Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Still More '71...

Our next three from 1971! Believe it or not, we're almost done with the year....but nooooot quite! So, here you go!

First, we have The Heavyweights Snorkel. This car is often hard to find with all the parts of the crane. 

But here it is, in all its glory! Interestingly enough, The Heavyweights mainly used two basic trucks- the all in one model here, and a cab and trailer model. Therefore these two do not have the name of the model on the chassis like all the other cars of this era. Now you know!

Next, we have the Special Delivery! I'm not sure what the logistics would look like with a supercharged mail truck, but here it is. 

The "special feature" of this car is an opening mail box. It really doesn't work very well, since you just bend the plastic back to open it. 

Finally, we have the Strip Teaser. I'm kind of hot and cold on the complete fantasy designs, but this one is kind of cool.

The canopy opens so the driver can get in and out. I assume he would bring his own periscope to see over that huge engine. 

So there you go! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and here are hopes for a happy and prosperous 2019! Cheers!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

1971 Hot Wheels- The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I'm pretty comfortable in saying that 1971 was the high water mark for number of redlines released by Hot Wheels. 1970 was close, with 33, but 1971 gave us 35! What that means in my case is that I can milk this year for months with the ol' blog! Yay!

Our next three cars are:

The Six Shooter! What's better than one engine and four wheels? Well, here's your answer! It looks like the hatch might open on this one, but it doesn't.

The Snake II! The Mongoose and Snake line was a money making machine for Mattel, and they exploited it every chance they got. Interestingly, I remember having this one as a kid...until a friend stole it. Life lesson learned. Don't loan out your Hot Wheels!

The Snake II in service mode. I still think it looks cool with the body lifted...

Speaking of exploiting the property, here we have the Snake Rail, because...why not? The Mongoose and Snake Rails were identical, except for paint and stickers. 

And the Snake Rail in "wheelie mode." The set came with a trigger in the track that would trip the counter weight used for wheelies. it is!

That's about it for this time! Believe it or not, we still have a few more to go! Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Disneyland, 1961 Style!

You don't often find vintage Disneyland stuff around North Texas; at least not as much as you would in Southern California. So, I was a little surprised to find the following items at an estate sale last weekend. This is what I found...

First, we have these tickets from March 18, 1961! Now these aren't typical tickets, but, rather, "Magic Kingdom Club" tickets that included all the attractions for one price! What a crazy idea! 5 bucks in 1961 is $42.21 now, so it's still a great deal even today.

 Next, we have "Walt Disney's Guide to Disneyland," 1960 edition! This book is in great condition, and it really sets the mood for the early '60s version of the park!

Here we have Walt's personal introduction inside the front cover. As a kid, I really thought Walt wrote everything attributed to him. As an adult, it makes sense that he would sign off on his professional writers' work.

The table of contents gives a glance at all the wonders covered in the text!

The photography in the book is fantastic and really shows how special the park was. Do they even still have "Pablum?"

Interestingly, the only attraction that made it out of the "dreaming" phase at Disneyland was the "Haunted House," which, of course, became the "Haunted Mansion." I didn't even know "Chinatown" and "Adventures in Science" were being considered. "Liberty Street" became "Liberty Square" at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Finally, we have a land by land rundown of the whole park!

There were many more pages that I didn't photograph, but these give you an idea of the book. All in all, not a bad find!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

1971 Keeps Rolling Along!

Hey, campers! This week we have the next three 1971 Hot Wheels in my collection! 1971 was kind of a high mark in Hot Wheels history, in that they produced a LOT of new car models! So, hang we go!

The S'Cool bus was based on the Monogram model of the same name. Tom Daniels never worked for Hot Wheels directly, but his plastic model designs were borrowed for some of the most iconic Hot Wheels ever produced. Mattel owned Monogram models, by the way.

Under the hood (body?) we see two blown engines to motivate this beast down the track! This model was released in a bright yellow version and in this slightly yellow/ green version. 

1971 was a big year for the Heavyweights line of Hot Wheels, and they made about every kind of truck you can imagine. I used to think that the Scooper was a trash truck, but it's actually more of a gravel hauler...

When ya just gotta dump your gravel....

The Short Order is based on a stretched 50s style pickup. This is one of the few cars I found "in the wild," meaning not through another collector or on eBay. I got it at an estate sale this summer for under a buck...

The Short Order can become a Slightly Longer Order by pulling out the orange plastic bed.
So there you go! There are more to come! Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

How I Ended Up With Two Daisy 179 BB Pistols...

A few months ago I wrote about how I finally got a Daisy 179 pistol like the one I had as a kid. However, there is more to the story. You see, when I'm looking for an item, I save the search on eBay so that I can see when anything comes up for sale. When I finally get the item, I drop the search and move on. In this case, when I was about to drop the search, a new listing showed up for a non-working model. The gun looked pretty good, and the seller said it would cock and fire, but it wouldn't actually fire a bb. Best of all it was under ten bucks (slightly over with shipping) so I put in a minimum bid just for fun. As it turns out, I was the only bidder, so I now had a working and non-working example of the gun.

Interestingly enough, the non-working gun is actually older than the working one. You can tell because it has a brass trigger and hammer. It dates from the early 1960s, whereas the working gun dates from the mid 1970s.

At the time I was much more excited about the working model, so I kind of forgot about the cheap, junk one. I figured I could use it for replacement parts or something if I ever needed them. Then, as the months passed, I starting thinking about restoring it.

The seller was right. The gun cocked and the trigger released the hammer, but everything felt very weak. The spring and plunger on the magazine were not installed correctly, which let me in on the fact that someone had tried to work on this gun in the past. This embolded me, since I probably couldn't mess it up more than it already was. With my trusty screwdriver in hand, I dug in.

When I gently pulled the two halves of the gun apart, I noticed a problem right away. The main spring was broken, and the top part was missing. There was a little rubber part rattling around inside as well. The reason the action of the gun seemed weak was that it wasn't engaging the main spring that knocks the bb down the barrel...because that part was gone. 9

Google can be a wonderful thing, and it didn't take me long to find technical drawings of the gun, and a place that sells airgun parts. I ordered a new main spring from JG Airguns and hoped that would do it.

When the spring came in, I quickly opened the gun back up and installed the new spring. I also turned the magazine spring around so it was correct. With a great amount of hassle, I got the gun back together. Things didn't seem to fit well, but I finally managed. I then went to the back yard to test it.

It was a qualified success at best. The gun now felt tighter and did, indeed, fire the bb...but only if you could keep it from rolling out of the barrel first. In other words, if you cocked the gun with the barrel pointing down, the bb would simply roll out. Barrel up, it would fire. Obviously something was wrong.

Looking at the drawings I saw a spring that I hadn't noticed before, and that I didn't have. Its whole function is to keep the bb in place until the gun is fired. It seems that whoever worked on the gun before me lost it when he had it open.

Back to JG Airguns. They shipped it quickly and I was ready. I'll show you some pictures of the install...
The four screws that hold the gun together are removed. 

The three problem areas. The first arrow on the left points to the magazine spring that was backwards. The second arrow points to the (now replaced) main spring. The third arrow (on top) points to the missing bb retainer spring.

The retainer sping is now in place! However, see the little rubber part circled at the bottom? That part simply didn't fit. I couldn't even get the gun back together with it there. I finally left it out and the gun works perfectly! I'm assuming that the guy before me thought it went to this gun and it doesn't. It might go to the later model. Even though it is on the drawing, it doesn't look exactly the same. It works without it so I don't care.

The gun all back together and working great! The
little rubber part is below it.

So there you go! I now have a gun that it worth about ten times what I paid for it! Sometimes you have to put a little elbow grease in on those treasures! Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Back to School...Bank

A few weeks ago I picked up a tin bank at an estate sale. I actually saw it and then came back the next day so I could get it for 75% off. So, for under ten bucks, I got this...

This is the Metal Toy Mfg Company PS 23 tin bank from around the early 1940s. It measures five inches by four inches. The really cool thing is that this is a lollipop display for a store. Kids would put their penny in the slot and then select a lollipop from the holes in the top.

There are actually two versions of this bank. The more common (and slightly newer) version has snow on the roof and more lollipop holes. This blue roof version is pretty hard to find.

All in all it's not a bad addition to my bank collection. Since I've been working in public schools for almost three decades, I guess it really fits me. And to think I almost didn't get it because I was feeling cheap. Still, it was meant to be and it was waiting for me the next day!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Next Three From '71!!!

I know you've been waiting for them, and here they are! The next three Hot Wheels from that groovy year of 1971!!!

Ok, let's get on with it, shall we?

All racing teams need a pit crew, although I'm not sure all pit crews need a futuristic dedicated purpose car/van. But in Hot Wheels World we go big! The Pit Crew Car will get the guys to the track in style!

And where would the crew be without their tools? When you open the rear hatch, the tool tray slides out a bit.

And of course you also have to get the car there. The Racer Rig is just the truck to do it! The Bragham Repco F1 that it's carrying is one of four I now own. I got three of them at an estate sale a couple of months ago. 25 redlines and 10 60s Matchbox cars for 20 bucks. Sometimes you hit it big!

Anyway, back to the Racer Rig... The trailer has pull out ramps and a tool box because play value was important!

Finally, we have the Rocket Bye Baby. I'm pretty sure that's actually a jet engine on its back, but Jet Bye Baby makes no sense.

When you pull out the tail pipes, the intakes open on the sides. Why? It looks cool. It makes no logical sense that I can figure out, but neither does a jet powered rocket car. So there.

So there you have it! Three more are coming soon! Until then, keep searching for treasure!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Disneyland Trivets!

Sometimes I come across things in my treasure hunts that I have never seen before. A while back, in Denison Tx., I found these metal trivets that were meant to be hung on a wall. There were two of them, but for all I know there were supposed to be three...or not...I just dont know! So let's take a look at them, shall we?

First, we have the Fred Gurley chugging down the track. This image is from around 1958 (the year the engine entered service) so that places our trivets at least after that date.

Next we have a Jungle Cruise crew braving Dr. Falls' namesake! I like the old red and white striped boats more than the Indiana Jones versions we have now.

These trivets are pretty heavy. They seem to be brass, and the images are covered with about 1/16 inch glass. Apparently we have England to thank for them. These were obviously meant to be serious decor, and not for kids.

And that's about all I know about them. Google and eBay have let me down. I'm pretty sure they are from the late 1950s or early 1960s, based on the subject matter and quality of the items, but that's all I got. If anyone can share more info, please do!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bringing One Back From the (Mostly) Dead

In that great cinematic epic, The Princess Bride, we found out that "mostly dead" means "a little alive." I'm reminded of this fact sometime when dealing with vintage items. The biggest question, however, is how "dead" does something have to be to warrent a push to the "mostly alive" side? You see, certain collectors will NEVER restore an item, preferring to allow it to tell its own story of a hard life.

All of that is well and good, but what if the item is just beat to death? And what if you can really make it look new again? And what if the value really isn't affected all that much? Well, in my world, you go for it!

Such is the case with this Hot Wheels Torino Stocker from 1975 that I found years ago in the car bin at Good Will. You see, many years ago, Good Will would throw all of their die cast cars into a cardboard box, and you could dig through them and purchase anything for fifty cents each. Unfortunately, someone decided that they could make more money by putting the box in the auction case, where it would go for many times what it was actually worth. Now, you won't find die cast at all at Good Will. In my mind, greed did them in.

Anyway, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, I grabbed this Hot Wheels out of the box...

Beat to death Torino Stocker
At first glance this thing is a real dog. The tampo (decals) are all gone. The paint is completely shot, the "glass" looks fogged, and the wheels are worn.

However, upon closer inspection, one notices that nothing is actually broken, the "glass" is actually just really dirty on the inside, and the wheels are, of course, redlines. So, I stuck it in a drawer and literally forgot about it for about twenty years.

I dug it out recently and decided that it needed a second chance. I found a guy on eBay that sells replacement decals for many Hot Wheels (Vince at scredlines) so I ordered some. Now it was time to paint!

The 1975 redlines had enamel paint, so regular "rattle can" paint would do. There are two ways to repaint a car. You can do a "frame on" paint job, or you can drill the posts out on the bottom of the car and take it apart. You then glue it back together. I decided I didn't want to drill the car, since that can cause its own problems. Therefore, I started without the drill!

 First I rubbed the car down with paint thinner (being very careful to not touch the plastic parts). After I wiped everything down, I went over it with sandpaper to get any remaining rough spots off. In the end, about two thirds of the paint was removed, and the rest was smoothed out.

Next, I masked everything off with regular masking tape. Even though the car is small, it took a couple of hours. There are a lot of tiny places to cover (or make sure you don't cover). The hobby knife is your friend here, since it allows you to trim the tape to exactly the right shape.

Next, came the paint. I always do a very light "dust coat" to start out. This gives the other coats something to stick to. The last of about three regular coats is the thickest, to give it a good shine.

One of the most fun parts of the process is taking all of that tape off (after allowing it to dry for several hours). The transformation already looks pretty good!

Next, I touched up the chrome. Hobby Lobby sells some stuff called "Liquid Chrome" by Molotow. It's a paint pen that writes in chrome! Talk about handy!

Before....almost no chrome on the base...

After! A newly chromed base...and grill...and bumpers...and wheels!
I had to wait a couple of days for the decals to get there, but not too long. Now I had to decide how to apply them. Since they went down the whole side of the car, around fenders and stuff, I decided to cut them into three parts and then fit them together. This was a huge mistake! As it turns out, all of the pushing around and messing with them tends to destroy the extremely thin decal.

However, Vince was more than nice when I contacted him and soon I had replacements in hand. The trick was to put the whole side on as one decal and then work out any wrinkles with a paper towel. It's a slow process, but patience will give you great results! Then you hit it with decal sealer (I used Testors brand) and there ya go!


And at home in the redline case!
So there you have it! Sometimes "mostly dead" just needs a little TLC to come back to life!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

1971- The Next Three...Sort Of...

Well, we are continuing with our tour of 1971 Hot Wheels. Therefore, let's take a look at the next...uh...three.

First, we have the Mutt Mobile! This example is in pretty good shape...maybe even "near mint." I really like the blue.

And here are the mutts! 

Next, we have the Noodle Head, which is just a weird name if you ask me. Nobody did. The name comes from all of those noodle-y pipes on the back.

But the party is in the front! Yep, the headlights open up! As you can see, the paint isn't quite as nice on this car...

Finally, we have the Olds 442! This is a pretty easy car to come by on eBay, if you want to pay 250- 550 bucks. If you don't (like me) your car will look a lot like this one! Cool, huh?
So there you have it! Maybe someday I'll find a deal on that last one. If I don't, then my display case will continue to have a label, but no car. Oh well. You gotta have your limits.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!