Sunday, July 18, 2021

ASCII News: Summer Issue 1991

This is the summer 1991 newsletter from ASCII Corporation which in North America consisted of its two subsidiaries: ASCII Entertainment Software and Nexoft Corporation. The main feature in the newsletter is the merger of the two subsidiaries to form ASCII Consumer Products. After that the Nexoft name did disappear but games and hardware continued to use the ASCII Entertainment name on the packaging. There is also a page about Wizardry from the guys at Sir-Tech Software, details on many ASCII products, and even a brief entry listing role-playing games from other publishers.



Sunday, June 27, 2021

[YouTube] Die-cast Car Collection


This is a look at most of my die-cast car collection that includes other vehicle types too, such as airplanes and boats. Although most of the toys are of the smaller scales, I've mixed in some of the larger ones. Recording and photographing this collection was challenging. Space and lighting were the biggest issues as I spread them out in the living room on top of some white boxes. There is no overhead light in the center of the room so I was relying primarily on the window which caused some shadows along the left side of the set up. In the video and photos they are grouped by company and then I tried to sort the Matchbox and Hot Wheels by year but only by eye, I didn't check the year on each one. While the first half of the video shows only vehicles from the 1980s and earlier, the second half includes some items from the 1990s. After I finished everything I condensed them all onto a couple less boxes and removed the signs resulting in the photo directly below. They aren't in the same order as Matchbox shows up in every row (8 of the 15 boxes).


Being the two biggest makers of die-cast cars, Matchbox and Hot Wheels do account for the majority of my collection. Lesney launched the Matchbox brand in 1953 and Mattel introduced Hot Wheels in 1968, and today Mattel owns Matchbox after acquiring it from Tyco in 1997. Corgi Toys was another big player in the die-cast car toy market that began in the 1950s and ended in 1983 though later reformed. I've got some Corgi vehicles, many of which feature some sort of licensing, such as Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics. I've got a handful of Johnny Lightning cars as well. Topper Toys started Johnny Lightning in 1969 and it went out of business in 1971 but has been revived a few times since then. Kenner released toy cars during its lifetime too, including a line called Fast 111's that have license plates, and Fast 111's was turned into a board game by Parker Brothers. The rest of my collection is made up of smaller bunches of vehicles from a variety of makers.


Once I finished the video I realized I'd forgotten the Hot Wheels car that appears in the header image and in the YouTube opening with Luke Skywalker's head in it! I'd never returned the car to my die-cast collection after taking photos for the creation of the blog more than four years ago so it was sitting upstairs on a shelf. It was added for the collection photos but it's not in any of the video footage aside from the intro. The photos have a lot of overlap and are arranged similarly to the video with the collection first and then some of the items I show in the second half which also includes scans. If you're skipping the video, in the second half I look at the Matchbox packaging I have that begins with a replica of the first release. Then I go up-close with Fast 111's, Kidco's Burnin' Key Cars and Lock-ups, and Hot Wheels' Crack-Ups. The last items are a Johnny Lightning replica and an early Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt Series car, both from the '90s. 

Part 1: The Collection












Part 2: A Closer Look