Thursday, April 15, 2021

Lake Superior Railroad Museum - Duluth

Drove the 9 plus hours to Duluth, MN to visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. Some of the photos from the trip:


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Marx Flintstone Figures

 While out perusing antiques (this time in nearby Crawfordsville, IN) I came across these Marx Flintstone figures.

L to R: Betty and Barney Rubble, Dino, and Wilma and Fred Flintstone

Got these as part of a lot with other various bits and bobs, and was hoping that I could safely remove the paint. Used Dino as the test, and submerged him in a jar of Citristrip. After a few hours submerged, and after a gentle wash and scrub, Dino was paint free. Here are the figures:

Marx Figure - Fred Flintstone

Marx Figure - Fred Flintstone

Marx Figure - Wilma Flintstone

Marx Figure - Wilma Flintstone

Marx Figure - Barney Rubble
Marx Figure - Barney Rubble

Marx Figure - Betty Rubble

Marx Figure - Betty Rubble

Marx Figure - Dino

Marx Figure - Dino

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Mattel Dream Mobile

 In 2020 Mattel, in its Hot Wheels line, released a Hot Wheels version of its first vehicle, the Dream Mobile, released in 1953.

From the back of the card: "In 1953, Elliot Handler and Joseph Kossof designed what would be Mattel's first toy vehicle, but it wasn't a Hot Wheels; it was a futuristic bubble-topped convertible with a friction motor called the Mattel Dream Car. Now that first vehicle has been recreated in die-cast as a fitting tribute to a dream that became a reality."

After that was released, I actually noticed one "in the wild" while at an antique shop.

In rough shape, and not complete, but still a neat toy. Wasn't willing to pay their asking price, but may try to add this to my vintage collection.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

DC Archives Addition - Doom Patrol Vol 1

The Doom Patrol Archives, Vol. 1

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I acquired my love for silver age comics from raiding my brother's collection. He read mostly DC comics bought with his paper route money, so that was what I read, too. There was something about the DC covers that seemed indelible. Though my brother's collection has long since disappeared, I can still come across a cover of a 1960s comic book, and, remembering it from my youth, I am transported back to an earlier time. 

What I liked about this collection was how clean the artwork is, and how evocative it is of its period. It is a very stylized and romanticized version, as all major characters are white, with few (very few) representations of other ethnicities. That wouldn't have bothered me as a kid, but I can't imagine how discouraging it was for non-white kids to have "nobody that looked like me" in comics. This isn't a knock on the book ... it is not overtly offensive (cf. stereotypes of Asians are still common at that time, unfortunately, as seen in a few panels), and I doubt that any one involved felt any animus towards others. The book makes my very nostalgic. My nostalgia is for the lost innocence of my youth, not a desire to recreate a time that was patently unfair to many people I now cherish. 

Silver age comics are goofy and outlandish. Meant for children, these stories are often ridiculous. A ray that enlarges a toy tank to life-size also, without explanation, makes the toy capable of firing live rounds. None of this detracts from the joy of reading these stories and enjoying the artwork. Suspend your disbelief and enter the world of 1960s America, where science seemed to make anything possible.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Classic TV Series Batmobile by Jada

I've decided that it is Bat-week here at the blog, and am starting it off by showcasing Jada's 1/24 scale Classic TV Batmobile. This is Jada # 98259. These were on the shelves of the big box stores about a year ago, and you can still see them sometimes in Walmarts or Meijers. At under $20, it's not a bad deal.

Louis Marx and Company Toys - Confederate Ambulance

With the COVID-19 restrictions and the resulting shelter-in-place orders now in place in much of the U.S., I find myself with time to cull through my collection and resume posting. I recently got the recast of the Civil War ambulance originally released by the Louis Marx and Company as part of the "Giant Blue and Gray Battle Set sold by Montgomery Ward in 1961". Not sure when the re-casts were made, but I got mine from Amazon from a 3rd party seller.

plastic civil war soldier

I was a kid in the early seventies, which was kind of the tail end for the Marx playsets. I don't remember having any of the Marx playsets as a kid, but I remember my friend across the street had the Guns of Navarone playset and the Comanche Pass playset. What I remember clearly was the detail in the castings, and the number of parts that came with the playset that added realism.

Close-up of horse team

Monday, February 19, 2018

Esci 1/72 UH-1D Huey Hog directions (kit 9009)

Decided to digitize some of the box art, instructions, and decals of some of my unbuilt kits lurking in my plastic mountain. I need to downsize, and will be trying to thin out some of kits I know that I have neither the time or skill to finish. Here is a fairly straightforward kit by Esci - the UH-1D Iroquois known more commonly as the Huey. The Army nomenclature as HU-1 for Helicopter, Utility, or pronounced by some as "Huey". The Army changed its naming protocols, and the Bell Helicopter became known as the UH-1. If ridden in a few during my time in the US Reserves, but it was the later "H" model, which looks almost the same as the "D". I bought this, along with the Esci Vietnam era US troops and Vietcong, hoping to either use them for wargaming or a diorama.