Thursday, May 2, 2013

Germany 2013 April - Spring

I have been away for 2 weeks in Germany so that is why I am not been updating for a while. This post might seems like a re-run because the places I went to in Germany are basically the same old Hamburg. This is my 6th time to Germany and I have grew to love this country. I have to admit that I didn't really have much connections with Germany even on the 3rd trip there because it is purely business. The reasons I like Germany now because of the friendly and helpful German people. I haven't been to many countries compared to many of you reading my blog but I think it should be enough to justify my claim. If you really like to hear my opinion, I ranked Germany being the friendliest place on earth followed by Taiwan then Japan (based on places I have been to). The German people will never fail to help you when you needed assistance, sometimes they might even stop and offered their assistance when you looked "lost" to them. I have learnt a number of things from the German people such as good driving behaviour. I have also been to places far away from Hamburg where most people do not speak a single word of English and they will try to get someone who speak English to assist. Okay, back to toy car topic. I have re-visited all the places where they have something which I need this time. On my first day, I visited Wolfgang of Goodies Old Toys meeting my friend, Kay, who came after his daily work from office.
I saw that there are many cars gone this time but there are some new ones joining the shelves. To my surprise, I saw a few Dandy such as the 2 VW Beetle (with Rolls Royce grill) as above. I have quite a number of Beetles at home of various brands so I decided to give them a pass.
Not too far away, there's 2 Dandy VW Microbus. I pick one of the better boxed one. This is something I would like to have more if the price is reasonable.
There's also a shelf where it housed a quite a number of Japanese cars by Diapet and Dandy.
There are a few shelves which contained different eras of Siku. I never fail to have a good look at them because I love Siku which were made in West Germany especially the V series. I bought a number of Siku which I had in my collection because I just love them and don't mind to own same model of different conditions.
Wolfgang did offer me trays of cars as usual. He had trays of Moko, Lesney and Superfast from 50s to 80s. For Matchbox, I did not buy too many of them unless I like the model and the price is comfortable for me to pay for. Matchbox is not really my mainstream in my collection. If you are a Matchbox collector, this is a place you should visit. I got myself a Superfast Ford Escort, I have a few Escorts but this one is a plain white without rally tempo which look much more of a road car (road car is much of my preference). I don't really have fancy on Ford Escort but my parents bought me one many years ago so I have some sentimental connections with the Superfast Escort model.
Majorette is a brand I always love because I started buying them from mid to late 80s. According to Wolfgang, these are the very early Majorette and they are very rare. I don't mind buying these but I don't have a thing for racing cars. Maybe next time if I start to appreciate racing cars like these.
These are the Majorette I preferred although most of them are time before I played with them. I bought a few old Peugeot as there are really hard to find these days. I took picture of this tray because there are lots of VW Microbus which I have a friend who really appreciate them too.
I took many Tomica as usual. I remembered there were 2 trays full of Tomica last year and I took almost half of them. This time, I took another half of the balance. Maybe next year, I might took the remainder. It's a good thing that the collectors in Germany don't really fancy them. On the bad side, it's hard to find a Tomica in Germany if you ever try your luck in the flea market.
These are the trays of toy cars I went through. There's actually another stack of trays I didn't capture it in the photo. I spend hours of fun going through them and it's interesting to hear stories of different toy cars from Wolfgang as he knows a lot on different brands. I didn't bring much cash for toy car shopping this trip but I spend 70% of my cash on day 1! Wolfgang's shop has the most enjoyable experience in Hamburg because there's many different cars to see and buy. There is always a car I need in Goodies Old Toys.
Dream Cars is a shop for collectors who are into details. They carry mainly model cars of 1/18 and 1/43 scale. I went with Kay right after Goodies Old Toys. I went again the day before I return to Singapore as I have some free time. It's just 4 train stations away from Hamburg main station which is 10 mins away from my hotel by foot.
There is also a small corner of vintage toys. Saw the Lambretta and Ape scooters?

I have bought quite a fair bit of vintage last year from Dream Cars so I didn't buy many this time as there isn't much new stock.

1/18 scale is a range which I cannot afford because of space regardless of my room or luggage. I saw a 1/18 Citroen DS which I like but I just couldn't afford it. I still prefer the toy like charm of a toy car rather than a model car.
1/43 Scale is a much acceptable range. According to Andreas (shop owner), Germany has completed launching the Opel Magazine model car series and there are starting to release the Mercedes series now. They have around 5 models at the moment and I bought a Pullman. I used to hate Mercedes when I was a kid because they look pretty ugly to me as a kid. Strange enough, when I grow older, I think the old Mercedes are easily the prettiest cars around. I even have the thoughts of buying a W123 to replace my YRV if there is a good condition unit available. I bought a Pullman, Ponton taxi, Binz Ambulance from James Bond Thunderball, some James Bond series vehicles, Siku Mercedes 250, Fiat 500 from Brumm, some Schuco Piccolo etc etc...
As Mannertraume is just 1.8km away from my hotel, I took a taxi to save some time before the shop closes. I love the feel and atmosphere of the shop although they are not selling toys as core business. It's still worth a visit as there is a corner for some vintage toy cars.
There are some Dinky, Corgi and many 50s and 60s vintage toy cars on the shelves.

This corner is for me but not much into Matchbox but luckily I found a few Schuco and Siku which is in my "A" list after Tomica.
After some negotiations, I picked 3 Schuco and a Siku. The Schuco are mint loose which is quite difficult to find such condition in Germany. The Siku has some play wear but I just love old Mercedes. I don't want to go back empty handed after paying 7 Euro for the taxi. I take a stroll back to hotel contented with my purchase.
Weekend is the time for my long waited "floh markt" shopping. This one is quite far from my hotel. I took a train to the nearest station from this flea market and it is still 3.4km away from the station. I was expecting to hail a taxi near the station but it's a very quiet town and no taxi in sight at all. I have to seek help from a shop and she gladly help me call for a taxi.
This flea market looked like our Sungei Road flea market because most items are really junks and treated like junks. It is 10 times bigger than our Sungei Road version. Some stalls display their goods as though it is a rubbish dump. I witnessed a seller in boots stepping on a pool of toy cars because she wanted to get to the front of her stall to reach her customer. I was thinking, "oh no! not the toy cars". I did a quick inspection on the toy cars and luckily, nothing that I fancy in the lot.
There are toy cars everywhere so you have to keep your eyes wide open. The first car that I bought in the flea market is a Hot Wheels redline made in USA. I had bad luck in this flea mart and bought some junk Matchbox in order not be make this trip worthless.
A 300SL cabrio spotted. Time to move on to another flea market. Spend about 25 Euro for transportation on this one and the cost is higher than my purchases.
I went to this flea market in St. Pauli on my last trip and I am back for more.
I remember there is a toy car seller here somewhere.
Found the stall full of toy cars.
Some little figurines in the stall too.

Spend the next hour going through the stack of toy cars.

Matchbox! Bought some loose ones.

I bought some Siku, Matchbox, Majorette after some negotiations. I found a Tomica in mint loose condition from this stall too.
At another stall, found some toy cars too. I grabbed 6 pieces from the lot.
Another stall with toy cars but nothing caught my attention from the display.I went back hotel quite contented as the first stall I visited in St. Pauli has made me a satisfied customer.
Next day, I took a train to Tonndorf to the same flea market I went on last trip.

I took less than 20 minutes around this one because this should be the smallest flea market I have been to. I bought a few junk cars from a kid as I try not to go back without any purchase.
I went to the next one after a disappointing morning. I got a shock of my life upon reaching because there are less than 10 stalls here. It's not near from the previous one too.
Just then, I saw people walking in and out of this building. So I followed the crowd.

It's a indoor flea market and it has 2 stories!
Most stalls are selling used clothing.
Found a bag of cars but nothing I need. No luck in toy cars today.

So I bought 2 of these antiques. I know what these are used for and find that they are nice to display in living room and I don't think I will use them. You guys know what they are used for? It has always been enjoyable to go to Germany. The people always made me felt I am at home in some ways. I will be away again so I will be updating again in 2 to 3 weeks time. Next stop, I will be in Taiwan this Saturday, 4th May.


  1. great pictures and story Julian. I wish i can go there someday!.


  2. Great pics, Julian. Did you go to Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg? It's an impressive sight even if you don't collect H0 scale cars.

  3. Hi Julian,
    you so remind me of my earlier days travelling around the world and not missing an opportunity to visit a toy shop...If ever in Hamburg again i have to 'follow your footsteps' just to see these fascinating shops!