I added six cars to my collection this month and four departed. I bought three and the other three I got in an exchange with a local collector here in Tbilisi.
’89 Porsche 944 Turbo (Hot Wheels).
Mazda RX 7 (Matchbox) 1:56 Scale. Made in Macau.
Pontiac Fiero (Matchbox) 1:56 Scale. Made in Macau. I got this model from Zura at Dry Bridge Market.
Ford Escort Cabriolet. (Matchbox) 1:56 Scale. Made in Macau.
Saab 9000 Turbo. (Matchbox) 1:60 Scale. Made in Macau.
Road Stripe King (Matchbox). This truck has an interesting feature where you can insert a pencil or crayon through the centre for drawing on paper or whatever.
I found a fellow collector L in Tbilisi, when he commented on a post I made on a Facebook group: Matchbox Collectors’ Forum. We friended each other and exchanged messages and this month, having both been vaccinated, we finally met up. L wanted some Made in England Matchbox and he had some Made in Macau Matchbox available for exchange. He sent pictures and I selected the Saab and the Ford. In exchange for Siva Spyder and Flying Bug. I added a Lotus Seven and a new model of Mr Bean’s Mini and he added the Mazda RX7.
Totals: 6 Models: 1 Hot Wheels, 5 Matchbox
2 bought new, 1 bought secondhand and 3 acquired through a swap
Outlets: 1 Pepela, 1 Carrefour, 1 Dry Bridge, 3 from L
I haven’t been hunting a lot this month, I look in my local grocery store and Pepela but they don’t have any new stock. I did find the Honda Prelude at Pepela but nothing else I wanted which I didn’t already have. I found the other two cars at Dry Bridge Market, a MatchboxBMW323i Cabriolet and a Peugeot 505 STi (Siku).
Honda Prelude (Hot Wheels). I like when a car has a bright colour and a black bonnet, this reminds me of the MatchboxCapri of the early seventies. I also love classic sporty Hondas, so I had to get this one.
BMW 323i Convertible (Matchbox). 1:58 scale. This model was made in the late 1980s, the base is marked “Matchbox Int’l” it was made in Thailand. Most of the black paint around the windows has been rubbed off.
Peugeot 505STi (Siku). 1:55 scale. My father had a Peugeot 305 for a while, a similar style to the larger 505. This model was made in West Germany in the 1980s.
Totals: 3 Models: 1 Hot Wheels, 1 Matchbox and 1 Siku
2021 hasn’t been great for collecting because of the Pandemic. This month, March, the Pandemic is still prevalent but some restrictions have been lifted so I can hunt again for diecast models and not merely rely on the paltry stocks at the local grocery store. So far it is half way through the month and I have picked up 5 Matchbox cars, Matchbox is my favourite brand because of its nostalgic resonance with the cars of my childhood.
The highlight of the month was the Boss Mustang with box, the only model “Made in England”. The box is not in the best condition but the car is near mint, I found this on Beso’s stall at Dry Bridge Market, I have bought old Matchbox cars and Majorettes from Beso before, last August I bought twelve, which I wrote about on this blog: https://jimholroyddiecast.wordpress.com/2020/08/27/bonanza-time/
The Boss Mustang goes nicely with my Piston Popper, a Rola-matic Mustang, which has its pistons going up and down when the car is rolled along the ground.
Also from Beso I got a very playworn AMX Pro Stocker. This model was produced in 1985 in Macau.
The secondhand toy shops around the central station are open again, they don’t have much new stock but I found the Opel Kadett GSi Police Car in one for just 1 lari and a Swamp Commander in the other. The Opel has lost a lot of its paint but still rolls well and its light bar is intact, and as my first real car was an Opel (Opel Corsa 1.5D), I have a soft spot for Opels. The Swamp Commander is the most recent model, made in Thailand in 2017.
I returned to Dry Bridge Market on Sunday and found the Ferrari 308 GTB on Zura’s stall, another eighties Matchbox car.
For a long while I thought my monthly haul would be exclusively Hot Wheels cars, then on Sunday I visited Dry Bridge Market, where I met Beso, who had sold me so many cars last month. This month, I chose just one a MajoretteVW K70, from the mid seventies.
I chose the VW from a selection of 7 cars, 3 Majorettes and 4 Matchbox, it was a difficult choice as each car had its attraction. I might have bought the Ford Group 6 but one of the wheels was slightly buckled, I like my cars to be able to roll freely, even if I rarely push them across the floor or along the track.
I already have a MatchboxTurbo Fury in my collection (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuxVUgHy7A). Tanzara and BlueShark are both fantasy cars, I prefer my cars based on real life cars. I have a couple of Simca 1100s and whilst the Bertone Citroen Camargue prototype was very tempting, my choice fell on the VW. The VW K70 in the light metallic blue, a colour reminiscent of the MatchboxSuperfast Ford Cortina. Which would you have chosen?
I thought August was going to be a slightly disappointing month, in the first three weeks, I had only found a few cars in the secondhand shop but nothing to set my heart racing. Then on 23rd August, I met Beso at Dry Bridge Market, who was selling some Matchbox and Majorettes from the seventies. Two of my favourite brands and my favourite era for collecting. I wrote about this in my last post: Bonanza Time!
I eventually bought 12 cars from Beso, 9 Majorettes and 3 Matchbox. I spent more this month than I have in any other month. This year my average expenditure is about 100 lari a month, but in August the expenditure shot up to 401.30 lari ($129.87).
Majorettes have almost as big a nostalgia buzz as Matchbox for me, as a 9 year old child I visited Paris for the first time, went up the Eiffel Tower and came home with three Majorette cars, a Chrysler 180, BMW 3.0 CSiand a Mercedes 350SL, if my memory serves me well, I have now got all three of these and more.
These are all made in France and have boxes, some of the boxes are missing end flaps.
Jaguar E Type (Majorette) x 2…I have an orange one and a blue one. Enzo Ferrari described the Jaguar E-Type (XKE on the US Market) as “the most beautiful car in the world.” 1:60 Scale. Opening bonnet (hood).
Fire Truck “Pompier” (Majorette). The ladder should be detachable, but I don’t want to detach it lest it breaks. This could be based on a Dodge. 1:80 scale.
Plymouth Fury Police Car (Majorette). This model should have an aerial (missing). 1:70 scale
Mercedes 350SL (Majorette). This model I had as a kid and it was on my Wants’ list. Beso had two: one in white, one in yellow, as I had the yellow model as a kid, I had to choose that. Scale 1:60. Opening boot (trunk).
Citroen DS Ambulance (Majorette). This model has a different style box to the others. It has blue flags on the bumpers and an opening rear door. Scale 1:65.
BMW 3.0CSi (Majorette). Like the Mercedes, this was also a model I had as a kid but in orange, not metallic dark red. Scale 1:60. Opening doors.
Citroen SM (Majorette). The Majorette is a very similar colour to the original Matchbox model. Scale 1:60. Opening doors.
Citroen Dyane “Maharadjah” (Majorette). This is a strange quirky model with a parasol that spins in Rolamatics fashion when the car is rolled along.
Citroen SM (Matchbox)… I had one in a copper bronze colour but not in metallic light blue, it is also a fantastic example of a quirky French sports car, the lovechild of Citroen and Maserati. Scale 1:63. Opening doors. I’ve since been informed that the light blue version is very difficult to find to add to my joy. Made in England.
Dodge Charger Mk 3 (Matchbox). #52 This is based on a concept car from 1968 with a flip up canopy. Scale 1:62. Made in England.
Iso Grifo. #14 This is my favourite Matchbox casting, I have never seen the actual car but I love the Matchbox model, this was one of the first cars to be made into a Superfast model back in 1969. The loop track set (SF2) included an Iso Grifo in the set and on the box art. Scale 1:62. Made in England.
Porsche Panamera. This is a recent casting, made in Thailand. 1:66 scale. I found this loose in a secondhand toy shop.
Volkswagen Golf Mk2. This was the only model I bought new this month. Because of Coronavirus, the toy shops here haven’t stocked up on any new Hot Wheels product since the beginning of the year. I like this colour for the casting, I think it works better than yellow or white, which I have seen previously. Made in Malaysia.
’64 Impala. Classic Chevrolet. Made in Malaysia.
’55 Chevy. This model is a little playworn, I got it in a trade at Samgori Market with “Tsiteli“. I like the colour and the style. Made in Thailand.
Avant Garde . This is a fantasy model inspired by the Citroen DS. Made in Malaysia.
Moskvitch 412. This is in very rough condition and I need to clean it up. I got this at Dry Bridge Market, too but not from Beso. 1:43 Scale. Made in USSR.
VW Microbus (Realtoy). A nice looking casting of a VW Microbus in the three inch size. Diecast body, plastic base. Made in China.
“Nigel Gearsley” Aston Martin DBR9 (Mattel Disney Pixar). A model from the Cars series. If I had seen the Cars films as a child I might have a nostalgic yearning for them now. The movie cars from my childhood were cars like Herbie, the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and TV Series Batmobile. I occasionally get these Pixar models because of the cars they are based on, in this case an Aston Martin.
Tooned Chevy Camaro. (Funline). I am not familiar with this brand. The car has rubber tyres and rolls well. I can’t see an interior through the darkened glass. It is quite weighty and would be great to race across the playground if you were 7 years old…sadly, I’m now close to fifty-seven years old.
Totals: 21 Models: 4 Hot Wheels, 9 Majorette, 4 Matchbox, 1 Made in USSR, 1 Realtoy, 1 Mattel Disney Pixar and 1 Funline
I am still collecting under the shadow and restrictions of the pandemic. I don’t spend so much time browsing in toy shops as before the pandemic, also some of the pre-pandemic outlets are not around. I have, however, added a few significant models to my collection this month.
Only one model was bought new, a Hot WheelsMercedes-Benz Unimog 1300.
The highlight of the month is a Soviet made Lada Niva with trailer in 1:43 scale, this was a present from Levan, the father of one of my students. A welcome addition to my Lada models.
There were also the three Majorette models from the seventies, which I found at Dry Bridge Market on Sunday. These three models were made in the seventies in France and are models of French cars. I found 3 Majorette Cars at Dry Bridge Market today. (blogpost). The box from the same era was thrown into the deal, although I don’t have the car depicted on the box a Citroen GS Bertone Camargue.
Chrysler 180 (1:60 scale) This has a terrific nostalgia buzz, when I visited Paris in the mid seventies as a child, I picked up three Majorette models among which was a Chrysler 180.
Peugeot 504. (1:65 scale) My brother actually owned a Peugeot 504 at one time, a rugged car popular in many African countries.
Matra Simca Bagheera (1:55 scale). A sports car with unusual three abreast seating.
Sol-Aire CX-4. A mid-engined racing car loosely based on Aston Martin and Nimrod’s “NRA/C2” Group C GT racer from the eighties.
BMW M3 GTR. Racing tampos.
Custom Volkswagen Beetle. This model has a roof rack.
Mercedes Benz Unimog 1300. This had been on my wants’ list for a few months.
I added only one Matchbox model this month, a bright orange Oshkosh Extending-Ladder Fire Engine from the 1990s. My one is missing the extending ladder part but the ladder still rises and the turntable works. (Made in Thailand).
A few models left the collection, I really have too many (1570), I gave four to “Tsiteli”, who gave me the Custom VW Beetle, he sells models and vintage games at Samgori Market.
Nissan GTR (RMZ City). This is a brand I don’t collect, I now have a couple of Hot WheelsGTRs so this one can go.
Jeep Scrambler(Hot Wheels).
Ferrari 360 (Hot Wheels). Coca Cola deco.
Mercedes CLK GTR (Maisto). Maisto is not a brand I like at this scale, the cars look cheap and the wheels are poor compared to Matchbox or Hot Wheels.
Totals: 9 Models: 4 Hot Wheels, 3 Majorette, 1 Matchbox, 1 Made in USSR
As I observed in my last post, restrictions are easing here in Tbilisi; COVID-19 is still a threat but the country is easing out of lockdown. Public transport is working again, although we have to wear a mask to use it. This means I can get around town again as I don’t have a real car and it is too hot to walk far.
This Sunday I again ventured to Dry Bridge Market, I didn’t visit other pre-Pandemic haunts, although I had gone to Vagzlis Basroba in the week. There were fewer traders than before the pandemic but a few were selling diecasts.
My favourite stallholder, Gocha, was still absent, but I did buy a model from Karo. A MatchboxSuper Kings Ford Sierra XR4i. Karo’s prices are usually high, I asked about a Moskvitch break he had, he stated a price of 150 lari… $49.18. For the Ford he suggested 35 lari, I offered 30 lari ($9.84), which he accepted.
After Dry Bridge Market, I went to Carrefour to do some grocery shopping. I noticed they had replenished their Hot Wheels pegs again, but saw nothing new, which I wanted (the stock is still from the 2020 D Case).
I have bought three models this month, so far: a Porsche 917 LH (from XS Toys last Sunday) , a glittery Chevrolet Monte Carlo (from a secondhand toy shop near the station) and the Sierra XR4i, I picked up today.
I hope you are all safe and well, the pandemic isn’t over, but we can at least get around more freely.
The COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are easing here in Tbilisi. Georgia (the country not the state) has been touched by COVID-19 less than many other countries, we have only had 13 deaths to date (unlucky for some). Georgia is hoping to open up to overseas tourists from selected countries where infection rates are also low on 1 July. Public transport is working again, although we should wear a mask to use it. This means I can get around town again as I don’t have a real car and it is too hot to walk far.
As it is Sunday, I thought it would be a good time to explore my pre-Pandemic haunts and see if I could find some diecasts to add to my collection. Last month, I didn’t add a single model to my collection for the first time since I started blogging. Monthly Acquisitions May 2020
My first destination was Dry Bridge Market, the big flea market in the centre of Tbilisi.
There were fewer traders than before the Pandemic, my favourite trader, Gocha, was absent. I saw a few model cars but nothing to add to my collection. Those I saw being too recent, too big or just of no interest to me.
After half an hour or so at Dry Bridge, I visited the Galleria Mall near Tavisuplebis Moedani. I hadn’t been to either Dry Bridge Market or Galleria since the beginning of March, when the COVID-19 restrictions came into force.
Galleria Mall has two toy shops on the third floor: XS Toys and Super Toys. The Mall was much less crowded than before the Pandemic. Entering the mall, a security guard checked everybody’s temperature. The use of escalators was restricted and masks were required at all times. Both toy shops were having a -30% sale. In XS Toys I was careful not to touch anything, until I chose my prey, a Hot WheelsPorsche 917LH in blue, they had some tempting Majorettes but their prices are too high almost 20 lari ($6.78) for a single model !, Hot Wheels were still 7.90 lari ($2.68) (or 5.50 lari ($1.86) with the discount). Super Toys had nothing to interest me.
XS Toys, Galleria
Super Toys, Galleria
Then, I took the metro to Station Square. Vagzlis Basroba, the sprawling market around the central station in Tbilisi, has three secondhand toy stores, which I frequented before the pandemic. Only one of the three was open and they told me they weren’t expecting any ‘new’ stock until 20 June.
After exploring the Basroba (market), I headed home with just the one model acquired for my collection. The Porsche 917LH looks fantastic, it is based on the real-life Porsche 917 LH, ‘Langheck‘ (Long Tail). Only five 917 LHs were made and competed in the endurance racing in the 1970 and 1971 season.
The first month of the New Year saw no signs of my collecting slowing down. I added another 18 models to my collection. Half were Hot Wheels and the rest were a variety of scales and brands.
The Hot Wheels included a Fast & Furious 5 pack, the main reason for getting this was the ’70 Ford Escort RS1600 I love this casting and wanted to get one in the Fast & Furious colours.
The Fast and Furious pack has 2 Fords and 3 Chevys. In addition to the Escort there are a ’72 Gran Torino Sport, a ’61 Impala, a Corvette Grand Sport Roadster and a ’70 Chevelle SS. One of my students gave me a couple of cars for Christmas: the Tesla Model S and the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. From Kakha, I traded a Chevy for the Time Shifter, a fantasy model in a similar style to the Time Attaxi inspired by Japanese manga comics. I also picked up a turquoise Honda S2000 from Zura at Dry Bridge Market.
Some of the most attractive models this month, I picked up were in 1:43 scale. The most expensive was a Soviet-made Izh Combi in metallic blue, this cost me 50 lari ($17.27) from Gocha at Dry Bridge Market. The model has been repainted and the hatch doesn’t open, but it still looks a great piece. The Izh Combi was one of the pioneering five door hatchbacks, preceded only by the Renault 16 and the Austin Maxi. Also from Gocha, I got the MatchboxYesteryear Ford Model T, this is actually 1:42 scale and is missing its canopy. The Ferrari 312 B2 was part of a series of Ferraris given away with Auto Bild magazine (1:43 Ferrari Collection). The Teardrop Caravan goes well with my Mercedes 300SL, both models are made in China by Cararama.
There were no 1:18 scale purchases, unlike last month, but I did get a couple of larger models: a Trabant 601 Combi “Feuerwehr” (missing its blue roof light) in 1:32 scale and a Ferrari Dino 246 GT by Maisto in 1:36 scale. These were both found at Dry Bridge Market but not from the usual sellers I frequent.
3 inch size
My first vehicle of the year was the TeamsterzNissan 370Z, which was a present from my step daughter on New Year’s Day (here in Georgia this is a present giving day, like Christmas in the west). Teamsterz isn’t a brand that interests me, putting out largely unlicensed models of inferior quality to Hot Wheels or Matchbox, but we are told not to look a gift horse in the mouth. The police crane is by an unknown Chinese brand, the crane swivels and extends, which adds to the play value, I’ll probably give it to my grandson, Lazare. Only one Matchbox model in the 3 inch size this month, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible (Made in China).
Totals: 18 Models: 9 Hot Wheels, 2 Matchbox, 1 Maisto, 1 Teamsterz, 1 SunStar, 1 Cararama, 1 IXO, 1 made in USSR and 1 unidentified Chinese model