Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visit to Flea Market Today

A visit to the flea market today brought some surprise. Although these are not rare items but it is consider "rare" for Singapore context. You can't find anything that is more than 10 years old because most of the old stuff will be thrown at every spring cleaning. I saw this stall with a huge plastic container filled with toy cars of all sizes. The price isn't that expensive and I started picking out the ones which are still worthy for the price offered to me. The condition range from play worn, some flea bites to mint condition. I have picked mainly Tomica, some Majorette and Hot Wheels. There are still many cars in the containers which I am not able to take them all. The stall holder told me that he will still be around next week but I will not be making another trip down again. Anyway, I do not need these and will be selling them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Fools & Presents

For past 2 weeks, my friends "G and "K" have been asking me if there is any news of "P". They have asked me to contact "P" but I told them that he doesn't want to reply to my text. I have done what I should do so I asked them not to ask me again. We were a little disappointed with the outcome but we decided that it's not our loss. Our small group will have a small gathering during our "members'" birthdays. As grown adults, we usually do not celebrate birthdays but we just want to bond better within our group. We will have little gifts to show appreciation among one another. The little presents are usually carefully chosen with thoughts. Since these presents are not claimed, I have asked my friends to send me the photos of the presents they prepared as I am curious to know what they are giving this year to "P".
Above gift prepared by G. He told me that P likes Hot Wheels very much as he used to hunt for them the whole island daily. G said that P doesn't have this VW Drag Bus so he will give this to him. I told G that P might be be busy stocking up Tomica ever since the launch of First Color series. He will be busier from June to September monthly stocking up Tomica in huge volume. G says he will either keep or sell this VW bus since P doesn't want to contact us.
Above present prepared by K. I would say K really put in much effort into getting this present for P. I was surprised to know that this gift was bought last year before Christmas. He asked a friend who went to U.K. last December to buy it on his behalf. K said that he will keep this for next year since P do not reply possibly busy with work. I asked K if he really think that there is a "next year"? I told him that he earned it and should keep it for himself but he insisted to keep it till 2013 or until the present is claimed. I respect his decision on that.
As for myself, I know that P likes vintage stuff but it is hard to come by in Singapore. If you happen to find something vintage here, the condition is either beaten up or not complete. It's almost impossible to find vintage stuff in very good or excellent condition. I bought this from a collector overseas and ship it to Singapore. As my previous gifts are bought from Japan and Germany during my business trips but they are current issues Diapet and Siku. P told me he dump them in his 30 years time capsule room which he doesn't know where they are now as they are already hidden among the cartons of new Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tomica bought within a span of 4 years ever since the collecting bug bite him in 2008. That is why I bought something vintage for him this time. This item is issued in 1976 to be exact and I believe it is should be useful for him. It is a toy and also a collector's item. This item is not really rare but you can't find this in Singapore. If you happen to find one here, the condition will not be as good as this piece. I did not wrap it with a nice wrapper as I like him to feel the joy of opening up a parcel from overseas. With these single sided efforts put in by us, it's a shame that no response from the owner. That is why I say that it's not our loss. Not referring to the presents. Think again. I urge you guys to treasure friendship for people who care for you and not take them for granted.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


There is a total of 6 Shelby in this set. I didn't buy all of them because I do not know who made these then so I chose 4 cars randomly. Well, now I do but I bet collectors from Singapore and Malaysia might not know these. I was attracted by the box and realised that the cars in it are well nicely made. The scale is 1/64 and doors & bonnets are open-able.

I took notice of these cars because I almost mistook them as Matchbox. The box look as they have match sticks in them because you need to slide them to release the car. All cars have rubber tyres which might excite Hot Wheels collectors. Detailing is better than most 1/64 scale die cast cars you can find in the departmental store. My personal favourite is the Cobra. I was thinking to sell them but I decide to hold them on for a while. I usually do not collect American cars but they look good. Any offers?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hauls of April 2012

I got this package today and I think I did well with this small haul. There will be more hauls of different cars coming up soon. Any cars you like in this photo?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hyundai Elantra & Hyundai S Coupe

Korean toy cars are always in my want list especially the earlier models. These are the cars which most people tends to shun when Hyundai cars are still treated as inferior if you compare them with the Japanese. You might still argue that Korean are still inferior today which might be due to prejudice or you might have driven a lemon which caused you nightmares or insomnia. Today's Korean cars improve by leaps and bounds closing in every gap of the Japanese. I know a fellow Singaporean who still think that Korean cars are far worse than a Malaysian car which I find it totally absurd as he never even tried driving one. His information are from hear say and prejudices from friends. I hope somebody can rescue this yokel and see the real world. Why I love Hyundai? My dad actually had 2 Hyundais after his 3 Japanese Datsun/Nissan station wagons which look totally uncool to me. As his first Hyundai, which is the Stellar, the car looked much more stylish and bigger than his old wagons. I started to like this new marque which crept into Singapore automotive industry.

I still remember our 2nd Hyundai in our family is the Elantra. The Elantra paled the Japanese cars in the same class in terms of looks and has a more sporty styling. We went to the Hyundai dealership but the Elantra is not officially in the showroom yet. We had to go to the workshop behind the showroom where they parked the one and only Elantra for potential customers to view the car. My father signed the papers almost immediately trading his Stellar for the first generation Elantra. The year was 1991 and we are one of the first few who signed on the dotted line. I still keep the Elantra brochure even till today. The price was $49,888 then and our registered plate was SBQ2043A.

For the first 3 months, our maroon Elantra are considered exclusive on the road. A guy even walk towards us and commented "nice car, what car is it?". The Elantra presence was felt when a few hundred units rolled out from the showroom in its first year.

A year later, a 1.5 litres version was introduced into Singapore market. The base Elantra was a few thousand dollars cheaper and had a more basic trim level. Another year in its production span, a face lift model was launched. The cosmetic changes on the front and rear made it looked totally fresh. Some thought that Hyundai had gone overboard on the design but I thought the face lifted Elantra is the best looking Elantra of all times, much better than the original one which we had. Hyundai cars in the 90s had the tradition of doing dramatic changes on their face lifted models. The last one I recalled is the Sonata 2 generations ago which you could mistook it as a Jaguar X-Type viewed from the rear when it was face lifted in 2005. It was better looking than its original guise but somehow, it lost its identity. That is also the time when I started to slide away from Hyundai. Who loves a copy cat?

First generation Hyundai Elantra made by Kingstar in Korea. The scale is 1/35 and it is a pullback toy car. I bought this when I was in Japan 6 years ago. You heard me correct, Japan. I was so excited as my father owned this car during the early 90s and I like to have a toy model of any car which had a connection in any way.

Most Kingstar or Clover Toys (Another Korea toy maker which made Korean cars) has opening features. Most common features are the doors and the boot. It is kind of cool for a toy car able to open its boot because many toy cars do not have this feature.

This is a Hyundai Scoupe made by Kingstar as well and it is slightly larger at 1/32. This should be the most expensive Korean toy car I paid among my Korea car collection. You might be wondering what the hell a Scoupe is doing in my Elantra article. Believe it or not, this car used to be my dream car when I was young then. This is the first coupe Hyundai had in its range before the Hyundai Coupe was launched in 1996. The car had a 1.5 litres engine and it looked faster than it runs. The car was based on a Hyundai Excel (Sonnet or Pony in some markets) and there is a sun roof option available. It is also the first Hyundai in Singapore that comes with a sun roof.

When I first met the Hyundai Scoupe (pronounced Ess-Ko-Pay, not Scopee or Scope) in the Hyundai showroom when we are there to see the Elantra, I took more glances at the Scoupe than the Elantra. The showroom had an Excel and a yellow Scoupe with a sun roof. I asked my father to buy the Scoupe instead of the Elantra and I reasoned out that it was about 8 to 10 thousand cheaper than the Elantra. The car was cool with a sun roof, 2 doors and it is in my favourite color. My father did not go my way because he dislikes 2 doors and yellow. He told me that he will buy me one if I scored good grades in my studies. That never happen not because I didn't perform in my studies but I didn't had a driver's licence then. It will be many years down the road before I can register myself for basic theory test. Whenever a Scoupe passed by on the road, it never failed to turn my head regardless of any colour. 20 years had passed and I was surprised to see one White Scoupe running past my yellow YRV turbo on the highway. I was excited that a Scoupe still exist today as most old cars are scrapped (especially Korean cars) based on our system in Singapore.

Hyundai in the 90s had sloping front and curvy lines as compared to Japanese cars which are still a little boxy then.

My father sold the Elantra in 1996 as he spend a fortune in repairing the air conditioning system. He had given up on Hyundai since then and bought a Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6 GLXi after getting rid of the Elantra.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

MC Magazine

My friend, Wai Heng, went to Japan for the first time last month and was back from his vacation last week. I asked if he could help me to get a copy of Model Cars or Quanto if he sees one. Here it is, issue 190, which I had miss for 2 years since I last bought one when I was in Tokyo.

Features II Ado, one of my favourite Minicar shop, in Tokyo. I don't understand Japanese but I guess these are the cars that will be show case in the 81st Wonderland Market. If you want to get a Yonezewa Diapet or a Model Pet, this is the shop you should visit. There are many other vintage toy cars available in II Ado.

MC will also list out new models from different manufacturer.

The same goes for Tomica and informing discontinued models after replacement of newer ones.

For construction fans who are into big machines. There is always something for everyone in the magazine. Although I can't read Japanese but just by looking at the pictures, I am more than contented. I wanted to pay my friend for this magazine as it is not a cheap toy magazine. He insisted that it is a gift and accepted his kind gesture. Thank you Wai Heng, I really enjoyed it fully.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Siku - Hungarian Diecast

This is my first and only made in Hungary toy car. I wanted to get a Hungarian Siku for a long time but the price isn't always right for me. It was until I went to Hong Kong in February this year and bought this Siku finally. I saw this car has been in the shop for quite some time as I been looking at it every time I went to that shop. They finally mark down to a price reasonable for me to pay for. I happily pick it together with some other cars I found which are rare and good buy.

I know there are quite a number of Hungarian collectors here supporting my blog. I only know Sam Joe but I think that there might be some others. To thank all of you, I will post this car here. I do not know much of Hungarian Siku except that there are made in the 1980s and Siku collaborate with Metchy of Hungary. The build quality of this car is decent, rolls well and I couldn't tell it's a Hungarian made until I see the base. Since I started to collect Siku last year, it will be good for me to have a Hungarian variant. Looking forward to friends from Hungary to post some comments in this posting.