyday cars in miniature.

French cars have a certain Gallic charm. In real life I had two French Cars (a Citroen ZX and a Peugeot 306). I never had a Renault, although I did consider a 19 once.

Renault 17TL Outside
Renault 17TL (Matchbox)

I have always liked the Renault 17, it might have only had 4 cylinders but the style was from my favourite era: the early seventies. As a kid in the early seventies, I was car  crazy and seeing a Renault 17 on the road was a treat. I have two in miniature the Matchbox model above and a Solido 1:43 model in blue.

The Corgi 16TS is probably my favourite Renault model. I found it here in Tbilisi at the Dry Bridge Market. It cost just 20 lari ($7.78). The model was made in Great Britain at the Mettoy factory in Swansea in the late sixties. The actual car was quite revolutionary, being both a hatchback and having front wheel drive, nowadays this is common but at the time this was ground breaking. The model has two cogs accessible on the base, which when turned tip the seats inside, an interesting Corgi feature.

Renault 16TS (2)
Renault 16 TS (Corgi)

The Matchbox Renault 5TL was produced from 1979 to 1986 and has an opening rear hatch. The Renault 5 was one of the first superminis in the 3 door hatchback style, which became very popular in Europe. The term supermini developed in the UK in the 1970s, as car manufacturers sought a new design to surpass the influential Mini, launched in 1959. Other superminis at the time were the Ford Fiesta, Fiat 127, VW Polo, Vauxhall Chevette and Mini Metro. From the first year (1972), the Renault 5 won over 5% of the French automotive market, then positioned itself 3 years later as European market leader. For more than 10 years it remained at the head of sales of small cars in France. In the end, more than 5,325,000 units were sold worldwide.

Renault 5TL (Matchbox) (scale 1:52)

Alpine is the sporting offshoot of Renault.

Alpine Renaults 5
Renault Alpine

The models are usually blue, the French racing colour, but it is  the red 310 Alpine model which is actually made in France, the other models are made in Portugal, Italy and China.  I have five, made by Solido, Bburago and Deagostini.The Bburago model of the Berlinetta is 1:24 scale, the Bburago model of the Alpine 110-50 is 1:64 the others are 1:43.


Ferruccio Lamborghini founded his car company (Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A.) in 1963 with the objective of producing a refined grand touring car to compete with offerings from established marques such as Ferrari.

Ferruccio Lamborghini built tractors and he wasn’t happy about the clutch on his Ferrari. As a builder of tractors, Lamborghini knew something about clutches, so he decided to approach Enzo about the problem. But Ferrari, whose distaste for his customers was already legendary, rudely dismissed him.

Lamborghini was not used to being summarily brushed off. After all, he had started out poor and had become a successful, wealthy industrialist, who just coincidentally built a product that also had an engine, clutch and drive-train.

Driven by anger, he decided to modify his own 1958 Ferrari 250GT into the vehicle that he wanted, but felt Ferrari could not or would not build. The modifications worked so well that it gave Lamborghini the idea that he should start building his own high-performance Grand Touring car.

Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster
Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster (Majorette)

A long time ago, when I was 14, I cycled with a friend to Henley on Thames, about 15 miles from Slough, where I was living at the time. There was a car concessionaires that dealt in Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini. The sales staff were friendly, out the back they had a Lamborghini Countach they were fixing for some Arab Sheikh. They let us sit in it, it was so low, it was almost as though we were sitting on the floor.

Countach! An Italian exclamation of astonishment! The hottest supercar of the 1980s.  Designed, like the Miura it replaced, by Marcello Gandini. In the eighties posters of the Countach would adorn the walls of any teen petrolhead. Jay Leno used one as an everyday vehicle in the eighties. It produced a whopping 455 hp, the first American production car to top 400hp was the Dodge Viper introduced in 1992.

Lamborghini Countach x 7
Lamborghini Countach x 7

Not surprisingly many diecast companies have produced the iconic design in miniature. The first Lamborghini supercar was the Lamborghini Miura a car, it a legendary car, it showed Lamborghini truly had arrived to the supercar table. They could compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. There is a tremendous frisson of nostalgia for me with this model. I remember having the Matchbox model as a child and I also remember watching the Italian Job, which has a Lamborghini Miura crash in the classic opening scene. I now have a dozen miniature Miuras.

Lamborghini Miura x 12
Lamborghini Miura x 12
Lamborghini Miura Matchbox
Matchbox Miuras made in England, Thailand and Bulgaria

I have never seen a real Miura, let alone sat in one. Another Lamborghini with that frisson of nostalgia is the Lamborghini Marzal, this was one of the first Matchbox cars with Superfast wheels. Many Matchbox castings in 1969 were adapted from regular wheels to the new Superfast wheels, but the Lamborghini Marzal was introduced with Superfast Wheels from the beginning and it was the car in the artwork of the first Superfast track set.

sf1 lamborghini marzal
SF-1 Superfast Speed Set with Marzal on the artwork

The Lamborghini Marzal was a prototype concept car presented by Lamborghini at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show. The Marzal remained a one-off, though the general shape and many of the ideas would go on to be used in the Espada. The Marzal design probably found wider recognition as a die-cast model, with both Dinky and Matchbox making scale models.

Lamborghini Marzal x 6
Lamborghini Marzal x 5 (all Matchbox except the yellow model which is Zylmex)

This model got a new lease of life as part of the Matchbox  Super GT budget range in the 1980s where the cars have the interior left out, black glass and any opening details removed, the Marzal Super GT also lost it’s lower door windows.

As my collection gets larger, maybe too large, I sometimes think about cutting back and maybe concentrating just on a few themes, one of which would be Lamborghini, I have around 50 Lamborghini models, only Ford (117), Chevrolet (99) and Porsche (69) are more numerous in my collection. The photo below shows 45 of my models, those I was able to find easily without going meticulously through every shelf, box and drawer holding my collection.

Lamborghini x 45
45 of my Lamborghinis

I am still on the lookout for other Lamborghinis to add to my collection, I would particularly like to find a Siku Lamborghini Espada, I also find it hard to resist any Miura.

That Frisson of Nostalgia

I have mentioned in several posts, the frisson of nostalgia I feel for certain models. “Frisson” is a French term meaning “aesthetic chills,” the nostalgia connects us to something from our past. Frissons can come with music, with smells, with tastes and with images or objects. If I smell TCP, it reminds me of the school playground and the frequent applications of TCP on my various cuts and grazes from tumbling over.

I feel a strong frisson with these models

With some models that frisson is stronger than with others. It is difficult to explain why. It is usually with the Matchbox and Corgi models from around 1968 to 1975. I don’t feel the same frisson with old Hot Wheels, they weren’t really a part of my childhood. Many are models I had as a child or desired as a child. It won’t be every model from say the Matchbox range of 1969; the Crane Truck exudes this frisson but the Refrigerator Truck does not.

frisson of nostalgia crane and refrigerator truck
Matchbox Eight Wheeled Crane and Refrigerator Truck

Older models that weren’t part of my childhood memories don’t generate the same reaction. The Matchbox Austin Cambridge (in production 1961 to 1966) might be the oldest model in my collection, but I didn’t have it as a child and it doesn’t have the frisson of nostalgia for me that the later Iso Grifo has.

Ghia L6.4 (Corgi) and Austin Cambridge (Matchbox) from the early sixties

The redline Hot Wheels models are great but don’t excite me like Matchbox models of the same era. However, there are more recent Hot Wheels models that have that frisson of nostalgia for different reasons. The entertainment vehicles like Scooby Doo‘s Mystery Machine and The Love Bug‘s Herbie, bring to mind the cartoon and the film I loved as a child. The Love Bug may have been the film that got me really car crazy, I would have been 5 or 6 when I first saw it.

frisson of nostalgia Herbie and Mystery Machine
Herbie” from the Love Bug and The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo

Some toy cars link me with events of my childhood, I explored one such connection in a previous post about the Corgi Marcos Mantis: Therein lies a tale…

Looking at a picture of Dinky Toys from 1970, I see a few models that bring back distant childhood memories:

  • The Captain Scarlet Maximum Security Vehicle– all I remember of my first day of school was playing with this model, I don’t remember the lessons, the teacher or the other kids…
  • The Lotus Europa – this was the first thing I ever shoplifted (not something I’m proud of)-I still remember the fear
  • The Ford Capri – I remember in a fit of rage my brother throwing this at me, I ducked and it broke the window.
  • The Mercury Cougar – I bought in Hamley’s with all my Christmas money, I couldn’t quite afford the Cadillac Eldorado, now strangely I have the Cadillac but I’d prefer to have the Mercury.

dinky 1970myp

I particularly like the sports cars in the Matchbox range like the Iso Grifo, Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari Berlinetta.


frisson of nostalgia Italian sports cars
Matchbox Italian Sports cars

I love looking through old catalogues, I have a few and can see others online. I love the old Matchbox artwork.

Matchbox diecast catalogues 1969
Matchbox Catlalogue 1969

The frisson of nostalgia isn’t the only reason I collect. I have reflected about my reasons in a previous post: Reflections on Why I collect diecast cars?

I would be interested in the comments, if you have similar feelings with childhood toys.

Monthly Acquisitions: July 2018

Last month (see: Monthly Acquisitions: June 2018 ) was rather excessive on the collecting front with 56 models added to the collection. This month has been more restrained but still 20 23 models saw their way into my ever growing collection.

July Acquisitions minus 3 late additions (see below)

Only two models were bought new (’71 Porsche 911 and Ford GT (Mystery Model)), the rest were found secondhand at various outlets near Tbilisi Central Station. Again the selection is dominated by Matchbox and Hot Wheels.


Matchbox Models

Highlight of the Matchbox models for me is the Rolamatics Beach Hopper, (produced 1974-1978) which has been painted by a previous owner. When the car rolls, the driver bumps up and down.

I found two Police Cars: a Chevrolet Suburban (from 2010 Police Squad 5 pack) and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (from 2012 Police 5 pack).

The Toyota Prius (produced 2011) is a common sight on the roads of Tbilisi, particularly popular with taxi drivers. I’m  not a fan of its looks.

The MBX Moving Truck (produced 2010) has an opening rear door. As a child I remember the Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Truck, that had a rear door that opened, too. My parents would occasionally load the truck with Smarties for me as a treat.

The plane in the background is a Matchbox Skybuster, an F-35B Lightning (SB90 Made in Thailand).


I don’t usually buy planes, but I bought two this month, the other was a Maisto model of a Supermarine Spitfire, the iconic British fighter in the Battle of Britain.

Diecast Planes: Supermarine Spitfire and F-35B Lightning

Hot Wheels

I added 8 Hot Wheels to the collection: 5 sports cars, 2 trucks and a VW Golf.

Hot Wheels Sports Cars
  1. Lamborghini Murciélago from the 2011 Exotics 5 Pack, I find Lamborghini models very difficult to resist.
  2. Lamborghini Countach from the 2009 World Racers 5 Pack
  3. ’71 Porsche 911 this is one of my favourite models in the 2018 range
  4. Ford GT  this is the Mystery Models chase car
  5. Jaguar D Type (produced 1998) classic British Sports Car
  6. Peterbuilt Cement Truck (produced in the 1980s), for some strange reason I have a soft spot for cement mixers and have a few in my collection.
  7. Ambulance from the 1997 Rescue Squad 5 Pack, this model has opening rear doors.
  8. VW Golf from the 2009 Volkswagen 5 Pack
Trucks: Cement Mixer, Ambulance and Moving Truck


My biggest surprise this month was finding two Corgi models from the sixties in a secondhand toy store near Tbilisi Central Station.

Chrysler Imperial and Ferrari Formula One (Corgi)

The Chrysler Imperial is missing its tyres and a door panel but the paintwork is good considering the age. The model was produced from 1964 to 1968 and is similar to the car driven by Don Draper in Mad Men. Corgi misnamed the model Chrysler Imperial as Imperial was a distinct make from 1955 to 1983, the Chrysler Corporation advised state licensing bureaus that beginning in 1955, the Imperial was to be registered as a separate make. It was an attempt to compete directly with GM’s Cadillac and Ford’s Lincoln distinct luxury-focused marques. Frequently and erroneously referred to as the “Chrysler Imperial”, these cars had no “Chrysler” badging anywhere on them until 1971, and were a separate distinct marque, just as Lincoln and Cadillac were for Ford and GM.

Don Draper Chrysler
The 1964 Imperial convertible was Don Draper’s personal ride.

The Ferrari produced from 1962 to 1966 has one missing tyre.

Everyday Cars

I love exotic cars like Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Porsches but I also like to have some everyday cars in my collection. This month I found a Toyota Prius (Matchbox), VW Golf (Hot Wheels), Mazda MPV (Tomica) and a Volvo 760GLE (MC Toys-Maisto).

Everyday cars

Late Arrivals

Posting about monthly acquisitions before the end of the month, risks new finds being found after the publication. Today, July 29, visiting the secondhand toy shop again I found three more models.

three late additions

At the rear of the photo is a Matchbox SuperKings Heavy Breakdown Vehicle (K-14) from the late seventies. It is missing its hook, but I could twist a paper clip into a substitute. The green model BattleKings Recovery Vehicle (K-110) had two hooks. The base actually reads BattleKings Recovery Vehicle (K-110). When I asked the price I was told 10 lari…as I moved away this was reduced to just 5 lari.

Recovery Vehicle base

The second model is a Majorette Limousine, this was made in France and 1/58 scale. I have seen it listed on some sites as a Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine, although the base just reads “LIMOUSINE” with no indication of make.

The third model is an ERTL John Deere Semi Hauler, the 1/64 model is made in China and interested me as a potential tyre donor having 10 rubber tyres. The tyres are too big for the Chrysler Imperial unfortunately.


…and finally

I also found a cheap plastic Datsun 240Z for just a lari (41c).

Datsun 240Z


Totals: 23 Models: 8 Hot Wheels, 7 Matchbox,  2 Corgi, 2 Maisto,  1 Tomica, 1 Majorette, 1 ERTL and 1 from China (brand unknown)

2 bought new, 21 bought secondhand

Outlets: 17 Secondhand Toy Store, 1 Cheap Secondhand Toy Store, 2 Clothing Market, 2 Super Toys and 1 steps to Technical University Metro

Total cost: 70.90 lari ($28.47)

1 lari = 41 US cents

Matchbox Skybusters

Skybusters are diecast aircraft models made by the Matchbox brand. I tend to focus on cars when I collect diecasts, but I have bought a few aircraft.

Matchbox aircraft

Lesney began Skybusters in 1973 and the series continued under Mattel. I have two jet fighters an F 35B Lightning and a Tornado.

Tornado (top) and F 35B Lightning (bottom)
Freeway Flyer Matchbox Skybuster
Freeway Flyer

The Freeway Flyer is a car that can convert into a plane, the wings are retractable for highway use.

The heliopter (Rescue Chopper) is not a Skybuster but a regular Matchbox vehicle that showed up in a 2004 Police 5 Pack. I am not actively looking for more diecast aircraft, although if a Space Shuttle crosses my path I might snap it up.

Dinky made some diecast planes, which interested me when I would pore over their catalogue as a child. I have none in my collection, even with cars I have very few Dinky Toys

Dinky plane
Planes in 1974 Dinky Catalogue

Hot Wheels Mystery Models 2018 (Series 1)

Hot Wheels Mystery Model 2
Hot Wheels Mystery Models

Hot Wheels launched a set of “Mystery” Models in February 2018. The twelve in the series are mostly licensed models (replicas of real cars not fantasy models). Each car has a number reflecting its number in the series.

The models are

  1. 13 Copo Camaro
  2. Ford GT LM (this is the gold chase piece of the set)
  3. Carbide
  4. Mazda Furai
  5. Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (this is one of two silver chase pieces in the set)
  6. Lancia Stratos
  7. Chicane
  8. Super Volt
  9. F1 Racer
  10. Mazda RX 7 (this is one of two silver chase pieces in the set)
  11. Pass n Gasser
  12. ’70 Ford Mustang Mach 1

I’m not looking for all twelve, and whilst the Corvette and Mustang look great, the three that interest me are the Lancia Stratos, Mazda RX7 and Ford GT.


I showed on YouTube my opening of each package:

Lancia Stratos opening

Mazda RX7 opening

Ford GT opening

There wasn’t a real mystery as the packaging has a code indicating which model is inside.

Hot Wheels Mystery Model 6
K48/02 … the 02 means it is model 2…the Ford GT

Each package comes with a car, a sticker and a poster showing all the cars in the series.

A YouTube video showing the whole series was put out by the Lamley Group: Video


A Peek at My Diecast Collection

I don’t have a video camera, I made a short video for YouTube using my phone and an app (Video Show) to show off some of my collection. The result isn’t great; the focus wavering in and out, but it gives an idea of what diecast models I have displayed on my shelves… here is the YouTube link

Screenshot from 2018-06-27 13:23:02

I have plans to get a video camera or DSLR sometime to make better quality video, but don’t have the time or funds at present.


Monthly Acquisitions: June 2018

As with last month (Monthly Acquisitions: May 2018) I begin some days before the month has ended. This month has been rather crazy, so far I have added 56 models to my collection. The Secondhand Toy Store near the Station has had a lot of “new” stock. I have found a lot of Matchbox cars, some dating back to the early seventies, at around 2.50 lari (about $1) a model it has been difficult to resist the many temptations.

56 models added

I posted earlier about 9 June when I Came Across a Matchbox Carry Case in the Secondhand Toy Store .  On my last visit to the Secondhand Store (Thursday) they showed me a large sack of toy cars, which I methodically went through, most were plastic Chinese cars of recent manufacture, but there were some treasures. I picked out nine models including Dragon Wheels a model first issued back in 1972.

What I picked out of the sack

I was also pleased to find the Mercedes 190E 2.6, a Corgi Casting  used by Hot Wheels (Corgi – Hot Wheels).

24 Matchbox finds this month

Half the Matchbox vehicles date from the 1970s, so come with that frisson of nostalgia that keeps me looking for more. Some of the more recent Matchbox models like the Ice Cream Van and the SWAT Truck are more plastic than diecast.
Particular highlights for me were the Ford Escort RS2000, Piston Popper, VW Dormobile Ambulance, Dragon Wheels and Renault 5TL.

There were plenty of Hot Wheels too in my search.

17 Hot Wheels finds

The Nissan 180SX and Mazda RX7 were the only ones bought new. The Mazda RX7 was a Mystery Model but it isn’t a mystery if you know what to look for as I show in this video: Mazda RX 7 Mystery Model (YouTube link)

Particular highlights for me aside from the new cars were the Mercedes 190E 2.6, Ford Anglia Panel Van, Lamborghini Murcielago and ’87 Toyota Pick Up (with real rider tires).

Then there were an interesting selection of other brands.

a selection of other brands

The selection includes a Majorette Tuk-Tuk (1:47 scale), a Corgi Juniors Batmobile (with Batman figure), a Tomica Toyota Harrier, a Johnny Lightning Doc E Brown Van (from Back to the Future), a Siku Liebehr Radlader (1:87 scale), a Santapod Gloworm (Corgi) and a Kamaz Cage Truck of Soviet origin.

Sometimes I will buy cheaper Chinese models if they represent a car I like, which I haven’t found in the better quality brands, this was the case with the AMC Pacer and Porsche 924.

AMC Pacer and Porsche 924

Totals: 56 Models: 17 Hot Wheels, 24 Matchbox, 2 Majorette, 2 Corgi, 2 Maisto, 2 ERTL, 1 Johnny Lightning, 1 Tomica, 1 Siku, 1 Bburago, 1 from USSR (brand unknown) and 2 from China (brand unknown)

3 bought new, 53 bought secondhand

Outlets: 44 Secondhand Toy Store, 4 Cheap Secondhand Toy Store ,3 Clothing Market, 2 Dry Bridge Market, 2 Pepela and 1 XS Toys

Total cost: 157 lari ($64.08)

1 lari = 41 US cents