Friday, April 29, 2011


(1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th May)
TIME: 1000HRS TO 1700HRS

Please come after 1100hrs as this is the time we usually start our "business". We welcome collectors from any part of the world to visit us. There will be Tomica, Matchbox, Hotwheels and many other stuff for sale.

Another face of Pooh
We have German beer... beer candy
Good crowd on labour day morning
Come join us, hope to see you soon

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kombie in Greece

This is my 3rd time to Greece but it's the first time I fall in love with this country. We first stayed in Piraeus, then Cyprus and back to Athens. I used to stay only in Piraeus and ran between Piraeus and Athens but this time I stayed in Athens as well. The best part of this trip is I am staying just beside Acropolis. How near? From hotel, just turn left and walk straight, within 5 minutes (or less) and you are at the entrance. I didn't go in this time, been there twice. I just admire it from a distance. It's nicer view to see it from far actually and you can see the whole architecture. I hope to go to Rome to see the Colosseum if I had saved enough one day.

View from Savoy Hotel in Piraeus.

I walked around my hotel area to take some shots.

Saw a statue in the park. I don't know who he is. Any Greek viewers might like to tell us?

A building in Piraeus near the statue.

I had lots of different food in Greece. Greek Salata, Souvlaki, Kalamari, Lamb chops, Seafood, Gyros, Japanese, Korean, Thai & Chinese. I need to eat some Asian food after having too much Greek food, cravings...

Now we are going to Athens......................... I took some pictures near some historic sites around Arcopolis.

This is one of the nicest site for photo shoot. All these are built over 2500 years ago. A theatre in ancient days. I understand that it is built in a way that the voice of the performer can be echoed in the theatre. Kombie with a few thousand years old statue.

Kombie going up to Areopagues HillWe can see Athens on top of the hill. And of course, we can see the Arcopolis.
Kombie at the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Another ruined site near Monastiraki.
Kombie at Zapion Exhibition & Congress Hall.
Kombie at the Parliament House watching Greek soldiers marching.
Kombie with some Greek soldiers in the background.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kombie in Cyprus

This is my 3rd time to Cyprus and 1st time for my little Kombie. It's a short stay of 3 days 2 night so I did not have the chance to visit much places unlike my previous trips. I was also a little disappointed that our hotel is not by the beach like the one I stayed in 2006. I remembered we drove to the edge of Limassol where we swam in the clear crystal blue sea filled up with colourful little stones in 2005. This trip is a little more safe but I get to play with cats in Cyprus. There are many stray cats in Cyprus but much better looking than our "Kucinta" strays. I just love cats.

We had lunch in one retro looking restaurant named Charcoal House. I always had lamb chops in Cyprus. They make really good lamb chops and the quantity served is larger than Singapore too. Notice the 50s looking Coca-Cola vending machine in the background.

I love Greek coffee. The Cypriots called it Cypriot coffee, the Turks called it Turkish coffee but they look, taste and the way of making it is the same.

Let's go T.G.I.F. It's just located in front of our hotel.

Let's take a look at their menu first.

But's it Wednesday today but anyway, we re-visit on Friday again.

I think we are a little early for dinner as the restaurant is clear of customers. I understand most Greek have their dinner at 10pm so I guess Cyprus share the same culture. They speak the same language too.

Handsome Kombie with beautiful Marilyn Monroe.

Let's go to the park near the coast.

I remembered that there is one section at the beach where you can go topless but I didn't see anyone there. Wrong section maybe.

The sand are so fine that you can use them for an hour glass. Shame that I am in business suit or I will....... so let Kombie enjoy it instead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

16A Areos Antique Toys

As I was walking in Monastiraki (near Plaka) on a Saturday afternoon, I discovered a shop at a back street corner in Areos Street. What had caught my eyes are the old toy trucks and some large old dolls at the front of the shop. I was delighted and I was hoping to find a few old vintage toy cars in the shop. Little did I expect to see such a shop in this area because most of the shops are selling gifts and souvenirs. Suddenly I see light shining on the shop, it was like a light of hope as I did not expect to see any antique shop during my stay in Greece.

This is what I saw that day, the light of hope and the shop. I took this photo almost immediately.

I went forward to take a closer look at the shop to confirm that it is the shop that I will bring some "souvenirs" back.

As I stepped into the shop, I was astonished to find the shop filled up with toys, antique toys.

The display is filled up with toys of different era from 1950s to maybe 1980s. Most of the toys looked they come from the 1960s to the 1970s.

I tried my best to take shots of every corner after seeking permission from the shop owner.

There is a shelve full of barbie dolls and just dolls of different origin.

I approached the owner and asked if I can looked at his Polfi which are displayed in the glass cabinate. The friendly old gentleman took the small box of Polfi with 7 cars in it and showed them to me. I delightfully tell the owner I am a toy car collector and we started chatting about toy cars. While we talked, he brought out more cars to show me. The box above contains Norev, Majorette, Tomica, Siku etc. I am quite excited when I saw the Tomica, there are just 4 or 5 of them in loose and play worn condition. Seems like I will have to make a pass on these Tomica and the shop owner told me that Tomica are very rare in Greece.

There are toy cars all around the shop. This case featured Lesney and Matchbox Superfast, boxed and loose. He showed me another box filled with Matchbox and Corgi. I was amazed that he has toys almost everywhere in the shop and the shop is not a small one like most antique shops I have seen. It looked like he took up 2 units as compared to other shops in his area. He told me that he had 7000 pieces of toys and some are at home. I was like "What!??".

Saw some Gama and Faie in this case.

There are so many toys that you will have to do close inspection of every corner.

Hey, did you see someone familiar? It's my Kombie.

I couldn't resist the charm of this toy and eventually bought it after some thought. It's my first vintage tin toy. This Datsun is battery operated but I couldn't bother to test if it still works. I will not play with it anyway and I don't really expect something from the 60s (or early 70s) to work. This is a Solpa made in Greece and a replica of Bandai which I understand. Datsun 1000 should be the ancestor of today's Nissan Sunny. Great looking car!

As he understand I have great interest in toy cars, he asked me to follow him. I asked, "Where to?". He told me just follow and I did so. I realised that there is another unit beside the shop. It's used as a store room, secret room or special room whatever you call it. He started removing all barrier and cardboard blocking the entrance. He switched on the lights in the rooms and invited me in.

This is crazy, I couldn't believe my eyes. There are so many nice toys here.

Vintage tin toys and boxes of plastic toys.

I like that Green Mercedes patrol car because I appreciate the design of old Mercedes. There are also many boxes of diecast cars shown on the top of the photos. See the "Gama" and "Majorette" labels? Many more which I have the luxury of inspecting boxes by boxes.

More vintage tin toys.

Very nice Amercian cars but couldn't afford to collect these in terms of space in my room and lack of vitamin M.

This is a nice one. Amercian Patrol car made in Japan.

More! What cars are these? Apologies, I like old American cars but I just couldn't name any of them.

A pair of plastic RC Mini Cooper made in Greece.

Mix lot of Playart and Faie. Faie are imitation Tomica using the same casting but using rubber tyres. I used to have the purple Nissan Bluebird which I was a kid.

Mix lot of Mira and Guisval. Picked 5 cars from this lot.

I become friends with Mr. Konstantinos after visiting his shop thrice within 5 days. We have exchanged numbers and I gave him my "Go! Go! Tomica" name card. I have asked Mr. Konstantinos on his shop name but he told me there isn't one. I have titled my posting as "16A Areos Antique Toys" because the unit is 16A and it is located in Areos Street. This is my 3rd visit to Greece and walked past this street but I didn't notice this shop exist. I told him that I will tell more collectors about his shop through my blog so that more people will visit him. I have a good news and a bad one for you.

The good news is, Mr. Konstantinos said that whoever came to his shop will get some discount if you informed him that you know his shop through Go! Go! Tomica.

Here is the bad news which I hope it is not true. Mr. Konstantinos will close his shop by August this year as it is time for him to retire. I was sad when I heard that because this might be my first and last visit to his shop. He told me to call him if I visit Greece again in future. I do hope I have this opportunity again. Best wishes and take care, Mr. Konstantinos.