Sunday, April 29, 2018

Testing- One, Two, Three...

This week I'm going to feature an item that really has no practical purpose any more, but I still think is just plain cool. I was at an auction in Denison, Tx a few years ago, and I picked up this...

This is the Aiwa TP-31 portable tape recorder from around 1968! Here she is without the cover...

The TP-31 is a very small unit that was made for recording on the go. Heck, it doesn't even have an external power jack. Power comes from two C cells and one 9 volt. And this unit is very, very hungry. Batteries don't last long.

Oh yes, it works. On the tape is a kid from the 60s or 70s singing....something. Obviously, they were playing around. Here is what they used to record...

Yep, it's not exactly high tech, but it does have an "On/Off" switch. So....there's that.

So why do I think this silly thing is so cool? After all, you can do everything it does (plus a whole lot more) with your smart phone. Heck, I'm writing this on my phone right now! Still, I have a feeling smart phones are never gonna have the same kind of "cool" these little reel to reels have.

For one thing, there is Mission Impossible. Not the retooled, slick, Hollywood, Tom Cruise movie- but the original 1960s masterpiece that always featured a tape burning away after presenting the mission; "...should you choose to accept it."

Also, there were these guys...

That's Bob Andrews and Jupiter Jones, two of the Three Investigators. Oh, look what Bob has in his right hand! Obviously, these things are cooooooooool! Add to all of that the fact that I had a similar unit when I was a kid, well I just had to have it!

By the way, Aiwa is still around. Here is my amp for my office stereo...

And what about getting a really nice reel to reel for listening to music? Well, it turns out I recently got that covered too...

Extremely cool, but in a very different way. You're not going to catch bad guys with that unit (although you can listen to tapes in quad...and that is just... so... cool)!

So there you go. Why do I need that little recorder? I don't. But I have it, and I like it, and I guess that's what matters.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Building a Garage...

This week we're going to give the Hot Wheels a little rest and look at the estate sale find from a couple of weeks ago. This car was one of three that I bought for 50 cents each. The other two ended up being worth about 10 bucks each...this one was over 20 times that!

So, how do you display a car that valuable? Well, you don't have it in a cardboard box with a bunch of other cars (which was how I found it). You need a display that says "I'm something special!" However, I also didn't want to spend a fortune on it. Hobby Lobby came to the rescue!

Step one: buy a pretty cool Camaro by M2. Use your 40% off coupon!

Out of the cardboard box, you can see what I was really after a little better. Although the car is cool, I bought it for the case!

As you can see, there is even a place for the name of the car!

A little time with the ol' printer and the M.G. has a new home! Easy as pie!
And there you have it! It's now happily on my mantel. Don't worry about the Camaro. It's also happy...on my bookcase...without a case...

So there you have it! A bargain displayed in a bargain! Never underestimate the value of being cheap!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

1971 Goes on....

Here are the next three! We're getting very close to a "problem area" in the collection, but we'll whistle past the graveyard and bravely go on!

I had the Jet Threat when I was a kid. Who wouldn't want a car that's 75% jet engine? It has a hatch in the middle that opens to expose an orange turbine. Do jet engines really have those? Heck, I don't know, but it's cool anyway!

This is the Mongoose II. The Mongoose I was red. This is blue. So now you know...

While we're on the subject of Mongooses (Mongoosi?), this is the Mongoose Rail Dragster. The clear "wheelie wheels" in the back work, since there is a weight in the rear that can make this car pop a wheelie when a hook is engaged. Interestly enough, although it is considered a "redline" car, it doesn't actually have redline wheels. There is also a version of this car that has clear front wheels. Whew, that's a lot of info...
So there you have it for this week! If you want to see all of my cars in my 1968, 1969, and 1970 collections, you can look back through earlier Stu's Attic posts.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

1971...The Next Three

Ah, you thought after last week I had forgotten about those 1971 Hot Wheels...WRONG! They're baaaaaack!

This week we have the next three in the series. Let's take a look, shall we?

First we have the Hairy Hauler. The cool thing about this car is that the whole front of the car tilts forward to allow the driver to get in. 

Then we have The Hood. It features a small black plastic convertable top that extends over the seats. It's closed in this picture...

Finally, the star of the show...The Ice T! This car features a black tailgate in the back that lowers to show two clear plastic "ice cubes." Very cool...literally!
Well, there you have it. We still have plenty more 1971s to go, even though the year isn't complete.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

When Treasure Finds You...

Each post here at Stu's Attic ends with the encouraging words "Keep searching for treasure!" It simply means to keep your eyes peeled and hopefully you'll find some neat stuff! Well, sometimes that stuff finds you through no skill of your own. Case in point...

This weekend, a good friend texted me about an estate sale that featured some Hot Wheels still in blister packs. As it turned out he had actually bought a beautiful Hot Wheels Elite 1/18 scale 1947 Ferrari. I had some chores to do, but my wife and I got there on the last day, right when everything went to 50% off.

At first I didn't see any cars, but then I found a few in a box. I didn't need the one carded car that was still there, but there were a couple of Matchbox Models of Yesteryear and a Corgi Jr. that looked nice. I picked them up for fifty cents each. My wife got her own treasures and we headed home.

When I got home I looked at the cars closer. Here they are:

When I flipped them over, I found that I actually had three different companies' cars. The Lotus was, indeed, a Corgi Jr. The green Bentley was a Matchbox Models of Yesteryear. However, I had never heard of the maker of the silver MG. It is marked thusly:

JEM Metal Minatures? I had never heard of them. So, I did a little Googling (and eBay looking) and was blown away!

First of all, this car (which doesn't even roll, by the way) is NOT considered a "toy," but rather a museum quality miniature. A couple of places say "not for people under 14 years of age." It is hand made out of high quality white metal and hand painted. Even though it is missing its steering wheel, it is miles above any of my other cars in rarity and value.

Upon closer inspection, I could see that I have something really special. The detailing is incredible. Here are some other pictures...

And I just happened to buy it. I even thought about not buying it. I didn't even correctly identify it until I got home.

The moral of this story is this- in collecting, buy what you like. Even if it's no big deal, you'll still have something you enjoy...And sometimes, just like that blind squirrel, you'll find an acorn!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!