Thursday 14 February 2008


I'm sure all of you can remember MicroMachines. Click the image above to be taken to be taken back to a world of 8-bit video games, and whilst I'm on the subject of plastic toy cars check this out!


- the book provides valuable background information on the companies that made these toys
- most of this information is based on personal research and is not available in other books
- features a comprehensive selection of photographs of rare items from many different countries
- all models pictured are in mint condition, with original boxes where appropriate
- this is the first book to take a systematic, in-depth look at the subject of collectable plastic toy cars
- price guide gives an indication of current values and degree of rarity
- in addition to photographs of individual toys, there are numerous reproductions of rare period advertisements and catalogue illustrations, most of them in full colour
- it can be hard to identify which manufacturer made a particular plastic toy if the box is not present, as many did not carry the maker’s name. The book will provide a handy means of identification
- the book will be an invaluable aid to collectors buying at auction and at toy shows


Recent auction results indicate a growing interest among collectors in the plastic toy cars made during the 1950s and 1960s in Britain, mainland Europe, the USA and Hong Kong. This book is the first to take a systematic approach to this hitherto neglected area of toy collecting, providing valuable background information on the companies that made these toys and enabling collectors to identify many hitherto unknown items. Among the many famous toy companies examined are Tri-ang and Brimtoy (Great Britain); Norev and Minialuxe (France); Gama and Siku (Germany); Ingap and Politoys (Italy); Rico and Paya (Spain). In addition, light is shed for the first time on the history of many smaller and more obscure brands. Photographs of more than 250 examples of rare and unusual plastic toy cars are included, together with an indication of the prices these items are currently fetching in the antique toy market.


The history of Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys and other makers of diecast metal cars has been covered in great detail in many books and magazine articles; by contrast, information on plastic toy cars is much harder to come by. Yet collectors are taking an increasing interest in plastic cars, particularly as the rise in the value of early diecast and tinplate models has put many of these out of reach of the average enthusiast. For the first time, this book aims to provide a systematic introduction to the vast number of plastic cars made during the 1950s and 1960s. Years of research have enabled the author to uncover many fascinating facts about the companies who made these toys. Some were major players in the toy industry, like Tri-ang and Brimtoy in the UK, Norev and Minialuxe in France, Gama and Siku in Germany and Ingap in Italy. Many others, though, were more obscure, and some only modeled one car before disappearing without trace. More than 250 photographs of these toys are included, with the emphasis being on the most colorful and realistic examples, all of them based on real vehicles of the period. In many cases, the toy is pictured alongside its original box, the presence of which can often double the value of the item to a collector. Readers will also find a handy glossary listing the names of many of the companies who were active in this field in the 1950s and 1960s, together with some evocative period advertisements and catalogue illustrations. If you thought that a model car had to be made of diecast metal to be worth collecting, this book might change your mind... With 250 colour photos, extensive appendices and identification aids this is a must have for any collector or dealer.

Independent Reviews

Review by Jack Kennedy for the IPMS/USA website and journal, 2008

I can remember as far back as the early 1950s and playing with a bunch of plastic model cars. This new book on Plastic Toy Cars sure brought back many fond memories.

'Plastic Toy Cars of the 1950s & 1960s' is a collector's guide and as such is a very valuable asset to have if you are into toy cars.

I was impressed by the layout of this book. It is broken down into several of the countries that produced these cars. At the time I was playing with them I wasn't even aware that they came from foreign countries.

As an example of what this book shows, is a background on each manufacturer from each country and is beautifully illustrated with photos of the actual model toy cars. A definite plus is that the current value is listed with each photo. One drawback is that the price listing is in British Pounds Sterling. An easy conversion (in 2007/2008) is to double the price to get the value in US dollars.

I know that plastic manufacturing was in the very early stages in the 1950s but I wasn't aware how far advanced the injection molding process was back then. When one looks at some of the details on some of the cars produced back then, it is amazing. Thinking back to when I had these cars, I kind of wished I still had them as I would be a rich man today.

I would highly recommend this book for its quality (beautiful glossy paper and photographs) and for bringing back the days of when I was a little boy. As a guide it is very important especially when showing the excellent photos of the cars and the current value.

Wednesday 13 February 2008

A Wheelie Good Book

Scooter lifestyle
By Ian Grainger

Foreword by Norrie Kerr


- Nostalgia with a modern twist
- Interviews with prominent scooterists, past and present
- Scooter rallies, from the inside out
- The scooter scene as a way of life
- People, friendships and comradeship
- Custom scooters, what’s wrong with spending £25k on a scooter?
- The machines, what’s hot and what’s not
- Racing,who ever said scooters are slow?
- Over 150 colour photographs


Scooter Lifestyle will capture the imaginations of past, present and future generations of scooter riders, and guide the reader through the scootering way of life and all its factions, giving a unique insight to the modern scene and all its diversities, warts and all! Includes interviews with well known scootering personalities, over 150 colour photographs of award-winning custom scooters, best-selling scooter models, rallies and events. This book is a must have for anyone interested in these fashionable, fun machines.


There has been plenty said and written about scooters over the years but until now there has been no definitive look at the culture surrounding our chosen way of life. Many authors have written about mods or the infamous and often over hyped beach battles of the 1960’s but hardly any have tried to capture the atmosphere of the modern scene in print. We still owe the original mods for fueling the imagination of past, present and future generations and for leaving a rich scooter heritage behind them. Although the mod way of life was the spark which lit the fuse for many of us, the majority of scooter riders have evolved into lifestyle scooterists. We may not dress in a particular style, our scooters may not be adorned with lights and mirrors but we still burn with the same passion as our scooter riding ancestors. It’s over sixty years since the first Italian scooters rolled off the production lines but there is still a buzzing and vibrant lifestyle with the humble scooter as its nucleus. The small capacity machines have overtaken the lives of thousands of us, often to the detriment of everything else we hold dear. Careers, relationships and families have suffered for this overwhelming and expensive addiction. An addiction to which there is no cure. We live and breathe the sickly sweet smell of synthetic two stroke oil and worship at the altar of our chosen gods, Lambretta and Vespa (or occasionally Gilera and Italjet). Our hands are permanently ingrained with the oily ‘tattoo’s’ of a thousand engine rebuilds and our major organs have suffered the long term effects of our hedonistic lifestyle. Including interviews with well known Scootering personalities, over 150 colour photographs of award winning custom scooters, best selling scooter models, rallies and events. This book is a must have for anyone interested in these fun machines.

Thursday 7 February 2008

Monday 4 February 2008

The Porsche design P'9521

This mobile phone designed by Porsche is superduper. And so is this new book from Veloce Publishing: Porsche – The Rally Story By Laurence Meredith


- Authoritative and easy-to-read text
- Exciting and action-packed photographs from Porsche's archive
- Technical discussion of the cars in detail
- Wide base that includes discussion of Porsche's competitors
- Criticism of the cars form contemporary journalists
- Characters and personalities involved with each project are given full credit
- The story is complete and includes lesser-known personalities and their efforts in Porsches
- Packed with thought-invoking nostalgia
- Fully indexed
- Will appeal to Porsche enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic


Porsche Rally History is a subject that any rally fan will find compelling. Written by lifelong Porsche enthusiast, Laurence Meredith, who is an acknowledged authority on the activities of the Zuffenhausen company, the book is a comprehensive study of Porsche's occasional dabble in the world of international rallying.