Passion for Matchbox

This is the story of Charlie Mack, and his 42,000+ (!!!) collection of Matchbox cars and toys. As a kid, I grew up on Matchbox, at a time that Hot Wheels were the el cheapo toy cars and Matchbox was the good stuff. Good times… 😊 Anyway, it’s nice to see such passion (obsession?) in a toy collector.

By the way, who else still have their old Matchbox and Hot Wheels? I still have quite a few of mine. Though all are stored away and not on display, I’m proud to say that most are in very good shape.

The Monopole Incident

Published 01/16/23

No, you are not seeing double. The photo above is also not a half-assed clever trick of photography. I really do have two X84. And why would somebody buy two units of the exact same model? Because that somebody is clumsy and stupid 😣. I bought the first X84 #52 in early November last year, and was very happy with it. As usual, as soon as it arrived, I removed it from the box for inspection and placed it on my display shelves. A few days later I got it out from the display to photograph it. Just like I always do. Just like I have done for years and years.

Interestingly, NO damage to the paint anywhere else, only where the resin cracked.

And that’s when disaster came to town. While setting it up for the first(!) shot, I dropped it 😫. Almost 20 years collecting models and I dropped a model (no, really). I was paying attention to the camera and not the model, and I placed it to close to the edge of the track diorama. Physics being physics, it fell off and crashed to the tiled floor about 100 cm below. Meanwhile, I looked on dumbfounded, torn between smacking myself once or smacking myself twice.

If I was any good with full-body painting, I’m confident it could be repairable. Alas, I’m not…

Since it is a resin model, as you can see on the pics above, it cracked in the middle. The seats snapped off, as did the number plate’s lights on the side. The seats I recovered, yet I never found the lights. I thought about fixing it, however that would demand a full repaint. And that, unfortunately, is outside of my (meager) modeling skills. Besides, I would also have to fabricate new lights somehow and buy or fabricate decals. With all that, I decided against it.

My second X84 #52 is safe and sound.

So I had two options: bin it and forget about the X84 #52 or get a new one. I really liked the model, and I already had done all the research and written the review. So I went back to eBay and fortunately found a second one, also brand new. And as painfully expected, more expensive than what I payed on the first one 😤. As always, stupidity doesn’t come for free, it always has a price.

So there you have it, kids. Pay attention (don’t be stupid) or pay the price 😣.

Baby-blue awesomeness…

Do I have all the Gulf 917? Not even close. Missing from that shot is one of the Gulf 917LH from 1971. It could be either the#17 or #18, I would be happy with either one – I’m not picky. And of course, the 1971 Daytona winner… The problem is that all three are hellishly rare to find, specially the Daytona car 😣. I’m aware that there are quite a few other 917s in Gulf colors, however the Le Mans cars and the Daytona one (because of the story of that race) are the ones I really covet. Lets hope that Spark reissue those, like they did with the 917K #20 and very recently with the winning 1933 Alfa. If Spark did, a LOT of collectors would go ballistic with joy (like yours truly). Besides, I’m certain they would sell like hot cakes.

Come on Spark! Pretty please? 🍀

Top 5 – 2022

I have to say that compared to 2021, 2022 was a much better year. The COVID-19 pandemic was almost over and in general things got better. And in the 1:43 collecting front I think I can say it was a pretty good year. I got some nifty-good models for the W-143 Garage, even some very meaningful ones. The bad part is that my collection, as of now, has 483 cars 😲. I’m not at my limit for display space yet, however I’m getting close. So if 2023 is as “eventful” as 2022, for 2024 I may be in trouble…😣 That’s one thing I’ll have to start thinking about. Well, since 2022 is history, it’s time for what I consider the best five models I got last year. And here they are, the Top 5 models of 2022 (in chronological order):

1️⃣ The car of the worst tragedy in the history of motorsports. Nonetheless, a fantastic model that means a lot to me exactly because of it’s history.

2️⃣ This year I got into my head that I needed a Beetle in my collection. Well, though I went a little over one model, I think this set was the coolest. Yeah, yeah, it’s a set, TWO models, yet you can’t buy the two apart.

3️⃣ Being honest, I’m not sure if I like more the model or the history behind the model. Even so, Spark a-c-e-d the car in scale.

4️⃣ The coolest of the pre-war Alfas, and a model that I thought I would have to do without in the W-143 Garage.

5️⃣ I’m a HUGE 917 fanboy and also a Le Mans nut. However, The 1970 Daytona winner has possibly the coolest of all the 917 stories that I know of. And, the Spark version is very rare in 1:43.

What was your first model?

And do you still have it? I bet that many of us still do. After all, collecting in essence is saving things. However some of us who are on this road for long may not even remember which was the first one. Moreover, very possibly, this first model may be long gone, either sold or traded or perhaps even simply lost. I’m fortunate that I know what model it was and when I got it. And even more important, it is still with me 🥰.

Though it’s not part of my “active” collection I have it safely displayed. Want to know what it is? Just click HERE.

New photos

From time to time, I redo some of my older photos. Well, at least after July 2020. That’s when I got my Sony A7 III, replacing my old Nikon D70. Since the A7 III was a HUGE upgrade, I could do a much better job in showing my models. Besides, this year I made three new dioramas, two race tracks and one “parking lot”. With the better camera and better scenery, I could do better shots. That being so, once in a while I will re-shoot some of my older cars.

Such a gorgeous model deserved better photographs.

And this time I photographed the coolest MacF1 of all times, the 1995 BBA Compétition #42 art car. I recently made a new guardrail, and I thought #42 would look good with it as a backdrop. Without a doubt, the new photos came out much nicer than the previous ones.

Three little piglets…

Spark × Minichamps × Highspeed, from left to right.

With my new Pink Pig from Spark, I was able to do this small comparo. On the left you see the new Spark, and in the middle is my old Minichamps. And on the right is my daughter’s Highspeed model. She’s 11 and according to her, the Pink Pig is the coolest Porsche. Ever 😁.

Same order, from the rear.

The biggest difference between the Spark and the Minichamps is the black tape. During the race, car #23 had black tape around the door and engine cowl. I think Minichamps used the car as it sits at Porsche’s museum as the base for their model. In fact, I have the impression that most of their models are based on the cars as they look today. Spark, on the other hand, replicated the model as it was on race day. And for me, at least, that’s a BIG plus.

Spark on the left, Minichamps on the right and Highspeed at the bottom.

In terms of overall detail the Spark model has the edge, being it little more refined then the Minichamps. And as expected, the Highspeed version is much simpler. Nonetheless, it is NOT terrible – far from it, in fact. Therefore, it comes down to how much you want to spend and/or how important the Pink Pig is to your collection.

Whatchamacallit? Käfer, Fusca, Beetle or Vocho? And is it Bus, Kombi or Pão-de-forma?

At first Volkswagen just called their two most popular models the Sedan and the Transporter. However, with the years that changed, especially when these models began to be exported and manufactured in other countries. And both of them received many different local nicknames. Interestingly, with time, and in some markets, VW adopted that nickname as the models’ official name. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know of no other car with so many names. And I’m talking about official names, of course.

When I began to look into this, I was honestly surprised to see all the variations. Over here I listed a few of them, with a brief history of how it all started.

Mercedes 300 SLR: Spark × Minichamps

Very recently I upgraded a grail model, the Le Mans’ Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. This is one of those models that was paramount to have in my collection. I first got one in 2017, from Minichamps. And I was quite pleased with it, being the best one available at the time. However, in late December 2021 Spark released their version. Since the car is a grail model, I almost immediately bought one (or two… 😉). So, is it in fact better than my previous Minichamps version?

Oh yes, take a look here 😎.

The good, the bad and the best

I’m confident very few here recognize this poster. Heck, I think even fewer actually watched that film… Though I can’t say I watched it when it first came out (1966 – I wasn’t born yet), I watched it in the 80s. And I loved it – one of the best “spaghetti westerns”, a film genre that is long gone. However, I doubt that modern audiences will like it very much. Too “slow” for today’s movie standards.

But what the boogers does a 1960’s western has to do with 1:43 model cars?!? Well, other than the somewhat similar title, not much 😁. However, the title is pretty close to what I found out when I compared three 550 GTS Maranello models. Three models from three different brands with three different detail levels. What I concluded was not what you would normally expect