Sunday, August 28, 2022

One Small Step For Coffee

 Hi attic-ites!

Ok, maybe that isn't the best name. I'll work on it.

Anyway, this week we have an item that I picked up at a flea market a few years ago. It dates from the late 60s and celebrates one of America's greatest accomplishments...and it was made in England.

Here it is!

Yes, it's a pretty heavy, black and gold Apollo 11 mug! As you can see, it was designed by John Cuffley (who apparently isn't a drummer but, rather, an artist and sculpter). It was released by Portmeirion Pottery from Stoke-on Trent, England. I had never heard of them, but they also make Spode and Royal Worcester , so they ain't too shabby. They also made other styles that included astrological signs and Elvis. Ok, maybe not Elvis.

Anyway, I paid around 10 bucks for it, but it seems that they go for 40-50 normally, so I did ok. I really like it because it has a good feel to it. I think it would be good to drink Tang out of...with maybe a little shot of vodka to pay tribute to the second place Russians (Space Race reference). 

Anyway, I really like it. It's a good relic from a time when Space was where it was at, baby! Maybe I'll go try my Space Race drink right now...

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Toys of Adult Sized Slot Cars...From Disney!

 Ok, that title was actually a little confusing to even type, lol! If I were to ask you what is currently the fastest ride at Walt Disney World, you might not come up with Test Track at Epcot, but it is. It clocks in at 64.9 mph officially, which is close enough to 65 to earn you that 10mph over 55 ticket. If there were cops shooting radar on the ride... There is radar...just no cops. 

The ride is an elaborate life sized slot car set, so if you've ever wondered what it's like to ride in those little toy cars, you can find out! I've ridden it a couple of times and although I'm not a huge fan of coasters, this ride doesn't bother me.

Anyway, I picked this little item up on my trip in 2000 in the gift shop that the ride empties into (like any self respecting Disney attraction) It's a 6 1/2 inch long, die cast, Test Track vehicle! Here is is!

I kept the package because it displayed well.
The end flaps are both the same.
The back shows that I forked out twenty bucks for it. I'm sure it would be at least twice that now!
Free from the box! The detailing is pretty neat on it. And it has a good amount of weight to it.
A side view. Yes, the cars looked just like this when I rode them.
What you see when you're waiting to start your journey. 

Or actually, what you would see up until 2012. You see at that point, they revamped the ride to be less of a physical test facility, and more of a cyber world inspired by TRON. Is it better? I don't really know. You see, the one time I was about to ride the new version, it broke down. We got Fastpasses good for whenever it came back up...but we never used them. Oh well. 

Anyway, the cars are now painted blue and white and have fewer graphics. I think I like my version better. Maybe someday I'll go back and get the new version...or, considering the way things are going at Walt Disney World, maybe not. 

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fun in Resin Mold Land!

 Hey gang! 

Last week we looked at restoring a Hot Wheels really needed it.

This week we're going to look at three AFX slot cars from the 70s that also needed a little help. I had two of them as a kid, and I found one mixed in with some track I bought years ago at a thrift store. All three were helped out by a guy named Dan Lanyon that I met on a slot car site on Facebook. 

You see, Dan is a talented guy. A talented guy with the skill of making molds of original parts! All of these cars was missing their grilles (no, not flashy gold teeth- their real grilles). Now these aren't parts that you can just do a couple of searches on the ol' Google and find. Oh no, to get these parts you need...a professional.

Let's take a look at each car's "before" picture, shall we? Here we go!

This old Woody is nice...but incomplete. It's one of my childhood cars.
The same with this Deuce Coupe. Also from when I was a kid, by the way.
The Nomad was found in the thrift store box...but it looks like it has a pretty bad overbite!

Enter Dan. Since he has the original parts, he can create a mold exactly like the original! A little resin in the mold (and a lot of patience, I'm sure...) and Presto! 

Hey, the Woody has headlights!

As does the 32 Ford!

And the Nomad has had some serious dental work!

So there you have it! It takes a lot of skill to cast parts, especially this small! Great job!

I'd like to send out a special thanks to Dan for restoring a couple from my childhood, and a really cool junk box find!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Franken-Hot Wheels

 In my collecting of Redline Hot Wheels vehicles, I occasionally run across "less than presentable" examples. What to do with these "well loved" cars is, actually a matter of huge debate.

You see, some collectors say you should never, ever restore or even clean up a car. Why? Well, they will say things like, "It's only original once! You should respect its history!" Now, unless that history includes being played with by Elvis or something, I don't think that argument holds water. 

I think the truth of the matter is that some folks have been known to sell restoratiins as original cars and people have been taken advantage of. Now this argument I can support, up to a point. No one should cheat someone out of their hard earned cash with a fake car. Those people are, in a word, slimy.

Still, it pains me to see cars that with a little (or a lot) of TLC could be nice show pieces again. So, therefore, I confess. I restore. I do NOT, however sell them at all, so I can sleep well at night.

So do you wanna see one of my most difficult restos? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?

Well, if you're still reading, I'm going to guess the answer is something like, "Sure. Why not?" So here we go!

These are two 1968 Custom Firebirds. They both have problems, however...

Obviously, the one on the left has no hood or windshield. The paint is in pretty rough condition too. By the way, it was made in Hong Kong.

The one on the right has fewer obvious issues. In fact, other than some pretty bad "toning" (darkening) on the hood, it looks pretty good! But there's a big boo-boo there! The right part of the grille is...GONE! Yep, it broke right off. That's a big problem because it's actually part of the base of the car. To fix it, you need to replace the base. And that's a U.S. produced base...

But I have two cars. No problem? Right? Just combine them!

Hold on! There's another issue! Remember that they were made in two different countries. They don't just switch out. They don't fit. Ohhhhhhh nooooooo!

But let's do it anyway! Here we go!

The bottoms of the cars are clearly different...

Ok, let's do some cutting!  Off comes the nose and on it goes (with the help of metallic epoxy) to the other base!

Let's strip the paint and put it back together to test the fit. Perfect! Now we take in back apart, paint with the trusty air brush and....

Boom! There ya go! How does that nose look?

Like this! You can tell it's been mended, but I think it looks pretty nice anyway!

So there you have it! A totally restored car because...well...why not? It was fun and it looks good, so I'm happy!

Until next time, keep searching for (and even restoring) treasure!