Monday, 27 July 2015


I found this advert on the back of an old copy of 2000AD comic from 1978.

You could claim all three Corgi Junior Batman models, the Batmobile, Batboat and Batcopter for just 60 sweet wrappers from Trebor's chewy sweet range - Holy Rotten Teeth!

Summer Shoreleave

Back in June, I visited Woodsy at Moonbase for a bit of Yorkshire sun. As its chucking it down again today, I thought i'd remind myself of those couple of days chilling in the garden with a bunch of toys and a cuppa. As I had my camera with me, Woodsy suggested an impromptu photoshoot with some micro scale Sword toys and couple of models he had to hand. Woodsy and Mrs Moonbase keep a fine garden, so there were plenty of interesting locations dotted about to capture the moment. Here's a few snaps.

Sunday, 26 July 2015


This weekend a dilapidated former defence installation at the mouth of the River Mersey hosted an event that sounded perfect for a Bat-fan like me.

The Fort Perch Rock situated on the New Brighton beach front was to have Adam West's Batmobile returning to the area 40 years after it was apparently originally displayed there.

We attended on the Saturday expecting a mild interest from the general public, bearing in mind this car featured in a TV series made nearly fifty years ago. Remarkably there was a fair size queue of people of all ages looking forward to seeing this iconic vehicle.

The doors were supposed to open at mid-day, but this didn't happen until fifteen minutes later. This led to a few disgruntled parents in the queue whose children were becoming a little bored of the wait.

When we finally got in what did we see? Well, personally, chaos sprung to my mind. People were herded into a large marquee which was set up as cinema showing episodes of the sixties Batman TV series. Next to that were large screens with a small opening at the end to allow the public to walk past the actual Batmobile - the thing they'd come to see!

I have to admit the organisation wasn't too good. From my point of view, trying to take a decent photo of the car was near impossible as the place was soon full of people naturally wanting to take snap shots of their kids against the Batmobile, plus  the area it was parked in was so small the people packed in could hardly move - Holy Cock-up!

The Batmobile itself is a great looking fibreglass replica of the George Barris original based on the one-off Lincoln Futura concept car. This replica might be one of the D.C. authorised copies made by the  Fiberglass Freaks company of Indiana who from 2010 sold them all over the world.

The cockpit looks really good with all the associated Bat gadgets, although leaving a cardboard box in the passenger floorspace was a bit splash dash of the owner, considering people had come to see the car displayed at its best. In fact, despite the fact that the owner and his partner kept telling people not to  touch the car, both were happy to leave their own takeaway food cartons on the bonnet, which never helps in photos.

Batman's view while driving.

Robin's view as a passenger.

Naturally, I had to try it for size.

Remarkably, considering its a big car getting in is a bit of squeeze as everything is so low, but once you're in its feels great. 

'Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed!'

To sum up, personally I enjoyed it and it was nice to remind myself of the size and look of a full size Batmobile.  But in the interests of balance, quite a few people were disappointed though, feeling they were misled by how the event was initially publicised, thinking that more than one Batmobile would be there, plus the general organisation of things. People were unsure which queue to join for things. 

The display of the car could have been a lot better, and the people in costume associated with the event, with few exceptions looked like they were the losers at some fancy dress party contest. In fact, I have to say, the whole thing came across as very amateurish.

Friday, 24 July 2015


In 1994 Vivid Imaginations released their Jet Air Car from Joe 90, taking their inspiration from the 1969 Dinky Toy.

I thought it might be a good idea to do a little fun comparison between the two, just to see what inspiration Vivid took and how the Dinky holds up after all this time.

When it comes to packaging Dinky's original colourful display plinth and box would take some beating, but later when they decided to put their models in bubblepacks,  the Vivid  pakage looks marginally better in this case.

The two models together, with the Vivid on the left.



Both do look very similar, however, the position of the wheels looks much better on the Dinky. 

What about the cockpit?

In the Dinky we have a painted figure of Joe at the wheel.

In the Vivid we have plain red plastic Mac and Joe at the controls.

As they both look good I'm going to call that round a draw.

Vivid's Turbines with red engine tips.

Dinky is all chrome (or in rare cases all red)

I like the added detail on the Vivid so that wins this round.

What about the Jet exhaust and the rear.

Vivid sticks to more red plastic detail.

but Dinky has a light for that exhaust effect!

Dinky obviously wins this one!

Now what about the wings?

Dinky has flick out wings that stick out at the wrong angle but the rear stabilisers spring back too. The wheels stay put. A nice gimmick for it's time, but...

While the Vivid looked wrong in normal driving mode, in flying mode it  really looks the part. The front wheels fold into the base and the rear wheels flick up.

This round clearly goes to Vivid.

So how did each model fare?

Well to be honest, they are both nice models with good points and not-so-good points.

To my mind the main difference between the two is the Dinky looks better in road driving mode and the Vivid looks good in flying mode.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Another toy that would have been bought during those summer holidays at the seaside, A clockwork  Alvis Stalwart auto-tanker.

I've already featured a friction drive Alvis Stalwart auto-tanker made by Clifford toys.

And, using the wheel set up, a Telsada Airport Fire Tender.

This toy looks a lot cheaper than the other two. The wheels are just moulded rather than having a separate hub, and the blue  plastic windscreen  is very thin acetate.


I'm not sure whether the tanker section was originally white like the box photo, as my example looks like its yellowed with age.

It spite of its shortcomings its still a nice little toy 'Stolly', and the wind-up mechanism still works after all this time.

the definitive guide to vintage thunderbirds toys - steve's thunderbirds vintage toys

BLOG EXCLUSIVES ARCHIVE: CUrrently out of order

Spacex Mobile Launch Pad Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Spacex Nuclear Pulse Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Tarheel Moon Prospector Instruction sheet courtesy of Woodsy

Snow Train and Hover Tank Make a Model Book Century 21 courtesy of Woodsy

Scout 3 Box copy to print out and make up by Woodsy and Wotan


Courtesy of Graeme Walker

Blog exclusive 3 - tarheel moon prospector instruction sheet - print-out a4 and keep!


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