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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Flea Market Finds, part 1




This is a three-part series showcasing some of my finds at the Flea Market or Jockey Lot (whatever you prefer to call them) in 2016 that really don't have much to say in a separate post or have been reviewed before.  Either way they have a unique case of their own, so here's the first five:






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Transformers Chevy Spark

Did you know that Hasbro has made several attempts into the homes of diecast collectors?  Yup they have, and with little success.  The first try was the Transformers in 1:24 scale: very nicely detailed cars and trucks (I have the SRT-10 Ram that i'll review later) that was rather fragile and complex to transform into a robot and then back into a car.  Then in 2011 they introduced 1:64 scale cars in the same isle as the diecast.  No interior's and the robot is now just an image at the bottom of the base, but still very realistic vehicles including the first for a lot of castings (most being General Motors products).  From the Chevy Volt to the GMC Topkick crew cab there's a lot of firsts and that's good because the price was too high and the line was unsuccessful.  The Spark was based on three subcompact concepts that GM previewed in 2008 as a contest to see who would go into production.  At least two out of the three also starred in the Transformers sequel.  The Spark would end up the winner and go into production in 2010.  Based off the Beat concept car in 2007 and the Daewoo Kalos it was much more stylish than the previous odd-duck Matiz.  The powertrain is a 1.2L SOHC I-4 that produces 80 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission.  It is not quick off the line and struggles under a full load.  It is, however, very swift at handling and very fuel conservative.






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Based on the concept car the Spark looks sharp in green plastic body with silver lower trim, black hood, and black side graphics.  The 5-spoke wheels are deep and compliment the look, though adding silver to the blacked-out spokes really enhances the car.  The large headlights in blue sweep towards the A-pillar and connect the split-bar grille with the bowtie logo and lower bumper with foglights.  The concept is based on a two-door look though the four-door production version does not look too far behind the concept.  At the rear the large round taillights enter into the rear window, as does the large rear spoiler, and adding more details to the rear helps finish off the look of the car.  The base underneath shows off the robot Skids who transforms back into this Spark car.  For a .50 cent deal over the $6 when new price this was a great deal!




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Welly 1993 Honda Civic sedan

Looking for a stock early 1990's Civic Sedan?  All that you can find are tuner versions, so it was a nice surprise to see this Welly version for those in the need.  However, despite my appreciation for the attention to details of recent Welly castings this is a totally different story back in 1990's.  The Civic has a new, smoother aerodynamic look for 1992 with a new coupe bodystyle for the first time joining the three-door hatch and four-door sedan.  On the downside the CRX has been discontinued for the del Sol targa that was not really popular with enthusiats.  The look was rounded and cleaner, so was the interior, and new engines start to incorporate some of the VTEC technology.  A 1.6L SOHC I-4 produced 110 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission.  This was the first of several generations that would start the homely compact car being transformed into a hot rod Tuner.





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As you look at this casting you start to wonder is this a Civic?  Well the exterior says yes with nice clear headlights that are part of the interior and the smooth front bumper up front.  On the sides you can see the side-angled door handles for all four doors, but at the rear it becomes less defined so I added proper taillight detailing to make sure it still looks like a Civic.  Custom H logo's front and back also helps, too.  The base is all plastic and supports the front seats to a mostly bare naked interior.  Yes it seems Welly went really downmarket back in the 1990's with cars that looked rather cheap compared to better-made Hot Wheels or Tomica's, but look close and you can see a few 1990's models that are rarely if ever made by diecast manufacturer's.  This Civic is one of them.



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Hot Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The Hyundai Genesis coupe replaced the Tiburon in 2010 as a higher-end sports coupe with shared technology from the new Genesis sedan, including the 3.8L DOHC V6.  Problem is the car suffers from not so great reviews and a small fan club.  Hot Wheels attempted to fix this problem with the Genesis coupe with some custom modifications.  Didn't help, either.  Not to mention the extent of the graphics nearly hiding the identity of the car if it wasn't for the detailed headlights and front grille with the Hyundai logo.  A problem fixed as a multi-pack version a few years ago that was just plain orange with no graphics, and it got some of our attention.  The orange paint makes this car pop out and the lack of graphics allows for the details of the coupe to stand out.  Up front the detailed headlights and H-logo in the grille still remain but now you can see revised lower intake with lipped lower spoiler and vented hood.  The sides show off the rear window kink and chrome Y-5 wheels, while the rear lacks any details (note: these pics were taken just before I started to add lighting and trim detailing to all of my latest vehicle finds) yet they show the taillight outline and dual exhausts.  The interior has the same stock layout of the Coupe, while the base shows off some of the drivetrain details.  For those looking for a clean copy of the Hot Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe this orange version will definitely work.





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Majorette 1984 Ford Thunderbird

Majorette has been making strides to come into the U.S., and they will this year, but let's not forget about the originals that made us attracted to the brand.  One was this 1984 Ford Thunderbird.  I used to have a few copies because my dad had a 1985 gold one before being wrecked  a few years later.  While no gold this red version was cleaner and much better than the "Gambler" version in yellow.  The Aero birds were part of Ford's new aero styling and really made the T-bird go to the next level and back to performance.  The 5.0L V8 and 4-speed automatic team up to a lighter bird that was more sleeker.  Open the hood and you can see the V8 details in their proper look; sadly this engine detailing was copied under several Majorette vehicles with opening hoods, including those with vastly different motors and drivetrain layouts!








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One of the signatures is the plastic hood prop to keep the hood open when new: to close the hood you have to break the prop off.  The front-end has quad headlights that are part of the metal base and seem to stick out too much compared to the real car.  The chrome grille sits in the middle, while the car has a plastic rubber strip sandwiched between the body and the metal base.  The sides show off a sleek roofline that leads to a downward slope in the rear decklid where the large rectangular taillights feature the T-bird logo and it even comes with a trailer hitch.  Inside the dashboard is chrome like the grille though lacks details and has the proper seating for four.  This is one nicely done casting and it even looks better in this clean version without the wild colors, graphics, or fruity scented wheels of other variants.







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Matchbox Vantastic

We end this first round with something rather odd:  Take a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach I and extend the roof to the rear bumper to create a casting called Vantastic.  Yeah, rather odd and quite frankly not very practical because the panel roof does not come up high enough and combined with the flared inner fenders you're looking at a small cargo area.  I guess that's why Matchbox added the roof rack just above.  Anyways the rest of the car is pure Mustang with the long hood/ short deck aided by flared fenders and massive rear tires.  The front has a mesh grille with round headlights, rectangular signal lights, and an Euro plate in the white metal base.  The  rear has the tri taillights and base tab support in the license plate area.  Adding lighting details really helps this casting out.  The interior has seating for two with the typical 1971 Mustang dash layout, so is the Windsor V8 under the hood and 4-speed manual.  While it may look cool to some it looks rather awkward to others, but one thing's for sure: good luck finding a generic modern Mattel casting that looks exactly like a real car without going through the countless pay to copy copyrights.








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