Friday, January 30, 2015

A New-Found Auction Site and A New Auctioneer

Friday, January 30, 2015
Cloud with snow, and milder 

A New-Found Auction Site 
and a New Auctioneer

   There are lots and lots of toys in Europe, but it's hard for me to be able to communicate in different languages, even though there are now  web translation sites to use. Moreover, not everyone  writes back to you. However, when I found  some fine toys on Catawaki Auctions together with of course an auctioneer, I had to write. I completely forgot about my sending an e-mail , when Mr. Rob Boot, an auctioneer on Catawaki Auctions wrote back. He gave me permission to use his nice photos of toys and their descriptions, and he mentioned that I should use the web address of Catawaki Auctions when you want to communicate with him.

What's refreshing about connecting with a European auctioneer is that the language and words used may be different when it comes to the parts of a toy. I think Rob Hoot is Dutch, and I assume that they use similar terms to the British. So tires (North American spelling) is written tyres in Europe, and windshield is windscreen.

Of course, what I liked about Rob's listings is his nice photography, and plenty of photos!
Most of the toys presented today are from the 1950's- 1960's. However, I wanted to connect with Rob  and see if I could get his permission. Now that I have, I will trey and figure out how to access past auctions, to search for my "usual" (pre-1940 and true antique toys).

What I like about this listing is the artwork on the box. Of course, if I was a "kid" 
(an expression for a young child here in North America, and not a baby goat!),
 I'd certainly have fin with this toy. It not only moves, but it has a dumpster that tilts to unload!

There are a lot of Schuco toys for sale on ebay and they always  have lots of bidders. One time, I purchased a modern-era (2000's) Schuco to see just what "all the fuss" (attention) was about. Even today, these toys are made to last. They're heavy, strong, and the wind-up mechanism certainly gives these toys a very fast send-off when you let then run!

If you've ever seen a period French move circa 1950's or early 1960's you'll have seen this truck. The "real" Citroen truck must have been very popuar at the time, since every movie (especially the crime and police movies) always use these trucks for escapes.

Here's  a nice Russian motorcycle toy. I like how the driver is "masked", but the best of all is the excellent photography that Rob has taken of this toy. What's also interesting is the excellent condition that this toy is in.

I rarely venture into the 1950's, but  there are  nice toys from that time. The world was recovering from WWII, and the defeated countries (Germany and Japan) were helped by the victors to get them back on their feet. I like the yellow/red combination of this Tippco truck.

Below is the "piece-de-resistance" - a fine Tipp & Co. toy from the US-Western Zone (Germany) after WWII. At the time, the USA had a "protectorate" as did Russia. Tippco or in this case Tipp & Co. made excellent toys since the beginning of the 20th century, and here is still a fine toy circa the 1950's. This particular toy received the highest value at the end of bidding of all the toys presented today. What noteworthy is to still see that this toy had its original windscreens (windshields) both on the rider's motorcycle and the passenger's side.

 I already mentioned the fine photography of Rob, but here is an interesting and successful use of a plate or dish as a foundation (underneath an object). This framing of the dish created four rounded corners that literally frame the toy.  It's a compositional term in photography, and here the plate is a great idea. Not only that, but the  shadow on the plate and some reflections enhances the photo and the toy even more. I also like the high camera angle taken to illustrate a direct top view of the toy. You don't see this done much on ebay or elsewhere, but it's a great camera angle to show the features of the toy from a very different bangle and point-of-view.

Thanks for visiting and as always
have a great part of the day or nigh,t
wherever you may be, 
Stacey Bindman

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Reader Sends Photos of His Identified Arcade Coupe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Overcast, very windy, and very cold

A Reader Sends Photos 
of His Identified Arcade Coupe

It's always great to hear from readers. I can see from my Google statistics that there are people who visit my website each day, however, it's always great to actually have someone write to me.  A few days ago, I heard from a Canadian reader - right "next door" in Ontario, the province next to mine, which is Quebec. Mr. Ken Keenan had written to say that he had a 70 year old (at least) cast iron toy car given to him when he was 3 years old. He was searching for the identity of his toy, and came across my blog and found his answer. As it turns out, it is a nice Arcade cast iron coupe from the 1930's or even earlier.

In His Own Words

I was given a cast iron car when I was three years old, that would be 70 years ago, how time goes by, and decided to look it up on the internet when I came upon your web site.
  There it was!  I couldn’t make out the name of the company stamped underneath so I made up some modeling clay and pressed it on the logo, and after tapping some flour on it and using a mirror to read the name I saw the word Arcade  and a serial number that looks like 13, but the serial number is hard to make out but two numbers for sure.
  When I was in my 40’s I took it from the curio cabinet and decided to paint it black as it looked pretty drab.  Years later I thought I would try to take the paint off with some paint remover and now it looks a speckled green more like when I got it originally.
  I once had a cast iron bank too that looked like the empire state building,  but somehow it got lost or thrown out.  I couldn’t seem to save money anyway.
  Your site was very helpful in identifying my car.  I remember many years ago on a radio program that they said cast iron cars some day could be worth a hundred dollars so hang on to them.  
  Anyway, thanks for the pictures and info, and if you would like some pictures of mine I would be only too glad to send you a few.
Yours truly,
Ken Keenan

I was going to do my  "usual" whitening effect for Ken's photos, but decided to pre sent all variations of Ken's photos.  Below is my usual "whitened" effect. Because the toy was on red, I had to remove the foundation. Once that was done, I removed the red colour that bounced from the  nice red fabric that Ken used on to the sides of the car. I should have removed  the red colouring of the fabric and leave something for the car to rest on.

As for the car, it certainly had been kept "as is" over all those years.  It really looks like something very old with the remnants of the green paint flakes.

Ken used this nice white material with a rectangular grid pattern on it. I removed the background, but left the grid as the foundation (what the item sits on). This foundation is a fine choice to photograph the toy. If you look at the rear of the car on this photo and the one below, you can see a "rumble seat". What's interesting here is that the rumble seat has been placed into 2 holes on each side of the car. It has small projections that rest in the holes, that allow for the seat to open and close.

I removed the area behind the black letter bin, but left the bin ad the foundation.  Black works well to present the toy, and since it's dark, the toy shows well  being a lighter colour. In the 1930's and earlier, Arcade made some of their cars with totally= cast iron wheels. Later cars and trucks would have metal rims with whitte or black rubber tires.

Here's Ken's car resting on the red fabric. I left the red on the side of the car to illustrate how a foundation will reflect colour on to the car.  Red also worked well, but a good idea would be to try to limit light on the car and darken the red. The red will be less noticeable, but allow for the red regal  to show the car as a "regal" item.

 What's great about these cast iron toys is that it takes forever for them to really rust out and return to the earth. 

The length of this car is 6 1/2" or  165 mm. If you do  a search on Liveauctioneers for 
Arcade Cast Iron Coupe or Arcade Cast Iron Rumble Coupe
you'll find images of the same toy, in various degrees of condition.

You may find  this toy in better condition when you go to Liveauctioneers, but for Ken, and for myself, the personal meaningful value is more important that the condition of the item.  I have some old fishing reels that my father gave me and my brother, and some that We inherited when my father passed on. They're not in the best condition, nor they are the most valuable, but there were my father's.

What's more is that they still work and can catch fish, and they're all metal, not the plastic that one finds today.

Some things are not worth changing regardless as to how old or in what condition they are!

Thanks for visiting and as always
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
Stacey Bindman

Monday, January 26, 2015

Exceptional Photography from a Seller

Monday, January 26, 2015
Sunny, and very, very, very cold!

Exceptional Photography 
From a Seller

   Some of the people that I get to help me out, communicate more than others with me, and weof become friends. Malinda Trollinger is one of them. I got to know Malinda when I saw some exceptional well-done photography on ebay.  She's selling a fine collection of toys that here father collected over 55+ years. Recently, Malinda write to say how nice my blog is, but in all honesty, I just write, and photo-edit the photos. The real platitudes should be directed to all of my guests,, Malinda included.

  The last time that Malinda wrote, I decided to see what she was selling,and it turned out to be my favourites  of the small-sized toys - Tootsietoys and some fine Hubley small-sized diecasts.  Not everyone takes advantage of  ebay's offer to upload 12 photographs for free, but Malinda does. Also, she's very honest in her descriptions of her items.  I had to look at some of her descriptions to see what small faults there were with some of the toy descriptions. As the old expression goes - "Honesty is the best policy", but  Malinda is angelic compared with some sellers that I have purchased from!

I like how Malinda has a sharp eye for noticing things. One of the nuances (small subtlety) of die cast toys is their small faults, which aren't really faults at all. Malissa noticed that 3 of the 4 cockpit windows are sealed from the diecast process. This is the "beauty" of these small toys,.However, I'm 1000% sure that if I had such a toy in the 1950's, for sure I would have filed away this characteristic of these toys,and lost the true value if I sold it on ebay.

In my last reply to Malinda, I wrote to her saying that she should see if there is a market for her talents  hear where she lives. Even I have learned from her photography. I admire how she photographs from different camera angles, uses some distortion to her photographs, and presents nice details of the features of toys that merit being shown to viewers.

When I first started selling on ebay, I had the blue Coupe, that Malinda is selling. As well, I had many other die cast toys. However, they never looked so good as the photos Malinda took of these "little guys". At the time, I wanted to be sure to show the toys well on ebay

Malinda had shown me that you can be creative and sell toys at the same time. As an aside, our dog Buddy can learn new tricks and he does and he's 14.  I think there's even hope for me yet - I'm 66, but it dog years, I'm younger than him - I'm 7 1/3 years - that definitely sounds better!

Thanks for visiting and as always
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever yo umay be,

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Extraordinary Karl Bub Automobiles

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Sunny, very cold , getting warmer later

The Extraordinary 
Karl Bub Automobiles

  If yo search for old antique automobile toys on the Internet, you will eventually come upon the name of Karl Bub. This German company mace exceptional toy cars in the first quarter of the both century. They were beautifully hand-crafted, and the company spared no expense to produce a quality product that has lasted for a century, as you'll see below.

We start first with this very large car. It has battery-operated headlights and is 21" long ( 533 mm) - that's large! It  also a wind-up. But the selection go colours and the care in crafting the toy to what the "real car" looked looked is exceptional as well.

Here's a limousine  made around the same time as the opening toy. This one also has battery-operated headlights, and the rear doors open up.

I usually select items in order of their final value at auction.,hence this toy is from 1915, whereas the 2 previous opening toys were from the 1930's. I always a doe those very-early headlights on cars. I haven;t researched these, but I often wonder if they were powered by an alternator in the car, or had candles or fuel inside the "lantern-style'"headlamps. I'll have to check this out!

Another beautiful car - this time a taxi.

ALthough the description does not mention the windshield, this one may have been made from thin panes of glass, as thin or thinner than slide covers if you ever took a biology course. The slide cover would "sandwich" your thin specimen to the glass slide so that keeping everything flat would keep the focus in one plane.

Here's a nice truck that I found that break's up the rest of the toys today.
If you loot at all of the toys today, you'll see that some are very high in proportion to their drivers. The real cars i or trucks wet win fact large, hence the people were small proportionate to the vehicles of the time.

Here's a limousine that definitely has glass windows! What amazes me is that the glass  has stayed intact (but for the rear left panel) without any damage. If you compare the other grey toy Town car, above, you can see that perhaps that one did have glass as well!

There are two things that are interesting to this final presentation of the day. There's a large "Felix the Cat" hood ornament that was a popular cartoon character of the day. But what's also interesting is the fact that the car has no headlights. I've seen this before, and this will also require research. I never really thought about this, so it will be interesting to see if cars perhaps did not all come with headlights - powered by the car alternator, or by fuel or candles inside what appear to be large-sued lanterns!

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

An Exceptional Collector of Rubber Toy Vehicles - Part II

Friday, January 23, 2015
Cloudy and very cloud, partly sunny later

An Exceptional Collector
of Rubber Toy Vehicles
(Part II)

I already introduced you to Mr. Michael Lavova, whom I'm continuing to write about today.  Michael had written to me last Sunday, and invited to help me out.  I always appreciate readers who write to me. It gives me solace that people are reading my blog, and keeps me going. However, he even wrote to say if he could help. I wrote back , thanking him, and said that I'd like to write about his collection of rubber toys that he's been collecting for 30 years. I wrote about his car collection, and for today, it's his toy racers.

What I like about Michael's website is that he likes to present his fine rubber toys differently from each other. You'' have hight camera angles,and lower camera angles, cars angled to the left, or to the right. Two cars and one car.This makes for  more interesting viewing.

What amazes me most about rubber toys ( I bought and sold a few on ebay) is that they have lasted so long.  The toys below are from the 1930's-1940's and they're still intact. I don;lt know what they put in the rubber to allow for the rubber to stay so firm and not crack. I know when my I keep elastics from my newspaper in my car for a week, they crack and break from the heat.

It's also interesting that Michael has made an effort to collect different variations of the same model, but with different colours or colour combinations.

This is a great photo for its' wide-angle effect.

I like this model because it had round surfaces compared 
with the other racers with straight edges and lines.

I don;t know if the toy below was ever modelled after a "real" racer that had this shape and design.

For those who don't know, Akron, Ohio (USA) is famous for its annual "Soap Box Derby.
Young children get to build and race their entry cars there. The cars do not have any pedals or mortars, but have to move down a hill on their own with the due driver. The cars have to be designed for safety, durability, lightness and speed. The fastest one to the finis line is the winner, and
gets to advance to the next round of races. At one point, as many as 70,000 people would come to Akron to watch the races.

Some companies, like other toy companies would offer 2 
different sizes of the same model to their young customers.

All of the companies here are American, but when I did write 1 instalment of my own 
about rubber toys, I did find 1 that was not American. However, what is amazing is that  toy companies could make rubber toys and sell them well for almost 20 years.

For these photos I added some bright areas called "highlights". These small toys are just so wonderful, I felt I had to make them jump off the page!

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