Toys of Yesterday and Today

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Jeff Gordon – NASCAR

The past 30 days or so have seen two (2) notable events in sports – the retiring of Bret Farv’s No. 4 and the retiring of Jeff Gordon from NASCAR.

Can’t say that I’ve seen many items relating to No. 4 – but there are a lot of collectible items out there for Jeff Gordon.

When looking to collect items relating to a sports figure, movie, comic character, etc. – always look for the ones that are endorsed by the originator or the holder of the trademark.  Knock-offs will have little or no value to a collector.  And buy those items in original packaging or with the box whenever possible.

Some of the more interesting Jeff Gordon items available are below.  Follow the links to see larger pictures and purchase.





Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 9:23 pm.

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Scales: Trains to Cars

traincarscaleToys come in a variety of sizes from small, i.e.,, micro to very large, i.e., ‘model’ trains that are for the outdoors.   Therefore, when looking to buy a toy consider the age of the child you are buying for and the intended purpose.  Is the gift going to be meant as a plaything or to be set on a shelf as a collectible?

If the child is very young, look for toys that they cannot put into their mouths and does not have small parts that might be broken off.  If the child is older, some of the highly collectible items, such as Hot Wheels, NASCAR and train sets can offer both play time, collectability and come in a variety of scales.  When talking about scale, we are talking about the measure of the size of the  toy item vs. the size of the original it is based on.  You may remember from math class this can also be the ratio.


Various train sizes range from those large enough to be ridden to those that you often see set up as models. Often times, in addition to an elaborate track layout, you’ll find landscaping, cars, people and animals included.  Train scale is measured not so much by the size of the train itself (engine, cars, etc.) but rather by the size of the track or gauge.  Some of the most popular gauge or scale measurements are:  [1]


  • G – often referred to as ‘Garden Scale’ as it is large.  Scale can range from 1:22.5 to 1:29.  A typical 40′  box car would be 17.25″ L  x 4.50″ W x 6.50″ H.
  • O – most common and what we typicall think of; like Lionel.  Scale is 1:48.  A typical 40′ box car would be  10.50″ L x 2.50″ W x 3.75″ H.
  • HO  –  most popular.  Scale is 1:87.1.  A typical 40′ box car would be 5.75″ L x 1.50″ W x 2.00″ H.

Other scales used for model trains are S (1:64), TT (1:120), N (1:160), Z (1:220),  OO (1:76.2), 1 Scale (1:32), and T (1:450).[2]


To see a selection of train sets on Amazon, visit this link.

Die Cast

The size for these cars is based on the size of the actual car, truck or other vehicle.  The most popular size used by Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightening is the 1:64 scale.  A good rule-of-thumb for determining the difference in the sizes is:  [3]

  • 1:12 scale = 14″ – 16 ” in length –  Highly detailed, often featuring motorcycles.
  • 1:18 scale = 8″ – 11″ in length  –  Detailed model targeting the adult collector market.
  • 1:24 scale = 5″ – 8″ in length  –  Favored scale for model kits; also used by Franklin Mint.
  • 1:43 scale = 3″ – 5″ in length  – Most popular around the world and used by Dinky.

Other popular scale sizes are:

  • 1:32  – used by Ertl and Britians
  • 1:64 – used by Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightening.
  • 1:87 – used by Herps, popular due to their compatibility with HO trains.

To see a selection of diecast cars on Amazon, visit this link.


Slot Cars

Seemingly a cross between die-cast and trains by making use of a track are slot cars.   These scaled down cars make use of actual car bodies that have been tailored for racing.[4]  Raced on a ‘slotted track’ these cars are controlled by a hand-held controller.  Might add that new digital technology now has it where these cars can not only change lanes but share lanes.  Similar to other scales, you’ll find slot cars in the following:

  • 1: 24 – larger size so they are typically run on commercial or club tracks.
  • 1:32 – most common home ‘friendly’ size; also popular at clubs and hobby shops.
  • HO (1:87 – 1:64) – originally designed for train layouts; size may vary due to need for larger motor.

These cars have also been produced in 1:48 (1960’s)  as well as 1:43 scale (2007 – today) although it would appear there is little ‘organized’ racing.

Scale can be used to fine a toy, based on individual desire or purpose.  However, shopping for a gift  should simply  be based on the person it is intended for and if it is to be played with or collected.

To see a selection of slot cars on Amazon, visit this link.

Happy Shopping!





[1] http://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/CTGY/Scales

[2]  https://support.modeltrainstuff.com/hc/en-us/articles/202970203-What-are-the-different-Gauges-and-Scales-What-do-they-mean-

[3]  http://www.mintmodels.com/scalesize.aspx

[4]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_car


Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 8:50 pm.

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Hot Wheels “Pro Racing”#35 Todd Bodine



The Collector’s Edition 1st Editions 1998 of the 50th Anniversary of NASCAR ‘1948-1998″



In an effort to attract more ‘adult’ collectors, Mattel developed the ‘Pro Racing’ series specially designed for the adult collector. These cars were designed with a die-cast body and chassis, detailed interior, and deluxe ‘rubber’ tires.


The car pictured is from the 1998 1st Edition and features Todd Bodine. In addition to the car, a collector card also came in the blister pack. The back of the car was printed with not only the NASCAR race schedule for the year but also with Pro-Racing information relevant to the driver… in this case Todd Bodine. Other information you’ll find on the back of the blister pack is:


  • Team: Team TABASCO Racing
  • Sponsor: TABASCO
  • Car: #35 Pontiac Grand Prix
  • Date of Birth: February 27, 1964
  • Hometown: Chemung, New York


This die-cast collector car features:


  • Orange/black colors
  • #35 (yellow)
  • TABASCO and race decals on sides, rear and hood
  • Green splitter
  • Goodyear Eagle tires
  • Facsimilie of driver’s signature on roof (very difficult to see)
  • Collector card (Upper Deck – Exclusive 1998 Editions

Happy Collecting!


Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 10:53 pm.

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