Saturday, November 30, 2013

Toys as They Looked Years Ago

November 30, 2013

Toys as They Looked Years Ago

   Most of the toy catalogues from olden times (pre-1940) are usually in black and white.   The illustrations or photographs also come with written descriptions that include the sizes and colours that the toys come in. But it's always nice to actually a toy, or to see how it appeared so many years ago. When I first started buying and selling toys, I'd occasionally but  a "junker" for a relatively low price (or so I thought), and restore it. Of course, I was no match for the people who had the experience. I purchased models paints and sprays, sandpaper, a Dremel high speed machine, and off I went.  I also contacted toy parts sellers on e-Bay and replaced missing parts. MOst of the time, I was very please with the results,and on some rare occasions, I wasn't. You need to read a lot, and learn the finer techniques and skills to finish a toy properly.

  So today's post is about a son and his father who has spent a fair amount of time perhaps as a hobby to return toys to their original heyday and as they might have looked when they rolled off the toy assembly line.  I found a nice Schieble hillclimber  on ebay that was beautifully restored, and looked at more items from this person. The other listing were also nicely restored. The descriptions were written by Tom and Dessa Ossman.  Many of the toys were restored by Tom's father. I also think some of the toys are were restored by Tom himself. 

  "In the 1960s and 70s my father had an elaborate hobby of restoring old toys.  His primary love was airplanes.  These professionally restored toys have been displayed behind glass or stored in preservation boxes since the 1970s.  I absolutely guarantee them to be restored originals from the 30s and 40s and not reproductions.  Today I try to carry on the tradition of toy restoration with a focus on tin plate antique toy trains.  The need to conserve on space forces me to part with some of these treasures."

I think that the battery-operation was redesigned. I like the brass-coloured spring and screw mechanism that adjusts the pressure on the batteries.That ensures that the batteries will remain firmly in position to supply a nice source of illumination to the headlights.

One of my favourite toys is above - the "Art Deco" style coupe shown in red and blue. If you read Tom's description of some of the listings, you'll read that he applies many coats of paint and finish to get that smooth and shiny lustre to the toys. The shiny metal parts have been highly-polished, and the gas cap is wood (As originally found on these toys).  Tom's father certainly knew what he was doing, and Tom today has acquired the great talent of his father!

It's great to see these toys continue to live on for the next generation of collectors and children alike - and not necessarily in that order.

For all my American readers, I hope you survived Thanksgiving Friday. For my Canadian readers,  
some of you were probably caught up in the "migration" of this event that had now moved north.Of course, I'd bet that the sale is also on for the weekend!

And don't eat too much turkey leftovers!

Thanks for visiting, 
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Pocher_Parts Man

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Pocher_Parts Man

   I wrote a post about Pocher on March 15, 2013. I had made a great discovery on this fine 1960's model kit, and had to share this with everyone. Below is the link to that previous post.

  I had expected to write a another post about Pocher based on a local  master builder of these kits. However, at the last moment I  got  turned down. The person  was too busy, and told me to go to his website, use Skype, and download from there. I wasn't signed up for Skype, so that was the end of Pocher up to then.  But if you're a writer with a good memory, you either write down notes or remember. So this week, I went to the website and searched for Pocher. I found a person who sells all kinds of Pocher kits, as well as parts for the kits, and as Sherlock Holmes said in his many books ( actually it was Sir Author Conan Doyle) - "Watson, the game's afoot!".

   I wrote to  the person at pocher_parts, and asked for permission to use his photos and of course write about him. Mr.Peter Doney replied and said yes and yes. I also asked for some of his Pocher finished photos, and he sent me some. Unfortunately, they're a bit grainy and small-sized, but nevertheless,they present to you a "glimmer" of these fine models. As it turns out, Peter  is a model builder,and has been building these Pocher models for 20 years. He now has an link and sells, as well as helping fellow Pocher model builders. His main focus though is in helping fellow model builders rather than selling. So he sells parts to help other model builders complete their projects,as well as sells kits.

   For those who don't know the Pocher story it goes something like this. Mr. Arnoldo Pocher had a great idea to design and sell a great model kit in the 1980's as a 1:8 scale. Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out, and the company went bankrupt. The cost of a kit at the time was $ 35.00, and the kit weighed in at 16 pounds (about 6.3 kg). Maybe that was the problem, or poor marketing. Years later, model builder discover Pocher, and as the old saying goes - "the rest is history". IN 2013, you can find a Pocher kit for sale anywhere from $ 600.00 - $1500.00 US, and if you don't have the time to build it (some kits have as many as 600-700 parts), you can commission a master model maker to build one for you for another $ 1500.00. Tomorrow, I have the pleasure to present to you another person and merchant who sells Pocher-related items.I won't say any more, but when you see his photographs, you'll understand the aura and mystique behind Pocher models.

I didn't add any written descriptions to the photos because the box kits have labels,and the parts images illustrate the diversity of materials,parts, and colours.  If Peter suggests that I add the descriptions, for sure, I will.


A Pocher Kit
Mercedes Benz 500K-AK
Cabriolet K74 Kit Unstarted and 100% Complete

The photo above best shows the metallic parts that are part of the kit. It's no wonder that Peter doesn't open the packets to photograph!  The other photographs show you the different colours and plastic and metal parts for the kit.

I asked Peter to send me some photos and the ones above are what he sent.
They're beautiful models to build and to see.

Most of the kits are of vintage famous cars from the 1930's and 1940's.
As it turns out, Hornby, the famous and now very big conglomerate owns the rights to Pocher., and has just come out or announced that they will be producing a modern-era Ferrari kit.

I contacted Hornby several times, but I never got a good answer to my request. I kept being moved around from country to country, and department to department. However, I will try again someday!

Thanks for dropping by,
and  as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you my be.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Can't I Play with Your Fantastic Robots?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Fine Art of Linda DiBartolo and Kent Greenbaum
Why Can't I Play With Your Fantastic Robots?

  One of the skills that you pick up as a photographer, or at least I can say that with certainty is the ability to remember images. The downside to this is the fact that I sometimes am a sloppy organizer on my computer.  I must have 1000's of "bookmarks" on my Apple IMac browser (Safari),but I don't modify the title. So I have lots of great future stories to tell, if I can just start be organized! And so it was with today's story. 

  I had seen today's subject, and of course the artists and people associated with this great art, but never decided to write about them. "Art" was not part of my blog. However,  a month ago or earlier, I again came across these most-interesting pieces of art again, and this time I decided to "break the rule". Isn't there that old expression "rules are made to be broken?" I wrote to a person at their email address,  but completely forgot about the e-mail.  

   Last Friday, I got a simple reply with a big collection of the art of Linda DiBartolo and Kent Greenbaum.  I'm waiting for more information from both,so I don't know if both are artists or just Kent. I'm sure when I send my "your post is up,please proofread" letter , they will reply.  The photo files that I was sent are large-sized, and I was able to photo-edit them beautifully against the white background.

Being the owner of a dog (Buddy), I have to say that this is one robot that I like.

Of course, this is another of my favourites,and so had to be added at the end of the post.

I'll be e-mailing e-mailing Kent and Linda as soon as this post is finished, and I hope they open the mail soon. I'd like to have more of a story here to add. I know that on Linda and Kent's Facebook page, Linda is a lover of horses and even has her own horse.


There's a real story here. 
How come there weren't any horse robots for sale?

Thanks for dropping by to visit,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.