Saturday, July 21, 2012

Matchbox Ford Escort RS2000

I just got hold of this Matchbox Ford Escort recently at a reasonable price from a friend. This isn't a hard to get Matchbox but I didn't want to specially get it unless it comes along my way. Matchbox Ford Escort is available easily through online auctions so there isn't a hurry unless it is a Mandarin or a Cherica.
I am featuring this Escort because I had one when I was very young but I only had it for less than a day. I can't remember which year was that (could be early 80s) and I think I was not more than 5 years old then. My parents brought me to a departmental store (and I can't remember which departmental store) which was dimly lit. I was brought to the toy department and there is a display case full of Matchbox toy cars. It didn't take me too long to pick my toy of the day. You guessed it, it was this Ford Escort. We went straight to our aunt's place after buying the toy. I had some toy car fun with my cousin who also had many Tomica and Matchbox. I guessed I didn't really like this Escort very much so I gave it to my cousin without bringing it home.
Although I owned this toy for less than a day but I didn't erased it away from my memory. Probably it was a toy bought for me by my parents. I don't know how many variants of this Escort are made but this one should be close enough. I can remember that there is a "Shell" logo on the Escort. I finally get to own this toy car after many years.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rozkvet - Skoda 120

I remembered that in the late 80s or the early 90s in Singapore. Buying a new car is still considered a luxury for most families. Not every family own a car then unlike today one family can own more than one car. In 1990, our government introduce certificate of entitlement in order to control the vehicle population. This also spell bad news for those who wanted to buy a new car. Eastern European cars like Lada, Skoda and Yugo were introduced around this period. Among the 3 makes, Lada was selling more cars then but still couldn't sell enough to keep them long enough in Singapore. By 1992, all 3 are wipe out as their products could not keep up with the competition from Japan and Western Europe.
Skoda started sales in Singapore in late 1980s with the 130 Rapid Coupe and Favorit. The Skoda 120 like the car featured above did not make it here so the Favorit sells better than its 2 doors comrades. The 130 look suspiciously similar to the 120 but it has a coupe styled body. I wonder if any toy maker made the Rapid in this scale (with exception of the Matchbox Skoda). This toy car was found in a collector's shop in Germany when I visited Hamburg last year. I had to have it because I hardly seen any Skoda die cast metal toy car in 3 inches. It's made in Czechoslovakia.
Skoda tried to make a come back with its updated Favorit and Favorit Station wagon but failed terribly. It was until the launch of the first Octavia which wows everyone. The Octavia is a far cry from the older generations of Skoda with assistance from Volkswagen. Skoda has become a cheap and reliable marque in Europe today although still not one of the better selling cars in Singapore as they are priced close to Volkswagen here.