Saturday, June 25, 2016

A small clip of toy making from the 60's, Matchbox style

As many of you know the only diecasts I currently collect are the Disney Cars ones, but it's always fun to look back at how diecast toys were once made, in this case, in the Matchbox die cast days in the 60's!

This sort of set up is just virtually non existent today from all I've seen.
I worked on drafting tables like that one above in shop class back in high school. Built like a German tank (I think they were manufactured in Germany now that I think of it). I like my lighter weight drawing table, but these were the kind you could probably fend off nuclear fallout with.
There is a wonderful quaint charm to the look of these that modern diecasts just don't capture anymore.
Now understand, I love modern toys and how accurate they are because of scanning tech, 3D rendering, the whole "CREATED FROM THE FILES USED IN THE MOVIE" sort of thing is big now. And sure, that's great.

But there is a bit of character and abstraction that is missing from modern diecast cars because of those very reasons. I loved that there was just enough impression and detail to look very much like their larger counterparts, but that all the cars still retained more than a bit of that hand work quality, because it was honestly there!
I had been wondering if getting a lab coat for my studio would be worth it. These guys must be onto something...
The small clip is below that these images come from, it has that whole, early 50s/60s safety/industrial sort of feel to it, but man is it just awesome to watch. Well, if you are into toys and stuff like that it is.

What sort of diecasts do you all collect? Or have you just been turned off by the modern onslaught of them?

Till next time!
- Mario, the Artisan Rogue

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekend Finds: A to Z Comics and Wal-Mart

A to Z Comics in Blue Springs, Missouri has been one of my all time favorite places to get comics since at least 1995.
This weekend, I decided to get back out and start not only picking up some extra comic titles, but also was on the lookout for some new Magic the Gathering cards for my decks, as well as a few Pokemon cards.
I'm never at a loss to find something that I want to buy.
If you're ever in the area, you really need to stop in at this comic shop. Kansas City has a lot of great locations, but I really love the low key atmosphere of this particular shop.
I picked up a few Voltron comics I'd been missing, and on a lark, picked up an old Filmation Ghostbusters issue.

I even managed to find some alternative Lego-like brands that had an Ultron and Deadpool minifigure, as well as finally locating this hard to find Lego polybag from Lord of the Rings with Frodo.

I've started collecting green and black cards again, some because I started playing, and some because I now know personally a fair few of the artists that do the art for these cards.
After a bit of time spent there, I went to Wal-Mart to see how things were fairing with post Force Friday sales, and predictably, sales are very strong as nostalgia and new young fanboys and girls are being created, in the wake of the sure to be juggernaut release of Episode 7.
I've actually stopped collecting Pop Vinyls for the time being, I may regret that as this Sandtrooper and Dewback were pretty freaking nice.
I still collect the Pixar Cars line, and it's probably one of the few ones aside from Lego that still give me that "thrill of the chase" feel when I do finally find one that is missing from my collection, or find some new releases that I'd not seen before. I actually don't go looking online anymore to see what else is coming out, just to make the collecting that much more enjoyable.

Even though there was a respectable mix of cars here, nothing I didn't already have that I was particularly collecting. The Ice Racers and some of the Planes characters just don't appeal to me either.
And to think, Cars 3 is coming out in the next few years...
 But as I was leaving, I looked in the clearance aisle, and found this set, which normally retailed for $25 I believe, and got it for $11. By sheer luck and circumstance, I managed to complete my Guardians of the Galaxy Lego sets with the purchase of this one.
One great find, as I think these sets are now discontinued. LOVE that Nova Corp starship.
It's kind of a funny thing, because when I was younger, my parents got me a lot of cool things, but I never understood the fun of being a true collector, budgeting my spending, and finding hard to find items, or being able to check out various places, until I was well into my late teens. Now, it's sort of bypassed being a passion into the realm of being an obsession. But one that still has to know it's boundaries.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Force Friday - Am I getting too old for this? Nah!

You know, as much as people may groan and complain about Star Wars, there is something for me that has a sense of memory and purity of enjoyment, especially in days like what we live in now, that help bring at least for a diverse group of people together in a way that few other things can.

Now as everyone by now knows, there was a forthcoming weekend called Force Friday that was going to be the unleashing of a lot of new Star Wars merchandise. Some retailers had dropped the ball early, and had some of the shirts out and in public hands before everyone realized what had happened...
Some of the shirts were showing up... mere whispers of better and bigger things to come.
So for the rest of us, we waited and gathered in the night at various places. Waiting for 12:01 am to hit. For myself, my brother and a good sized groups of other hardcore fans. Toys R Us was where we chose to experience this.

If you'd like to listen along, I recorded a podcast that evening while I was still on Cloud City 9.

The line outside my local TRUs, just a bit over 130 people by the time the doors opened.
Free LEGO commemorative brick, and bad ass poster of Kylo Ren.
A bit of a dash over to the far right hand side of the store...
and before you know it, people were all over a good portion of the stuff to see.
The store set up was pretty cool. Good number of the Pop Vinyls and larger Lego sets were left.
What is this? 1985? We found G.I. Joe two packs with Steel Brigade, Spirit, Storm Shadow and Iron Grenadiers.
Proof that my brother and I were here on this day, and the patient register guy that rang us up.
As quickly as it happened, it was over and the store was closed.
A quick dash to Wal-Mart was where some of the group went, where my brother got me this killer shirt.
The Toys R Us haul was the previously mentioned freebies, this blade builders advert, and a Captain Phasma that had fallen behind some wookies in the ensuing madness to grab things. <-- It's fun as an adult to say these sort of things now.
As well as this unbelievably beautiful new X-Wing. I really wanted this particular Lego set to be what I got on this day.
All in all, it was a great time, yeah, I am seriously tired, but I feel like a kid again right now. Or, at least more than I normally do each day of my arrested development life. I hope those of you that made it out enjoyed yourselves and also had a great experience!

Until next time, I'm Mario, the Artisan Rogue. May the Force be with you!